Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wait Training

I don’t particularly enjoy exercising. Okay, I don’t at all enjoy exercising. There are many kinds of exercise programs, but there are basically only two types of exercise. Aerobic exercise is meant to increase and improve oxygen consumption by the body to create endurance. Weight Training is meant to increase and improve muscle tone to create strength. But what about Wait Training?

I don’t particularly enjoy waiting. Okay, I don’t at all enjoy waiting. Anyone who has waited on God for anything knows how long and painful waiting can be. But is God training us? What is the purposed of this Wait Training? Could it be to increase our strength? Our faith? Our hope?

Let’s get some clues from a few Bible verses (NIV) on waiting:
Psalm 27:14: “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (strength)
Psalm 33:20: “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” (hope)
Psalm 38:15: “I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.” (faith)
Psalm 40:1: “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” (perseverance)
Psalm 130:5: “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (hope)
Romans 8:25: “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (perseverance)

Through our waiting, God is training us, building our strength, building our hope, building our trust in him, which also gives us endurance. It’s like weight training and aerobic exercise all rolled into one!

There is an exercise phrase that states “No Pain, No Gain.” From a Biblical perspective, it sounds like this: “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

I still don’t like exercising, but as I see the muscle become more defined I realize I like the results.

I still don’t like waiting, but as I see my character become more defined I realize I like the results.

“Blessed are all who wait…” Isaiah 30:18


Monday, June 28, 2010


Summer is finally here!  School let out and within one week we were on the road headed for Walt Disney World, Florida.  Ahhh, life seemed good. 

Vacation ended and the following week we spent at doctors appointments, and catching up on laundry and T.V., "Is this how everyone starts out their summers?"

Anyhow, next thing I knew, I had a list of summer projects on paper ready to be checked off. Life seemed good, until my son popped into the kitchen and said, "I'm bored!"

The words echoed in my head, and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end!!! BORED? I thought. How could he be bored with so much to be done around here? We have every amenity known to man, (or child) how can he be bored?

Then it occurred to me that I had a schedule for myself, but my children's days were primarily unscheduled. They lacked direction for the summer.

So with some prayer and guidance from my husband, we've come up with a light summer schedule for them. This new schedule will let them know when they should play outside, when they can watch T.V., and when they will be having mandatory book reading/quiet time each day.

Now, armed with a schedule (which is subject to change if we decide to go to the pool, or out with friends), they won't have time to feel "bored." Instead they will have the direction they need.

Oh, did I also mention that we BANNED that word from our house?

How are things at your house so far? Has the dreaded "B" word come into play? If so, try the light summer schedule. Being on a schedule is part of our human nature - given to us by God Himself at creation.

Here's to a joy filled summer! Amen!


Friday, June 25, 2010

The 100% Rule

“It is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

(1 Corinthians 4:2)

Many people are confused about what it means to be a good steward. When we hear the word, “stewardship,” we tend to think about fundraising campaigns and those little “thermometer” drawings that show us where the church is in terms of funding the annual budget. Unfortunately, this is not what Paul was referring to in his letter to the Corinthians.

Stewardship actually has to do with responsibility. A steward is someone who manages someone else’s money and/or possessions. Since God is the “owner” of everything on this earth, (The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. Psalms 24:1) we are all managers, or “stewards” of the things He has entrusted to us.

It’s easy to test whether or not you have a proper perspective in this area. How do you acknowledge a request for money? Do you think, “that’s not what I want to do with MY money” or do you ASK, “Lord, what do YOU want me to do with YOUR money?” It’s all a matter of attitude. If we have the attitude that everything we have belongs to God, and we are just his managers, then we begin to have a heart that desires to handle those things in the ways in which He desires. In essence, every spending (or giving) decision becomes a spiritual decision.

Good managers know how their bosses want them to manage, so if we’re going to be found a “faithful” steward, we need to know what God requires of us in His word. It is our “manual” so to speak!

Sadly, most Christians have received very little teaching on stewardship, yet 2350 verses deal with the subject, as well as 2/3 of Jesus” parables. God must have known this was going to be a tough thing for us to “get!”

