Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Quote - Humility

"Our humility toward others is the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real."

~ Andrew Murray

We are called to be humble before God and we may try our very best to honor that, but often we are confronted with people who have vastly different ideas than us.  This seems to bring out the worst in so many people, politics comes to mind.  It is hard to believe the way that people treat others who have a different political view than they do.  This is nothing new, it just seems like it's the worst in history.  I am thinking that there are worse times that divide people although with our 24/7 news it seems to be prevalent everywhere right now.

Sometimes it is better to listen without defending your position.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Quote - Perspective

"Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start."

~ Nido Qubein

This is definitely the way we should look at our circumstances.  Sometimes it is hard to see the path we should be on because we have no idea what is coming down the road.  Our perspective is everything in determining if we are positive or negative about where we are at this moment which will determine what we will do to get to the life we want.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Quote - Persistence

"A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't."

~  Charles Spurgeon

Great quote.  I have even taken pictures of Bible's that are really worn out because I really liked what that meant.  They were opened countless times in joy and despair.  Daily reading over time will show signs of use and give a wonderful patina.  We can worry and fuss all we want, but if we don't open the Bible we can let the chaos in our lives take over to the point that we give it up entirely.

Shouldn't this be the most worn our book in our homes?  I know that my Bible in not worn our enough so I will try to work on this.  For those who have never picked up a Bible, give it a try.  For those who only open it on occasion, every day is a occasion.  I am doing Bible study with my kids, we just read a few chapters (skip some of the big grown up stuff) and talk about it.  Other than this I have slacked off on spending my own time with God.  I need to do better.  How about you?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Quote - Faith in Action

"When I don't understand what He does, I trust who He is."

~ Carl Lentz

There are many situations that we go through that we do not understand.  Some people during times of tragedy will turn away from God, it becomes a tipping point in their lives.  That is where their story either temporarily or permanently ends with God.  Others find a way to give their entire focus to God despite what is going on in their lives.  Those are the moments we need God the most, during the tough times.  I have seen people who have a close relationship with God go through such terrible things and watch in admiration how they cope by praising God in the midst of such sadness because I don't know if I would be able to be that strong.  The peace that they have is unmatched to anything else in this world.

I have also seen people who where Christians completely turn away from God because of a terrible situation.  They say "How could God let this happen to me."  They are angry and bitter and never seem to have much joy after that time.  God does not want that for us, He loves us through the sadness and heartbreak.

God knows we need time and He knows we get mad at Him when a loved one dies or we see a terrible injustice in the world and I think He is OK with that because He gave us our emotions as a way to process things we see and feel.  The Israelite's had a time of grieving in the Bible then they were to move on.  It sounds cruel, but I believe it kept the people from completely turning away from God in their grief because God restores the brokenhearted.  The problem arises when after a time of grief we don't turn to God or the grieving never ends.  I know for some that is the farthest thing from their minds, but He promises to comfort those who come to Him.  This does not mean you forget what happened, it means you are able to take one step at a time every day.

We see the back of a tapestry it's chaotic and ugly, but God sees the front side that is a beautiful masterpiece.  Another way to look at it is if you are a piece of thread on the front side of the tapestry and you look around, you will only see a few strands that are right by you, but what you fail to see is the entire magnificent picture.  So trying to figure God out is a useless pursuit.  Faith goes beyond any of our reasoning, thoughts, explanations and ideas.  We are to rely on God and not on our own understanding.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Quote - Perception of Reality

"Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored."

~ Aldous Huxley

This applies to more than just our divisive political climate.  This can also be personally, regionally or all the way up to global views.  We can easily lie to ourselves and justify anything that suits our views.  I have done it and so hasn't everyone else.  There are many that choose to take ideas and twist them to use for evil.  All we have to do is look anywhere during our history where there are people and we will see that facts are often ignored especially around large groups.  Mobs have a unique character as they seem to choose the worst common denominator which usually does not end well.

 To be a light in the world we first have to see it and only then can it be shared.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nahum 3:12-19

v. 12-19 "All your fortresses are like fig trees
with their first ripe fruit;
when they are shaken,
the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.
Look at your troops-
they are all women!
The gates of your land
are wide open to your enemies;
fire has consumed their bars.

Draw water for the siege,
strengthen your defenses!
Work the clay,
tread the mortar,
repair the brickwork!
There the fire will devour you;
the sword will cut you down 
and, like grasshoppers, consume you.
Multiply like grasshoppers,
multiply like locusts!
You have increased the number of your merchants 
till they are more than the stars of the sky,
but like locusts they strip the land
and then fly away.
Your guards are like locusts,
your officials like swarms of locusts
that settle in the walls on a cold day-
but when the sun appears they fly away,
and no one knows where.
O king of Assyria, your shepherds slumber,
your nobles lie down to rest.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
with no one to gather them.
Nothing can heal your wound;
your injury is fatal.
Everyone who hears the news about you 
claps his hands at your fall,
for who has not felt
your endless cruelty?"

Nahum must have known that this would challenge the pride of King Ashurbanipal.  To think you are a great king and be insulted in this way could drive someone crazy and be seething with anger.  God is showing that their defenses are insignificant.  Even calling his troops women.  Back in ancient times women were not fighters, they were wives, mothers, caregivers, they had no power during this time.

For them to fortify their defenses was useless.  Not only did they get insulted as women, but they were compared to locusts.  When the heat turns up they flee and will not stay and fight.  Their injury is fatal.  Nineveh was conquered around 50 years after this prophecy.  The Iraq Christians who lived in Mosul have been driven to the east in the last year or so, to the Nineveh Plain.    That is where the city of Nineveh was found around 1845.

The Bible is full of stories that we can learn from.  I heard someone call the Bible a library.  It's more than just a book, it spans a large amount of time with different writers and many different types of writing, all for the glory of God.

All nations hated Assyria and their cruel treatment of others so they probably were happy when the city fell.  Although there always seems to be another country just as evil that takes it's place.  Assyria in now Syria.  I think how this parallels current day events.  A dictator is in charge who has been killing his own people, there is no excuse for this cruel treatment of men, women and children.  I pray for those who have lost loved ones and for protection for the civilian population.

How you treat your poor, powerless and those who don't agree with you shows your true character.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Song - Oceans

I love this song by Hillsong United.  The music is amazing and the lyrics are outstanding.  

Oceans by United

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus yeah my God

I will call upon Your name

Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

This is one of those songs that seems to get better each time I hear it.  Many feel as if they are just about to go under the waves, but God can restore each of us no matter how deep the water is that we are in.  If we trust in God then we are able to go further that we ever thought possible.  To hear this song click here (just click on skip ad).