Archive for May, 2006

h1

It’s the little things

May 31, 2006

I just spent two hours writing a

worship

news devotional.  Got done….and it just wasn’t right.  So now I’m sitting wondering if I have anything of value to say to you on this Friday that won’t end up getting scrapped again two hours from now.   Ever been there?  Wandering if you have anything of value to offer someone or encourage them with?

One of my wife’s best friend’s mom went into a coma suddenly and without warning a couple of weeks ago.  The family had to eventually take her off life support, and she hung around for over 72 hours before going to be with the Lord.  She was young, mid fifties.  I went to her funeral yesterday.  Her daughter has been absolutely devastated, they were very close.  Over the last couple of weeks, my wife has felt helpless how to reach out to her friend.  She has done little things.  A phone call.  An email.  Dropping off Starbucks coffee.  Yesterday both this friend and her husband thanked Allison and let her know how much her support has meant to them over the last couple of weeks.  I could see in their eyes they were deeply sincere and very touched.

My point.  It is the little things.  If you feel like you don’t have much to offer to anyone, and that it won’t make a difference anyway, you’re wrong.  Most of us are so self consumed most of the time, that to break out of that in any small way and make a gesture towards someone else, any gesture, is rare and unique…and encouraging.  So before today ends…make a small gesture to someone who needs it.

Advertisements
h1

Opportunity

May 31, 2006

The number one way I would hate to leave this world involves a swarm of bees covering my head and stinging me to death.  Good times. When I was young I would catch as many bees as I could in a jar and torture them.  They have repaid me by haunting my psyche ever since.  If you want to see a comedic moment, watch what happens when a bee flies into any confined space I happen to occupy, particularly a vehicle. 

Living in suburbia, my chance of the swarm and the whole head thing are pretty slim.   But if I wanted to, I could really increase my odds by switching careers and becoming a bee keeper, or a bee exterminator.  Who are these people and when did they lose their sanity?

A prayer I often pray goes something like this; “God, please provide me an opportunity to share my faith.”  Now this is not wrong, and God has answered that prayer for me in my life many times.  But today as I was reading Acts, I was struck with the reality that Paul and Silas often went beyond my well intentioned prayer.  In chapter 16, I read that they would frequently go to places they knew people would gather with the sole purpose of striking up conversations with them regarding their faith.  If I pray my prayer in suburbia, within the walls of my house, or my office, or even sometimes my church, but leave it at that, what’s it worth? If I pray my prayer and then frequently go places or actively invite people to spend time with me, when I know I will have opportunity to connect and converse, I believe that shows God I was serious about the desire behind the prayer.  The key behind the word go is it involves action.  What steps am I taking to provide opportunity to come into contact with people who need to be encouraged, and need the truth? 

h1

Wisdom

May 31, 2006

My three year old Macy’s day is full of choices.  In the morning, she decides what video she would like to watch.  Currently it’s Leap Frog Talking   Words Factory.   She then usually gets to pick her outfit. Her main goal? Matching her shoes and socks with her shirt.  She’s much better at this than me.   Then she chooses her cereal.  Today its Kashi Mighty Bites.  This is followed quickly with which book she would like to read or have mom read to her, usually that’s Curious George. 

It’s been a while since the choices you and I have to make are simple as those hasn’t it?   I don’t hear Macy asking God for wisdom with her cereal choice or whether or not she wants to go to the swings next or the slide.  But what about us?  Should we ask for wisdom in our choices?  Should we expect an answer?

These verses from James 1 challenged me this week.  I think most of realize it’s a good idea to ask God for wisdom. Whether or not we follow through with actually asking is a different story.  But say we do ask Him, what’s next?      

5If you need wisdom–if you want to know what God wants you to do–ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8They can’t make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do. 

I had been asking God for wisdom on a particular decision in my life for a long time.  He had been answering each and every time I talked to Him about it, but I wasn’t listening.  I was so caught up in the asking part I forgot to expect an answer and then make up my mind. 

Have you been asking God for wisdom in the many decisions that make up your life?  If you have, do you expect Him to answer?  Is it time to make up your mind on a decision that is yours to make?   

Thanks for reading.  I have to go ask my wife what shoes I should wear today.

h1

Dirty Spoons

May 31, 2006

Before I was married I lived with three men who were great guys, but absolute slobs.  I was a pretty messy person when I met them, but they converted me.  We constantly had people over and if I didn’t do the dishes that covered the entire counter, or take the dirty socks off the coffee room table, it wouldn’t get done.  I went from that environment to my wife, who at the time was the cleanest most organized person I had ever met.  No dishes could even rest in the sink as a waiting room to “soak”.  No shoes inside the house! She even used a toothbrush to clean the bathroom and get in crevices!!.   While I was not nearly as clean as she was, one thing I appreciated and grabbed onto the concept after several years was having clean dishes at all times.  It is a pain to go for a bowl of cereal or ice cream and have no clean spoons and have to use a fork.  Though I’ve done that! 

I want to share some versus that spoke to me yesterday from 2 Timothy.

19But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his,"[a] and "Those who claim they belong to the Lord must turn away from all wickedness."[b]

    20In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

    22Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

So how’s the kitchen sink of your heart?  Is it full of dirty dishes?  Have you let them stack up with dozens of unchecked offenses?  Is there one huge dirty bowl begging to be cleaned?  Do you need to repent and be washed of some stuff to be a clean utensil God can use for His work?

1 John 1:8-10

  8If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 9But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.