Archive | September 2012

GOD’S CREATION

Colors appearing at the Maranatha Conference Center, Muskegon, MI.

I love fall (hate that winter is around the corner). The colors of the trees are breath-taking. We start to dig out the sweaters because of the chill in the air.

Fall is a wonderful time to take in God’s creation. The red, gold, and orange of the leaves burst forth. If you really look around how can you think changes like this just happen? The change of seasons is not haphazard. There is an organization, a rhythm to it.

The Creation account is found in Genesis 1. On the third day, “The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”  (Genesis 1:12)

God created the separation of light and darkness, and water below from sky above first. After that, when He finished each day of creating new elements of this earth we see the phrase, “And God saw that it was good.”

Take time to be outside. Soak in the beauty of God’s creation. Rejoice in His wonder. Praise God for all He’s done. He created this world for us, and it is good.

WRITERS

Today’s blog is geared toward writers. The picture is of a group of Christian writers who attended a week-long conference at Maranatha Conference Center in Muskegon, MI. We spent a total of 4 full days together learning the craft of writing from people like Cecil Murphey, David Lambert, Eva Marie Everson, just to name a few.

We were given this verse during one of our devotional times, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)

Those who have a passion for writing are told by God to write, get the message out, so the news will spread. It doesn’t matter in which genre you write. What matters is that you write to the glory of God. You can write fiction, non-fiction, sicence fiction, poetry, devotionals, How-To books, anything. I am just starting a novel. I don’t think God will be specifically mentioned in it (I’m not sure yet). However, it will be a clean book – no swearing, no explicit scenes. It will be a book I’ll be proud to have my family read.

So attention all you current and future Christian writers out there. Do you have a message you want to bring to the people? What’s holding you back?  Learn the craft, attend conferences, read books about writing. Let God use you to spread His message . God tells us to write it down. Let’s start writing.

SAVED BY BLOOD

Have you ever needed a blood transfusion? Blood is life saving. The Red Cross conducts blood drives to replenish supplies needed in  emergencies. If a person loses too much blood he dies. However, there’s the issue of blood types. A person in need of a transfusion can not receive just any blood. Mixing some blood types can kill a person.

There is blood that saves lives and it doesn’t matter what blood type you are. That’s the blood of Jesus Christ.

In  Old Testament times the blood was drained from the sacrificial animals. It was used  for an atonement of sins.  “The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.”  (Hebrews 9:13-14)

Our human blood is needed to keep our bodies alive. Christ’s blood shed on the cross is needed to keep our spiritual bodies alive. Are you saved by the blood of the unblemished lamb, Jesus Christ?

LOST

Grand Haven, MI has a fund raiser  every year. This year businesses could buy these wooden dogs (large or small), decorate them as they want and put them in front of their businesses. Then in the fall the townspeople vote for the best one. I saw this shabby-looking dog with the sign “Lost”.

If a child can’t find his parents in a crowded room he will cry and is scared. As soon as he reconnects with his parents he’s happy and hugs them.

Luke 15 records three parable Jesus told about being lost. There’s the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. With the lost sheep and lost coin the owners searched diligently until they find the object, then they rejoiced and celebrated. When the lost son returned home the father threw a party.

Until we have found Jesus we are like the lost objects. When we are united with Jesus, He celebrates. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”  (Luke 15: 7).

Jesus wants all of us to be found. He wants everyone to come to Him. Once we make that decision to follow Him there is celebration in heaven.

Are you feeling lost? Reach out. Jesus will find you. Do you want to be found by Him?

ASK QUESTIONS

Waves on Lake Michigan.

Remember when our children were young. We’d tell them something and their response was always “why?”. When we were in school we frequently asked our teachers questions. Now as adults we still ask questions if we don’t understand something. We go to someone we’re sure will have the answer, or at least know who we should ask.

Asking God questions is OK, too. If there’s something going on in our lives and we don’t understand why it’s happening we can question God. He wants our questions. That builds a relationship.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  (James 1:5)

God is not going to think less of us if we don’t understand. However, along with asking the questions we can not doublt that He will give us answers.

“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”  (James 1:6)

We must believe that God hears our questions and we must not doubt that He will reply.

Do you have questions regarding your faith or the circumstances you’re in? Ask away. God is listening.

GOD’S VISION

Painting on the side of the Grand Haven Tribune building for Grand Haven’s Art Walk.

Have you ever wondered how God can see everything all the time? Or said to yourself, “I can do this one little bad thing. God won’t notice.”?

When I saw this mural I immediately thought of God’s eyes. First, because the painting was so big. An eye like that can see everything. Then I thought about if some more. Notice the lighthouse in the center of the eye? God is our beacon, our lighthouse, guiding us through the storms of life.

In response to the questions at the beginning of this blog entry let’s look at Psalm 94:8-9,   “Take heed, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise? Does He who implanted the ear not hear? Does He who formed the eye not see?”

Our human minds can’t understand it, but God can see and hear everything all the time. Keep that in mind with everything you do and say.

EXPERIENCE PEACE

A stream at Townsend Park, Cannonsburg, MI.

What is there about water that’s so peaceful? We put water features in our yards and in our homes. Listening to waves or water falls is used by therapists to ease tension. I am fortunate to live near Lake Michigan. In Grand Haven, along the channel going to the lake, are benches where people sit and just watch the boats go by and relax. Water has such a calming affect.

We can experience that peace, that sense of calm, without the affects of water. Isaiah 48:18 gives us these words from the Lord, “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

Paul also tells us in Romans, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)

This peace can be ours through a relationship with God and Jesus Christ. As this relationship grows we learn to take our burdens, our sorrows, our anxieties to God. Then He, in turn, fills us with His peace and we know we’re not alone in dealing with them.

Is your mind controlled by the Spirit of God?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13)