Archive for April, 2014

Go!

April 20, 2014

What We Do When We Have Faith

 

Genesis 12:1: Then the Lord told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land I will show you.”

 

Imagine this. One day God says to you, “Go up to your class in school. Stand on your desk and tell the kids the gospel. Don’t be afraid. I will be with you.”

Wouldn’t that be incredible? “Well,” you say, “I’d probably be scared out of my wits. And everyone would think I’m totally weird.”

 

But what if God himself told you to do this?

 

It has happened before in history. One of the first great examples comes from Abraham. One day God told him to leave his country and go to a land God promised to show him. The Bible shows us that Abraham obeyed, and he became the father of the Jews.

 

There will always be times in our lives when God asks us to do things that make us fearful. “I want you to be a missionary.” Or, “Go to the school bully and tell him about me.” Or, “Invite your weird neighbor over for lunch.”

 

It could happen to you today. Be listening. God is there, and he wants to use you to change his world.

 

Prayer: Jesus, help me to listen for your voice. I want to follow you. Amen.

SIck Child

April 20, 2014

A Sick Child

 

we sit by her bed

in the chilly room

in the hospital ICU

my ten-year old darling

sick very sick

near the end perhaps

the child of my old age

please don’t let her die God

I couldn’t stand it

please don’t let this leave scars

I know what You have done

to me in past years

clinical depression

marital separation

a custody battle

divorce

broken ministries

it all hurts so deep down

I don’t want anyone in my family

to go through that

though I know they will

because that’s what you do

to make us grow

transform

become more like You

yes but please

let none of that come

to my little one

please God make this

all go away please tell

me it will be all right

yes I have my Bible

I know the passages

the promises

trust Me

walk with Me

look to Me

I will be with you

through the fire

and the burgeoning rivers

but sometimes

all that can be so distant

and doesn’t really happen

or seem real

I need Your closeness

Your presence

Your hug and quiet kind words

I need You to slip down

right into this old heart of mine

and speak

speak

hold me remind me

of the things I know

but need to know all over

again

above all please tell me

this will not end badly

please give me that

I’m at the end God

we all are

all we have is You

there is no other

no other place to go

where there are words

of eternal life

like Peter said to Jesus

I feel that Lord

I know it

so please assure me

it’s worth it to follow You

unto death

just one more time

Sometimes God Hurts

April 19, 2014

Sometimes God Hurts

Genesis 6:6: So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them. It broke his heart.

 

Can people hurt God? Can God feel pain?

 

According to this verse of the Bible, he can. Here, the world had turned into a murderous, lying, cheating, stealing mess. People destroyed others for their own gain. Sin happened everywhere.

 

When God looked down and saw it, Genesis 6:6 says he “was grieved.” That means he mourned, he felt deep pain in his heart over the things people did. He couldn’t simply ignore it. He couldn’t go away for a rest and forget about it. He couldn’t start beating up on them as they sinned.

 

No, God hurt and he had to do something. In this case, he would send a flood that would destroy the world.

 

But what about you? What does God do when you sin? God probably won’t flood you out. But he will discipline you. He will convict you and tell you gently what you’re doing is wrong. He’ll try to get you to change and become a better person.

 

Are you disobeying God? Have you hurt others? Stop! Today! Refuse to live an evil, hateful life, and go to God, asking him to help you live rightly.

 

Prayer: Lord, keep me from sinning. I want to please you. Amen.

I Remember

April 19, 2014

I Remember

 

I remember O God

You healed me in sickness

so many times

You led me through tough times

so many times

You spoke to me and comforted

me in loss and the deaths of

loved ones

many many times

You were there always

even when it didn’t seem that way

You spoke

You opened doors

You led me to my wife

it was always You

all You

I will never forget

I will worship You forever

even when I distrusted You

even when I called on You

and You didn’t seem to answer

still You were there

let me not go to the grave

without calling on Your name

for You are good

You last forever

for that reason I know I will also

You will not leave my soul

in Sheol where we go

until You bring us to You

You will bring me

all of us to Your home

without hesitation

without a flinch

without thinking how unworthy

we all are

The Awful Power of Anger

April 17, 2014

The Awful Power of Anger

 

Genesis 4:6: “Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked him. “Why do you look so dejected?”

 

Everyone gets angry sooner or later.

 

Your friend steals one of your favorite paintings. You’re ready to punch her lights out. She said she only meant to borrow it. But then you saw it being sold on eBay.

 

Your kids mess up the kitchen. You want to smack them upside the head.

 

Anger can strike in an instant. One second we’re laughing, and the next we’re ready to kill.

 

In this story about Cain in the Bible, we see a man who was angry. Why? Because God rejected the offering he brought (he gave God the shriveled, useless vegetables). God accepted his brother Abel’s offering, and that only made it worse.

 

Cain’s anger would lead him to kill his brother.

 

All through the world you’ll find angry people. Some commit horrendous acts like terrorists, murderers and abusers. Anger can be controlled, though, and overcome. How? With the help of God, a desire to obey him, and a commitment to his leadership. Ask God for his power, and God promises to give it.

 

Prayer: Father, teach me to control my anger. Let me never hurt others. Amen.

Trouble At Home

April 17, 2014

Trouble At Home

 

Today my wife told me

she thinks I hate her

astounded I asked why

she said I don’t support her

never support her in anything

rarely kiss her

more rarely say something nice

the list of things she has

to do is endless

the pile only groqwqws

and I do nothing

I say nothing

I just work at my computer

pounding the keys

like right now

dreaming of a better world

and me trying to make it better

for You

she says that’s why I think

you hate me

I love God more

aren’t I supposed to

but that doesn’t mean

I leave you out

no you say you hate me

the words catch in my throat

you have never been happy

with me of late

nothing like at the beginning

when it was all wondrous

but now

so much older

I don’t know how to

please you

how to make you

see that I am in agony too

and no longer know

what to do

I go to You God

You say nothing

I go to the Bible

I should love you as Christ loved

the church

I should put your needs

ahead of my own

but I am old

I am old I shall

wear the bottoms of my

trousers rolled

T.S. Eliot wrote that

a favorite poem

Prufrock

so true as we grow old

and now it describes me

a pair of claws scuttling

across the broken seas

please God show me

something to grasp onto

help my wife

see I love her

more than my own life

just that

is all I ask

and then it hit me today

was it from You

Valentine’s Day coming

I wrote a whole batch of poems

over a hundred

put it on Amazon

all of them

for her just her

Valentines for My Wife

she wept and said

it was the best present

I ever gave her

give me more like that Lord

for I want her to know

she is the love

of my life

deep down

in her very soul

and never question it

again

Watch Out!

April 15, 2014

The Big Lie

Genesis 3:4-5 “You won’t die!” the serpent hissed. “God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.”

 

Have you ever been walking along and a thought suddenly beams into your mind. “Kick over Mrs. Chambers’ trash cans.” Or, “Speed up. No one cares.” Or, “You’ve had a tough day. Go ahead and cuss.”

It’s a temptation. It’s the devil trying to get you to do something wrong.

 

What usually happens? You might say to him, “That’s wrong. I shouldn’t do that!”

And the devil comes back at you with, “Hey, it’ll be fun. There’s nothing in the Bible that says you can’t do that. And anyway, why should you have to listen to the stupid Bible? It’s not your boss!”

 

Satan has the power to plant thoughts in our minds, just like he did with Eve in Genesis 3. At the same time, he deceives us, tempts us, goads us, pushes us to do bad things.

 

Eve should have realized the devil was lying to her. But she was deceived. Watch out! Satan will deceive you too. How do you stop him? By knowing the Bible and obeying it. By learning what God says. That way you’ll send the devil running.

 

Prayer: Jesus, don’t let me give in to temptation. Help me obey your truth. Amen.

God Has Something

April 14, 2014

God Has Something for Everyone

Something For Everyone!
Genesis 2:15: The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.

Sally sat in her adult small group listening intently. The teacher said that morning that God had a job for everyone. Everyone mattered to God. And he would use all who asked him about the work of his kingdom. It seemed incredible to Sally. What could she possibly do?

The teacher referred to Adam, how God created him to work and tend the Garden of Eden. Suddenly, the teacher said, “God has work for all of us to do, work that we will enjoy. Work that will make us feel important, and loved.”

Sally raised her hand. “What am I supposed to do?”

The teacher smiled. “There are many things, Sally. You can help around your church. You can encourage your family and relatives. You could be an assistant here in Sunday School to lead everyone in learning.”

Sally loved drawing. “Could I teach those who wish to draw?”

“You bet,” the teacher said, and went to the cabinet for supplies.

God has work for you to do. Not boring work. Not stupid work. But the work of his kingdom. Where do you think you could fit in this week? What is your talent?

Prayer: Father, show me my talents, so I can use them for you. Amen.

 

Satan’s Problem

April 14, 2014

Satan

 

He and his minions

are always around

always there

always wreaking havoc

and bombing lives

with lies and deceptions

and temptations and accusations

it never ends

but this is what I don’t understand Lord

Satan knows what’s coming

he knows what his end is

the Bible tells him

hell

the great white throne

him banished

for all eternity

to the darkness

he’s known all this since

the books were written

and still he fights

still he lies

still he tempts

and destroys lives

and deceives

and he knows it will all

come back on him

all of it weighing him down

into deepest hell

where the pain is even worse

why doesn’t he repent

why doesn’t he turn himself in

why doesn’t he confess it all

and throw himself on God’s mercy

ask for forgiveness

like all of us

why not

I don’t get it

if Satan is Satan

and if the Bible is the Bible

he knows what to do

but he won’t do it

does he want to end up

in hell

or has he believed his own lies

and think they’ll never touch him

or does he think in the end

somehow he will defeat God

that must be it

that was what he thought]

the first time

when he knew everything

about God

and he was thrust down then

is he just stupid

if so all the more reason to offer

him and his minions a special

deal

they’re handicapped

they’re mental midgets

they have under 70 IQs

I don’t get it

he has to be totally

mentally-challenged

worse that ADHD

worse than schizophrenia

worse than any of it

and maybe he is

so maybe he’s not worth

dealing with

from God’s point of view

maybe he’s just garbage

a person that God tried to bring back

to the fold

and wouldn’t come

even though he knew it all

God Has Something for Everyone

April 14, 2014

Something For Everyone!
Genesis 2:15: The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it.

Sally sat in her adult small group listening intently. The teacher said that morning that God had a job for everyone. Everyone mattered to God. And he would use all who asked him about the work of his kingdom. It seemed incredible to Sally. What could she possibly do?

The teacher referred to Adam, how God created him to work and tend the Garden of Eden. Suddenly, the teacher said, “God has work for all of us to do, work that we will enjoy. Work that will make us feel important, and loved.”

Sally raised her hand. “What am I supposed to do?”

The teacher smiled. “There are many things, Sally. You can help around your church. You can encourage your family and relatives. You could be an assistant here in Sunday School to lead everyone in learning.”

Sally loved drawing. “Could I teach those who wish to draw?”

“You bet,” the teacher said, and went to the cabinet for supplies.

God has work for you to do. Not boring work. Not stupid work. But the work of his kingdom. Where do you think you could fit in this week? What is your talent?

Prayer: Father, show me my talents, so I can use them for you. Amen.