Thursday, November 28, 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Widow and the General

You may remember that I wrote about the prophet Elisha a few weeks ago, telling the story about the widow who was persistent in seeking God's provision in her time of great need. (You can read it here) Today I want to write about an encounter that involved Elisha the prophet and the commanding general of  the armies of Syria.

The widow and the general could not have been more different. The widow was totally destitute after the death of her husband and was facing the loss of her children due to not being able to pay her debts. We never learn her name in the scriptures. Naaman, the general, was in charge of all of the armies of Syria, a mighty man of valor and courage. His resources were almost unlimited, the widow had none. Naaman had direct access to the King of Syria, the widow had no such connections. But what Naaman was about to realize is that he was about to face a situation beyond the reach of all of his power, connections and resources. Naaman had developed leprosy.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

It Never Gets Old . . .

Tennessee vs Arkansas | 1989 | National Championship on the line |

It was my first year living in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Invited to watch this game with some friends. Had to endure 3 1/2 quarters of trash talking, fight song singing, and overall unbearable environment. Until, with 1:47 left in the game, Arkansas up by 2 and simply running out the clock, this happened 

CUE: Video. 

Then, suddenly, I was the only one trash talking, fight song singing, and making life difficult for a room full of Hog fans. What a great day! 

P.S. We went on to win the first BSC College Football National Championship beating Florida State in the Championship game. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Notes To Myself

1) Remember today who I serve. Let today be the day that I will keep my eyes focused on Him. I worship the true God, the great I Am, the God who is not surprised or intimidated by anything that will happen to me today. I worship Almighty God who knows me better than anyone else, loves me more than anyone else, and will never leave me or forsake me for a single moment.

2) Pray Scripture. When I pray back the Word of God I am praying the will of God. Prayer is primarily not for me to submit my requests to God but to refocus my mind, heart and soul in alignment with His desires.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

King Tut


Friday, November 08, 2019

The Power of Praise

The line between hope and despair can become transparently thin in certain seasons of our life. It is easy to cross from one worldview to the other, often within the same conversation or even while praying. In fact, without deliberate intention, our minds can drift from faith to fear in seconds. We are, after all, mortal creatures and though as Christians we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, the question of how much control we give Him is still dependent on our free will.

So what should be our response when we experience those moments of utter darkness and despair? When words fail, our hope has fled and our foundational beliefs laid bare for all to see. What have we built our hope upon? If we have based it on our own abilities and resources then we have built our houses upon sand. This life is not the paradise we long to experience. Heaven is promised but not until we pass from this life.  And by the way, just as goodness cannot always be attributed to God's favor, suffering cannot always be linked directly to our sins. It is the height of foolishness to attribute all of our circumstances to our own decisions. God's thoughts and ways are not my ways and how He chooses to fulfill His will through me is not always something I will understand.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Favorite Christmas Songs

In honor of Christmas trees being displayed in October, here are my Top 10 favorite Christmas songs. Some of these I have loved since childhood, "Christmas Dragnet" for instance, but most of them have found their way into my heart over the last few years. These are the songs that stop me in my tracks and demand my full attention.

1) Amy Grant - Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song) - This song is simply breathtaking in it's ability to transport me back in history.

2) Bing Crosby - Do You Hear What I Hear? - Many different arrangements but this is my favorite of this haunting song.

3) Carpenters - Christmas Song - Has there ever been a purer voice than Karen Carpenter?

4) Emerson, Lake and Palmer - I Believe in Father Christmas - I understand the lyrics and intent of this song, which has been made very clear by its writer, Greg Lake. Greg was so moved by the lack of authenticity in our world, especially during Christmas that he wrote this emotional response to this world's apathy and untruth. Jesus was pretty clear that He would rather we be "hot" or "cold" but He really despised it when we resided in the apathy of the middle ground. That is where we lose our true hope, that is where we have lost our ability to be awed, to be joyful, or moved to anger. When we still have passion, I believe He can still change our hearts.