Monday, September 1, 2014

God made work and it was good!

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (Genesis 2:15 NIV)

I learned something new today. God made work BEFORE the fall of Adam and Eve. He gave them the garden of Eden and then gave them a job. The job got a lot tougher after the fall, but work was created by God and it was good. So why is it so many people dread work? 

I'm not one of them! 

God created my job specifically for me. He intended for me to teach and enjoy it. 

Yesterday was Labor Day and what do we do? We cancel work to spend time playing or relaxing. I enjoyed the day off, but I really do love my "job". When I'm not there I miss it. I miss my students, I miss the fun, YES, fun we have learning. I see retirement approaching quickly, but does that mean I'll be done working? The answer is unequivocally NO. I will take my pension and just change my focus. I will work, I'll let God decide where!

I am blessed with a wonderful career that doesn't seem like work. I am blessed with great administrators, great colleagues, a great environment and a wonderful community! It's not work when you enjoy it as much as I do. Praise God for the joy of working!

Friday, August 29, 2014

IF -- that's the key word?

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32 NIV)

I always looked at this verse as "God IS for us." It's nice to think we are always right and through all things God has our back. But, is that really true? The key word in this verse is "IF". We can not assume God is always FOR us and that we will never fail.  If we are out of God's will, he may not be for us. That doesn't mean he's going to abandon us.  What it does mean, he might let us fail, we might lose a battle. The Bible clearly says he will be with us. He will never foresaken us. But, he will let us fail when we live outside his will. He let's us choose and also let's us suffer the consequences of those choices.

So in order for God to be for us, we must continue to be in touch with his will and his mighty power. To be in harmony with the creator we must communicate with him, listen, take action on his direction, and make good choices in our lives. If we can do all these things no one will be able to stand against us and we will thrive in his kingdom. If we fail to do these things, we will easily be defeated by the forces of this world. The first step is up to us!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

One Way!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NIV)

I was watching a video mission statement of one of my students the other day. The student included a movie clip of a graduate touting, "There is nothing forever, live in the moment......" It struck me how wrong that is. There is one thing that has lasted forever since the beginning of time and that one thing is God, the father. He is the beginning and the end. He was, is , and is to come. 

Our world is so mixed up. We have greatly complicated this life with ideas like their is nothing that lasts forever, or there is no truth, there is no ONE way! I hate to burst their bubble. They are wrong. This verse and dozens more, in the bible, state clearly the only way to life eternal is through Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior, we WILL live in eternity, forever. Life will continue because of Gods deep love for us! It hasn't changed before now and never will. 

It is critical for me to be a light in all places to share that ONE way to those who don't know it! It's critical for all believers to be that light! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I've lied!

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10 NIV)

It's confession time! How many of you have told someone you are praying for them and you haven't? I have and I'm hoping I'm not the only one. I'm not proud of that and am more than a little embarrassed by it. 

I apologized to a friend yesterday for not praying for him like I should. Now, in this case I didn't tell him I would pray. But, isn't it understood that you will pray for close friends. Now he's going through some stress. What would have happened if I would have continued to pray for him without ceasing? Would he be going through this rough patch right now? Even though I never told him I would pray for him, there are other people I have told then never followed through. I need to change that.

These verses say we only have to ask and it will be given. If I would have asked, would this trial never have happened? I'm not sure, but I'm not willing to take the chance. My friends, family, and coworkers deserve the best when it cones to prayer. I need to do better trying to advocate for my circle. God will listen. But, we have to communicate with him at all times. We need to knock, ask, and seek, then sit back and watch the power of God!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

God knows why and I'm okay with that!

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NIV)

A group of men is playing a game of poker in a restaurant back room. As one man looks at his cards, he knows he has an unbeatable hand and will be a rich man when he lays down those cards and wins the huge pot in the center of the table. Unknown to that man, however, a fighter pilot in training has just ejected from his plane, and the plane is hurtling toward that restaurant. The man will not even get to play the hand. (Copied from 21 day extract of the Once-A-Day Devotional for Men for everyday inspiration, Zondervan Publisher)

We have this wonderful illusion we are in control of everything around us. Nonbelievers and believers act the same. We make plans, we schedule, and we fill our lives with stuff. But, we are guided by the one who created it all. Yes, he has given us free will. He let's us dig our own graves. He let's us cause our own stress, but the master plan is his alone. It's been that way from the beginning and it will be that way until the end. 

This summer I laid the best vacation plans of all time. I spent countless hours this winter, baracaded inside my house, preparing this wonderful trip. We left on a beautiful summer day filled with great expectation. God had different plans, the trip lasted about 36 hours. Stephanie fractured her elbow. The vacation never happened. God knows why and I'm ok with that! I don't need to know because I knew when I turned my life over to him, he didn't owe me explanations. He didn't have to reveal his plans to me. All I had to do was trust him and I do! Like most Christians I have asked God "Why?" But the older I get, the more I have seen how his plan truly leads to better things. I'm less likely, now, to ask why. He knows and that's good enough for me.

Praise God for his wonderful plan for my life. I renew my trust in him and turn all my plans over to him. He is the creator of the universe, he knows best, and I will not question or doubt his love for me. I will not question my path, but enjoy every moment that I get to be apart of his marvelous plan.