I Refuse to Blame God

Though last night was a little rough, Father, I was grateful that You were by my side. It is reassuring to have You in my thoughts at any time, day or night. I am glad You are my comforter.

In the past twelve days, four men in my life have died – three from my churches and one from my family. On top of that, I have two uncles recovering from strokes. It has been difficult, but one thing I refuse to do is to blame God for it.

If anything sin is to blame. God created us and this world to be perfect, clean, and holy. And we soiled this holy perfection by inviting sin into the picture. We can’t just blame Adam either. Throughout the thousands of years of man’s existence, all of humanity – men, women, boys and girls – we have all perpetuated sin in each of our lives. Sin is at the core of all of our heartache and disease.

Personally, we should be grateful towards God. How many prayers have been answered that have prolonged life giving us another day…another month…another year? How many minds has God gifted with the ability to think through seemingly insurmountable problems of disease and illness? Medical advancements in my lifetime alone are absolutely amazing!

How many times has everything lined up in such a way that at just the right time physical maladies have intersected with just the right professional who was able to put all the pieces together to find an answer? That is not coincidence – that is providence! It is God’s intervention!

God does love us! He does care! In the midst of the awful storms of life, God is there! He is the rock upon which we can build our lives. And even when our lives come to an end, He is still there. If we have given our lives over to Him, death is not the victor! He has overcome death and we can step across that cold threshold into His loving presence for all of eternity. No more pain. No more tears. No more sorrow. Only everlasting love and joy! Amen!

Apr 26th, Wed, 8:50 am

Ready

I love being here with You, Father, in the quiet of the morning. My day has not crowded in. it is fresh and clean as it lies before me. Let us walk this day together hand in Yours. Amen.

1 John 3:2-3 (<<click here)

As a whole, family gatherings are joyous occasions. But they don’t just happen. There is a lot of time and attention that go into preparing for the big day, especially if you’re hosting the event – vacuuming, dusting, cleaning, baking, cooking, ironing, decorating – everything in its place and as perfect as it can be. Then when our guests arrive there are lots of smiles and hugs and kisses and laughter all around. Getting ready for it all was a lot of hard work but it is so worth it!

We don’t know when it will happen, Lord, but You are coming. And this time it’s not to stay with us but to take us home with You! Everything will be in its place and it will be perfect… period! You will have everything ready for us but we have a responsibility, too. We must be ready for You!

As John admonishes us,

“And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he [Christ] is pure.”

Your Holy Spirit, Lord, helps us prepare for our meeting. Keeping ourselves pure is surely not an easy task but with Your help, we can do it. It’s a lot of hard work but it will be so worth it!

Lord, may I be eager to keep myself pure, for our meeting day is getting closer every day!

Apr 25th, Tues, 6:33 am

River of Life

Father, as I have sat here praying my heart goes out to the three ladies who are dealing with the loss of their beloved husbands within the past few days. Also, there are two who vigilantly are sitting by their spouse’s sides as they valiantly fight to overcome the after effects of strokes. Father, I place them in Your more than capable hand, touch each of them today, may they find comfort in Your loving arms. Amen.

Point of focus. That’s what You must be for us, Lord. Life is so full of things that try to overwhelm us. They seek to knock us over. We experience much over which we can despair. In the midst of it all friends and family rally round to support us – and we are so grateful they are there. But there are times when they cannot be there. The river of life continues to move along. Friends, family, and ourselves, we move on… but the pain, the loss cannot so easily be left behind.

You, Lord, are the only One who is always by our side, through the ebb and flow of the river of life, through all the ups and downs, You are right there with us.

May we see You through the struggle, through the heartache. May we fall upon You in our time of need, for You are there. Oh, Sovereign Lord, You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Grant unto us Your abundant mercy. May we find comfort and healing balm in Your sustaining grace. Amen.

Apr 24th, Mon, 6:29 am

I Am Your Child…Not a Robot

What a week it has been, Father! Thank You for Your strength, Your wisdom, and Your rest through it all. May I be used of You this day. Amen.

1 John 3:1-3 (<<click here)

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”

What a privilege to be called children of God! We are not just His creation or His servants, His followers, His robots or His puppets. We are His children and he proudly owns up to the fact that we are His children.

One of the fun banterings parents have back and forth is that when kids are well behaved they are my children and when they misbehave or are ornery they are your children. It’s all done in fun but in many situations, fun is not the intent. How many families are broken because a child or a parent has said or done something that is labeled as “unforgivable”? And there it sits. The anger or hurt or pride runs so deep and is so ingrained that attempts at reconciliation are futile.

Lord, I am so grateful that Your word does not equate You with anger or pride but it says You are love. 1 John 4:8 Love is the driving force in how You feel about us. You love us so “very much” that “[You] call us [Your] children.” Many of us diligently strive to separate ourselves from You. But regardless of destructive actions, Your mind will not be changed. The indisputable fact remains that You love us. You love us so much that You gave Your very life so that we might be saved. John 3:16

Thank You for Your love. Thank You for not letting me go…

Apr 23rd, Sun, 6:25 am

Where the Line Is Drawn

Father, thank You for the gift of today, may I use it wisely. May the way I use it bring You joy. Amen.

1 John 2:18-29 (<<click here)

Lord, it’s interesting to me that John, a part of the first century church, is already addressing, what he labels as, antichrists. He acknowledges in verse 18 that the Antichrist is coming but that “already many such antichrists have appeared”. Here it is, more than 2000 years later, and we still are dealing with them in and about the church.

The name says it all, antichrist. Many in our world, Lord, refuse to believe that You are who You are. They may accept Your humanity from a historical basis – You lived and taught here many years ago. But the whole deity thing? Uh…no. And that is where the line is drawn.

A traditional creed of affirmation going all the way back to 381 A.D. is referred to as the Nicene Creed. It was written in part to stand against what antichrists were tearing down. I, personally, believe these things to be true.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

Lord, You are fully God and fully man. May I embrace these truths as they are found in Your word. May I remain true to You each day. Amen.

Apr 21st, Fri, 5:14 am

Doing it right for once.