Archive for October 2008

Fear Not

October 30, 2008

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

 

Well, it is that time of year again when a bunch of ghosts, goblins, witches, princesses and who-knows-what-else will invade the streets for a while – not to mention all the kids who will dress up. It can be downright scary to be out there!

I know, I know our game face is that we fear nothing. But, the truth is we all have fears. When we were young, we may have had childish fears, but we always knew where to go when we were afraid.

Now, our fears are more grown-up. Things like the fear of losing security, fear of failure, fear of death, fear of an uncertain future. It is often hard to know where to go when we face these issues. But, the Bible addresses each of these.

Fear of losing security – Phil 4:19 – “my God shall supply all your needs”

Fear of failure – Phil 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”

Fear of death – Phil 1:21 – “to die is gain”

Fear of an uncertain future – Phil 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah reminds us that we are not to fear. In God, through Christ, He promises to uphold us and strengthen us in the face of fear. In fact, in Romans 8:15 – He tells us we can cry out “Abba, Father.” Literally translated that means “Daddy.” What a comforting thought! Trust Him and don’t fear.

Fair is Fair

October 25, 2008

Sarah Palin has been taking a lot of heat lately for her foible during the interview with Katie Couric.

However, these two examples of less than Einsteinian quotes got very little – if any play in the mainstream media.

Michelle Malkin reports this week that Joe Biden commenting on John McCain’s economic plan said “Look, John’s last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the No. 1 job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S.”

Way to go Joe.

And then there is always Barack Obama’s quote that he had visited “all 57 states.” You can see it for yourself here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpGH02DtIws

All of Creation declares God’s glory

October 19, 2008

As I write this, I am in beautiful western NC. I hate to rub it in, but it is absolutely beautiful up here right now. The leaves are beginning to change and this morning, as I was running, I enjoyed the full-moonlit sky and the sunrise was breathtaking. (Yes, I was running this morning at 5 am). 
As I took all this in, I was reminded of the verse above. Creation does point us to God. The sun rises and sets, the seasons come and go like clockwork. No rational thinking person would ever assume that a watch or a clock “just happened” or was the result of a chance meeting of some springs and metal. Even so, all of creation declares that there is a design – therefore a Designer, God.
That’s pretty awesome when you think of it, but it gets better. The One Who Created all, also cares about His creation. That includes us. The Bible also tells us He knows when a sparrow falls from the sky, and that He cares for us so much more. So when you see the sunset, the sunrise and the beauty of the heavens remember, the One who cerated it all – cares about you above all else.

If God is in control . . . .

October 12, 2008

A lot of folks are in a panic today over the stock market and the economy – even those who profess to believe in the sovereignty of God. I’m caoncerned, as well, but it concerns me even more that so often folks view God as sovereign in spiritual things – but somehow limited, or inactive, in other things.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I have mutual funds and market accounts through my retirement. I do not have gold buried in the backyard. This is not an “I told you so” post.

This is just a reminder of who is in control. It is important to realize as powerful as the “Fed” is – they are not in control. As powerful as the IMF and the G-8 are, they are not in control.

You see, if God is sovereign – and He is. Then He is in control. He is over all. The spiritual, the financial, the physical – all.

I believe what is happening is what He said would happen. If “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Then, is it not also true that when the nation’s god is not the Lord, the blessing will be taken away?

For now, we are still better off than we deserve. But, for years, as a nation, we have been consumed with worshipping the material god. Finances have fallen and God is still on the throne.

Angels Unaware

October 9, 2008

A few years back, on a Sunday afternoon, I was relaxing at my in-laws house. The phone rang and on the other end was a very distraught mother in Virginia (a lady I’d never met, but she knew my sister-in-law) who wanted to talk to me. (Did I mention I was trying to relax?) Her son had run away and said he was coming to Jacksonville, NC. He was 18 and legally there was nothing she could do, but she was obviously upset and wanted to know if I would go look for him.

What an impossible request! But, she was so upset, I agreed to go “look.” She told me what he looked like and what kind of truck he drove (a brown S-10 – not like there are many of those around right?) I figured the sooner I looked, the sooner I could resume my nap.

I rode from one end of town to the other, and just as I was getting ready to return home, in my rearview mirror there was a brown S-10. I slowed down so I could get a look at the driver and it was the kid! I followed him a couple of blocks to a little house and pulled in behind him (remember he’s never seen me before in his life).  I got out of my truck and called him by name.  He looked surprised, but said, “Yes sir?” I said, “You need to call your mom, she’s worried about you.” Again, he said “yes sir.”

I went back to the house to call his mom and tell her he was okay. He had already phoned her. Some guy, it seems, had shown up “out of the blue” and told him to.

I’ve seen the mom a couple times since then. Her son came home, they patched things up and he joined the Marine Corps.

You never know what impact you may have in someone’s life. So often, what we see as an irritation is actually an opportunity. Sometimes it may seem our efforts are pointless – and, often, we will not know how the story turns out, and of course not all have happy endings.

We never know when that opportunity to show God’s love is an opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to an angel. Sometimes, you may be serving in the role of an angel. He asked me to remind you 🙂

“I Just Can’t Imagine”

October 4, 2008

I often say, “I can’t imagine” to describe a variety of situations.” So today I thought I’d just write about a few things I really can’t imagine (no particular order)

– a world without beautiful sunrises and sunsets. What if God had decided to just “turn the lights on and off” each day?
– not having the friends I have. I’m sure yours are good, but mine are better 🙂 Many of you are on my list anyway
– being without my family. No other wife could complete me the way Eileen does and no other son could make me more proud of being a daddy.
– not having forgiveness. What if we were stuck with the guilt of every wrong we’ve ever done?
– not knowing the love of God. All of the above would be meaningless if I dis not know the “Amazing Grace” of God’s mercy, love and tender mercies.

Thank you, Lord for these and so many more blessings You have given me.