Showing posts from January, 2010

Love is Mercy

God uses our lonliness

Dear God-Seekers!

There I was, just twenty, all alone, staring at one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen – the Japanese Alps. It was so beautiful, yet I had no one with which to share it. At least that is what I thought... To this day I still remember the tears filling my eyes as I ached to speak of the beauty, the absolute brilliance of those sights. I just wanted to tell someone about it, just talk to anyone. Alas, I knew no one on the train and, for once, I was shy with those around me, those accustomed to a different language than me. My loneliness overwhelmed me.

The trip from Tokyo had lasted about 90 minutes and in that final stretch the train snaked its way through a deep plain, a few ups and downs and twists, snow-peaked mountains rising up on both sides albeit in the distance. My destination was Karuizawa, a popular international summer resort in Japan since the late 19th century, known well for its cool summer climate and breezy environment with thick larch and bi…

"Celebrate Growing Older"

My age odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.. Your friends and parents will.
Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. Bu…

A broken spirit and a contrite heart

Good morning:
Psalm 51:17: A broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart O God you will not despise. Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to the broken hearted and those who are crushed in spirit. Those broken down with sorrow for their sin. Have you neglected to face the truth about some sin that you have committed and have failed to repent of it? How do you feel when you let it linger? In Psalm 51-- I’ve often wondered, before David confessed, did he go around praying and being all religious in front of the people? Was he sickened by his own sin, but did not take ownership of it? God sent Nathan to gently nudge David. I also think that it had been eating away at him because when Nathan told him about his sin he immediately cried out, “ I have sinned before the Lord.” David was very quickly willing to submit in the spirit of meekness and ready to lay it all out before the Lord. He is sickened by it and comes to the realization that it not only hurt God but it hurt others aro…

One Day at a Time

I ran across this great paragraph call "One Day at a Time"
I am not sure who the author is but found it very encouraging:

"One day at a time----this is enough.
Do not look back on the past and grieve, for it is gone.
And do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come.
Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering."

This reminds me of Phil 3:13
"Brothers, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things are which are ahead."

Hug your family or a friend, spend time in gratitude toward Him today for the breath you just took in and thank Him for loving You because He does very much.

Rodney- CR ministry Leader, FBC, NW Arkansas

How do I love Thee?

Good Morning:
“ I love you, I love you not, I love you, I love you not.” “ I can’t stand you, I want to pinch your head off.” “ I can’t love you --you only cause me pain and suffering.” “ God, please help me love and be nice to this person because he is made in your image.” Love, will and unconditional -- these three words have to be thought of as a group that belong together. We have all at one time or other had a difficult time loving someone let alone liking them -- for whatever reason. God loves everyone, and he loves them unconditionally. He does not always like what they do but it is his will to love them unconditionally. Unconditionally -- just as is, with or without blemish, without opinion or judgment, just as it is. Will is the part of God, that is always perfect and is the right thing, no matter what. Our will is either going to be what we want to do or to be determined to do what God wants me to do, putting myself aside.
I Corinthians 13 is a perfect example…

The Victims of Addiction

"O blessed Lord, You ministered to all who came to You. Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in work of their recovery, and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love." Author unknown "The Twelve Step Prayer Book" compiled by Bill P. and Lisa D.

"Be The Branch"

Be the Branch! Sounds pretty simple, until Jesus adds “he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit”. Now that’s the hard part, even Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church says this is his greatest challenge! Webster defines “abide” to mean “remain”, so Jesus is telling me to remain in Him when the stresses are so great in my life that my flesh wants to grab control of the situation and do it my way, I am to remain in Jesus and Jesus in me, so that Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Kindness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control flows from Jesus through me, and out to the world and my stressful situation. Can this really happen? Be the Branch! To accomplish this, God will reveal those sin areas in my life, like letting my flesh rule, and provide me with repentance, a plan to turn away from this sin area. Through repentance, we will be able to rest in Jesus and Father and Jesus will come to me and make their abode with me. As we stay near to God, we will see renewal…

God looks thru two lenses

"Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men."
--Lamentations 3:32-33
When my paralyzing accident happened, I know the Lord took no pleasure in it. I believe it pained his heart to see me hurt, just as any father has compassion on his children. Yet I also know it pleased the Lord to permit my accident. He was as delighted then as he is now to work it all out for my good and his glory. Sound confusing? I can understand why: In some scriptures, God is described as grieving over affliction; in others, it doesn't seem to bother him.

Dr. John Piper explains it this way. God has the capacity to look at the world through two lenses, a narrow lens and a wide-angle lens. When the Lord looks at a painful event through the narrow lens, he sees the tragedy for what it is in itself, and he is deeply grieved, as Ezekiel 18:32 says, "For I take no pleasure in the death of a…

Tempted and Tried?

Ever have a week where you were so tempted and tried? Tempted to complain, do things that you know are wrong, listen to things you should not be listening to, tempted to do everything other than the things we know we should be doing? Temptation-- an enticement or invitation to sin with the implied promise of greater good to be derived from following the way of disobedience. How many times this past week have you flirted with temptation? I Corn. 10:13--no temptation has seized you except was is common to man. God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it. God is always there to help through it. Jesus was tempted in the same way we are--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. He never even entertained the fact of doing anything but the perfect will of the Father.
One of the things that make us cave into temptation so quickly is, we ofte…

Be happy with the gift

God is the giver of every perfect gift (Matt.7:11, Jas. 1:5,17) - eternal life, salvation, the necessities of life, the ability to work, the Holy Spirit, His Son, and our spiritual abilities--our “gifts.” One of the sweetest things about the gifts that God has given to us is that we can share them with others. Have you heard someone sing and it touched your heart or blessed you by the beauty of the voice? What about the person who is never cast down in their spirit and they have this great ability to bring laughter where ever they go and you are always glad to see them. What about the person who no matter what your circumstances are- they always lead you back and get your focus back on the Lord? Did you ever receive and encouraging word or a hug just when you needed it?

We are all unique and we are gifted in different ways. There are women who are excellent cooks, women who are athletic. There are moms that can fix boo-boos and moms that can over haul an old Honda Civic. …

His heart is for me

Any parent knows this: love is chosen. You cannot, in the end, force anyone to love you.
So, if you are writing a story where love is the meaning, where love is the highest and best of all, where love is the point, then you have to allow each person a choice. You have to allow freedom. You cannot force love. God gives us the dignity of freedom, to choose for or against Him (and friends, to ignore Him is to choose against Him).
This is the reason for what (C.S.) Lewis called the Problem of Pain. Why would a kind and loving God create a world where evil is possible? Doesn’t He care about our happiness? Isn’t He God? Indeed, He does and is. He cares so much for our happiness that He endows us with the capacity to love and to be loved, which is the greatest happiness of all.
He endows us with a dignity that is almost unimaginable.
For this creator God is no puppeteer.
“Trust me in this one thing, God says to us. “I have give…

Nothing wasted

"God doesn't waste our pain, our rejection or our "shipwrecks."
He uses them to bring about His plan—to position us so that others can see His
transforming power at work in our lives and believe in the living God." Author unknown