How and Where are You Building

We have had a lot of flooding this week and the news is full of pictures of people who have lost their homes and their belongings to storms and rising water.  It is a great opportunity for us to respond in love and charity and help those who have needs.  As I watched some of the news clips about the flooding of the lakes in our area, I was reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 when He is speaking about proper foundations for living.

Matt 7:24  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.”

We will all face storms in this life.  We will all have times when the flood waters seem to quickly rise up and threaten to overwhelm us.  Because that is a certainty, it is important that our foundation is sure and steadfast.  It’s important how we build, where we build and upon Whom we build.

I pray that you are building on the Rock.  I pray that you and your families are safe.  I pray for those impacted by recent storms.  And I pray that the Lord will help us to put our prayers into action.

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Posted in Be Prepared, Build Upon the Rock, Christianity, Church, Don't give up, Firmly rooted, God, God will lead you, Matthew 7:24, religion, who is the Rock | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Pace

I was writing an email to a friend and I wanted to sign off wishing them “God’s peace.” I may have been trying to type too quickly because I left out a letter and wrote “God’s pace.” I quickly recognized my mistake and changed it. But then as I thought about it, maybe it wasn’t a mistake. The truth is, sometimes we are driven by our own timelines and our own agendas. We want everything in our time and on our pace. When that doesn’t happen it can led to frustration, stress and anxiety. It can lead to a lack of peace. If we want to know God’s peace, we must be willing to accept God’s pace. God’s word tells us in Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”
 
I pray that you will know God’s pace. I pray that you will accept and follow His lead, His timing and His agenda. And as you do, I pray that you will know His peace.
Posted in Christianity, Church, God will lead you, God's Grace, inspirational, Isaiah 40:31, ministry work, patience | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just a Slingshot?

I was trimming tree limbs the other day and cutting them into small pieces for disposal when I noticed one that looked like a slingshot.  It reminded me of when a young shepherd named David defeated a giant named Goliath.  David wasn’t afraid to take on the bigger, stronger and heavily armed opponent with only a slingshot.  As he went into battle, David testified he trusted that God who delivered him from lions and bears would deliver him from this enemy as well.  God did just that and David was victorious over the enemy.

I love the faith and assurance declared and demonstrated by David.  We can have the same faith and assurance that David had.  We can trust that no matter what giants the enemy sends against us, no matter how big they seem, we can be victorious.  Our testimony can be that we know that God will empower us and equip us to be successful, even if all we have is a little slingshot.

Posted in Christianity, Church, Do Your Best, Don't give up, God, God is with Me, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remember to Not Forget

I was watching a cartoon with the girls the other day that explored the question, “Where does night come from?”  As the characters began to discuss the possibilities and search out the answer, I asked the girls if they knew the answer.  Avery responded that night and day come because the earth is spinning around the sun.  When a side turns away from the sun it becomes night.  Haley said, “Oh yeah.  I remember that now.  I forgot because it has been a long time since we talked about it.”  My conversation with the girls and Haley’s comments about forgetting something she learned reminded of a passage in Proverbs 3 that I was reading the other day.

Prov 3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

It can be easy to forget things and I must confess it is getting easier and easier for me every year.   I find that I have to be intentional about learning new things and remembering and acting on things I have learned in the past.  Our Lord desires that we never forget His teachings and His commandments.  We are to bind them around our neck, keeping them close, applying them on a daily basis.  His ways are to become a way of life for us.  He desires that we never forget to demonstrate His kindness and truth.  It will be a blessing to us and to others around us.

Posted in Church, encouraging others, God Speaks Through His Word, God's Word, prayer, Proverbs 3:1 - 3 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Comfort in Difficult Times

I was visiting with someone in the last couple of weeks who is facing one of life’s most difficult times; the loss of a loved one.  As I sat with them they openly talked about their cares and concerns and their fears and their faith.  As they talked about how much they will miss their loved one, they also talked about how they are confident that God will be with them and help them through this difficult time.   One of the verses that was brought to my mind as we talked and prayed was Psalm 34:18:

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;

David wrote this psalm during a time when he was on the run from King Saul and fearing for his life in the city of Gath.  David recognized that even in the depths of his fear, the Lord was still watching over him.  I love having that reminder from God’s word.  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  There will be times in our lives when we mourn, when we hurt, when we have many troubles.  In the midst of those times, we can place our trust in the Lord.  We can expect and trust our Lord to deliver us from our troubles.  Those are comforting thoughts.

Posted in Christianity, Church, Dealing with grief, faith, God Answers Prayer, God is with Me, God's comfort, Psalm 34:18 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Accountability Partners – Tell Me What I Need to Hear

We have been talking about the life of King David in our Sunday school class the last few weeks.  In a recent lesson we discussed times that David received rebukes from others in his life and how he responded.  We talked about the time when Nathan confronted David about his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:1 – 25) and when Joab rebuked David for his actions following the death of his son Absalom (2 Samuel 19:1 – 8).    In both of those instances, David received the counsel and advice from those who spoke to him.  A couple of verses that have come up during our discussions.  One of them is Proverbs 11:14 and the other is Proverbs 27:6.

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Proverbs 27:6   Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

We all face times in our lives when it would be beneficial to confer, plan and strategize with others.  There are times in our lives when all of us could use some guidance and advice.  And there are times when we have gotten off track and we need someone to help set us straight.  My experience has been that we don’t always recognize those times when we need counsel and we don’t always appreciate it when someone seeks to speak to us.  It is during those times that we need someone who loves us enough to tell us the truth.  Faithful indeed are the wounds of a friend.  It is good to have someone in our circle who is willing to speak truth into our lives, even if it might not be something we want to hear.

I pray that we would all have those kinds of friends.   And I pray that we would all be those kinds of friends.

Posted in Christianity, Church, doing the right thing, faith, Faithful Words from a friend, good friends, Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 27:6 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plans for Hope

Recently I was reflecting again on this verse from Jeremiah 29:11 where the Lord reminds His people

Jer 29:11  ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’

This promise from the Lord was given to His people while they were in exile, held captivity in the land of Babylon.  They were in Babylon by the will of God.  They were there as God’s judgment for their generations of rebellion against Him.  And though they were experiencing the discipline and the judgment of the Lord, the Lord wanted His people to know that they had not been forgotten and abandoned.  God had plans to restore them to the land and to provide for their welfare and their future.  The Lord desired to give His people hope.

That is a good reminder for us as well.  There are many things that can hold us captive.  We may be in the grip of fear, doubt, grief or any other number of emotions.  We may be confined or constrained as a result of our actions or because of the actions of others.  We may be having to walk a path that we would not have chosen for ourselves.  In the midst of these difficult seasons, we can be assured that God has not forgotten us.  He still has plans for us – plans for our good and for our future that we might have hope!

I pray that you may know that God has not forgotten you.  I pray that you will be strengthened in the midst of whatever season you may be going through.  I pray that you will know that God has plans for you – plans for your well-being, plans for your future that you may have hope.

Posted in Don't stop, God has a plan for you, God will help you, God's Strength, inspirational, ministry work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment