Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear???

Christmas Tunes flood the airwaves. What a wonderful time of year. Even the most secular places have music wafting through the air telling of Christ's coming to earth to save all who call on Him to be their Savior.

I hear so many passages in the Bible ringing in my ears this morning. Certainly the accounts in the Gospels of Mary, Joseph and Bethlehem. But also verse after verse after verse throughout the Old Testament fortelling the coming of Christ.

I also hear the verses that speak of Christ's second coming and the events that surround them. Looking back at this past year, it has been an incredible one for natural disasters around the world. The earth is rumbling more than ever in modern times. Earthquakes, floods, fire, extreme drought, extreme cold and blizzards, extreme heat... the list goes on and on.

The rumors of war are increasing daily with a furvor that I don't believe has been felt since the 1940's. The difference today though is the number of countries that have nuclear capabilites. North Korea is a hot bed right now and they are itching to prove their 'superiority' to the world. The UN doesn't believe that Iran has nuclear weapons. I disagree and am afraid that Iran not only has nuclear weapons but is preparing for a battle with Israel to bring forth the 12th Iman as noted in their koran.

Even Joel's prophecies in the Old Testament brought forth some foretelling news as a good portion of the modern world saw the moon turn blood red last night in a spectacular eclipse.
I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the LORD will be saved. (Joel 2:30-32)

Do any of these things say "yep, yep, yep it's going to happen soon"? No, not particularly but we are given a blueprint of end times throughout the Bible. The blueprint DOES resemble the events of 2010.

Do you hear what I hear?

Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see
Way up in the sky little lamb
Do you see what I see
A star, a star
Dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite

Said the little lamb to the shepard boy
Do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the sky shepard boy
Do you hear what I hear
A song, a song
High above the tree
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea

Said the shepard boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know
In your palace wall mighty king
Do you know what I know
A child, a child
Shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
Let us bring him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light

("Do You Hear What I Hear?" is a Christmas song written in October 1962 with lyrics by Noël Regney and music by Gloria Shayne Baker. The pair were married at the time, and wrote it as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why is Grandparenting so much different than Parenting?

I became a Grandfather ("Papa") this past week for the first time. What an incredible experience! The feelings in my heart are useless to try to put into words. It just won't do them justice. Suffice it to say, I am awestruck to see my daughter bring a new little life into this world. A little bundle of joy that is totally dependent on my daughter and her husband.

I am also brought to the realization of the importance of having a firm foundation on the Rock of Salvation, Jesus Christ. My daughter and her husband will depend on that and this precious little granddaughter will also depend on it. More than ever before, I must be the Man of Integrity that God has called me to be.

Reading in Habakkuk 3 and Revelation 3 this morning and I am reminded of what mankind looks like when they are lukewarm in their Christian walk. It's ugly to say the least. You wander aimlessly for the most part trying to do life on your own only to mess up time and time again.

Yet God wants to fight our battles for us. He wants us to put our full trust in Him as we walk through each day. How will that look for this new Grandfather? I am determined to start each day with prayer for each member of my family. I will be silent enough in my prayers to listen to what God has to say to me. Whatever battles they may have before them, I will ask God to intercede.

I am more determined than ever to be the Man of Integrity that God has called me to be. My wife depends on it. Both of my daughters depend on it. Both of my sons-in-law depend on it. Now a beautiful newborn granddaughter depends on it. AND, a granddaughter that is due in February will also depend on it some day.

Only with God's strength can I accomplish this task. If I try to do it in my on flesh, I will be only lukewarm at best. I must depend on God wholly and completely.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Simply: Living the Life: The Prayer Pin Reminder

Simply: Living the Life: The Prayer Pin Reminder: "As I was putting on my sneakers this morning, I caught sight of something that I tend to ignore. Attached to one of my laces is a small, br..."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Disc Golf - Christmas is Coming!!!

With Christmas around the corner, you may want to consider introducing a new sport to a family member or loved one. I've been playing disc golf for several years and it is a blast and a great alternative to regular golf which gave me no end of grief! Check out Clint Henderson's site http://www.discgolfstation.com/ for gift giving ideas.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are you limiting God?

I came across a Bible verse this morning that I didn't understand at first.

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1 KJV)

My first thought was "huh?" and I started to skip over the verse but was drawn back to it. After further study I found that Paul is simply saying that if I should fear anything as a follower of Christ, it should simply be that I place limits in my mind of what God can do!

I find that I tend to place God in a small box. This box has sides and a top that are all within my scope of reality and understanding. Do you do the same? Why is it that we do that and say at the same time that God is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and without bounds?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us... (Eph 3:20 NIV)

My prayer this morning was that I come to know the Father for who He really is. One without bounds and limits.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cholera in Haiti

My family celebrated an early Thanksgiving yesterday because we have a nephew in the U.S. Navy that will be heading out to sea before the end of the month.

As we eat and enjoy our time together, a mere 600 miles or so away, a nightmare is taking place in the country of Haiti. Cholera has taken hold of the population in most of the regions. It is now affecting those in the capital of Port-au-Prince where tent cities have been the norm since the devastating earthquake in the spring of this year.

My heart is joyous and thankful for where we are and were we're not. Yet, many have put their regular lives on the line and have answered the call to go and help. Samaritan's Purse (www.samaritanspurse) has been in the country providing crucial life-saving aid since the earthquake. Today as I write, they continue to answer God's call to reach out to others. Not only are they building homes, removing rubble, providing sanitary water supplies and crucial aid; their medical treatment facilities are providing aid for the masses that are approaching their doors and tent flaps needing critical aid for cholera. Hours make a difference between life and death.

Please consider a donation to Samaritan's Purse (www.samaritanspurse) as they continue to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus Christ in Haiti providing life-saving relief.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tilling my Mind

Reading Titus 2 today, I am reminded of the following...

God wants me to be of sound mind, controlled and alert. Tilling my mind should be like tilling the soil in the garden. Remove any weeds that have taken root. Don't let it go even for a while because it easily gets out of control. Be diligent, steadfast and prompt. Don’t just break off the top of the weeds but dig deeply and remove them by their roots. Sow the seeds of truth, righteousness and faith in straight rows. Fertilize them with daily time with God and His word.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

Tomorrow my Wife and I will take part in a Family Fun Day to spread the news about Operation Christmas Child. This ministry of Samaritans Purse (www.samaritanspurse.org) takes shoeboxes and sends them full of gifts around the world! What is so incredible about this ministry is that the Gospel message goes with each shoebox to millions of children who have never heard about Jesus.

Take some time to go on-line to Samaritans Purse website and find a collection location near you. You only need to enter your zip code. You may also 'pack a shoebox' on-line if you don't have the time. Its a great family tradition to start today!

Christianity - A Process and Not a Destination

As I was reading Galatians 5 -6 this morning, I came across the 'Fruit of the Spirit'.

"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control"

I am reminded that becoming a Christian (Christ follower) is not a destination. There is never a point when we have arrived. Yet, it is more of a process that is not unlike a traveling. We are always striving toward the perfection of Christ, knowing that we can never achieve it until we are indeed at our destination which is heaven and in His presence.

Don't ever think that a church membership, baptism or other ritual will get you to the point that you are at your destination. All are well and good but they are yet part of the process of traveling toward Christ.

Instead, strive toward integrity by keeping Christ-centered. Paul tells us in Galatians that we can do this by focusing on the fruits of the spirit.... love, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I wrote those on a 3 x 5 card today and will carry them with me. How will you focus your heart on the fruits of the spirit?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Agriculture - Foundational to Society

My wife and I just returned from the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie, GA. It was a fun and enlightening two days as we wandered among the equipment and new and innovative ideas to make farming more productive and sustainable.

