Ice Bucket Challenge and a Man of Faith

Purpose for Our Struggles

Here in the U.S. we have been bombarded on Facebook and other social media by people accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It is where people are challenging friends to pour a bucket of ice cold water over their heads and to make a donation to and ALS foundation.

ALS is a devastating disease where you slowly lose function of nerves and muscles throughout your body. Slowly your body shuts down, but your mind remains strong. A dear friend of mine passed away from ALS in July 2012. Terry was a man of unwavering faith.

From the time he was diagnosed he always found the positives and never focused on the negatives. His attitude was astounding. I asked him how he could be so positive when he lost the ability to do the things he loved and even to be able to care for himself. His answer was simple, “I have faith in God and trust Him completely.”

Those of us who knew Terry knew he was a believer and knew he went to church and was raising his children to know the Lord. However, it wasn’t until his illness that we learned the depth of His faith. He lost his ability to walk and was confined to a wheelchair. As his health declined, his faith became bolder. He said his wheelchair was a better pulpit to share the Lord with others than when he was standing on his own two feet.

He shared his faith with anyone he came into contact with and was such a powerful witness for the Lord. He saw the goodness of God in the midst of circumstances that appeared anything but good from the outside. How about you – do you see the goodness of God in your circumstances?

Terry knew one of the purposes for his illness was to increase his faith and the power of his witness. I have no doubt the Lord has rewarded him for his faithfulness.

May we all be able to say we cling to our faith regardless of what we face, put our trust in the Lord and see His goodness.

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Same, but Different

same but different

We are not the same person we were a year ago. Today we are similar to who we were a year ago, but not the same. If you were to think back to what you were like a year ago, what differences would you notice? It is easy to look at a picture and recognize the physical changes, but what about the changes that aren’t physical?

We are designed to change. We were created to become more and more like Christ. Once we put our faith and trust in Jesus, we become a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Our transformation doesn’t end the minute we become followers of Christ. We do become new creations, but we have to yield to the leading of His Holy Spirit dwelling within us to continue to become more like Him.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Our transformation begins with our minds and how we think and view the world. Are we viewing the world and making decisions based on the viewpoint of a follower of Christ or based on what the world says?

When you look at how you made decisions a few years ago and what you base your decisions on today, are they the same? Do you respond to frustrations and difficult situations today the same way you did years ago?

I have been visiting family for the past week and some of the people I have seen I haven’t seen in more than a year. We spent a lot of time talking about memories of  things that had happened when we were kids and even memories of our children. I was struck by how differently I view the world today than I did years ago.

I have been a follower of Christ for almost 15 years and there is a huge difference in how I view the world today than 15 years ago. What I was challenged with is was there a difference between how I live my life today versus even a year ago. Am I continuing to become more like Christ or is that an area of my life that hasn’t really seemed to change much?

There are definitely areas where I can see a significant change. For example, the same challenges exist when spending time with family, but my way of dealing with them has changed. There were times when I felt myself falling back into old patterns, but I am thankful for the transformation Christ has made in my life. Are you the same today or are you different? Are you continuing to transform your heart and mind to that of Christ? What areas of your life look more like your old life than that of your new life in Christ?

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Pray for Christians in Iraq

we-are-n

“‘N’ or ن in Arabic, is the symbol used by the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) to identify who is a Nazarene – a Christian. It has been drawn on doorways and in front of houses in captured Iraqi cities, allowing militants to quickly assert where the loyalties of the inhabitants lie.” (Christianity Today, July 23, 2014) Please consider changing this to your photo on Facebook or Twitter to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Iraq.

What is happening to Christians in Iraq is truly heartbreaking. The atrocities are too much to even comprehend. Being far away, it makes us feel helpless. But we are not helpless. We have a God who is able to do the impossible.

Canon Andrew White who is serving in Iraq has called us to pray for the 3 P’s – Protection, Provision and Perseverance. Please join me in praying for our brothers and sisters in Iraq who are suffering. We are not helpless, we have the mighty power of prayer!

Matthew 5:10

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Seeing Clearly

Fog

When I went for my jog yesterday morning, there was a light fog that covered the path ahead of me. It wasn’t too dense that I couldn’t see where I was going, but if I was trying to focus on something in the distance, my vision was a little obscured.

It reminded me of how sometimes the things of the Lord seem obscured to me as well. When I am not sure what I am supposed to do next, it can seem as though I can’t see the will of God clearly.

It is during those times when we are not sure what we are to do next that we need to put our faith and trust in Him and seek Him more earnestly.

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.

We can seek Him through His Word. The Word of God is a light for our path. We can find our next step in His Word. When we read Scripture, the Lord speaks to us through His Holy Spirit. If you are not sure what your next step is, open His Word and read it.

Jesus didn’t tell the disciples everything all at once. He only told them what He thought they could handle and the same is true with us today.

John 16:12

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”

The Lord only tells us what we need to know and doesn’t overwhelm us with more than we can handle. In doing so, we don’t see the full path but we see the step in front of us.

Just as when we find ourselves in fog, we have to really focus on what is directly in front of us, when we want to do the will of God, we have to focus on what is in front of us. We need to seek the Lord to see what the next step is, not necessarily where the next 4 steps will lead us.

In depending on the Lord to know what the next step is, we grow in our faith as we spend more time with Him. We think it would make things easier if we could see further down the path but then we might become prideful and think we could do it on our own. We can never do the will of God without the presence of God.

Psalm 37:23

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
    when he delights in his way;

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Sing to the Lord

sing_to_the_lord_t_nv

We all like to sing along to the music we listen to whether it is in our car, our house or in church. The difference is when we are in church or listening to worship music we should be doing more than simply singing along with the music. We should be singing to the Lord.

Whether you prefer hymns or contemporary Christian music, worship music is designed to worship the Lord. It is created to help give us words of praise and thanks to sing to the Lord.

Psalm 7:17

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
    and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

But when we sing them are we really singing to the Lord or are we merely singing along? Singing worship songs should be different than singing other songs because we are singing to someone. Each time we sing a worship song we need to picture ourselves actually singing the words directly to the Lord.

Think about the last time you sang along to a worship song. Were you merely singing along or were you singing praises and thanks to the Lord? Take some time today to listen to your favorite worship music and sing the words directly to the Lord. He will be glorified and your spirit will be lifted!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,510 other followers