Sunday, May 2, 2010

Psalm 42:5

Psalm 42:5
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
Psalm 42:5 NASB

Jobs are dwindling. Money is tight. Crime seems to be on the rise. Natural disasters seem to be increasing in both destructiveness and sheer number of events. People are angry and hurting. Life, if taken in through the television, print or electronic news, can be downright overwhelming and discouraging. It's easy to feel the weight of the world on our shoulders when we see so much need and hurt all around us.

However, if we could put a filter over the TV screen, the newspaper page or the computer monitor that would allow us to see things through God's newscast we would see that He never fails. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He never gives up on us and will never leave us in the middle of a situation where He is not quick to save us if we would just cry out for His help. He loves us so much, and the heartache of this world is only amplified in His heartache knowing the full breadth of what He offers...and yet is continually rejected.

He is our hope. He is our fortress and our strong Deliverer. He offers us peace in ways that we will never understand or even begin to imagine, but He does.

Are you living as if He's really fighting for you? Are you walking through the valley of the shadow of death fearing no evil for the Lord, Your God, is with you? Are you offering help and hope to those around you in how you care for them, respond to them, or provide for their needs? Put the filter over the newscast of your life and ask God to open your eyes to the HOPE of His PRESENCE (presents).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Matthew 27: 63-66

Matthew 27: 63-66
63 They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ 64 So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.”

65 Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” 66 So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.

The Pharisees were used in this instance to set up the greatest lie Satan has ever told...that Jesus didn't really rise again. Isn't it interesting, though, how God took care of the hole in their story? They themselves were the ones who asked for the guards ~ THEY themselves said, "This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body...." And yet, when they discovered the guards ran away for fear of the consequences of not keeping His body in the tomb, the Pharisees immediately said they couldn't keep Him in the tomb!


Happy Easter!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Matthew 13: 1 - 23

Here is an excerpt from the entire passage from The Message. It is the parable Jesus told to the multitudes of people standing on shore listening to Him as He taught from a boat.

3-8"What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn't put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.

9"Are you listening to this? Really listening?"

In verses 18 to 23 Jesus explains the parable to His disciples, so follow the link in the title of this blog to read the entire passage (in 5 different translations) certainly won't be disappointed!

Jesus asks a question at the end of telling the parable. I chose The Message translation because of how clearly the question is asked, "Are you listening to this? Really listening?" Jesus speaks to us through His Word. Many people read it and debate it and learn of it. Some politicians and public speakers have people research it for "good quotes" that will fit their needs. Some mock it and refuse to believe anything about it other than the fact that it's a bunch of stories.

Even today there are those who hear it and don't understand so it goes nowhere. There are those who hear it and get all excited in the passion of it but don't spend time pondering it and letting it sink in to the transformational level in their lives and are soon back to being who they once were. Still there are those who hear it, love it and want to believe it, but they don't take their eyes off the worries and trials of this world so what they hear can really change them.

And then there are those who listen, ponder, embrace and bury it deep in their hearts...they fertilize it with more listening and their lives are changed. Many times from the inside out, subtly yet clearly changed for the better. Their minds, hearts, souls and strength are fertile soil thirsty for more and more of the Kingdom of Heaven brought to earth in God's Word. Their hands become His hands, their feet His feet. They speak truth to a lying world and love & peace to a world full of hate and fear.

It is these last ones we should be longing to be. Are you? Are you really listening? Is spending time silence...pondering His Word and simply being in the presence of the Risen King a priority in your life? Lest you think I have that one down pat all you really have to do is look at the sporadic entries in this blog to see it is a constant battle in my own life, too. But can I encourage you and me together to remember those days when we make it a priority? To stop and think about the peace that passes all understanding flooding through us as we sit and drink Him in? To think of how much more effective we are for His Kingdom ~ how much more patient, loving and truly kind we are when we have spent time really listening to the One who is all those things personified?

Today...take the time to listen. Take the time to really listen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

John 10:4

"...and the sheep follow him for they know his voice." John 10:4

There are voices we know within the first syllable out of their mouths. We know them because we hear them...we listen to them...we spend time with them. Maybe it's a parent or a friend, spouse or child, boss or co-worker. No matter who it is, the reason we know them is because we have spent time hearing them. According to Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd..." Have you spent enough time with the Shepherd ~ through His Word (the Bible), through prayer (talking AND listening) ~ to know His voice amidst the thousands of voices calling out to you in your lifetime? Would you know the difference between the voice of the One True God vs. the voice of a god pulling you away? The only way we can know His voice is to get to know Him.

It's a great time of year to start a Bible read through. There are many available online ~ from the entire Bible in one year Genesis through Revelation to a chronological read through of the Bible in one year to a whole host of others. Here's a link to the Bible in One Year website: href="" No matter which one you choose, choose one and stick with it...even if you miss a day don't give up, just keep reading from where you left off and see it through to completion. The goal isn't just to read it in a year ~ the real goal is to get to the know the voice of the Savior through His Word. Praying for each of you who read this...that a fire of desire for the Word of God will be lit and fanned into flame in your hearts. God bless you in this New Year!