life is tough… LAUGH!

I am having a very “academic” week, and I need a break.  I thought we could all use a laugh, even though some of these are really lame….

 

Who was the fastest runner in the Bible?

Adam – he was first in the human race

Why did Adam and Eve move out of the Garden of Eden?

They ate themselves out of house and home

Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?

Samson – he brought the house down

Why should you be quiet in church?

Because people are sleeping

And last but not least – (no offense to any particular profession – really!)

An engineer dies and reports to the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter checks his dossier and not seeing his name there, accidentally sends him to Hell. It doesn’t take long before the engineer becomes rather dissatisfied with the level of comfort in Hell.
He soon begins to design and build improvements. Shortly thereafter, Hell has air conditioning, flush toilets and escalators. Needless to say, the engineer is a pretty popular guy.
One day, God calls Satan and says: “So, how are things in Hell?”
Satan replies: “Hey, things are going great. We’ve got air conditioning, flushing toilets, and escalators. And there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.”
“What!” God exclaims: “You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake – he should never have been sent to Hell. Send him to me.”
“Not a chance,” Satan replies: “I like having an engineer on the staff, and I’m keeping him!”
God insists: “Send him back or I’ll sue.”
Satan laughs uproariously and answers: “Yeah, right. And where are you going to get a lawyer?

suffer, suffer, suffer

“Blessed are you because you suffer.” Wow! …although we hear something like that in church, and it matches what the Bible teaches, it’s still tough to accept.

The supporting Scripture is Luke 6:22

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!

Do you feel blessed when you suffer? My guess is that you feel hurt, not fortunate. So how do we, as Christians, rectify these differences?

“Knowing” that I am blessed because Scripture says so, is one thing, but to logically understand it requires further analysis (at least for me, as an engineer). The best way that I can comprehend, resolve, and accept this is to go back to Scripture. Not just the verse that describes me as blessed, but the whole “story” of the Bible. When one considers the full scope of the Bible, and our life (from an eternal perspective), I know that in the end, Christians “win.”

We might have a short time here on earth when we suffer, or endure persecution, but in the grand scheme of things, we ARE accomplishing God’s plan for our life, His Kingdom, and contributing to our future blessings. The time we spend suffering is truly not anywhere comparable to the blessings that are and will be returned for our obedience.

As Romans 8, verse 18 states:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

A special request

I think the lyrics to this song (a prayer to God) say it better than I can:

My Heart is Yours by Kristian Stanfill <click link @ left to listen>

I give You my life
I give You my trust
Jesus
You are my God
You are enough
Jesus

My heart is Yours
My heart is Yours
Take it all
Take it all
My life in Your hands

I lay down my life
And take up my cross
Jesus
For You are my God
Whatever the cost
Jesus
For You, Jesus

All to Jesus I surrender
All to You I freely give
I will ever love and trust You
In Your presence I will live

Thanks go to Gary for the recommendation – great song!

Tired? or thriving

Do you feel it’s hard to praise God when you’re tired? Sometimes I do. Today, I’m tired. In fact, I’m exhausted. I was awake half the night for no good reason other than sinuses. And now, half-way through the day, I can’t think straight, and my day still has 4 hours left.

The bible says:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving over my temptation to take a nap and instead, writing this blog. And when I’m down and tired, I find the best thing to motivate me is music.

One song that is in the Top 10 Christian Music right now is by Casting Crowns, it’s called “Thrive.” <click link to left>

Are you thriving, or are you just plain tired like me today?

do you believest?

“What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” – Acts 8:36

That is the question that Wesley essentially asked two weeks ago when Kimberly and Wesley discussed a story about Baptism. Many of you realize that Wesley is only 6 years old, and to some people he seems young to be baptized. It leads us to the question of “What is the age of accountability?”

This old phrase is used to describe the age at which God might consider a person wise enough to make an informed decision on whether to follow the Lord Jesus and all of God’s teachings. Kimberly and I both believe, as do many of his teachers, that Wesley is knowledgeable enough about the Bible that he can make such a decision at his current age. However, it is only because of everyone, including Kimberly, that has spent so much time teaching him in the ways of the Lord. For each child, that age is different – depending on his upbringing. But why?

