Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I wrote these two passages down quickly on my Blackberry early this morning.
"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
"He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. "
As I was coming home late today, going West toward our road, the SUN was overwhelmingly, a large yellow ball in the sky. It was beaming so bright in our eyes, that I even made the comment to Jason if he could see... My mind instantly went to these two verses. This is exactly my prayer each day. I want others to see Jesus in my life. I want my life to shine like the noonday sun, so overwhelming that there is no mistake. You know God's word says that he makes himself known to all men. May others know Him through our good deeds and most importantly praise our Father in Heaven.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I am writing this post more for myself than anything. Yesterday, was a challenging day to say the least without going into details. I woke up this morning, positioned myself in my comfy chair and prayed God would speak to me, just me. (by the way, as I am writing this, these words were deleted once, by I don't know what, maybe the devil, I am sure he does not like what I am writing now). I normally read three devotionals that I just love and then read through chapters in the Bible. As I read each devotional, just look what I scribbled down from each one.
First one, Fret Not, Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret"
Second one, Trust ME, I am taking care of you, Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;"
Psalm 20:4 "May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. "
Third one, Our Shield, Proverbs 30:5 " Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him."
And fourth, All I need is God! Matthew 4:4 "Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
Now I would say, God was definitely speaking to me today. I pray for peace, I pray that God will let me memorize and be able to quote his words all through the day to stand against the devil. I love you God, and I give my life to you. You are my King!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Surely, Goodness and Mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. For I know the plans I have for you, to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future. Amen!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I read this first thing this morning, Psalm 15: Wow!
*He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
*who speaks the truth from his heart
*and has no slander on his tongue,
*who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
*who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD,
*who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
*who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken."
You know when I think about "will never be shaken", the dandelion flower always comes to my mind. Imagine holding a dandelion and shaking it-what happens? it falls apart, it even falls apart with the smallest movement. Dandelions are fragile, they are not strong, they are weak and crumble. I compare this to people who not not believe in our Father God, our King, our Protector, our Provider, our Best Friend. I want to believe that when hard times come, and they will, that I will never be shaken.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
By Catherine Moore
'Watch out! You nearly broadsided that car!' My father yelled at me. 'Can't you do anything right?' Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.
'I saw the car, Dad.. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving.' My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.
Dad glared at me, then, turned away and settled back. At home, I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil.
What could I do about him?
Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.
The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day, I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.
Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived.
But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned and then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.
My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon, I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session, he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.
The next day, I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered. In vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, 'I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.' I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.
I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one, but rejected one after the other for various reasons, too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen, a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.
I pointed to the dog. 'Can you tell me about him?' The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement..
'He's a funny one Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him; that was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow.' He gestured helplessly.
As the words sank in, I turned to the man in horror. 'You mean you're going to kill him?'
'Ma'am,' he said gently, 'that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog.'
I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. 'I'll take him,' I said.
I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house, I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch.
'Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!' I said excitedly.
Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. 'If I had wanted a dog, I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it' Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.
Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples.
'You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!' Dad ignored me.. 'Did you hear me, Dad?' I screamed. At those words, Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate.
We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when, suddenly, the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him.. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.
Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently.. Then, Dad was on his knees, hugging the animal.
It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together, he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.
Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then, late one night, I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe, and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.
Two days later, my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.
The morning of Dad's funeral dawned, overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And, then, the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. 'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers.'
'I've often thanked God for sending that angel,' he said.
For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article.
Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter, his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father, and the proximity of their deaths. And, suddenly, I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all. Life is too short for drama & petty things, so laugh hard, love truly, and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
"You are precious to me and honored, I love you." Isaiah 43:4 - PS, I love you too Father God! Lorri L
I had just posted on Facebook last night that "Life is Good"...then this morning I was reading Psalm 13:6, wow...
"I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me."
I really do not know how much more I can be blessed. I constantly thank the Lord for all He has given me. It is hard to have self pity when you are in a constant state of "thankfulness" to our God. Indeed, my cup overflows! I think I will surely tell Layton all the days of my life, as I teach him, that OUR cups INDEED overflow!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Dear Friend by Max Lucado
I'm writing to say thanks. I wish I could thank you personally, but I don't know where you are. I wish I could call you, but I don't know your name. If I knew your appearance, I'd look for you, but your face is fuzzy in my memory. But I'll never forget what you did.
There you were, leaning against your pickup in the West Texas oil field. An engineer of some sort. A supervisor on the job. Your khakis and clean shirt set you apart from us roustabouts. In the oil field pecking order, we were at the bottom. You were the boss. We were the workers. You read the blueprints. We dug the ditches. You inspected the pipe. We laid it. You ate with the bosses in the shed. We ate with each other in the shade.
Except that day.
I remember wondering why you did it.
We weren't much to look at. What wasn't sweaty was oily. Faces burnt from the sun; skin black from the grease. Didn't bother me, though. I was there only for the summer. A high-school boy earning good money laying pipe.
We weren't much to listen to, either. Our language was sandpaper coarse. After lunch, we'd light the cigarettes and begin the jokes. Someone always had a deck of cards with lacy-clad girls on the back. For thirty minutes in the heat of the day, the oil patch became Las Vegas—replete with foul language, dirty stories, blackjack, and barstools that doubled as lunch pails.
In the middle of such a game, you approached us. I thought you had a job for us that couldn't wait another few minutes. Like the others, I groaned when I saw you coming.
You were nervous. You shifted your weight from one leg to the other as you began to speak.
"Uh, fellows," you started.
We turned and looked up at you.
"I, uh, I just wanted, uh, to invite ... "
You were way out of your comfort zone. I had no idea what you might be about to say, but I knew that it had nothing to do with work.
"I just wanted to tell you that, uh, our church is having a service tonight and, uh ... "
"What?" I couldn't believe it. "He's talking church? Out here? With us?"
"I wanted to invite any of you to come along."
Silence. Screaming silence.
Several guys stared at the dirt. A few shot glances at the others. Snickers rose just inches from the surface.
"Well, that's it. Uh, if any of you want to go ... uh, let me know."
After you turned and left, we turned and laughed. We called you "reverend," "preacher," and "the pope." We poked fun at each other, daring one another to go. You became the butt of the day's jokes.
I'm sure you knew that. I'm sure you went back to your truck knowing the only good you'd done was to make a good fool out of yourself. If that's what you thought, then you were wrong.
That's the reason for this letter.
Some five years later, a college sophomore was struggling with a decision. He had drifted from the faith given to him by his parents. He wanted to come back. He wanted to come home. But the price was high. His friends might laugh. His habits would have to change. His reputation would have to be overcome.
Could he do it? Did he have the courage?
That's when I thought of you. As I sat in my dorm room late one night, looking for the guts to do what I knew was right, I thought of you.
I thought of how your love for God had been greater than your love for your reputation.
I thought of how your obedience had been greater than your common sense.
I remembered how you had cared more about making disciples than about making a good first impression. And when I thought of you, your memory became my motivation.
So I came home.
I've told your story dozens of times to thousands of people. Each time the reaction is the same: The audience becomes a sea of smiles, and heads bob in understanding. Some smile because they think of the "clean-shirted engineers" in their lives. They remember the neighbor who brought the cake, the aunt who wrote the letter, the teacher who listened ...
Others smile because they have done what you did. And they, too, wonder if their "lunchtime loyalty" was worth the effort.
You wondered that. What you did that day wasn't much. And I'm sure you walked away that day thinking that your efforts had been wasted.
So I'm writing to say thanks. Thanks for the example. Thanks for the courage. Thanks for giving your lunch to God. He did something with it; it became the Bread of Life for me.Gratefully,