As someone who teaches about biblical financial principles, the most common questions I get asked, have to do with tithing. Everyone wants to know the “ins and outs” of that 10% we see referred to in the scripture.

Certainly, tithing is a part of how we handle our finances, but it misses the mark when we talk about being a “faithful steward.” God doesn’t want us just to handle 10% of what He’s given us His way, He want s us to handle 100% of it His way.

Imagine the blessing that would come from submitting to the Lord 100% in regard to finances, in the same way we think of submitting and surrendering 100% of our hearts when we become saved!

We need to remember 100% of what we have is HIS, 100% of the time.

It’s the 100% rule. If you get it, it’s a game changer!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

God's Plans, Not Mine

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

What do your prayers sound like? So often mine tend to focus on what I want. Even when I ask God what He wants, I hardly neglect to let Him know what I want. Now there's nothing wrong with asking God for what we want or what we think we need but are we truly willing to accept what He wants for us?

Many times I have prayed for or about something and God has answered exceedingly abundantly beyond what I had ever hoped for. The last two vehicles I have purchased happened that way. In both cases I had been praying because I needed another vehicle and I asked for something specific in His time. In both cases God went ahead of me and chose vehicles that were what I asked for and so much more.

There have also been those times when it seemed like God overlooked a few details. I have recently asked for prayer for myself as I looked for a job. I want to thank you all for praying and for those that encouraged me and some who even helped me through a few meltdowns. God provides for His children but it doesn't always look like we think it should.

As I applied for jobs, I prayed specifically that God would block all offers except for the job He wanted me to accept. I also asked if there could be at least one deeply rooted Christian where He chose for me to work, and that be someone I could become good friends with. I asked for prayer in my Sunday school class one day and the lady I asked told me there might be a position available soon in her department at work and asked me to email her my resume. Within a week she called me and offered me a job. The offer sounded more like a sales pitch as she was very anxious for me to accept.

So prayers answered, a job that was offered to me by someone I was already developing a friendship with who was a deeply rooted Christian. But it "seemed" that God had overlooked a few details. This was a part time position and paid very little. Not sufficient income to pay my bills but I was sure this was God's choice so I accepted the job. At the start of my 2nd week the position became full time and my supervisor is telling me that she wants to train me for advancement. The pay is still not sufficient to pay my bills but I know that this is the job that God chose for me. If things had gone according to my plans, I would have gone into a full time position that offered better pay but I am learning to accept God's plans and not mine.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9
Throughout my life God has shown me that He is always faithful. He has never left me stranded and has always provided for my needs, sometimes in miraculous ways. He can be trusted even when there is more month at the end of my income. These days it seems that we don't leave any room for dependence on God. We want our safety nets all in place before we take any steps forward. We won't take a job unless it offers high pay, health insurance, and a retirement plan. These aren't bad things but it seems that we, like the world, have come to rely more on these safety nets than we do on God. The world has to depend on these things because they don't have God, but God wants His People to depend on Him. We are called to live a life set apart so that the world can see our God and so that He will be glorified. I am so thankful for all that God has provided for me and that He has cut away the safety net.

Since I am working outside the home again I am having to make adjustments in my schedule. This will be my last post with Titus 2 in Action. I want to thank Sonya for giving me this opportunity. I have really enjoyed working with her and the other contributing authors here. Thank you all for reading and for your comments and encouragement.

Stephanie at Truthsharer will be picking up Grandma's Gems from this point forward. Stephanie is a wonderful lady in love with the LORD and full of insight into God's Word so please welcome her in this position.

Rich Gifts Blog Designs for Christian Ministry

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Dad Jesus Honored

Three noteworthy things to say about the dad in John 4:43-53:

1) He intervened in a painful, troubled situation.

Many times we dads hold back. We don’t know what to do. We don’t act with strength because we don’t know how to act. John Rosemond - Someone in the family is going to have strength. It batter be the parents. If not, it will be the kids, and they are not ready to lead. Even if we don’t know what to do, we still must move. If nothing else, seek out help from someone else. This man did. That is point #2.

2) He initiated contact with Jesus. He didn’t leave it to someone else.

He didn’t just hope Jesus would come to him. He made a journey to meet Jesus. He extended himself. Dad’s we can’t be afraid of doing that today. Our journey is not walking miles, it is moving from pride to humility, or from insecurity to conviction. We must initiate.

3) He invited Jesus into the life of his family.

Even if it was only in a limited sense at this point. He made the right moves. And Jesus honored that.

Dads, this story is about Jesus. But it uses a father to help move this story along. A father who invested himself into the life of his family. A father who involved himself in the struggles of his child. And Jesus honored this father.

And I think he still honors the lives and work of fathers today who intervene for the good of their families, who take the initiative to work for their good, and who invites him into their home.

Warren Baldwin

Friday, June 18, 2010

More From My Marriage Counselor

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3

God's Word, His precepts and statutes are our counselors. "Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors." (Psalm 119:24) Drinking in His Word every day is essential in our lives and vital in our marriages. God has given us His Holy Spirit as our Counselor to teach us and remind us of His Word. "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26

The key verse above from 2 Peter 1:3 assures us that His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge or Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through His Word and His Spirit, He has fully equipped us to live a life of godliness. "....give me only my daily bread." (Proverbs 30:8) As we daily yield our hearts to His will and His word, His divine power gives us everything we need for life and godliness....including in our marriage. Everything we need. I find that amazing.

"Give us each day our daily bread." (Luke 11:3) We need to daily feed on the Bread of Life. "When Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear Your name, O LORD God Almighty." (Jeremiah 15:16)

Our Counselor's promise is that we have everything we need for life and godliness. In our marriages, we have been equipped with everything we need. As a Christian, a child of God and joint heirs with Christ, God's inexhaustible riches are available to us. He has given us everything we need for life and godliness! The Counsellor teaches us and whispers to our hearts.

"The Father has given you His Spirit to serve as your Guide and Teacher. The Holy Spirit will lead you to the magnificent promises and resources that became available when God adopted you into His family. Take time to meditate on the wonderful promises of God that are available to you. Let the Holy Spirit convince you of the reality that you are, indeed, a child of God and a fellow heir of Christ." - Blackaby

We have been given everything we need for life and godliness in our lives and in our marriages. We must daily soak in His Word, trusting the Spirit to teach us. Yielding our way to His, our marriages and lives will bear abundant fruit. In obeying His commands, our hearts will be filled with peace.

Isaiah 48:16-18

"Come near me and listen to this: 'From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there.' And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me, with His Spirit. This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river,your righteousness like the waves of the sea."

Go near and listen to God. He teaches us through His Word and His Spirit what is best for us. He directs us in the way we should go. Pay attention to His commands and your peace will be like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Drink deep. He has given us everything we need for life and our marriages and in our lives.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gossip? Me?

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Romans 1:29-31

The Bible is clear, gossip is wickedness and evil. As Christians we are to guard our tongues and keep from repeating gossip. But what about listening to gossip? Sometimes as Christians we think listening is okay as long as we don't repeat what we've heard.

Proverbs 20:19 says to "avoid a man who talks too much" in regard to gossip. So it is clear, we should not just guard our mouths but our ears as well. Not only that, but Proberbs 18:8 and 26:22 repeat the same warning, "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts." What we hear goes in our "inmost parts." Or in the words of computer programming, "Garbage in, garbage out." We need to guard what goes in us, to protect what comes out of us.

Think you've got this one down? I did too. Lately however, God has been poking me about my "entertainment." This is what the media calls gossip now days. Whether it's People magazine, Entertainment Tonight or an online "Celebrity News" site, they are all in the business of gossip. As a matter of fact, had more than 14.5 million monthly unique visitors as of March 2010, per the Time Warner website. That's 14.5 million people reading celebrity gossip every month. Where you one of them?

The world tells us gossip is okay. The Bible says it is evil. Who are you going to believe? And will your actions show it?


