Friday, November 30, 2007

Character Counts

I was just thinking about...

Some years ago, a popular program on television was - "To Tell The Truth"! Three contestants attempted to confuse and stump a panel in terms of an a position they held or an accomplishment they had achieved. Only one contestant was bound to tell the truth. After the panel had made their assessments and cast their vote, the host would say: "Will the real ____, please stand up!" We are well past the point where this needs to be the approach with political aspirants, as well as other people within our society. Integrity has been sacrificed on the altar of ambition and the position sought.

We don't often get to know who a person really is, nor do we get enough information to be able to discern what a person believes. In a current Book Review of a tome entitled: Habitudes: Images that Form Leadership Habits & Attitudes by Tim Elmore, this observation is made, "The iceberg is a great picture of leadership because so much of our influence comes from qualities we can't see on the outside. It's stuff below the surface. I estimate 90% of our leadership is made up from our character."

Candidates vacillate in their responses because they are trying to appeal to as many people as they can - just so they can win and hold an office. The principle of truth is clearly enunciated in Proverbs 12:17,
"Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit." And Proverbs 23:23 states, "Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding." This is saying to us simply that we should value and cherish the truth. We should be unwilling to sacrifice or compromise the truth at any time or for any reason. There needs to be a way to challenge a person or candidate to Tell The Truth.

Cynicism continues to increase when one hears a former President once again parsing words and engaged in re-writing history in order to project a position that is palatable to a greater cross-section of people. Why is he doing this? He is hoping to solidify a position and gain votes so his wife can win in a caucus or primary. The hope is that people will respond like sheep and be easily led. But - one should remember that being a sheep has inherent risks. Sheep are just as easily led to the slaughter as they are to the pasture.

Jesus Christ was making a spiritual appeal when he stated in John 8:32, "and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." That same truth has political and societal application. Truth should be cherished and promoted in the discourse with people. Tim Elmore makes a very interesting comment in the aforementioned book. He states, "People are either thermometers or thermostats. They will merely reflect the climate around them, or they will set it. Leaders develop values and principles to live by and set the tone for others."

This is where we find ourselves today - desiring and searching for truth while being fed interpretations and parsing of details and facts to create a certain image and climate. We owe it to ourselves and the generations that follow to be champions of the truth, and only the truth. Do not sacrifice or compromise it ever.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fractured Foundations

I was just thinking about - - -

Jesus gave warning about Foundations and their importance in The Sermon on the Mount. He indicates that the foolish man fails to calculate the risk, danger and folly in erecting a building on the shifting sand. By the same token, he speaks of the wise man who minimizes the risk and danger factors by wisely choosing a rock - a solid foundation. The point is obvious - there will be tests and winds of adversity; there will be storms and waves that will pound upon one's structure. How it survives all of this depends on the Foundation.
Some Hymn writers captured the significance of this in terms of the Holy Scriptures....
  • How Firm A Foundation, Ye Saints of the Lord - Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word
  • The Bible Stands Like A Rock Undaunted - 'mid the raging storms of time
A friend shared these thoughts about The Bible - - -

Think of it Carefully; Study It Prayerfully!
Deep In Your Heart Let Its Oracles Dwell!

Ponder Its Mystery;
Slight Not Its History.
For None Ever Loved It Too Fondly or Well!

We need to exercise great care in terms of HOW we handle the Word of God. It IS The Only Infallible Rule for Faith and Practice. Plenary Verbal Inspiration in simple terms it means: (a) The Bible In Its entirety, (b) Every Word of it, (c) is God-Breathed - it has been given life and vibrancy. Hebrews 4 states: The Word is Living and Powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword..." Paul wrote to Timothy and stated: All Scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness. The Bible tells us what we need to know about God and what duties God requires of us.
When political candidates take the freedom to parse the Holy Scriptures and to state to millions of people that they believe parts of it are allegorical, we have reason to be concerned. How can one place his/her hand on The Holy Bible and take the oath of office stating - "so help me God" - while at the same time parsing the very Book that was visible so we would have confidence in them as they lead this nation. Whatever happened to our Foundations? Whatever happened to Integrity?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back To Basics

I was just thinking about...

LIFE can become very complex, so much so that we miss the Beauty of Simplicity. A friend sent me the following reminder of the need to return to the Basics (Original Source Unknown)...

