As we approach Thanksgiving, it is with so much gratitude that I must thank God for all He has done, given, and answered.
For saying no when I wanted to do something that was not in your will.
For saying yes when I had to endure trials and tribulations in order to get closer to You.
For allowing me to hear my children fuss and fight instead of not hearing them at all.
For being able to sit down at the dinner table with my wife and kids all together.
For seeing someone who had less than me to realize that I have more than enough.
For seeing someone who has more than I have but doesn't appreciate it.
For getting a late night phone call from friend who needs me.
For crying so hard while reading The Shack! For the ability to remember the truth presented in it even now.
For showing me that You have never been nor will you ever be placed in a box, an institution, or a religion. Even my heart can't contain you but thank You for moving in and through it.
For allowing me to listen to and enjoy music.
For allowing me the ability to make music with a guitar and relationships.
For being able to reflect upon my life, my loves, and my blessings.
For giving me 4 children whom I love more than life.
For a wife who puts up with me, respects me, and is committed to me.
For being able to speak and proclaim You and Your love to a world who so desperately needs it!
For not crushing me when I miss it all.
For giving me another chance, again and again and again.
For letting me see the hurt in people through Your eyes.
For giving me a heart to feel, a mind to understand, and enough sense to trust you with both!
For place to lay my head and a heaven to place my heart.
Lord, Thank You for loving me! May I always show my gratitude!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Seasons change, times change, and we change. It's amazing though that the seasons deal with it as does time, but when it comes to us, we find ourselves fighting change and fighting against that which beckons change. Whether it's people, career, or the natural aging process, we fight against it. I have wondered why many times. It seems that we long for change when we are children, we long to become an adult and take hold of all those wonderful advantages of being an adult - like being independent, owning a home or apartment, having a car, and being free. Then as adults we try to hold on to our youth and being and feeling young. We long for that and fight the fact that we are growing older and with that change happens. We fight it by exercising and dieting and wearing 'cool' clothes and trying our best to stay trendy. Nothing wrong with any of these, but even so, we fight against change.
What amazes me is that when it comes to following Christ. We say we love Jesus, we say we love the ministry He has called us to, we say we are all about all of that stuff, yet we fight against change and all the while it is change that is needed to follow Christ. To follow Christ we must change our hearts, our mindsets, our attitudes, our actions, yet so many times we refuse to. Then that just moves into every area of our lives and we find that we become stagnate in our faith and actually quench the Spirit of God in our lives and around us. When we do this, we simply miss God! Changes are not permanent, but change is and if we are going to grow in our faith we must be constantly changing.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
It's a beautiful Sunday morning in Southwest Alabama. Due to a cold and an accompanying cough, I had to cancel a speaking engagement. I was planning to really speak with gusto and with power on Becoming a Passionate Follower of Jesus Christ. Isn't it ironic that instead I am sitting at my computer coughing and feeling 'blah' instead? I feel so far from being passionate about anything right now. I was reminded though of what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:7; "walk by faith and not by sight". He tells us that our walk, our following Jesus has nothing to do with how we feel or what the circumstances are. We are to follow Christ 'by faith', by trusting Him and not by how we feel. Hmmm. OK, that is awesome and true and the real deal, but how am I suppose to follow when I feel terrible? Then it hit me, trust Him now in this time of having a cold. Trust Him as I feel miserable, just as He felt even much more miserable on the cross after being beaten almost to death. Even in his dying He was passionate about life, love, and people ... ME!!! You see His hurting and pain and agony never once caused Him to not be passionate about what He was all about. His passion never wavered!
Just what am I passionate about? If I am passionate about God I will be that way even in my personal agony, even if it is just a cold. Passion, real passion when directed to what we were created to be and do and become in Christ may take hits, but that kind of passion never ceases; or it shouldn't cease!
So, with my cold and my cough, I sit at this computer passionate about life, love, and liberty in Christ! I can be sick and still be a passionate follower of Jesus. Wow! Take that cold! Achoo and Praise the Lord Who Is My Redeemer!