Great is Thy Faithfulness

There is a wonderful hymn called “Great is Thy Faithfulness” which is a beautiful song to sing, to hear and to use to worship our God who is indeed great in His faithfulness. That song has been on my mind this week. It is based on a verse that comes from Lamentations chapter 3. In that passage Jeremiah the prophet is considering the difficult times he and the people of God are facing. He is tired, his spirit is downcast and he is feeling that an overwhelming task has been placed in front of him. Jeremiah is strengthened as he reflects on the nature of the God he serves. He says in Lamentations 3:21

Lam 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.

Jeremiah knows that the Lord is faithful. Jeremiah knows that God’s mercy and compassion will not fail. He knows that God will meet all of his needs. He understands that every morning begins a brand new day which gives him yet another opportunity to enjoy the fellowship and the love of God – no matter what circumstances he faces. Jeremiah’s reflections on God are right and true. They are the kind that people write songs about.

“Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; great is Thy Faithfulness Lord unto me.”

Posted in Being Thankful, can't go on, Christianity, Church, faith, God, Lamentations 3:22, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Volunteering and Helping Out

The past few days I have been working with some friends from work as we help with a St. Bernard Project to rebuild a home in the San Marcos area. The home was destroyed by one of the floods we experienced in the central Texas area during the last year. The St. Bernard Project is a non-profit organization established in March 2006 to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina within the St. Bernard Parish located in Southeast Louisiana. The organization has rebuilt over 800 homes nationwide, including 600 in New Orleans since it was founded by Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg. If you would like to learn more about their work or make a donation to their organization, check them out online or on their Facebook page.

This week I have been working on taping and floating drywall. Or at least I have been working at it. It is not as easy as our site leader Aaron makes it look, but thankfully, he is a patient man. We started our first day by sanding down and smoothing out some previous attempts at taping and floating by the prior group of volunteers on the scene. Our task was to smooth out the rough edges and any deep grooves or other blemishes and imperfections that had been left. Once the sanding and smoothing was done, it was our turn to apply some mud. After a few hours I felt like I had the technique down pretty well. I was finally getting more on the walls than on my shoes. The next day when I was back at the home, our assignment for the morning was to sand down the areas we did the day before and smooth them out and then apply another layer of mud. I took my sanding block and headed to the laundry room where I had been working the previous afternoon. No need for anybody else to pull a muscle by having to sand too hard I thought or get a crick in their neck by shaking their head when they saw the results of my “taping and floating” from the day before. But when I walked into the room, I was pleasantly surprised. The wall looked pretty good. I hardly saw any grooves or blemishes….until I opened the blinds on the window to let in more light. Oh my! Maybe I should have opened the blinds yesterday when I was applying the mud! This was going to take quite a bit of sanding.

As I was working on sanding the laundry room, one of the SBP team members came in and started helping me. She didn’t looked shocked at what she saw on that wall, she didn’t shake her head as she looked at all that needed to be fixed and she didn’t mutter any obscenities under her breath. She just started helping. That was probably the thing I have liked most about this project, the people with SBP and the folks that I work with. Everyone just wants to help. It is good to know that there are still so many around today who want to do just that. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.”

Yes, the people involved with the St. Bernard Project really want to work together to lift others up; they really want to help. They want to help families get back into their homes. They want to help communities. And they want to help others by extending the opportunity to join in and lend a hand. It’s been a good week. I look forward to volunteering again real soon. Until next time, stay strong in the faith.

Posted in Christianity, Church, doing the right thing, Ecclesiastes 4:9, faith, God, St. Bernard Project, Volunteer Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Praying For Others

I have various friends who are going through some difficult times right now. They could use some extra prayers. I know that when I have experienced tough seasons and difficult times, I have been strengthened by the prayers and kind words from my friends. In Ephesians chapter 6 as Paul closes out his teaching on spiritual warfare and “putting on the armor of God” he exhorts believers to pray for one another. In Ephesians 6:18 he says, “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” Paul knows that God hears and responds to our prayers. Paul knows that prayer can strengthen and encourage others. Paul knows that prayers lifted up to God make a difference. I know this too and I ask you to pray for my friends.

Posted in Christianity, Ephesians 6:18, faith, God, God's Grace, God's Peace, inspirational, Intercessory Prayer, prayer, Praying for Others, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Father’s Day 2016

I hope you enjoy a Happy Father’s Day. I know I will. Most of the family will be coming over after church for some hotdogs and hamburgers. I am looking forward to having a very good day. I do have to say though that my dad passed away almost ten years ago and I miss him, especially on days like today. I miss him on days when a big football game is on and it seems like the outcome is coming down to one play and in times past I could pick up the phone and call him and we could share that moment together. I miss him when I have some expression of his go through my mind, something like, “If you’re going to be a bear…be a grizzly” or “Yeah, it’s just a game…until you lose.” I miss him on days like today when the family is gathered together because he sure did love his grandkids and I sure would love for him to get to spend some time his great-grandkids. Yeah, sometimes I just miss him but I am comforted by the fact that he knew the Lord. And based on the promise of John 14:1-3 someday I will see my dad again.

