Friday, February 20, 2015

It Will Soon Be Over!

The weather is all anyone wants to talk about this week. How cold it is here in Alabama or how much snow Boston has gotten this year. Schools have been delayed a few hours or they have been dismissed early.  Always something to say about the weather, as we end our conversations with "Stay warm and be safe!" 

When I was young, I remember the cold winters in Alabama. We knew it was bad outside, when folks passed our house with 'clang, clang, clang' as they drove with chains on their tires. We used to rub the windows to look out to see people pushing their trucks, since there wasn't four wheel drive back then. 

Mother would put a chicken on the stove, the beginning of her famous stew. Then, cornbread would go into the old, treated with lard, cast iron skillet. The aroma would soon be filling the rooms of the house. Often my parents would go to pick up an elderly couple to come stay with us a few days, to keep them from going out on the bad roads. They would sit up late into the night playing Rook with them and eating Mama's stew. 

The weather will soon change and we will see the tops of the flowers starting to pop up through the soil, giving folks something else to talk about. 

Wonder why the conversations are not on God? Do our souls get cold like the winter? Do we go through times of 'drying up' and winterizing ourselves from Him? 

If every now and then, we just spoke a word of encouragement to someone instead of words of warning, "Stay warm and be safe" would it make a difference? 

Are we waiting on warmer weather to share the 'warm' love of Christ? Why do we Christians take a pause on being a Christian? Do we work at it too hard and then get tired, needing a break? 

Is the freeze on winter or our hearts? Is it maybe why winter is so long and lonely? 

James 4:8  "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

We must clear our minds, stay focused on Him. Be alert, like when we walk outside in the winter, watching for danger. 

Draw close to Him, as we pull up to the fire and feel the warmth, He is the warmth for our souls. 

Pray and encourage each other as you go, for we need to press on.
Springtime is coming, so is our Lord. Be ready. 


Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday 13th Luck with God?

Well, today is Friday 13th and you have survived or your would not be reading this!  Do you really
believe in "Luck" or "Bad Luck" in life? When I found a four leaf clover (and I am good at finding them!) my mother would say, "The lucky part was that you found it!" That is so true and it kept me busy and quiet for hours on end! So was my mother the unlucky one when my search was over? 

Because we do not have the curtains drawn back to see what is taking place in heaven, we cannot always determine whether God’s active or passive will is involved in the events of our lives, but we do know that all things that take place are under the umbrella of His will, whether active or passive, and, therefore, nothing is a matter of mere chance. Now, when you are playing a game and roll the dice, is it God's will that you win or lose? I think those things could be controlled by Him, but in my heart I believe it would be inconsequential. 

Can God cause things to happen? I believe if we talked to Jonah, he would say that fish did not swallow and spit him out on his own! Thank goodness God had control of that! 
God’s passive will involves Him allowing, rather than causing, something to happen. Chapter1 of the book of Job illustrates this in what God allowed Satan to do in the life of Job. It is also involved in the evil that God allowed Joseph’s brothers to do to Joseph in order to accomplish a greater good, a good not apparent to Joseph until years later Genesis 50:20.

"What about 'karma'?" someone asked me. If you do good things, good things will come to you or if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you is the rationing of karma. Here are my thoughts on this: If you are obedient to God, you will be blessed and He will take care of you. If you are a child of God's and are not obedient, you will be disciplined by Him. You may not be swallowed by a fish like Jonah, but He will not bless you and bad things in life may come your way. 

God loves us so much, He wants to bless us and give us joy. He does not like to see us struggling through this world and all the evil in it. 

Now is the time to make this very clear. He does not want us to partake in sorcery, horoscopes, tarot card, or any kind of fortune telling. These things are of the devil and are an abomination to God Deuteronomy 18:9-12 .

We should look to Him to guide our ways, praying and reading His Word daily. He has a plan not to harm us, but to give us hope and a future!   Jeremiah 29:11 

Be bold and stand as a Christian everyday, especially when the world says 'watch out' for black cats, ladders and the 13th. It may be in fun and jest, however we need to pay attention to the examples we are setting. If we don't believe in luck, we probably shouldn't even joke about it. 

Now go out and have a great day, no matter what the date on the calendar says!
He is Lord everyday, trust Him for all things! 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Daddy's Mad Dog Love

Many years ago (let's just leave it at 'many'!), I had a little red tricycle that I rode around and around our house. I had a path beat down in the grass where the front wheel went and I was determined to make that track wider everyday. When dinner (lunch for those of you not raised in the south) came, I would park my trike on a certain flat rock in the grass. That was my parking spot, just like my dad's old Chevy, which sat on the gravel drive in front of the house. We had our spots and knew exactly where our vehicles would be when we came back to them. I could jump right back on my tricycle and continue my rounds for the afternoon. 

I was probably about four years old then, not having a lot of chores or responsibilities yet, so I could really 'work' at marking my way. There was a lot of shade trees in the backyard and the little creek that flowed along the border of the yard. I was not allowed to go all the way to the creek, but could go close enough to ride through the shade and feel the cool breeze. So my afternoons, in hot Alabama, was rewarding in many ways. 

However, one afternoon, as I rounded the house and headed to the cool shade, I spotted something near the creek and in the trees. I slowed down and came to a stop, trying to figure out what was standing just ahead of me. It was a large, black dog and he was foaming at the mouth and showing his sharp teeth. His eyes looked really funny, like he did not even see me, but he tilted his head and seemed to hear me. I knew something was really wrong, I could feel it in my stomach. 

Jumping off the safe haven for me, my red tricycle, I ran up the steps and into the backdoor of the house. Once inside the house, I cried out, "There is a dog in the yard!" Seeing my terrified face and knowing I was not normally afraid of dogs, my Daddy jumped up! He ran to the door and just one look was enough. He grabbed his gun and told me to stay inside, as he went out the door. I remembered how scared I was, not only for me, but for my Daddy too. 

I heard a gunshot and covered my ears as I cried out! The terror in my soul was grief, pain and fear! 

Daddy came inside and called animal control. He said the dog was a 'mad dog, had rabies.' He said he was a dangerous animal. Suddenly, I felt the relief and the warmth of my Daddy's arms around me. I was secure and safe in the arms of the one who loved me. 

In this life, there are many times we go around and around in a routine of life. Our lives grow as the paths get wider, every now and then we stop to refuel, then we continue our routines. However, like the mad dog suddenly appeared, something interrupts our lives, and we are filled with fear, grief and terror. This can take the form of illness, death, loss of job, many things can stop our routine of going on our 'path'. 

Finally, we get off our 'path' and run to the Father. He tells us to step aside, He takes care of our problem, in whatever way His Plan is for us. But no matter what, we can be sure He will wrap His arms around us, give us the secure peace and comfort only He can give. He is the One Who loves us.

2 Thess. 3:16
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."

Yes, my Daddy was a great, big man in size and heart. But my God is bigger than my Daddy ever was, His arms and His love for me is bigger than my Daddy's (now that is a lot!). 

Do you have a situation you need the Father to take care of today? Do you have a request for prayer? Share with us when the Father has taken care of you....we would love to hear your stories! Just leave a comment here......