Saturday, July 30, 2011

Home Sick!

Psalm 137

 1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept 
   when we remembered Zion. 
2 There on the poplars 
   we hung our harps, 
3 for there our captors asked us for songs, 
   our tormentors demanded songs of joy; 
   they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

Have you ever been home sick? I really can't remember a time I was. When I was a kid, I spent my summers all over the place. I would spend weeks with my Aunt Anne at Tri-Lakes or at my Grandma and Grandpa Lewis' in Waupaca, Wisconsin. I would spend time at church camp or one of another multitude of activities. I can't ever remember being home sick. Is that bad?  Even now when Stephanie and I travel over the summer, we are away for at least 3 weeks. I can't say I have been home sick. I love being with my Grandkids and with my daughters. I DO miss them all the time. I love Garrett, the people, my friends, and my co-workers. I love the house God has blessed me with. But, to me, being away on an adventure is great. Knowing that all the people I love and my home will be there when I return is enough to let me enjoy where I am.

When the Jerusalem fell and the Israel was shipped off to a foreign land, they were home sick. They were so home sick they couldn't even make music. They missed the good ole days. They missed everything about Jerusalem. 

I am so blessed to have a great relationship with my Lord. I know their is a great Heavenly home waiting for me. Every once in a while I get home sick for Heaven. That might seem strange since I've never been there. But, the time I get to spend with God and the joy he brings me here on Earth is enough to tell me what I'm missing. The pain of "my captivity" on Earth will be gone.My joy will be complete. But,  until God decides to bring me home, I will enjoy the adventure here on Earth. Knowing Jesus is waiting for me there is enough that I can enjoy where I am. Thinking about what it will be like helps me get through the rough times. Nothing on Earth will last except the Love of my God. Praise God!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Guess what - His Love Endures Forever!

Psalm 136

 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. 
            His love endures forever. 
2 Give thanks to the God of gods. 
            His love endures forever. 
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords: 
            His love endures forever.
 4 to him who alone does great wonders,
            His love endures forever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
            His love endures forever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
            His love endures forever.
7 who made the great lights—
            His love endures forever.
8 the sun to govern the day,
            His love endures forever.
9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
            His love endures forever.
 10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
            His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
            His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
            His love endures forever.
 13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a] asunder
            His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
            His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
            His love endures forever.
 16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
            His love endures forever.
 17 to him who struck down great kings,
            His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—
            His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
            His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
            His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
            His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
            His love endures forever.
 23 He remembered us in our low estate
            His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
            His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
            His love endures forever.
 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
            His love endures forever.

Ok, OK, I get it! Or do I? 

I USED to have a bad habit of losing my keys. I haven't done that for quite a while but at one point in my life it was comical.  One time we found them in my daughters bag of Halloween Candy. We searched everywhere. We tore up the house and I am sure I was on a rampage to find them. That's how it always happened. I had special places I looked, favorite places to lose my keys. Those places were the couch, under the seat of the car, in the pockets of a dirty pair of pants, various coats, etc. After a while I had a routine I went through to find them. I am sure the trait of losing your keys is genetic because ALL of my daughters do it too. After many years of losing my keys, I finally got to the point of not losing them. I always have to know where they are so they don't slip out of my thoughts. 

This Chapter of Psalms was specifically written for me. I have a tendency to forget that God loves me. Regardless of the dumb things I do. Regardless of the hurtful things I say. Regardless of the NON-christian actions, he loves me. I am pretty tough on myself, like most of us, when it comes to sinning. I am kind of like Paul. I just don't understand why I do what I do. When I do some of those dumb things, I just don't understand why God still loves me. But he does! When I get down on myself or things aren't going my way, I think maybe God stopped loving me. He didn't! When others treat me bad, I get the feeling that God is not there. But he is. His love endures forever. Praise God. Praise God. Praise God!

God loves me now and forever. His promise is that he loves me forever. It doesn't say he stops every once in a while and then starts up again. No, it says his love endures forever. Endurance is continuous. Endurance is regardless of good or bad. Endurance is forever! So for the Hundredth time....................


