Archive | October 2012

WAKE UP CALL

Lake Michigan in Grand Haven, MI the day after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast.

A devastating storm hit the East Coast with the aftermath felt the next day along the west coast of Michigan. It’s amazing how a storm hundreds of miles away can be felt here (to a much lesser degree).

We don’t understand why God lets storms like this happen. One thing we do now for sure, God is in control.

Psalm 107:25 tell us, “For He (God) spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves.”

Then Psalm 107:29 says, “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.”

Is God trying to get our attention? Have we, as a nation, been moving too far away from Him? Is He saying, “Hey! It’s time you get your focus back where it belongs.”?

I do worry about the United States. We are wandering too far away from the Christian principles upon which this country was founded. We need to wake up and return to God.

It’s very possible this storm was our wake up call (again). How are we going to respond?

DEATH OR NEW LIFE?

Everywhere in my neighborhood are piles of dead leaves. These leaves are a sign that winter is not far away. Plants outside die. The trees are bare. Birds are flying south. Not many signs of life. As winter progresses we start awaiting the arrival of spring – new life which appears as flowers pop up and trees become green again.

We know we have to deal with winter, but we also know winter does not last forever. Spring does come.

I’m thinking about Jesus’ disciples. They watched Jesus die. A time of death they thought would last forever. They did not understand Jesus when He said,  “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”  (John 2:19)

The disciples were not looking ahead when there would be new life. At this point they thought everything was over. Then three days later Jesus told the women at His tomb, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.”  (Matthew 28:10)

Do you just see the death as represented by the dead leaves, or do you look at the cross and see the new life of spring?

Jesus is not dead. He is very much alive. We can look forward to a new eternal life with Him just as we know spring always comes after winter.

RISING SON

A beautiful Autumn sunrise. Sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous things to behold. The color changes in the sky as the sun moves present a magnificent display.  Taking this photograph was a little difficult because the sun was so bright. My eyesight was affected for a little while after.

I wanted the photo of this overwhelming brilliance because it made me think of what it will be like when Jesus returns. Here is a partial description of the New Jerusalem, which will be the location of Christ’s throne when he returns to reign on earth:

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”   (Revelation 22:3-5)

What a glorious time that will be. All the light needed will emerge from Jesus Christ, Himself.

I am looking forward to that day. Will you be there to witness this sight? You will be if Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

USING A REMOTE CONTROL

Let’s face it, we’ve become lazy. I remember growing up we had to get up off the couch and turn on the TV or change the channels (there were only 2 or 3 to pick from back then).  Now we settle on the couch, remote in hand. One click the TV is on. Another click the channel is changed. We don’t want to watch TV anymore – click – the TV is off.  We have all the control and the only muscle we used was one finger.

Sometimes people think they can turn God on and off like that. It’s Sunday – click – we’ll turn God on.  Now it’s Monday – click – we don’t need Him today.

Let me tell you, folks. It doesn’t work that way.

“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ ”   (Hebrews 13:5)

We can not turn God on and off with a remote. No matter how hard we might try to shut Him down He is always there. We do not have control over God. We may think, in our small brains, we have out-smarted God. Think again. God hears all, sees all, and knows all. He can’t be shut down.

Are you trying to turn God on and off when it is convenient for you? It’s not going to happen. God is watching over you 24/7.  Accept that fact, then live your life accordingly. There is no remote in the world that can shut off God.

PRAY, THEN VOTE

(I just randomly picked a group of signs to photograph. I am no way endorsing one candidate over another by this picture.)

It’s election time again. Signs everywhere you look. Automated phone calls. Proposals to sort through. The debates. It can be so confusing. The commercials on TV don’t help either. You don’t know who to believe.

As confusing (and sometimes annoying) this time can be, it is important to vote. We should be very grateful we can elect our government officials and help to determine policies. People in many others countries don’t have this privilege.

With all the information bombarding us, how can we make sense of it all?

First of all we need to do our homework. Do some research on issues you’re not sure about. Be an informed voter.

Then on election day, before you vote, pray. Ask God to lead you to vote for the people of His choosing. Don’t just vote Republican or Democrat because that’s what you’ve always done. Look at what each candidate stands for and vote. Don’t let party lines be your only deciding factor.

And finally we need to remember what God says about those in authority no matter who wins,

“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men (and women) who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”   (Hebrews 13:17)

Exercise your privilege and obligation to vote. Be in prayer for God’s leading before you cast your ballot.

WHAT/WHO IS LEADING YOUR LIFE?

Historic train in Grand Haven, MI.

Trains need powerful locomotives to pull them along the tracks. Without these big engines the rest of the train won’t be going anywhere.

There also must be an educated engineer driving the locomotive. He has to know when to slow down, when to speed up, and when to blow the warning whistle.

What or who is the driving force in your life? What’s keeping you moving along and on the right track?

In thinking about the analogy of a train I see Jesus/God as the powerful locomotive.

” ‘Come, follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ ”  (Matthew 4:19)

Jesus is the engine and we, as the other train cars, follow where He leads.

The engineer driving the train is the Holy Spirit.  “And I (Jesus) will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.”   (John 14:16)

This Counselor (Holy Spirit) is now the driving force in you if you are a follower of Jesus. He is the one guiding your life, keeping it on the right track. He slows you down or speeds you up. He gives you a warning if you’re going the wrong way.

Is Jesus your locomotive and the Holy Spirit your engineer?

SIMPLE

For those of you who don’t know about Tastefully Simple, it’s a line of mixes to make delicious food fast and easy. There’s bread, cake, dips and spreads, drinks, desserts, sauces for meat. They all taste great and are simple to use, hence Tastefully Simple. It takes very little effort on your part to make delicious dishes.

There is another thing which is simple to obtain – Salvation.

Paul said, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith  – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”    (Ephesians 2:8-9)

You don’t have to work hard to earn Salvation. You don’t need to worry if you’re good enough to get Salvation.

Salvation is a gift from God. It’s not something you can buy or work for. All you need to do is believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He endured the punishment for your sins when He was crucified on the cross. He then had victory over death by rising from the dead. Once you’ve turned your heart, soul, and body to Jesus, Salvation is given to you. It’s that simple.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ? If not, what are you waiting for?