Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Change is in the Air

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know it’s been more of random thoughts, prayers, and devotions—whatever came to mind—on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Starting tomorrow, however, as I begin a new journey of pursuing full-time ministry, my blogs are going to change a bit.

First, they’ll be daily.

Second, they’ll focus on verses, chapters, and books of the Bible. I may stay in a particular book for weeks!

Third, they’ll offer encouragement, edification, and/or equipping—the three “E’s” of my ministry: Triple-E Ministries (

I encourage (!) you to join me in my journey and “follow” my blog in the coming months. And let me know what you think.

I do hope you join me. I’m excited to see what God will do!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Much-needed Refuge

Some of my favorite verses come from Psalm 46.

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in time of trouble.
Therefore, we shall not fear.
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling."

Through storms, through earthquakes, through devastation, through pain, through trials. God is always there. Always.

But sometimes it feels like He's far away. Sometimes it seems like help isn't coming.

I've written a lot about trust. Do we really trust that God is who He says He is? Do we really believe He'll carry us through even the most painful times?

I know for some of my friends it's hard right now. You can't see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

All I can offer you today is my prayers. And the final verses of Psalm 46.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge."

Friday, January 22, 2010

If ... Then ...

If ... then ... scenarios permeate our lives, don't they?

As children, we hear:

If you clean your room, then you'll get ice cream.

Then it's:

If you get good grades, then you'll get into a good college.

As we grow older, we're told:

If you work hard, then you'll earn enough to retire.

Or how about:

If you promise to love me 'til death us do part, then I'll promise the same.

And finally:

If you take care of your health, then you'll live to an old age.

Conditions. Requirements. You scratch my back; I'll scratch yours. You give something, and you'll get something.

Even God has "if ... then ..." scenarios.

Throughout the Old Testament, God said time and time again to His chosen people, "If you obey me, then I'll ..."

He'd provide. He'd protect. He'd be gracious. He'd conquer their enemies. He'd be merciful. He'd bless.

He makes the same promises today. All He asks is that we obey Him. All He asks is that we read and follow His commandments He gave us through His word. All He asks is that we trust Him.

And since He's the Creator of all things, He has every right to ask.

If we obey Him, then He'll do all those things He promised to the people of Israel.

I don't know about you, but I really like knowing that if I obey Him and His commands, He'll protect me. He'll provide for me. He'll bless me. In and through every situation.

If you want to have that same assurance, then obey Him. Follow Him.

Trust Him.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Foolish Things

As I was spending time with the Lord this morning, I decided to read some of Psalm 119 and was brought to a screeching halt by verse 37.

I first read the NASB, which says, "Turn away my eyes from looking at vanities, And revive me in Your ways."

I had to check out other versions. The NIV translates "vanities" as "worthless things," and The Message, "toys and trinkets."

Then I came across CEV's rendition:
Take away my foolish desires,
and let me find life
by walking with you.

Join me in my screeching halt and read these words again. And then again.

We just came out of a season where the world is focusing on things, and perhaps many of us who know better got caught right up with it. It's easy, I know, to get tunnel vision. My house. My clothes. My car.

Then the bottom falls out of the economy.

Or even worse, an earthquake destroys a nation.

What then? What do our "foolish desires" really get us? Where does our focus on "toys and trinkets" leave us?

Nothing or nowhere I really want to be. I'd much rather find life in walking with Jesus. I'd rather take my eyes off of my often foolish desires and focus on the plan of my loving Father.

How about you?

As I close this week's blog, please pray for Haiti and its people. Pray for those who are traveling as I write to offer a helping hand. Pray for those who are using this as a political forum.

And remember, even when it's so very hard to see, our loving Father is in control of this too.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Another New Year


Seriously . . . 2010? For those of us "of an age," wasn't 2010 supposed to be full of space odysseys and travels to far off galaxies, going from here to there with a mere push of a button, cars that levitate?

Instead, it's just another year.

Now, I have to admit, 30 years ago, I couldn't have imagined carrying (and absolutely loving) two small devices, one that holds every song I love and the other, a growing library of books, and a phone, slipped in my pocket, that allows me to call anyone at any time. Those seemed like science fiction dreams.

But really, is there anything new under the sun to look forward to in 2010? I'm not sure. I mean, what else could we possibly want?

It's just another year. For some of us, it'll be business as usual (or trying to find business as usual). Same ol' stuff. For others, 2010 will open new and exciting doors--weddings, births, unexpected opportunities. Well . . . Just like years past. Nothing new under the sun.

Now before you think I'm being a drag, I'm looking forward to this new year. Really. There's a lot of work to be done and plans to be made. There'll be chances to see God work in ways I can't imagine today. There'll be new people to meet and new dreams to see fulfilled.

It's going to be a good year no matter what because God's in it.

So, although I won't be flying off to Saturn any time soon (and I really was hoping for the ability "travel at the push of a button"), I pray for a happy, healthy 2010--for all of us.