God in the Darkness

  images I am so wonderfully blessed to have many, many wise people around me! 

I must say the responsiveness of those with whom I share faith in Jesus Christ as not only my Lord and Savior, but as the One Who lights my path, makes my way straight, and keeps my heart and mind focused on the truth is what gets me through all my days.

Today was a little difficult, but it serves to amplify God’s call to me to cry out to Him for guidance, for a lively spirit to pray and call on other believers to pray on my family’s and my behalf.  My beloved wife and I are negotiating the sale of our home and I find it a little dispiriting to say the least.

The thing I am certain that God wants NOT to happen is for me to lose that focus on His power, His glory, and His direction of my affairs.  This writing is God’s way of keeping that focus.  As the Psalmist said, and I passionately believe:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
 He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. Psalm 91:1-4

I just want to remind you, as so many have been led by the Holy Spirit to remind me, that you are never alone. The deception, the cynicism, the negativity with which the enemy tries to derail my life so often has no effect on the life of anyone who calls on Him for protection, wisdom, and guidance.

Yet he will always continue the assault and we must be on our guard constantly. Not paranoid, but wise and filled with hope and peace.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Whatever you’re facing this coming week,  keep these verses in your mind and know the true power, and peace that He will lead you in, if you let Him and don’t deceive yourself by thinking you can handle things in your own power.

Have a wonderfully blessed week, friends!


Expressions of Gratitude

As I start this post, I hearken to my childhood when we would go around the Thanksgiving table and give a short list of the things we were grateful for. With 10-14 family members and friends, this could take a while but it was always a good exercise.

Funny thing, though. Since our walk with the Lord had not begun in earnest at that point in our lives, to whom were we being thankful? We would say, “God” and meant it but we had very little Scripture guiding our lives at that time and the idea of loving God was more of an abstract concept than a close walk in relationship with Him.

When I really got serious about walking with the Lord about five years ago, my priorities in life started to change, more and more radically, with each passing day. Who I am today is not who I was five years ago. This would not have been possible in my own strength, of which I have little on my own. This is the first thing I am truly thankful for-the realization that without Him, Jesus Christ, I can do nothing, am nothing and have an eternal goal to achieve that can only be reached by obedience to Him.

First and foremost among my priorities, I am a child of the Living God and by Him do I derive innumerable and immeasurably deep blessings in this brief, human existence. This is the Shadow of Almighty God, whose wings guard me, guide me and give me and my family abundant joy, peace, and salvation. This safeguards all of the other relationships and priorities in my life.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!” Psalm 91:1-2

Because of this, I am wonderfully blessed by a loyal, loving, hard-working wife who honors me in every way. I honor her, too. Our relationship has always been blessed from the time we first met in church on Resurrection Day, 1989 to this morning.  We have been guided, blessed, and led from danger by the power of the H0ly Spirit.

Perfect lives, you may be thinking? Far from it! But our lives are guarded and blessed despite our mistakes, laziness of spirit and discipline to consistently follow Him as He wants us to.

My relationship with Tim, my nearly 18 year old son, has been a blessing from the start. That has been entirely in God’s hands and mainly because of the blessings the Lord provided me through my wife, a truly wise woman. Tim loves us dearly, shows it, and brings honor to us by his behavior. He knows that our love for him will never change and that we are proud of him. Not because of our strength as parents, but because of His faithfulness in using us.

Then there’s the job. If you have read anything I’ve written the last 11 months, my work has been turned over to my loving God, who manages my career far better than I ever could and prevents me from making my work my idol, as it once was. There are still negative influences all around there but my strength lies in my Lord Jesus and He promises:

A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High your dwelling place. Psalm 91:7-9

For these blessings, procured to me by a loving, living, holy God I am most grateful. And now I know with certainty from whence I have been and always will be blessed, protected, and loved.

As we arrive at the time of year where the natural world celebrates its feast of consumerism and debt, I welcome the celebration of the birth of The One through whom all blessings truly flow: Jesus Christ. This is the debt that I will gladly carry until I see Him face to face. Amen.