RSS

Tag Archives: Faith

Trust in the LORD

sf_trustinthelord_02

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7).

me-and-girls.jpgIf I had only one passage of Scripture to share with my children and grandchildren, I believe Proverbs 3:5-7 would rank very close to the top.

Having years of life experiences behind me now at age sixty-one, trusting in the LORD or on my own understanding has definitely been a teeter-totter ride for me.

As with most people, it’s easy for me to trust in the LORD when all is at rest or there’s little to worry about. I’ve learned, however, that this is actually the best time to build up a reserve of trust in the LORD. For we all know that the storms of life often arrive with little or no warning.

Building a reserve of trust in the LORD

  • Set aside a specific time and place to meet with God daily.
  • Read God’s Word daily. Choose a reading plan that works best for you in the varied seasons of life.
  • Spend quality and quantity time simply being in God’s presence without any distractions.
  • Prayer is always a two-way conversation. God desires us to share our hearts openly with him, which is usually the easiest part of prayer. Then, be sure to wait in the quietness of your mind to listen for God’s gentle and loving voice to speak to you.
  • Share your prayer requests with those who love you.
  • Use a journal to write down your thoughts as God speaks to you through his word and through prayer. Record all the significant joy-filled blessings in your life, as well as the difficult circumstances that come your way. Be sure to date these, because as you look back over the years, you will see how God has faithfully been watching over you and caring for your every need. It always amazes me and strengthens my faith to see how God works out His best for me especially when the circumstances seem so overwhelming at the time.
  • Share your testimony of God’s faithfulness in your life with others.
  • “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Christ Lifted Up…Sand Dollar Faith

SAND DOLLARJeff and I recently had the opportunity to spend 9 days at Anna Maria Island, on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Being in full-time pastoral ministry, we were more than ready to get away, to relax and spend quality time with each other and the Lord. During our stay in a nice condo, provided free of charge to pastors, I located two books on the shelf and began reading them. Both were on the subject of sharing one’s faith in Jesus.

Realizing my personal evangelism had waned over the past year or so, my mind and heart were easily penetrable with the timely message of these books. Reading afresh and anew this Scripture: “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32,” Jerry Whiles, the author of The Faithful Witness emphasized lifting up Jesus every day, in every encounter, as the Holy Spirit directs. First and foremost, the author stated that we are to pray (early in the morning, before beginning our day), for opportunities to share our faith with people who God will bring across our path during that day.

To make a long story short, I sensed the Holy Spirit guiding me to pray this prayer and to begin watching for opportunities–starting at the beach.

That morning, Jeff and I began searching for seashells on miracle-made sandbars, which enabled us to find some nice size shells. As Jeff proceeded up the shoreline, a young woman approached me and said, “Wow, you found some really nice shells.” As I looked up, I noticed that she was wearing a ball cap. I then responded “Yes” and we began chatting about our stay at Anna Maria Island. She quickly told me that she had just finished 5 rounds of chemotherapy treatments in Georgia where she lived, and that when she returned home, she would be facing surgery and radiation treatments. While standing next to her, I knew we were not alone–as the Holy Spirit wrapped His arms around us. Lisa opened her hand and showed me a small sand dollar that she had found. Quickened to lift up Jesus, I said, “Oh, I believe there’s some type of story that goes along with the sand dollar,” and she quickly replied, “Yes, I believe it has something to do with Jesus.” I told her that I thought she was right, and then asked her if she knew Jesus. She said with such love in her eyes, “Oh, yes, I couldn’t go through this without Him.” She went on to tell me that she and her husband (who was standing nearby), were part of a loving and supportive church family. As we said our goodbyes, I gave Lisa some of my shells and told her to hold onto them as a reminder that she had met a friend in Jesus on Anna Maria Island beach who would be praying for her.

I thank God for the opportunity to meet Lisa on the beach. She truly lifted Jesus to me that day, and through our encounter, strengthened my faith.

I forgot to mention that shortly after I met Lisa, I found my own sand dollar and I’m keeping it as a reminder to share my faith in Jesus daily, and to pray for Lisa.

After returning home from our trip, I did a little research on the meaning of John 12:32. I found and read a sermon delivered on July 5, 1857, by Rev. C.H. Spurgeon, titled “Christ Lifted Up.” It is a somber reminder that Jesus uses the word “lifted up” to express the manner of his death. For Jesus to be “lifted up” or exalted, to draw all men unto Himself, He had to be crucified on a cross. The following is a paragraph excerpted from Spurgeon’s sermon.

“Christ was glorified on the cross, we say, first, because love as always glorious. If I might prefer any glory, I should ask to be beloved by men. Surely, the greatest glory that a man can have among his fellows is not that of mere admiration, when they stare at him as he passes through the street, and throng the avenues to behold him as he rideth in his triumph; the greatest fame, the greatest glory of a patriot is the love of his country–to feel that young men and maidens, old men and sires, are prepared to fall at his feet in love, to give up all they have to serve him who has served them. Now, Christ won more love by the cross than he did ever win elsewhere. O Lord Jesus, thou wouldst never have been so much loved since thou hast stooped to death. Not cherubim and seraphim, and angels clad in light, ever could have loved with hearts so warm as thy redeemed above, or even thy redeemed below. Thou didst win love more abundantly by the nail than by thy scepter. Thine open side brought thee no emptiness of love, for thy people love thee with all their hearts. Christ won glory by his cross. He was never so lifted up as when he was cast down; and the Christian will bear witness, that though he loves his Master anywhere, yet nothing moves his heart to rapture and vehemence of love, like the story of the crucifixion and the agonies of Calvary.”

Lifting up Christ is more than using His name in prayer (although very important); it really requires a (personal) daily surrender to the Holy sinless One, who died a sinner’s death on Calvary. His name is JESUS.

Forgive me Father, for not faithfully lifting up your son’s life-giving name to those who need you so desperately. Help me to be ever mindful of those you bring across my path each day.

Door of Opportunity, DeVern Fromke, Author

The Faithful Witness, Jerry Wiles, Author

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 10, 2013 1: 45 pm - in Evangelism

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

EASTER!

Why does Christmas get so much more attention than Easter? While out shopping the other day, it dawned on me I hadn’t picked up any Easter cards. I thought to myself, “Well, at least it won’t cost me too much since I’ll only be mailing a few.” At Christmas I spend a small fortune on cards and postage. Wow!  What a comparison. Is the notable difference between Easter and Christmas the cost?

When it gets right down to it, I’m beginning to think Christmas gets much more attention because the “holiday season” has become all about us and not all about Jesus (the reason for the season). Just think about it. Why do we get all worked up and worn out during those several weeks before Christmas? Is it because we are like Mary, who chose to sit at the feet of Jesus while her sister, Martha, ran around the house dusting away the cobwebs…and nearly missed spending precious time with God? Nope! Most of us are more like Martha. At Christmas, we run around town trying to buy the perfect gift for everyone on our list, often not even counting the cost; well, that is, until January rolls around and the credit card bill comes in the mail.

By the time we recuperate from the “frenzy” of Christmas shopping and all the hoopla that goes along with making Christmas the most recognizable day of the year, Easter rolls around, and we find ourselves becoming a little more like Mary. Well, kinda. We approach Easter with a little less anxiety. After all, no one is expecting the perfect gift in their Easter basket…no, just a few chocolate bunnies, and maybe a ham and deviled eggs for Easter dinner. So, we can simply relax a little and enjoy the true meaning of Easter, right?

Easter is all about Jesus! God is definitely not concerned with how much Christmas costs us to celebrate the birth of His son. God is, however, immeasurably concerned with the attention we give to the One who died on the cross for the sins of the world, who was raised from the dead, and who is now preparing a place in heaven for those who know Him as their Lord and Savior. (John 14:2-3)

He is risen!

Jesus is risen!

Easter (Resurrection Sunday) is the exclamation mark in the life of every true believer. Our salvation cost Jesus everything. “Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11).

I challenge Christian families to celebrate Easter with an EXCLAMATION MARK!

Disclaimer: I am not saying that Christmas is unimportant in the life of a Christian. Of course it is….otherwise there would be no Easter. My point is this, let’s be sure Easter is all about Jesus, and let’s celebrate His resurrection from the grave with exuberant joy!

Resources to celebrate Easter: Resurrection Eggs (Make your own, or purchase them from a local Christian bookstore, or from Family Life Today at: http://shop.familylife.com/p-1717-resurrection-eggs.aspx )
The Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Resurrection, Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible DVD (ages 4-11), Peek-A-Bible: The Easter Story (Tracy Harrast) (ages 1-6)  (Purchase these and many others Easter resources at: http://www.christianbook.com/)

Reenact the Easter Story.  Recently, our three-year old grandson asked his daddy to play the part of Jesus so they could act out the Easter story as a family. His daddy was pleased until his son asked him to take off all his clothes! The week leading up to Easter, spend time reading the Holy Week stories as a family. (Use all four Gospels, to glean the amazing eye-witness accounts), and then act out a different scene each day leading up to Easter. On Easter morning, celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death by attending a Resurrection Sunday worship service.                                                                                                                                                                       Golden EggHaving an Egg hunt is a fun tradition. We hide several “empty” (golden) eggs, symbolizing the empty tomb. Kids finding the empty eggs win a special treat (kite, sidewalk chalk, etc.). The rule: Hide an equal amount of golden eggs per child and tell the children they may only claim 1 empty (golden egg). This way all the children are winners!

