January 26, 2012 - Psalm 25:3
It's easy to get caught up in the nonsense that surrounds us. It actually does so much more than surround us. It's everywhere. Every single aspect of daily life in this world we've built for ourselves represents the opportunity for sin. Even the clothes we wear can represent sin. Do we focus more on what they cost than what they cover? Do we "have to have" certain brands? The food we eat is opportunistic from the devil's point of view. Gluttony, laziness, greed.....they can all be identified within the dishes on our dinner table. With all this said, these same aspects also offer incredible opportunity to "wait for God." Sacrifice, hard work, constant dedication......it works in every other endeavor from which we have extracted success in our lives, so why not our Faith. Constant belief, and constant acknowledgement of God's presence and hand in your life will leave you in a much better place than the "trend-setters."
December 29, 2011 - Peter 3:8
3:8 - But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
And our earthly accomplishments mean even less in the eyes of the Lord. Stop trying to achieve perfection, you cannot.
October 6, 2011 - 1 John 4:7-8
4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. Whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
October 3, 2011 - Proverbs 3:5-6
3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.
What a powerful verse. Think about what those words are actually saying. If you trust in God, He will better your life. I believe that too often, we overlook God's greatness in our lives because maybe our life is not going exactly the way we dreamed it would. We see pain and suffering and assume God's absence when the truth couldn't be further. Suffering is needed to appreciate joy. Without death there could be no life. You may pray to win the lottery, but what are you really praying for? Are you really praying to win the lottery, or are you praying for the opportunity to quit your job; buy your kids something they don't necessarily need; a bigger house, etc.? Are you praying for material possessions, or for safe passage into the next stage of your life? Just because you prayed for a million bucks and didn't wake up next to a big pile of cash doesn't prove that God doesn't exist. In fact, if you've ever said such a prayer and are sitting there reading this message; I would say it actually speaks more to God's existence than His absence. No, you didn't win the lottery, but you obviously got through whatever hardship had inspired the prayer. Things may not be perfect, but they're not the hell you imagined either.I have a friend that lost her mother to cancer a few years ago. It was horrible. The heartache my friend suffered was unimaginable to me, but the life that she now leads is one that her mother inspired. It's a life that wouldn't have been possible without the indelible lessons taught by her mother's passing. Pain is part of life and God puts it in our path for a reason. Stop trying to assert your own will and accept that God knows better.
September 28, 2011 - Proverbs 3:1-2
3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching but let your heart keep my commandments 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
I realize the verse itself is referring to the relationship between God and mankind in general, but how fitting that this verse should arrive in my line of sight this morning as I am receiving a letter of encouragement from my absurdly supportive and patient father (R-Earth). It was also delivered to me on the same morning that I was explaining some rather difficult concepts to Aidan. The exercise of writing my biography for the novel I'm trying to publish has reminded me of several lessons I was taught when I was his age. Not only the lessons, but the overall guidance and moral compass I received from both of my parents. I may have resisted their logic more often than they would have liked, but the mistakes I have made in my life would have been far more irreparable than they were if my parents hadn't raised me the way they did. God was a focal point, not a social topic. I am the kind of father I am to Aidan because of the example I was shown in my youth. We all make occasional, sometimes frequent mistakes as parents, but our overall demeanor and general set of inherent values leaves an indelible impression that shapes the subconscious of our children in ways our words or self-assessed wisdom will never accomplish. In the verse above, God promises that following his commandments will extend our life and enhance the pure joy we feel in our hearts. Nothing has ever proven to be more true in my own life.
September 27, 2011 - Philippians 1:66 - And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.