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March 26, 2015, 10:32 AM

A Penny's Worth of Thought: Prefaced with Praise


When you are at a loss of just what to do…Just praise the Lord!

A “Preface” is an introduction, a moment before the beginning or perhaps a word before the words.  It could also be defined as an introduction before the story.  

In our lives we have many beginnings.  We begin each day, we begin activities, actions, thoughts and schedules.  Our lives are a whirlwind of activity packed to the gills.  We have allowed our days to become so full of business that we often feel like we don’t even have time to stop and breath.  Work schedules, children’s schedules, school activities, sports activities, and even church activities.

Sometimes in these moments of life, things don’t go like they should, like we planned them or like we thought they would.  Life gets untracked, and we panic.  We reach that moment when we are at a loss of just what to do.  It happens to everyone at some point or another.  And when it happens just remember to stop, be still and praise the Lord.   Praise God that even when life seems out of your control, it is still in His control.  Even when you don’t know what to do or say, God does. 

In fact I would encourage you to preface your various beginnings with Praise.  Praise is greatly honoring to God!  Throughout the Bible we are told to be still to worship and experience God.  In the Bible we see example after example of God’s people praising God despite the circumstances of their life and then experiencing victory over their circumstance.  

In II Chronicles 20 we learn that God’s people were about to face impossible odds and they are told to, Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord.  

In II Samuel 6 we see that King David’s praise was pleasing to God and God’s powerful presence remained in David’s kingdom to give him victory over every enemy.  

And Again in Jesus ministry, just as we was about to go into the Garden on the Mount of Olives and about to have his disciples forsake him and to face a cruel cross and His own death, He led his disciples to sing a song of praise!  It was praise despite the circumstances for the fact that the greatest victory was about to be complete.  The Victory of sin, death and the grave.  The victory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ over Satan himself.  

In your life’s beginnings, before you go, decide, and do, before you are faced with circumstances beyond your control, may your life be prefaced with praise.  Praise the God who has the control and praise Him for the victory He alone can provide for your life.




March 25, 2015, 9:45 AM

Hope, Confidence and Promise


I’m sitting here in a dimly lit room watching an old friend die.
As I sit here, I praise God for the hope and confidence we have in Christ. For it is because of this confidence that I know that this is not the end for my friend… just the end of this temporal life. It is not goodbye, but see you later. He is soon to be transported to a place of immeasurable beauty. When he closes his eyes for the last time in this life he will open them for the first time in the next and be face to face with Jesus Christ, the one who died and rose again In our place. So now we can have the promise of eternal life. No more, pain, no more suffering, no more sin and no more sorrow. A forever more of perfection living with God.
As I sit here watching him prepare to slip away from us, I can’t help but wonder how those who do not believe in Jesus and have no hope can survive this process. It is gruelling and heart breaking for me, even though I know his destiny and know I will see him again. How does one cope and survive when they have no hope? Even if they believe that this is the end, and that there is no heaven or hell, how do they say goodbye forever?
Be not deceived my friend’s this is not the end. 
Believe and find hope by turning to Jesus. 
Be confident in the Salvation Christ provides.
Trust in the promise or eternal life because Jesus work on the cross.
Yes, saying goodbye for now my friend is not easy. But it is possible because I will see you again.

 




March 5, 2015, 9:57 AM

A Penny' Worth of Thought: Finding Your Burning Bush Moment


Are you wanting God to speak to you?  Are you wanting and waiting for Him to show up in a miraculous way and show you His plan and will for your life?  

Are you looking and longing for a “Burning Bush Moment?”

Think about this:  When moses encountered God speaking to him out of a burning bush, He was not looking for a burning bush.  In fact when Moses first saw the burning bush he was just going about his life doing the mundane…tending sheep in a wilderness.

Realize that in of itself, a bush burning in the wilderness was nothing spectacular.  It was the fact that bush was burning but not burned up that caught Moses attention.

So often as Christians, and believers in Jesus Christ we spend so much time waiting for the Miraculous moment when God will show up that we miss what God is doing in our lives through the mundane things.  We miss God showing up in the little things and small ways every day.  We sometimes go to church hoping to hear God’s booming Charlton Heston-esque voice.  Or looking for a star to follow, a talking donkey, or a light from heaven during the week.  When none of those things happen we are saddened, disillusioned or frustrated.

May I remind you (as I often need reminded) that most often God does not speak to us through a burning bush or any of the other means I mentioned above.  Rather he most often speaks to us in a still quiet voice.  It usually happens as we seek him, as we meditate on His Word, as we keep in our thoughts while we are living out our rather mundane, ordinary lives.  

