Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Straying From the Heart

Valentines is this week. We see hearts everywhere. Various forms of expressing love is all around us. I'm impressed by the thought that goes into some of these. Who will you show love to this week? Have you ever forgotten to love? Or, have you forgotten how much someone loves you?

I have often wondered how is it possible that a people could totally not remember that there was a God who loved His people so much that He brought them to Egypt to save their lives. They may have even known they were suppose to live there for 400 years, if their forefathers passed on the stories of old. But how could they have forgotten Him enough that they worshiped Egyptian gods as well. Is this even possible?

Then the leaders of this study reminded me that the Israelites were there 400 years. Looking back is always 20/20 hindsight, but if I look at it from today's perspective I get a totally different view.

Officially, the U.S. will be 243 years old this year. But, if you include the years of colonization and settlements then we are right around the 400 year mark. (410 from the founding of Jamestown.)

Just like the Israelites in Egypt, we too became a great nation with many riches and power. Of course, we had lots of infighting that has left a mark that remains even today. The saying that speaks of history repeating itself can sadly be seen in our country. We too have slowly forgotten the religious strengths and stands we had when we first arrived to this land.

For many, many years we have been known for being a God-fearing nation, but over the years we have embraced so many things that have pulled us away from our first drive. Now, we aren't too far from the Israelites. Sadly, I see it is possible to forget.

I hope that you and I will do what is needed to keep remembering who God is. He is our first valentine. And His love is never-ending. He is here for us. We only need to talk to Him and listen for His answer. The listening part is sometimes hard to wait for, but is so worth it when it happens. You know what I've said so many times in the past...there is always hope...in Jesus, with Jesus there is always hope to overcome whatever is in our path. He is the ultimate valentine gift.

Can't believe it. Second book in the series is coming.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Working Alongside God

So many times I want God to just magically change something or do an action. But that's not always the case. In fact, I find that I sometimes impatiently take care of a problem or issue before waiting for God's reply. It can create frustration on my part. Even thinking, where is God? Does he care? The Psalms are full of David's cries about this. (Psalm 13 for one.) Yet, he always ends up glorifying God.

Recently I heard a point made in a Bible study. God wants us to work alongside Him. He doesn't want to do all the work. He wants us to work with Him. How many times do you read that He tells His prophet or disciple to go or do something? Think about Jonah - go to Nineveh. Think about Peter - go to the lake and fish to get a coin (Matthew 17:27), or submerge your net in the deeper part of the lake (Luke 5:4).

Wouldn't it have been easier for God to just do it Himself? Of course. But then where would the relationship growth have been? Think about it...if you as a parent always spoon feed your child then when does your child learn to feed himself?

Now I'm not saying we need to solve all our problems in our own will power. That leads to self sufficiency and a lack of dependency on God. What I am saying is that when you ask God for a solution or direction, wait and He will instruct you, but He won't do it for you. He wants us to work, and will walk alongside us in all we do. We are not alone in anything we do. He's there with us.

I love that thought. He's with me. Everywhere.

There have been times when I'm too tired to think about making dinner. If I ask Him what I should eat, He makes suggestions. I love that. But, it is up to me to put together the meal. Has He left me because He didn't make the food suddenly appear, prepared ready for me to consume? No. He guides me through the preparation time.

You may think this is a silly example but I hope it gets the message across. The work God directs me to do is in order to teach me more and draw me closer to Him. As He guides me through the steps needed to complete an assignment, I learn more about His guiding grace and trust Him in a new way. And without realizing it my faith grows. Walking and working alongside God brings me back to the thought that there is always hope.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Beauty In The Eye of The Beholder

What do you consider beautiful?

I love lush, green treed mountains with streams of water near a walking path. A waterfall makes it even better. The peace and rest I feel in a scene like this makes me think of beauty.

Of course, I can't forget about the rugged stony formations of Arizona or Big Bend National Park that beckon me to climb.




Then there's the beauty I see in artwork whether it's one of my mom's paintings or gracefully designed colorful pieces of blown glass.

 


What about people? What makes a person beautiful? We all have specific things we look at: body shape, clothing, make-up application, tattoos, car being driven, living style, personality, life choices. All these things come under the discerning eye of each of us. We can't help it. We assess everyone we know or meet and determine their beauty in our minds.

