Monday, June 01, 2009
This is my new profile pic. You like? (LOL)
Ok, the word for tomorrow.
"Teach us to use wisely all the time we have." Psalm 90:12 CEV
By a Friend...
Growing up, Dr. Tony Campolo says he spent many Saturdays at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia visiting Ed Bailey, the guy who ran it. Campolo writes: "His encyclopedic mind fascinated me. He knew something about everything...I was friends with Ed until he died. After a serious stroke I went to visit him...I told him all the places I'd been to speak and how I'd come right from the airport to see him.
He heard me out, then said, 'You go all over the world to people who 10 years from now won't remember your name. But you haven't time for those who really care about you.'" Campolo continues, "That...hit me hard and changed my life. I decided not to let all my time be used by people for whom I make little difference, while I neglect those for whom I'm irreplaceable.
"One day a friend of mine got a call from The White House asking him to consult with the President. He said no, because it was a day he'd promised to spend with his granddaughter. The nation survived...the President didn't miss him, and his granddaughter had precious time with her Pop-Pop."
Somebody said that the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing! David put it like this: "Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom" (Ps 90:12 NLT).
Time is an equal-opportunity employer. We all get 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds daily, and we must account for how we use them. So ask yourself how you would spend the next 24 hours if you knew that you'd stand before God tomorrow - then get busy!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Pastor Paula White
Sometimes people wonder about how God works to guide us in life. An often-asked question is "If God is our loving Father and protector, why doesn't He keep bad things from happening to good people?"
God's love, protection, and guidance is constant and never-failing. But He has also given us a very healthy dose of free-will. He doesn't force us to make the vast majority of decisions we make - and He also doesn't keep us from making errors or bad choices. We must take responsibility for the consequences of our own decisions.
We must also recognize that we live in a fallen world, full of natural disasters - floods, earthquakes, droughts, disease -- and filled with dishonest, angry, and bitter people, who become terrorists, drug dealers, murderers, thieves...whom also had free will to be exercised for good, or evil.
God doesn't snatch us out of the world to protect us, but His Word tells us that He walks through life with us, never leaving or forsaking us. He doesn't promise to spare us from hardship, but He promises not to allow any form of evil to strip away our salvation, or our ability to experience His presence in our soul. Sometimes God delivers us from the storm and sometimes He delivers us in the storm.
Many people think they can effectively make it own their own without the guidance of the Lord...but that simply isn't possible. The reality is that life is too big for you to carry the burden on your shoulders. In 1 Peter 5:7, God's Word says to cast all your cares upon God. He can handle the heavy weights that wear you down in life, handle your issues, and love you unconditionally. His Word is full of wisdom and guidance, and it is a rock of truth and comfort to lead us through life's many storms.
The Bible says that if a person goes to God in search of wisdom, He will pour out His wisdom generously (see James 1:5). Go to God for comfort, wisdom, and guidance, expecting Him to reveal both His absolute goodness and your potential for greatness!
God's guidance is also in the "still small voice" of the Holy Spirit within us. His directives may be as simple as a prompting in your mind: "Call this person today." It might be a nudging to make a particular choice, or to go to a specific place at a given time. Success with God always means choosing to do things God's way, not our own way.
The Word of God tells us to "Consider your ways" (Haggai 1:5). Although God may not always answer the "why" questions we ask of Him, He will always help us answer the "why" questions we ask of ourselves - to reveal truths and greater self-knowledge, as He guides us toward our next level of destiny and transforms us into His likeness.
And as we learn to hear God's voice and are obedient to his directions, we can walk in confidence that He is guiding us...and leading us down paths that are truly good for us!
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and give you a future and a hope."
Have a wonderful Sunday. Will be back later. Visiting another church in Greensboro. A friend from Georgia is speaking.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I'm doing a "staycation", this year. For 14 years we've been traveling during the summer. This year we're staying put. My days are already mapped out. 5am, exercise and walks. Breakfast at 6am and Then Spark time. Looking for more flowers for the garden, will try my hand at a few veggies and then lunch. Wait 30 minutes then walk treadmill. Watch Coach Nicole video of the day and MOVE with it, Nice shower, nap time. More Sparking, Dinner time, bike riding in the evening (will switch up with walking) snack. TV or More Sparking then bedtime.
