Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lasting Friendships

"There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24).

Do you have a friend(s) who sticks closer than a brother? If so, you are a blessed individual. You know the kind of person I'm talking about.

Now let's consider the Friend Who sticks closer than a brother--the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • He came that you and I might have life abundantly (John 10:10)
  • He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)
  • He died for your sins and mine (John 3:16)
  • He sent His Holy Spirit to guide you and me into all truth (John  16:13)
  • He will never leave you, nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
  • He is coming again so that where He is you may be also (John 14:3)
  • He is coming soon (Revelation 22:20)
This is a friendship that lasts because it was initiated and is sustained by God Himself.

Friday, August 20, 2010

County Fairs and Paradise

Today's the day--we're going to the county fair! I don't know who's more excited--the grandkids or me. Luke wants to try his hand at the carnival games--that'll be an education in itself! Viv is excited to try the cotton candy--pink! Sam will enjoy riding around in his wheelchair and looking at the goats! Me? I'm excited to watch the children have the time of their lives!

Don't you just love county fairs! They're fun, pure and simple. Seems like the older we get, fewer things float our boat. Perhaps disillusionment sets in as life knocks the wind out of our sails. The "rides" seem less exciting and more perilous.

One thing never fails to excite--the prospect of Heaven. Our loving heavenly Father--who cannot and does not lie--has graciously provided descriptions in the Bible of what awaits us in Paradise:
  • What it will look like
  • Who will be there
  • What to expect
  • What not to expect
  • What we'll do
  • What we'll learn
It's going to be an incredibly beautiful place populated with the best and most loving associates God could save. We will accomplish the "impossible" unfettered by doubt and fear and pain and sorrow. The universe and beyond into infinity will be our classroom, and our teacher will be none other than the Almighty Himself.

Read about it. Start in Genesis and work your way on to Revelation. It makes terrific Summer reading (and Fall and Winter and Spring). 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Looking at Our Words and Thoughts with "Critical" Eyes

I'm off to critique group. For you non-writers out there, that's a meeting of fellow-writers who look at each others' work and comment on it. We consider things like punctuation and grammar. But, more importantly, we attempt to help one another strengthen the piece. Does it resonate with the reader? Is truth being presented in love? Does it "flow"? We look at our words with "critical" eyes.

Perhaps that's what the psalmist had in mind when he said:

"May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."
~Psalm 19:14

Sometimes we pay little attention to the words we speak or to the things we think about. Yet, our words are perhaps more powerful than sticks and stones that break others' bones--words wound the heart. And as for our thoughts, they lead to actions whether good or bad.

That's why it's essential for us to think before we speak and to guard the walls of our heart against evil thoughts.

Let's look at our words and thoughts with "critical" eyes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Have you tasted the Lord's graciousness?

In I Peter 2:1-3, we are told to lay aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking. Then, having done that, we are, like newborn babes, to desire the pure milk of the word that we may grow by doing so. The passage concludes with this proviso: "If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."

Not everyone, it seems, is able to lay aside all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and evil speaking . . . only those who have tasted the Lord's graciousness.

Have you tasted the Lord's graciousness?


"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him."
~Psalm 34:8

Not everyone, it seems, is able to place his trust in God . . . only those who have tasted and know that the LORD is good.

Have you tasted the Lord's goodness?


The Book of Romans speaks of God's forbearance with mankind through the generations. After listing man's multiple transgressions and concluding all under sin, Paul assures us that, without forgiveness, we will not escape the judgment of God?

"Or do you despise the riches of His goodness,
forbearance, and longsuffering,
not knowing that the goodness of God
leads you to repentance?"
~ Romans 2:4

Not everyone, it seems, is able to enjoy the riches of God's goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering . . . only those who have tasted God's goodness and repented.

Have you tasted the Lord's forbearance and long-suffering? 

If you can answer yes to these three questions, you are blessed indeed. If you cannot, perhaps you should spend some time today asking God to give you a taste of His graciousness, goodness, forbearance and long-suffering for it is the goodness of God that will lead you to repentance and Son-ship.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Letter That Was Received Too Late

This morning I read online ( of a letter written by John Lennon to a younger musician thirty-four years ago. The letter encouraged the younger man, headed for stardom, that he need not let riches change him. In fact, he could use his money to help others if he wanted.

The letter didn't arrive while Lennon was alive. In fact it arrived twenty-five years after his death!

The recipient felt cheated. He would have cherished the letter, and would have wanted to respond to Lennon's kindness in writing it. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he wasn't able to do that.

In a similar manner, God sent mankind an encouraging letter--the Bible. He wanted to give us good directions on how to live life, wanted us to know what He expected.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, many people have not received His letter.
  • Perhaps they live in an unreached area of the world. Perhaps they have not yet heard. Missionaries are working feverishly to get the Bible translated in the language of all speaking-groups.
  • Perhaps they've turned a deaf ear to things of God. He is faithfully sending believing friends and family into their lives to "preach" the good news.
  • Perhaps they're children. God is again faithfully placing people around them who can invite them to vacation Bible school or backyard Bible clubs or release time at schools.
Those of us who have received the Good News and who have great expectations for our eternal future need to do more than rejoice at our good prospects. We need to share our blessings with those who have not yet heard--before it's too late.

Please share ways you've found helpful in telling others about Jesus.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eighteen Days and Counting

On September 4, 2009, I committed to blogging everyday for one year--everyday except Sundays. I honestly didn't know how I'd fill the posts, but day-by-day, God has given me material to share with you.

Day-by-day. That seems to be the key to life, doesn't it. God provides for us day by day, just like he provided manna on a daily basis for the children of Israel on their trek through the desert.

Yet we look ahead at the complexities of life and wonder how things will all pan out. We stress and strive and connive and manipulate--usually to no avail.

And God sits back and shakes His head. "Relax. I told you to trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. I told you to acknowledge Me in all your ways and I would direct your paths. Didn't I tell you that?" Yes He did, and, as one who has walked with Him for more than 35 years now, I can tell you that He is faithful to do all that He says.

This year of blogging has been great discipline for me. Only three weeks remain. I want to thank you for your comments both on the blog and on Facebook. They have been a source of encouragement to me to press on and, in so doing, I've had the blessing of looking to our faithful God for inspiration.