Monday, February 25, 2013

A Lesson from Gideon

Gideon was one of Israels' judges. He was called by God to rescue Gods' people from the oppression of the Midianites. Let me tell you his story.

Gideon was hiding from the Midianites while he did his farm-work. God knew where he was hiding and sent a messenger to tell him the plan and enlist him as the warrior-in-charge. Gideon resisted the Lord's assignment and set out two fleeces to determine if this was really what he must do. God complied with both fleeces, and Gideon finally relented. He made a call for warriors and thousands of Israelites, fed up with the tyranny of their oppressors, came out to fight.

Gideon and his army were greatly out numbered. It seemed that God's plan was a disaster waiting to happen. It got worse however when Gideon asked God what to do. God told him to send all the men who were afraid home. Then God told him to have the remainder of the men to go down and drink from the spring. Those that drank lapping like a dog, out of their hands, were to stay. Those who bent their heads into the water to drink were to be sent home. Gideon was left with 300 men. Surprisingly, this small band of men were used by God to defeat the Midian army of thousands! God was glorified! (You can read Gideons' story in Judges 6-8)

Each of us can be a Gideon. We all are given a gift or talent by God and He has a purpose for us. Gideon was named a warrior by God. Some of us may be named helpers, writers, preachers, singers and so many other things. Like the fearful farmer, we too, sometimes resist the title conferred on us by God. We try to reason with Him and convince Him that He made a mistake. It sounds strange, but we all do it at sometime. When God prevails and we accept His plan, we often times find that God begins to limit our resources. He may limit our funds, time, or other tools we think we need to do what God has called us to do. We can feel inadequate to do the job.

When we come to the place where we only hold God's plan in our hands, and nothing or very little of ourselves, we must trust in God, believe in His truth, and have faith in His presence in the plan. We obey. We walk forward not concerned for the outcome, only for the obedience that will give God glory.

God has called me to write and speak for Him. I resisted this call at first, but then embraced it thinking He would provide all I needed. I didn't know He would take away time, and funds. I never thought I would go through dry spells, but I did. Sometimes it is hard or fearful, but I continue to take one step at a time. I pray He is receiving Glory through my obedience.

God, You are the Giver of Purpose. You name each of us in Your plan and guide us to the place where we need only You. Forgive me when I take Your gift and call it mine. Thank You for using me to spread Your love and truth. Guide me and light my path when everything seems dark. I do trust You.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Belated Valentine

I was kept busy yesterday and did not get to write a Valentine blog, so I am here to send a timeless Valentine message to all my readers.

There is a Valentine for everyone. St. Valentine, for whom the day is named, sent messages from his prison cell, not to his wife or girlfriend, but to everyone who would listen. His message was that God loved us. Valentine told the story about The God who sent Jesus to live with us, die for us, and then live again in our hearts! This is good news! It is the best valentine message for all people.

Our Valentine's Day has become a romantic card and gift day for couples. Those without a special someone find Valentines Day lonely and maybe depressing, but there is good news as I have said. No one needs to feel rejected or unlovable. Everyone has a very special Someone to love them and for them to love!

God, the Creator of all, longs to love and be loved by His greatest creation, people. He did everything possible to make it happen even while we still rejected and ran away from His advances toward us. He is a committed lover. He gave everything to bring people back into His loving embrace.

It is a wonderful gift to have a mate or special person in our lives, but the greatest love we can enjoy is the love God offers. Today my message of love comes directly from Him. He loves you with an eternal love.

Loving and Eternal God, You are the Valentine we all desire. You are the Perfect Lover. I am so very sorry for the times I toss aside Your love for the lesser loves of this world. Forgive me! Thank You for never failing to be there when I call to You. Thank You for loving me when I am so very unlovable. Thank You for being Love itself! Let me know Your love and share it with everyone I meet. Let me be Your valentine to the people I meet. I want to love others like You have loved me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Heaven is a Good Place

Eight year old Paige and six year old Brooke were on an outing with Pappy one day when they passed a cemetery. There was a grave-side service happening, and the girls had many questions for their Pappy. When they got home I was told about the conversation. It went something like this.

"Pappy, what is that?"

"It is a funeral, Paige."

"What is a funeral?"

"It is when someone dies and the family and friends get together to say good-bye."

"Oh. What happens to the person that died?"

"Well, if they are a Christian he or she goes to heaven when they die. Their body is buried here until God comes back to get it."

"What is heaven like?"

"It is a wonderful place. It is beautiful and happy. Nothing ever bad happens there! It is a good place."

When Paige came in to see me, she said to me, "Grommers,I don't want you to die, but if you do I am going to whisper to you that Heaven is a good place to go."

That story made me smile. I smile because Paige would think of such a sweet thing to say, and also that heaven IS a good place to go. It reminded me of the man who was crucified next to Jesus. Jesus nearing the end of His earthly life, must have whispered His words to the dying man. He said that He would be with Him in paradise. Maybe God smiled because He knew it was a good place to go, because Jesus would be there.

Creator of Heaven and Earth, You are Good! You created a special place for us to live. You are creating a place of beauty and glory and pure holiness for Your people to come to live with You forever. Sometimes the beauty of this earth overshadows the glory of You, and I ask You to forgive me for forgetting that You alone are worthy. Thank you for making heaven real. Thank You for giving sinful people a chance to come and live with You there. Reach out to those I love through Your workers, and show them Your everlasting love and grace. Bring them home to You when their time is done here on earth. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Falling Flat

Super Bowl party was interesting. I made a play that was surprisingly SUPER!!

I was heading for the corner of the couch around a coffee table, not noticing the ripple in the rug. Holding my plate of banana pudding (oh so good!), I tripped and somehow avoided the lap of the man in front of me, held onto my dish, and landed safely on the couch in the only free space, the corner seat next to the man I avoided. No fumble, no injury. Felt like a touchdown! YES!

I've fallen in embarrassing situations a couple of times in my life, and I am so glad this trip fared as well as it did. There are lessons to be learned every time I find myself tumbling over my feet. I am happy to share them with you.

1. Sometimes falling is beyond our control. When the rug is pulled out from under your feet, there is usually no where to go but down.

2. Gravity exerts its power mercilessly when we find ourselves off balance. We can wobble slightly, but if we teeter too far to one side or another we will be pulled to the ground.

3. When we fall the only right choice is to get up and start over. Staying down only leads to more embarrassment.

4. Never turn away a helping hand. When you fall hard, it is usually a struggle to get up by yourself. If someone offers a helping hand don't refuse!

I suppose it would be best to not fall too often. There are lessons to learn about how to stay upright as well.

1. Be alert. There are enemies that would like to take you down, but if you watch you just might thwart their plans!

2. Keep your feet planted on a firm foundation. It is hard to keep your balance on uneven ground.

The truth is that we all fall at sometime or another. We are human and imperfect. There is One, however, that came to lift us up. He even promises that our fumbles can be turned into something good for us, if we let Him show us how.

Holy and Perfect Father, You are our strong foundation. You lift us up when everything around us tries to hold us down. You are our salvation! We have fallen often because we do not stay firmly rooted in You. Forgive us, Lord. Thank You for making our way right when we have done so much wrong. Lead us in Your level paths and teach us to walk the straight and narrow way. We trust You!