Monthly Archives: July 2012

When God Seems Quiet

photo by: designofsignage.com

This is a follow-up post to When God says, “Wake Up!”…which you might read before finishing this post.

I have had a wonderful 3 days away with Jesus.  Away from the distractions that are usually  a part of work, home, task lists, etc.  The crazy thing is…I love my life more now than ever!  I’ve been married to the same beautiful woman for more than 20 years.  Our love for each other has been like a fine wine.  (you know how the saying goes.)  My kids are doing great too!  I’m so proud of them.  Now, our family is far from perfect.  Have you ever watched the TV show, ‘The Middle?’  Yep, that’s pretty much us.  But, none of my 4 kids are smoking (anything), drinking, partying, getting arrested, getting pregnant, or rebelling.  And…they know & love Jesus!  For any family, especially a ministry family, that’s something to celebrate.

I’m reading more than I every have.  I used to hate reading due to having moderate Dyslexia, but have recently acquired a real joy for it.  I’ve even learned methods of improving my productivity at work.  By the way, on that subject, I flippin’ love my job!  I really do.  If you are paid staff at a church you might understand/empathize with me when I say that in 20 years of ministry I’ve never come close to serving in such a healthy, God-led church.  Its a true blessing I thank God daily for.

Upon leaving 2 days ago, I planned on doing lots of studying for a class I’m putting together for September.  I’ve also been spending some very specific time with God and in his Word.  Usually when I do this He reveals some enormous and profound revelation to me.  But…..not this time.  Or, has He?

Here’s what I learned in the past 2.5 days (still mulling through day 3):

– There are times when God simply doesn’t have anything to say to us.  We need to be O.K. with that!

– There are times when we don’t have huge needs of God.  Marriage, money, career, health are all doing great.  In these times, let’s be prayerfully thankful….not far off and silent.

– Sometimes, we must be physically removed (temporarily) from the blessings around us in order for us to really notice them.

This, the noticing, is what God did for me this week.  I am richly blessed, and thankful!

What has Jesus been saying to you lately?  Or has He been silent?  Join the discussion and comment below.  You just might bless someone else.

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When God says, “Wake Up!”

photo by dailyclipart.net

After a number of busy Summer events, I recently was able to get out of town for three days of rest, focus, and study.  Upon going to bed the first night in my hotel I was excited to simply not set any alarms for the morning.  Well, God apparently had other plans.  I woke up at 6am….wide awake!  I tossed and turned for a few minutes, but soon realized I wasn’t falling back asleep.  God was saying, “Wake up,” so I did.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.   Jeremiah 33:3 ESV

I’ve found that these ‘great and hidden things‘ usually come in His timing.  My agenda for this morning looked something like this.  Wake up whenever.  Eat breakfast.  Get some reading and writing for work done before lunch.  My agenda changed!  Now, some of that may still happen…but I was up and ready for the day by 7am.  Its like God was asking me to be available.  So I am, and I’m excited about the day ahead.

Do you need God to tell you something today?  Does He have information you don’t have yet?

 

(Click HERE for part 2 of this post)

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A Dark Knight Falls

photo source: aiao-pl via stock.xchng

I arrived at work this morning to a call from my wife alerting me to the horrific tragedy in Aurora, CO during the opening of ‘Dark Knight Rises.’  First of all, let me just say this.  We should all be praying constantly for the families and all who were affected by this incident.  Its so easy for us to see/hear negative, negative, negative from the media on stories like this…..BUT God’s love, mercy, & power tends to really shine through moments like these!  So pray for it.  Look for it.  Expect it!

Now, as we all know, details about this incident will be surfacing hour by hour for days and even weeks about this event.  What was the shooter’s motive?  Was he mentally stable?  What’s his childhood and overall background look like?  Etc…..etc…..etc.

But in light of the big picture, those things don’t matter at all!  Why?  Because they don’t change the fact that many innocent people (including children) are now dead.  And for the survivors, that vivid visions and sounds of the event will potentially torment them for years to come.  These facts won’t change for anyone.

But there is still HOPE!

Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.  Psalm 33:22

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in you.  Psalm 39:7

Why am I discouraged?  Why is my heart so sad?  I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!  Psalm 43:5

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.  1 Timothy 4:10b

Sure, there are always going to be extremely negative & overshadowing things in life that will never change.  And although we live in a flawed world, we serve a very perfect and trusting God!  The verses above should remind us, whether in tragedy or in trials, of the promises of God.  His promises really do last forever!  He is good.  We can trust Him.  And its only in Him that we have unchanging HOPE!

Have you had the Dark of ‘Knight’ Fall in your life or someone close to you recently?  Pray…and wrap your fingers tightly around the hope that God has promised you.  Do it today!  Trust Him.

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Your Tears Move the Heart of God

Photo by Byron Jorjorian

Are you aware of the promises of God in your life?  He often does things to assure us of His providence in our lives.  Why?  Because we are simple humans and He knows we need/desire to know that He’s tangibly at work in us every day.  Read this interaction He has with King Hezekiah.

About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.’”  When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.  Then this message came to Isaiah from the Lord:  “Go back to Hezekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.  I will add fifteen years to your life,  and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria.  Yes, I will defend this city. “‘And this is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised:  I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!’”  So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps.   -Isaiah 38:1-8 (NLT)

First of all, how would you like to be told BY GOD that you are terminally ill and to update your will and start your good-byes?  Second, how amazing would it be to know…to really, truly know…that the heart of the creator of the universe was moved by your prayer and tears?

Then, there’s the miracle as proof that God would do as He said.

He’ll cause the shadow on the sundial to ‘move ten steps backward.’  There’s a separate incident mentioned in Joshua 10 where the sun and moon stood still for a day!  As with this event, however, we really don’t know for sure HOW God did this.  People have been arguing this (theologically and scientifically) for centuries and have yet to definitively explain it.  But the key to remember here is that God blessed Hezekiah with a miracle to prove His word.  To back up His promise.  And He doesn’t always do this.  His word should be enough for us.  Hezekiah was blessed to have this.

What about you?  What has God promised you…and has He proved it to you somehow?  Share your comments below.

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