I'm sitting in the church office when I'm asked to take a call. It is from a lady who wants prayer. I ask for her first name and then inquire if she wants to share the area she is asking for prayer. I can tell from the sound of her voice that she is nervous and fearful. She tells me that she has an appointment with the cancer doctor. I attempt to comfort her with scriptures and encouragement. I proceed with offering a prayer for her.
The tone of her voice sounds better as she thanks me for the prayer. I am grateful that I've had an opportunity to lift someone's spirit and to encourage them to lean on an awesome God.
As I hang up the phone, my heart goes out to her. I can identify. I've fought this battle. I hate cancer with a passion
#faith #trust #prayer. #God #hatecancer
Monday, September 23, 2013
I'm sitting beside my wife tonight and watching TV. I leaned over and kissed her and she kissed me back. I told her that I love her. As I sit next to her, my mind goes back through the years we have been together. We met and married young. Our love has endured many trials and tests. And it seems like we've been together forever. It's hard to remember life without my wife, my best friend. I call her my "Sunshine." Another name I call her is "Pretty Girl." Our marriage hasn't been perfect, but it has been a good one.
As I think about the strength of our love and the length of our love, I am reminded of a love that is greater than any human love. It is the love of our God to us. His word tells us that He has loved us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) Think about that. Before you were born, He loved you. When you were in sin and darkness, He loved you. His love is unconditional and eternal. He always has, and He always will!
Embrace the love of the Father!
#love #faithfulness #grace
#love #faithfulness #grace
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
She called me a few minutes ago. When I saw the name on my cell phone, and the picture assigned to it, my heart leaped. It was my wife. After 41 years of marriage, and a year and a half of dating, I still get excited when I see her face, and hear her voice! The years and hardships haven't weakened our love, they have strengthened it. I am a blessed man!
The call wasn't about anything in particular. There was nothing romantic or exciting about the conversation. She had to run some errands, and was letting me know... It was just a simple phone call. Just a voice. Just a picture of a face. But it was hers. That sweet and pretty girl from Cliffside that I fell in love with years ago.
After our brief conversation that lasted no more than two or three minutes, I hung up the phone, and began reflecting about the call, and my reaction. And the thought came to me about love-- and God's love for us. Can you imagine how much He loves us? I think God gets excited when we communicate with Him, when we get excited about seeing and hearing from Him. He takes pleasure in our presence, in our voice, in our love for Him.
I challenge you today to fall in love again. Fall in love again with the girl, the boy, you fell in love with and married. And fall in love with God again. Come back to your first love. Get back in church. God's waiting for your call.
He's crazy about you!
Friday, January 13, 2012
Have life's experiences got you down? Are you going through something that has troubled you, and tempted you to quit? Some quit on God, quit on their marriage and family, and quit on themselves. Sometimes the pressures of life seem to be too much to handle.
Even the strong can fall in difficult times. Some fall into sin, some fall into discouragement. The world tends to label people who have fallen as failures. But the bible gives us the record of great men who reached low points in life. We have the story of David, who at one point committed lust, and fell into sin. He is just one example of the ability of God to redeem and restore. There are the stories of others, who did not fall into sin, but into the trap of discouragement. Men such as Moses, Elijah, and Jeremiah, who reached that low point. The Apostle Paul addressed conflict in several of his letters, and urges us not to quit or give up. I often say that the fact the word encourages us not to quit is an indication that there will be times when doing so seems like a viable option.
You may be down right now, but I encourage you to get back up. Or you may not be down, but you feel yourself falling. In your weakness, you can find God's strength. He is able to resurrect and restore your life, and your hopes and dreams. Hebrews 11:19 says that "Abraham reasoned that God could resurrect the dead."
The falling doesn't negate the calling! God calls you back up, back into life, back into His plan and purpose for your life.
I love the song by the Afters, which says:
"You lift me up when I am weak
Your arms wrap around me
Your love catches me so I’m letting go
You lift me up when I can’t see
Your heart is all that I need
Your love carries me so I’m letting go"
God will lift you up today!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I looked up the definition, and I think I qualify. According to Mirriam-Webster online dictionary, insanity is 1: a deranged state of the mind... No, that's not the one I am looking for 3b: something utterly foolish or unreasonable ... Yes, I could probably be defined at times as foolish and unreasonable.
Our faith in Christ is often labeled that way. Festus said of Paul, "You are insane." Acts 26:24 NLT The word translated insane is the word from which maniac or mad is derived from. Our Christian experience is sometimes looked up as being crazy to some. And if the world wants to call me crazy or insane because I live a radical faith, I'm okay with that.
You can call me insane for another reason. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying "to keep doing the same thing over and over, and yet expecting different results is insanity." I have used this quote in sermons many times. It encourages us to change the game plan, to do something different. I agree... for the most part.
But sometimes it pays just to be insane. Take Daniel, for example. He prayed. When threatened and persecuted, he just kept on praying. He kept doing the same thing. Sometimes what you're doing isn't wrong. As a matter of fact, it is right. And it works. But then a season comes when it doesn't work. What do you do then? I say you keep doing the right thing, even if it doesn't seem to be getting the right results. Keep on praying. Keep on giving. Keep on praising God. Keep on reaching out and loving on people. Keep on showing up at church. Keep on serving. When all hell breaks loose, hang in there. Don't quit. Job made it through. So did Joseph. All through the bible were heroes of the faith who the world would call crazy. Elijah said to his servant, "Go again seven times." Keep doing it over and over.
Sometimes church life is good. It's growing. People are excited. They love God, and love you. There is a spirit of expectancy all over the place. Revival is in the air. And then sometimes people are discouraged. Some are grumbling. Some are leaving. What went wrong? I've had those times when I examined the thing and discovered that I was doing the same things in the down times that I did in the up times.
I want to encourage you today to hang in there. Keep on doing what you're already doing, if what you're doing is right!
Monday, October 17, 2011
She loves me. I know it. Her love is a great strength to me. I have been blessed by the love of my wife for 42 years. Married at an early age, we have been sweethearts for a long time. My pet names for her are "Pretty Girl" and "Sunshine." In front of our kids, she is "Mom", and around our one grandkid, she is "Maw Maw." She is the best gift this side of heaven.
He loves me. His love is different. It hasn't lasted as long, he is only seven. But it is just as deep. I see it in the way he looks at me, talks to me, listens to me. He is my grandson. I enjoy his presence. He lights up my life. Grandkids are precious, aren't they?
These are not the only examples of love in my life today. But they are the ones currently in the house as I think about this subject called love. They are love to me with skin on it. I am speaking of my wife and my grandson. It is good to be loved, isn't it? And it is good to love in return.
I couldn't imagine anyone loving me more, nor can I imagine loving someone else more deeply, than that shared with my family. Sometimes we are fortunate to have this kind of relationship with our extended family, our church, or close friends. These people are more valuable than fame or fortune!
And yet, for the best of them, it is all a limited love. And so is ours. Maybe not limited in the sense of what we would do for one of them. It is just that our abilities can only go so far. I can grieve with a loved one who is suffering from a disease, but I don't have the power to heal them. My love is limited in this matter.
But there is ONE today who loves us with an unlimited love. His love will be with us in every situation of life. And He can go with us through the storm, and through the fire!
Rest in His love today!