Thursday, July 28, 2011

My God is GOD!

Psalm 135

 15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
   made by human hands.
16 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
   eyes, but cannot see.
17 They have ears, but cannot hear,
   nor is there breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them,
   and so will all who trust in them.

There is nothing like my God. We try so hard to make gods out of money, people, and stuff. They are all just reflections of ourselves. But, my God has no limits. He is not MADE, He IS! They say money talks, it doesn't. Does money see? Can money listen to you? Does it breath. My God sees the past, present, and future. My God speaks to me in a still small voice and the thunderous voice of a summer storm. My God, listens in times of praise and in times of trouble. My God was not made, he MADE me. My God doesn't get power from me. He gives me strength. MY God is GOD!

It is time to trust in JUST the Lord. There is only one God. He is my God. I trust him completely with every moment of my life. I Love him like nothing else in my life. I rejoice that he loves me and he cares about me like I'm the only person on Earth. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise God he is so much more than me!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Serve, where you are, who you're with!

Psalm 134

A song of ascents.
 1 Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD
   who minister by night in the house of the LORD.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
   and praise the LORD.
 3 May the LORD bless you from Zion,
   he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

I have a job that is not terribly difficult but requires a lot of hours. I get to school at about 7:30am and on most "normal" nights don't get home until after 9pm. I might get to go home for an hour after school. But, for the most part I'm there from sun-up to sun-down. I'm not complaining, but it does prevent me from doing a lot of volunteer ministry.  Since I have been with CMA (Christian Motorcyclist Association) I have really enjoyed the time I've been able to spend ministering to motorcyclists. The more I get involved, the more I want to be involved. I think the Holy Spirit is working on me. 

There are a lot of people in this world that spend there days working 8 hours and then find the time to minister at night. They are committed to working as volunteers at church or in homeless shelters, or missions, or visiting the sick or elderly or many other local and national ministries. They love the Lord so much they have to spend every waking moment serving him. Honestly, these people also minister while at work or wherever they go 24/7. The Holy Spirit has filled their hearts so much they are compelled to serve. Praise God for these people.

Lord, Fill my heart with your love. Fill me with the burning desire to serve you morning, noon, and night. Give me the wisdom to serve where I am, to those I'm with. Help me t o have the heart of a servant at all times. Give me opportunities to share your word. I Love you Lord, Thank you for Loving me. Amen!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Psalm 133

A song of ascents. Of David.
 1 How good and pleasant it is
   when God’s people live together in unity!
 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
   running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
   down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
   were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
   even life forevermore.

WARNING< I'm sorry. I'm going to get political.

The news is filled with lack of unity in our country right now. Everyone agrees there is a problem. We are spending more money than we are taking in and that can't work forever. Republicans and Democrats can not figure out how to COMPROMISE.  I can solve this problem of raising the debt ceiling. First of all I am a conservative. That's probably not surprising to most of you. But I am ticked off at the Republicans for not COMPROMISING. We need to raise taxes. We can't balance the budget without raising taxes. AND Yes, that will have to affect the small business owners and wealthy more than the middle class. We might have to add a national sales tax. Yep, these things are bad for the economy. But, it is worse to see our debt continue to pile up. AND we have to continue some entitlements to help the people who CAN"T help themselves.  We need to continue to invest in infrastructure and the military needs to continue to protect us against the lunatics of this world. BUT, we also have to cut out some waste. I'm only 9 years away from retirement but something SERIOUS needs to be done with medicare and social security.It is not working and it is going to kill this country. We need to stop sending so much money overseas to help out the rest of the world so we can dig ourselves out of our Debt hole. We need to live within our means. We need a balanced budget amendment. We need to force our representatives to stop spending or get more revenue. That is as simple as it is. FIX IT!

What ever happened to real negotiations where people gave up something to get something else. What ever happened to unity of purpose in order to fix serious problems. God wants us to work together. He loves unity. We can do it but we need to change our mindset. You can't win all of the pie. You might have to give something to get something. I really think the LARGEST MAJORITY of people would agree with me and are absolutely sick of DISunity.

