Gaining New Strength

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.

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Making the Most of Each Opportunity

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Words of Encouragement

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 , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing Older but Growing Stronger

The granddaughters came over to visit the other day while I was working out on my Total Gym.  Haley, who is 6, asked, “Papaw why don’t you just do pushups?”  Her older sister Avery who is 8 spoke up and answered for me, “He’s too old to do pushups.”  I thought it was pretty funny.  The truth is, I am getting older and pushups do aggravate one of my shoulders and put a strain on my lower back.  It’s true, I am slowing down.  I try to stay in shape but physically, I just can’t do the things I used to do.  When I think about growing older I am reminded of what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 17.

2 Corinthians 4:16  Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

I find that verse very comforting.  Even though my body may be getting weaker, the Lord can cause my spirit to grow stronger and stronger every day.  What a great promise we have from the Lord.  No matter what our age or physical condition, we can trust God to help us and strengthen us.  We can trust God to empower us and equip us to do the things that He has called us to do.  Paul said it like this in Philippians 1:6

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who started a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Phil 1:6

That’s a good promise from the Lord.  He’s given us a lot of good promises.  Not only will He complete the work He starts in us, not only will He help us to do the work He has called us to do, but He will leave us nor forsake us.  I love those promises.  I especially love the promise of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  That’s a good promise from the Lord.  I hope you have claimed that promise for yourself.

Posted in can't go on, Christianity, Don't stop, God has a plan for you, God's Strength, grandchildren, inspirational | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something Special

I went to get my haircut this morning and the lady who was cutting it asked me if I had anything special planned this weekend.  I told her that I did; we have some friends coming over Sunday after church. She and I then had a good discussion about church and how God directs our path.  It was truly an enjoyable conversation.  On the way home as I reflected on the conversation, I thought about her initial question and my response.  I considered it a special weekend because of the friends who are coming over for lunch after church.  But the truth is, even if we did not have friends coming over after church, we still have something special planned.  Sunday morning we will be headed to church.  I can relate to David’s words in Psalm 122:1

Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

This Sunday we will enjoy the fellowship, discipleship and worship of God.  What a blessing that is!  Yes, something special is planned for this weekend!  I hope that you have something special planned for this weekend.  But most of all, I hope that you know how much Christ loves you.

Posted in Being Blessed, Christianity, Church, God, in My Father's House, O Come All Ye Faithful | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love One Another

We took the dogs for a walk the other day and Lauren and the girls went with us.  I love going walking with Marta and the girls.  It provides a good opportunity to visit and just be together.  I took this picture of the girls holding hands while they walked with us.  I love the love they show for one another and for others.  Seeing the girls holding hands, walking and talking together reminded me of what the Apostle John said in 1 John 4:19

1 John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

It is good to demonstrate our love and care for others.  It is a reflection of the love of God which has been placed in our hearts.  I hope you know how much God loves you.  He loves you so much He sent His Son to be your Savior.  Oh how I hope you have experienced that love.  And I hope you show and reflect that love to others.

Posted in 1 John 4:19, Christianity, Church, God Loves Me, grandchildren, John 13:34, Love, love one another | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Given with Love

The other day the granddaughters came over for a little while and they colored and drew some pictures.  Haley, the youngest one who is six, colored a special picture for Marta and me and signed it “Love Haley.”  Our refrigerator is always adorned by Haley’s pictures and letters from Avery who is eight.  All of the pictures and letters always tell us how much they love us.  I always feel so blessed when we receive these special gifts.  I am so glad they have learned to express and demonstrate their love for the people they care about.  The Bible declares that God has done that very thing for us.  Paul said in Romans 5:8

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God has shown His love for all of us by sending His Son to be our Savior.  God offers the gifts of forgiveness and reconciliation to us through Christ because He cares so much for us and about us.  God loves us!  I hope you know how much He cares for you.

Posted in Being Blessed, Christianity, Church, God Loves Me, God's Love, good gifts, grandchildren | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment