Waiting on the Lord

Nobody likes to wait…..on anything, anybody, anytime!

In our instant download culture we live in, we are conditioned to get it right here, right now.  So why is it that when God doesn’t give us what we are looking for, we begin to doubt?  Thats a fair question that we all battle with.

We begin to think that when we have to wait, the answer must be ‘No’.  Its easy to begin to think that way, after all we have not ‘seen’ anything happen.  We begin to make alternate plans since we are not seeing our prayer answered.

Could it be that God is doing a work in your heart while you are waiting?  Could it be that he is testing your faith in Him and his timing?  Maybe you are not ready for what He wants to do yet and He needs to purify you.  Purifying and changing someone from the inside out takes time.  There could be some motives he wants to purify, some heart issues that need to be worked out before he brings about his plan.  Seeking God in his Word, talking to him every day and spending time with those that are going after Jesus helps unfold his plan and his timing…….so we wait……. 

Lamentations 3:25-26 says “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord”

We serve a great God and He knows whats best for his children, just like a parent knows whats best for their son or daughter.  Its when we surrender to him our mindset and actions that we find true peace!

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Broken Seashells

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Recently our family took our annual summer beach vacation.  It’s been a tradition in our family for many years and we always look forward to it.

One thing I can count on and thats God to give me a reminder or a lesson that I need in my life at that exact time.  God is faithful and like a Father loves his children, God knows what we need and when we need it.

One day we were out on the beach enjoying the scorching July heat in Florida. You know what to expect in Florida in July and August….really hot!  It was a beautiful day and the water was calm and the waves were at a minimum.  I was walking in the shallow water looking for some nice shells to pickup.  Matthew, my 10 year old, was curious as to what I was doing.  So I told him I was picking up seashells.  He joined me for a few minutes and I explained to him what to look for. I told him that I look for the shells that are not broken or messed up.   We walked along the beach shoreline a little longer and I said it to him again.  “I only like to keep the shells that are whole and not broken.”  Instantly God reminded me how that sounded and what he thought of us.  It sounded so ugly coming out of my mouth and tying it into the lesson God wanted to teach me that day.

God reminded me our world we live in has a different expectation than he does. Culture embraces looking good on the outside and not displaying any kind of brokeness.  The exact opposite of what God values and loves!  God loves us and takes the brokeness in our lives and uses it to draw us near to him.  He loves taking flawed sinners like each one of us and takes delight in healing us and making us whole. Psalm 147:3 says “he heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”  God never throws us back into the ocean because we don’t look good.  He picks us up, broken and battered, loves us and reminds us that He sent his one and only Son, Jesus to die on the cross for us (John 3:16).

It was a short, quick lesson that would leave a permanent impression on me and how I felt about broken sea shells.  I thank God that he took a broken, messed up person like myself and made me whole in Christ.  He gave me a new life, a new identity, a different outlook on life.  God wants to do the same thing in your life today if you will let him!

 

 

 

Our Words

Words-Are-Powerful   I was reminded this morning how we use our words is important to God.  He says in Ephesians 4:29 “Don’t use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

As followers of Christ, people are paying attention to what you say and how you say it.  Your reaction to when something goes wrong or unplanned often will spur words from our mouth that indicates how our heart condition is with God.  This scripture also challenges us that what we say is good and helpful to others.  Our words that we communicate should be used to encourage others in the lives.  Your words of hope may be the only ones they hear from someone that day.  What an awesome privilege!

Lord, help us choose our words carefully and be mindful to those who we are speaking to.  Use our mouths as an instrument for your glory and to build others up in their faith in you.

 

Joy

“Rejoice Always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

No matter what we are going through in our lives today, God reminds us to have Joy.  Joy that the world cannot give us, Joy that can only be found in our relationship with Jesus Christ.  He gives us a formula, a principle here in his Word.  Three things:  always have joy, to always pray and to give thanks no matter what your situation is.

In a world starving for Joy, God reminds us thats its ‘in’ us waiting to be tapped into.

Rejoice!!

 

Do you really Care?

This morning I got to take my 9 year old son, Matthew, fishing at Anna Maria Island at a place called the Rod and Reel.  It was a nice morning with a slight cool breeze blowing off the water.  It’s Spring Break 2016 so everyone and their brother, cousin and bestie was there fishing this one particular morning.  We rented a couple of fishing poles and bought 2 dozen shrimp that like to jump out of the bucket they gave us.

father-and-son-fishingWe walked around the back of the small older shack that sits on the water, only to find an empty bench where we would sit and fish for the next hour or so.  Matthew counted on me to bait his hook and position his pole in the water where he would catch the fish he was after that day.  After we sat down and got all settled in, I noticed that nobody was casting their lines out very far.  Instead, they were just dropping their lines right down in front of them trying to catch the fish that directly beneath them.  I got up and walked around to the place I had rented the poles looking for the guy who sold us the shrimp.  He was not around however there was a another guy doing some busy work in the same area.  I asked him, “Why isn’t anyone casting their lines out in the water, they are all dropping them straight down”?  He replied,”All the fish hide underneath the dock”. He told me to drop the line straight down and try to catch them that way.  After all, everyone else was fishing that way.

I went back to the bench and Matthew and I fished for the next hour or so and caught nothing.  I just enjoyed spending time with my son fishing.  Were we trying to catch something?  You bet!  So we kept throwing the lines over and over and over.  Now something caught my eye at about the had way point I neglected to mention.  Many of the people weren’t sitting on the bench anymore fishing, they were laying down on their stomachs, hanging over the edge of the dock and casting their rods underneath the dock.  You see, thats where the fish were!  I knew that, after all, the guy who works there had told me where to catch the fish.

I began to notice 4 or 5 people sitting around us lying down and fishing.  Here’s the funny thing, they began catching fish.  One by one, they reeled them in and celebrated catching a fish!  They weren’t big fish but that didn’t matter, after all they were catching something.  I was faced with a decision, do I make the sacrifice and lay down on my stomach to catch something or sit on my bench and hope for the best.

I wish I could give you a happy ending to the story.  I had a choice that morning.  I honestly didn’t want to get uncomfortable and lay down on the hard, wooden dock to fish.  I wanted to catch a fish, but not sacrifice myself to that point.  It felt as though the Lord was speaking to me and saying, “to follow me you will have to make some uncomfortable sacrifices in your life.”  It won’t be easy but will certainly be worth it.  The ones that chose to lay down and do the uncomfortable, were the ones who got the reward.

God reminds us all the same thing.  How bad do you really want it?  How much of a sacrifice are you willing me make for Christ?  I was challenged this day and reminded that to follow Christ, will require me to get uncomfortable sometimes.

The Reward is always greater than the sacrifice!

 

 

 

Jesus changes Lives

He is Risen

Its a great day to Celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It happened over 2,000 years ago but is still changing lives today.  People have tried to kill it, oppose it, make it illegal and do just about anything to stop it, but the Gospel can’t be stopped.  It is still just as forceful, powerful and real.  People’s lives all over the world are being transformed and set free from addictions and old ways of living.  God is Good!!!