Lord Help Us!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I promise!

Psalm 132

A song of ascents.
 1 LORD, remember David
   and all his self-denial.
 2 He swore an oath to the LORD,
   he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “I will not enter my house
   or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes
   or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the LORD,
   a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Have you ever made such a promise to God? Did you follow through?

It is so easy to  make a vow to God, but it is much harder to follow through. David was completely dedicated to providing God with a home, the Temple. God didn't ask for the temple. But, David felt uncomfortable living in a palace while God lived in a tent. So, he dedicated his life to build a grand home for God. God did not let him build the temple but his son, Solomon, did. David was weak at times and lost focus on the Lord. But, he worked hard to make sure he honored God even in his weakness. He never saw the fruit of his efforts but his efforts were behind the eventual completion of the temple. God was proud of him and chose to dwell there. 

It was Davids dedication handed down to his son that made this happen. David followed through for God. He was not perfect, but he continued to try to honor God and finally accomplished it though he was not alive to see it. 

How serious am I about my oath to the Lord? What lengths would I go to follow through for him?  Sometimes I am absolutely on fire for the Lord. I am dedicated to his will and to honor him. Other times, I am weak of heart and I don't even remember to talk to God, let alone follow through with my oath.  

God is not impressed with our words. He is not impressed with our "Oath" to him. He is impressed with our actions. He is impressed with our willingness to work until the end of our days for him. 

Lord, Help my weakness. Give me strength to stand up for you. Help me to do your will every day of my life and every breath I breathe. Lord, I love you is just words if I don't follow up on that Love with doing your will. Forgive me for my weak heart and give me the strength to work for you! Amen!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Year brings Hope!

Psalm 131

A song of ascents. Of David.
 1 My heart is not proud, LORD,
   my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
   or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
   I am like a weaned child with its mother;
   like a weaned child I am content.
 3 Israel, put your hope in the LORD
   both now and forevermore.

Tomorrow I head back into the office fulltime to get ready for the upcoming school year. Vacation is behind me and it is now full steam ahead to the first Athletic Practices in 1 week and then the start of school in a month. As I look back at the summer, I have had a great break. I can always tell I had a good break because I am ready to go back and I am content. I have spent the past 4 weeks not worrying about anything of substance. I have quieted myself and have been calm the entire time. 

My hope for this year is the same as every year. I hope that God will work through me at GHS. I hope that I can do what is best for the kids. I want to prepare them for their future and hope they can see Christ in me as I do my job. I hope I handle controversy in an honorable way. I hope that I will respond to those who oppose me and this school in a positive manner. I hope that our student-athletes handle success and failure in that same positive manner. I hope to have a servants heart to the administration, school board, faculty, staff, students, and community.   I hope I can love, even the un-lovable. Lord give me the strength to do your will, to be your hands, and feet at GHS. I thank you for your love. I thank you for your protection and guidance in all that I do. I love you Lord. Amen!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Organization Freak!

Psalm 130

 3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
   Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
   so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I'm an organization freak. My job is completely about organization and schedules. My garage is organized and clean. I can't say I always have a clean desk. But, I can say my desk is always organized. I'm not a neat freak, but an organization freak! I keep records of everything. At school I have check lists for every season. I   love 3 ring binders and files and file folders, paper clips and storage cabinets. Everything needs to be in place or I am quickly stressed.

I do not apologize for being an organization freak. But, it does cause some problems in my life. When it comes to my faults and my sins or the faults and sins of others, I have a tendency to keep score. I do not find it easy to forgive people and an even harder time forgetting. Am I the only one who has this problem? 

I am so happy the Lord does not keep a record of my sin. He has a short memory and doesn't spend time dwelling on my mistake of the day, or hour, or minute. Praise God he loves me so much that he forgets my faults. Praise God he loves me and just wants me to be with him. His Grace is truly amazing. Thank You Lord!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Green Grass is Biblical..........almost!

