Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Quote of the day

Quote of the day from an old friend-
“I spent a long time trying to come to grips with my doubts, when suddenly I realized I had better come to grips with what I believe. I have since moved from the agony of questions that I cannot answer to the reality of answers that I cannot escape, and it's a wonderful relief.”  ― Tom Skinner

Speak Lord....


"Speak Lord, your servant is listening." -Samuel the prophet

These should be our first words to God each day as well. 


An availability, 
an identity, 
a role to play, 
a master to serve. 

What else do you need?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Do you know that?


You are not here by accident. 
You were born in this time, 
in this place 
designed by God to glorify him 
where he has placed you. 
Do you know that?


Friday, April 21, 2017

The captain's face



A number of years ago I had the opportunity to go sailing with a good friend of mine. Ray was an oil man who had literally gone from struggling to pay the bills to millionaire overnight. In the 80's it happened to a number of guys, but Ray was a Christian and a friend, so we talked about our faith, God's provision and his blessings often. After his new fortune Ray bought a boat he had always wanted, it was a 38' sailboat. He had it delivered to Grand lake in eastern Oklahoma. It's a large lake and a great place to sail. There was a day one spring when we both had some time and Ray asked me to go sailing with him. I was thrilled to join him. I had never sailed before and looked forward to the experience. We met at the lake and got on the boat to get underway. Slowly we motored out of the inlet into the lake and then put up the sails. It was a great experience! I loved the sounds of the wind in the sails, the waves on the boat and the experience of sailing by wind power alone. We had a great time and a wonderful visit. ... Then it happened. Suddenly, and really without warning, a storm came up. It was a big one. 50-60 mile per hour winds and gusts, 3-4 foot waves, black clouds moving overhead. Quickly the lake cleared of other boats. Within minutes we were in a storm I can imagine the disciples experienced on the sea of Galilee when they woke Jesus and declared, "Don't you care that we are drowning?" I think I understood the fear they experienced. Our boat was leaning with the storm winds at 50 degrees or more. The waves were washing over the deck. The skies were black. The rain was intense. I WAS AFRAID! But then I turned around and looked at Ray as he steered the boat across the lake. HE WAS SMILING! I couldn't believe it. Didn't he see what I saw? Didn't he know this was bad? In my amazement I yelled through the storm, "How can you smile in this storm? Don't you see the wind and the waves?" I heard the disciples in my own voice as I said, "Don't you care that we might drown?" Ray smiled back and said, "You don't understand. I know my boat. It has a 9,000 pound keel. This boat was built for the oceans. This storm is nothing! We are fine! Relax, enjoy the ride." Suddenly, my fear subsided. I had looked at the captain's face. He knew things about our boat that I didn't. He knew we were fine. Within a few moments my fear turned to calm. Because I trusted the captain I began to enjoy the ride. Nothing had changed....the wind still blew, the rains still came, the waves still washed over the deck, but something was different....I had seen the captain's face. ... The Christian life is much like this little adventure of mine. We are often caught in the storms of life and fear for our lives, our finances, our health. This life is often overcome by a storm when we least expect it. Fears overwhelm us. Death feels close. Panic is in our voices.....but then, with fear growing, we look at Jesus and discover that he is smiling! How can he smile in this storm? Doesn't he know we are about to go down? And he replies, "You don't understand. I know this boat. I know what I have planned for you. We are fine. I'll bring you safely home. Enjoy the ride." It's funny how a glance at the face of our captain, Jesus, can change a fearful storm into an exciting adventure. A look at the captain's face makes all the difference! ...

A Smile for your day

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.
The problems began when Chippie's owner decided to clean Chippie's cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She'd barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in.
The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.
Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.
Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.
A few days after the trauma, the reporter who'd initially written about the event contacted Chippie's owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn't sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares."

It's hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That's enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart. -Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991, p. 11.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

When the sun rises



This day, many centuries ago, the disciples grieved
They had thought Jesus was the Messiah
the Savior
But he was dead
Their heads spun
Tears overwhelmed them
Grief was more than they could bear
Fear was mixed heavily with this potion
Jesus was dead
Now what?
Were they wrong?
But what about the miracles?
What about this Jesus who told the wind to be still
and it did?
Their heads were spinning
Few words were spoken
The grief hung in the air like a cloud
Now what?
What do we do now?
That was Saturday, the day after the crucifixion
But just wait a few hours
Just wait....
Because when the sun rises tomorrow
EVERYTHING will change
When the Son rises the world will never be the same!

Friday, April 14, 2017

The best gift EVER!


Focus


I saw this sign this morning and loved the simple message.  It's a message of focus....what you want determines choices you make.  If you want to be happy then all of our choices, all of your focus will be on things that make that possible.

