Wednesday, November 30, 2016
I don't know if you know the joy of having answered prayers.
If you do, you know that the answers you get are not always what you expect.
As a Christian, I have learned from the scriptures that those who believe are encouraged to pray.
That means talking to God (who you cannot see) and asking Him for help in things you cannot do yourself. We are supposed to pray and believe that the things we are praying about will be done.
This raises some questions that you have to settle in your mind before you begin.
"Is the thing I am praying about something I can do but I just don't want to?"
"Does my prayer involve making someone do something I want them to?"
"Is there a real basis for my request?"
"Is it OK to ask to be a millionaire?"
There are more questions and I would suggest you do your own digging to get more answers to other questions about prayer.
I prayed about two things recently and had almost immediate developments on BOTH issues.
One involved the sale of something big. I got the price I was asking for, with the least amount of drama I have ever had! It went so smoothly, it was like a dream transaction!
Then there is the other thing...
This one involved a relationship thing that someone who I care about was going through.
What happened in that situation, was not what I expected. I am still not sure how this one is going to turn out but I am trusting God that His influence is being felt.
Relationship prayers are a little more tricky because the wills of two or more people are involved.
God, as I have learned, will always allow you to make up your own mind about things.
That's called freedom.
So it's still a wait and see on that particular situation, so my wife and I are still praying.
If you're looking at a difficult situation, relationship issue or just want a transaction to go smoothly...why not pray about it RIGHT NOW?
You learn to pray the same way you learn to play a game or ride a bike, you just do it!
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Sunday sermon lesson!
Yes, I was paying attention in church! It only looks like I was distracted, because I use my phone to look up bible verses and make notes.
Smart phones are part of our lives now. Good luck trying to do anything without one, including living the Christian life.
I asked my pastor if it bothered him that people use their phones during church. He said "Not really".
It's not something that really concerned him a lot because, if people are there to listen, they will listen.
OK, so in church, technology, no biggie. At least in my church.
What about your time with God alone?
It's encouraged inn scripture to get alone with God and talk. How does that phone fit in there?
It's so easy to reach over and start scanning social media and end up sidetracked and miss out on some good "face time" with our Father!
I have a suggestion that I hope will help you out. If you want to get the most out of that time alone with God. Bring along an actual notepad and pen. Jot down what you want to talk about, and then be prepared to write down ideas and thoughts that come to you while you are praying!
Put the date on the note and then file it away somewhere.
If you look back on the notes you take, you will begin to see just how valuable that time was.
Monday, November 14, 2016
At church this Sunday, a lady stood up to give a "praise report".
If you don't know what a praise report is, let me tell you.
It's the reason people jump out of their seats at church and shout! It means that God has shown Himself faithful in a special way to someone and they can't wait to tell everyone! It means that person comes up to the pastor before service and says "Please, can I share something before you speak?" It's usually an answer to prayer, and it's meant to encourage everyone to keep on trusting God!
So here's what happened...
This lady has been through a battle with breast cancer. She has endured the treatments and all the horrible side effects that go with it. It's been a long battle, but she has come out the other side feeling strong. Her outlook is bright.
She shared that she could sense the support of her church family. She had an awareness of the effective prayers that people praying for her. She said a few times she had to remind herself that she even HAD cancer!
All through the treatment and through the suffering, she said she held on to a passage of scripture from Isaiah 43:1-3.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.2
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.3
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
She said that she hung onto that passage all through the treatment. That means, when it seemed hopeless, she leaned on those words. Those words were her only trust. They calmed her mind and more importantly, gave her comfort.
She also commented that the scriptures mean more to her now than ever before!
Does it take hardships and sickness for us to realize the importance of trusting God? Sometimes.
I think we all are going to have to face something very very difficult. What will we trust in?
I choose to believe there is a God who knows and loves us unconditionally, and that He had those words recorded so that we ALL could know that we CAN "pass through" and not get "swept over"!
We can "walk through" and not be "set ablaze"!
What do you put your trust in?
Monday, November 7, 2016
I used to love watching The Six Million Dollar man.
In the 70's you either watched that or Starsky and Hutch.
I was the nerd guy who watched a show about a man who was half machine but still moved incredibly slowly. All the scenes where the hero, Steve Austin uses his super bionic abilities were filmed in super slow motion. It was cool back then, but I do not have the patience to watch it anymore. It's like going back to dial-up after you are used to DSL!
Steve had bionic limbs installed after a horrible accident left him maimed and barely alive. He lost both legs and one arm. He also lost the sight in one eye. Modern medical technology was used to make him better, stronger and faster!
I saw this article the other day about real life bionics. It seems there is a Canadian man making some cool discoveries about how the brain can actually control mechanical prosthetics. Here's a quote from the article...
Nerves are like your body's "communication highway," sending messages to your muscles in the form of electrical signals and relaying information from the environment back to your brain. After an amputation, he says, nerves in the residual limb are "scarred" but remain active and continue to transmit signals intended for severed muscles.
Did you catch that? Even though a piece of your body is MISSING, the nerves still send messages from your brain to that area! He's trying to harness those impulses to control a robotic limb, giving the person back the power to have an almost normal life!
OK, so here's my deep spiritual thought out of all this.
In the bible we read that God considers the church (believers) as a body. Just like a body, you have a head. That's Jesus according to the scriptures. So follow me here...
If there is a piece missing from the body, does the body adapt? Yes, but it's not the same. Consider the fact that the brain is still sending impulses to the missing parts!
Lets use another analogy. The body of believers is also a FAMILY. I believe all mankind are created in the image of God and because of that, are part of His family simply because they were made to be that. Not everyone believes in God, but that does not change the fact that they were intended to be part of the family and are welcome to enjoy being part of the clan anytime they decide they want to!
The folks who have yet to join or have left the family for some reason, are still getting signals from the head! There is still a place for you! The body can adapt to being without you, but you still are a necessary part of the bigger picture! God does not give up on you ever! Those impulses are going to get sent your way forever! Why? That's how the body is set up! Good News!
We are better, stronger and faster when we are all working together!