Psalm 129

4 But the LORD is righteous;
   he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”
 5 May all who hate Zion
   be turned back in shame.
6 May they be like grass on the roof,
   which withers before it can grow;
7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
   nor one who gathers fill his arms.
8 May those who pass by not say to them,
   “The blessing of the LORD be on you;
   we bless you in the name of the LORD.”

I have grass growing on the brain and then all the sudden these verses pop up in my study. I have been spending an inordinate amount of time watering grass. It's been 100 degrees here and the grass is under stress. Not just here at home but on all of our athletic fields at GHS. We have automatic sprinklers, but they do not water the edges very well. God meant grass to be green. I am doing everything to make sure that happens. So, i move and reposition sprinklers every day, all day long. Today I let God water it. He sent a great deluge of rain. Everything got a good soaking.

As I read this verse, I got a chuckle thinking about growing grass on my roof at home. I thought how tough it would be to get on the roof and water it. I'm also not sure I want to mow it. Would it be just another place for "Dandelion Wars" (I always win!)

I am sure the Lord never meant these verses to bring such humor. But, they did. Maybe he did mean it to bring humor to me today. Isn't it amazing how the Lord speaks to us? I love to read his word. I love to let the Holy Spirit take hold of my mind and speak to me in the way God intended. Yes, I also love it when his word makes me laugh. God is amazing. Those who say he is not alive and active just don't get it. He wants to be a part of our life, but we have some responsibility to make that happen. We need to seek him and open our minds and hearts to him. We need to live in the gift he gave us, the Bible.  If we do that, he will make us laugh and so much more! Praise God for his love! Praise God for his word.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Children's Children

Psalm 128

A song of ascents.
 1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
   who walk in obedience to him.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
   blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
   within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
   around your table.
4 Yes, this will be the blessing
   for the man who fears the LORD.

 5 May the LORD bless you from Zion;
   may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
   all the days of your life.
6 May you live to see your children’s children—
   peace be on Israel.

I don't know if you have figured this out. I'm a proud Gramps! I am just so proud how my daughters are raising their kids. Klayton, Lauren, and Hannah know and love Jesus so much. I am sure Ayla and (Steven Michael) will also love Jesus. It is easy for them to make that choice because they see it modeled in their parents every day. I'm not saying their perfect. They get their orneriness from their Granny! I'm sure they will make mistakes along the way, they are human. But, I get so excited watching them grow up and mature. If you want the secret to raising kids this way. I wish I could take the credit. I'm not even sure why I'm so blessed. I have to admit I have prayed a lot for my kids. I prayed for their spouses before they even met them. (Yes, yours too Kelley.) I also pray constantly for my grandkids. I can't say these prayers are anything special. Many times I don't even know what to pray for . But, I always pray that they will grow closer to the Lord.  I pray that their hearts and minds will be open to his guidance and that he will speak to them in a powerful way as they grow up.

Praise you Lord for allowing me to watch my children's children grow up. I have been blessed with many things in my life, but this has to be one of the best blessings I could ever receive. Praise God!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Master Builder

Psalm 127

A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
 1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
   the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
   the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
   and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
   for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.

We are building a new High School in Garrett. A lot of planning goes into constructing anything. They have started pouring the footers and before you know it, we will be seeing walls go up.  We have a school representative watching over every step of construction to make sure things are done the way we want them When you spend millions of dollars on a project, you want to make sure every dime counts. You want the best people building and you want to make sure the quality is the best.

Our community has put a lot into our school. The school is the center of all that goes on in Garrett. Everyone has a stake in what is going on during this construction project.

God is the Master Builder. He has a plan for our lives. He has a plan to build you and I into the men and women we need to be. If we don't let him do the building, if we try to do it on our own, we become nothing. We act like we know what we're doing, but we don't. We labor in vain. Only Gods plan is perfect. The people of Garrett love our community. Yet, we are nothing if we don't center our community around God. Our school can receive all types of awards, but if we don't depend on the Lord for guidance, our efforts will fail. All the work we do is in vain if we don't follow the plan the Lord has laid out for us. He is the Master Builder. Let's let him do his work in us!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dream On!

Psalm 126

A song of ascents.
 1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of[a] Zion,
   we were like those who dreamed.[b]
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
   our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
   “The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
   and we are filled with joy.

