Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Having a Vision for the Work of God...

A Picture from our Christmas trip to Disneyland! This is by the beautiful Christmas tree in the Grand California hotel lobby.



Thoughts from my devotions...

II Samuel 7:1-3
"And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee. "

I love this passage of Scripture! It is a reminder to always give our very best to the work of God and make sure all we do for Him is first class. The work of God deserves our very best in every area...time, talent, treasure, etc. This seems to be a challenge, a reminder that we shouldn't be guilty of giving God our "leftovers."

Thank you also, God, for the reminder in verse 3 that we should always be looking forward; always looking for what more we can do in our ministry. It is important for us as Christians to have a vision of what greater things You can do for others through our lives. We will never "arrive" in our Christianity if we are surrendered. You will always have something more for us to accomplish.

Thank you, God! I love finding these "nuggets" of truth in Your Word every day! It is an honor and privilege to serve You!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Forgiveness and Respect...

II Samuel 1:23a...."Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives,"

WOW! This is DAVID speaking about the life of Saul. He spends this entire chapter lamenting the death of Saul and Jonathan. Saul, in life, being the enemy who sought relentlessly for David's life.

We can learn at least 2 VALUABLE lessons from David's choice of words and attitude in this chapter.

The first lesson being that of forgiveness. If anyone had a valid reason to be upset with another, it could be David towards Saul. However, he chose the right way...to forgive and forget. He called Saul "lovely and pleasant in his life!" Wow! That is the right way to forgive! (Not the easy way, but the right way!) Not forgiveness with a grudge, but learning to forgive and move on with life. We can learn from David to look at the overview of the life of others and not judging their entire lives by one incident.

The second lesson being that of respect for the position of authority. David could have demeaned Saul's life after he passed on, but even after Saul's death David showed a respect and loyalty for his appointed position of leadership. MY! What a lesson our country needs to learn today and one of which all of us need to be reminded. The media publishes and blasts every little wrong doing of every leader in our country, simply for the sake of a story. God must long for us to return to respect for the position of our leaders. Even if we do not respect the person, we are to respect their position.

Thank you, God, for reminding me of these 2 great and important truths today!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The privilege of prayer...

WOW! Great weekend! God is good!

One of our teenagers, who has been involved in our ministries for 7 years and is currently a senior in our Christian school, finally got his mom to attend our church service for the first time 2 weeks ago. Yesterday, she accepted Christ as her Saviour, walked the aisle and got baptized! How exciting! Gives us the reassurance and reminder that we should never stop praying. We never know how long an answer to prayer may take.

What a privilege to pray! This was a great reminder to me to never stop praying for the needs of others. We have access to the Creator of the Universe, and the opportunity to speak to Him any moment of every day! WOW! May we never lose sight of this privilege and daily take advantage of the gift of prayer.

We also had our church-wide adult Christmas party this past Saturday evening. We had a great group of people there and LOTS of food! It was potluck, so we had a very yummy variety of foods and a fun time of games and fellowship.

Isn't it a wonderful thing to have "church family?" I cannot imagine the void it would leave if we did not have this wonderful extension of our family. It is a wonderful thing to center every aspect of our lives around Christ and the church. I am always grateful to God for the Christian family he has given me, but the gratitude is even more keenly felt around the holidays. The comfort and security of a Christian home and a husband who loves God is such a priceless gift.

May we stop to thank God for His many gifts to us!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thought from I Samuel 30...

I Samuel 30:6..."And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

(Just a side note: David could not even seek encouragement from his wife at this time when all others turned against him. His family was gone! David certainly could have pleaded the validity of his complaints to God!)

I have heard many sermons and lessons on this passage of scripture, but a certain thought hit me as I read it today.

David did turn to God in prayer over this situation in verse 7, but, interestingly enough, David encouraged himself BEFORE he thought to pray. The preparation of our spirit plays such a vital role in how we handle different situations that arise in our lives. (This brings to mind Bro. Hyles sermon from years ago called "Preparing for Winter.")

We must study what things or outward stimuli cultivate in us a happy spirit...certain happy Christian music, certain people who uplift us, certain things we read or listen to, certain type of preaching or teaching, a drive in the country, an activity we enjoy, etc. We ought to make an art of the study of our spirit and how it is affected. This way when the time comes, and no doubt it will at some point in our lives, that we feel we would much rather quit than deal with a situation, we can begin bringing certain thoughts or certain stimuli in contact with our spirit that will begin to encourage and uplift.

Thus the importance of every sermon and lesson we have the opportunity to hear. We never know at what time we will need to draw from the strength of its truth. How important that we pay close attention every time the Word of God is opened and taught, or when we ourselves open the cover and read those precious pages! We must learn, like David, how to pull from inside of ourselves the strength to encourage our spirit and go on in prayer.

We cannot help lead others to encouragement if we ourselves do not know where to find it. When our heart is extremely burdened or heavy, we may have to strengthen our spirit first in order to make the logical decision of going to the Bible or going to the Lord in prayer.

What a challenge, God! To make a STUDY of our own spirit; learn what outward stimuli affect it and how. Then, in time of hardship, it will be easier for us to draw strength from within to help us turn to the One above. He in turn can give us the strength to help others!

I hope I was able to write down my thoughts in a way that does not sound "scrambled!"

Thanks, God, for this great truth today!

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Sweet Service...

I just finished watching online the "Heavenly Graduation" service for Dr. Don Boyd, my high school principal. It was a very sweet tribute to the life of a truly amazing and exemplary Christian. There were some tears, some laughter over sweet and fond memories, and a time to give God solemn thanks for the time we were privileged to spend under the influence of Mr. Boyd's life. The music, as always at First Baptist, was sweet and appropriate.

I tearfully watched as his family said their last goodbyes to Daddy, Sweetheart, Grandpa and beloved relative. Mrs. Boyd left her husband with a sweet kiss and a long hug. The actions and composure of the family were a wonderful testimony of their trust in God . There was not a spirit of despair; sadness, yes, but an obvious faith and trust in a God whose strength is bigger than our hurts. Even in death, Mr. Boyd's unwavering faith in God was evidenced by the sweet testimony of his family.

I wish I could have been there to stand as an alumni who was privileged to be under the leadership of Mr. Boyd while in my high school years. But, as stated in my last post in tribute, I will strive to say my thanks by serving God with my life and pass on the legacy of Christianity Mr. Boyd handed down to us. he was truly a friend to all he met!

Thanks, Mr. Boyd! I have so many precious memories from my high school years! Your life will not be forgotten. We love you!

A Sweet Service....

I just finished watching the "Heavenly Graduation" service for Dr. Don Boyd. It was a sweet tribute to the life of a truly amazing and exemplary Christian. There were some tears, some laughter over sweet and fond memories, and a time to give God solemn thanks for the time we were privileged to spend under the influence of Mr. Boyd's life. The music, as always at First Baptist, was sweet and appropriate.

I tearfully watched the family say their final goodbyes to daddy, sweetheart, grandpa, and beloved relative. Mrs. Boyd left her husband with a sweet kiss and long hug. The actions and composure of the family were a sweet testimony of a trust in a God who is bigger than our hurts. There was not an attitude of despair; sadness, yes, but an obvious reliance on God's grace and strength during a hard time. Even in death, Mr. Boyd's faith and trust in God was evidenced by the sweet testimony of his family.

I wish I could have been there to stand as an alumni who had the privilege of being under his leadership. But, as stated in my last post in tribute, I will strive to say my thanks by serving God with my life and pass on the legacy of Christianity Mr. Boyd handed down to us.

Thanks, Mr. Boyd, your life will not be forgotten! We love you!