One of my favorite summer activities is to walk the beach at a dear relatives. This past summer as I walked the beach I was reminded of the poem “footprints in the sand.” This poem paints a clear picture of what it’s like to walk through trials.
We may feel alone at times, almost as though God has left us. Jesus May have felt the same way when He was sent to the cross & spoke these words from Psalm 22: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” We feel alone because we see one set of footprints & yet this is when God carries us as the poem states.
The purpose of these challenging times is so that we can comfort & encourage others. Paul shares these words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so we can comfort others with the same comfort we received.” God walks with us & encourages us so we can learn to walk with & encourage others.
In His Service,
It seems that this time of year as often about preparation. I often hear people asked the question: are you ready for Christmas? When most people ask that question they are really asking if you have all your shopping done and are all decorated and ready to be with family. Unfortunately the last thing that gets remembered is that Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Christ. We should always be ready to celebrate the birth of Christ during this time of year and all year round. When we come to celebrate the birth of Christ we are also celebrating his life, death, and resurrection. Each of these events and parts of Jesus’ life cannot be looked at separately. The Christmas ornament pictured above says it all. Are you prepared to welcome Jesus into your Christmas celebrations? Are you prepared to live as one who follows him? We should be more concerned about including Jesus in our Christmas celebrations then about the gifts, decorations, and many other preparations. As we often here this time of year: Jesus is the reason for the season.
We are reminded of this in Luke 2:10-12: “But the angel said to them, “do not be afraid I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Savior, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” This news brought great joy to the people present at the event and it is my prayer that it brings great joy to us today and during this Christmas season.
In His Service,
Just the other day I was talking to a friend about the word healing and I was reminded of a key spiritual truth. That truth is that healing happens in the context of a relationship. What I mean is that, in order to truly be healed we must talk about our struggles with one another.
In James 5:16 says: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” In this verse, there are 2 requirements for healing: confession & prayer. Both of these happen in a relationship. Confession is simply sharing your struggle or sin with another person. Prayer is the act of inviting God into the process. God does the healing & He does it in the context of relationships.
Healing happens because we name the struggle and sin. There is power in saying out loud what we are struggling with to another person. It takes the struggle out of our head and into the open which is where the healing begins. Keeping the struggle in our head gives it more power and can stall the healing process.
It is my hope and prayer that we can invite God and others into our lives so that true healing can begin.
In His Service,
Over The last few months I have been meditating on what a definition of perfection means. I think there are a variety of ways to look at it. Often people think of perfection as not making a mistake. While that is one definition, I’d like to take us to a biblical definition. The biblical definition of perfection Is not about, not making a mistake but more about becoming more like Jesus. The gospel of Matthew talks about this. It says this in Matthew 5:48: “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
This scripture is encouraging us to follow the example of Jesus. One way that we do that is by living out the fruits of the Spit. Galatians 5:22-23 says this: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control.” Are the fruits of the spirit present and active in your life? Are you living your life in such a way that you are desiring to be transformed & live like Jesus?
On my way back from a recent trip I had an experience where I had to sit in traffic go 2 hours. I was traveling back home from relatives who live in a beautiful area of Long Island New York. The only downfall is that the first hour of the drive back involves traveling on major bridges that are in close proximity to New York City. I’ve driven this trip many times over the last 20 years and I’ve been a passenger for 20 years prior to that.
Due to the 2 hour delay I chose to take an unexpected detour for the rest of the trip. Otherwise, there would’ve been an additional hour added to my trip. I did not plan on being delayed 2 extra hours in NY.
I have noticed that there are times in my life that I am delayed or have to take and I unexpected detour. Sometimes these detours take me to places that God meant for me to be anyway.
Proverbs 20:24 says this: “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How can anyone understand his own way.” Often the ways and paths God directs us to take don’t make sense. In these situations we must choose to trust Him.
Do you trust Him? Does the direction your life is taking make sense?
Continuing to seek Him,
Well it has definitely been a while since I last blogged. Lately I’ve been reflecting on what it means to have a GPS. In case you didn’t now GPS stands for global positioning system. Most people in today’s world put their trust in a GPS to get them places because 95% of the time it doesn’t fail. A few weeks ago as I was traveling back home from a friend’s my GPS told me to go off the main road due to heavy traffic, possibly due to road construction. After reviewing the route, I decided to follow it. Eventually the route took me to the dirt road pictured above. At first I thought nothing of it & I kept passing other cars so it seemed like the way to go. After several windy roads I ended back on the main road and shortly after while talking to a friend she said, “you put your trust in your GPS.” I said, “Actually I put my trust in God.” That’s where my desire is, to put my trust in God. He is my GPS. Unfortunately I don’t always put my full trust in Him. But when I do, I find out that He always leads me in a right & good direction. This truth is included in Proverbs 3:5-6 which says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him & he will make your paths straight.” Sometimes those paths that God leads us on don’t feel straight. Keep following & keep trusting & God will take you to where He wants you to go. Enjoy the journey & trust in Him….
A couple of weeks ago I was at a friends house and I had the opportunity to watch my first World Cup soccer game. It was so easy for me to get excited and passionate as I watched it. This same excitement, passion, & intensity seems to erupt inside of me when I’m watching a football game.
All of this excitement & passion made me think and meditate on whether or not I have the same invigorating feeling about Jesus and spreading the gospel to all I meet. This also reminds me of what it says in Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it brings the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”
What about you? Do you have the same passion for Jesus as you do for other areas in your life? Jesus lasts forever. All other passions are temporary.
Continuing to seek Jesus daily,