Have you ever been so excited and filled with joy that you felt like you were dreaming? I was just watching ESPN and they were showing a young man who had testicular cancer. He had a wish to manage with Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins. He got his wish. It was  pretty touching and the young man looked like he was in a Dream. 

The Lord has done great things for me and my life is like a wonderful dream. God has blessed me with a wonderful wife and 3 fantastic daughters. He has blessed me with a family that loves the Lord and always has. Starting with my own Grandparents, my parents, my wife, my kids, and now my Grandkids. The dedication to the Lord has continued from generation to generation. I could not dream to be a part of such a great family.

The Lord has done great things. If you look back at your life, can you see the great things he has done? He deserves the praise. He deserves all the glory. It is only by his grace that I have been blessed as if in a dream Thank You Lord for your love and sacrifice that we might get to live with you forever! Amen!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

God's Mountain!

Psalm 125

A song of ascents. 1 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
   which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
   so the LORD surrounds his people
   both now and forevermore.

On my recent vacation out west I can think of nothing more powerful looking than the peaks of the Grand Teton Mountain Range. They are massive and arise out of the plains immediately. They are not just powerful looking they are comforting. They are permanent. We can not move them, they are virtually unaffected by wind, snow, sleet, rain, heat, cold, water, and man. God is even more invincible than these massive peaks. He is not affected by our weakness, arrogance, stubbornness, anything we do, anything we say, or anything we think. When we get to the point where we can lean on the Lord, we get to share in that strength, power, and permanence. When we truly trust in the Lord, we can be like the Tetons. Nothing can affect us, nothing can keep us from the strength and power of the creator of the universe if we trust in him.

The area that leads up to the Tetons is filled with all types of wildlife, Elk, Moose, Bear, Deer, Birds, flowers, Trees and plants. They are nestled in the shadow of the mountains as if the mountains are watching over his children. The mountains provide the protection. The plants and animals count on the permanence and the comfort of the mountains. We are no different with God. If we "nestle" up to God and live in the shadow of his will and grace we too will be comforted and protected.

It is amazing that the creator of the universe cares so much about us to share his strength and power if we will only trust in him. He also promises to be with us with the same permanence as the mountains, even more so. He loves us. He cares for us and he wants to be with us forever. Praise God!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What if?

Psalm 124

 1If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;
 2If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
 3Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
 4Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
 5Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
 6Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
 7Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
 8Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Have you ever thought where you would be without the protection of the Lord. I can't even imagine. I can sight example on top of example how God has protected me and my family. People who do not believe in the Power of God, would call it luck or coincidence. I call it the protection of the Holy Spirit. What keeps you from going through an intersection at a time when someone blows through the stop sign? What causes you to follow one career path instead of another? What causes you to marry one person instead of another? What causes you to choose life instead of an abortion? Some people call it "Chance". As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe the Holy Spirit guides my life. Nothing is by chance. My life is where it is right now because God has brought me here. God has the perfect plan for my life. God is in control. 

Praise God he has a plan for me, a plan to guide be through this life to the eternal life that awaits me. Thank You, Lord, for your protection. Thank You for your hand in my life. Help me to realize that even when things are going against me that all things work together for good. I know you Love me and are only want the best for my life. Praise God!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Who do you look up to?

Psalm 123

 1Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.
 2Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
 3Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
 4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

I'm all of 5'7" tall. I look up to a lot of people. When you are as short as I am, you spend most of your life looking up to people. But, even if I visually look up at alot of people, I don't really look up to that many people. To lift my eyes to someone means I respect them so much that I want to be like them. I have always looked up to my Dad, I have always looked up to my mom. I have looked up to my wife with great respect. I have had bosses, pastors, friends, and relatives that I have looked up to. But, you can't lift your eyes any higher than Heaven. You can't lift your eyes any higher than the creator of the universe. When God sent his son to this Earth, he gave us someone to look up to. He gave us the ultimate vision for our life. We will never attain that sinless perfection, but we certainly look up to that perfection in awe. We look up to Christ as the perfection of our own faith. He gave the perfect sacrifice for us and calls us to live a life for him.  But, my eyes are ultimately fixed on Jesus. Praise God he loves me and is my savior. Praise God he will come again for each of us and rescue us again from thie life for eternity. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Peace within you.

Psalm 122

 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
   “May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
   and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends,
   I will say, “Peace be within you.” 

I have been in churches my whole life. I have often heard the saying "Peace be with you." and then the response is "and also with you." But this verse puts a little different twist on it. I guess I'm hung up on the word "within" verses just "with". Maybe the difference is only in my mind, but I think of it is significant. I  checked, the King James version also has the same wording as do most other versions. So, it's not an interpretation. The saying "Peace be with you" comes straight from our risen savior in John 20:19. SO I am not trivializing this worthwhile greeting. But, their is a difference.

My impression of saying "Peace be with you." is a focus on the external. It gives the subtle impression that the Peace is out of your control. It is what people do to you, or what your circumstances are, that would cause you peace. When you say "Peace be within you" clearly you are in control of your peace. Maybe I'm crazy, but I had never thought of this before. 

We are in control of our own peace. Well, that's not entirely true. We are in control of the choice to be at peace. Our choice is simple. Choose Christ or not. That's it. I wish "Peace within in you" because I wish Christ to take up residence within you. That is the peace. It's not what others do to you. It's not the circumstances you're in. It is not your job, your family, you finances, your health, or your emotional pain. If everything in your life appears to be perfect you can still be without peace.  Peace within you comes from one source, Christ. Christ alone! It's true when he stood in the room with the disciples greeting them and it's true today when he takes up residence in your heart. His presence brings peace.

So from now on I will say, "Peace be within you" or I will respond "and also within you." 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

God Speaks to me - I'm hearing parables!

My wife Stephanie and I returned this week from Vacation. What a great trip. We traveled over 5000 miles by motorcycle through Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois.  We have taken 6 of these trips over the past 6 years. 3 out of these 6 trips, we have had some type of mechanical issues with the motorcycle. (two different motorcycles) I think Stephanie would agree that these trips have been very important for us. We have very little time to spend with each other, uninterrupted, through out the year. We are in constant service to our school, community, and CMA ministry. This time is for us to relax, enjoy each other, and reconnect with God. Yet, we have had some costly motorcycle repairs come from these trips and some severe stress. This year was the 3rd incident.

We were traveling down I-80 just outside of Green River, Wyoming. I was traveling at about 70 mph when I heard a popping noise. Stephanie asked if I felt the vibration. I said no, that it was probably just the grooves in the road. Then I did feel it. We had just blown a tire. I kept repeating for Stephanie to hold on. As I let off the throttle the wobbling got worse. I thought for sure we were going to crash. We didn't. But, we now had a tire to replace. Thanks to AAA, and the grace of God, the only damage done was to our wallet and our nerves.

I believe God is in control of my life. I pray constantly for his guidance and study his word to learn of his plan for my life. I specifically pray that he reveal to me and teach me his ways. So, when something like this happens I automatically try to find out what God is trying to say through this incident? As a matter of fact I know he is speaking to me. The problem is, sometimes, I'm deaf to his voice. Just like hearing the parables. Sometimes, I hear them but do not understand. I am so deaf to Gods beautiful voice. I can certainly say, through the other two incidents, I felt he was speaking to me in a specific way. The first incident I thought he was telling me not to be so selfish and self-centered. (I'm still working on that.) The second, I thought he was trying to teach me to rely on him and to let me know that HE IS IN CONTROL of all things.

So, what is he trying to tell me with this most recent incident? I'm not sure, yet. I know he is and I know that at some point the ear lugs will come out and I will actually hear what he is trying to say.

I thank God for his protection on our trip. I truly believe he saved us from the imminent crash. He provided us with a great , restful trip and I praise him for the way he has shown his love for me. I pray that he opens my ears so I can hear his voice. I pray that I will be open to his leading and guidance for every moment the rest of my life.

You are an amazing God. I know you are speaking, I just hope I can hear you.