Three things in life that, once gone, never come back -
1. Time 2. Words 3. Opportunity

Three things in life that can destroy a person -

1. Anger 2. Pride 3. Unforgiveness

Three things in life that you should never lose-

1. Hope 2. Peace 3. Honesty

Three things in life that are most valuable -

1. Love 2. Family &Friends 3. Kindness

Three things in life that are never certain -
1. Fortune 2. Success 3. Dreams

Three things that make a person -
1. Commitment 2. Sincerity 3. Hard work

Three things that are truly constant -

Father... Son... Holy Spirit

I ask the Lord to bless you, as I pray for you today;
to guide you and protect you, as you go along your way.
God's love is always with you,
God's promises are true.
And when you give God all your cares,

you know God will see you through.

I know I will be well-served by reminding myself of these basics. I can get so many of my plans going that I can almost squeeze out God's Plan for me. I can get so involved in the details that I can cause myself to miss out on the Blessing God wants me to enjoy and acknowledge.

Steve Brown of Key Life Ministry closes most of what he writes with three words: "Think About It!" That's good advice for me - to - "Think About It" and then to Act Upon It!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pain Hurts

I was just thinking about - - -

THANKSGIVING DAY - - - And how different ones will observe it. I spoke to a Clerk at a local store and she will have to work most of the day. Others will be hunting... Others will still be traveling...

But I think of those for whom this is just another day of PAIN...
  • The PAIN of Loneliness
  • The PAIN of Sorrow
  • The PAIN of a Persistent Malady
  • The PAIN of Disability
  • The PAIN of Depression and Despair
  • The PAIN of Rejection, etc.
I wonder about two passages in Scripture...
Psalm 103 states: "He heals all our diseases..."
II Corinthians 12:7 - " keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me..."

I wonder what Paul's thorn in the flesh was...
  • Could it have been Loneliness
  • Could it have the Lack of a Life Companion
  • Could it have been Physical Discomforts from all the Beatings He received
  • Could it have been Reciprocal Injury from the Shipwrecks he endured...
There have been several speculations regarding Paul's "thorn in the flesh"... Some allow he may have been suffering from Malaria; others from Poor Eyesight; and some Aches and Pains due to broken bones suffered while being beaten and their improper mending...

Whatever it was - it was persistent and had been an object of his prayers... And for the reason Paul stated - "to keep me from exalting myself..." - the Lord saw fit to leave his prayer for healing unanswered. The Lord did indicate to him, "My GRACE is sufficient for you, for My Strength is
perfected in your weakness." Rather than being bitter, Paul accepted the Lord's purpose for him: "Most gladly, I will rather boast in my weaknesses (infirmities), so that the Power of Christ may dwell in me..." It's not easy! I have seen people gnarled and limited due to arthritis (and other painful maladies). Their activities have been greatly limited by their situation and circumstance. Sometimes, surgery is not THE remedy and one must continue with the ebb and flow of their lives - with the pain and discomfort and limitation.

I hope the words of Paul are my persuasion and motivation: "I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong..." This is not the easiest road to travel but it is the safest. To know that the power of Christ is what is keeping me functional is a tremendous confidence. It literally gets me to the place where I should be all of the time - "Not I - but - Christ"!!

I love the words of Deuteronomy 33:25 - "...As thy days, so shall thy strength be..." With Christ as the source of strength and power, I may not get to my destination as quickly as I would dictate and desire - but - I get there in His good time - and that is usually at just the right time. Oh, for the contentment to be where He wants me to be and doing what He wants me to do!

My Pain Hurts! Christ's Strength and Power Helps!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wonderfully Made

I was just thinking about...

Several years ago, in the 1970s, there was a Poster that stated: "God Don't Make No Junk." In her Auto-Biography, Ethel Waters stated: "I know I'm somebody 'Cause God don't make no junk." I somewhat suspect that she may have had a couple of Scriptures in mind - (a) Jeremiah 1:5 - "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." and (b) Psalm 139:13-14, "For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my Mother's womb. I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.

