Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not Even Giants of Faith Get Exactly What They Want

This weekend, I am speaking to my mom's women's ministry on the topic of Faith. Please pray for me as I share with them. I have enjoyed researching Hebrew 11 in order to share with them. So I thought I would share a little of it with you.

Faith is an odd word. I thought I knew what it meant until I started thinking about how I was going to describe it to this group of ladies. We hear people say, "Keep the faith." or "You just gotta have faith." But what does it mean? The Bible uses the word faith more than 320 times. Then I thought, is faith the same as belief? So I looked them up and discovered that faith is defined as unquestioning belief and so then I looked up belief. Belief is defined as religious faith. So then I asked myself - Well, can you have one without the other?

A lot of people think that if you "muster up" enough faith - you will get rich, stay healthy and live a contented life....I think most of us are evidence that it just doesn't happen that way!

The faith described in Hebrews is not sugar coated. It is a tough faith - a constant commitment to hang on and believe God against all odds no matter what.

Faith most resembles a difficult race. Read Hebrews 12:1 and imagine yourself running a footrace with all of these "Faith Hall of Famers" watching from the sidelines - Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Moses, Joseph, Noah and more. I wonder what Father Abraham would think about some of our unbelief? How must we look to those who have been stoned to death for their faith?

As I studied this passage, I realize how much I have been blessed. I am ashamed when I read about what the Old Testament Saints accomplished. But the writer of Hebrews assures us that God is a rewarder for those who are diligently seek Him. Faith is a simple confidence in our heavenly father. In this race Ladies, no one loses. If we finish, we will get the reward.

How do you define faith?

Have a great day in Him -


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sweet Moments from a First Grade Classroom

I am blessed with a class of first graders this year that LOVE to be read to - they view me reading a book as a REWARD! Ladies, it is tough to teach in the age of electronic entertainment and to have a class that loves to sit and listen to me share stories - it is delightful! I try to end each day by sharing several books just for ends the day on a positive note and I always invite them to come back tomorrow to learn more. They answer me as if they have a choice in the matter. It is so cute.

Today, as we finished up, a little girl approached me and she said, "Teacher, I just want you to know that I asked Jesus to come in to my heart this morning and He said, "Yes!" Now I need to know what I can do to get baptized!" Folks, how sweet is that - that she told me that Jesus said Yes! What a way to end the day - and then I wondered how often do we say "Yes" to Jesus?

Have a great day in him and look for ways to say Yes to Him today,


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Encourage One Another

One of my favorite things to do is to try to encourage others. Whenever someone says something negative, I have always tried to counter it with a positive comment. Keeping on the sunny my son said this morning as we were discussing the need to have a more positive attitude on the way to school. A positive attitude sets the tone for the day, you know.

Hubby received the following devotion in an email yesterday at work. It was too good to sit on so I decided to share it with all of you. It is the best explanation of why brothers and sisters need to encourage each other along the way. It is based on Deuteronomy 1:38. Here it is:

God employs his people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel, “Gabriel, my servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan—go, encourage him.” God never works needless miracles; if his purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, he will not use miraculous agency. Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses.

A brother’s sympathy is more precious than an angel’s embassy. The angel, swift of wing, had better known the Master’s bidding than the people’s temper. An angel had never experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. It forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family.

Brethren, take the text as God’s message to you. Labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumbling blocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ.

Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the despondent. Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness. God encourages you by his promises; Christ encourages you as he points to the heaven he has won for you, and the spirit encourages you as he works in you to will and to do of his own will and pleasure. Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others, according to the word of this evening.

Spurgeon, C. H.

What will you do or say to be an encouragement to those whom God allows to cross your path today?


Thursday, September 6, 2007

What a Privilege!

Jesus said:
Mark 10:14 Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.

What a great opportunity I have been given by God - the opportunity to teach his little ones! First graders are probably some of the greatest kids on Earth. They love school and they make you feel like you are a queen - just this week, I was at the front of the room hammering away at a math lesson - trying to explain to a classroom full of wide eyed first graders how many ways there are to make 8 -and I noticed that one of my students had her had raised - I sensed it wasn't urgent so I finished making my point and then I said, "Yes, Honey?" She whispered across the room - I just wanted to tell you that I love you teacher!" Now I ask you, how often does that happen to you are hammering away at your job? I am blessed - I am fully satisfied when it comes to my job!

