LONELINESS!

LONELINESS! Is it possible to be surrounded by people and yet experience a feeling of loneliness? Yes, indeed it is. It is possible to be in a crowd and feel like a duck out of water wondering where the other ducks are. It is possible to be in a hospital with all kinds of hospital personnel passing through the room and by the open door and still be lonely. It is possible to attend a church service and leave the building and yet feel the pangs of loneliness. It is possible to be a handicapped person residing at home and yet not see or talk to another person for days and feel very lonely. A Christian may be faced with all the things mentioned above and sink to the depths of despair and lonelin

FILLED WITH JOY!

FILLED WITH JOY! Is it possible to be filled with joy? I mean joy that is so powerful that it takes your breath away and leaves you speechless? What do you think it would take to produce joy like that? Would that joy come with a new car, a new home, a new child added to the family? Would it come with a bulging bank account or hefty retirement plan? How about a promotion in the workplace or at long last a great retirement? What will it take to fill you with joy or for that matter is that kind of joy even possible? Jesus is the answer to the kind of joy that even the world can’t produce no matter how great things may seem in terms of human circumstances. This joy is possible for anyone who has

HUMILITY!

HUMILITY! One of the most humble people I have ever met was my biblical Greek language teacher whom I met in my first year of college. I was twenty-eight years old, married, the father of two children, a military veteran, working full time and in hind sight really dumb for taking Greek under those conditions. I probably would have done better a little later in my college career. English was hard enough but Greek! But God was gracious because my Greek professor was one of the most knowledgeable men I have ever known concerning the biblical text and the Greek language. He was very gracious and very humble and a great teacher. How he managed to put up with me I don’t know but somehow I did lear

HOSPITALITY!

HOSPITALITY! When we read the New Testament the word “hospitality” takes on the definition meaning “a love of strangers.” It is a virtue that every God-follower should incorporate into their lives by demonstrating generosity and kindness to those in need without grumbling and with humility and grace. The Apostle Peter said, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in various forms,” (1 Peter 4:9-10 NIV). None of us will make it through this life without needing to experience the hospitality of others and certainly we as Christians should be the model of what hospitality mea

FRUITFULNESS!

FRUITFULNESS! One of the biggest fears of older people is that they are no longer of any use to anyone. In fact many worry about being a burden to other people. For the most part the older people I know, especially the older Christian people, want to be fruitful in life and bring blessings to other people. This lines up well with what the Psalmist said, “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him,’” (Psalm 92:12-15 NIV). Ye

FAITH OR SIGHT?

FAITH OR SIGHT? How do you live your daily life? I did not ask, “How do you say you live your daily life?” I asked, “How DO you live your daily life?” God’s Word says that the Christian should be walking or living by faith, “We live by faith, not by sight,” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV). What would be God’s definition of “faith”? The writer of the book of Hebrews shared this definition, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). “Hope” for most people carries an air of uncertainty. They may want it to happen but in the reality of their own mind it may or may not happen. The faith that God gives us through His promises in His Word concernin

HOUSE OR HOME?

HOUSE OR HOME? There is a real difference between a house and a home. A house may be defined as a building where people live or meet for an activity. The term can even be applied to a structure for animals; such as a “dog house.” Sometimes it may be called a residence or dwelling. But a home carries with it a more intimate meaning. It suggests a place where a person has taken a building or even a part of a building and converted it into a space reflecting the people residing there. Home is like a sanctuary reflecting the values and beliefs of the people residing there. A house may be glorious in structure on the outside and decorated with the finest furnishings on the inside and yet not rea

CORRECTION?

CORRECTION? We all learn early in life the concept of correction or at least we should. As children correction is necessary in order to keep us from danger and also to help us learn how to do basic things in this world. I do notice though that some children don’t like to be corrected so they continue in behavior that may be harmful to them or to others. When that happens discipline is often necessary and it can be painful to everyone involved. I think most adults do not like correction or discipline either. When we become a child of God we come under the guidance of the Holy Spirit both through His indwelling and through our study of the Word of God. It does not take long in the Christian fa

CONTENTMENT!

CONTENTMENT! What does it take in life to be content? Socrates said, “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” We see that played out in life very often. Some anonymous person said, “Contentment is an attitude that says, ‘I will be satisfied with what God has given me.’” That works but most people haven’t arrived at that point in life. It seems the world we live in today promotes discontentment in order to sell us contentment and many politicians thrive on the anxieties of society so that they can change the political order by promising to bring contentment to everyone. As Christians we should be contented people whatever our lot in l

COMFORT AND TRIALS!

THE PROMISE OF COMFORT IN THE MIDDLE OF TRIALS! All of us will experience troubles and trials and often these come because of our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul probably understood this as well as anyone who ever lived. Paul discusses trails and the comfort offered or promised by God in 2 Corinthians 2:1-11. In these verses God is called “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles,” (v.3-4 NIV). Sometimes we forget that we are not the only person undergoing trials and sometimes we forget that God is in our trial with us and offers comfort to us if only we rely on Him. Sometimes we bring trouble on ourselves, sometimes o

CHILDREN AND JESUS!

