Thursday, May 27, 2010

Encouragement for the Soul

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Don't bother to give God instructions. Just report for duty."
--Corrie ten Boom

"Get into the habit about dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God."
--Oswald Chambers

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."
--Corrie ten Boom

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sound Familiar?

2 Timothy 3 (NIV)
Godlessness in the Last Days

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

2 Timothy 3 (The Message)
Difficult Times Ahead

Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They'll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they're animals. Stay clear of these people.

These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself "truth." They get exploited every time and never really learn. These men are like those old Egyptian frauds Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses. They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. But nothing will come of these latest impostors. Everyone will see through them, just as people saw through that Egyptian hoax.

Sound familiar? Each time that I read and meditate on this passage of Scriptures, my spirit is moved. To consider that these Words were penned so many years ago yet remain current in their descriptions of our society, is truly a testament to the relevance of God's Word for all times. These passages read like today's newspapers. Self-consumed people focused on themselves and what pleasures them, versus focusing on God's Word and His plan for their lives, is common.

Take a moment and studiously read these passages from the NIV and The Message versions of the Bible. May we each take a highlighter and highlight the descriptive phrases that could have been written specifically to describe our actions or our behaviors. After we have completed this task in self-examination, let us each take the time to pray for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives to eradicate these negative traits that drive a stake into the heart of Jesus each time we fail Him and disobey His advice for our daily living.

Another way of meditating on these Scriptures might be to write, "As God's child, I shall ...." and then insert the polar opposite of each descriptive term or passage from these wise words written in 2 Timothy. "As God's child, I shall have self-control." "As God's child, I shall be a lover of God." I believe if each of us will study these life-giving Words and strive to refocus our lives in obedience to God, that our lives will shine brightly in a very dark world. And Heaven knows that this world needs to see The Light.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another College Graduation

Today, I was blessed to attend our youngest daughter's college graduation. She received her Masters Degree at age 24. Her twin sisters will earn their Masters degrees in December. I could recall the ponderings I once had if I would live to see their high school graduations. Thank You, Lord for this life you have given to me.

For Kristin on the day of your May 8, 2010 graduation, I give you these reminders from Your Heavenly Father. I am very proud of you. I love you so very much but He loves you even more:

Joshua 1:9
...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Psalm 71:5
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD;
You are my trust from my youth.

Psalm 119:9
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word.

Psalm 119:105
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

1 Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: A Photo Montage

You Cannot

When I read these insightful statements this week, I realized once again, what a frightening course our government leaders have directed our country onto. The country I have always loved is being snatched from right beneath our noses. Will there even be a remnant remaining of the Country our founding fathers established for my grandchildren?

Many attribute these ponderings to Abraham Lincoln, however, others speculate that a Presbyterian minister, William J.H. Boetcker, as being the author. To me, these wise statements do not know sound like the transition to Socialism that I witness in our wonderful Democratic, Capitalist nation.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.