June 30, 2010

Today’s reading: Isaiah 34, 35, 36; Psalm 30, 60, 90, 120, 150; Proverbs 30

Isaiah 35:1, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”

As I get older and older I begin to think more and more about Heaven. I think a lot about my family members that have gone on before me. I wonder who made it and who did not even. I trust God to know and that is good enough for me.

Some times in my life it seems so dry. Have you ever had such an experience? You just feel all dried up inside and God seems so distant. I have had these experiences in my life. The good thing is that they do not last forever and ever.

When I feel like this I go to the Lord and receive encouragement. God knows exactly what we need. Sometimes He even allows us to have that dry feeling so to speak to draw us to Himself.

Let me challenge you to run to the Lord Jesus Christ if there is something in your life that seems to not be just right. He can make it right or He will show you how to make it right. He is an awesome God!

Let me encourage you to run to the Lord today. Do you have your track shoes on? I hope so.

June 29, 2010

Today’s reading: Isaiah 31, 32, 33; Psalm 29, 59, 89, 149; Proverbs 29

Isaiah 32:2, “And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”

This verse reminds me of the account of Moses when he was instructed by God to speak to the rock and water was to come out of it. Instead, Moses was angry with the people and he smote the rock with his rod and that was disobedience. For this he could not enter the promised land.

The rock is a type of Christ. He only is our Rock or He should be. You and I should take great comfort knowing that we have a God who is known as the “Rock” that we can run to for safety and stability.

There have been many times in my life that I needed that and the only place I could find it was in God my Rock.

Do you find yourself running to the Rock for your needs or do you find yourself trying to be a rock and just fake it until you make it? The choice is yours to make.

June 28, 2010

Today’s reading: Isaiah 28, 29, 30; Psalm 28, 58, 88, 118, 148; Proverbs 28

Isaiah 30:21, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”

I remember a number of years ago while dispatching I took a 911 call from a worried husband. His wife; who suffered with Alzheimer’s had walked away from their home and he could not locate her. It was a very sad situation.

I remember the whole incident very well. I remember that we called for a search and rescue task force from Indianapolis to assist in looking for this lady. There was much concern for her as the temperatures were very low and you could see your breath.

They brought in a team of bloodhounds to track her. They started at her home and began searching. One of the dogs took his handler from the front door of the home to the neighbor’s back door. The K9 handler pulled the dog off and went back and started over. This happened a total of three (3) times.

The neighbors were on vacation and would be out of town for quite some time so the house was locked up tight and nobody was home.

Several hours into the search the husband called 911 again to say that he had found his wife. She was fast asleep in the neighbor’s bed. It was somewhat like the story of “Goldie Locks”. We were all greatly relieved to know that this dear lady was safe. The husband was looking after the neighbor’s home while they were away and he had not locked the door behind him earlier that day as he made his rounds checking the property.

I thought about this incident after reading our text for today. I thought how the search would have been over nearly before it had started if the K9 handler had listened to his K9 partner.

It is the same way with you and I. God speaks in His still small voice and we ignore Him and go and do things our own way. This ought not to be.

Listen closely. Is He talking to you?

June 19, 2010

Today’s reading: Isaiah 1, 2, 3; Psalm 19, 49, 79, 109, 139; Proverbs 19

Isaiah 1:13, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.”

Sometimes as I sit I contemplate on things of the past. The other day I was thinking about my days growing up in Church. I remembered the building that no longer stands where I made my profession of faith public. I thought how sad it was that it was now gone.

I remembered some wonderful services in that building. I remember people being baptized after trusting Christ as their Saviour. I remember Pastor Sherman Essex singing with Marianne Ottinger. I can still see them standing behind the wooden pulpit and singing with all of their hearts. It brings me to tears just remembering it.

I remember sitting in some Regular Baptist Association meetings where preaching was hot and hard; but, the time went by so quickly as you listened intently. One time I remember Dr. E. Wayne Thompson leading us in the song “Amazing Grace” and he lined the song for us as they did in the old days. Precious memories!

My trip down memory lane today? I was thinking about the sad state of affairs the Church has come to and it makes me deeply sad. Christians wake up! Get back into your Bible and obey it. Pray like everything depends upon God. Work like everything depends upon you for the night cometh when man can work no more.

How are you doing?

June 18, 2010

Today’s reading: Song of Solomon 6, 7, 8; Psalm 18, 48, 78, 108, 138; Proverbs 18

Psalm 18:30, “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.”

I remember some years ago at a Church we were attending we started a men’s group. It was a group that would meet once a month and have some kind of cookout or go out to eat. The whole idea was so that men would meet together and learn from one another and hold one another accountable. The large group was broken up into smaller groups that would meet together once a week. In these smaller groups we would talk about things to keep us on track spiritually. I enjoyed this so much. I remember when I was asked to lead a small group I was so excited that I could hardly contain myself.

The reason for this little trip down memory lane? The above verse of Scripture was one of the memory verses that the small group learned. It has stuck with me for all these years and it still as applicable today as it was then.

So many of us question God about our situations or whatever it may be. The verse tells us that, “As for God, his way is perfect:” Just the first phrase of the verse provides us so much comfort. We need to yield ourselves to the will of God and see that His way is perfect and we need to trust and follow Him no matter what. Easily said, I know. Not so easily done. I know even more so.

So how are you doing?

June 17, 2010

Today’s reading: Song of Solomon 3, 4, 5; Psalm 17, 47, 77, 107, 137; Proverbs 17

Song of Solomon 3:3, “The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?”

I took my family to the beach in Michigan City, IN for the day. It was so nice. The sun was shining bright and the sky was a beautiful blue. There were not a lot of people on the beach. I talked with a man who was fishing and having good success. He had one that was about three (3) feet long. I was deeply jealous.

As we relaxed at the beach I noticed all kinds of people there. There were people that were practically naked and then there was me laying on a blanket in blue jeans and a short sleeved shirt with a t-shirt underneath it. My wife made fun of me for being the most “over dressed” person at the beach. Such is life.

I thought about this passage of Scripture in light of our visit to the beach. There were lifeguard there and they were keeping watch. The Department of Natural Resources was there keeping watch. I don’t know if there was a “spiritual” watchman there or not. I was there and I should have been attempting to share the Gospel with those that I could. Unfortunately, I just laid there on my blanket content to pray. Prayer is fantastic and we should engage in it; but, we need to tell others about Christ and His love for them too. Who have you told lately? Watchman are you at your post?

June 16, 2010

Today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 12; Song of Solomon 1, 2; Psalm 16, 46, 76, 106, 136; Proverbs 16

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

So many people today are wondering why are they here on earth. The answer is simple really. We have been placed here by God to bring Him pleasure, honor and glory. Simply stated; but, not so easily done.

So while we are here on earth there are some things we need to be doing also. So many people wander aimlessly around from one job to another or so on. This ought not to be. God has a plan for our lives and we need to avail ourselves to it.

Many things can get into our way. We need to heed the counsel of Song of Solomon 2:15, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” We need to stay focused and keep on track. If not we will not be as effective as we could be or once were.

So, how are you doing?

June 15, 2010

Today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 9, 10, 11; Psalm 15, 45, 75, 105, 135; Proverbs 15

Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

Having been out of work for just over 10 not-so-glorious months now, I have a new appreciation for having and holding a job. I remember a day as a young man saying that I would not work “fast food”. This is a misnomer in and of itself. I am thankful for a local Pastor who called me to come and clean the gym of their Church. The money sure helped. Oh, it did not pay the back mortgage or big bills like that; but, it helped tremendously with the day to day necessities.

As I was cleaning the carpets there were places in the carpet where the children had spilled during lunch or snack times. I sprayed them with the spot cleaner and I even pulled the machine ever so slowly over those spots. The result? Dirty spots that were wet. I felt like the example of Ecclesiastes 10:10, “If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.” The problem is that the stains have probably been there too long and are set into the carpet.

I did not quit though. I sure wanted to give up. I am a perfectionist and things like that do not set well with me. I did not give up though. I kept going and finished my task no matter how good or bad the carpet looked when I was finished. I did my best and the Pastor knows that. He was happy with it. I accepted it.

I thank God for providing this bit of hard work. I was exhausted when I arrived home that evening; but, it was that hard day of working tired. I hope this finds you doing those things that God has entrusted to you to get done.

So, how are you doing?

June 14, 2010

Today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 6, 7, 8; Psalm 14, 44, 74, 104, 134; Proverbs 14

Ecclesiastes 6:2, “A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.”

I remember a time at a Church we attended for a few years we were wanting to build on to the building. A wealthy man called the Pastor of the Church and invited him to breakfast. At this breakfast meeting the man asked the Pastor what the balance was on the current mortgage of the Church building. The Pastor gave him a “ballpark” figure. The man pulled out a checkbook and began to write a check for the balance. The Pastor took the check and went back to the Church to find that he has overestimated a little. He called this man and told him and the Pastor was told to keep the extra. Praise God!

This man knew how to use what God had given him to meet the needs of the people. I have never been one to have much money or anything else for that matter. I have come to the conclusion that God knows that He cannot entrust much to me so He does just that. That is okay. Right now things are so slim that I wonder if He can trust me with anything at all.

Do you see money as a spiritual matter? I hope so; because, it is. If you are going to live your life successfully as one of God’s children you will have to look at money this way.

Do you have riches or do riches have you? Think about it for a minute before you answer that.

June 13, 2010

Today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 3, 4, 5; Psalm 13, 43, 73, 103, 133; Proverbs 13

Ecclesiastes 5:2, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.”

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5, “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”

So many of us are so quick to say things that we regret. I know that I have a lot in my time walking this earth. I remember growing up it was my mouth that got me into more trouble than anything and sometimes it still does.

We live in a day that a person’s word is not worth the breath that it takes to expel it. This is sad. I remember a day when I could go to the local store and get something and they would put it on a tab and it had to be paid weekly. If you did not pay your tab you lost the privilege.

I wish I was known as a man of my word. I don’t think I am; but, I could be wrong. This should not be. My life is a reflection of Christ and He is a man of His Word. You will see this as you read His Word. If He says it you can mark it down that it is or will be.

So what about you? Are you considered a man or woman of your word? I sure hope so. If not it is never too late to begin to work on becoming a man or woman of your word.