I can't help to think of the disconnect that our society in the United States has with where their food originates. As political pressure increases from groups that claim 'environmentalism' as the end all means of thought and purpose, I am saddened to see the vast valley between their views and the foundational environmental views of the farmer which he/she has had since God placed man on earth. The farmer understands the environment intimately as it is the basis for his production of food or fiber. He understands and respects the delicate balance that is needed to protect what God provided through nature because an imbalance will mean total failure.

I am proud to be a farmer and to support farmers through what I do in my waking hours. They are a group of people that have faith in measures that are incredible as they sow, till and harvest the 'fruit of the land'. They have no problem believing in God and place an untold amount of faith in Him.

Agriculture is foundational to any society. Review history and where you see agriculture fail due to weather or politics, the failure of the country is not far behind.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Seed

I spent most of yesterday in the garden (as my body can attest to today). We are blessed in Florida with growing conditions that almost encompass the entire year. In fact, the hardest time for me to grow anything is in the dead of summer when it is just too wet and hot.

The weather yesterday was perfect... mid 80's and sunny. I spent several hours behind a 'scuffle' hoe removing weeds and then a couple of hours putting new seeds in the ground.

As I dropped each seed into the soil after making the perfect hole (I like to use the eraser end of a pencil), I thought about all that is within that little seed. All of its DNA for life is in there, just waiting to come out and show itself to me. God designed and perfect! Each corn seed will become a corn plant, each lettuce seed will become a lettuce plant and so on.

I was thinking that indeed God designed us the same way... with HIS DNA! We are to grow in the likeness of God and He sent His Son, Jesus to give us an example.

I have two grandchildren on the way, each starting as a mere 'seed' and now growing into the likeness of Christ within my daughters. Amazing!

I look forward to seeing my corn "pop up in rows" and I look forward to beautiful little girls from my daughters and their husbands in the months to come. From God all blessings flow...

Friday, October 1, 2010

God Ways are SO Much Better

I am reminded tonight of just how much God's ways are better than our ways. We think we have it all together and our lives are in control. Yet, how much control do we really have on our lives.

Lately, I just have not been consistently focusing on God. I go through the motions and I roll through the day. The sun sets... the sun rises and I do it all over again. My prayers have been only so-so and my Bible study has been more routine than really seeking and searching for God's direction.

It has been many, MANY months since I've posted here and it took a person that read one of my older posts to bring me back to reality, back to the drifting that I was doing. It is AMAZING that God loves me so much that he used a man in another part of the country to bring me back to my senses.

Thank you to this person for jolting me back to what is really reality (a life walking hand in hand with God) and what isn't (the day-to-day of this world).

My life is but a weaving between my God and me...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Don't Trip on Today While Looking at the Horizon

The past few months can be summed up by one phrase --- "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth" (Psalms 46:10). I have spent a lot of time just thinking, just pondering, just being still. Last year I spent so much time looking to the horizons asking God where He wants Kay and I to be and what He wants us to be doing. I want to please Him more than anything. Should we be somewhere else serving You, God? How can You make that happen? Where will the resources come from? What do we need to do to prepare? The questions go on-and-on.

I have found that this process is equivalent to looking through binoculars at the horizon. Have you ever tried to go the daily things that today requires while holding the binoculars up to your eyes? Sooner or later your going to trip and probably hurt someone or something!

One verse keeps coming to mind, "For I know the plans that I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) With that in mind, I have come to realize that I my focus was in the wrong place. Certainly, I should not walk looking only at my feet either but God has given us an incredible ability to look ahead and see both what is ahead of us several steps away as well as well ahead of us. God has given me today, He has not promised tomorrow. What am I doing for Him today in the place that He has set me in history? How can I witness of God's saving grace in a loving way to those that I meet by chance today in an appointment or even at the gas station? How can I reach out to my wife, my daughters and their husbands today ... those that God has entrusted to my spiritual care?

I am learning how to 'refocus my focus'! Help me in this area, please God. I want to honor You in my thoughts, my words and my actions.

Where do you find your focus? I'd love to hear from you.