 

Tags: , , , , ,

New Year Plans

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” Proverbs 16:9 NLT.

Many people begin the new year by making resolutions (to make a firm decision to accomplish something). I found myself typing up a list of goals for 2013, composed of two broad categories: Personal and Ministry.

Oddly enough, beginning a new year does give people the sense of “starting fresh” or “starting over.” It’s amazing how many commercials are currently airing weight loss programs. That’s no doubt a biggie on many people’s lists, mine included. So far, I’ve eaten more oranges in the past 7 days than I did in the past 7 months. Getting off to a great start! It’s funny how most of us start out with great expectations and enthusiasm to carry out those things we’ve determined to conquer, but then something happens. Our get-up-and-go gradually diminishes to good intentions, and thoughts such as “there’s always tomorrow” or “I may have bit off more than I can chew.”

This brings me to my New Year Plans blog entry intent:  “Mother, May I?”

SAM_1746A few years ago I was scrambling to come up with some impromptu games to play with some energy-filled children at church. In doing so, I recalled some of my favorites as a child, including “Mother, May I?” It dawned on me while playing “Mother, May I?” that I could adapt the game to include some biblical life principles. I changed the name to “Does it please the Lord?” and instructed the children to take X-amount of baby/scissor steps, etc. towards me after including a potential scenario such as: Johnny’s mom told him to clean his room on Saturday before going to his friend’s house. The child then says: “Does it please the Lord?” And the leader answers: “Yes, it does please the Lord….because God wants us to obey/honor our parents (5th Commandment). The child is then able to take their allotted amount of steps toward leader. Another scenario: Carol planned to go to the skating rink with some friends during Christmas break; however, she spent all of her money on a new outfit. Carol decided to sneak some money out of her brother’s piggy bank and use it to go skating. Again the child says: “Does it please the Lord?”  And the leader responds: “No it does not please the Lord…because God’s Word tells us not to steal (8th Commandment). The leader then instructs the child to take X-amount of steps backwards.

Okay, you say, what does the “Mother, May I?” game have to do with New Year Plans (resolutions and goals). Glad that you asked. While making out my Personal & Ministry Goals for 2013, I was reminded of the revised game, “Does it please the Lord?” After looking over all the things I had included on my new year goals list, I ended up deleting some and revising a few others. I then prayed this prayer and added it to the top of my 2013 goals list. “Lord, if these things are pleasing to you, then give me the wisdom and the strength to carry them out in 2013.”

I believe it is Thanksgiving grands pic 2God’s desire for His people to set goals and make plans that will honor and bring glory to Him. For me, this includes taking care of my physical body (1 Cor. 6:19-20), sharing my faith in Christ with others (Matt. 28:19-20, 1 Peter 3:15), along with my life passion: to intentionally pass down my faith in Jesus to our kids and grandkids.

May God bless you in this new year, 2013, as you seek to know God intimately, through an authentic life-changing relationship with His Son, Jesus. And may your new year be filled with many goals and plans that are purposefully directed by our Father in Heaven.  Charmé

Our newest blessing: Emeree Faith

Our newest blessing: Emeree Faith (Our 5th grandbaby). Proud daddy Seth.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Grandparent’s Day Lunch With Ella

School Lunch With Ella

This is the third year we have attended Ella’s elementary school for Grandparent’s Day lunch. It’s always a blessing to join Ella (3rd grade) for lunch, along with many other grandparents who make this a high priority as well. The school is very welcoming to family members and we are thankful for the opportunity to share in the life experiences of our granddaughter. Ella always puts in her favorite order–this year a pepperoni sub sandwich. We are proud of Ella for sharing her faith in Jesus with her friends and family. Last year, she shared the Gospel with two of her school friends, and during our lunch time, Ella bowed her head to pray. Many grandparents are not only spending time with their grandchildren, but are also living a life of faith in Jesus along side of their grandchildren.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 27, 2012 1: 28 pm - in Grandparenting

 

Tags: , ,