That’s a long time.
That’s a long time to do something.
In fact, that is my whole life…including today.
I was struck in my personal time with the Lord last week about God being the Great Provider. As I was musing, I remembered the Psalms as I was reflecting. Often the Psalmist looked backward to count God’s faithfulness.
It hit me that my birthday was in the recent past…so even my marginal math ability might allow me to figure out how many days I had been alive. So I figured it out.
I was blown away. I wrote in HUGE letters in my journal– WOW THANK YOU!
Every single one of those days, the Lord has done something for me. He has provided. To my knowledge, I have never been without food or shelter or clothes any of those days. WOW. What an amazing privilege and amazing work of God.
Certainly my parents would know better about those first several years. We never had a lot, but the things I needed, the Lord has always provided–as an infant, child and as an adult. I guess as I have seen pictures and video of the victims of hurricanes, earthquakes, poverty and more around our globe…I’m warmed with a deep sense of gratitude.
I know it’s still a month till Thanksgiving, but I’m very thankful already! Besides this verse rings true:
No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
This past Sunday in the INSTITUTE we were talking about being dependent on God. The practical piece for application that was suggested to foster dependence was to pray. Sounds pretty basic huh. Here’s the quote that zinged the point home:
“We may assent to the fact that we are dependent on Christ, but if our prayer life is meager or perfunctory, we thereby deny it. We are in effect saying we can handle most of our spiritual life with our own self-discipline and perceived innate goodness.” (pg 86 of Growing Your Faith)
The next step in our discussion was to plan some times this week to spend in prayer. If you are like me good intentions typically only get me to …”well, I should do that”… and then I don’t. So we made a little time to make a plan–to have an appointment with Jesus.
On Monday, I got the following email:
“I wanted to say thanks for that idea you presented yesterday morning about making an appointment to meet with Jesus as if we would make an appointment with anyone else for work or with friends.I had made mine for 9 am this morning as I don’t start work on Mondays now until 11 am. I was running late as I was preparing a little for a meeting I had at work at 11 and was going to skip my time and make it up later but then the idea of keeping the appointment with Jesus popped in my head and I thought of whether I would just put someone at work or a friend off that way and the answer was no, so I made myself stop and keep the appointment with Jesus for a time of Bible reading and prayer. It calmed down the rushing I was doing and the meeting went fine.
But the main thing was that I did not blow it off. It made me start thinking, “why I would blow off an appointment with Jesus,” which I often do. At the same time, I had never thought of it as an appointment before, but I would never think of doing that with say someone like you unless there was some emergency.
So I think this concept is something I will continue to follow even after this week-just writing it into my work calendar for everyday.I like these practical kinds of ways to make Christianity real to me. So thanks.”
Would you like to set up an appointment or two with Jesus for the next few days? He would love it if you would. He’s just waiting for you to make the time. Enjoy some sweet time together.
This past weekend I had the privilege of being a part of The Evangelists Gathering. There were lots of great things shared by the presenters and around the coffee cups and small groups. I learned a lot over that time together.
One of the segments of the gathering had a forum with a variety of presenters and they were fielding questions. Then Stephen turned a question on the audience. He asked us all this question:
Have anyone of you shared the Gospel with someone and walked away shaking your head saying I sure wish I would not have shared the Gospel with them?
The answer was unspoken…but was a resounding…OF COURSE NOT!
We all have had opportunities that we have let slip away, but when we pass on the message about Jesus it is the right thing to do. The Holy Spirit confirms that in our hearts. And we have the joy of our salvation returned as we share with others.
One more thing that was a helpful reminder to me and that I’ll pass on to you was a short little bit that Pastor Jim Custer from our grandmother church shared. He emphasized three things that are prior to the words we say about the Gospel. He encouraged us to do 3 things:
2) See people…engage them…find out who they are…people love to talk about themselves
3) Be praying the whole time…ask God to give you the opening or way to share
He closed with this comment:
“We create the impression, that witnessing is hard work. The most winsome person in the world was Jesus. I want to encourage us to lighten up…it is a pleasant thing we are asked to do.This can really be fun!”
I hope you’ll look to have some fun this week, sharing about Jesus and what He has done for you!
I had the chance to stand in the Gulf of Mexico this week…and the Atlantic Ocean! Amazing to see the waves and the power and the expanse. I don’t know if you have had a chance to be on the edge of a great body of water like that, but every time I do, I am overcome with how huge the seas are. As far as my eyes can see…it’s blue. Water running into the sky at some faint line way out there beyond my reach and almost out of sight.
The largeness is even more impressive these days because of the recent storms that have ripped up the coast. The small rolling waves that lap up on the shore don’t look very harmful. But they make a sound that wipes out other sounds. The lifeguard stands had the Red Flag posted in the waters…so we had to be cautious of the rip tides. Those little waves could easily overtake my young kids and be fatal. When I wade out there a little ways, they overtake me.
I can’t imagine the power of the sea brewing in a hurricane or tsunami. We’ve seen the effects on TV. The power is massive. I seem so tiny on the edge of a quiet ocean. How insignificant in a massive storm I would be…
The power of our God is even greater than that. Listen to the lyrics of this song:
Let every created thing give praise to the LORD,
for he issued his command, and they came into being.
He established them forever and forever.
His orders will never be revoked.
Praise the LORD from the earth,
you creatures of the ocean depths,
fire and hail, snow and storm,
wind and weather that obey him,
mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all livestock, reptiles and birds,
kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth,
young men and maidens, old men and children.
Let them all praise the name of the LORD.
For his name is very great;
his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
This song is found in Psalm 148
God is awesome…think about it…and praise Him today!
We had the chance again this year to be a sponsor with a great neighborhood festival>> Via Colori
They asked us to serve beverages in a couple of beverage tents and we were able to have a square where our artist could display his work. We were actually assigned an artist this year, a young man named Ben Primmer who did a bang up job on our square…you can check out the process below.
Thanks to everyone who volunteered in the beverage tents…who smiled and shown Jesus to the whole festival.
Our artist–Ben–getting started on the square
Ben and his dad Cliff posing
Ben and his finished work