Wednesday, July 29, 2015

God Provides

Last week I signed up at the last minute to take a CEU course so that I could maintain my PT license. What I didn't realize, was that there were 4-6 hours of videos and tests to take BEFORE I could take the class. On top of that I had a medical appointment after work on Thursday, along with other things to do! Plus, I had a full schedule at work with no openings that would allow me to get some of these videos and tests done. Stress! How could I get it all done without staying up so late at night that I could not function the next day? 
I have been in these situations before. Too much to do and to little time. And yet, in the past God has always provided the time to do exactly what needed to be done. This time was no different. On Thursday, the day that I had to have all the videos and tests completed, and the day of my eye appointment, 4 patients cancelled! That was 4 hours of work that I could do on the preparatory work for my course! When, I began the day, I had looked at my schedule and did not think any of my patients would cancel. I would have bet that all of them would have showed up! But for whatever reason 4 cancelled! Once again, God provided all the time to do what needed to be done!  When will I learn this lesson? When God calls us to do something, He always provides what is needed. Whether it is time or money, or some other resource, He always provides! So, rest in Him and if you have trouble trusting Him like I do, maybe we can learn this lesson together! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Time with God

Yesterday I was very blessed to spend the day with my dad. We worked all day on my trailer, replacing the floor in it. It was such a blessing to me to be able to work with him again. I grew up on a ranch and I worked with him often. Back then I didn't enjoy it at all! It was very hard work and not work that I wanted to do!
But as I grow older I realize our time on this earth is short and I have grown to appreciate my time with my family more and more. 
As I was thinking about that this morning, I realize God wants to spend time with us as well. Just as I enjoyed the time with my dad, God enjoys the time that we spend with Him and wants us to relish that time also. 
What is neat to me is that we are never far from the presence of God. We need to realize that God is with us constantly. When we are working, playing, relaxing, or whatever we are doing God is there. 
The problem is that we often don't acknowledge His presence. We forget that He is always available for us to praise, thank, seek assistance from, etc. God wants us to spend time with Him and speak to Him as we go about our life. The Bible encourages us to pray without ceasing. I used to think that was impossible until I read The Practice of the Presence of God by Bro. Lawerence. 
Bro. Lawerence prayed continually to God no matter what he was doing. Even when he was talking to other people! No small task! It took practice over many years, but he eventually was able to pray without ceasing! We can learn to do this also. And like him, it may take a lot of practice, but God wants us to spend time with Him and not just in our prayer closet. He wants us to recognize His presence throughout our days and nights and converse with Him all the time! 
So just as we enjoy spending time with others, remember God wants to spend time with us as well!  So practice the presence of God as you go through your day. He loves you! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Loving Our Enemies

Matthew 5:43-45 are perhaps some of the most difficult verses in the Bible to follow. In these verses Jesus tells us to love our enemies. When we listen to sermons or Bible studies we agree with this and in the comfort of the church setting or amongst friends we agree we should do this.  But, when the rubber meets the road and we are in the real world, encountering unlikable individuals, we don't want to follow His commands. 
I have a neighbor that I may have to encounter soon. Everyone I have talked with does not like this man. He is mean and aggressive. He has even hurt some of my extended family through unnecessary actions. I don't want to encounter him, but I probably will. We share a fence and some trees have fallen on the fence. I will have to cut them to spare the fence. He is not going to like this and a meeting between the two of us may be inevitable. 
I have thought about this for awhile. I have thought of my reactions and what I might say to him. 
These verses remind me that I am to love him and whatever I say or do I need to do so in love. That's hard! I would like to speak to him like I imagine he is going to speak to me! But I must remember that how I would like to respond and how Christ wants me to respond are two different things!

But, notice, Christ does not call us to ignore our enemies.  Instead we are to take action. We are to actually get in our prayer closets and PRAY for our enemies. And not pray for bad things to happen to them, but to pray for their good. That God will draw them to Himself. That they will experience His love as we have. 
And love does not mean that we ignore or avoid them. We actually seek their good! How hard is that! It's very difficult. But isn't that what Christ did for us and them? He died for ALL of us. Not just me, but my enemies as well. We are never more like God than when we love. And perhaps we are MOST like God when we love our enemies. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Humility and Obedience

Why did God choose Mary and Joseph to be the parents of Jesus?

It's a question that we may not think about often, but the answer to it shows us how we should live in our Christian walk. 

When we look at the Gospel of Matthew we see how Joseph responds when he told about Jesus. 
He is engaged to Mary, but then he finds out she is pregnant. He knows he is not the father, so the natural assumption is that she cheated on him and the child is the child of another man. He decides that he will put her away quietly. But, then in a dream he is told the truth about Jesus. He is Gods child.  And he is to take Mary as his wife.  His response? Matthew 1:24 tells us that as soon as he was told to take Mary as his wife, he was obedient. Immediately! No record of questioning or hesitation. He does what God has told him to do.  

Luke tells us how Mary responds when she she is told she will be the mother of Christ. 
Luke 1:38
" And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her."

Her response is important, because Mary knows that Joseph may dismiss her (that was his initial intent), and what would everyone think? She is pregnant, but not married yet! The neighbors would surely talk and her reputation would be ruined! But Mary is a slave to the Lord. The word servant in Luke 1:38 literally means she is a slave without rights to God. So whatever God wants of her, or tells her to do, she will do. 
And her response is one of words followed by action. She is Gods slave and she will do what He tells her to do.  

Both Joseph's and Mary's response is one of humility and obedience. They are willing to do whatever God asks of them regardless of the consequences.

Maybe this is why God chose them to be the parents of Christ. They were slaves to Him. Obedient despite the challenges. Willing to say: Your will! Not mine! 

What about you and me? 
Are we willing to do whatever Christ asks us to do? Despite what people might think? Despite what might happen to our reputation? Our career? Our finances? Our relationships? 

If we are a slave of Christ, our response should always be: May it be to me as you say.  As you desire! Your will, not mine. 

When we have that attitude, God WILL use us! Be ready! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thankful for the Small Things

When I think of giving thanks, I find myself thankful for small things such as seeing the colors of the sky or grass, getting a cup of coffee in the morning, the porches on our house, the rain, hearing music, or other small things. I felt kinda silly being thankful for these ordinary, little things, until.....

I see what my grandmother is going through. She is 96 years old and although she has her mind, she has lost nearly all capacity to see and hear. She has macular degeneration, which has slowly robbed her of her sight. When I walk into her room, she cannot tell it is me. She can't see pictures of our vacation, see how beautiful our kids are, or see what she is eating. 
She is also losing her hearing. It is getting harder to have a conversation with her on the phone or in person. She constantly has to have things repeated to her in a loud voice so she can understand.  

She is slowly sinking into a prison that is making life much less enjoyable. 

I realize now what a blessing it is to be able to see and hear the small and ordinary things around me. 

I also recently ran into an old friend of mine that has had surgery and radiation for oral cancer.  He can no longer speak or swallow. He told me that he was very discouraged. The reason: he had not been able to eat in over a year! Imagine! He had not been able to taste a steak, or hamburger,or anything in over a year. Tasting great food is pleasure! But he had not been able to taste anything for such a long time! 
He also can not talk so any communication had to be by hand! Very difficult and challenging! 
What he wouldn't give to talk and swallow again! 

When I see these challenges my grandmother and this friend are going through I realize that being thankful for small things like seeing beautiful things around me and tasting or eating delicious food is not so silly after all! 

There are many blessings we experience in life and we need to give a HUGE Thank you to God for ALL our blessings! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014


This morning in church the pastor who was bring the sermon talked about the importance of making sure we knew Christ. He gave the example of a young man he knew in high school. On a Friday, he and this friend say "Goodbye" to one another, ending with the promise: "See you on Monday." When he got to school on Monday, he learned that his friend had been tragically killed in a car accident that weekend. Death came suddenly and without warning to his friend.
Yesterday, I visited my Grandparents graves in Lampasas, Texas. I always go there around the anniversary of their deaths and birthdays. They were very special people to me and I miss them dearly. As I wander through the cemetery, I see many grave markers of people who had lived in that area. Many have lived very long, and hopefully happy and productive lives. Many lived into their 70s, 80s, 90s and some even  reached the century mark. But there are many who never reached their teens or 20s. Their lives were cut short by illness, car accidents, or some other cause of death. One young lady was taken tragically by a train accident at the age of 15. One died of leukemia at the age of 10.
The point is that none of us know when we will pass from this world into eternity. We assume we will live a long life, but the truth is that God may allow us to meet him face to face at any time.
The question is: are we ready to meet Him face to face? Have we prepared to slip into eternity?

While death is certain, where we spend eternity is up to us. We have a choice in the matter!

Jesus said in perhaps the most famous verse in the world; For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 NASB.
One of the most important words in this verse is believe. What does is mean to believe in Him?
I think William Barclay explains this best.
To believe means at least 3 things.
1. We believe that Jesus is who He said He was. The Son of God. Not just a good man; not just a great teacher; not just a miracle worker; but that He is the Son of God! I remember a pastor telling me when I was young that Jesus was either the Son of God or He was a very deluded man. As I study the Bible more and more I realize the pastor was correct! Jesus made some incredible claims and He was either entirely off His rocker or He truly was the Son of God. To believe in Him means that we believe He was the Son of God as He said.

2. We believe that what Jesus said about God is true. If Jesus was the Son of God then He would know about God more than any human would! Therefore, when He tells us about God and His love for us, we can trust Him. He knows because He knew God on an intimate basis and could show and tell us what God is like. Jesus said in John 14:9: "He who has seen Me has seen the Father..."

3.  But we must put action to our beliefs. To believe means that we obey what Christ tells us to do. James tells us: "you believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. "James  2:19. Even the demons know about God. They "believe" in Him but they are not obedient to what He tells us to do. Our actions must follow our beliefs. To belive is not just an intellectual acknowledgement, but is played out in our everyday lives in which we choose to be obedient to His commands. When He tells us to love our enemies, we must do so. When He tells us to live by faith, we strive to follow Him, not by sight , but by faith. When He tells us to live a life of sacrifice for Him and for others, we do our best to place Him and others before ourselves. Yes, we will fail miserably at times, but that is what His grace is for. 

So, do you believe? Are you ready for eternity? It can come at any time! If you are not ready, then I want to encourage you to ask Christ to come into your heart. Choose to believe in Him, and then follow Him with your heart and your life. Then, you will ready for eternity! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Seeking God first

My sister in law is in the hospital as I write this. She has diverticulitis and is receiving antibiotics. As we were talking, we got to talking about work. We both work for the same healthcare system. We were talking about how tight things are in the healthcare industry with the new laws; etc. Money is tight all around. There are many changes and it's been tough. 
As we were talking I got a little anxious about my job. What if I lost it? How could we cope financially? Could I find another job as a Physical Therapist? Thoughts filled with worry clouded my mind as we conversed. 
After we finished talking I turned to Twitter to look over the news feed. One of tweets was Matthew 6:33. What a blessing! Jesus promised in this verse that if we seek Gods kingdom, then He will supply ALL of our needs! No need to worry! If I keep my job He will supply! If I lose my job, He will supply! God is in control! 
So what does it mean to seek Gods kingdom? Gods kingdom is a place where Gods will is perfectly done in all things. Therefore to seek Gods kingdom is to seek His will for our life and then follow that will. We seek and we obey! But the verb seek is one of continuous action. It's not a one time thing. In other words we should daily seek Gods will for our life. Each day we should ask God to direct and guide us. As we seek, and humbly submit to His will, He promises He will supply ALL our needs!
So if you are worrying, turn daily to God and submit to His will and know that He will provide all your needs!