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Showing posts from October, 2011

The Closed Door

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 God has closed a door. For months I have been eagerly anticipating an opportunity to which I felt truly led. Now that opportunity has evaporated. It is gone, due to human error, although not my error. I had to rely on other people doing their jobs and someone didn’t. For a moment I felt sick. I felt the bile of disappointment rise in my throat. Then I remembered a teaching I heard just yesterday. Yesterday morning I was not feeling well and stayed home from church. While resting I tuned into a program that features an evangelist I used to listen to quite often. I haven’t heard him or read anything by him in the last year or so. Yesterday his message was for me. I just didn’t know it until today. I listened as he spoke about his own disappointments and a very serious situation that had troubled his father. He spoke about how in such situations each of us has a choice. We can choo

The Teapot

How long will the enemy mock you O God? Will the foe revile your name forever? Why do you hold back you hand, your right hand? But you O God are my king from of old; you bring salvation upon the earth. Psalm 74: 10-11, 13 I do not believe that God does things to hurt us. I do believe He allows temptations, consequences and even disasters. He uses the negative things of this fallen world as tools for our spiritual growth, to give us better understanding of Him, to strengthen us and for many other reasons, most of which I do not understand. I do know that God wastes nothing so even my disappointments and heartbreaks have a purpose. Several years ago my husband, a self-employed painting contractor, did work for a company who then did not pay. Unfortunately my hubby still had a crew to pay, which he did. In the same span of time we had trouble with two vehicles, not impossible but costly enough to pinch. Then our pool pump died and took our air conditioning unit along for the ride. We w

Accepting God’s No

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 Lately I have read a lot about why God says no. None of us like it. We want God to say yes and from that yes we’d really love smooth sailing. He’s God after all. Can’t He just make it easy? No, He can’t. That’s not technically true, because of course He can. He chooses not to for our good. When God says no, as harsh as that may sometimes seem, it is always for a reason. For the past several months I have been making the same request of God over and over and over. It isn’t for wealth or power or influence. It is a simple request, one that the Bible supports. In fact what I am asking for is highly recommended in Scripture. So why, oh why, oh why does God keep saying no? I have no idea. Quite frankly I am beginning to get aggravated and frustrated, which I heard in a teaching a few days ago is referred to as the sin of Jonah. That made it a bit easier to s

Humility

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12 On humble people, Christian writer Brennan Manning says, “Following the counsel of Jesus to take the last place, they are not shocked or offended when someone puts them there.” It is important to know your worth to God but to know also that while no one is better than you, neither are you better than another. Our Father sees us all as equal. Though it is difficult for us to understand He sees all sin in the same light as well. We often fall into the trap of the Pharisee who compared himself to the tax collector, forgetting that our Father loves each of us as if there were only one of us. Self- promotion is never effective. Only God’s promotion counts. The way of the world is to shine our own light. Take a look at any political campaign. Such paragons of virtue and people of immense strength and widespread accomplishment are running for office. It is hard to believe that suc

Seeing the Hand of God

“A voice of one calling in the desert, prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.” Luke 2:4b-6 (paraphrase of Isaiah 40:3-5) My young friend Anna is going through a terrible time in her life right now. Her brother is literally fighting for his life. He is alive, after an experience that most certainly could have and some would say should have, resulted in death. Today the quality of his life is what hangs in the balance. So the good news is that Patrick is still with them. The hard news is to what extent? Anna and her family are surrounded by medical professionals who shake their heads and murmur words of, if not discouragement, then at least what they see as reality. Anna and her family, strong believers and lovers of Christ, nod, take in what they believe they need to hear and toss the rest. T

But for the Grace of God

But because of his great love for us God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 Through my life I have heard and used the title of this message repeatedly. Disaster strikes someone near to us or similar to us and we think, “there but for the grace of God go I..” True! I used to work with a woman with whom I had much in common. The major difference being I chose to accept salvation, to invite Jesus into my heart and she said, “no thanks.” The choice however is ours. God’s grace is available to any and all who will open their hearts and take it. Over the last year or more I have watched as a young man I know, I’ll call him James, chose to reject the invitation of God. He has cast for himself idols made of flesh, chemicals, hops and barley, etc. etc. etc. He has lived fast and loose not caring who paid the price, not concerning himself with the needs or desires of the people around h

A Renewed Attitude

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5 I am the embarrassed, disgusted owner of a terrible attitude. Unfortunately this attitude began over three months ago and has stolen some precious moments from me. I fought it a bit at first, but when circumstance after circumstance, betrayal and abandonment came traipsing through, the attitude was shown to be valid and though I don’t like this attitude I saw many convincing reasons to keep it and to own it. Wait a minute… No, that is not the way I was “raised.” My Father does not like that attitude and has repeatedly urged me to give it over which I would tell you I have done but the truth is I made shabby attempts. Until today, when thoroughly tired of being dreary and tired, I honestly and literally gave up. Why? Because I finally heard and saw what was going on. For years I have been aggravated by the Negative Nancy’s whose joy in life is to point out every teeny tiny imperfection in every person and/or si

The Presence Of God

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and they are safe. Proverbs 18:10 Just the other day one of my students nearly died. It wasn’t because we involved in anything huge or unusual. In fact it was a simple, everyday activity that nearly killed her. She was eating lunch and choked. This is a little girl who loves her food. From what we can best surmise it was an attempt to get as much in as quickly as possible that choked her. That isn’t what is important here. What is important is that this occurred in a public school, you know, the place where we aren’t supposed to pray or mention the name of God. On Friday, that didn’t work. For at least a couple of hours there was plenty of prayer in our school. When the episode began I was sitting beside my little sweetie and so was the first person to attempt to help her, three people and a 911 call later and she was back in a chair breathing normally. That sounds simple but it wasn’t. The second person to come along t

Multi-tasking

Speak lord for your servant is listening. 1 Samuel 3:9b Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10 I heard a teaching the other day that is in complete opposition to everything the world teaches. It was about multi-tasking. If you are anything like me the mention of those words brings a certain strange type of prideful reaction. “I’m a multi-tasker.” Again if you’re anything like me you aren’t going to like what comes next. The teaching was on doing one thing. The minister giving the talk spoke of doing one thing at a time not trying to accomplish so much. She talked about how we’ve been trained (see it isn’t our fault) to think that doing ten things at once is admirable. As she spoke I thought of how often I have heard those conversations or God help me been in them. Person 1: “Yesterday I had soccer for the kids and Jack had a party at work. Plus on the way to soccer I had to pick up the dry cleaning and

Attempted Deception

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written; ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:1-7 Jesus was fully man while he was on this earth. If a young man were walking around today telling everyone the things Jesus told the people of his time he’d be committed. In Jesus time there weren’t therapists on every corner. No one had t