Stand or Cower

I don’t know about you but I am getting sick and tired of all the ungodly things that are going on in our country today. I’m amazed at how far we have drifted from our humble beginning where the folks feared God and based most of their decisions on His Word. The majority of our citizens once upon a time valued human life, had great respect for  our flag, our military, our country and yes, even our president. But things have changed and I must say certainly for the worse. Our country is almost unrecognizable to me.

I try very hard not to get too hung up on the politics of our day but they have evolved into an all out war between the two major groups. The liberals on the far left seem to espouse a deep hatred for anyone who does not agree with them and I tell you folks, it is taking a tremendous toll on our homes and our churches. Jesus told His disciples that there was coming a time that when He was no longer with them that the world would hate them just like they hated Him. The disciples certainly found out how true that was and all of them were martyred in some fashion. And it looks like it’s our time now. We as christians have enjoyed many years of freedom from persecution in our country but that is fast coming to an end. Christians are suffering tremendous persecution in many other countries as we speak and that is where we are headed. God help us!

The real question is how are we going to react to all of this. We are aware that we have a responsibility to honor and yes, even obey those in authority over us. However, there is an exception that we must consider. Demands, statutes, laws, etc. that are in direct contradiction to God’s commands as He has declared in His Word carries no weight for the christian. Now we must certainly be careful to not use this as a means to not comply with those things that are not opposed to God’s Word. We still must render to Caesar what belongs to him. But when the time comes that we are asked or directed to comply with something that God does not approve of, what will our reaction be. Will we stand firm on God’s Word or will we cower in fear?

I plan to spend the next few weeks discussing some of the very issues that are beginning to affect us as christians. Issues where there is no doubt they are in total opposition to His Word. I hope to cover these in some detail and some of it will be hard-hitting. It is not my intention to offend anyone but I plan to tell it like I think it is. And I will back up the things I say with God’s Word. And if you disagree with anything I write, I would hope  you would take time to express that by commenting on the post.

I pray that God will richly bless each of you.

My Fathers!

The idea of having a day set aside to honor fathers was first expressed in the early 1900’s. There are actually two stories that are considered when one attempts to assign credit to someone for the idea. One story comes from the state of Washington where a young girl made the suggestion to honor her father because of his willingness to raise his six children after his wife died giving birth to number six. The other comes from the state of West Virginia where, once again, a young lady suggested a day be set aside to honor fathers after a tragic mine explosion claimed the lives of 361 men. Although the idea was supported by communities all over the country for many years, it wasn’t untill 1972, during the Nixon administration, that Father’s Day was officially recognized as a national holiday. And the third Sunday in June has been celebrated as Father’s Day in our country since that time.

Father’s Day holds a special place in my heart because of the influence my “daddy” had on my life. Although I lost him almost fifty years ago, while he was in the prime of his life, the impact he had on my life remains to be one of the biggest reasons I am the person I am today. I am not referring to any impact that his education, his secular job, his special talents, his support of my endeavors, his love for life had on me and my siblings. And I’m certainly not referring to his wealth because, although we were not poor, we did not have a lot of material things in any abundance. But what I am referring to is his faith and his devotion to God. Daddy was saved in a revival meeting as a young teenager and a very short time later knew God was calling him to preach His word. And that is just what he did. From as far back as I can remember He was always following God’s will for his life as he and my mother raised us kids. He taught us from God’s word at our “family altar” times which were almost every night and certainly every time we made our way to church on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s. He taught me every time I heard him praying and talking to God, on his knees, by his bed, at all times during the day or night. He preached every day of the week just by the way he lived his life. He truly lived out what he believed. In almost fifty years of him not be present here on earth, I have never heard anyone speak an unkind word about him. Those who knew him will tell you that he also had a great impact on their lives and that they were a better person because of his influence. So, if any man ever deserved to have a day set aside to honor him it would be my daddy. And as far as I’m concerned, that would be every day.

With all of that said, there is another Father, a greater Father than my daddy, that I want to honor. God the Father, creator of all things, provider of all things, sustainer of all things, the One Who, through His only Son, Jesus, made a way for me to be reconciled to Himself. He deserves all the honor, every day, every hour, every minute, and yes, every second of our lives because of Who He is.

So, in conclusion, thank you God the Father for giving me the greatest earthly father that a man could ever have. Thank you for the time I had with my daddy here on earth and thank you for the promise that I will spend eternity with You and him when my time here on earth is complete!

Happy Father’s Day! 

Taught By A Teen

Sometimes the life’s lessons that come our way are brought to us through ways that are totally unexpected and sometimes even unorthodox. Many times these lessons come from personal experiences that can either be a failure we’ve had or even a success we’ve enjoyed. But very often they come through other people who have led the way in areas that we have little experience or knowledge and we benefit from the fact that we personally know them and respect them. In virtually every case these people are older than we are, or, at the very least, very close to us in age. Seldom do they come from those who are younger, especially someone in their teens, but this very week I have experienced this in a tremendous way.

One of my sweet granddaughters has recently experienced several disappointments in her life and for a 15-year-old the impact of the events has been a great burden to bear. But I’m here to tell you that she has learned so much more than me when I was that age and certainly knows who to put her trust in during the time of trouble. She recently wrote a short article of her experiences and her reaction to those events without revealing details of the experience or naming those involved. When I read it (with tears streaming down my face) I realized that what I was reading could not have been better iterated by someone of many years or someone of greater knowledge. I was reading something from the heart, totally transparent, and when I finished her story it was obvious that I had been the target of another one of life’s lessons that I so desperately needed. And I had been taught by a young teenager.

With her permission I have included her article in the paragraphs below. I think it will have the same impact on you as it did me and you will be better for it.


Joy Comes in the Morning

Let me start by saying that a hurt heart sucks. Now that I’ve said that, there is so much that I want to share. I have always told my friends that through trials and hardships, they should keep their eyes fixed on what is good and on the One who brings the good in-spite of the rough times. At the moment, I’m having to listen to myself. I’ve recently been faced with a situation that, although I’ll grow through, is changing my normal. During this time I have the chance to bash people, trash someone’s name, exclude myself and shut myself out. Lock myself in my room and never come out. Totally take on life right now, all. by. myself. I have the opportunity to cause chaos, to ruin someone else and in return, doing so to myself. I have every earthly reason to make my family go ballistic and wreck myself, but I have every heavenly reason to take my broken pieces, to carry my burdens and troubles to the altar. I can bring them and leave them at my sweet Jesus’ feet, and that indeed is what I’ve decided to do. Psalm 147:3, “He heals the broken-hearted, and bandages their wounds.” I say all of this to get to this point; no matter how much your heart hurts and how rough something may be, our God is one of comfort and relief, and He certainly does not mind you running to His arms and crying on Him.

I just ask that the next time you get hurt, you run to Jesus. Earthly temptations sink in to talk bad, to think hateful and cruel things, to wish someone/something anything but happiness and prosperity and they sure are hard to turn away from. But I want to tell you, life is too good, life is too short, this problem is too meaningless to forget who you are in Jesus. We have a soul purpose to live like Jesus. WE win people for Jesus, that is our calling, and we certainly cannot do so if we are throwing pity parties for ourselves and seeking vengeance on others.We can’t live in the world and in the word at the same time. So much good will come your way by running to Jesus.

As I was sitting there in my thoughts, thoughts of awful things I could do, I looked up. I looked up and my eyes met a little wooden decoration in my living room. This piece read “Joy Comes in the Morning”, simply meaning, the pain now cannot compare to the joy coming. I have probably read this sign over and over a million times, but this time it meant something more than the verse in “Your Love Never Fails” by the Newsboys. A wave of relief washed over me.

I realized it’s going to hurt now, but there will be so much more coming my way than the simple, still life I’ve lived. Our God is so gracious to comfort us, wrap us in his warm embrace and remind us of His unfailing love. So the next time your heart hurts, the next time life changes, run to God and as my momma says, “Handle it with grace.” Because sweet JOY comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5, Matthew 11:28-30, Romans 8:18, Isaiah 43:18, Psalm 46:1


Isn’t it amazing how God uses people, especially those we love, to continue to grow us to be more like Him. Thank you Lord and thank you Emily for a well taught lesson for PapaDave.

 

 

 

Total Trust?

Recently I was asked a very interesting question and one that probably all of us have asked ourselves at some point along the way in our walk with Christ. It is really a simple question that should demand a simple answer but as I considered it I realized that one must be very careful as to how they answer. Especially if we are honest with ourselves. The question was this: “Do you totally trust the Lord in all things and with all things?” Now keep in mind that the question was asked with the assumption that I had at some point in my life come to an understanding that I was a sinner in need of a Savior, repented and put my faith and trust in Him. So the question was not one of concern about my relationship with the Lord but was directed at someone who is already a true believer and follower of Christ.

I must admit that when the question was posed to me, my first thought was simply “Well of course I do!” and I was just about to voice it. But before I could say anything I realized that was not true and that I was full of self-righteousness to even think that. Yes, I have certainly put my faith and trust in Him and that brought about a change in my life. And yes, I look to what He did at the cross and the price He paid for my sin. And yes, my desire is to follow Him and I attempt to do just that. But in all reality I can’t say that I totally trust Him in all things and with all thins. So, if had voiced my first thoughts, they would have been full of pride.

The truth is that there are so many times that I think I can handle the situation on my own and I can fix the problem. I don’t even consider His involvement in any way and go about doing it my own way. Sometimes, He allows me to be successful in my effort and the result is a deeper sense of pride. But I really believe He is just setting me up for some future failure in order to teach me or remind me to trust Him. So, as I thought more about the question I carefully chose my words before I responded. “I’m not quite there” I said “and I don’t think I can ever get there.” What I meant with those words was this. Like Paul, the battle between my flesh and the Spirit is a daily thing and will probably be that way until He calls me home. That, of course, is not an excuse to give up and let my flesh rule but my desire should be to trust Him more and my efforts should match that desire. This is called spiritual growth and I’m not close to maturity yet. I need to be constantly reminded of this truth: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

And that folks, is the rest of the story. Good day.