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.

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!


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 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?