It was not an unusual day – in fact, it was like most others. My 3×5 card list of things to do was long and pushed me hard and fast. I tried to prioritize but just as one thing was crossed off something else pushed itself to the top of the list.
The departure time on my next flight was now an hour later than scheduled. I made my way to one of the little restaurants for a quick bite. Sitting there alone, I became acutely conscious of the people around me. A cell phone pinged, and a waitress nervously looked around and stepped around the corner to take the call. When she came back, a relieved smile was on her face. As she poured my coffee I inquired, “Good news?” She said, “Yes, ma’am. . . really good news. My son won’t have to have surgery after all!” She went on to tell me how her son had fallen playing on the playground at school and broken his arm. The phone call was from the doctor’s office. Continue reading “Unto Him”
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).
Real knowing is when the facts have been brought down to and incorporated in the experience level of living. This scriptural truth can at times be so comforting and other times so frustrating. It will help us to notice that between the “all thins” and “the good” is the indication of the passage of time. During this passage of time, “God works.” This action moves toward an objective of completion, “together.” This calls for the power of positive faith and trust that can sustain us in a waiting period. Continue reading “Trust the Working”
One writer defined “the spirit of poverty” as a “constant inability to focus on God’s ability and abundance; our faith being limited by our own background and status.” Since more of us than not have come from varying degrees of meager backgrounds, this may well be something for all of us to ponder. This spirit of poverty can cause us to view God as on our own level, restricted to our own limitations. It can affect our faith, depress our spirit, dampen our enthusiasm, and handicap our future. Continue reading “The Spirit of Poverty”
It was one of “those” days. I was sick, nearly dropping in my tracks with a bad cold. We were on a tight schedule. The weekend had been over-crowded and I had left my Bible with the notes for an upcoming conference locked in the church with no way of retrieving them before we had to leave the motel at 6:45 am the next morning. All this combined with a nagging apprehension of several coming responsibilities made me very vulnerable to the ever-lurking enemy of fear. Once my armor was cracked, he slipped into my mind and a good case of the “what if’s” set in. Continue reading “The Prescription”
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” –Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, KJV
Between the two extremities of a time to be born and a time die there is a lot of living, learning, loving, losing, being, and becoming. Life is made up of seasons, spiritual and emotional seasons as real and opposing as the budding springs and the bleak winters of nature. In the natural world the two preferred seasons – the “perfect” seasons – are spring and autumn. Both are bright with exciting color and expectancy. Absent are extremities. Everything is “just right.” But God broke into these “just right” seasons with the scorching heat of summer and the bone-chilling cold winds of winter. The extremities, the positives and the negatives, temper God’s creation. Continue reading “Sensitive to Seasons”
Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with the negative side of a truth we almost forget the possibility of the positive. A glass may be half empty – or is it half full?
The dreaded truth of reaping what we sow often stirs our minds to nothing but negative thoughts. But the same law of sowing and reaping is true in a positive sense. For example: If you withhold judgment and condemnation and sow a good crop of forgiveness, you will reap a good harvest (Luke 6:37-38).
What do you do about those bad seeds you have already deposited in life? We know that eternal consequences can be changed, but often earthly consequences cannot. This can be a fearful outlook. An old farmer once sat in a class I was teaching when this subject was being discussed. Continue reading “Rotate the Crop”
Where is the line between a self-centered lifestyle and a self-giving one? Jesus taught, “If they take your coat in court, give them your cloak also. If they compel you to go the extent of one mile, go two. Give to those who ask and don’t ignore that that would borrow” (Matthew 5:40-42). The world is full of people who would abuse a disciplined Christian sincerely trying to live this to the letter. Continue reading “Plus or Plush”
Someone asks, “How are you doing?” Convinced they don’t really want to know the truth, we say, “Fine!” or “Fabulous!” or “Great!”
These expressions concerning our circumstances, events or feelings are sometimes somewhat true. Sometimes they are spoken in an almost desperate attempt at speaking faith. Sometimes, seeking acceptance and approval, we mask up and hide our vulnerable selves and tell the modified truth. Continue reading “Honesty”
It has been observed that there are at least 365 “fear not” scriptures in the Bible. One would have been enough, should have been enough. However, He said it to us over and over again hoping that in whatever circumstance of life we find ourselves, we would hear and know the “fear not” falling from His voice over us.
Fear is a common experience for all of us. It has a paralyzing effect on creativity, sensitivity, and accomplishment. The prophet Elijah had seen prophets slain, fire fall, and had prayed down a storm. Yet, when fear took dominion of his inner kingdom, he panicked, became depressed, went into seclusion, lost control of his thinking and became defensive in his praying. Fear resulted in His misdirection. Continue reading “Fear Not”
I was exhausted in every way. For days my time had been so fragmented, the demands almost more than I could meet. My time of private devotion to spiritual matters had been affected by a divided mind. For this, guilt was taking its toll. But faithfulness is always a winner. As usual, I went into my study early that morning. Mentally harassed, soul hungry, emotions disturbed, spiritually desperate, physically tired but willfully determined, I reached for my Bible and the comfort and consolation of David’s Psalms. Continue reading “Faithfulness Wins”