Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving Thanks for He is Good



I’m writing a blog post this week I thought I'd never write.

This Thanksgiving, I get to share with you some good things the Lord has done for me recently. They’re gifts, because He’s good.

Although He’s always good, even when He’s withholding gifts.

Last month, I went on my first official hike in over ten years. 

Ten and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with M.S. which doctors predicted would confine me to a wheelchair in five years. The Lord gave me the grace to accept that prognosis, even though exercise and hiking were high on my to-do’s.

I accepted the thought I’d never hike again, but missed it.

I never dreamed I’d do it again.

Indian Heaven trail

We made it!


On Saturday, I moved in with some friends. 

A move I’ve prayed for but thought was impossible. A move designed by my Father, who knows my needs even before I ask.




From Left: Geneva (Roommate #1), David (one of many helpers), Alicia (Roommate #2)           Thank you to everyone who helped us move!






If you’re struggling this Thanksgiving to be thankful, I’ve been there, too. We’ve all had Thanksgivings when all you can think of to be thankful for are things you can’t see.

But you thank by faith, because you believe with eyes that can’t see that “goodness and mercy” truly are following you every day of your life.

EVERY day.

I never dreamed I’d have a Thanksgiving Day when I could thank the Lord for restoring broken dreams.

He chose to do that for me this year.

And His choices for you are just as beautiful.

Keep trusting. Keep thanking.

Thank Him for the goodness and mercy you can see following close behind you.

Thank Him for those you can’t see.

But keep thanking.

Thank Him this Thanksgiving Day, whether you have beautiful gifts to thank God for or whether you’re pleading for grace to be thankful.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good” (Psalm 106:1).

Always.



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Monday, November 18, 2013

You're Not Home Yet



“President Woodrow Wilson is on this ship.”

The newly retired missionary heard the words and settled back into memory lane.

Years of missionary life played through his mind. 

The first years of change, the joy of new converts, the labor of guiding believers through heartaches and misunderstandings and growth and learning the Scriptures. 

Years of leaning on the Lord. Walking through life on the front lines of spiritual battle. Fighting the battles, and learning to trust hard.

Loving people when love had to be tough, and when it rejoiced to be loved in return.

These years were over now, and he was headed into a different life. A life foreign to him now. A life of questions and closures and looking forward to final days, but unsure of what they would hold.

Life is a pilgrimage. He knew all about that.

An abundant pilgrim life is one of sacrifice, loving, laughing, and weeping. Eternity in the heart and pointing others to Christ is the theme of that kind of life.

And that pilgrimage had been worth every step.




Days passed, and the ship finally reached port.

Crowds were gathered. Music played.

The tired missionary heard the clamor and waited for the announcement to disembark.

When he walked off the ship, he stepped onto new ground that used to be familiar, and his footsteps slowed.

His eyes scanned the crowd for a familiar face.

Cameras. Reporters. American flags.

He remembered now.

“President Woodrow Wilson is on this ship.”

While crowds gathered around the president, not one familiar face greeted the retired missionary.

But words came to his heart. Impressed there by a long walk with his Lord by faith.

“You’re not home yet.”

“You’re not home.”


Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Know You've Really Lived



Compared to most nations, America is fairly young.

Much has happened since its beginning in 1776: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, every other war, and everything in between these wars.




But in spite of all that has happened throughout its history, America is just over two hundred years old.

Add one hundred years to American history, and that’s how long a man named Enoch walked with God

Enoch lived 365 years. 
For three hundred of those years, he walked with God.

All we know of others who lived in his day—including his own family—is that they lived, they had children, and they died (Genesis 5).

That was their legacy.

But Enoch walked with God.

Enoch had a relationship with God like a walk with a friend. Day in and day out, he lived a walk of faith—one that lived in communion and oneness with God.

Other great saints did big things, like march around a city seven times because that’s how God said it would be conquered.

Some did hard things, like offer his son on an altar because God told him to.

But the same kind of faith it takes to do big things and hard things is the same kind of faith it takes to get up every morning and walk with God.

That’s what Enoch did, and he ended up in the Hall of Faith as a result.

Enoch had really lived.



Many people have lived on this planet since Enoch. Of most of them, all that could be said is they lived, they had children, and they died.

But if we walk with God—if our faith walks with Him every day—then we will have really lived.

We were created for relationship with God.
And He has provided for that in His Son.

We will have really lived if we live for what we were made. If we wake up every morning and walk with God.


Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at freedigitalphotos.net


None of us will have more than the age of a nation to live by faith.

Our faith might not be called to do big things or hard things.

But if we get up every morning and walk with God, then we will have really lived.

And we will leave behind the greatest legacy anybody could ever leave.


Click here to listen to the lesson on Enoch and Noah.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Find Out Why You Woke Up Today



According to the Worldometers real time population clock, there are over 7,190,000,000 people living on planet earth today.

Over seven billion people woke up this morning.

And you were one of them.

Why?

I know it’s Monday, and Mondays are hard to wake up to. But instead of wishing we hadn’t heard the alarm clock, stepped out of bed, and faced another week, what if we asked the question, “Why did I wake up today?”

Many people didn’t.

Why did you and I?

Could it be that someone needs touched, listened to, hugged, smiled at, cared about, loved?

Could someone need you today?

Not for something big, but maybe something small.

Maybe someone needs to feel like one in 7 billion.

Could you touch a life today?

I know it’s Monday. But you woke up, and many people didn’t.

Find out why you woke up today.

It could be someone needs your one-in-a-billion way to realize they're just as special.