Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE!” Philippians 4:4

Paul is telling the church…”Don’t worry, be happy!” Whatever your circumstances are today, I would be willing to bet they probably aren’t as grim as Paul’s were when he wrote his “JOY” letter. He was in prison with nothing and no one but God to depend on. Yet there he was writing to encourage others to live a joyful life in Christ. In verse 6 he tells them, “Do not be anxious about anything…”  Can you imagine never being anxious about anything? That means never worrying about  your children, or your family, bills, relationships, work, and the list just goes on and on. I know that seems impossible doesn’t it? Look at what Paul said next in verse 6; “… but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Turn those worries into prayers! If you want to worry less and live a joyful life then pray more. Whenever you begin to feel anxious and afraid, STOP and PRAY. If you will make a conscious effort to pray instead of worry then you can count on the promise in verse 7. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” One of the sweetest gifts that God gives His children is His peace. God’s peace isn’t found on positive thinking, or the absence of conflict in our lives. It comes from knowing that God is in control! Sure you still have to deal with life, but you can do it with the calm and assurance that only comes from the sweet peace of God. Trust that He will give you the courage and wisdom to face all of life’s obstacles while guarding your heart against anxiety.

Blessed Be The Name of The Lord

We sang at Community Church in Rockingham, NC last night. While I was waiting for the service to begin, I picked up a church bulletin and began to read the Pastor’s Corner. It was so inline with situations in our lives, ministry and our friends lives, that I just wanted to share it with you all. I hope that it will encourage and lift you up as much as it did me. Thank you Pastor Robby Stewart for allowing me to share this with our friends.

Job 1:21

I was reading the first few chapters of Job the other morning and I have to admit, I was somewhat ashamed and embarrassed. The thing that stood out the most to me was the love that Job had for God. I can’t say that I have ever had a day like Job had in the first chapter. We all have had our share of bad days and the loss that some have experienced can be heart wrenching. But I can say, I have never met anyone who lost their whole family, servants and possessions in one day, but what about losing all of these in a matter of seconds? The people of Joplin, Missouri; Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Japan know how it feels. Just imagine, it starts out a sunny day, life is good, you have plans for the evening, supper and other activities, but by the end of the day you have lost your home, your business, maybe even worse, your loved ones. There are people who can identify with Job and definitely sympathize with him. Yet…JOB WORSHIPPED! That had to be the most difficult thing in the world for Job to do. What was it that motivated him? I believe it had to be his love for the Lord. The most sincere love of all. To know that in the midst of disaster and chaos, God is still there and (believe it or not) still cares, takes a faith that has been wrung out of the deepest pores of the soul. I am not saying that everyone can handle this like Job and the people of Joplin, Tuscaloosa and Japan, and not everyone has to. To know that God allowed it, and not caused it, means that His grace will flow over-abundantly toward them and will be sufficient for them. That can excite a “faith that works by love” which in turn, will prompt them to say as Job, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” This does not mean that we love more or less. What it means is that God is wise and in control. In a world where suffering must occur He will not allow anymore on us than we can bare and that His grace will not strengthen. I conclude with this thought. You and I have never experienced anything like Job, the tornado victims of this spring, or even the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but we can still worship and must worship, not because of what He gives or takes away, but simply because of WHO HE IS!

 

Throw the Jonah’s Out of Your Boat

I recently heard a sermon entitled “Getting the Jonahs Out of Your Boat”. The point being that you have to get rid of the people and things in your life that would cause you not to be in right relationship with Christ. This sermon prompted me to evaluate myself and identify the “Jonahs” in my life. I began to think about my friends and relationships. I asked myself about each one. Are they helping me to listen to my Father and obey Him? Are they praying for me, encouraging me and holding up my hands when I can’t do it for myself? Or are they causing me to think about going in the opposite direction from where I know in my heart God wants me to go? Are they always negative, complaining and dissatisfied? I also began to think about the places I go, the things I enjoy doing. Are they edifying to my Lord? What about my attitude, actions and reactions to things? Is God glorified in all that I do? I decided I had some Jonahs I probably needed to get rid of. I won’t bore you with all of them, but the one that hit me the hardest is my time. I’m too busy. Sometimes too busy to talk to a friend who needs me. Too busy to stop and read God’s word. Too busy to sit quietly and allow God to speak to my spirit. Too busy to visit sick and lonely relatives. I’m just TOO BUSY!! I’ve identified my Jonah. I’m not sure how I’ll get him overboard, but the beautiful thing is that I know that God has a way and He and I together can do anything. So…who or what are your Jonah’s? and are you willing to toss him/her or it overboard in order to have the kind of relationship with God that He longs to have with you.