Friday, August 29, 2014
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
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
“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
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.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NIV)
This scripture ends a lesson Jesus shared with his followers. It's after he shares how impossible it is for a rich man to get to Heaven. He drives home the point that it is tough to handle wealth and the power accompanied by it. As a matter of fact, it's not the wealth, it's the power it provides that corrupts even the mightiest man. Money is not the problem, the hearts of men, that's the problem. Accepting the grace of Jesus Christ when you are filled with earthly power, that's the problem.
Money is not the problem in our society. The unbalanced incomes are not the problem. I don't believe God puts a limit on the amount of money we are allowed to have. You can't have too much money. The real problem in our society is the distribution of power and how that power is used. The powerful people of this world need to help the powerless. Yes, many of the powerful people of this world are wealthy. But, some of those people use that power, use that money, for good. They donate and support much of the charity work in their local communities. They help schools, churches, homeless shelters, hospitals, and numerous other organizations. If these "power" people have a heart for Jesus, their power, their money, will be used for the kingdom. We need to worry more about the hearts of people and not their wealth. We need to see that all people need Jesus. When you accept Jesus and begin pursuing a life as a servant, you will start to use your power to help the poor, widows, orphans, and the lost.
God blesses us with financial resources, not for our good or our power. He grants us those blessing to use for his service. We all have power to help others and we all have resources to make some impact on the lives of others. Use your blessings, use your wealth, use your resources for Gods purposes. Accept the grace and realize all the power you are given is a gift from God. The only real power comes from the creator of the universe.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness. (Psalm 96:11-13 NIV)
That's a pretty amazing list. I guess you could just say everything and everyone should rejoice because God is good. His creation rejoices and so should we.
I hope it doesn't sound shallow because of my repitition. I hope I don't sound pompous and arrogant. But, I am the most blessed man in the world and I can't rejoice any more or I would explode. Why is that? I'm no one special. I am a sinner, just like everyone else and probably less worthy than most. But, I rejoice, just the same! I rejoice at the wonderful grace God has granted. I rejoice at the earthly stuff, but more importantly I have been granted a life with love, laughter, purpose, meaning, and excitement. So beyond the things I have, which are also wonderful and undeserving, I have been given a gift which dwarfs the "things" of my life like the ocean dwarfs the puddle from yesterday's rain shower. I can never explain his grace. It's a mystery and wonderfully free for the asking. Just being in the presence of such amazing grace is enough to make you shout from the mountain tops your love of God!
Praise God for all creation! Praise God for the true gift of life and the forgiveness we receive via his son's sacrifice on the cross! We rejoice in all things, in all ways and we could never begin to express our joy enough for your love! May I share that joy, that peace, that love with all I see! You are wonderful and mighty! Amen!
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
Most people I know have experienced the point of being overwhelmed at some point in their life. It can happen on a daily basis at certain times of the year. For me, the anxiety level increases at the start of school, at the end of school, and times of confrontation. I feel powerless when I see my family going through tough times, illness of loved ones, and through tragedies in the community. The news is another source of stress and tension. I can get myself into a state of amazing stress and anxiety. Then I realize, I serve the creator of the universe, he is my strength.
All of these sources of tension, stress, and anxiety, are also sources of strength. When I get to the place where these contentious moments overwhelm me, I turn to God. He is always there. When I finally turn to the creator of all things, it's amazing how the anxiety fades away. The paralysis of life, is eliminated, I can get back to living life knowing God's strength is perfect and I feel his strength in me. My God has already conquered death, he has won the victory over evil and pain.
The relief I feel is supernatural. It's not just some placebo. It exists in my life and can also be real in your life. I can not imagine dealing with the troubles of this life without Jesus. You can have that reality in your life. Get in your knees, ask forgiveness for your own sins, commit yourself and your life to Christ, the son of the God of all things. Turn your troubles over to him and your weakness will be made strong!
Friday, August 22, 2014
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 NIV)
My oldest daughter McKenzie and her family are in the midst of big changes in their lives. First, yesterday McKenzie culminated her 18 hour trip to Dickinson, North Dakota to drop off my grandson Klayton at college. I know exactly the emotions she is going through and the joy, loss, and apprehension that mixes in her heart as she makes the long trip back to Indiana. On Wednesday they start another chapter as they get the process started to adopt a young 10 year old that needs a family.
I am so proud of the family she and Jeff have raised. The entire family has their hearts dedicated to The Lord in really big ways. Even though the "old order" of things is passing away, the new order will see blessings piled upon blessings for this family. They are all headed to a time with no more death, no more mourning, crying, or pain. Praise God and I pray for his powerful hand to be upon them as they transition to a new phase of their lives!
Thursday, August 21, 2014
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 NIV)
I love most sports in their own season. I'm a baseball fan spring and summer. If the Yankees are playing well I'll extend that to the fall. I'm a basketball fan during the cold dark winter, but the Fall is a special time for football. Tonight starts the high school football season in Indiana and I can't wait. Over the next several weeks colleges will play and then the pros join the fun. It's a great time of excitement and anticipation.
I have coached many sports and enjoyed them all for a variety of reasons. But football is special. The shear number of players needed for this great game sets it apart from the rest. You have to have a great TEAM to be successful. A superstar is nice, but he can't do it in on his own. You also can't be successful with just one coach, you have to have a TEAM of coaches to handle the complexity of each play and each position. No other sport requires as much of a coordinated TEAM effort. From all levels of youth leagues up to the pros, the sport has to be played with toughness,dedication, and teamwork. Each play is practiced over and over again to assure the beauty exceeding even the finest ballet. Yes, football is special. When you are fortunate enough to have all the pieces come together, you feel the great joy of a conquering hero. When things don't go well, you mourn the loss, shed your grief, and work even harder to conquer the next foe. Every game is an intense battle with minor victories and minor defeats leading to the ultimate outcome. There is pain, joy, heartache and exhilaration in every moment of every play.
Football is just like life. A "perfect" life is an ultimate goal, just like the perfect game. You strive for that perfection knowing it is elusive. Life takes the great effort of an amazing team of coaches and fellow players. You must have a great team to survive this life. Your team must be led by an amazing coach in Jesus Christ, a great church family, accountability coaches, team mates from small groups, and the love of your own family. Your life will be full of battles, minor victories and minor defeats just like football. You will endure with the right game plan. You will lose some battles, but you have to get back up to fight again. You fight because you know the ultimate victory has already been won on the cross. You are guaranteed to be the conquering hero, if you join the right team.Yes, life and football are exciting and thrilling to the end.
I can't wait for the first official kickoff. I can't wait to see the season unfold. Praise God for the joy of sport and the life lessons we learn through those sports. Praise God for the ultimate victory regardless of the outcome on the field! Amen!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV)
This is one of the most popular verses in the bible. I see it posted the most often on social media websites and it is quoted most during times of trial.
I am excited about life because of the possibilities within this verse. There are so many important words, "all", "gives", and "strength" tell the true depth. First it strikes me that with this verse in mind it should become obvious that you can't do life on your own. Many try and some even appear to make it with out the help of Jesus, but we aren't always getting the full story. My experience proves our need for Jesus.
The word "give" instantly rings of his wonderful grace. The verse states no conditions for the gift, there is not even a statement that says we must ask. It's free for the taking and he freely gives.
"All" is another wonderful word. Again, he puts no barriers or hoops for us to jump through. He doesn't justify his gift by isolating its use. It simply states "all".
We have such a wondeful God that wants nothing but the best for us. He promises to be with us and to provide strength and guidance through all circumstances, no strings attached. That is the definition of pure grace. There is nothing impossible, the word doesn't exist in the vocabulary of God. Praise God!
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence. (Psalm 21:6 NIV)
Are you happy with your life?
I am. As a matter of public record, I'm not sure I could be any happier than I am right now. I have so much to be thankful for. Not stuff, more than just things, I have a loving God in my life that has and is watching over my every step. I have no fear of failure. I have no thought of sadness in my life. It's all because of God, my creator, my father, and the rock of my salvation.
I am amazed at the growing dispair in this world and cynical attitudes that fill our society. People can't look past the moment to look for real joy. The plank in our eyes is abusing us. The splinters prevent us from seeing the world through the loving eyes of God. As Christians we often have the same glib view of our lives.
I still have bouts of stress, I have moments of anger and pain. But, I find with the loving God I serve, they are brief. I find the more I rely on God, the brighter my outlook, the greater my joy. Praise God for his wonderful love and the life he grants all of us!
Monday, August 18, 2014
You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. (Job 11:18 NIV)
Remember Faith, Hope, and Love. Yes, we know the greatest of these is love. But that is not meant to diminish Faith and Hope. Hope is critical, especially in this crazy world we live. Yes, love is the greatest. But, to be able to rest easy at night, to sleep that restful slumber, we must have hope. We need hope that the God of the universe will never abandon us. We need hope that the darkness is not permanent. We need hope that tomorrow brings greater things.
In practical every day life, if we get dragged into hopelessness, the results are often life ending. The loss of hope brings desperation and desperation breeds destructive decisions. We can not let ourselves lose hope. We must encourage others there is always hope. Our gospel message of faith will never grow if it is not centered around hope. This world is full of troubles and despair. Jesus provides the only real hope of the world. In him you can rest, assured you will be taken care of in all situations. Rely on him, love him, and trust him.
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (Romans 1:11-12 NIV)
I don't often repeat a verse from one day to another. But this is fitting. I just spent a great weekend with my Christian Motorcyclist Association family and it was great. We did just exactly as this verse calls, we encouraged each other andwe shared gifts, all to make us strong and encourage each other. Yes, I was encouraged and made strong.
It's hard to describe really What we did. We laughed, we worshipped, we ate, we told stories, we rode our motorcycles, and we just had a blast. We didn't have any big spiritual mission, or deep theological discussions, but God was certainly present in powerful ways.
Thank you Lord for these great times. Thank you for the times you have provided for us to make each other strong in our faith and to encourage us to serve you!
Friday, August 15, 2014
that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (Romans 1:12 NIV)
That's it. The reason I attend church. That's the reason I am a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. We have a great mission to bring others to know Christ like we do, but that lifetime goal can be demanding and a challenge most of the time. So, we need to spend time encouraging each other.
I love my church. I love my CMA family and I love the encouragement I get by being with these wondeful believers. This weekend I will be at the CMA Indiana State Rally and i am looking forward to the time encouraging and being encouraged! I am so blessed.
If you don't have a church, a fellowship of believers, to encourage you or for you to encourage. FIND ONE! You can't go through life,as a believer in Christ, in isolation. You need to be encouraged and you need to encourage others. I know some churches that really hit this nail on the head and others miss the mark by a mile. If you are at a church that doesn't raise your spirits, change. God designed us to be in fellowship with each other and designed the church to be the center of that fellowship.
Dear Lord, help those that do not know the fellowship of a good church. Help them to find a great place to share their Christian walk. Help them to discover a place that helps them endure the pains, the joys, the tears, and the laughter, of everyday life. I praise you for my faith family. AMEN!
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— (Romans 1:11 NIV)
So when we demonstrate these spiritual gifts we hope to do so for the purpose of making others strong. At times I think I have the gift of serving, teaching, exhortation, giving, and leadership. I have never felt gifted with the amazing gifts of prophecy, or mercy. How many times do I use my gifts to the greatest potential. Do I really help build people up, make them stronger? I know I need to work on this and intentionally work to make others stronger!
I love the thought of this verse and the character of Paul displayed by its message. I remember my coaching days of years past and realize this was always my goal. I wanted to impart some wisdom, truth, or some plan that would make them stronger, better runners. Withholding those words of wisdom or special training would seem ludicrous from a coach. As a Christians it's even more bizarre.
The message of this verse is simply "we all have our gifts, granted by God our father, to be given to others." We are to share those gifts that others may grow strong in their faith and love in Jesus Christ. This sharing of our gift is the greatest form of service we could perform.
The spiritual gifts are described in many ways. Here is a list from Romans:
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)
I know what your thinking and no I haven't lost what little sanity I have left. I know it's not Christmas. For some strange reason, this verse took my mind to the atrocities we are seeing take place in Iraq. God came to earth as a child and he constantly blessed the children. He didn't do it because they were great followers of his. He didn't do it with ulterior motives. He did it out of pure love of the innocence of children. Others would take that innocence and destroy it for show. I saw today Christian children beheaded, crucified, and buried alive. I'm sure you can tell if you've read my last two posts, I am deeply affected by this crisis and no one cares. It's worse than any border crisis, it rivals the holocaust and Nazi Germany. These crimes are against humanity. Any ethnic ckeansing should never be tolerated by a society.
God, turn your wrath upon these infidels! Unleash your power to protect the children and destroy those who have no love of life. Your might is all we have, we have no power and are helpless to do anything without you. God save the children of Iraq!
Monday, August 11, 2014
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 8:32 NIV)
I am completely horrified by the brutal slaying of Christians in Iraq. I am equally devastated by the lack of urgency to take action against these killers. I am also greatly affected by the mass number of Palestinians killed by needless shelling. No I'm not upset at my Israeli friends, but the cowards that hide behind their own women and children. I have seen too many public displays of women and children beheaded, shot, and buried alive. I've seen too many families ripped apart by extreme Islamist. Call me a hater if you want, tell me I lack compassion, I don't care. Just get the killing to stop.
We are called to action to protect innocent women and children. We are called to protect those who can not protect themselves. It's not politics, it's not negotiation, it's power that will protect them. Our congress, our president, our military leaders are all useless if we sit by and watch this occur. Maybe we should exchange them for these innocent lives. I do not think violence and war can solve the ills of this world, but a line has been crossed. It now becomes a solemn duty to fight until the death if necessary and put these radical groups in the grave for good. Our own humanity demands it!
God took extreme measures to save us from ourselves. Would he not comitt more to sacrifice for innocent people? I say yes. He takes action through us. He prompts us to our own sacrifices for the innocent. Let's be bold and serve mankind by sacrificing our own to save others!
Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble. (Proverbs 28:14 NIV)
I know many people blame the ills of this world on social media. But, long before Facebook, many people spoke poorly of our people and were critical of nearly every walking person on the planet. Now we just get to see it more evident on social media.
I am so amazed by the cold, hard hearted comments people make on social media. Politics is the topic with the worst posts. But, it doesn't stop there. I have a dear friend hurt when he and another of his friends were involved in some "horseplay". Instead of people being genuinely concerned for the survival of this great Christian man, many posts were critical of the incident. C'mon people! They are two great friends, goofing around with each other. Who amongst us haven't done similar things thousands of times with no tragic results. It is so easy to be critical of others not knowing their circumstances. It comes from a hard heart.
We must continue to feed our heart with things of God or our hearts will also harden. We need to look at every situation through the eyes of Jesus and respond like he would respond. We need more soft hearted people in this world, with compassion and concern for their fellow man. Prayer, worship, and service for others will help keep your heart soft and your posts uplifting!
Sunday, August 10, 2014
“Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. (Numbers 25:11 NIV)
While a little confusing, this verse demonstrates the true character of our relationship with God. God really listens to us. We can "change his mind" on events. If we are faithful to him and fervently pray we can "turn away the anger" of God.
So, if you are a zealous follower of Christ, your prayers can have a mighty impact through the power of our gracious God.
I've been a little overwhelmed with prayer requests lately. I have many friends struggling with cancer issues, injuries, and traumatic incidents in their lives. Many are facing tough decisions and are needing real wisdom. I can't grant them any of their desires,but I can pray for them. It cheapens prayer to say "it's the least I can do!" Because it's the most powerful actor service you can perform for your family and friends. I consider myself a prayer warrior. I enjoy praying and advocating for my friends, family, coworkers, and people I run into at the occasional motorcycle rally. I'm no one special, except that I am a fierce believer in God and his Son Jesus Christ. I have seen the power of my God in answering prayers. Pray often, during good times and bad. Pray!
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Friday, August 8, 2014
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. ” (John 3:3 NIV)
I am in the midst of a whirlwind week and I have to admit I'm pretty tired. I will get some rest this weekend and be ready for school again on Monday. I love the change and being with some of the greatest teenagers ever. But, every year the first week of school is crazy with activity, problem solving, talking, adapting and adjusting to schedules, and preparations for future class.
It's fun, exciting, and exhausting at the same time.
I praise God for rest and renewal. He provides this for us from the very beginning of our walk with him. When we join and turn our lives to him, he changes us, renews us. He continues to transform us just like a new born growing to adulthood. As we grow we are reborn every day.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12 NIV)
It's been a long few days as we start another school year. I've been working late and getting up early, putting in 16 hour days between school and working at home getting ready for the next day and adjusting curriculum for new students, etc. I think only teachers can appreciate the first couple weeks at school. It makes the floor of the New Yprk Stock Exchange seem like a peaceful walk on a quiet beach!
But, I love the start of school. Everyone has pretty good attitudes. We haven't developed a dull routine and everything is fresh and new. Even the teachers lounge is a positive place.
I have made a goal of completely avoiding negative people this year. People that hate everything and everyone about life drag others down and I won't be a part of it. I will respond to Gossip, he-said-she-said talk, and bad mouthing teachers and students by TURNING AND WALKING AWAY. I've never been more serious about any goal. Monday morning Quareterbacks don't just criticize on Monday morning, it happens every day in schools, businesses, and homes. Not me!
Will you join me, we can stamp out hate and negativity if more people just do the same. Stop it, walk away, don't feed in to the hate!
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:7 NIV)
I have a dear friend whose daughter is going through a lot of suffering right now. It seems like every time they turn around another life-trial greets them. It always leads to that age old question: why is there suffering in the world? Christians are not immune to it and seem to suffer life's calamities equally with non Christians. So why? Only God can answer in each case. I read these comments from a Billy Graham devotional:
“You do not need to study the Scriptures long to learn why sinners meet reverses and anguish. They are apart from God. Their sorrow is the result of their sins. But—why do Christians suffer? Scripture teaches that many Christians suffer so that they may fellowship with others who are in affliction. Only those who have known sorrow and suffering can have fellowship with those in affliction. The Word of God also teaches that Christians suffer in order that they might glorify God in their lives.The Bible further teaches that Christians suffer in order that God might teach them lessons in prayer. Also, Christians suffer in order that God might bring them to repentance."
I thought that was a great list of reasons. I also know that God never let's us suffer alone. He sends his angels and he himself will stay by our side during tough times. I know that to be true. All we have to do is turn to him. He will comfort us and he will bring us through better than before. Praise God for his love and comfort!
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV)
It's the first day of school, I'm always excited and nervous about this day and the few weeks we have getting into a routine. This verse is appropriate because this is how I feel about the teenagers I teach. So my message to them is don't let anyone look down on you because you are young. I want to help them be an example for others, even adults.
It's always been true that young people are looked down on by adults. The older generation doesn't like their music, electronics, social media, attitudes, passions, or mos other things they do. As. a teacher , I love all of those things about teenagers. They love life and even in high school are innocent about life. Sure they make mistakes, so do adults. Most students still have the attitude they want to change the world. If we just get out of their way, they just might.
Here's to another great year at Garrett High School!
Thank you lord for this verse. It is very timely!
Sunday, August 3, 2014
In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:8 NIV)
God gets mad at us. Do you blame him? I look at the world today and realize my loving God has every right to be angry, to hide his face from us. The AMAZING part of grace is he doesn't stay angry long. He has such great love for us that he never gives up on us, even when we deserve his eternal anger. God is no like us, he doesn't hold a grudge. His kindness is eternal, not his anger. His anger quickly turns to compassion. Compassion is
"a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering."
It's safe to say his anger turns to a broken heart and deep sorrow. He looks down on us, holds his head in his hands and weeps. The image of the creator of the universe crying for me is a powerful picture. I need to do all I can to change that sorrow. Sure, I am fighting an up hill battle, but I will not let my own actions feed into that sorrow. If we all worried about making our own little world a more godly place, God's tears would turn to joy. God has given us freedom to control our own lives. When we do that we usually make a mess of things. Asking God to intervene is the only way to really correct the ills of this world. So our goal, the way to change his sadness to sorrow is through spreading his gospel. If we can see more and more lives turned to Christ, the world will be a better place.
What csn you do to stop the pain of our wonderful caring God?
Saturday, August 2, 2014
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. (1 Thessalonians 3:12 NIV)
We had our monthly CMA (Christian Motorcyclist Association) meeting yesterday. I just love these people so much. We had a couple of visitors and had about 25 people. I have to say I've grown to really love our Chapter members and the others that are called to join us from time to time. Our mission is to be there when you need us and I can truly say these people are dedicated to that mission. The real value of our CMA chapter is the love that overflows for each other and others we meet.
We don't have to pound the Bible over the heads of people to bring them to a real faith in Jesus. We just need to LOVE them and be there to serve when we are needed. We do that by spending time, listening, joking, laughing, sharing adventures, building memories, and walking through life with each other. We talk about vacations, pick on each other, talk about our families, our trials, hurts, and joys. We share our passions, plan time to spend with each other and just flat out LOVE on each other.
I think you can tell how much you really love someone by the time you WANT to spend with them and how much you enjoy each other's presence. I just can't get enough of my CMA family.
WHAT ABOUT GOD? You can really make your love overflow by investing in your relationship with Him. When you just can't get enough of him in prayer time, studying his word, and serving his purposes, that's when your love overflows. I hate it when I run out of time in my morning devotions. I get frustrated how tired I am when I'm studying my Bible and praying at the end of a long day. My weariness gets in the way of the relationship I value the most. I long to spend more time with Jesus and I love it when I sense his presence. The feeling of his love gushing out of me is a feeling like none other. The sense of overflowing love from the God of the universe will bring you to your knees. It's awesome, it's spectacular, it's real!
Dear Lord, I can't praise you enough for your love. I love you with all my heart. I thank you deeply for my CMA family and the time we get to spend with each other. I praise you for blessing me with a wonderful family and a life filled with love. Thank you Lord! Amen and Amen!