Marta and I went walking with the girls the other day and they were excitedly talking about the trip to Florida that our entire family has planned for this summer. Haley who is 6 has been doing a daily count day of the number of days remaining until our trip for at least a month. “80 days left Papaw… 70 days… 58…” and the count continues. While we were walking, Haley was telling Avery how many dresses she was going to take, which shoes and which swimsuit. Avery who is 8 wasn’t as concerned about the clothes but she did talk about the snorkel gear that she was going to take. After they talked about the trip for several minutes, I told the girls that I loved hearing about their plans. Then I shared with them that the Bible says God has plans for each of us.
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I asked them how they thought that could be and Avery responded, “Because He knows all about us. He knows exactly what we will be doing.” Haley joined in, “He even knows what we are doing right now. He knows we are walking the dogs!” The girls are right, God knows all about us. He knows what we are doing now and what we will be doing tomorrow and what we will be experiencing in the future. He knows how much I enjoy these walks with Marta and the girls. Yes, He has plans for each of us, plans for our good and our well-being and He wants to give us hope.
Posted in Christianity, Church, faith, God has a plan for you, grandchildren, hope, Planning for the Future, religion, Take a Walk
Tagged Christianity, faith, God, God has a plan for you, grandchildren, inspirational, making plans, religion, Walking the dogs
This past week I posted a video on the church Facebook page from Wednesday night’s message on Matthew 5:16. I have also posted it on YouTube so that I can make it available on a larger scale. I am not accustomed to making or sharing videos, as a matter of fact, I don’t know that I really like it. I have given people manuscript copies of sermons before and almost every time they tell me, “I could hear your voice while I was reading it.” This always prompts me to apologize due to the fact that I have a pretty strong North Texas accent. You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy. The truth is that it can be hard to look at oneself and hear one’s voice on tapes and videos. But I understand that videos and pictures are a good way to reach some people. I am reminded of the fact that in Luke 5:3 Jesus got into Simon’s boat and pushed away from the shore a little so that He could teach from that boat. Though this had not been done before, it gave all the people on the banks of the shore an opportunity to hear His words.
As a minister, this story from Luke 5:3 reminds me that I need to push out from my comfort zones as I look to share God’s word. I need to be willing to try some things that I have never tried before and I may need to be willing to try some things again. I need to let the Lord lead me and guide and help me share His word so that more people may have an opportunity to know and experience His love and His grace.
Posted in Be Flexible, Christianity, Church, discovering spiritual gifts, faith, God Still Speaks, Luke 5:3
Tagged Christianity, Church, faith, Get in the boat, Get out of your comfort zone, God, inspirational, Luke 5:3, Matthew 5:16, ministry work, People of the Light, religion, sharing your faith
In our Wednesday night Bible Study we have been looking at the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5. This past week verse 9 really resonated with me. Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” This verse comes in a section where Christ is letting His followers know that they should treat others with gentleness, kindness and mercy. He says His followers should seek to bring about peace. They should demonstrate His love in all they do and seek to overcome evil with good. As a result, others will see their actions and behaviors and “…they shall be called sons of God.”
Christ goes on to say in verse 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.” I love the exhortation and the expectation that the Lord gives to those who follow Him. We are to act in such a way that people know that we belong to Him and that He has made an impact on how we live and how we love.
Posted in Being Blessed, Blessed are the peacemakers, Christianity, Church, doing the right thing, faith, Let Your Light Shine, Loving Others, Matthew 5:9
Tagged Blessed are the peacemakers, Christianity, Church, doing the right thing, faith, Glorify your Father, inspirational, Matthew 5:16, Matthew 5:9, religion
Our church started a new ministry on Thursday this week. We had a gospel sing-a-long at an assisted living center not far from our church. We had a great time singing, praying together and visiting with the residents who live there. One man who I met had a beautiful necklace with an eagle pendant. We had a great conversation about the places he has lived, the son who gave him that necklace and how much that necklace means to him. His necklace reminded me of one of my wife Marta’s favorite verses, Isaiah 40:30 which reads
Isa 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.”
It is one of my favorite verses too. It reminds me that the Lord who never tires or grows weary is always ready to strengthen to me…and to strengthen you! I love that promise from our God. I was able to see that promise in action on Thursday. As we gathered together to sing praises, people began to smile, they were energized and they became strengthened by the presence and the love of our Lord. It was a blessing to be there. I hope that you get a chance to worship and praise the Lord this week. I pray that you will be strengthened and blessed by His love.
Posted in Being Blessed, Christianity, Church, faith, God's Strength, Isaiah 40:30, religion
Tagged Christianity, Church, faith, God's Strength, Isaiah 40:30, ministry work, never forsaken, New Strength, Patience
I heard that there is a cold front coming so I took the dogs on a walk earlier than usual today. Although the weather was still pleasant, I could tell by the dark clouds on the horizon that this time the meteorologist was right on. If we wanted to avoid the cold and potential rain, we needed to go around the block now. Much to the delight of our two weenie dogs, I gathered up the leashes, put the leashes on the pups and away we went. Not long after we finished our walk, the cold front hit and I was glad that we were nice and warm inside. And I was glad find that we made “the most of the opportunity.” As I thought about that phrase, I was reminded of Paul’s usage of that phrase in Colossians 4. Paul encourages Christians, saying
Col 4:5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Paul, who was in prison, had just asked the church to pray for him to have more opportunities to share the gospel. Paul wanted the church to make the most of their opportunities as well. Paul wanted the church to show and to share the love of Christ in their daily lives as they interacted with others – through their words and their deeds. I love that thought. As followers of Christ, we should conduct ourselves with wisdom and our speech should always be seasoned with His grace. We should make the most of each opportunity to show and share His love.
Posted in ambassadors, Be Prepared, Christianity, Church, faith, Paul in Prison, seasoned with grace, seasoned with salt, Sharing God's Love, Sharing the Word, Walk the Dog, witnessing
Tagged Christianity, Church, Colossians 4:5-6, faith, God, inspirational, religion, seasoned with grace, seasoned with salt, Sharing God's Love, sharing your faith, Walking the dogs, Witnessing
I had a question on my mind last week that I had been praying about for several days. I was wanting some clarity and confirmation on something. At the end of the week I received a letter from someone I had not heard from in a while. He provided me with some words of encouragement and then wrote from his heart about some things God had placed on his mind. It wasn’t a long letter but it encouraged me greatly. God used the words from my friend to provide me with some of the clarity and confirmation I had been praying for. God is so good! I am so glad my friend took the time to write to me and I am so glad that God used his letter to minister to me. It is good to have the kind of friends who will encourage you and support you. It is good to be that kind of friend as well. It is something that God asks us to do. Paul said it like this in 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
1 Thess 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
I hope that you have a good week, a blessed week. I hope and I pray that God will give you clarity and confirmation on the things that may be on your heart. I hope and I pray that you will find your life full of friends who encourage and strengthen you.
Posted in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Christianity, Church, encouraging others, faith, God, God Answers Prayer, good friends
Tagged 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Christianity, don't give up, faith, God, God Answers Prayer, good friends, inspirational, ministry work, prayer, religion