Archive for the ‘July 2009’ Category

Story of the day:  God loves us now!

In his book Enjoying God, Lloyd Ogilvie writes:

My formative years ingrained the quid pro quo into my attitude toward myself:  do and you’ll receive; perform and you’ll be loved.  When I got good grades, achieved, and was a success, I felt acceptance from my parents.  My dad taught me to fish and hunt and worked hard to provide for us, but I rarely heard him say, “Lloyd, I love you.”  He tried to show it in actions, and sometimes I caught a twinkle of affirmation in his eyes.  But I still felt empty.

When I became a Christian, I immediately became so involved in discipleship activities that I did not experience the profound healing of the grace I talked about theoretically….

I’ll never forget as long as I live the first time I really experienced healing grace.  I was a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh.  Because of financial pressures I had to accordion my studies into a shorter than usual period.  Carrying a double load of classes was very demanding, and I was exhausted by the constant feeling of never quite measuring up.  No matter how good my grads were, I thought they could be better.  Sadly, I was not living the very truths I was studying.  Although I could have told you that the Greek words for grace and joy are charis and chara, I was not experiencing them.

My beloved professor, Dr. James Steward, that slightly built dynamo of a saint, saw into my soul with x-ray vision.  One day in the corridor of New College he stopped me.  He looked me in the eye intensely.  Then he smiled warmly, took my coat lapels in his hands, drew me down to a few inches from his face, and said, “Dear boy, you are loved now!”

Quote of the day:  Craig Larson

“God loves us now, not when we get better.  God loves us now, as we are.”

Bible verse of the day:  1 John 4:9

“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for loving me as I am.  It has been Your Love that has stirred my soul and opened my heart to a world that is in need.  Father, I pray for those that may feel as Lloyd does, loved only when they accomplish things.  I pray that they stop what they are doing right now and see how You love them just as they are and right now.  Father, may they feel Your unwavering Love fill their souls.  I ask that my heart continues to grow for people and that it is filled with the love that You continue to give each and every day.  Let me see others through the heart of Your eyes leading me compassionately and guiding me down Your Gracious path.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

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Hello Friends and Family,

Jeff and I will be transitioning to New Mexico on the 31st of July.  While we are in transition, our computer access will be in the transfer mode and writing the quotes will be stopping the last week of July and resuming around the second week of August.  Thank you for your patience as the quotes have been a little sporatic in the last few weeks as we have been actively packing and getting ready for yet another move. 

Christy

Funny Friday Quote:  Cliches and Proverbs

“You can lead a horse to water.  If he drowns, never give him mouth to mouth.  Scott Wood

“Show me a man with both feet on the ground, and I’ll show you a man who can’t put his pants on.”  Joe E. Lewis

“On the other hand, you have different fingers.”  Steven Wright

“I made quite a name for myself back home.  I left when I found out what it was.”  Herb Shriner

“Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.”  Author Unknown

Bible verse of the day:  Psalm 45:1

“My heart is overflowing with a good theme;  I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for being my rock and my fortress.  I delight in You as You are my Strong Tower.  I will seek You early in the morning as my soul thirsts for You.  I love You Heavenly Father and I praise You with my lips and lift my hands to the Heavens.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day:  “The Worry Wart”

     What comes to mind when you think of the phrase, “The Worry Wart?”  I picture a person consistently pacing the halls, scratching their head, and trying profusely to try and figure out the situation.  I will be the first to admit that a couple of weeks ago, I began to bear a burden of worry that I didn’t need to worry about.  If any of you know me, I am usually the last to worry about things, but this one particular thing had taken hold of me, or should I say, I let it take hold of me, and it rooted itself as worry in my life.  I sat down with Jeff, my dad, and my mom and shared with them what struggles were causing me to bend out of shape. 

As I listened to my father’s words of wisdom on the matter of worry, he said, “Honey, why are you worrying about something that you can’t control and have you given this over to God?  Control.  Now there’s another word that seems to go hand in hand with the word worry.  So, all I needed to do was release the reigns of control, hand it over to God, and my worry was gone?  How simple is that?  This is nothing new that I haven’t heard before, yet as simple as it was, I wasn’t relinquishing the control  “Worry Wart” cycle and it  was doing what it was meant to do, which was causing me to worry and take my focus off of God. 

You see friends, when I planted that seed of worry in my life, it began to sprout up and take on the attributes of a “Worry Wart.”  I began to feed it with my endless thoughts of “what ifs,” and it began to consume me, even if it was for that small moment in time.  Billy Graham said it best in Hope for Each Day, “Worrying about what might happen makes even the smallest trouble seem huge.  Nervously anticipating troubles that may never happen can crush our spirit.”

What should we do about this thing called worry?  I can tell you what the Bible tells us to do.  In Matthew 25-34, the Bible tells us, “Do not worry.”  How simple is that?  Wow, I was given two things that are so simplistic and yet so very effective.  I quickly began to pray and ask God for forgiveness for wanting to control a situation that I was completely not in control of.  And just as quickly as the worry came into my life, the worry quickly left.  It had been uprooted and a seed of God’s Word from John 14:27 was planted in its stead.  The verse says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  

Quote of the day:  Author Unknown

“Worry is an old man with a bent head, carrying a load of feathers he thinks is lead.”

Bible verse of the day:  John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I can only imagine what it must look like to see Your Child worrying about things that are completely out of their control.  Thank You Jesus for showing me how much time and energy I wasted by allowing that seed of worry to grow in my life.  Thank You for showing me how to overcome it and recognize when new seeds even start to want to take root.  I am so grateful for handing over those reigns of trying to control that situation and for recognizing that no matter the outcome, I am in Your Hands and that You will take care of me.  I love You Father and I am so humbled by Your Grace and how You continue to show me so much Love and Mercy.  I pray that Your peace falls upon me so that my heart is not troubled and is not afraid.  

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day:  Constricting Struggles

I have heard it said that going through trials will help me to grow.  As a child, not knowing exactly what they meant, I would measure myself to see how tall I was becoming.  And although, I didn’t grow in an upward motion, I did grow as a person, and I learned from my trials.  Now, as an adult, going through trials doesn’t get easier, and I have to catch myself and recognize that no matter what the trials are, that growth is about to come.  If someone always bandaged my trials or kept me from going through them, I may not ever have learned from them, thus stunting my growth as a Christ follower.  As hard as the trials may be, they are important to go through.  I found a great story written by Criag Larson that I found to be great at explaining this.  He writes:

A man found a cocoon of the emperor moth and took it home to watch it emerge.  One day a small opening appeared, and for several hours the moth struggled but couldn’t seem to force its body past a certain point.

Deciding something was wrong, the man took scissors and snipped the remaining bit of cocoon.  The moth emerged easily, its body large and swollen, the wings small and shriveled.

He expected that in a few hours the wings would spread out in their natural beauty, but they did not.  Instead of developing into a creature free to fly, the moth spent its life dragging around a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The constricting cocoon and the struggle necessary to pass through the tiny opening are God’s way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings.  The “merciful” snip was, in reality, cruel.  Sometimes the struggle is exactly what I need.

Quote of the day:  C. Everett Koop

“We grow and mature spiritually through adversity–not when everything is going smoothly…[I]n a time of adversity or trouble, the Christian has the opportunity to know God in a special and personal way.”

Bible verse of the day:  James 5:11

“Indeed we count them blessed who endure.  You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Although I may not want to go through trials of any kind, I do know that I always grow closer to You through them.  Because of Your love, I am able to endure them and learn from them.  Father, I pray that You continue to mold me and teach me through these times.  I pray for safe travel as I am heading out and traveling a couple of hours down the road.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Story of the day:  God’s Guidance + Our Obedience = Fruit of the Spirit

Author Gary Thomas, founder for Evangelical Spirituality, writes in Discipleship Journal:

When my wife and I prayed extensively about buying a house, we gave God many opportunities to close the door.  God appeared to bless the move.  Five years later, our house is worth considerably less than what we paid for it.

“Why didn’t God stop us?” my wife and I kept wondering.  After all, we had given Him plenty of opportunities.  But one day as my wife was praying, she sensed God asking her, “Have you ever considered the possibility that I wanted you in that neighborhood to minister there rather than to bolster your financial equity?”

We thought of the people we have been able to reach, and then asked ourselves, are we willing to surrender to a God who would lead us to make a decision that turned out to be undesirable financially but profitable spiritually?  Does obedience obligate God to bless us, or can obedience call us to sacrifice?  Think about the cross before you answer that one.

Quote of the day:  Terry Fullam

“The fruit of the Spirit grows only in the garden of obedience.”

Bible verse of the day:  Romans 12:2

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Our time here in Dallas is winding down and as sad as I always seem to get at moving and missing the people that I have gotten to know, I get even more excited at what is to come in New Mexico.  These next few weeks of the move are a little challenging for writing, as we are not in one area that long.  I ask for Grace through this transition and I pray that we hear and watch for opportunities to witness, evangelize, and love others as You do.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen