Thursday, March 19, 2015
The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)
I had forgotten about this verse until now! When I read it I instantly thought of the great hymn "Great is Thy Faithfullness." It is so fitting this time of year when the snow has melted and the temperatures are slowly starting to rise. The sunshine brightens our mood and there is an air of hope. Yes, it is spring time. The seasons are like a microcosm of our lives. God says we will go through troubles. We will endure the "winters" of our lives. But, spring always comes. Morning always follows darkness.
My life is very much like the changing of the seasons. Just look back on the past posts of this blog and you will see marvelous springtimesf that come after horrible winters. Pain and suffering in life are not permanent. They last only a short season. God promises it and he also promises if you rely on him you will emerge victorious even defeating death. I know it to be true because I also have endured the trials of life, poor decisions, and sickness. But Great is his faithfulness! I am now in the springtime of my life. I see nothing but Gods mercies! Praise God!
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your wonderful Faithfullness and the great mercies you renew every morning of my life. I am humbled by your love and grace. May I serve you everyday through my thoughts, words, and deeds. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below. Amen and Amen!
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” (Genesis 10:8-9 NIV)
The bible is one of the most fascinating books ever written. It is complex , beautiful, and historic all in one. Who exactly was Nimrod? We know very little about him and Biblical scholars think he actually might be known as Gilgamesh and this name, Nimrod, was just used as a description. So this person could either be a great Godly man, or an inept, inadequate rebel. We just don't know. The bible has many of these mysteries. I love it!
It's ok not to have all the answers. Wether it is concerning the bible or Gods plan for your life, it's ok to live in the dark. I think God does this to us so we will rely on him more. If I had all the answers, would I need God around? I'm pretty sure the answer to that question is no. Instead of searching for all lifes answers, we need to turn everything to the Lord. The bible often speaks to us in unique ways. Those wonderful words are more than just sentences, they are sent to guide us and speak to us while we walk on a unique path. The same words of one verse might mean something today and different tomorrow. This book, authored by the creator of the universe, handwritten by man, is so critical to my daily walk. I praise the Lord for this wondeful gift.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:7-9 NIV)
There is nothing more important than your relationship with Jesus Christ. Nothing!
Praise God for how he has changed me and is changing me. I can feel it. I can see it. I am so much happier with myself, the more I get to know Jesus. There are still many things I want to change, battles that I have within myself. The change I have seen in myself provide hope that I can overcome all sin and shortcomings in my life. It's not anything special I have done, it's Christ working in and through me.
Knowing Christ is the center of my life. I am working everyday to embed his love into my life and spreading that love to the people I meet. Christ is in me!
I love you Lord! Please continue to change me. May I be a vessel for your love. I praise you with all my heart and worship you in thought, word, and deed. Praise God!
Monday, March 16, 2015
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
I read an interesting article today. Actually, it was a sermon about the church. In summary this pastor claimed our churches are changing to attract a more "modern crowd". He claims churches are bowing to culture by eliminating sermons where people might get offended. He said churches are more interested in relevance and filling pews than the truth of the gospel. It was a sad and often true statement for many churches. In my own group of motorcyclists I minister with, I had a time I was more worried about numbers than spreading the gospel. It is easy to justify my thoughts in saying we need more members to spread the word, right?
We forget easily that we are not in control of our ministry, God is. Just like other areas of our lives, if we step in thinking we know Gods will, replacing his calling with our own motivations, our churches and our ministries will fail. We can't be caught up in the ways of the world. We have to be bold for Christ, strict about following his word, and unwavering in our principles. In a world of no right and no wrong, we are fighting a battle for the truth. We are fighting about Gods truth vs immorality. Yes God loves us, but he does not want us to compromise just to fill the pews. He adores us, but does not want us to ignore our calling to holiness. We are heading for disaster. We are heading for a complete melt down of moral principles. Will we, Christians, rise up to stand against ill conceived church laws? Will we strengthen our moral fortitude or buckle to societies pressures?
Lord help us follow you and your lead. May we never change just to fit in. May your love, your judgement and your word, guide us every single day. May we stand against those that would eliminate the way you designed us to live. Lord protect us from the devil traps of this world. Keep us from bowing to society instead of you.i love you and worship you. Praise God!
Sunday, March 15, 2015
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 really love my job. I can't imagine doing anything else. As a matter of fact, I've enjoyed my lifetime of work. I have never dreaded Monday's or avoided work. Recently, I have thought more about retirement, but it's not because I don't like what I'm doing, it's because I'm excited to jump into another adventure. I'm not looking to sit around doing nothing. I WILL work, I just don't know doing what. That is exciting.
I know many people that look at work as gruesome toil. They hate what they're doing. My advice: Do something else! God did not mean work to be hated. He assigned Adam work BEFORE the fall. Only after son entered our lives did work get harder. So work was not meant to be punishment. God even called it good.
I have been appointed, by my Heavenly Father, a school teacher at GHS. I am blessed to serve him through my occupation. Are you blessed to work like I am? Maybe if people would look at work as a blessing, Monday mornings would be a joyful reunion after the weekend instead of a drudgery. If you are not in a job you love, you need to do everything you can to find one that you do.
Lord Jesus, thank you for my life filled with work, thank you for my current job and the wonderful, adventurous career path I have travelled. May I always remember the blessing of serving the students at GHS! You are wondeful, powerful, and majestic. Praise God!
Saturday, March 14, 2015
And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:27-28 NLT)
Im not always the sharpest tool in the shed! I've been a Christian for 40 years and I'm just now starting to understand. I don't know how many countless times I have read these verses, but the meaning never seemed as obvious as it does now.
God has sent the Holy Spirit to watch over me. He did this because I have committed my life to him. The Holy Spirit knows what I need and intercedes for me with my Heavenly Father. And THAT is how all things work for the good of those that love God. I don't have to know what to pray or how to pray. I just need to pray! The Holy Spirit speaks for me. The Holy Spirit is my interpreter and intercessor.
I know, some of you are saying duh, you didn't know that? Like I said, I'm a little slow.
What this does for me is confirm how I should pray! I don't have to be specific. Even if I just moan in anguish, the Holy Spirit intercedes with words and God knows what is needed. I don't need to know the details of my grandkids lives, or my daughters, or the lost, or my coworkers. As I pray, the spirit knows, and speaks the needed words.
Praise God, thank you for the gift of the spirit. Thank you for forming the words I can't. I am humbled that you placed us above your own son, sacrificing him so we could live in eternity. Thank you Lord for your great love!
Thursday, March 12, 2015
JJesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NLT)
I love social media. It is a great way to communicate with friends, daughters, grandkids, and coworkers. I get a great deal of my news from social media and I love the inspiration people post. The one thing I've learned from social media that surprises me is not the vulgarness of some people, it's not the adult humor, or the senseless posts. My biggest shock is how social media exposes how conceded some people are.
If your like me you get sick and tired of posts where people boast how great they are, how great they are as a mom, teacher, wife, or Christian. It seems so many people tout how hard they work, how great their impact is on students, or the value of their volunteerism. Don't people have any humility? Is humbleness even valued in our society? Do they need this format to feel self worth?
This verse may seem like boasting by Jesus, it certainly is not. It is not a statement of bragging, it's a statement of who he really is. After this statement of fact there is no doubt who Jesus is. It's like giving someone a calling card. When you make a calling card it's purpose is to tell others exactly who you are. Jesus wanted to leave no question so he told them. Yet, if anyone had the right to brag it would be the son of God, right? Yet, even Jesus was humble and did not exploit others for his purposes.
Dear Lord, please teach those around me to be humble. I'm not perfect and you are VERY AWARE OF THAT. I know my weakness and so do you. You know my sins and the battles I face every day. Please Lord draw me nearer to you heart. Give me an attitude of HUMILITY, service, grace, and love as I await your guidance. I praise you and thank you for loving us so much you gave your son for us!
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10 NLT)
I had a wonderful day Thursday. The weather was breaking 50 degrees and their was an afternoon full of sunshine. God planned it this way so I could ride. Yes, he did it so I could ride. I didn't just ride. I went to support an ALR chaplain in the last stages with his fight with cancer. It was his birthday and the area motorcyclists went to his house to sing happy birthday. He got what would likely be his last motorcycle ride. It was a great outpouring of love.
We didn't get an opportunity to pray for him. He's a strong Christian and even praised God while we were there. So I was standing there thinking how to pray for this guy. If I prayed for him to get healed here on this planet, wouldn't that potentially keep him away from paradise. Wouldn't that prayer be a little selfish? I think most people feel uncomfortable praying for some one going through illness and facing imminent death. Selfishly we want to heal them. But, we know the ultimate healing is with Jesus in Heaven. So I pray for Gods will. If he chooses to keep this man here a little longer Praise God. If he chooses to call him home, praise God.
May Gods will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NLT)
Everything begins and ends with God. The Bible contains the amazing story of God, our creator. I have a tendency to complicate life. I think we all do that, at times. I get so involved with daily life, I forget the simplest facts like , In the beginning..... , Jesus loves me, and for God so loved the world..... Those world stopping words are a lot more powerful than anything I can say or hear in the middle of a busy day at school.
My life always gets so busy. Life gets exhausting, but God did not mean it to be that way. It's us, we are the ones responsible for going beyond his plan. I need to get back to the simple things of life....... God, nothing else matters. I need to concentrate on that one thing, God, my creator, my Heavenly Father.
God deserves top billing in our complicated, hectic lives. God should not be placed at the end of a long day where he can be ignored when you're tired. He deserves more than a passing word as we wake. He needs to be the center of our universe. He need to be THE focus not A focus.
Dear Lord, forgive me for how I complicate my life, filling it with useless activities that drown you out of my life. Help me to filter those useless moments so I can truly be focused on your. Help me take time to relax in your arms instead of feeling rushed whenever we get together. I praise you that you can still love me despite these huge flaws. Thank you for your love, patience, and kindness.Amen!
Monday, March 9, 2015
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NLT)
My daughter Kelley is an example of the impossible. She wasn't supposed to walk, she would never live on her own. With God all things are possible. I know we have all heard stories of miracles. Some give God the glory, others call them miracles of man, technology, science, or just plain old luck. I know better. I've seen Gods miracles in my life. Healing, Jobs, finances, relationships, ministry, and countless areas of my life have seen truly God breathed miracles. So why am I so down about the struggles and divisiveness of our planet. I should be ready and expecting a miracle.
God can cure our ills! He can bring all races together, he can defeat poverty, he can defeat loneliness, he can cure cancer, he can heal political divide, he can restore peace. He can and will do these things.
Do we believe when we pray for these miracles? Do we really think they will happen? Who's fault is it if they don't? Where is your faith?
My loving Heavenly Father is waiting to perform miracles for those with the faith of a mustard seed. He is waiting to astonish the world! Why don't you pray tonight? Pray for a miracle? Believe in the miracle? Plan for the miracle! Be amazed by the miracle!
With God EVERYTHING is possible!
The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalms 32:8 NLT)
This verse is a perfect example of what I've been talking about.
For years I've fought and argued with God about the direction in my life. I thought because I was a Christian my life would naturally be Gods direction. I was wrong. I made decisions thinking God was guiding me, but it wasn't God I was listening to, it was my own prideful, selfish, sinful heart. Ah, a flaw in my thinking. I blamed the trials of my life on Gods will. I claimed the suffering was just God teaching me some valuable lesson. Ah, another flaw in my thinking.
God does have a plan for my life AND it is the best plan! BUT, I have to listen to his advice. When he speaks I need to listen. I need to act on his guidance. God has never and WILL never force his guidance upon us. We need to take that advice and act upon it. Even as christians if we are not communicating with Jesus, if we are not listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, if we are not acting on that guidance, we will not see the best pathway of life. I truly believe the greatest barrier to life is ourselves. So often we suffer, not because of God teaching us some lesson, but because we refuse to listen and act on Gods wisdom. Christianity is more than just turning your life to Christ. Sure, that step is critical and is life changing in that we are promised eternity, but we miss the rest of the blessing if we stop there. Even when we make the wonderul decision to follow him, we need to keep pursuing him. We need to earnestly search for truth. We need to dig into his word, and we need to begin a lifelong two way relationship filled with debate, support, and love. When we pursue God with all of our heart, Gods blessing overflow!
Dear Lord, forgive me for ignoring your word. Forgive me for thinking I know best . Forgive me for blaming you for my trials and struggles. I know you have this wonderul path laid out for me, if I will just trust you fully. I love you Lord and the older I get the clearer that pathway becomes. I am awed by the wonder of your grace. I am amazed by the depth of your love. I promise Lord to seek you more every day. Thank you Lord in advanced for what you are going in my life. Amen!
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth. (Psalms 96:11-13 NLT)
Be glad, rejoice, shout his praise, burst out with joy, sing for joy! I think I see a pattern!
If you read this blog on a regular basis or you see my social media posts you know I've been on a roll lately. I've discussed one controversial topic and then another. It's draining and can really drag you down. If you look at the entirety of this globe we occupy you would agree there is not a lot of positive.
I need to remember who I am!
I am a child of the most high God and if I can keep that in focus, I can do all these things. It really is a strategy of the deceiver. If he can get our focus off Jesus he will destroy us. If he gets us thinking of all the division in the world, the stress, the strife, conflict, and bitterness, we will forget Jesus.
Not this guy!
I will ignore all the world to focus on the joy of my salvation. Even through the turmoil of life, I can have real joy. I see hope. I know it's strange to say when we even see a great divide among believers. Jesus is my hope, my strength, my redeemer. Praise God for the hope that awaits me in eternity.
Friday, March 6, 2015
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! (Psalms 119:1-8 NLT)
Is the word of God, his holy scripture inerrant?
I have to say unequivocally yes it is God breathed and completely infallible. But, what that doesn't say is, I don't get it all the time. Let's be clear......... I said I believe the Bible is unfalible. That doesn't mean I'm in fallible in my application of those truths. There is a big difference.
I believe the bible is the word of God and is meant as a message to help us rule our lives and deal with the issues of our day. I have seen the truths of the Bible through my own life. I have seen the hand of God and how it directs my daily life. Every day I see how real and true it is, not because somebody told me to believe it, but because I see it being true to ME. So I believe God is real, Jesus came to cleanse us, he's coming back, I have an eternal home in heaven and I believe the words of the Bible are absolutely true.
I've read this wondeful book completely several times and I study it nearly every day. I can not pick and choose what to believe. I can't follow what I like and disregard the rest. I won't do it! I will not doubt it's truth, but I strongly admit I don't always understand it and I don't always apply it the way God intended. Nonetheless I will follow it as God places each issue in my heart. I won't claim to be perfect but I do claim the spirit of the Lord will steer me through the unknowns. I will follow my heart because I have turned it over to Jesus. I'm not saying my own sinfullness doesn't lead to some poor decisions., because I know it does. Praise God for his word.
Dear Lord, thank you for the truths in your holy word. I ask you to help me apply those truths in my life and dealing with the people I meet everyday. Help those truths to be seen in me as I write this blog, travel, minister with CMA, work with students, and live with my family. I only want to do your will. Defeat my sinfullness so that you can shine through me. I praise you and love you. Amen.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. (Psalms 119:3 NLT)
We have lost the art of compromise. When I say we I also include Christians in that group. Our unwavering attitudes, mine included, are symbolized by this Psalm. It seems to give us the right to be stubborn and unwavering. Because Jesus is the way, THE TRUTH, and the life, we believe we have a corner on what's right and what's wrong. I agree there is only one way to life eternal and that is through Jesus. We should be unwavering in what we believe and the word of the Lord. I believe Jesus died for my sins, rose from the grave to defeat death, and is coming again. But sometimes the truths I know give be a boldness that borders on arrogance. Knowing the ultimate truth is used to set ourselves apart from nonbelievers. It's not a productive attitude. We tend to forget we are all sinners and no one sin is greater or lesser than another.
Why not live this verse:
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Colossians 3:13-15 NLT)
When we compromise we do not have to compromise our faith. When we disagree with the world, how we handle that attitude is critical. A Major League, openly Christian, baseball player was asked how he would react to a gay teammate. He took the opportunity to say how misrepresented Christianity is about this issue. He said,
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there. (Acts of the Apostles 15:36-41 NLT)
Have you ever gotten into such an argument that it drove a permanent wedge between you and the person on the other side? Such is the argument between Paul and Barnabus. After this argument, we believe they never saw each other again. It's sad. I've seen families, friendships, businesses, and marriages split forever due to "sharp" arguments. In these situations, there is little you can do to restore a relationship split by arguments.
I think it curious that Paul would not give John Mark a second chance. It's even more curious when you remember the major second chance given to Paul after he so cruelly persecuted Christians. God has set the standard. He has and does give each of us second chances. He usually gives even more than that. I am thankful he does.
Dear Lord, I am so grateful you are a God of second chances. You love us so much that you will never give up on us. Help me take that principle and apply it to my relationship with others. We all deserve a second chance. Remove our hardened hearts and give us soul filled with compassion. Praise God we can count on you for the wisdom and strengthen to make it happen! You are an amazing and loving God and I worship you with all my heart! Amen!
Monday, March 2, 2015
"........ His name was Shimei son of Gera. As he followed along he shouted insults and threw rocks right and left at David and his company, servants and soldiers alike. To the accompaniment of curses he shouted, “Get lost, get lost, you butcher, you hellhound! GOD has paid you back for all your dirty work in the family of Saul and for stealing his kingdom. GOD has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. Look at you now—ruined! And good riddance, you pathetic old man!” (2 Samuel 16:5-8 MSG)
We live in a time where people really enjoy catching someone making a mistake. In the same instance we also live in a time when people hate to admit errors. That is a tenuous combination. These circumstances lead to bitter division amongst people. I think it's fair to say, our planet has never been more divided in all of history. People are filled with such hate that they are blinded by it so much they lose all capacity for compassion.
How can we deal with such a time as this?
We can do as David did? David is just like us. He messed up. He couldn't admit he was wrong and it led him to dig himself a very deep hole that he never recovered. He realized his sin after it was too late. So he suffered this attack and barrage of insults. What did he do? Nothing! He didn't retaliate. He didn't use his power to silence the critic. He just kept marching forward.
I wish we could react in the same way.
We need to learn to handle insult. We need to learn to ignore the attacks. We need to lighten up and realize we can overcome without vengeance. We need to leave the judgment and the "get even" mentality with the Lord. He will deal with it in his own time. Our duties do not include payback. We are just to love one another and that's it! We, as far as we can, are to destroy hate, love our enemies and share Jesus with all of them. That is our great commission. We are not in the gotcha business!
Dear Lord, give us the strength to love and not judge. Help us to leave judgement and vengeance to you. You are our protector, your timing is perfect and you do not need our help! Help me to be a more loving and compassionate person . Help me to model that compassion and grace after the one who sacrificed everything for me. Thank you Lord! Praise God for your perfect love! Amen!
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Do you see how many people Have it in for me? How viciously they hate me? Keep watch over me and keep me out of trouble; Don’t let me down when I run to you. Use all your skill to put me together; I wait to see your finished product. GOD, give your people a break From this run of bad luck. (Psalm 25:19-22 MSG)
I've continued to study a Chuck Swindoll series called "What if......." It continues to be a fascinating study. My life, right now, is a true blessing from God. Trust me when I tell you, I don't deserve my life. I am a sinner and have not been righteous in any sense of the word. But I have found favor with the Lord and my life is truly a display of Gods amazing grace.
So, when I listened to the message today, I had to look back in my life to relate to David. Yes, I have enemies. You can't live for 55 years without upsetting someone or enduring some hate. I also have had phases in my life where my haters were quite numerous. A former principal of mine said, "Your list of enemies or people that hate you, never gets smaller." I have truly found this to be true. I'm not sure I've ever heard someone tell me,or someone else, they used to hate me and now they love me! It just doesn't happen. But, if my detractors are near me, I'm unaware of their hatred. I praise God for his love and protection. He alone is the reason the haters in my life don't impact my day. So, let me give you advice from someone who has endured some hateful people. It may be an overly simplified approach, but I have found the greatest defense from you haters is just to turn them over to the Lord. If I could tell you how to live, I would say, do not spend your life in fear. Do not spend your days looking over your shoulder. Eliminate distrustful thoughts, shut out those who do not lift you up and only wish to tear you down. Love your enemy. Trust in the Lord to protect you from evil and hate.
We, which means you and I, can overcome our haters. Yes, we can ignore the life of a hater if we can just radically and unwaveringly follow Jesus. Praise God for his wondeful love and amazing grace. Thank you Lord for isolating me from the hatred surrounding me. I am honored to follow you and renew my commitment to serving you. Amen!