Monday, June 14, 2010

The Gift of Creativity

Summer break is here!  What in the world are we supposed to do with these children?

We could try entertaining them, or let them watch countless hours of T.V.. Or, we could give them the gift of creativity this summer.

This is how it works. Check your local newspaper for fun places in your town you've never visited with the kids before. In my town, we have a pizza place called, Bottoms Up Pizza and it's in the heart of the city. It's more than just a pizza joint as it has a lot of personality.

Next, I'll give my kids a writing assignment. Here's how it will look:

I'll start the story: "Once upon a time, there was a family with six children. One day, this family decided to drive into downtown Richmond to eat lunch. Out of nowhere, they came upon a huge sign that read, "Bottoms Up Pizza." They parked their van and decided to go inside. Once inside...

Now the kids need to go to their rooms to complete the story. I will have my four year old tell me her version and I'll write it down for her.

Next we get together and read them out loud. To celebrate a job well done, we get in the van and actually go to Bottoms Up Pizza!

You can use this tool as often as you'd like. It's a great way to plan fun memory making days with your whole family!

I'd love to hear how it goes, so if you think about it, come back by and leave a comment with what you did and how it worked!


Friday, June 11, 2010

"Yield" and Be Frugal

Typically, when we hear the word frugal, we think of money, but to tell you the truth, I find it can be just as hard to be frugal when it comes to "time" as it is with money. Frankly, I find it really easy to get swallowed up by busyness. Yes, I’ve had the “super-mom” complex. I was the ultimate team-managing travel soccer mom at one point. I was the fundraising, competitive dance team mom and the jersey washing Varsity Football mom. For a few years these happened simultaneously! Ugh!!! Now I wonder how my kids can be gone off to college and I’m still so busy! Here’s the thing that God has recently shown me.

Why am I doing the things that I’m doing? Is God at the center of my choices?

Colossians 1:9-10

"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God."

In my prayer time the other day, I was praying for God to give some direction in my life on some matters and what I heard him saying to me was “We need more time together. I want you to do less and listen to me more. Then we will accomplish more." What he was saying was “Stop trying to do things, even things for me in your own power. Sit with me. Listen for my voice. I will lead you I will multiply your efforts because you will be doing what pleases me. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Pleasing God?

Matthew 6:33

"Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you."

When we run here and there being busy. Are we doing it because God asked us to or because we trying to meet our need for self worth by accomplishing more or trying to gain the approval of others?

When we seek God and ask him to show us what he wants us to do, when we seek to please HIM, we allow him to become involved in every aspect of our lives. Our lives become fruitful because he can anoint what we’re doing when it is in line with His will for our lives. All of that other busyness, if done outside of his will, is done in our own power. If God has called us to do something, we just need to be obedient and do it. If I really think about it, I have always had enough time to get done the things God truly called me to do.

Breaking the “busyness” habit was really tough, mainly, because as I said before, I am a “do-er” by nature. It made me feel more in control of things if I felt like I was acting upon them in some way. But that is just the problem. I was doing that out of a need to be in control. But 1 Chronicles 29 tells us God is in control of all things. So think about it, if I have a heart to use my time the way God wants me to use it, wouldn’t it make sense to first of all “ask him what he wants me to do?” and then rather than run around doing things I think make sense, and finding out later were totally fruitless endeavors—wait until he tells me what to do and then just do that and have he results be awesome. Hmmm. That means I would probably spend less time doing and more time accomplishing God’s will for more life. I think this is what Jesus had in mind in Matthew 11:28-30, when he says:

Matthew 11:28

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take MY yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

If I know what I am doing is pleasing to the Lord that definitely gives me much more peace than running around like crazy and worrying about whether anything I did really mattered. Remember what the bible says in 1 Samuel.15? “To obey is better than sacrifice.” When we stand at the judgment seat of Christ, will we be like Saul? “Look at what great things I did for you, Lord. Look at what I sacrificed to do all these noble and charitable things.” How many of us will have sacrificed our families for our jobs or even our congregations, but never really considered what God really WANTED us to do. We can be really busy doing good things, but they aren’t necessarily God things.

What God really wants from his people is for them to be yielded to Him. Remember, God doesn’t need to use us in his work, He chooses to use us if we will submit to His will. He’s in charge of the results. He just wants us to execute his plan. Even Christ himself was submitted to the will of the Father. What really matters in life is living out the will of God in our lives. Being a good steward of time is making God such a huge priority in our lives that everything we do is in obedience to what He asks us to do. That’s what we refer to as “loving God, with all our heart, our souls, our mind and our strength.” Is it easy? No! Is it a process? Yes! One that the Lord is only too pleased to guide us through, if we just take the time to ask him to come in and take over. Kind of like moving over in the front seat and letting him take the wheel.

The world says it’s all about you… how much you can get, how much you can do. But God says it’s all about relationship, first and foremost with Him. From that place alone, can He use us to truly change the world.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Volunteer Opportunities

This is my grandaughter Word Girl. In this picture she is pouring drinks, not for herself, but for those that we came to serve. Word Girl has expressed an interest in wanting to help others in need since she was very small. I could see that this was something that God had put on her heart so I began to pray for an opportunity. Unfortunately it's not that easy to find hands-on volunteer opportunities that children can take part in due to liability issues. I think that's sad because it teaches them how to take part in volunteer efforts as adults. I believe that a lot more adults would get involved in volunteer work if they had some previous exposure, and when children grow up doing volunteer work, then it is more likely to become part of their lifestyle.

A few years ago God opened up an opportunity where we could volunteer as a family to serve women that have left a life of abuse. Once a week families in the transitional living program met for counseling and a meal was served before their sessions began. So every 3 weeks my granddaughters and I would bring a meal to serve to these families.

All of the girls loved doing this. The two little ones didn't serve food but still ministered to the children as they played with them. They understood our purpose there and were quite patient about waiting until we served others before fixing them a plate. I love what this has taught them. Since that time Word Girl asks me periodically when we can do it again. God has recently laid it on my heart to start getting involved in helping the homeless and I plan on trying to find a way that she can be involved.

When it comes to volunteer work it's easy to opt out because it is not required. Volunteering is choosing to help someone else instead of doing something for our self. Teach the little ones in your life to do something selfless and volunteer at the church, a rescue mission, or a special project to benefit someone else.

We could not take pictures of anyone in the program but here's my little ones enjoying their meal.

After we packed everthing up to go home we took a few pictures of the girls being who God created them to be, distinctly individual and unique. Of course I have to add ... Aren't they just adorable!? :D

(This is a revision of one of my posts from October, 2008.)

Rich Gifts Blog Designs for Christian Ministry

Monday, June 7, 2010

In Case I'm Not There ...


Moving from Florida to Wyoming was a big decision for us. Cheryl and I were 30 and we had two small children. We experienced a wide range of emotions ranging from excitement at a new home to deep grief at leaving the home and people we loved. But we felt a call from God and followed through on the move.

My children were too young to understand our reasons or motives for moving, but I wanted them to understand. I knew that someday it would be beneficial for them to know so they would have some content to draw from for their major transitions in life. So, I started to journal about our move.

It dawned on me that if I was not around at some major change in their life, reading this journal might be beneficial to them. So I expanded on it and wrote about other things that were important to me - my reasons for being a Christian, faithfulness in marriage, debt and money management, telling the truth, etc.

I prayed that God would allow me to live until my youngest child was 18 (and she is now 17!!!). I figured if he would give my wife and me 18 years with each child we would be able to instill a basic value structure within them. But, if I was not blessed with that much time, I would have the journal to do some of the teaching I didn’t get to do in person.

I kept the journal up for a few years. For some reason I eventually put it aside, but I still have everything I wrote, and will someday make it available to the kids. But, I did continue to write in other formats so my kids would have a record of my thoughts, values and reasons for doing certain things. That was actually part of the motivation for the book, "Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and other Gems from Proverbs."