Then this morning, while my little class is sitting at the feet of Jesus and I am sharing the story of the crucifixion - I was describing a little of what Jesus went through in his final hours. I told them that God could have made it stop - but He didn't - He did it for me and He did it for them and He did it for you too!

As I looked out into the faces of my little first graders, tears filled the eyes of one of my students. At that moment, I knew that she came to the realization that she needed a Savior - and she fell in love with Jesus right before my very eyes. As I watched the little tears pour from her eyes and trickle down her beautiful face, I couldn't help but share in her joy and you guessed it, I cried with her. But then we rejoiced with one another over her decision to follow Jesus. What an awesome day in the Lord!

Folks, it just doesn't get any better than that - I pray that you have a great Friday.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Do You Believe in Miracles?

The Webster dictionary defines it as "something wonderful; a wonder, a marvelous thing, something which seems to go beyond the known laws of nature and is held to be the act of a supernatural being; a supernatural event." Observers of miracles knew they had seen or heard something out of the ordinary, something that may help them or in its greatness could even be threatening to them. But miracles, apart form God, can not occur. In fact, when you ask "are miracles possible" you are really asking "Is there a God?"

Yesterday, in our Sunday School class, we examined different miracles in the Bible. My group was asked to examine the miracle that occured with Elijah and the poor widow and her son. This is found in I Kings 17:13-16. Elijah instructed her to take the last of her provisions and make a small cake to bring to him and then afterward make some for herself and her son. Elijah told her that the bin flour and the jar of oil shall not be used up until the Lord brought rain and it was so. This was according to the word that God spoke to Elijah. So what would skeptics say about the miracles in the Bible?

Does God perform miracles today?

Yes, I do believe the Lord is doing and will continue to do miracles in our world. They are part of His great compassion of love towards us. They flow from Him without our permission and without our understanding. Miracles are not proofs of His power, but proof of His love. He simply loves us and gives us His miracles as He wills. It is truly amazing.

I witnessed a miracle when our son was born. Birth itself is a miracle but two years after my son was born God revealed a miracle to me that actually occurred at the time of my son's birth. My child comes from a long line of large heads - hubby and I have one, my father and grandfather have one - so it is only natural that my son would be born with a large one as well. Needless to say, after 18 hours of hard labor - we made a decision to have a c-section. Amazingly, even though I had to be put to sleep for it and miss my son's entrance into the world, I was at peace with it. Later, I would learn why.

Fast forward two years later - each time we went into the pediatrician's office, my precious baby was off the growth chart - yes, even his head. If you know us, this shouldn't come as a surprise. We are not petite people. But when our son was nearly two, his pediatrician grew concerned that he had hydrocephalus - but how could this be - my child was ahead developmentally and had talked in complete sentences since his first birthday. How could anything be wrong? A head CT scan would determine if everything was okay. So we complied.

The results came in and ALL that they found was a cyst or brain bleed on the left side of his brain. No problem, his pediatricians said, "We'll watch it for six months - do another scan in six months - and see if there is any change. WHAT? Sorry, doc, what first time mother is going to sit idly by and wait six months to see if something happens. I had asked to be referred to a neurologist but was told that it would be six months before we could get in to see a pediatric specialist since this was not urgent?

At the time, I was teaching Kindergarten in public schools and I had the son of a Nascar Driver whose wife was a former nurse. When I shared this with her, she told me to go to radiology at the hospital - sign out the xrays - and bring them to her. I did and she took them to Nascar's neurologist for him to examine. Two days later, the neurologist called me at school and without knowing the circumstances of our son's birth - named ALL of the conditions of our son's birth. And then he said words that I will never forget, "Had your son been born without a c-section, he would have been born with cerebral palsy."

You see, that day I learned of a miracle that God performed at the time of our son's birth. One that without our doctor's prompting for a CT scan - I would have never known about. If you know our son, it would be hard to imagine him any other way. Each time, I see him run, swim, play baseball, dance - I am reminded of what could have been and I am also reminded that my God still does miracles everyday.

If you or someone you love is eagerly awaiting a miracle of healing from God, remember that His answers may not come in a way that we can immediately recognize. After all, we weren't even aware this miracle had taken place until God allowed it to be revealed to us. But I BELIEVE in miracles - do you?

Have a great day in HIM!