Posted in Christianity, Church, faith, Fathers Day, in My Father's House, inspirational, John 14:1-3, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grieving Together

I was on vacation last week and the wife and I got to take some needed days off and go do some fishing at the coast.  We even were blessed to spend some time with the grandkids in the pool.  Although it was a very good week in that respect, I was disheartened by the tragic events that took place over the weekend.  There was the shooting in Orlando of singer Christina Grimmie and then the attack at the gay nightclub in Orlando leaving at least 50 dead and 50 wounded.  Closer to home, there were two individuals in the Austin area who drowned while swimming.  Words like tragic, senseless, and horrible do not even begin to convey or express the devastation created by the loss of these lives.  What is one to say to such things?  How is one to react?  How is one to reach out to those who are personally and intimately dealing with such loss?  There are no good words for such horrific circumstances.  God’s word instructs us that it is just best to simply “weep with those who weep.”  We are to be a caring presence for others in their time of need.  Times of tragedy are not a time for anyone to point fingers or push an agenda but rather are a time to pull people together, to comfort one another, and to “bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”

There will be time later to strategize and implement plans based on lessons learned; to try and take steps to prevent future tragedies.  But for now, let us take time to grieve, to comfort one another and to remember that life is precious.

Posted in Christianity, Christina Grimmie, Dealing with grief, faith, Galatians 6:2, God, God's Peace, Grieving Together, Praying for Others, religion, Romans 12:15, Shooting in Orlando, The Pulse, Weep with those who weep | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Firmly Rooted

I was driving through the neighborhood the other day and I saw a large tree that had been knocked over during a recent storm. The homeowner had already begun the task of cutting it into smaller pieces so that it could be removed from their yard. More than likely the roots weren’t very deep and when the rain soaked soil and high winds combined forces, the tree was no longer able to stand tall. It withstood several storms this spring but eventually it gave way during this most recent storm. The roots pulled loose and the tree fell over on its side, no longer standing tall, no longer the picture of beauty or provider of shade that it once was. That tree and the impact of all these spring storms we have been receiving reminded me of a verse from the Bible. In Colossians 2:6-7 Paul wrote to his friends in Colossae:

Col 2:6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Paul knew his friends would face difficult times, destructive forces and even deceptive teaching during their Christian walk. He wanted them to be deeply rooted in the teachings of Christ; he wanted them to be able to stand tall in their faith. The Church faces similar challenges today. There are storms that come on a regular basis. There are winds of deception and destructive forces that would seek to keep us individually and collectively from being built up in our faith, forces that would seek to topple us over like a tree knocked down by a powerful storm. If we want to stand tall in our faith, if we want the gospel to be seen and known as the thing of beauty that we know it to be, then we too must be firmly rooted in the instruction and encouragement of Christ. That is the only way we can be sure to stand tall in our faith at all times. That is the only way to withstand the storms and difficulties of life that will come our way.

Posted in Be Prepared, Christianity, Church, Colossians 2:6, faith, Firmly rooted, God, God's Word, inspirational, Know Christ, religion, Stand Tall | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Day 2016

Here is a song/poem I have been working on for Memorial Day. I am so grateful for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. May God bless their families and may He watch over and protect those who are serving now.

“21 Gun Salute”

You got a 21 gun salute from rifles, pointed at the sky,
Taps cut through the silence…as we came to tell you goodbye.
Now the flag’s already folded, flowers placed on your grave
I wish I knew how to thank you, for the sacrifice you gave.

You loved your life dearly, but you loved our country more,
You chose to serve her and defend her, in peacetime and in war.
And I don’t think you knew the price that you’d have to pay,
But I know it wouldn’t have changed your mind or the oath you took that day…

You got a 21 gun salute from rifles, pointed at the sky,
Taps cut through the silence…as we came to tell you goodbye.
Now the flag’s already folded, flowers placed on your grave
I wish I knew how to thank you, for the sacrifice you gave.

It seems like there’d be more, that we could do or say,
For ones who gave their life to protect the freedoms we have today;
But for now I’ll just say thank you, you gave all that you could give.
You laid down your life and fought – so we can freely live.

And you got a 21 gun salute from rifles, pointed at the sky,
Taps cut through the silence as we came to tell you goodbye.
Now the flag’s already folded, flowers laid on your grave
And I wish I could say thank you, for the sacrifice you gave.
Posted in inspirational, Memorial Day 2016, Poem, poetry, Some Gave All | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment