Tag Archives: grateful

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

Grateful

Father, it has surely been a crazy week! And I am so grateful that we have not had to go it alone. Thank you for your generous gift of love and care.

Thank you for men and women who have dedicated their lives to helping others and thank you for the gifts you have given them so they can do it to the best of their abilities. Your mighty works shine forth every day through the lives of doctors and nurses. Bless them, Father; give them the strength they need for each new day. Expand their patience (if they could even have any more!) for their patients, for the administrations for which they labor and for each other as they work hand in hand to touch the lives of so many.

Thank you for family and friends, who when asked, say a prayer for situations that come before them daily. Thank you for those who take the opportunity to physically reach and touch when they have the chance. Thank you for those who do not forget but remember us and our loved ones, not just once, but throughout the day and over many days if necessary, lifting us up to the only One who really has any control of any of it all.

Thank you, Father, for your presence and your love and mercy. We would be lost and forlorn without you. Thank you for making us. Thank you for seeking us out even we have run away. Thank you for never giving up on us. Amen.

Dec. 2nd, Fri, 5:30 am

For Such a Worm as I

Father, as I come before You this morning, my thoughts leading up to this time, my thoughts during this time and even today’s Puritan prayer reading, all are focusing on the same area – my unworthiness and Your mercy and grace.

Some 30 years ago, when I was serving on staff in one of my first churches a friend of mine expressed his offense at the text of a favorite hymn, by Isaac Watts, “At the Cross.” The first verse reads,

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

He took offense at the word “worm”. He felt that that was too much, that because of what You had done for us, Lord, that we shouldn’t think of ourselves in that terminology – it was too debasing. Many must have agreed with him for in most “modern” hymnals the phrase “For such a worm as I” has been replaced with “For sinners such as I.”

Way back then it bothered me and I think it does more so today. Lord Jesus, I realized who I am in You. I am not who I once was – I have been gloriously changed! I have been reborn! And as the psalmist proclaims “You have removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 I love that verse! If I place my finger on a globe and go north, eventually I will be going south. BUT… if I trace my finger across the equator heading east – I will never go west. The two never meet. That is how far You have removed our sins from us! Thank You, Lord!

But no matter where I stand now (and again only because of YOU) it does not change who I was when I started! Yes, I was a sinner but too often we want to sweeten that by saying “I am a sinner saved by grace.” And most assuredly that is true. All praise to You, Lord, for your grace and mercy but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I am a sinner and until I am welcomed into Your eternal presence that’s what I am – a sinner.

I think part of the issue is that by rejecting the “worms” we make ourselves feel better about ourselves. But for me at least it helps to keep my humility at a healthy level. I am totally dependent upon You, Lord, for my salvation. Left to my own ways, I am nothing. I am the lowest of the low. Lord, thank You for lifting me up out of the pit of despair. Thank You for giving of Yourself – for sacrificing Yourself “for such a worm as I.” You “came down to my level, When I couldn’t get up to Yours.”  May I ever be humbly grateful, Amen

Sept 10th, Sat, 5:18 am

God Loves ME!

Father, thank You for the sleep I was able to get last night with no electricity after the storm until mid-morning. Help this day to go well, enable me to process information to do my job in a way that is pleasing to You, i.e. help me to do it with the utmost of my abilities and most importantly to let You shine through me in all I say or do.

Colossians 3:12-17 (12a)

Lord, You would think after all these years that I would stop being astounded when You bring this together but I am grateful that this is not the case! I had no idea what this morning’s passage contained – but You did!  And even as we came together this morning You were guiding my thoughts and heart! Praise Your holy name! Thank You Lord for your unfathomable love!

These 6 verses are too full of richness to swallow whole, so I will take them in small bites!

Lord You chose me (Ephesians 1:4) to be holy because You love me. It has been this way for all of time! Even knowing what I would do and say and think that would hurt You, You still loved me! I was created because You loved me and because You desired my love for You. I do love You, Lord! And I pray I will love You more and more each day! Help me to know Your love for me and that will fuel the fire for me to love You!

Half a verse is all I can handle today! Help me to chew and savor this small portion – God loves me!

June 19th, Fri, 6:45 am

Going after God’s Heart

Good morning, Father! Thank You for so many things – a good night’s sleep, my wonderful wife, my exceptional son, a job that more than adequately meets my needs, a beautiful home, two churches that You have blessed me with to serve, a world of diverse variety in which to live – and my mind goes on and on! But, Father, most importantly thank You for Your love for me! For my salvation sure and free, for the awesome (and this is where this word truly fits!) sacrifice You made to make it possible for me to love You back! All praise and glory and honor to You, O God!

Colossians 3:1-4 (<<click here)

“…set your sights on the realities of heaven…” v.1b

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” v.2

Lord, I have much in this world for which to be grateful – but in reality all of it is temporal. In the blink of an eye, it could all be gone…or I could be gone. There is nothing here that is forever. Only what You are involved with is eternal. When I step free from the clutches of this world nothing that I cling to here will be anything – it will all be as nothing. The only things that will remain are my relationships – my relationship with You (may it grow every day) and my relationship with others that are based on You! But even those relationships will be different – deeper, fuller, richer!

Help me to be a “man after your own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) and in that frame of mind to be forever seeking to establish your kingdom here on earth. May I be always striving to bring others into a closer relationship with You, Lord, so that they and I will be investing in what is truly worthy of our time and energies.

June 16th, Tue, 6:06 am