But, if you make another choice your focus is on how to please God and be like him in how you live.  That small change will transform you and the decisions you make.  It's all a simple matter of focus. 

When I think about my life I realize that what I'm focused on having or achieving affects everything!  So, now for a choice...what do I want today?  Do I want to please me or God?  That one decision of focus will determine everything about what I do and why I do it.



Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Quote of the day


 "If it pleases you, always and only, 
to do what pleases God...
you can do as you please!" 
-Major Ian Thomas

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

For us!

"For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf."  -Hebrews 9

As I read these words this morning I had to stop and say "thank you."  It's amazing, really amazing to realize that Jesus not only became a man to show us what God is like, to die for ALL our sins, to rise again and give us new life, to prepare a place for us, but now he's also appearing before God on our behalf. 

There is so much more that he has done, but I want to be brief in my amazement at the work of Christ.  There simply are not enough pages to describe all he has done! He did it ALL!  Everything we need to approach God, to be accepted by him, to find forgiveness, to have eternal life...to represent us to the Father....he did it ALL and continues to do more than we could possibly know or understand.

And, amazing as it seems, it's all for us.  You and me.  For me that is overwhelming, beyond words, more than I can understand, more than I will ever understand...why would he do all this?  Why would he expend such effort, such pain, such immense resources for us? 

Why?  Actually it's quite simple.  He did it because he loves us.  How amazing is that?


Friday, March 31, 2017

Waiting


I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
 I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Psalm 130:5-6

Waiting on God.  What a strange idea. It's as if the God who is beyond time would ever be late, but we wait.  We wait for his answers, his provision and his arrival.  It seems that all of the Christian life involves waiting on God, but it's more than that...it's about our focus, our dependence.  It's about his provision.  Waiting on God keeps my focus, my dependence, my eyes on him...waiting for him to provide, to help, to come, to work...waiting on the one who always meets our needs.  And yet, we wait.  It seems to me the waiting is more about trust than about timing.  Often, when I'm honest, it feels that God is late, but how could he be?  He knows my need, he knows me.  And so I trust, I watch, I wait...I wait for the only one who can help me...the God of all creation.  He's never late.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Even in old age


You got me when I was an unformed youth,
God, and taught me everything I know.
Now I’m telling the world your wonders;
    I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray.
God, don’t walk off and leave me
    until I get out the news
Of your strong right arm to this world,
    news of your power to the world yet to come,
Your famous and righteous
    ways, O God.
God, you’ve done it all!
    Who is quite like you?
Psalm 71

Even when I'm old and gray.  I read these words as a youth and never imagined they would apply to me, but those days came much quicker than I ever thought they would.  Now I'm old and gray.  Now, more than ever I want to proclaim the great goodness of God!

Having known him for more than 50 years I'm only beginning to understand how wonderfully good he is, how kind he is and how patient he has been.

If there has ever been anyone God should have struck dead for their sins it would have been me!  No, they weren't "bad" as you would imagine sin, but they were in the face of God...fully knowing what he wanted from me and choosing sin anyway.  And now I come to old age realizing that this amazing good God has been far kinder, far more gracious to me than I can ever deserve.

Now, as the old man with white hair...at least the little that's left...I must declare that God is good!  He has demonstrated his lovingkindness to us in measures far beyond anything we will ever understand, beyond all we could ever deserve.

God is good!  If you don't know him you are missing out on the most important things any human will ever experience- his unconditional love, his extreme mercy, overwhelming grace and wonderful provision.

If you think that life indepent of God's is the good life you are the greatest of fools!  You are missing everything that really matters!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ordinary

It's a simple word really.  

Ordinary. 

It speaks of the unnoticed, the normal, average, life as it's lived every day.

But what if it spoke of how we should really live out the Christian life?


A friend and fellow pastor, Brent McKinney, wrote this as a suggested mission statement, "Ordinary people in ordinary places doing ordinary things to the glory of God."  I love that vision!  It imagines living out faith in even the little events of life, the things that we think unimportant...the ordinary.

We all have to do the ordinary things, get groceries, sweep the floor, wash dishes, eat a meal and a hundred other things that are the mundane ordinary things of living, but what if that is where God touches our lives and the lives around us? What if those are really the important things?

Really, if we are honest, few of us will be great, famous or successful, but all of us will do ordinary things...simple things...what if we did those things to the glory of God?  I wonder...could it be that these will be the things that God can best use for his glory?





Thursday, March 23, 2017

Last words...but not here....

I realize my last post described last words....but I didn't mean that for this site.  Sorry.  I've been a bit too busy and honestly have little rolling around in my head to share....I guess I am doing a bit of a reboot.  I'll be back when I know what's going on with me.  Thanks for your patience.