Then do it all over again. WooHoo, this Summer is mine!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Focus on the Task at Hand
by Max Lucado
Life is tough enough as it is. It's even tougher when we're headed in the wrong direction.
One of the incredible abilities of Jesus was to stay on target. His life never got off track. Not once do we find him walking down the wrong side of the fairway. He had no money, no computers, no jets, no administrative assistants or staff; yet Jesus did what many of us fail to do. He kept his life on course.
As Jesus looked across the horizon of his future, he could see many targets. Many flags were flapping in the wind, each of which he could have pursued. He could have been a political revolutionary. He could have been a national leader. He could have been content to be a teacher and educate minds or to be a physician and heal bodies. But in the end he chose to be a Savior and save souls.
Anyone near Christ for any length of time heard it from Jesus himself. "The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them" (Luke 19:10). "The Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people" (Mark 10:45).
The heart of Christ was relentlessly focused on one task. The day he left the carpentry shop of Nazareth he had one ultimate aim--the cross of Calvary. He was so focused that his final words were, "It is finished" (John 19:30).
How could Jesus say he was finished? There were still the hungry to feed, the sick to heal, the untaught to instruct, and the unloved to love. How could he say he was finished? Simple. He had completed his designated task. His commission was fulfilled. The painter could set aside his brush, the sculptor lay down his chisel, the writer put away his pen. The job was done.
Wouldn't you love to be able to say the same? Wouldn't you love to look back on your life and know you had done what you were called to do?
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Do You Lack Wisdom?
Of all the things that we might desire, the Bible clearly recommends one thing highly: wisdom.
An attempt to gain wisdom through a "short cut" was part of the reason for the original sin in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:6 says, "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."
The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon, a man who God blessed with such wisdom that the whole world sought an audience with him to hear the wisdom that God put in his heart. (1 Kings 10:24). Virtually the entire book of Proverbs is a plea for us to embrace, to seek, and to ask God for wisdom.
Near the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus went to his hometown, and the people there were amazed at his miracles, yes, but also by the wisdom that God had given to Him. "Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked." (Matthew 13:54, NIV)
It's not that Jesus didn't have this wisdom as He was growing up - we know that even as a young boy, His wisdom and insight confounded the learned scholars in the Temple. I suspect that prior to the beginning of His ministry, Jesus quietly went about His work as a carpenter with His father, waiting for the time when all would know Who He was.
What is it about wisdom that makes it more desirable than silver or gold, more precious than any earthly possession? It is because with wisdom is the key to properly leveraging knowledge and experiences. During our lifetimes, we all have many experiences and we all learn things. Whether or not you apply those academic and life lessons to your present circumstances shows whether or not you possess wisdom.
Ever had someone about whom you said, "He's got a lot of book learning, but no common sense whatsoever"? That person lacked wisdom. They may have boundless amounts of knowledge stored in their brains, but without wisdom, they don't know how to apply that knowledge in a practical way to their daily lives.
A nutritionist who has a degree in knowing what they should eat, but who pigs out on junk food and weighs 400 pounds lacks wisdom. An oncologist who daily sees cancer ravage his patients yet smokes two packs of cigarettes a day lacks wisdom. A counselor who has versed in the principles of relationships, understands the importance of the family, and can give advice to others about their marriage, yet leaves his wife and kids for another woman lacks wisdom.
A person who is aware of their sinful condition, and understands the message of the Gospel, yet fails to give his or her life to Jesus Christ clearly lacks wisdom.
Wisdom is that precious gift of insight and understanding from God that leads us to make wise choices in our lives. Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, "Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom."
Has your life been marked by poor choices? Have you demonstrated time and time again that you do not have wisdom? I have really good news for you. God is a God of second chances. Not to mention third and fourth and fifth...
If the Bible is true - and it is - and the words contained within it are reliable - and they are - then the beginning of wisdom for you is just a prayer away. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
It is never too late to begin walking in wisdom.
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