Saturday, September 17, 2011

Total Trust in Your Master

I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. Psalm 52:8

Tommy lies on his back here asking for a tummy rub, which he loves.  It makes him completely relax, as if he’s in “doggie heaven.” 

But he’s also 100% vulnerable here.  His neck, chest, and stomach are completely exposed and could be attacked, resulting in severe wounds, or even death. Because he trusts us, and knows we love and care for him, that doesn’t even cross his mind. 

Do you trust God?  Most Christians automatically answer “Yes” or “Of course.” But do you really trust Him? Are you willing to do whatever he says, even if it means stepping outside your comfort zone into the unknown?  These questions challenge me, but sometimes God arranges my life to stretch me and make my faith grow.  Can anybody else relate?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Drawing Us Back

We know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us because Christ has poured out His love to us through the Holy Spirit.
Romans 5:3-5

In an instant I was dependent for everything. I was accustomed to being independent and working full-time. Work was intense, so I devoted all my time and energy to it. As a result, I put my relationship with God on the back burner, turning to Him only when I needed something.

Until everything changed.

I had a stroke. I’d always been self-sufficient and it was a real struggle to suddenly need help for 
everything. Dependence, in my eyes, was a weakness and I couldn’t accept this as my reality.

“Why did you let this happen, God?” I cried.

It took time, but I realized sometimes God allows problems and setbacks in our lives for reasons we don’t understand. For me, it was a physical battle. I needed to learn my weakness was in the failure to depend on Christ…my stubbornness to manage alone.

I could question God, ask why He would let this happen, or I could trust Him to do what’s best for me—even when I couldn’t see the purpose. Grappling with why He’d allowed this, yet trusting in His promise to never leave or forsake me was critical to maintain spiritual strength in the midst of life’s trials. He kept His promise and never left me.

These days I pray more, nurturing my relationship with Him. And, though it takes me time to surrender to His ways, His will, and His timing, the process brings me closer to Him. Even if the circumstances don’t change, I do. I relax as His peace enters my life.

Sometimes His purpose is simply to draw me back to Him.

If you’re facing trouble or hardship, call out to Him. He’ll be there.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Tommy was just a few months old here playing Dog Brick, a toy we'd bought to challenge his mind. We were told it would be good for his development. 

His nose told him the treats were there, if he could only figure out how to get them. He had to think of how to get the blocks out of the way.  Once he did, he could slide the cover over and voila! The treat was his for the taking.   

I find the same situation in my own life.  There are some things I know I'd enjoy if I could just get rid of the obstacles in the way.  It may be a closer relationship with God, or a greater sense of purpose. Whatever it is, I have to determine what's in my way, then figure out how to either move it, go around it, or get rid of it. 

It may be easier said than done. But, if I really want it, I'll persevere until I get it--no matter what it takes. Like Tommy, I'll get all the blocks out of the way and the end result. And the process could just be good for my development.

Can you relate? Is there anything you’d like in your life, but there are obstacles in the way that you can eliminate or get around to reach your goal? Could the process be worth it?  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Challenging Our Perspective About God and Life

Yesterday I found a bookmark. What I read on it made me think. The author isn't listed so I'm not sure who to credit, but I think it may give you pause too.

I Asked God

I asked God for strength, 
that I  might achieve.
I was made weak, 
that I might learn to obey.

I asked God for health,
that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity,
that I might do better things.

I asked God for riches,
that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, 
that I might be wise.

I asked God for power,
that I might have approval.
I was given weakness,
that I might feel the need for God.

I asked for all things,
that I might enjoy life.
I was given life,
that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing I asked God for,
but everything I hoped for.
I am among all people,
most richly blessed.

What  do you think of these words?  How does this strike you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Don't forget to join the conversation.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Book Review:  Lost in Dreams by Roger Bruner

As she returns home from a missions trip, Kim faces a life-changing event that will affect her relationships with family and close friends for years to come.  She tries, unsuccessfully, to hide her perceived guilt for what has happened, isolating herself from even her best friends who would best support her.

Shortly after returning home, Kim goes on another mission trip to work in a prison ministry.  God has some surprising lessons for her there about His forgiveness regardless of one’s past through people she gets to know.   

How will Kim resolve her guilt feelings that affect her spiritual and social life, and thus her experience with the team in the prison ministry?  Will she ever be able to trust anyone enough to tell them the truth and restore her relationships with God, her father, and her friends?

In this story, aimed at a teenage audience, Bruner tells this story in a way that draws the reader in as each character is introduced and developed.  We get a good picture of who they are and why they relate to each other the way they do.  Bruner keeps the reader’s interest by adding twists and turns that compel you to read further in order to see how the plot and subplots will play out.

Other than the last few pages of the epilogue, Lost in Dreams is a good read and I would recommend it for the teenagers in your life.