I had the blessed opportunity to spend some time last week with my favorite philosopher Avery, my 4 year old granddaughter. She was visiting with her 2 year old sister Haley and she told me, “Papaw, me and Haley is growing up. Someday we are going to drive a car like our daddy. And someday we won’t watch kid shows any more either Papaw. Me and Haley will watch big people shows and do all kinds of big people things.” I said, “Yes you will honey, yes you will. That’s God’s plan for all of us….that we grow up and learn to do new things.” I love those girls. All week our conversation served to remind me to take the time to enjoy the important things in life. Children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and those we love grow up before we know it. We need to make sure we don’t miss out on the experience.
It also reminded me that God desires for each of us to grow and be who He has called us to be. We need to be sure we don’t miss out on that experience either. In chapter 5 the author of Hebrews is exhorting the church to grow and mature according to God’s plan. He says to them in Hebrews 5:12 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” God desires each and every one of us to grow in regard to our faith. He desires that each of us would mature and no longer be involved only in the elementary things of the faith but that we would develop and mature according to His plans. I hope that you are having a blessed week and I hope you know just how much the Lord loves you.
Posted in Christianity, faith, God, grandchildren, influencing others, inspirational
Tagged Christianity, faith, God, grandchildren, growing in faith, inspirational, religion, spiritual maturity
Today we have a house guest, a little white dog named Mikey. Mikey will be with us for a few days while his mommy Amanda is out of town. Mikey is not a dachshund like our other dogs, I know because he his legs are not short and he does not bark just because he hears the grass grow. Those are the distinguishing marks of dachshunds. But Mikey is like a dachshund in that he wants to be in somebody’s lap….all the time. I do not remember this being a part of the deal. But that is okay, Mikey is a pretty good dog. He goes to the door when he needs to be let out and when he comes back in he wants to get right back in someone’s lap. Our dogs use a doggie door. Mikey is a little unsure about the safety issues involved with the doggie door I guess as he has not used it yet. I tried to encourage him to walk through that door but he is not ready yet.
Some people might suggest cramming him through the door but I do not recommend that technique. It is not as effective as you would think. The dogs don’t like it and 3 out of 5 times you get bit. Just trust me on those numbers. I know that once Mikey sees the other dogs going through that doggie door he will probably see the benefits and eventually go through on his own. I have seen it before with other dogs that have come to our house. They had never seen a doggie door but after a while they learned from observing our dogs and pretty soon they used it too.
I think it can be that way with things of faith sometimes. As Christians we know that the relationship we have with the Lord is good – real good. We know it works and we know that it would be beneficial for others and we can’t wait to introduce them to Him. Sometimes we share with them in an excited way and they look at us the same way Mikey looked at that doggie door. “Sorry, not for me.” Sometimes in our enthusiasm we try coaxing them through the door with treats and promises. Some people even try to manipulate and cram them through the door thinking that “If they just take a few steps, if they just try it then they’ll see.” Manipulation, coercion, and enticements even when given with the best intentions are not the way that the Lord desires for people to enter into the Kingdom of heaven. Over and over again in the New Testament Paul urged the Church to imitate him as he imitated Christ. Live for Him, proclaim Him and let people make up their own minds when they are ready. Jesus said in like this in Matthew 5:16
Matt 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
If we do the things that we are called to do in the way that we are called to do them, our lives will serve as a living testimony! We will be faithful witnesses! There will be no manipulation, no coercion and no sly or empty promises. People will see the difference that the Lord is making in us and through us. And because of the differences they see some will walk through the door to the Kingdom of God on their own accord at the calling and conviction of the Holy Spirit. To God be the glory forever and ever amen! Until next time, stay strong in the faith.
Posted in Christianity, faith, influencing others, inspirational, Relationships, witnessing
Tagged Christianity, doggie door, faith, God, prayer, religion, Witnessing
Psalm 118:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
It is a good day to praise The Lord and lift up a prayer of thanksgiving unto Him. So many times we pray for those who are doing bad or are feeling bad or having a bad time and we should pray for those situations. We are told to cast all of our cares upon Him. But as we do we must not forget to give thanks for the blessings we have received. It is a blessing to have a Lord who loves us! It is a blessing to have a Lord who saved us! It is a blessing to be able to go to Him at any time and cast our cares on Him!