CHILDREN AND JESUS! Jesus’ disciples had much to learn about Jesus and His love for children. Our generation has much to learn concerning that topic as well. “People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them,” (Mark 10:13-16 NIV). If anyone ever doubts what God thinks about an unbo

GENEROSITY!

GENEROSITY! God is a generous and loving God and He teaches His followers to live in the same manner. This promise from God gives us plenty to reflect on for this day, “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses,” (Proverbs 28:27 NIV). Poor has been defined as “lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society.” Another definition is that poor is “worse than is usual, expected or desirable; of a low or inferior standard or quality.” In America the definition seems to be that a person is considered poor if they live below the government’s defined “poverty line.” Let me suggest that if you

PROMISES!

PROMISES! Someone has defined a promise as “a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen.” Very often promises are made and then broken. Perhaps all of us are guilty of that and almost certainly all of us have had promises made to us only to see them broken. With broken promises often comes disappointment and very often guilt on the part of the offender. There is however one person in the universe who has never broken a promise and that person is God. What God says He will do He does. We will never experience a broken promise from God. God’s Word, the Bible, is full of promises God has made to us. It will be well to take a few days and

WALKING THE WIRE!

WALKING THE WIRE! It seems at times we walk through life on a high wire with a long pole in our hands attempting to keep our balance so that we don’t fall to sudden disaster. There is the sky above, the ground way below, the winds are blowing, rain begins to fall, and would you know it, there are people behind us shaking the wire. Life can be like that sometimes as all the pressures of life press in on us; people, finances, uncontrollable situations, health, work; the list of pressures seem endless. As humans it is easy to have sympathy for those who face the “high wire” without a safety net or divine friend to help them through the turmoil of life. As Christians we know, “whom (we) have bel

GOT YOUR EARS ON?

GOT YOUR EARS ON? My ability to hear has decreased over the years and finally everyone in my family was irritated by my requests for them to repeat themselves. Some handled that nicely some not so nice. My friends were kind and never complained. My wife and I had some interesting conversations because of my misunderstandings of what she said. If you have ever been in my situation you will understand. Finally I broke down and put out the money for new ears. Now I am just broke but I have really good hearing with my new hearing aids. It is fun now because people are never sure when I am wearing my new aids so they have to watch what they are saying about me when I am around. I have to admit I

COFFEE!

COFFEE! Almost the first thing I do in the morning is head for the kitchen and make myself a cup of coffee. So I asked myself today if I could start my day without a cup of coffee. And the answer is yes but I do enjoy my coffee while I read, write and meditate on God’s Word. And that started me thinking about other habits I have and for sure I have many. Some are good and some probably irritate the people I live and work with but of course those are not done on purpose to irritate them. And I find as I get older that habits of any kind are hard to break. As I look back over life I am glad I developed certain habits early in life because they have helped me to lead a better life in my relatio

MEDITATION!

MEDITATION! Some of the things I like about being an early riser (on most days) are the quietness of the moment, the sounds in the house that are quite distinct at this time but not so audible later in the day, the sounds and sights of nature that surround me, and the quiet time with God and His Word. There is time to read undisturbed and actually think about what God is saying to me personally and meditate on the implications of that as it relates to me and the world I live in. I wish I could say I receive profound thoughts that are life-changing for me and others I share with but I know I am a simple person and God deals with me in that manner. I am happy if God just reveals to me one thou

BEYOND THE CURTAINS!

BEYOND THE CURTAINS! Before my wife retired, her last job was as the Assistant Property Manager for a very high-end property development in Northern Florida on the Gulf Coast. Sometimes I would help the company in various tasks including some times as a security officer. Almost all these homes, which included multi-million dollar homes, owned by many politicians, athletes, entertainers, doctors and lawyers, had walls around them. As I drove around the development I could not help but wonder what was beyond the curtains. What was inside the home? I had watched as many of these homes were being constructed but now what was the inside really like? I knew how some of the people themselves looked

WHAT IS GOD GOING TO DO TODAY IN MY LIFE?

WHAT IS GOD GOING TO DO TODAY IN MY LIFE? Isn’t that a great question? I know God is going to love me and show me His mercy and grace and all those other things we take for granted in just having a personal relationship with God. As Christians there are just certain things we know about God’s work in our lives and those are things we depend on in our ongoing relationship with God. But what is God going to DO in my life today? Part of the excitement of living in a personal relationship with God is the fact that we do not know totally what God is going to do in our life today. There is always the unexpected event, the unexpected personal interaction, the joy, the sorrow, the blessing, the fail

COMPASSION?

COMPASSION? We have a great and compassionate God after which to model ourselves. The Psalmist said, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love: according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions,” (Psalm 51:1 NIV). Thank God He does just that. “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,” (Psalm 86:15 NIV). The Psalmist knew what he was talking about. Don’t we as Christians experience God’s love and faithfulness on a regular basis? “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him,” (Psalm 103:13 NIV). As Christians we experience that over and over. So that we d

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