Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Favorite Verse for Writers

I hadn't been saved long when I ran across a verse that blessed me as a writer. 

"My tongue is the pen of a ready writer."
~Psalm 145:1

I'll tell you why it meant so much to me. I used to worry that I'd run out of ideas, that my finite world would close in on me leaving me with little to write about. This verse opened the universe to me. All I needed to do was be "ready," i.e., in touch with the Living God--prayed up, confessed up, reading the Word, and walking in the Spirit. Then I could tap into His infinite world. He would give me the words to say. His tongue would be my pen.

This is not to say that I can blame poor writing on Him. It is to say that He will freely give godly thoughts to His children who ask Him for them.

Here's another favorite verse for writers and I wish it for all of you who are His scribes.

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself
and God our Father,
who loved us 
and by his grace 
gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and
strengthen you in every good deed and word."
~ II Thessalonians 2:16-17

May you experience His blessing today.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Mystery of the WWII Navy Plane

When did the plane crash--during WWII or after it was decommissioned? Where is the pilot? Are there living relatives who have mourned his loss all these years? Many questions surround this recent discovery of the CurtissSB2C Helldiver that was found near Rockaway Beach, Oregon. We may never know the answers to all of them.

But God does.

God knows the plane, the pilot, and the mission. He witnessed the crash, the pain, and the confusion surrounding the man who never returned.

Why didn't He share this knowledge years ago? I can't answer that. But I have walked with God long enough to know that His ways are not our ways: they are infinitely better. And when I can't figure them out, I do well to simply trust Him.

What about the pilot? We can hope that, if he wasn't already a believer, he had time (even a moment) to make his peace with God who is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

What about the family? God is compassionate and gracious. One can only hope that the loss of their loved one caused them to draw closer to God and that they are even now reunited with their loved one and enjoying the pleasures of heaven.

A team of Navy investigators is on the scene and will make their findings known in time.

For each of us, the lingering question should be: When my life comes to a screeching halt, where will I spend eternity?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Miss Me Yet?

On a billboard in Texas, a face shot of Former President George W. Bush asks the question, "Miss me yet?"

I do miss W. What I miss most is the Jesus within him. Because of the transforming powers of Jesus in a man, George W. Bush:
  • Consulted God's Word before making decisions
  • Led the nation with humility and honor
  • Championed the National Day of Prayer
  • Proclaimed the Lord openly
  • Desired that all men everywhere should experience freedom in Christ
  • Believed that a person's a person no matter how small
  • Denied the destruction of human embryos for research
  • Honored the fallen who died protecting our freedoms
  • Protected his "sheep" from those who sought to destroy us
  • And so much more 
Yet, rather than spend time looking back at a man who honored God, we do well to look ahead to a time when the One our former president honored will return. Jesus Christ is coming again. And I, for one, can't wait.

I miss Him a lot! Don't you?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don't Despair, Don't Ever Despair!

Over the last several posts, we've considered the importance of rejoicing in the days the Lord has made--even when life seems gloomy and troubles prevail.

I Thessalonians 5:16-23 begins with the admonition to be joyful always, to pray continually, to give thanks in all circumstances. It continues:

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire,
do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Test everything.
Hold on to the good.
Avoid every kind of evil."

That's a long to-do list when you're already weighed down with troubles and sorrow. "How," you may ask, "can it be done?" Read on:

"May God himself, the God of peace,
sanctify you through and through.
May your whole spirit, soul and body
be kept blameless at 
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful
and he will do it."
~ I Thessalonians 5:16-23

God tells His children to do their best, but when we fall short . . . no worries. The one who calls us is faithful, and He will do it. So don't despair, don't ever despair. The same God who will never leave us nor forsake us is the one who will complete in us what He has called us to do. Not only that, He will sanctify us and present us blameless at the coming of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Hobbit

Today's paper announced that Peter Jackson, film director of the Lord of the Rings, has begun adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel that precedes the trilogy, The Hobbit.

As you will recall from the Lord of the Rings, two of the major characters were Frodo and Sam, Hobbits. Little people with a big task, they risked life and limb to perform the jobs assigned to them . . . and after much difficulty, they succeeded.

This is a good reminder for us! Nothing worthwhile is attained without hard work and determination. If Sam and Frodo had given up at the first sign of trouble, well, the story would have had a different ending. 

The biggest job we face, I believe, is in sorting out what jobs we have been assigned by God.

"For we are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do."
~ Ephesians 2:10

Then, we must set our face toward the goal and press on to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Along the way, like Frodo and Sam, we will receive help from our friends and comforters, most notably the Holy Spirit.

Can you share with us a time when you felt all was lost only to feel the under-girding strength of God Himself?

Monday, March 22, 2010

When Your Heart Is Overwhelmed

Saturday I decided that no matter what happened, I would rejoice in the days the LORD has made. Right?

And then, on Sunday, Congress passed a health care bill that includes public funding of abortion. ARGH! My resolve is being tested.

But I remember a chorus we used to sing in church back in the Seventies.

"Hear my cry, O God,
attend unto my prayer.
From the ends of the earth
will I call unto Thee.
When my heart is overwhelmed,
lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."

"God, my heart is overwhelmed at the state of our nation. And rightly so. 
Yet, I can rejoice in the fact that You made this day, and every day.
You made the earth and you keep it spinning, day after day after day. 
You made man out of dust and keep watch over all his doings.
You hold the hearts of kings (and presidents) in your hands
and direct them like a watercourse wherever you please.
And when we have returned to dust, 
you will hold Court in the heavenly realm,
and you will judge the deeds of men.
All will be made right!
In this I can rejoice on this day which You have made!"

Dear readers, please join me in rejoicing on this day the Lord has made!