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Saturday, August 31, 2013

"God...Don't You Care?"

In troubling times it’s easy to question God. “What have I done to cause this?” “How long must I wait?” “Why should I keep praying?” “Have I not prayed enough?” “Do You really care?”

Our natural senses become short on spiritual insight. We conclude, “This isn’t fair!”

John the Baptist, chained in a bleak dungeon, asked his friends to send a question to Jesus. John felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually beaten. In a dark place, infested with rats and reeking of urine and feces, confusion flails John’s understanding of Jesus.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Death of A Dream

I vividly remember the day my pregnancy test strip turned positive. I fumed and cried angry tears. My inner being furiously fought, screaming for freedom, “I don’t want another baby!”  

My kids, (then one teenager, a twelve, ten, and eight-year-old), no longer depended upon me every minute of the day. I enjoyed their independence, playing with friends, and attending school. Each one was assuming more responsibilities. I had begun to dream of more “me time” to create, to read, and nurture my talents. Those dreams exhilarated me!

 The death of my dreams and desires hit suddenly and swiftly! I was pregnant and pushing 40. I felt like a wild canary being forced in a cage.  Fears, nibbling at my faith, fueled panic attacks.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Breathtaking Verse

 “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another” (John 1:16.) Grace is a gift.  Our heavenly Father is the giver. We don’t earn grace. We don’t deserve it. We don’t bring it about.

I used to believe God reserved blessings for deserving people. That the most deserving received bigger blessings!  That a person’s merit persuaded God. If my prayer life impressed God, if I attended church, memorized Scripture, or read my Bible, I could earn a heap of blessings.

 Then I discovered some breathtaking truths about grace. They crushed my humanistic ideas. God’s grace exceeds reason and logic. His generous blessings reach beyond my computation. If I am to embrace and enjoy His infinite goodness, I must stop believing that I must earn it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Always Be Thankful...How?

“No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (NLT 1 Thess. 5:18) Most Bible verses recording praise and thanksgiving are by people who faced crushing heartaches, injustice, slander and other difficult situations.
The apostle Paul penned these words to baby Christians facing fierce opposition. I wondered how could young believers give thanks feeling pressure, persecution and suffering?
How is it possible to stand in the wake of severe disappointments, struggles, pain and sorrow, and give thanks? We pray, we expect, we hope. When God’s sovereign plan and wisdom turns out different than what we’d like, how can we thank Him?  
Pain, Grief, Tears
 Scriptures answers this.
 Solomon’s great temple, in Jerusalem, was pillaged and destroyed. It lay flattened, ruined and burned. Jeremiah witnessed a hostile army harassing, robbing and killing Jews. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

No Reason to Give In or Give Up

About 92% of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. Statistics prove that if more people knew CPR, (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), it can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

Christians are especially at high risk. Distractions, worries, fears, and doubts attack our faith-- always aiming to destroy our spiritual life. These deadly adversaries can be stopped!

Our Lord offers to rescue us with spiritual CPR: Courage, Power and Rest. With His spiritual CPR, nothing is too difficult to handle. Without it, we’ll struggle to make it past today’s first hurdle.

Courage/to trust God daily
It takes courage to trust God. Courage to stop trying to figure out everything on our own. Courage to stop peering into the future to plan for every possibility. Courage to listen to God’s voice in everything we do, everywhere we go. Courage to trust God to keep us on track. (Philippians 3:12-14 MSG)