Wednesday, February 24, 2016

WHAT!


Why is it—when someone wants your attention—they think you should drop everything you’re doing and run to them?  Spouse, children, grand-kids, they all stand their ground and yell for you to come. 

It doesn’t matter if you're busy with something important or unimportant.  Or maybe you don’t want to scream back at the top of your lungs.  "WHAT!"   

Whatever the case—it’s you who should stop what you're doing and run.  Okay-I may be venting a bit, but we’ve all been there.  

Okay, now how can God use this to speak truth to my heart?  

I guess I should be extremely thankful that HE isn’t like me.   He listens for my voice.  He's never too busy for me.  He doesn't answer me in anger.   

The Bible tells us that as we draw near to him—he will draw near to us.  Best part of all He wants us to call out to Him. 

The Bible uses these words: “Call on me...”

  • when you’re in trouble.
  • when you’re downhearted.
  • when your enemies are in hot pursuit.
  • when you’re burdened.
  • when you're sick.
  • when you're lost, alone, confused...

I think you get the picture.  His ear is never closed to us, and he's never far away.  

Next time you call to your loved one and they don’t answer as quickly as you think they should remember this; God is never too busy for you.   

In fact, when we call out to him something amazing happens.  We are transported from our earthly problems to a heavenly throne room.  How does this happen?  Only one way—by the mention of a name that is above every other name—Jesus. 

When (put your name here) calls out to me, I will answer... Psalm 91:15 NET

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Friends Keep Each Other Sharp


I want to start this out by saying, "Ooooouch!"

At times in my life, the Lord has brought people into my circle to sand off some of my rough edges, which by the way isn’t a fun process.    Usually during this sharpening procedure I don’t always appreciate what my friends may say.  But in my heart I know they are spot on!

Bob does the knife sharpening in our family.  When I watch him sharpen our knives there is nothing gentle or kind about the method.  He holds the dull blade between two fast moving girt stone.  (It’s an electric knife sharpener thingy.)  A grinding sound is heard as the dull blade is sharpened.  This process of resistance is the only way that I know to restore a knife to it's full potential. 
     
Which brings me to my point, when a friend causes friction in your life—it may not be a bad thing.  Because friends keep each other sharp.  

Sometimes, I've been smart enough to connect the dots by watching my friends live out their lives and glean from them.  BUT, usually the best lessons I've learned have been the ones of a confrontational nature.  OUCH! 

Proverbs 27:17 (ERV) As one piece of iron sharpens another, so friends keep each other sharp. 

The truest picture of this verse is the kind of friendship where both learn from each other and help each other grow deeper in the things of the Lord. 

This week, don’t resist when your friend speaks words of correction into your life, but remember—Friends keep each other sharp!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Is He Welcome or Not?

A few years ago our son, daughter-in-law and two precious grandchildren lived with us for about six weeks before leaving to be missionaries in Asia.  The clock was ticking down to their departure.  It was no longer years, months, weeks or days away—now it was only a matter of hours.  We cherished every moment together.  

Just hours before they were to leave, our 3-yrs old granddaughter had a high fever and had just returned from the doctor with an ear infection and strep throat.  I was cuddling with her in the rocking chair when the doorbell rang.

Our son, who has a heart to reach the hurting and lost, answered the door.  The next thing I knew there was a vacuum cleaner salesman doing a demo in my living room.  Guess what?  I was not welcoming. The poor kid knelt on the living room area rug and tried to convince me how much I needed his product.  I was not polite.

While the salesman was talking, I looked at our son and say, “Really?  You’re doing this right now—hours before we say goodbye, with a sick child and luggage all over the place.”   The awkward young man still plugged away with his rehearsed demonstration while our son pleaded with me to be kind to the stranger he had welcomed in.

Well—I’m not super proud of that moment, to say the least, but it does give me a platform to jump to this.

Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home…  Revelation 3:20 New English Translation (NET Bible)
 
Most people who read my weekly devotionals have opened the door and welcomed the Lord into their heart/life/home.  But, like me in the confessional above, is HE really welcome?  Have we prepared a table, offered him a seat, made room for him in our hectic lives?  Or maybe He's awkwardly standing in the room like an unwanted vacuum cleaner salesman.

Today, take a moment and picture your life as a room.  Where is Jesus?  Is He Welcome or Not?


Keep Swimming

After a slow start to summer, it's   full-on   swimming weather.  Yeah! For me to really enjoy swimming, the weather needs to be at ...