Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Pro 24:12 If you say, "See, we did not know this," Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?
There is a phrase in the text of verse 11 that caught my attention, and made me stop for a moment....to get a visual picture of it.
"Staggering to slaughter".....what a picture!
That's the picture of the human race without God.
Staggering to slaughter....what a sad picture of the lives of those who do not know God.
In a few minutes I am going to preside over a funeral service. It's easy because this dear lady had trusted Christ as her savior years ago, and is now home with the Lord, so the service will be a celebration....a graduation, if you wish...not a sorrowful event, but for those who die without trusting Christ what a horrible eternity.....
And before they even get to eternity they are described as staggering to slaughter. I can't escape the visual picture of that....it' so sad.
Just before lunch I drove through the bank to make a deposit, and the young lady cashier said, "Boy, you're dressed up....wedding or funeral?" (She knows what I do.) I responded, "funeral..." and with that she said, "I hope they knew where they were going..." And off she goes to take care of my banking business. I smiled and knew she had set me up, so when she returned I said, "Now you started this, so I have to ask, do you know where YOU'RE going?" A big smile came across her face and she responded, "yes!"
So my question for the day is this- are you one of those staggering to slaughter or have you trusted Christ as your savior and know your eternal destiny? It's a simple question, and there are only two answers....there is no door #3.
So, do you know where YOU'RE going?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Our Father Who Art In Heaven.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Joye, my wife, and I were sitting in the living room. It had been a typical day for us...the kids were in bed and we were relaxing, reading and watching TV together.
Then it happened.
We heard a gun shot. Then we heard the window shatter. We both fell to the ground, and crawled to the phone to call the police.
We weren't in a bad neighborhood. We didn't have any enemies. It was a shocking experience, but we were only beginning to know what had happened.
The police arrived quickly, secured our home, and then began to investigate what had happened. They looked at the window. They looked over the room, and found the bullet....that's when we found out about the miracle.
The bullet came through the living room window right where Joye was sitting. The bullet hole in the glass was right behind her head. The bullet was on the floor below the window. It was a .45 caliber bullet! It had come through the window and fallen straight to the floor behind Joye's chair. Joye was less than a foot from the window in the direct line of fire. The bullet came through the window and fell to the floor without hurting her. Something had stopped the bullet in mid-air. The police officer said it, although we were thinking it, he said it was a miracle that she was not killed.
In the book of Psalms David often stops in the middle of his life's situations to remember what God had done for him. I just wanted to share with you one thing God has done for us.
I don't ever want to forget God's miracles in our lives....they encourage us to trust him for today too.
It's great to have a big God!A follow up to this post- I have already been asked several questions about this story, so let me answer them- This really happened to us. It happened in the late 1980's while we lived in Oklahoma. The police did find the shooter. He lived across the street! He was on the porch, playing with his gun when it went off accidently. He was only 100' away from our front window when his .45 handgun discharged! And, finally, yes, God is awesome!
Monday, September 24, 2007
I think I will get a T-shirt made that says, "I loved your sermon, but can't remember what you said."
If you want to hear this sermon here's the link-
I think it is a very encouraging message.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Marty had a hard life. From the age of three his health was never good. At an early age it was discovered that he had a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Marty had to have a kidney transplant at the age of 12, and our whole family became “residents” of the Mayo Clinic during those difficult days in May. At that time in 1969, Marty was one of the youngest and earliest kidney transplant recipients in the United States. It was a very difficult time for our family, but both Marty and our Mom - who donated her kidney to him - came through the twelve hour surgeries well. The next 37 years would prove to be more difficult for Marty than anyone could imagine.
We always called him “the six-million dollar man” because of his uncounted times in hospitals for hip replacements, knee replacements, tendon grafts, skin grafts, cancer removals, hearing aids, eye surgeries, etc. In those early days of kidney transplants, the anti-rejection drugs used were steroids- prednisone to be specific - and they are devastating to the body if used over time. Marty was on prednisone for over 35 years! After the initial transplant, most of the problems that developed for him were related to all the medications he had to take. Ironic, isn’t it, that the cure proved worse than the cause?
Marty, because of his circumstances, should have been a miserable man. But he wasn’t. He married, had three great kids, six wonderful grandchildren so far, loved his wife, went to church, served God where he could, and made the best of a difficult life. Marty was a happy guy!
If you asked him how he was doing his reply was always the same. He would quote an old southern ditty,
“I’m tired and sore,
and I’m not gonna do it for a nickel no more.
A dime’s more my price,
and for a quarter I’ll do it twice…
In fact, this little ditty so captured Marty’s outlook and life that his wife, Debbie, put those words as an epitaph on his gravestone!
Yet those of us close to him knew he was in constant pain. Suffering constantly and on a tremendous number of drugs and painkillers, yet through it all he enjoyed his life. He was happy to be here, and even in his last month he was planning a cruise with his wife “when he got out of the hospital”. He never did.
How do some people do that while most of us complain about a broken fingernail? What is it about those few of us who see beyond our circumstance to something bigger, to someone bigger? Where do these unique people get this perspective and attitude that makes them stand out from the rest of us?
The Bible gives us an interesting, and yet very simple answer to these questions:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body,
And refreshment to your bones.
How do some people live above their circumstances? It’s amazingly simple, yet profound:
Truth for life is a Person and our relationship with Him.
Our situations, good or bad, have no effect on that relationship. Solomon wrote these verses to communicate this vital truth - the key to life is not knowing something, it is knowing someone, and living a life of trust and dependence upon Him.
In Marty’s last month in hospital the oncologist came in to see him with some news. He told Marty that he had bone cancer, and at best would live four months. He lived thirty days. After the doctor left mom asked him, “Marty, what do you think?” His reply told more truth than you can communicate in such a simple sentence at such a serious time. Marty said,
“I’m going to trust God anyway.”
In that simple confession Marty revealed his secret. The secret to a difficult life lived well is in knowing someone - the eternal, loving, all-sufficient God. It is in that relationship Marty had built the foundation to live out his life, and it is that relationship that sustained him during his personal crisis of faith. It's that same loving God who holds him now.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Php 1:27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Php 1:28 in no way alarmed by your opponents--which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Which mall do you want to go to? There are at least 50 in the Dallas area.
What kind of food do you want to eat? We have it all here!
Not so in Nowhere, Oklahoma.
As we settled in to wait for the car to be repaired we asked the hotel desk clerk, "Where's the mall?" Her response was a surprise to our Dallas ears, "We don't have a mall, but Wal-Mart is just down the road." What a reality check for us....we had gotten spoiled with all that a big city offers, and forgotten how life really is in Nowhere, Oklahoma.
What to do? I'm sure we looked funny....not sure what to do with ourselves....but we roamed around Wal-Mart and made the best of what this little town had to offer. It sure makes you realize how blessed you are when you have to do without all that you take for granted.
It was a great experience. An opportunity to slow down, and realize how blessed we are....even in Nowhere, Oklahoma.
— Phillip Yancy
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
What a weekend! As I write this I'm in a hotel room in McAlester, Oklahoma....not a planned stay, but a necessary one. Once again we find ourselves in this quaint little town with car trouble. We made a trip to Little Rock, Arkansas for a wedding yesterday, and today made our way back home. Part way back the battery light came on. What does that mean?
I thought, "if it stays on for a while I will have to do something about that..." and I continue to drive, but it didn't go out. We find our way to a Wal-Mart. I buy a battery, some tools, and put a new battery in the car. Problem solved!.....NOT!
As we drive away that pesky little light comes back on. Now I know what it means...the alternator is going. We check our position, estimate how far it is to the next dealer and how long a new battery will last, and off we go. So here we are, in a motel across from the dealer, waiting for them to open first thing Monday morning. I got as far as I could before I ran out of "electric cord."
McAlester, Oklahoma....it's our new favorite place to get our car worked on...too bad it's 150 miles from home. But we made it, and here we wait. It's just part of life...a few annoyances, a few problems...a chance to trust God....and a night in McAlester, Oklahoma.
Friday, September 14, 2007
2Ch 20:3 Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
Psa 27:9 Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
There are a lot of religions in the world, and most of them are "hope-so" religions. In other words you cannot know for sure that your faith was well founded until you die. But the Christian faith is built on hope. At it's core is the promise of life and a future. It gives us who believe a hope for now and the life ahead. It makes us stretch.....using our hope and faith to reach for the impossible...because we believe in a big God who specializes in the impossible. There is no other religion that offers such assurance as the Christian faith does....a hope for this life, and a promise for the life to come.
Rom 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Eph 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Col 1:3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Col 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;
Col 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel
Col 1:6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
It's all in how we view things, isn't it? One sees a problem, another sees an opportunity. We describe it as glass-half-full or glass-half-empty thinking. I think that's why James writes these words as he does:
Jas 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
Jas 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
Jas 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Verse two is the decision, verses three and four are the reasons. Because of what I know from verses three and four I can consider my trials in a completely different way...I can choose a different perspective...I can consider trials a joy! That sounds so strange in our world today, but when I know what God is doing it changes how I view everything!
So what is God doing? Paul tells us God's goal in Romans:
Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
All that we go through, all the trials we endure, are used by God to help us grow, to conform us to someone who looks like Christ. You can view the trials of life as a bother, an annoyance, a curse.....or you can see them as James describes...a reason for joy because we know the outcome- us molded into the image of Christ.
So, as you encounter your trials of this day choose to be joyful knowing what God is doing in your life. It's a matter of perspective.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
John 14:1 "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
John 14:2 "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Monday, September 10, 2007
One of my readers said she reads my blog to check my pulse...to see how I'm doing. This classic song by Bobby Mcferrin says it all. I am doing great! I am blessed, having fun working at our church, and excited about what lies ahead of us...so if you're worried about me just take a moment, watch this video, relax, smile, and have a great day. God is good, and he is in charge....how much better could it be?
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Friday, September 07, 2007
— C. S. Lewis
We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today.
— A. W. Tozer
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Ecc 9:7 Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.
Ecc 9:8 Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.
Ecc 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.
Ecc 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might;
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
What does God have prepared for us? What could it be that we can't even imagine? This verse has always left me wanting more. What things will I see? What will I hear? What does God have in store for us? Honestly, I can't wait to see it! We know there is something better ahead, we dream of it. And one day it will be reality. We will be in awe when we see all that God has planned.