Tag Archives: God

Not Just Idle Words

The summer after my sophomore year in high school I took Driver’s Education. In class, after watching graphic videos of the aftermath of terrible auto accidents, I was almost obsessively convinced to learn the rules of the road. Those real-life awful images of dead and torn up people stuck with me. Today, they still haunt me.

The instructors’ purpose in Continue reading Not Just Idle Words

Look Back

I found a couple of my old prayer journals while I was reorganizing. They were dated from the mid-eighties. I was about to toss them in the trash, but then stopped at the last second.

I opened one of the journals and read some of my entries. Names of people I hadn’t thought of for years filled the journal’s lines. Amy, Nicole, Myra, Jess, etc. Some of the prayer requests were about health struggles. Some financial challenges. Some concerned problems in their marriages.

Also in this section of the journal was the name of my husband, and my children—tiny tots at this time. And last, my own personal requests.

I turned some more pages and found my favorite category: “Letters to God.”

Some of these entries expressed my yearning for a greater maturity in my faith. Some were about challenges with people where I worked and how I needed to grow in love for each of these co-workers. Some letters simply expressed my praise and thankfulness.

I remember feeling, way back then, that many of these prayer requests seemed to never be answered. Especially the ones for my loved ones. Why does God take such a long time to answer those prayer requests that are most near and dear?

But, sitting on my bed, reading through the journal, through the perspective of thirty years, I saw that almost every one of my prayers had been met. These specific requests usually required an attitude adjustment in me. About my friends, goals, my husband, my children.

Attitude adjustments take time. The Lord rarely zaps us with instant emotional healing. He uses hardship, coupled with time to teach us to submit to His wonderful ways, to lead us to greater dependence on His strength, to produce wisdom and patience.

But He does answer prayers.

If you’re like me and you tend to forget the Lord’s faithfulness to answer prayers, keep a prayer journal. You’ll be amazed as you read older journal entries IMG_2383when you see His footprints all over your life.

It’s great to look forward, to press onward toward your goals.

But every once in a while, it’s also good to look back and see how far the Lord has brought you.

“Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.’ I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77: 10-12 NIV Bible)

 

 

God’s Not Good Enough

I’ve talked to so many people lately who equate spirituality with being in a right relationship with God.

I remember a conversation I had with a close relative about the subject of salvation. She said, “Don’t go preaching to me about Jesus Christ. I’m much more spiritual than you’ll ever be.”

How sad that she thought her own spirituality was equal to the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

It’s not. You can be very spiritual. In fact, we humans were made by God in His image to be spiritual beings with the capacity of thinking and wondering about spiritual matters.

Even people who claim to know about God and who pray to Him don’t necessarily know God.

There are a lot of spirit entities hovering about in this world, ready to mislead and deceive people into believing that they are a god to believe in. Worse, these spirits also try to deceive some people into believing that they do not need a god because the people themselves are gods!

So don’t be comforted, Christian friend, just because a dear friend or relative who’s about to die says “I pray to god every day so I’m going to heaven.”

Just what god is your friend praying to?

If your friend has not confessed Jesus Christ as his or her only payment for sin, then find a way to explain to them the way of salvation.

Just any God is not good enough. Only Jesus Christ paid for your sin. Think about all the major religions of the world. Which founder made the claim that he can cover all your sin? Completely and forever?

Which of these founders came back to life after being confirmed dead?

None but Jesus.

My spirituality will not save me. My spirituality is only evidence that a loving God made me in His image.

Many spiritual people are going to hell!

So when someone tells you he or she prays to God, find out which IMG_3165God. Not just any god will do.

“Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God.”  (1 John 1: 7-9 NIV Bible)

 

 

God’s Storms

A powerful mountain storm pushed through Estes Park yesterday.

Thunder boomed. Lghtning zipped, flashed, and speared the sky.

I heard it coming from a long way off. The thunder almost always comes from the west. Its faint rumble crescendoes as it crosses the mountains and unleashes its tempest.

Rain fell in sheets and pushed up ruts in the roads, polished each blade of grass, dripped from the dusty pine needles.

I sat, cozy and secure inside and watched the storm play out while feeling an almost delicious excitement at this display of God’s power.

How often do we, as Believers savor our own personal storms, secure in the knowledge that God is displaying His power in our lives?

My husband and I are experiencing a storm right now. The other night we huddled together and poured out our fears and uncertainties to the Lord, asking for His guidance and His provision.

How I wish my faith were strong enough at this point that I could sit back in delicious expectation of God’s sure provision. Trusting His work. Knowing that the storm washes my soul and nourishes that part of me that yearns for the presence of my Savior.

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;

I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

I will praise You forever for what you have done;

in Your name I will hope, for your name is good.

I will praise You in the presence of Your saints.” (Psalm 52:8,9 NIV Bible)

 

The Invisible Exists

We decided to drive all night to get to Las Vegas for my niece’s wedding on Saturday.

Bruce and I left Estes about 9 PM and drove south to intersect with I-70, the interstate that runs through the Rocky Mountains.

We’ve driven this route hundreds of times and we are always thrilled by its beauty.

Since we know the way so well, and have seen it, we know where the road will curve, we know the speed limits, the towns, the sights well before we encounter them.

This was not a trip for sight-seeing. We drank coffee to stay awake, and got through the desert to our air conditioned hotel before the morning sun could turn up the thermostat.

But as we drove through Colorado’s Glenwood Springs Canyon, I pictured the magnificent cliffs looming above us, hardy little pines and spruce trees clinging to the rocky base. By now, in August, the Colorado River wending its way at the bottom of the canyon would be groovin’ like a laid-back hippie, and rafters wouldn’t have to fight any powerful currents.

I felt sorry for tourists driving at this time of night. If they hadn’t seen the glories of this route on some other trip, they’d be driving blind, imagining that the darkness surrounding them contained nothing but black sky.

Oh, what they were missing!

I believe that’s how it is with the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus frequently referred to in the gospel of Matthew.

As Christians, when the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, we get a taste of what heaven is like. And sometimes, like tourists, God comes near and we get glimpses of His indescribable beauty. Having touched, tasted, smell, felt His glory, we anxiously look forward to more experiences.

But I can only tell another person about Him and how wonderful it is to be near God and to spiritually see Him.

It’s great to read about wonderful things along the route.

But at night, without sight, the traveler only knows from his reading of a map, or by someone who’s already been there.

A whole wonderful, colorful, exciting world exists.

It’s there even when the traveler’s eyes don’t see it.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.” (Matthew 5: 8, The Message)