Showing posts from October, 2009

If in Doubt, Don't

Today's Word-Filled Wednesday is hosted by Christy at CrittyJoy. Visit her site for more pictures accompanied by golden words.

God doesn't keep us in the dark about what He wants us to do though we often think He does. Perhaps the lesson to be learned when we are unsure of the direction He wants us to take is to stand still and wait until His path is clear to us. That's the message of the picture and the verse to follow.

Isaiah 30:21 reminds me that I will know which way to go when His timing for any move on my part is right.

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" —Isaiah 30:21.

Sleeping on the Promises

When my parents died I was forced to reexamine a truth that I had believed in academically but had never, until that moment, tested.

Did I, or did I not, believe in the afterlife? If I didn't, then the road ended there. All I would have left would be memories and a few momentoes. If I did, then I would see mom and dad again.

Curling the mind around such a concept is difficult. After all, I don't know anyone personally who has come back from the dead—except Jesus.

That's a huge exception, and the point.

Paul writes: "Brothers we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him" —1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14.

As Jesus is our example in everything else in life, He is our example in death as well. He lives, and because He lives, so do mom and dad. And so will I. When I fall "asleep&…

2, 1, 3, 4, 5 …

The gentleman got up in the middle of the service, walked to the platform and took hold the the microphone. He called three young girls to come to the front. To one he gave a man's jacket, to another he gave the Bible, and to the third he gave a hammer.

"The first represents humanity," he said as he placed the girl with the jacket to his right. "The second represents God," he continued, placing the young girl with the Bible in the middle. "The third represents …" and here he fumbled for a word, finally settling on the word "work." She was placed off to the left.

He went on to explain that we generally think of that we, humanity, initiate every process. For example if we are sick, or someone else is sick, we pray. God moves in response to our prayers and things happen.

Then he took the middle girl and moved her to the right, placing the one with the jacket in the middle.

"But we have the order wrong," he said. "God moves, we respon…

All I'll Ever Need

Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday. Be sure to visit Lori at All You Have To Give for more of the word through pictures.

Jesus used flowers to describe how well He looks after His children.

My verse for today follows up so beautifully on that thought: "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" —Philippians 4:19.

Contentment is a Matter of Trust

No matter how much we have, it never seems to be quite enough. We are all to aware of how the advertisers play on that crack in our armor, convincing us that we just need their product to be fully satisfied. Ask me about my MAC. I'm totally content with what I have until I see the newest version. Since new "toys" are introduced practically every other week, I find myself never satisfied, especially since I can't possibly afford to keep up.

So Paul's words have special meaning. He writes in Philippians 4:13-15: "…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

I find it interesting that this much-quoted last verse refers to resisting greed. And it is to our greed that the advertisers appea…

Come, Thankful People, Come

I had the opportunity yesterday to visit my Toronto home church. It was truly a cross-cultural experience. Over the forty years I've been associated with the church, the colour of its' congregation has changed. Added to that, the guest preacher yesterday was a man from Grenada, a convert of one of the members of the Toronto church. He preached a fiery sermon which gave rise throughout to hearty "amens," hallelujahs," and "preach it, brother" expressions, not to mention applause.

Since this is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada the message was appropriate to the subject. Though I was an unexpected visitor the pastor squeezed me into the program and gave me a few moments to share during the service. Since the congregation had just finished expressing some of the things it was thankful for, I added my bit of praise by reminding them of Paul's words when I said how much I thanked God for every remembrance of them. Over all these years they have been a spec…

A Gentle Reminder

I just signed a contract to publish the English version of my book, Diseño Divino (Divine Design). Celebrating is in order. None of this would have happened if God hadn't been in the project from start to finish. But just in case I am tempted to forget that, today's verses are a gentle reminder.

"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" —Philippians 2:3, 4.

In the midst of working on the Spanish version, there was little time for anything else. When I get back to Caracas the whole business of marketing this book will consume a lot of time. Now I will work through the same process with the English version. My challenge will be to remember that while all that is important it can't take precedence over spiritual interests that concern others. The book is part of that but only a part. My mission is not peddling …

Christ, and Christ Alone

This verses says it all:

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain" —Philippians 1:21.


When I fall before temptation, where should I look to to find the weakness that Satan took advantage of?

Check the armor. God has equipped us to be victorious no matter what means Satan uses to attack us. If we fall, there must be a chink in that armor somewhere. Look for the hole. That's where work needs to be done to prevent the failure from happening again.

"…put on the whole armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and re…

The Ultimate Mark

It's time for MONDAY MANNA, hosted by our dear Joanne over at An Open Book. Please check out the other contributions that you'll find over there.

How do you know that you "belong?"

Yesterday I did a presentation in one of my supporting churches. After the service I had lunch with the chairman of the missions committee and his wife. As we talked I discovered that their two daughters had both been adopted from Russian orphanages. The oldest, about to graduate from high school, had been in the family since she was six years old.

How does she know she belongs to that family? There are documents to prove that she legally "belongs" to John and Anthea. But the documents are only paper. It's the love evident between the members of the family that make each one truly a member of the family.

Circumcision was the outward sign of what was to be an inward reality, something like baptism is supposed to be an outward sign of an inward reality. God knew that the outward …

All Others Need Not Apply

Okay, I confess I was going to ignore these verses. But let me put them in along with a picture and you can apply them as the Spirit so moves you.

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord…as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything…husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy…and to present her to himself as a radiant church" —Ephesians 5:22, 24-25.

It would have been helpful if Paul had changed the order of the verses, but gentleman that he was, it was women first. In any case, I still contend that it wouldn't be hard at all to submit to a man who loved me as much as Christ loved the church: a man committed to helping me be the best I can be even to giving his life to accomplish it.

I'm taking applications.

When No One is Looking

Who’s to know what I do behind closed doors? One of the advantages of being single and living alone is the privilege of total anonymity when I am at home—if you don’t count my two cats. If I watch something on television that might not be entirely appropriate, if I read something that might have been better left unread, or check out a website that is more black than grey, who’s to know?

As a believer I know theoretically that God is always present, that he observes my every action. Proverbs 15:3 (NIV) reminds us: “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” It’s odd that my practical reality denies that truth so stubbornly.

David has this conundrum between what I believe in public and how I live in private covered in this verse from Psalm 101: “I will walk in my house with blameless heart” (v. 2b NIV). And with a flash of prophetic insight, he includes the information highway in the next verse: “I will set before my eyes no vile thing” (v. 3 NIV).