As I reflect upon the thought: "God Don't Make No Junk", I am reminded of a f
ew words in Rick Warren's Book entitled, The Purpose Driven Life. Chapter Two is entitled, "You Are Not An Accident." He goes on to say: "God had a plan in creating you. It doesn't matter whether your parents were good, bad, or indifferent. God knew that those two individuals possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom "YOU" He had in mind...While there are illegitimate parents, there are no illegitimate children...they are not unplanned by God...there is a God Who made "YOU" for a reason, and your life has profound meaning..."

These words have been helpful to me and to countless others. Even though I may have at one time seemed aimless and with no plans or prospects - God has always been in control. He was the one watching over, guarding and shaping, directing my footsteps - to make me what He wanted me to be, and getting me to where He wanted me to go. As I reflect back over the years, I am continually amazed at how the Lord intervened in my life and enabled me in some small way to serve Him.

John W. Peterson wrote a Hymn many years ago that contains a beautiful summary of God's direction of one's life. Contemplating Heaven, the second verse is - -

If God should let me there review, The winding paths of earth I knew,
It would be proven clear and true JESUS LED ME ALL THE WAY .
And the Refrain - - -
Jesus led me all the way , Led me step by step each day ;
I will tell the saints and angels As I lay my burdens down ,

It is always sad to see those who have lost their way because of moral failure, rejection by man, clinical depression, etc. I hope I never forget to implement Hebrews 12:2, "Keep on looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith..." And, the words of Psalm 37, "Fret not...Delight yourself in the Lord...Trust in Him...Rest in Him..."

God Don't Make No Junk!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1: 5

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Incomprehensible and Incredible

I was just thinking about...
In recent Posts, the words Impossible...Immeasurable...and...Inexpressible have been on our plate as we contemplate Thanksgiving and our Reasons For Being Thankful.
As one thinks about the Triune God and all of what God has done and is doing for us, we cannot even begin to understand Why He Should Love Us So. Robert Harkness raised that thought and question when he wrote the words to a Hymn with that title...
Love sent my savior to die in my stead; Why should He love me so?
Meekly to Calvary's cross He was led; Why should He love me so?

Nails pierced His hands and His feet for my sin; Why should He love me so?
He suffered sore my salvation to win; Why should He love me so?

O how He agonized there in my place; Why should He love me so?
Nothing withholding my sin to efface; Why should He love me so?

When Paul thought about God and His Love and His Provision, he wrote in Romans 11:33-34 (NLT)...
Oh, what a wonderful God we have!
How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge!
How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods!
For who can know what the Lord is thinking?

The word - INCREDIBLE - means: "so extraordinary as to seem impossible"! It takes faith as small as a mustard seed to believe in our Great God and to Be Thankful To Him! What A Mighty God We Know and have the privilege to Serve with Gladness.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Immeasurable and Inexpressible

I was just thinking about....

In just a few days, we will celebrate a National Holiday known as Thanksgiving Day. Commercially, Stores and Malls will be gearing up for the big push of sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is so easy for us to get caught up in the Commercial emphases and forget the Religious Purpose and Implication of this time of year. We will plan and prepare large meals, and have a list for purchasing gifts for family, friends, and others. But in all of the planning and preparation, whatever happened to Giving Thanks to God for His faithfulness, care, and blessing!

There are some intriguing words in Scripture that need to be modeled and expressed by us. One, is the Confidence and Reality that nothing - absolutely nothing - is impossible with God. This necessitates our having faith and confidence in God alone because, without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Two additional words that strike me as being of utmost importance are: Immeasurable and Inexpressible. When we think of our God being able to do "immeasurably more that we can ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20), we should be filled with gratitude. And, we should remember that nothing within the will of God for us is outside of the power of God to accomplish for us. I think of the words of Jesus recorded in Luke 6:38, "Give, and in will be given to you, GOOD MEASURE, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be in your lap. For with the measure you uses it will be measured back to you."
This is a description of the IMMEASURABLE Blessing God is ready and willing to give to us as we respond to Him. Another idea of this is stated in Malachi 3:10-12...
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.
And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts,
if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and
pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil,
and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.
Then all nations will call you blessed,
for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

The other word is Inexpressible. If we used all of the words available to us in our national language, we would exhaust the adjectives and superlatives in terms of expressing Thanksgiving to our God. I think Peter captured this idea when he shared with us in I Peter 1:8, "...and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you GREATLY REJOICE with JOY INEXPRESSIBLE and full of glory." That is how we should approach The Lord and reflect upon His goodness and His provision.

