Saturday, May 22, 2010

I just wanted the share this post from my Aunt. I am including it unedited because I feel her words speak volumes. While you are reading it, think about the many times you've seen God cradle someone in his arms. How many times has He reached down from on high and put his hands around someone and kept them safe? It is my hope that people will share there stories as well, of times they know someone has been saved by God's providence!

In Christ,

Here is the post that inspired me, unedited:

LORD CHILDREN we saw the most awful wreck going towards Abingdon last evening and I Knew in my heart no one had survived that wreck. My heart ached for some Mother, Wife, Child there was no doubt in my mind, No one could have survived that but guess what?

This morning before we headed back we heard the man lived and had only a scratch on his elbow, there was not any space left in the cabin of that Tractor except just enough for him. A person told us , I don't know what God has for that man, but he really has something BIG for him to do for God and it was just NOT his time to go. Never saw anything to beat it. Thank you Sweet Jesus and Praise your name for saving that working man. I thought about the Song Chuck Johnson wrote and sings about the 29 coal miners that recently died in West Va.

I could just hear some one's child saying , Mommy when is daddy coming home? You see wrecks with little damage that kill people and that one that looked by all certainly hopeless that a person could survive and he made it out with a scratch on his elbow.

I can't Imagine the size of God's hands to literally make a bubble around that man and save his life. OH YEA OF LITTLE FAITH!!!! Are my thoughts today.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

What's with the Attitude?

The Bible talks many times about the attitude we should have when we approach God in supplication. From the list in Malachi chapter one to the 'Our Father', each of them shows the proper way to come to God in prayer. Although it is addressed so often, many still are praying in a manner that does not reflect their Christian nature. Our attitude towards God should reflect the fact that God is the most important thing in our life, and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. These two statements, directly from Jesus, show us all we really need to know to be Christian.

Mathew 22: 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38T his is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Following these two commands, we find that all of the ten commandments fall into place. One cannot murder another and pretend to have loved them. One cannot be jealous of another's things and pretend to love them. One cannot lie to another, steal, or dishonor his father and mother; all the while pretending it is out of love for them. It, once again, is all about attitude towards God! When God truly comes first in your life you will take your commandments seriously. It is true that Christ died on the cross for us, and that he has washed us clean of sin. It is also true that faith in Christ is enough. Jesus however said, those who love me will keep my commands. (John 14:15) When we come to the cross and give our hearts to Jesus it should be completely! We should do it out of love, out of desperation, out of hope! It should not be a moment where we simply say, 'I believe in Christ' and then forget what he did the moment we go out of the building.

How does this apply to our lives? Our attitudes? You should be reflecting that love in every action, every day. Each time you interact with another person it should be out of love. Think carefully what this means. It means that our needs are not first. It means that we offer ourselves as servants to the world. What? As servants? Jesus, the king of the universe, came down and presented himself not as a king, but as a servant. Is he not our example? Should we not present ourselves as living images of him? When we come to the cross our old selves die. We are no longer a creature of this world, but spiritual beings, Children of God! We should act as such!

It also applies to our prayer life. When we come to God we should praise and worship him! How many times do we begin our prayers with 'Lord why me? What did I do?' Think of the 'Our Father'. This was the example that Jesus gave his disciples in how to pray.

Mathew 6:9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, asit isin heaven.

Jesus tells his disciples to start off their prayers with a praising of God. That God's will be done in earth, just as it is in heaven.

Hallow -To make holy; to set apart for holy or religious use; to
consecrate; to treat or keep as sacred; to reverence.

He instructs them to indicate that God's name is special and holy, to be treated with reverence. Many religious Jews will not even say God's name, even to the point of writing the English word as G-d. How much respect should we be showing knowing that God's name is hallowed? When was the last time we prayed and said God, your name alone is special and holy, how much more so are you? We should pray with God's will in mind. First and foremost! What is God's will? Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” God's will is good, pleasing and perfect. His will is that all of his Children will come to Him. His will is that we worship him, and love him, as he first loved us. His will is that we love one another. So when you pray, pray in God's will. We should pray for things that help others, out of love.

God wants us to have everything we need. He doesn't always give us everything we want. Sometimes that is because what we want, will either hurt us or hurt someone else. Yet we spend a great deal of time worrying and being anxious. Jesus told us that we should stop worrying, if God clothes the flowers in the field in more beauty than even a great King, how much more so would he provide us with clothes? If God provides food for the birds in the air, how much more so will he provide food for us? (Mathew 6:25-32) God knows what we need, and he will provide! The world will make it seem to you that you are suffering and that God is not listening, but He is! Not only is he listening he is answering! We need to be still and quiet and listen to God! (Psalm 46:10)

I will close for now with words directly from our savior, words more perfect than anything I could come up with on my own. Mathew 6:33-34 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.”

In Christ,

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Do we really give thanks?

Today at Church we had a wonderful message brought to us while we were celebrating the first communion of several of our children. At the beginning of the service Father Siegel began by reading the Gospel, and he spoke of when Jesus fed the 5000 with just five loaves of bread, and two fish. Then he did a wonderful example for us involving the children. He pulled out six dinner rolls and two cans of tuna. He distributed them each in a bowl to a child, one per row of people. He then told them to take the food out and feed everyone. They quickly began their task and began to distribute the food, until it was all consumed. Out of the roughly three hundred people there, many did not receive any at all.

He did this to show the children that Jesus was divine, that he did something that was only possible because he was God. However, it also showed many lessons for each of us there. The Bible tells us that unless we have the faith of a child, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Luke 18:17) The first lesson I received was that the children did not protest like many of us adults would have. “What? There is no way I can feed all these people with just a dinner roll each, and a part of a can tuna!” Instead the children began to do as he asked them, they had faith in what he said. Each of us can learn from this, that we are to have faith in Christ and all he stood for. When God gives us something to do, much like a child listening to an adult with authority, we should do as he says. We should have faith that it is going to happen, not grumble and moan to ourselves about the inconvenience that God has put on our life. Much like the Israelites as they left Egypt into the desert near Sinai, we are quick to grumble and turn our back on God.

That was another lesson that hit home today as we sat around watching these young children take their first communion. Many of us go to Church and do what we have to, to get by. Then as soon as we leave we are like the Israelites in the desert, we grumble about what we have to do or we forget God immediately as we walk out the door into the world. As part of this wonderful ceremony, each of the families chose a name of another child receiving communion, and we prayed for them for a few weeks leading up to the event. My wife nudged me during the procession of kids coming up front, and said that’s him. I looked at this child that she was motioning to, and wondered what on earth is she talking about? You see I had prayed for this young man, and as soon as the request to pray was finished, I let it slip my mind.

James 5:16 admonishes us to confess our sins one to another, and pray for one another. Much like many times in our lives we say “Oh, I’ll pray for you.” Then we leave the room or the website and we often forget to pray for them. Or much like the example above, as soon as we are done praying for them and their situation, we don’t think about them anymore. You see our life should be a life of prayer, not just a moment a day. We should keep lists of those who need our prayer, and spend our time earnestly praying for them and their needs. Jesus told us to ask and we would receive, and I truly believe this. After we left the Church and we at home I realized who she was pointing at and why! I said you were pointing at the boy we were praying for those weeks, and I had no clue. You see even though I was there to worship, my mind was more on what was going on and less on God. I truly needed to lift the veil of life from my eyes, and see with the eyes of the Spirit. We are to be raised spiritual people, in Christ! Our flesh is to die with him on the Cross.

One final lesson that I think really was apropos, and timely today was that many of us who did receive the food that was being passed out did not give thanks for it. We did not pray to God and say thank you for this food, nor did we thank the children passing it out. We were too tied up with the doing and happening, to really see with the eyes of the Spirit. You see God often blesses us daily with things and many times we forget to give him thanks in anyway. We go on with our day and at the end of the day give a short prayer, and go to bed. How often have we fallen into the rut of not really being Spiritual but being much like those hypocrites of the Bible, doing things by rote and not really feeling them. Praying a prayer just to get it out of the way. Giving thanks at the beginning of a meal in haste, not because we are truly thankful but because it has become a ‘duty’ for us. One of the funnier stories in my life was when a child was asked to give grace, and he said “Yay God, lets eat.” Many of us are happy to give this four word prayer at dinner and jump right in. How many of us actually think about the food we are receiving. My grandfather used to say this prayer and it often calls to my mind the appropriateness of what we are doing in giving a prayer over the meal:

“Our gracious heavenly father, we’d like to thank you for this food, thank you for making it possible for us to have it. Lord bless and sanctify the hands that prepared it for the nourishment of our bodies. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.”

In that simple prayer my grandfather thanked God for the food, thanked him for the nourishment, and gave a blessing to the people who took time to prepare it. Many times I will close my eyes and think this wonderful prayer to myself and think about how deep with meaning it can be, in so few words. We should give thanks for the food, for the health we are receiving, and for those who do care enough about us to prepare it for us. I miss my grandfather, when he was alive my life was not about the Lord. I do find comfort in the fact that one day I will see both of them in Heaven again. So for that my gracious heavenly Father, I give thanks.

In Christ,