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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Footprints In The Sand

Sometimes when I go to the gym or go walking I have to push myself to stay the course and not cut my
workout short. One day last week I was really tempted to turn around and go back home. The weather was humid and my legs felt unwilling to cooperate, but I persevered and eventually my muscles loosened up and I completed my exercise comfortably.

There will be other days like that one, just as in life there are days when we just feel like giving up. Our job, marriage, ministry, life in general may seem frustrating or even difficult at times, and we may think, why bother? But know this: wherever you are now it's God's will for your life. He has given you that husband/wife, those children, that position, and He has equipped you to carry out that task. So, don't give up! Persevere, fight the good fight of faith. You know what they say about the grass being greener on the other side. It only appears to be greener.

The apostle Paul knew what it was to become discouraged. He'd been beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked and suffered all kinds of hardship for the sake of the gospel, but yet he persisted and left a wonderful legacy for the church. He wrote,  "And let us not be weary in well doing : for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6: 9). 

Sometimes I'm tempted to give up this blog. It takes time, even though I only post weekly, and I don't earn a penny from it. Working on my novel devours even more time. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever be worth the trouble, but when I consider that the apostle Paul did most of his writing in a jail cell - dark, cold, wet and crawling with all kinds of unwelcome visitors - I have no reason to complain, or to give up. Besides, I know that  "every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14 : 12).

Are you weary, feel like giving up? God never gives up on us. Ever read the poem Footprints In The Sand? If you haven't, you can read it here.

And here's a video to bless you further.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Satan Just Fired An Imp

As I looked at the extensive coverage of the massacre at the AME church in Charleston, SC a few days
ago, I couldn't help thinking that Satan must be furious. Not that the gunman was so easily caught - Satan couldn't care less - but about what ensued after the killing.

The Bible tells us that Satan uses people to carry out his plans, so the way I see it, he assigned an imp to influence the twenty-one-year-old white man to carry out the massacre. He did it, but failed miserably in what he hoped to achieve. According to Dylann Roof, his goal was to see the races separated. He wanted us to return to the days of segregation. And that's Satan's goal. He is all for division. He hates to see people, especially Christians, united. He divides families, friends, relatives, even nations. But instead of division, we saw on television people of all races and backgrounds hugging each other and mourning the senseless murder of the saints. This tragedy has brought unity in a way that has even crossed political lines.

But unity is not all that has been achieved. Every television reporter commented on the incredible display of Christian love and forgiveness expressed by the victims' families. One lady said, "Jesus forgives you, and I forgive you." Another one held up a sign that read, "Your evil doing did not break our community. You made us stronger,"  and one pastor said that this tragedy should strengthen our faith and bring us closer to God. Even businesses are showing their solidarity and pouring money into the city of Charleston. 

People are asking the question, "Why didn't someone take the gunman down?" Why was he given time to reload and kill nine people? One day we may know the answer, but I believe those people were martyred, not just because they were black, but also for their faith. They have joined the distinguished ranks of  early Christians who willingly surrendered their lives for their love of Jesus.

So now Satan is scratching his head, wondering how he could have underestimated the strength and resilience of God's people. I believe that scoffers and mockers will see Christians in a different light after this, and even though they may not know the words, they will realize that "the gates of hell cannot prevail against it (the church) (Matthew 16: 18).

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Those Lazy Hazy Days Of Summer

Portrait of Nat King Cole, New York, N.Y.
Portrait of Nat King Cole, New York, N.Y. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Those of you who are old enough may recall a song by Nat Cole that went something like this: Roll out those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer ... For many of us, our summer may be anything but lazy. Even though the kids are out of school, we may pack so many activities into our schedule that we have very little time to rest.

Occasionally, on Sundays after church, I stop off at the supermarket to pick up something I'd forgotten. Today was one of those days. I was surprised at how crowded the place was. When I was growing up, Saturday was shopping day. Oh, I know things have changed. People work on Saturdays and even on Sundays, in some cases. Which brings me to the topic of rest. 

Seventh Day Adventists observe Saturday as the Sabbath, and they do nothing except go to church on that day. This is according to the third commandment which God gave to Moses in which He said, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" (Exodus 20: 8).We Christians who worship on Sunday very rarely observe a day of rest. No wonder we are so tired. No wonder we contract so many colds and other illnesses. Our immune system has difficulty keeping up with the burden we place on it. Even our children are tired.

We need to make physical rest a priority. Rest has several benefits, not just to our bodies but to our minds.  Our muscles and organs get a chance to recover from the stress we place on them, our minds are refreshed and can process thoughts better. But there is an added benefit. As Christians, rest can give us a chance to commune with God. When was the last time you sat somewhere in your backyard, gazed up at the heavens and wondered at the magnificence of the One who created them? I believe David did that a lot. Here's what he says in Psalm 19:1 -  The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Make time for rest this summer. Lie on the grass in your backyard and contemplate the glory and majesty and splendor of our God. Your physical, mental and spiritual health will thank you for it.