May each of us Be Thankful to the Lord (1) Who is able to do the Impossible, (2) Who is able to do Immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, and (3) Who allows us to be filled with Joy Inexpressible because of His Great Love for us!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Possibilities In Impossible Situations

I was just thinking about...

Robert F. Kennedy stated during a political campaign: "The difficult we do immediately - The Impossible takes a little longer. About that same time, Ann Kiemel wrote her book: "I Love The Word Impossible."

Did these people not understand that when we use the word "Impossible" we are stating there is no further action one can take or further direction one can go? The simple definition of the word states: Impossible means:"Incapable of having existence or of occurring...not capable of being accomplished."

Some things appear to be more Impossible than others, despite the efforts of some to minimize the difficult, challenging and threatening!
Richard Bullock was quoted on a Banner Statement that read: "Impossible is just a big word
thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing." Is he correct? Should his approach be embraced? Has his theory been tested and proven to be correct? Should we allow ourselves the luxury of absenting the "power of God" from one's life-experiences, and factoring into our lives The God Who never fails?

From this Pilgrim's Perspective, there are some absolutes attached to the consideration of what is or isn't Impossible...
  • Luke 1:37 - For nothing will be Impossible with God...
  • Hebrews 6:18 - It is Impossible for God to lie...
  • Hebrews 11:6 - Without Faith, it is Impossible to please God...
The underlying truth and principle is: The things that are Impossible for man are Possible with God. The only limitation is what I place upon God's willingness and readiness to act in my behalf in ways that are beyond anything I can ask or imagine, according to the power that works within me (Ephesians 3:20).

I am reminded of the song of Don Quixote in The Man of LaMancha:
To dream ... the impossible dream ...To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ...
This is my quest, to follow that star ...
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ...

My purpose must be much different and much higher. Despair and Hopelessness should no longer be part of either my nature or awareness. There is a great truth in Zephaniah 3:15 that I should embrace and remember: "The LORD is righteous...He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail." I need to maintain my confidence in the Lord because He alone can do the Impossible - and - He does not fail!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

I was just thinking...

War is a hideous and treacherous matter. Many have been killed and maimed as a result of military ambitions, uprisings and confrontations. The Military and Civilian population have both faced the consequence of nations and movements in conflict with each other.

In Matthew 24:6-7, Jesus indicated this will be our expectation and reality -

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.
See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place,
but the end is not yet.
For nation will rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom,
and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

For those of us born after 1940, the USA has been engaged in 7 different conflicts ranging from World War II to the present War In Iraq. The approximate Military Death Toll covering those 67 years is 530,000 deaths, plus wounded and maimed. As dreadful as this statistic is, in perspective, the military fatalities of the four year Civil War total more than 623,000. In terms of all war we can easily conclude - what a tragedy, waste of human resource, and object lesson of ambitions gone awry.

Over the years, we have heard many patriotic songs written and sung during wartime, and about our nation. A more recent one that resonates with many is written by Lee Greenwood and contains these words:

And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave the right to me...
...there ain't no doubt I love this land - God Bless the U.S.A.

As we remember and memorialize those who have sacrificed their lives in defense of liberty and freedom, may we be found among those who acknowledge the Lord in all areas of our lives. Let us Thank Him for His Care and Provision and Blessing upon us!
We should always remember the Biblical standard for a nation that has received the favor and blessing of God upon it. We are reminded in Proverbs 14:34 -

Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a reproach (disgrace) to any people

I hope I can and will live more responsibly both as a child of God, and a citizen of this nation. Each of us must be salt and light, and do as much good as we can for as long as we can.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Peaks and Valleys - What Do We See From Those Vantage Points?

I was just thinking about - - -

The challenge of the Mountain Peaks can produce strength, stamina, exhilaration - a sense of achievement. But the one who has never tried and never faced the challenge will never know the thrill of an expectation fulfilled and a reality attained.

One of the reasons for being at the Peak is the breath-taking view of a broad horizon. One can behold and admire the handiwork of God and the beauty of His Creation. However, there is a positive reason for descending to the Valley and for comprehending a view in the Valley. I am reminded of the words in Joel 3:14.
Multitudes, Multitudes, in the Valley of Decision!
For the Day of the Lord is near in the Valley of Decision.