But look in the mirror. How do you rate yourself?

Look into your eyes.

You are beautiful. God loves you and to Him you are a thing of beauty. You are worth dying for. All the pain He suffered was for you. He did what needed to be done so that He could keep you as His treasure.

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, or disappointed, or hurt, or angry, or depressed, go to your mirror. Look yourself in the eye and remind yourself just who you are - a precious child of God who is beautiful and loved by God just the way you are.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Notification

There is a new EU policy that says I must notify my followers if cookies and third party data are used. Not sure that I do that but I am following through. You may be asked to confirm you want to follow my posts.

I'm sorry there have not been any posts in so long I hope to do so before long. I miss the blogging.
Until then, remember, There is always hope.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Biblical Chickens

Do you ever think less of yourself because you were too chicken to do something? Have you ever associated some of the people in the Bible with chicken status when they struggled in following through with what God was asking of them?

I think I can relate to many characters in the Bible. At one time or another I have failed just like they did. They serve as a reminder to me that God forgives huge failures and yet chooses to use the person again. Even those who knew God intimately and then screwed up – think of Peter, David, or Moses – were later used by God for greater things.

Once again the judge Gideon has my attention. Here's a young son trying to do needed work in a hidden way and an angel appears to him calling him by his as-of-yet-unaccomplished-but-soon-to-be title. Can you see Gideon looking over his shoulder for someone else in the area, and thinking, “Who are you talking about?” (Judges 6:12-13) Then he basically asked, oh I can so relate to this, “You want me to do what?” (6:14-15)

After God showed himself with the first testing Gideon was given his first task. But, being a chicken, he probably thought, “Fine, I’ll do it. But I’m going to do it at night when no one can see me.” And he did. (Judges 6:27)

Notice that God didn’t get angry with him because he did it in the dead of night. In fact, here's a surprise kicker, it was Gideon’s father who defended him when the village men wanted to kill him. (Judges 6:30-31) Where was Gideon you may ask? He was hiding in the house. Can you say chicken?

Have you ever had a chicken moment like that? Perhaps after saying something boldly you wanted to go hide? Like, you can’t believe you actually said something that stood in opposition to everyone else. And then wondered if you did the right thing? Or after following through with what you felt God was telling you to do or say, did you experience many at church stand against you? Now can you relate to Gideon? I know that chicken feeling.

I can’t fault Gideon for testing God with the fleece even after he was given the Spirit of God to act. (6:34-40) Following the rejection by the men in the village for tearing down his dad's altar that should never have been there in the first place, of course he would question his next assignment. Remember there's a piece of him that’s still thinking, “Should I do this?”

When all the men arrive after his call to battle, he has to be excited because he has thousands of men going with him to fight. (7:1) I'm sure he thought, “Yahoo. I don’t have to do this alone.” He probably found peace in this. Then, God tells Gideon he has too many men. So he allows the men who aren’t sure they should be there to go home. With several thousand men still left, he’s got to be thinking that he’s still good. (7:2-3)

But. Then. God tells him there are still too many. (7:4-5) Can you imagine the sinking feeling in his stomach? At this point he has to put his trust in God in a new way. So the number is whittled down to 300 men who passed the test. (7:6-7) And it’s through these few men that God takes down an army of tens of thousands of soldiers.

Who would have thought?

You know what this tells me? God has a way. Even when I don’t see a way that things will work. Even when I think I don’t have what it takes to do the job. Even when the people around me disagree or are in opposition to what I understand God wants of me, God has a way. God took a man who was afraid to stand up to others, who questioned everything told to him, who was fearful he wasn't hearing correctly and made him into a strong judge over his people. I’m so glad I have Gideon as an example that with God all things are possible.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

One BIG Step

Years ago...strike that...decades ago, God called me to write a book. You may think I dragged my feet in answering this call but I worked at it in varying speeds throughout the years. My starting point was quite low. I was awful.

I know this because I read some of my earlier writings one day and it was BAD. But, I put those aside and kept at it.  Well, long story short, after a "broken road of traveling" the book is finally here.


In many ways it is still surreal.  And, yet, here I am with my first novel. I feel a sense of accomplishment. Relief that I have finally completed the first step in what God has called me to do.

I hope you take the time to look into the book and that you enjoy it.