Dads, you have a set of values and convictions that guide you everyday. Are you passing them on to your children? Yes, you are, by the decisions you make and actions you take. Everyday. Your faithfulness to your wife, your work to support your family, leading your family in worship, paying your bills, and a host of other important daily tasks are making important impressions upon your children. Everyday.

But consider taking one more step to ensure the complete transmission of your ethical system to your children: write. You don’t have to be an accomplished writer. You don’t need a mastery of English. You just need to have a burning desire to use every available means of passing on your faith and values to your children. I think you’ll find the experience not only enjoyable, but quite rewarding. And don’t be surprised if your efforts result in a book!

Warren Baldwin

Friday, June 4, 2010

Confession: I Need A Marriage Counselor

"Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors."
Psalm 119:24 NIV

"I will keep Your law continually, forever and ever [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it]. And I will walk at liberty and at ease, for I have sought and inquired for [and desperately required] Your precepts."

Psalm 119:44-45 AMP

Meeting with my Marriage Counselor on a daily basis is key to all relationships in my life, especially my marriage. Meeting with our Bridegroom in God's Word every day is not optional, it is imperative. "I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word." Psalm 119:16

I need and require His Word and the life and wisdom that comes it. "You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need]. My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word]." Psalm 27:8 (AMP)

While at times it is healthy and necessary for couples to meet with a professional, biblically-based counselor, we all have access to God's Word. His precepts are our counselors. Christians have the Holy Spirit to guide and lead them and to understand the scriptures. "Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." Luke 24:45

As I steep my heart and my mind in God's Word, He gives me the grace, humility and heavenly wisdom I need. Look at the glorious and palpable wisdom we receive from Him: "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." James 3:17

Each time we open God's Word, there is heart and life application. His Word is an endless treasure of truth and wisdom. Just look at one small but mighty passage. If we all lived this way, especially in our marriage, imagine the fruit! Philippians 2:3-7 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant..." Wow. Just try one part of that NOTHING out of selfish ambition....consider others better than yourself.....look to the interest of others.....have the same attitude of Christ Jesus, taking the very nature of a servant. That's a lot to chew on....and a lot to live out in our lives and marriages!

As couples yield their hearts to the Holy Spirit, drink in His Word and obey His commands, marriages thrive. Marriages survive the dry times. Marriages bring forth fruit for His glory and purposes. "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

Open His Word today and ask the Lord to penetrate your heart. Invite your spouse to join you. Ask Him to give you wisdom and to bear fruit in your marriage as you yield to Him. "Each time we open God's Word, whether in private or public settings, it should be with the intent of allowing the Word to break us. The same Word that serves to break us will then become a balm to heal our hearts and a light to guide our footsteps in the pathway of humility." - Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." John 6:63


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In Remembrance of....

Monday was Memorial Day. I explained to my six year old daughter what that meant. "Today is the day we remember the soldiers," I told her. "How can I remember them if I don't know them?" she asked.

From a six year old point of view, that is a very good question. How do we "remember" someone we don't know? For us, it was easy to resolve. I reminded her that her daddy was a soldier, and a veteran. She knew him. She excitedly replied, "That means my daddy is special to the earth!" That was good enough for a six year old. To tell her we are specifically remembering fallen soldiers would wait for a few more years.

"Do this in remembrance of me," Jesus told the disciples after breaking bread, and telling them its symbolism of his body being broken for them. He was reminding them that after he was resurrected to Heaven, that we should still break bread together, and should remember His sacrificial death so that we may have eternal life.

But do we remember? Part of the issue is just as my six year old stated. Some people don't really know Jesus. They are like Job who said about God "I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You." (42:5) They have heard of Jesus, but haven't quite seen him yet.

I know I have been guilty at times of taking communion without fully remembering the price of the sacrifice. Instead I eat a cracker and drink some juice while distracted by some meaningless thought.

Today let us work harder at seeing Jesus with our eyes. Let's focus as we take communion at church. Let's remember Him because we know Him. And like my six year old said, we remember and know He is "special to the earth."