Remember that whether or not you hear Him, see Him, or sense Him; He is with you as long as you belong to Him.  He goes with you, guides you and if need be carries you.  

Sometimes He shows up in a miraculous way, he has in the past and He does today, but until then trust Him, and when you hear that quiet still voice, listen to Him and obey.  Always remember, even with Moses, God did not speak out of the burning bush until Moses had taken notice and was paying attention.  

Trust God today, give your life to Him today.  Call on Him today.  But keep on moving, living and listening as you go about your day.  

When you notice the still voice of God speaking to your heart and you listen and obey, it becomes a your burning bush moment.




March 4, 2015, 9:16 AM

A Penny's Worth of Thought: You are What You Think


There used to be a song sung in church Sunday School Children’s classes that had these lyrics:

Oh be careful little eyes what you see, Oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love Oh be careful little eyes what you see.  

Other verses would repeat about be careful: hands what you do, feet where you go, ears what you hear, and mind what you think.

Whether or not you have ever heard that song or remember the song at all, the truth of the song is profound.  Little did I realize as a child how much what I looked at, listened to and thought about would affect the way I lived, and the places I would desire to go, nor did I realize that it would impact the way I would talk and the thoughts that would fill and take over my mind.

The health conscious person knows it is vitally important what they put in the body.  No matter how much exercise you may get, if you put the wrong types or wrong amounts of food and drink in your body you will not achieve the desired results of a healthy fit body.  

The same is true of us spiritually.  Just as the world bombards us with delicious looking and tasting treats filled with sugar, fat, carbs, and chemicals that are not good for our physical body; the world will try to entice you will all kinds beautiful, desirable junk that is not good for your spiritual well being.  The things that we watch on Television, and listen to the radio will fill our mind and our thoughts and it will impact what we think about, how we talk and the way we live.  

Most of us understand the dangers of what is viewed and heard when it comes to children, but somehow we think that as adults we can somehow “handle” it and we are mature enough to not allow it to impact our lives.  If we think this way we are deceived. 

As Christians we must avoid allowing our minds to be filled and consumed with worldly, carnal thoughts and images.  Be careful to avoid that which you know is not good.  But also fill your mind with that which is.  God’s word, wholesome music, positive thinking and honorable thoughts.  It is not enough to simply avoid that which we would, as we cannot avoid living in a world where we are surrounded by that which good and Godly is not the standard.  We must fill and be filled by God with Godly things.

"…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8

Garbage in/Garbage out is a universal truth, whether it be what you put in your body or in your mind.  Even computer programmers learn this lesson early on.  Your mind is the most sophisticated computer the world has ever known.  Unlike a computer however there is no “file dump” or “delete button”.  What goes in your mind stays there forever.  If you don’t believe me then just wait until an old song comes on the radio that you have not heard in years and notice how quickly you remember the words.  

After all how many of you started singing…Oh be careful little hands what you do? 

 



February 27, 2015, 8:54 AM

A Penny's Worth o Thought:Comfort in Your Time of Need


Stop and think about this:  God is never surprised or taken off guard by evil.  Evil never catches God by surprise.  He has seen it all before, he knows when it will happen and He has defeated it all.  No matter what ISIS or North Korea or the neighborhood bully does...God knew, God knows God is victorious.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

As a child of God, you are never alone!  Your Shepherd is with you all the time.  He never takes his eyes off of you.  He knows everything about you, everything you go through, and every need you will ever have.  He will never turn His back on you or even look away from you.  

As a Child of God, you never have to feel afraid.  Sometimes your Shepherd has to lead you through dark places to get you to the place He wants you to be.  He does not always lead you through the places you want to go or you think are easiest.  We would not chose to go through the shadow of the valley of death.  But, we must remember it is only a shadow that He leads you through.  As God leads you, He knows what is around every corner and he knows what is in the shadows.  He leads you, which means He goes before you and watches over you to protect you.  He also knows your fears and will never lead you through something he that you cannot handle.

There is nothing to fear because He protects you.  God is bigger than your fears, your enemies and your troubles.  The tougher things seem to get for you the closer God holds you.  Even when you can't see God or even feel Him know by faith that He is there...because He has promised and God is faithful.

You will experience the Love and comfort in far greater ways in your greatest need than you will in your greatest ease.

Trust God and His protection today.  Trust that He knows what is best.  Trust Him because He loves you as no one has ever done and find comfort in your time of need.  


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