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
Posted in Christianity, faith, God, inspirational, prayer, Psalm 188:1
Tagged Christianity, faith, God, inspirational, praise, prayer, Psalm 118:1, religion
Today when I was on the way in to the store to pick up some flowers for my wife Marta for Valentine’s Day I saw a young man who used to be in a youth class that I helped teach many years ago. I stopped to visit with him and asked him how he was doing. He let me know that life is going very well. He shared with me how last year he invited Christ into his life to be His Lord and Savior. He was smiling so hard I thought his teeth were going to fall out. I was smiling pretty good too as he shared how the Lord has been using him to witness to others about the grace and mercy that is available to all through Jesus Christ. We had a glorious time talking about the goodness of God. My young friend was so excited about what God is doing that he even invited this preacher to church the next time I get a Sunday off. I loved it! It was a beautiful conversation. I loved the passion and joy with which this young man eagerly shared about what Christ has done and is still doing through him. It reminded me of the passage in Romans 10:15 which says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
If you are a Christian, how long has it been since you shared the good news about what Christ has done for you? As that old commercial goes, the answer for most of us is likely to be, “Well partner that’s too long.” There are people who need to know about the grace, the comfort, the forgiveness and the strength that only Jesus offers. They need to know what you know! Think back on what the Lord has done for you. Count your blessings and go forth and share the good news with somebody this weekend.
I had an opportunity to provide a job reference for a friend today. I have known and worked with this individual for several years so I was able to provide some valuable input to the prospective employer. The really good thing is that I was able to give a hearty recommendation and provide some very specific examples of the way my friend sets goals, executes his plans on a daily basis and always does his best. My friend words well with others and does good work. He has earned a good reputation and a good name as a result and that is a good thing to have. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:1
Prov 22:1 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.
I think the key to having a “good name” and earning a good reputation is to be genuinely concerned about having a good reputation for being a good steward of the tasks we have been assigned. I am not saying that we should do our work to please everybody. No, not at all. If you have worked very long at all you already know that you can’t please everybody. The key lies in what Paul said in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…” That is the perspective we should have. It is true, we report to our managers and supervisors. We owe them an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. But as Christians we are called to do our work heartily as for the Lord, rather than for men. That’s a higher calling. That’s a higher standard. If you do that, you will give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. You will have a good name. You will earn a good reputation.
Posted in a good name, Christianity, faith, giving a reference, God, good reputation, inspirational
Tagged a good name, a good reputation, Christianity, faith, giving a reference, God
I saw a haircut place the other day that had a sign that instead of advertising bald fades had a sign that said “Bad Fades – $8.” I started to go in and ask them how much a good fade cost. I decided against it as I was traveling in part of town where you don’t make jokes with people you don’t know. Come to think of it, that is probably not a bad rule to follow in any part of town. I saw another sign one time that said “Bold Fades.” Bold fades…hmmm….I wasn’t sure if that was a mistake or if a fellow could indeed expect to have lightning bolts or unicorns etched onto the side of his head when the barber was done. That would be bold. Both of those signs promoting “bad fades” and “bold fades” made me think about truth in advertising. Sometimes people, products and services make grand promises but when all is said and done they don’t live up to their advertising claims. It is not that way with the Lord.
He is who He says He is and He does what He says He will do. He is the Living water you need when your soul thirsts for relief. He is the Bread of Life who sustains and strengthens all who partake of His goodness. He is the way, the truth and the life. He is Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is the One who delivers on the promise, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” You may have been let down in the past by people, products and services that fell short of what you expected and certainly did not deliver what you needed. You don’t have to have that fear with the Lord. You can place your trust in Him. He will make good on His word. He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. Until next time, stay strong in the faith.
Posted in Christianity, faith, God, inspirational, prayer, Relationships
Tagged bald fades, Christianity, faith, God, inspirational, religion, trust, truth in advertising
Last night there were over 100 accidents on Austin roads due to the sleet and freezing rain. I am thankful for the first responders who answered those calls. My wife was working at the mall when the storm hit. By the time her shift ended and she went out to the car, it was covered in ice and the roads were in bad shape. Some of the highways were shut down and traffic was crawling along. Fortunately her father lives very close to where she works and she made her way over to his house and spent the night there. Though he lives just a few miles away it took her over an hour to get there. But she made it and was safe from the storm and the dangers of driving in Austin traffic during bad weather. She made it back home safely today after the roads began to clear – thanks Lord.
I am reminded of the fact that all of us face storms and difficult conditions in life. All of us have times when we need a place of refuge, a place to take a break and get out of the bad traffic of life and come in from the cold. The Lord offers such a place to us. David wrote in Psalm 91:2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
David knew that when things got tough he could turn to his heavenly Father and find some relief. He knew he could depend upon the Lord to take care of him in times of trouble and tribulation. David knew that he could always count on the Lord to take him in and take on those who oppressed him and that which troubled him. David saw the Lord as his refuge and his fortress. I hope you know the Lord in that way too. Until next time, stay warm and stay safe.