Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Can't sleep!

I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise. (Psalms 119:147-148 NLT)

School has been out for nearly 3 weeks and I am still waking up at 5:30 every morning! I'm not sure why. Many times I wake up thinking about things I have to do, but not during the summer. I would like to say I'm waking to think about Gods promises, but that's not always true. However, when I do wake at odd times, I have taken the opportunity to spend time in prayer. It always seems to help. Maybe Gid is waking me for that purpose!

Summer school is over for Stephanie and I at the end of the week and then the real vacation begins. I can't wait for the relaxation, exploring this great country, spending time with the grandkids and, YES, sleeping in. It's time to rejuvenate. It's time to refresh the mind and reconnect with the Lord on a deeper level. It's a right of passage for me every year at this time. I can't wait!

Dear Lord, thank you for summer time and a time to get away. I am blessed to be in your presence wether it is 11 at night, 4 in the morning, or during a busy day. I consider my life blessed because you care for me and want to be with me. Please grant me rest and peace in my time away from school. Renew my soul, watch over my heart. Draw me closer to you and your plan. I Praise you for the great joy in my salvation and the life you have granted me. Amen!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

You're not that important.

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. (Galatians 6:1-3 NLT)

I love helping kids. I love serving others. It makes me feel good. I serve others because I know I'm not that important. 

Since the social revolution of the 1960's we have been so worried about the self-esteem of our kids. We give out a lot of trophies and awards at school. We try to protect our kids from failure. We want everyone to feel good about themselves. It's made us nothing but weak and lazy. Part of that weakness and laziness leads to lower rates of volunteerism, and an increase in entitlement. When our society can take their eyes off themselves, even for a moment, and realize they are not all that important, then and only then can we know the heart of Christ. 

We need to share in each other's lives. We need to serve others, share their burdens, and commit to making each other's lives better. Part of making lives better is to GENTLY, help believers who stumble, get back to Jesus. We can do this with love. We can do it with compassion and we can do it without judgment. 

Stop worrying about your own selfish needs and wants and focus on others. Life is not about you. Life is about serving others and loving them through the stresses of life. We need to be selfless not selfish!

Dear Lord, I love you. Thank you for helping guide my life. Thank you for providing opportunities to serve. Pleas Lord, continue to show me the way. Help me to share your compassion, your gentle guiding hand, and your grace with others that need it. I love you and praise you for my wonderful life! AMEN!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

My flexible God!

So the LORD changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people. (Exodus 32:14 NLT)

God wanted to bring disaster yo his stubborn people. He was angry. He could have done it AND the Israelites would have deserved it. He didn't! The reason? Moses! Moses interceded with powerful prayers to the creator of the universe. 

God is portrayed as some crazed, narrow minded, dictator. He is not. You can certainly see his flexibility throughout the Bible. But, just as important, you can see his patience reflected in my own life. He listens. He answers prayer. I have rejected him. Ignored him, and he still keeps on loving me. 
He still opens his arms when I return to him. He wants so bad to have a relationship with us, his grace saves us from what we deserve. His patience is eternal.

I serve a powerful, yet extremely loving God. He loves me beyond all I deserve. Thank you Lord for being flexible and listening to me and my cries for help. Thank you for listening and acting on my pleading requests. Thank you for answering my prayers when I can't even put them into words. Amen.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fired Up!

Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible. Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth? (Galatians 4:15-16 NLT)

Are you joyful? Is your spirit grateful? Are you still on fire for the Lord? Do your actions match your words? 

After years of following Christ, I see so many Christians become stale, worn, and lethargic about their faith. It's so sad! How can you live with the God  of the Universe every day of your life and have a bad  attitude? If you are connected with God, you can't hide his power without sharing. God will supply you with the enthusiasm the focus and the specific ways you can represent him with Joy!

We need to be a soul on fire for the Lord. I know this to be true: The more I serve the more "on fire" I get. I have been blessed to serve with My CMA family these past 5 years. The more I commit to serve the more results I see. The more results I see the more it stirs the fire in me. Staleness is caused by "passivity". It is caused by becoming a Sunday Christian, just wanting to receive and not serve. When I see the working hand of God in my life, I can't help but get FIRED up for Jesus! When I see what he is doing through me I am shocked and humbled. 

Lord, I praise you for YOUR fire that stirs in me. I praise you for the joy of serving and the results I see before my eyes. I ask you Lord to continue to use me to reach others for you and to serve and be open to your leading. I ask you to help me continue to build relationships with the lost. Let them see Jesus in me. Amen!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Stubbornness!

Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? (Galatians 3:4 NLT)

God is in everything. He's in the great times and the bad times of your life. He is my teacher. As I walk through the valleys in life he is with me and comforts me. Romans 8:28 says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Yes, it's true, but do we learn always learn from our experiences? I would say definitely not. I am reading the book of Exodus and the stubborn Israelites. This generation of God's chosen people were particularly stubborn. They personally experienced some of the most miraculous acts of God, yet they whined and complained continuously. They were delivered from slavery, fed, they were given shelter, they were protected from foreign invaders. It was so obvious that God was with them. But, they just didn't get it!

I'm not much different than this stubborn people. I am 55 years old. I have seen the hand of God in my life, directly. I have seen him deliver me from my own sin, over and over again. Yet, my faith still falters. My faith is still not much larger than a mustard seed. Even afte the pure miracles in my life, I try to take over. I try to "help" the God of the universe. How ridiculous is that?

Dear Lord, forgive me for my failings. Forgive me for my tiny faith. I do trust you. I do praise you for how you have watched over me for my entire life. I feel your mighty hand. I see the results of your love. Thank you! Thank You! I will work to make that wonderful love known to those around me, today, and always! AMEN!