It is in the Valley where great need is present and represented. Confusion, despair and misdirection abound. Hopelessness and helplessness is seen everywhere. Fear and apprehension fill many souls and hearts. Is there anyone concerned and caring enough for those trapped in the quagmire of the Valley? This also reminds me of an account recorded in Mark 4:36...
Now when they had left the multitude,
they took Him (Jesus) along in the boat as He was.
And other little boats were also with Him.

The fascinating thing to me is that when the storm breaks out during the night and the Disciples, who had tried everything they knew to do, awaken Jesus and ask Him: "Don't You care that we are perishing?" Their vantage point and expressed concern was flawed by their focus and concern for their own deliverance and safety. The "other little boats" were in greater peril and needed just as much help. When Jesus rebuked the Disciples for their diminished faith, He could have just as well rebuked them for their failure to be concerned for the "other little boats"!

I wonder about Faith and Vision today - what do we Believe, and what do we Envision both about and for the Kingdom... Let us not forget the "other little boats" and our commitment to try and do what we can for them... Theodore Roosevelt's words about THE MAN IN THE ARENA still have impact and value for us today...

  • "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Decisions - - To Go? - - To Stop?

I was just thinking about. . .

Decisions seem easy for some people - but - they are always difficult for me. My great apprehension is in making a decision that is based on my will and preference rather than on God's will and His placement.

It would be so much easier if the wheels came off of the wagon or some other obvious indication was at hand. Just a clear indication that I have gone as far as I can and should proceed no further. Maybe if my beast of burden would speak to me in a way similar to Balaam's experience. Maybe then I would be able to reach a suitable decision.

I try to remind myself of the statement in Colossians 4:12 (NLT) in terms of the prayer offered by Epaphras..."He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident of the whole will of God." I'm thankful for those who pray for me but I do miss some who have gone on to be with the Lord - people who had made a commitment to pray for me frequently, if not every day! I miss them being around but am thrilled they are in the presence of the Lord...

I'm thankful for the strength the Lord gives for each new day. I feel very invigorated by Him and am very desirous of "keeping on keeping on"! I just never want to impose myself on a group or situation where I either limit or hinder the progress and growth of the group, individual, church or situation. Sometimes - others can better make that determination than I. I'm too idealistic and have high expectations and believe if the goal is not being attained - then - I have failed! What a dilemma! What a difficult decision!

Monday, November 5, 2007

An Extra Hour - Who Benefits...

I was just thinking about...

Daylight Savings Time ended without so much as a whimper... Other than some people being "early" to Church (for a change), it mostly went unnoticed... The news this morning indicates the time-change is not best for school children. There is a noticeable increase in sluggishness and grouchiness until their bodies adjust...

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have maintained The Doomsday Clock. We read: " When it was introduced in 1947, it was set for seven minutes to midnight. Since that day, its minute hand has wandered around on the upper-left quarter of the clock face, inching closer to 12:00 when the threat of nuclear war grows, and crawling away as the risk fades. It has been as close as two minutes to midnight in 1953, and as far as seventeen minutes in 1991. If its caretakers ever set it for midnight, it will probably be the last thing they ever do..."

The Doomsday Clock webpage concludes: "Today it stands at seven minutes to the hour. Whenever you're curious how near humanity is to destroying itself, you can check the status on the Doomsday Clock homepage. It's good to stay abreast of this sort of thing so you can plan your schedule around it."

The words "so you can plan your schedule around it" are almost a "tongue in cheek" statement. If one has any knowledge of the Bible, there should be the realization that Time and Events are controlled by Almighty God and will transpire on His Schedule and not ours. I am reminded of the words in II Corinthians 6:1 through 3...

...we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says, In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.
Behold, now is the favorable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
We put no obstacle in anyone's way,
so that no fault may be found with our ministry....

We should be well-acquainted with the reality that we are all on God's schedule and there is an appointed time when physical death will occur. A newer translation - The Message - suggests this reading for Hebrews 9:27-28...

Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences.
Christ's death was also a one-time event,
but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever.
And so, when he next appears,
the outcome for those eager to greet him is,
precisely, salvation.

The key consideration is whether or not you are prepared for the unfolding of God's schedule. And - are you among those who are "eager to greet him". The outcome for those eager ones is "...precisely, salvation"!

I hope you're ready for God's perfect timing for your life!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My Plans and God's Re-Direction

I was just thinking. . .

I've always believed it is vital to know where one is going and how one plans to get there. Men have the "reputation" (we are generally maligned in this regard) of being willing to drive 10 miles out of the way rather than (a) stop and ask for directions, or (b) admit I should have listened to my wife 30 minutes sooner. Ouch! Hmmmmm!

Anyway - it seems as though the management of one's life-plan - and - fitting one's life into God's plan for it can meet with the same reluctance and resistance. We seem to think - "Okay, God! Here's MY plan - make it work!"

It reminds me of a Man With A Plan Leaving Home Depot. He had "his plan" but he also had some miscalculation getting from Place A to Place B...

I am so grateful for the liberating words of hope and encouragement in Jeremiah 29:11 through 13 (NLT)...

For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD.
They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope.
In those days when you pray,
I will listen. If you look for me in earnest,
you will find me when you seek me.

I have a friend who has sought the Lord in terms of where HE wants this friend and his family to serve. This Friend's "Plan A" met with a roadblock. Plan B and C could have worked - but - God seems to have "Plan D" for this friend. You might be helped by reading part of the "re-direction" possibility at:

I hope I always have the good sense to Fit My Life Into God's Plan For Me! Have a fulfilled day and "Keep on looking to Jesus - The Author and Finisher of our Faith!"

Friday, November 2, 2007

Only One Life To Live

I was just thinking...

In the current issue of Imprimis (Published By Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI, there is an interview with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas regarding his recently published book: My Grandfather's Son.

Clarence Thomas says of his Grandfather, " young people, there came a time when we rejected him. But he told us the truth about LIFE."

The Truth About LIFE...

The Bible speaks of life expectancy in Psalm 90:10 (ESV)-
"The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away."

As a child, I recall a motto that hung on our kitchen wall:
Only one life, 'Twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ will last.

That causes me to think (and remember)...
  • John said of Jesus: In Him was LIFE... (John 1)
  • Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the LIFE... (John 14)
  • Jesus said: I have come that they might have ABUNDANT LIFE... (John 10)
  • Paul said: I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I LIVE... (Galatians 2)
I am so thankful for new LIFE in Christ! I am thankful for each new day - all 24 hours; 1,440 minutes; 86,400 seconds...

I hope I'm a good steward of that time and that I can give a good accounting for my use of it - and perhaps one day, I can hear my Savior, Lord and King say: "Well done, good and faithful servant..."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Home Is Where The Heart Is

I was just thinking....

Ones view of life and death is so vital. We cling to life as though it was all there is - but - ones soul lives forever. Where one spends eternity is of the utmost importance. I had a friend who would often share in his evangelism efforts: "Eternity is a long time to spend in the wrong place."

The words Written by Don Wyrtzen were sung so appropriately during the Funeral Service for Dr. D. James Kennedy...

When engulfed by the terror Of tempestuous sea
Unknown waves before you roll
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity
Though fear and conflict seize your soul.

But just think of stepping on shore And finding it heaven
Of touching a hand and finding it God's
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial
Of waking up in glory and finding it home.

When surrounded by the blackness Of the darkest night
O how lonely death can be
At the end of this long tunnel Is a shining light
For death is swallowed up in victory.

I hope these words have special meaning and reality for you. Eternity is a long time for you to spend it in the wrong place.

In Everything

I was just thinking...

Thanksgiving Day will soon be upon us. However, the Giving Of Thanks should always be part of our Daily Activity.

I appreciate the Testimony in Song penned by Andrae Crouch shortly after his conversion. The first stanza asks:

How can I say thanks For the things You have done for me,
Things so undeserved, Yet You gave to prove Your love for me.
The voices of a million angels Could not express my gratitude.
All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.
To God Be The Glory...

There's an interesting context in I Thessalonians 5:16 through 19...
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks;
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit....

Is there a possibility that one can "Quench The Spirit" when there is a failure to Give Thanks In Everything? I think that's part of the context and greater care should be given in this regard.

I hope I retain this perspective and focus so that my "in everything" will always be part of my Giving Thanks Always!