Wednesday, November 25, 2009
So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever.
Erma Bombeck once wrote about the subject of thankfulness, saying that when she forgot to be thankful among cancer survivors, she would hear the voice of a particular eight-year-old named Christina, who had cancer of the nervous system. When Christina was asked what she wanted for her birthday, she thought for a moment and then responded by saying "I don't know. I have two sticker books and a Cabbage Patch doll. I have everything!"
Sometimes a momentary thought about someone other than ourselves is all it takes to remind us to be thankful for what we have and who we are. In the same way, when we turn our attention away from ourselves and upward, toward the Giver of all life, the many blessings He has poured out on us come rushing back and overwhelm us with thanksgiving.
If we find ourselves complaining about our situation or longing for a better life, we need to take a few moments to worship God and allow His goodness to wash over us until we are consumed with gratitude.
Philippians 4:10-13 (NASB)
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.  Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
The optimist says, the cup is half full. The pessimist says, the cup is half empty. The child of God says, my cup runneth over.
Dr. David Jeremiah – Turning Point
Friday, November 20, 2009
It's hard to believe, I keep waiting for a bark, a yelp, or some noise to get my attention, my dog of 12 years would do.
After a fight with cancer, along with some other health problems, I had to put my dog, Ruffgang Amadeus Mozart, to sleep today. Although I knew it was coming, it was still the hardest thing to do. But, I knew his suffering would only worsen and I did not want him to go through that.
But, I celebrate the 12 years of companionship, the many summer nights of driving around town with all the windows down - his ears flopping in the wind as he stuck his nose in the air showing pure happiness, the snowball fights when he always managed to tackle me, the walks when I wondered who was walking who, the early morning wake-up calls "Daddy I gotta go out", and the "I love you" looks from your brown eyes.
Mozart came into our lives when his family moved out of the country. He was 2 years old and already had a few owners. We hit it off immediately and became best friends. When my wife and I bought our first new home together, Mozart was the first to move in. (and the first to bring mud into the new home!)
I will miss you Mozart, but I will see you in Heaven one of these days.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
On his way to work one morning, a man purchased his usual newspaper and went on his way. To his dismay, he discovered that he had accidentally taken two newspapers instead of one. He immediately got in his car, drove back to the store and returned the extra paper. About a week later, someone stole money from that same store, and when the grocer thought through the patrons who frequented his store, he immediately dismissed the man as a suspect, saying, "That man is really honest. He came all the way back here just to return a newspaper he took by mistake."
Everything we do in life becomes evidence of who we truly are. What does our life's evidence say about us? Does it say that we merely profess to be a follower of Christ or does it reveal our love and true devotion to Him? While our goal should not be a morally perfect life, we should strive to have a walk with the Lord that is consistently growing and changing to resemble the One whom we serve.
1 Peter 1:13-16 (NKJV)
Living Before God Our Father
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”[a]
A man's life is always more forcible than his speech. If his life and doctrine disagree, the mass of onlookers will accept his practice and reject his preaching.
- C.H. Spurgeon