Monday, March 29, 2010
One of my Dad’s favorite sayings was, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”
If we were to abide by that saying, many of us would be fairly quiet, wouldn’t we?
Let’s take a minute. When we hear a quote - any quote, do we compare it with scripture to see if it is true or false?
How about this particular quote - how does it measure up to the Word"
Do not grumble, brethren, against one another that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the doors. James 5:9
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ. Ephesians 4:15
It takes a wise person to know when to be quiet, when to speak up and, if we are to speak, what to say.
Heavenly Father, please help me be more aware of the things I read and hear. Please lead me to Your Word to see if what I hear and see is true. Please help me be quiet when and if You want me to be quiet. Please help me to speak the truth in love, if I am to speak. Please help me to be wise with Your wisdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Have you ever watched a mountain bike race?
The riders swiftly go around a turn, up a hill, down a hill and around a tight turn once again, pouring it on to get to the finish line - to be first.
One Saturday afternoon, while having lunch, I happened upon a race on TV so stopped to enjoy the skill being displayed. In this particular race, a veteran rider was expected to win over the new kid on the dirt path.
All was going well . . . until . . . the veteran rider, well ahead, missed a jump and landed in a jumble of arms, legs and bike in the dusty dirt.
The reason, they said, was because he took his eyes off his wheel.
How many of us, in the twists and turns of our lives over the dusty path of life, take our eyes off of who we are following (Jesus) and land in a heap.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us . . . looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured th cross despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Heavenly Father, please remind me to keep my eyes on You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Watching a portion of a football game, I was amazed at the tenacity of the ball carrier. He ran with that ball again and again, sometimes only covering inches of ground before he was knocked down. Yet each time he found himself on the ground, his team would re-group and he would go at it once again. Eventually the persistent player reached his goal.
How are you doing this week with tenacity? Have you been knocked down again and again? What are you doing about it? Do you stay down or do you once again get on your feet, determined to continue moving forward, seeking God's best?
Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize? So run that you may obtain it. I Corinthians 9:24
Heavenly Father, please give me the courage to keep going, to be tenacious, to reach You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, March 8, 2010
After Hurricane Ike swept through Texas, I heard an interesting comment: The aftermath is always worse.
Yes, it is - loss of electricity, too much water and no running water, loss of life, loss of homes, little food to eat, no hot showers, maybe no showers at all . . . so much loss and devastation becomes apparent in the aftermath.
Isn't that the way life is? The rains, wind and tidal waves of life come in the form of accidents, acute illnesses, divorce, death . . . . Those happenings come like a hurricane - swiftly, sometimes without warning.
Then comes the aftermath - the trauma of looking around at the destruction and devastation caused as a result. It seems overwhelming . . . stunning.
After the initial shock begins to wear off, there are decisions to be made and clean-up begins. Maybe bulldozing the entire mess is the only way to begin anew. It is all so difficult as everything seems changed, forever altering our lives. The aftermath seems worse than the actual event.
Yet in the aftermath there comes a time to begin thinking of re-building. That, too, takes effort to even envision what one wants to build. It takes courage to go to God to get His plan for the rebuilding.
It's messy work, this rebuilding. Slowly and steadily you move forward - sometimes it feels like you take one step forward and two backward. But rebuilding goes on - for years, it seems, until one day you can stand back and view it all more objectively - there was progress. Slow and steady progress.
Yes the hurricane came and went. The aftermath was very difficult as was the rebuilding. Yet God in His mercy had you in His hand all the time - before, during and after - to protect you from the winds of adversity. To give strength to you during the aftermath. To give you a new vision for what can be. To walk with you during the rebuilding.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish and strengthen you. I Peter 5:10
Heavenly Father, thank You for being with me during it all - my entire life. Please show me how to walk with You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Monday, March 1, 2010
It was hopeless. His heart was so diseased and weakened, that the ONLY option was to have a total .
After years of use and abuse of his heart, there was no hope of living with the one he had.
He was wheeled into surgery and under the skilled hands of his surgeon, his old heart was removed. Oh, so gently. A new heart was placed in his chest. All of the vital vessels were connected to the new heart and ready to circulate life sustaining blood to all of his organs once again.
Next, a crucial step - the machines which were circulating his blood while the transplant was taking place were stopped. Everyone held their breaths to see if the new heart would begin beating - beating in a rhythm which would provide the man with life.
YES! All was well.
We, too, need . Our hearts, if left to themselves become diseased, filled with unforgiveness, fear, bitterness, anxiety and all sorts of attitudes which do not spring from God. We need a new heart. For a , there is only one place where we can go to have that delicate, life changing procedure done - to God our Father Himself.
Have you gone? Ever? Maybe once? Maybe once upon a time? Maybe the new heart was successfully transplanted into your being, but what is its condition now? Healthy? Diseased? Does it need cleansing? Does it need fresh, new life? A jump start? Consider its condition....and consider the treatment God offers for the healthiest heart ever. Maybe, after all, we are supposed to return to the Father daily for a heart check to keep it always fresh and new.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
, I present myself to You and ask that You give me a new heart. Even if I have been to You before with that request, please hear me today - I need a heart that is continually new. In Jesus' name. Amen.