Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

God is Amazing

It is amazing what God can do if we will let him. God is not going to force us into anything. Love doesn't do that. But, if we will let God be God and allow him to have his way with us God will do amazing things.

I have seen God do what seemed to be impossible. I have experienced God's power in my life when I was at my weakest. God is amazing.

I was thinking to day about how often we forget how good God is. We come up against problems and difficulties and instead of remembering that God is amazing and can do what seems impossible to us and that God has done it in the past for us, we get overwhelmed by the problem.

It is helpful to remember what God has done. It is helpful to remind ourselves that God has gotten us through the "impossible" before. God has always been there in the past and he will be there again. God is amazing.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

1 Corinthians 13:4-6

There was an old Saturday Night Live skit that had a family that all that they did was complain and moan about everything. They were the "Whiner family." The skits where just short skits of the family complaining about other people and about whatever situation that they were in and these short skits illustrated just how hard it was to be around people like this for even a short period of time. They whined and complained about everything. The comedy was that we all could identify with people like Doug and Wendy Whiner. We know people like this who are constant complainers. We know how miserable it is to be around people who are constantly wining that things are not just the way that they want them to be.

It stops being funny when it drags out for too long. A short skit can make us laugh but when we are around people like this all the time it drains the joy and life out of us. It stops being funny when we recognize that we have a striking resemblance to the Whiner family. It stops being funny when we see that we are the complainer and whiner in the room. I am sorry to say it but there are times that I find myself complaining and I cringe because I don't think God wants me to complain and whine. I really have no reason to whine and complain and I don't like the way that I feel when I get that way. It is time wasted and it is unproductive. It is time that I am unloving. Love does not complain about others or pick at others. Love does not whine.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Maybe you want to read that again. Love is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrong. If we stop thinking about what is in it for us. I think we complain less. If we are slow to anger. I think we will whine less. If we stop keeping record of wrongs than I think we will see there there is no place for complaining and whining.

Are you keeping a record that is causing you to be angry and bitter? Are you only thinking of yourself and not thinking about others? Are you spending your days complaining about others and what you don't like that is going on or are you spending them loving?

I thank God that he is a forgiving God and that he is a God of transformation. He transforms us whiners into children of God with a heart like his.

Try not to whine today it will not get you anywhere.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug


Friday, July 9, 2010

Walking with Jesus

The distance from New York City, New York to Los Angeles, California is approximately 2443 miles. If you were able to walk non-stop, day and night, at a pace of 3 miles per hour it would take you about 68 days to walk that distance. It would take over three months of non-stop walking to travel across the United States. If you stop to rest and take time to sleep and eat it would take you twice as much time. You would still walk every day at a pace of 3 miles an hour but you would sleep each night and take time to eat. 140 days.

If you only walked one day a week all day and night, but just one day a week, it would take you 476 days to make the trip. A three month walk becomes a year and four months walk. Only devoting one day a week to the walk makes the walk take a lot more time. Thank about this, if you wanted to make this journey but all you did was walk for one hour a week it would take almost 16 years.

If we could be devoted and committed to constantly pursuing the destination we could get there in 68 short days but if we just give it a small commitment of just an hour week the walk takes close to two decades. 68 days becomes 16 years.

We would never do this with our walk with Jesus would we?

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Thursday, July 8, 2010

God is watching

I can remember as a kid being told "God is watching you" and thinking that meant he was watching and waiting for my mistakes and when I made a mistake he was going to punish me for what I did so, i better be careful about what I did. I realize today that this is a warped understanding of God however, it is not an uncommon view of God. Too often people see God as this guy in the sky watching us and taking note of all the bad things we do. Sort of making a naughty and nice list. He will bless us when we are good and punish us when we are bad. This is not the God that I have come to know and experience in my life.

I have discovered that God is watching me but it is not in a way to grade my every step and decide whether I should be punished or not. God is watching me, and you, like I look at my children when they are asleep. Sometimes I will just look at them and be overcome with how much I love them. I am amazed at there beauty and their character. I am overwhelmed with a deep since of love for my child as I just gaze at them. My heart swells as I look at them and I cant believe that it is even possible to love another the way that I love them. I am overcome with gratitude and thankfulness that they are my children.

When God looks upon you, and he is at this very moment, he looks on you with eyes of love not eyes of condemnation. God is watching you right now because he loves you. God is watching you not to score your behavior but because you are his child and he is watching over you and out for you. Right now, the God of the universe, the one whose hands formed the mountains and placed the stars in the sky, is looking at you with because he is so in love with you. You are his child and he loves to just watch you sleep. He delights in you.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hold Please

As I type this I am setting on hold with the airline. I am waiting to talk to someone and there is music playing. Occasionally a prerecorded voice comes on and tells me how busy they are and that I should continue to wait. "Hold please."

Although the ability to multi-task in a situation like this one is good, as I listen to this music it gets me thanking about how at times we feel like God puts us on hold. We pray and it seems that our prayers are not getting through. We pray and it seems like we have been put on hold. It tries our patience and our self-control much like being on hold when we make a call. We want instant gratification and service. We want the answer yesterday. We want God to act and we want God to act now. Sometimes the answer to our prayer is wait. What we really need is to be more patient and persistent in prayer. What we really need is to trust that God gives us what we need for today and tomorrow God will give us what we truly need for that day. Maybe what we need is delayed gratification. Maybe what we need is not at all what we think we need and if we wait on the Lord we will see what our true need is. Yes. No. Wait. These are the answers we receive to our prayers and waiting, as my friend Dave Goes once told me, is the hardest.

God does not put us on hold. When we pray he hears. We connect directly to God, there is no waiting for the next available time that God can get us. God always hears us. And God always answers. "They who wait on the Lord renew there strength," writes the Psalmist. In the waiting we are renewed. In the waiting we can gain strength, patience and self-control. Waiting on the Lord gives us deeper faith and trust in God.

In your prayers don't get discouraged or lose heart. Wait on the Lord. Pray everything through trusting that God is providing you with what you need in this moment. Wait on the Lord. Pray with confidence that God has not placed you on hold but is hearing your cry and is in his time bringing what is needed, when and how it is needed. Wait on the Lord. Keep praying.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Working Title

Pastor Paul and I have a working title for our book. "Not Alone. The desire of God's heart to connect the unconnected."

You and I are not meant to be alone. We are created for one another. The desire of God's heart is that we would never feel the hurt of loneliness and depression. The desire of God's heart is that we would always have friends to laugh with, cry with, and to share our lives with. The desire of God's heart is to connect us to him and to one another.

We are never alone. God is always with us. No matter what you are going through right now you are not alone.
Love today,

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug