Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Voice in the Storm

I just want to say that I believe that God does talk to us if we listen to Him. He may not talk audibly so that we can literally hear Him like we hear each other. But I believe that He talks to us from within. That would be from our conscience, or you can say it is from your heart and/or a gut feeling or through someone else or something you read. I believe that God can use pictures, stories and events from our past to try to reach us. I also believe that He brings Angels into our lives for a reason. I believe that we show our faith when we believe in God and listen for Him. Don't you think that it shows just a little more faith when we believe without having to have an actual physical encounter with God/an Angel??? Remember when you were a child and one of your parents said "trust me". If you did trust them based on their experience or knowledge, you had faith in them without having the actual experience and doing what they were asking you not to. I don't know exactly what happened to Kody while he was out in that snow storm, but it was real to him. That's all that matters. Maybe some of these stories do seem unreal and unbelievable, but I know one thing for sure, I am thankful that I and none of my children or their spouses have ever been in these situations. I am sure that a lot of situations like these do not turn out so well. It sure is nice to know that God is there for us no matter what. Psalm 107 talks about being thankful! It talks about people who ask God for help and He helps them. It talks about people who have turned their back on God and when they have no where else to go and turn to God, He answers them.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Most Friends of All

Larry was a high school student with no friends - his only friend was his dad, both of whom were devout Christians. His dad prayed for Larry to someday have more friends than anyone in his class. Larry often spent time during the school day reading his Bible, which seemed to push people away. His dad passed away from a fatal heart attack while Larry was in HS and fortunately, this pushed Larry deeper into a relationship with God. Larry eventually ended up with his own family, and when he was 37 he was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and invited to his reunion. He declined the reunion but asked his classmates to pray for him. The response and support from his classmates was overwhelming - Larry ended up getting better and going to his class reunion. Two years later, he passed away and at his funeral there was standing room only - his dad's prayer came true.
The story in the Bible is about Daniel and three others from a kingdom overtaken by the Babylonians. These four men were taken into Babylonia to be trained to enter into the King's service. Meanwhile, they were to eat the royal food. The four men requested to eat their own food to not be defiled with the royal food. The asked to be tested for 10 days - eating vegetables and drinking water - if they looked healthier than the other men, they would be allowed to continue eating their food. They ended up being the smartest of all the men and were hired into the King's service.
The link between these two stories is that the men stuck to their beliefs. Larry continued to read the Bible - even though he was being persecuted and Daniel ate the food of his beliefs. God rewarded them both - Larry with more friends than he ever thought he'd have and Daniel with a job in King's service. And both acted as a witness for the Lord. Both brought believers to God.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Time To Go Home

This is a story about Brian and he doesn't appear to be a rebellious and angry teenager, he's just someone who wants to do what he wants to do. I guess being a prizefighter isn't what every parent prays for for their child. Because of his owns actions, he is at the point of falling to his death when an angel intervenes. At least a miracle happens and he finds himself in the boxcar. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom or having something like this happen to make us realize that it's time to change our ways and/or do something different than what we are doing.

The passage in the Bible is about the lost son. The son who asks his father for his share of the inheritance and then travels to a distance land and spends it foolishly. After awhile he gets a job feeding hogs and is so hungry that he wants to eat what the hogs are eating. Then he remembers how much his father has and that the hired hands are never hungry and he decides to go home and ask his father to make him one of his hired hands. But the father has been waiting and watching for his son and while his son is still a long way off, he runs to great him and puts on a big celebration to welcome him back.

God is like that for us and for Brian. He is waiting and watching for us to come to Him and he will celebrate with us. We want to live how we want to live and do what we want to do and often times that life is not fulfilling. But if we have God in our life and live for Him, our life will be filled with joy. God never promises that life will be easy, but He does promise to be with us always. God's love is like that father's. It's constant, patient and welcoming. He searches for us and waits for us but does not force us.

God is a gentleman. He waits patiently for us. He gave us a free will. He wants us to love Him freely and willingly. He is always waiting with His arms wide open. He is our heavenly Father. Read Matthew 7:7. I don't necessarily believe that God wants us to ask for riches or worldly things, I believe he wants us to ask for wisdom, and knowledge and love and those kinds of things and to provide for our daily needs. He is waiting to give us those things.

Great Job!!

After this first round of readings, I just want to say that you all did a "great job"!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and think about it and write down your thoughts and ideas about what the book and Bible were saying to you. Even though the stories seem to be the same, they are different. The bible readings are different. If you look back at what everyone has written, there have been a lot of good things written and things that we all need to stop and think about and things that are good for us to read. Sometimes we need repetition to remember things. I know that I want to spend more time reading in the Bible and learning about God and this is helping me. So, "Thank you" to each and every one of you for helping me to do this. I love you all more than you'll ever know!!!