Get Up Close

I was in a meeting the other day that was taking place in a large conference room.  Someone stepped forward to speak and they had a power point presentation that went along with their subject.  Each slide had a lot of things going on, so in order to be able to see all that was going on and to hear all that was being said, I moved closer to the front of the room.  I knew that if I was not closer physically, I would miss out.

I find that the same principle applies in a spiritual sense.  I know that there are a lot of things that the Lord is doing in this world, there are a lot of things He has to say.  So that I don’t miss out on all that He is doing and saying, I know I need to place myself close to Him.  For me, staying close to God happens best when I stay in His Word, in His Worship and in His Work.  The Bible tells us in the Gospel of John chapter one, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  If I want to stay close to God, I need to stay in His Word.  I also need to be involved in Worship.  We are told in Psalm 22:3 that God inhabits the praises of His people.  Our praise of the Lord elevates us and brings us into His Presence.  And last, but not least, we stay close to the Lord through His Work.  In Matthew 25 Jesus spoke of acts of service in His Name such as providing food to the hungry, drinks to the thirsty, clothes for the less fortunate and visiting those in prison.  And our Lord said in verse 40, “In as much as you have done these things to the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto Me.”

I pray that you will have a blessed week.  I pray that you will draw close to God and that you will not miss out on all that He is doing and wanting to say to you.  I trust that will happen as you make time this week to stay in His Word, in His Worship and in His Work.

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Posted in busy schedule, Christianity, Church, Draw close to God, faith, following Christ, inspirational, John 1:1, John 1:14, Matthew 25:40, Psalm 22:3 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lord, I’m Thankful

I was driving to work the other morning reflecting on all the reasons I have to be thankful.  The Lord has truly been good to me.  As I was counting my blessings and telling God thank you, I wrote this song.

Lord, I’m thankful
For the ways You’ve blessed me,
Lord, I’m thankful
For my friends and family,
So before I get too busy
Before I start my day,
I want to take the time
So that You can hear me say,
Lord, I’m thankful,
Yes, I’m thankful.

Lord, I’m thankful,
For all that You do,
Lord, I’m thankful
You’re faithful and You’re true
Though times aren’t always easy
The sun don’t shine every day
I know You’ll never leave me
You’re beside me all the way,
And, I’m thankful,
Yes, I’m thankful.

Lord, I’m thankful,
You gave Your life for me,
Lord, I’m thankful
You died to set me free,
You came and You found me,
When I had gone astray
Now Your grace and love surround me
So I just have to say
Lord, I’m thankful,
Yes, I’m thankful.

Posted in Being Blessed, Being Thankful, Christianity, God, God has blessed me, inspirational | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make a Choice

I saw a poster the other day that said, “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”  I like the sentiment expressed by that poster.  It reminded me of what the psalmist said it in Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

The kind of day we are going to have depends a lot on our mindset.  We have the power to choose how we will react and respond in the midst of every circumstance.  Each morning we have the power to choose between giving up or getting up and getting going.  Each morning we have the opportunity to set our mind on the Lord and seek His help and His direction.  The Lord doesn’t want us to give up.  He wants us to get up, get going and walk alongside of Him.  This is the day that He has made, He will equip us and empower us to do all that we need to do.  And that is a reason to rejoice.

Posted in can't go on, Choose to be happy, Don't give up, Don't stop, faith, Faith during hard times, God, God has a plan for you | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time to Grow

I spent some time visiting with a person the other day who is over 90 years old.  They were sharing about their life and all of the blessings they have received from God.  They spoke of family, friends and faith.  They even spoke about being blessed through difficult times.  They shared how these times caused them to grow in their faith and in their empathy, love and appreciation for others who are struggling in the midst of difficult times.  I was blessed by our conversation and appreciated the wisdom that was being shared.  Counting difficult times as a blessing reminded me of the perspective about trials spoken of in 1 Peter 1:6 – 7:

1 Peter 1:6   In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

It is true; our faith can grow during difficult times.  Difficult times can teach us to depend on God and to walk closer with the Lord than we ever have before.  Our faith can grow.  We can even grow in our ability to show compassion and empathy to others when they are in the midst of difficult times.  And certainly being kind, tenderhearted and compassionate toward others always results in praise and glory and honor to the Lord.

Posted in 1 Peter 1:6 - 7, Being Thankful, Christianity, Church, faith, Faith during hard times, God's Love, God's Strength, growing in faith | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working Together

I have seen a lot of huge ant hills in our neighborhood lately when we go walking.  I guess that after all the rain in the last month their former homes have been washed out.  This no doubt sends them scurrying and hurrying to rebuild a new home as soon as the rain stops while the soil is still damp and easy to move.  When I saw another new ant hill the other day I was reminded of the passage from Proverbs 6:6

“Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise…”   Prov 6:6

It is true.  We can learn a lot of about work from the ant.  Teamwork and timing are important factors in getting things done.  We can certainly get more done when we work together and when we make the most of our opportunities to solve problems that affect everyone.

Posted in Christianity, Church, faith, God's Standards, Proverbs 6:6, religion, Work Together | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walk by Faith

One of our lessons in church this week deals with the exhortation from 2 Corinthians 5:7 “…for we walk by faith, not by sight…”  In this passage one of Paul’s goals is to encourage the Church to live a life that demonstrates that we are seeking after the things of God and the things of our faith rather than the self-centered things of our flesh.  I had a conversation one time with someone who asked me how to do a better job of living by faith rather than by sight.  I told them of the story of a 7th grade science teacher who presented her class with a plastic glass which was half full of water and she asked the class to devise a way to get the air out of the glass.  A discussion ensued and the class came up with several ideas.  One suggested using some sort of vacuum pump to pull the air out of the plastic glass.  Others thought that perhaps the plastic glass should be shrunk or squeezed so that it could only accommodate the water that was presently in the glass.  When they ran out of ideas the science teacher walked over to the glass and she simply poured in more water until the glass overflowed.

And such it is with us.  Christians we have some heavenly things in our hearts, our minds and our lives.  And yet there are still some earthly things which remain.  How do we remove the earthly things?  We must pour in more heavenly things.  We must pour in more of the truth of God, the worship of God, and the love of God so that it will push out the earthly things and spill over and permeate all of our behaviors and relationships.  We are to walk by faith.  I know it may not always be easy.  But I also know that anything God asks us to do, He will help us to do.

I pray that you will have a blessed week.  I pray that you will experience God’s peace and God’s presence.  And I pray that you will walk by faith.

Posted in 2 Corinthians 5:7, Christianity, Church, doing the right thing, faith, God, God will help you, Trust in God | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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