Many children don’t understand God’s purpose for our life because of us. It is our responsibility to teach our children (Train up a child in the way he should – Proverbs 22:6).

In Acts, chapter 8 we find the story about the Ethopian in the chariot, Philip said nothing stood in his way as long as he “believest with all [his] heart” (Acts 8:37*). And as many of you know, Wesley “believest” with all his heart. Thank God for the blessings He has given us, and those that Wesley gives us also. We all love you Wesley!

Who do you know that could benefit from receiving God’s Word in their heart? Would you take time and stop and tell them about God today?

*some translations omit Acts 8:37, if this is the case with your Bible, search for a King James Version for this verse

 

False Evidence . . .

What is fear?

False Evidence Appearing Real!fear

That’s what I read today in a cubicle here at work. It’s the first time I’ve thought about “fear” like that. But I started thinking. What have I “feared” in the past? Generally, it’s the things we “worry” about – things that never happen, or things that are inconsequential. Things that are false, but appear real.

Most of the time, we worry or fear things that we have no control over, and things that in the end don’t really matter.

Changing topics for a second, I have had the privilege of listening to children recite memory verses for AWANA, as well as recite questions about “Why God gave us the Bible.” While they have the answers in the book, I try to ask them, why do you think God gave us the Bible. The answers are almost all genuinely better than the answer the book gives.

One answer I think comes back to the question of FEAR. God gave us the Bible so that we would know our future.

We don’t have to fear anything. God is in control. He has given us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

And to that end:

Fear not, for I am with you;  be not dismayed, for I am your God – Isaiah 41:10a

Exposing yourself to God

David brought us many Psalms in the Bible, and this verse is quite interesting from Psalm 25.

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. – Psalm 25:5

How many times do we, as Christians, proclaim our faith in God? We declare our trust, and (sometimes) proudly wear our Christianity on our sleeves.

 

The truth….

Many times we use excuses to hide our faith

  • “I don’t want to offend anyone” – we say…
  • “I’m not allowed to talk about that at work” – we insist…

Well, I’m just as guilty as the next person!

But I try, unsuccessfully sometimes, to discreetly bring my faith into discussions with others [mentioning church events and other activities of faith during conversations].

I think this is a good step forward to “exposing” who I am and what I believe.

But, there’s still more to the verse, read it again:

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. – Psalm 25:5

David mentions that he wants the Lord to LEAD him and TEACH him. Are you open for leading and teaching? If so, how? How does the Lord know you are willing to be taught, or lead by Him?

an uncertain future . . .

Many of us don’t have a clue where we’ll be 2 years from now, much less 25 years from uncertaintynow.

Sure, we all have dreams or aspirations of moving up (in our jobs), moving to the beach, or maybe simply retiring. Each of us has our own desires.

But truly NONE of us really know where we will end up.

We have an “uncertain” future. Despite our ability and desire to plan, we have limited power to determine our future.

There is good news, however. While we can’t control our earthly future, we can control our destiny.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 29:11

And we can know those plans, too (for our destiny, that is). Wesley has been asking a lot this week, “when am I getting baptized?”

He knows the days are closer and closer (4 days now to be exact). While he already knows his future in Heaven, he can’t hardly wait to obey God, and tell the world about it.

Do you have that kind of certainty in your life, that you’re ready to take the next step of faith in God?

Where do you look (part 3 – of course!)

“….I gotta take time,
To hear that little voice inside,
Saying I came to give you life…”

Where do you look for help?  Listen to that little voice inside that came to give you life and Do Life Big!

Listen to song at link highlighted.

Lyrcis above from Jamie Grace’s song: Do Life BigIdea from my “buddy” – Wesley’s new favorite song

Where do you look (part 2)

Ever notice “coincidences”?  Are there really any coincidences, or just what we perceive?

Common to most people is the perception that deaths come in threes (three actors or famous people will all die within a short time of one another). Is it true, or just a myth?

I don’t know, but it always amuses me when God seems to speak to me repetitively, and sometimes in threes (today is number two….).

My former blog about “Where do you look…” was not intended to be a series at all.  But today as I prayed over the subject, I found this verse:

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:1-2

So, maybe I’m not looking where I need to…?  What about you?