Monday, September 28, 2009

Shattered Dreams by JoAnn Lampe

Broken childhood - Broken hearts - Broken relationship
-----------------Fractured families-----------------
Drug abuse – violence – murder – mayhem –
Lost jobs – lost homes – lost lives

---------Shattered dreams----------

Name above all names
Saviour, Redeemer,
Healer, provider

Poverty, humble beginning, “different”,
Unknown, day laborer,
Listening & waiting
Listening & waiting
Listening & waiting
Broken body – death – life

Name above all names,
Beautiful Saviour – Glorious LORD
Emmanuel – God is with us –
Blessed Redeemer – Living Word –

New life created from shattered dreams
Broken pieces placed just so
A varied hue of colors
The light of Jesus shining through
A beautiful mosaic
He makes for you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Hardest Part is the Waiting by Emily Carter

I wrote this article on Monday, August 31 knowing that I would be taking my four-year-old daughter to the eye doctor two days later. On Wednesday, the doctor told us that our four year old has an abnormal pupil, something that 20 percent of the population has, and that it was most likely nothing to worry about. However, since we had just noticed that one pupil is larger than the other is, he wanted her to have an MRI just to make sure everything was what it should be. As I send this to the editors, we are waiting for the MRI to take place on September 9th. You will receive this blog on the 13th, while we are waiting on the results and follow-up appointment that is to take place on Friday, the 18th. Waiting is hard. Today, if you find yourself like I do, in a season of stillness, WAIT on God.

W – Wait in Wonder and Commit Your Way to Him.
A – Abstain from Anger
I – Prepare for Your Inheritance
T – Trust God and Talk to Him

Wait in Wonder and Commit Your Way to Him. Psalm 34:4-5 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.” Wait in wonder, delight in God. Think of all that he has done for you personally and for his creation and marvel at his handiwork. This will be a time of praise that will move your focus off yourself and onto the Father. He loves you dearly and you are his glorious creation. You are his prized possession. Commit Your Way to him. Lift up your situation to him. Let him know you want to do things his way. His will is what you want to be accomplished in your life. Nothing but his perfect and pleasing plan will do for you.

Abstain from Anger. Psalm 34:8 gives us great advice. As you wait, don’t get angry or fret. This is hard to do, especially when we have been waiting for something important for a long time already. Remember, the longer you wait, the more time you have to prepare for his plan. And the more time you have to become the person God wants you to be.

Prepare for your Inheritance. Six different times is Psalm 34 the word “inherit” or “inheritance” is used. Wow! We are told, in verse 9, to hope in the LORD. In verse 11, we are told that the meek will inherit the land and in verse 18 that the inheritance of the blameless will last forever. “Those the LORD blesses will inherit the land” can be found in Psalm 34:22. In verse 29, it is the righteous that inherit the land, and finally, in verse 34 we are encouraged to “wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land.”

Lastly, Trust God and Talk to the Lord. The Hebrew word used for “trust” in Psalm 34:3 denotes a confident expectation. Believe that, as you wait, God is at work. He is preparing you for his plan. He is working out all things for your good. As you trust him, talk to him. Psalm 34:30 says, “The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom and his tongue speaks what is just.” The only way we will be able to speak the right words is by spending time studying God’s word and talking to him.

Waiting is never easy, but the desires that God has for your life are well worth the wait!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gold Nuggets by Ann Wayne

I love to shop. In fact, I am good at it. What I mean is that I know how to find bargains. You see, it’s not really when you are looking for something specific that you find them. Browsing in a store, walking by clearance tables or sidewalk sales, and being aware of the goods around you are the best time to find them. And out of season. Never buy in season unless you absolutely have to.

A good example is the rug at my cabin in the mountains. I looked at it for a year at Lowe’s Home Store before purchasing it. It was originally $325. Then months later, it was marked down to $225. Then one day I went by for some hardware and happened to walk by the rugs and it was missing. That’s when I discovered it lying on the floor rolled up in a bag. A price of $175 was marked in red on the sticker. After talking with the manager, she agreed to let it go for $125. Wow! I actually purchased the rug at 60% off. If we have the patience, we can find gold nuggets most anywhere.

In Matthew 7:7 and Luke 11:9, we are instructed to “ask and it will be given to us; seek and we will find; knock and the door will be opened to us.” It’s really a simple test of faith. A 1-2-3 kind of faith. But the answers are before us. (1) Ask and we receive, (2) seek and we find, (3) knock and the door is opened. This is how we find our gold nuggets in our spiritual walk and answers to life issues.

The Lord desires a close relationship with us. He wants us to ask Him for the desires of our hearts. And His word proclaims that he will give it to us. In Psalm 37:4, we are to "Delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart." The scriptures say that if we commit to Him and trust in Him, he will make our righteousness shine, and if we are patient and have hope in the Lord – then we will inherit the land (the gold nuggets). Now my paraphrase of that is…If we are patient and trust in Him, He will give us good things.

So where do we seek? If we are in the world, we will seek material possessions and pleasures. But if we are a child of God, we should be seeking in His word. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” Brothers and sisters, there is simply nothing else on the earth that speaks truth and love more accurately than scripture. We must not only read the word, but we must act on it. James 1:22 reminds us that we “do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive ourselves. Do what it says.” When we take the word of God to heart and live by it, we have a much clearer path and the peace that passes understanding.

And how do we knock? First, we acknowledge Christ as our Lord and Savior. This may involve some repentance. In 2nd Chronicles 7:14 the Lord spoke to Solomon at night and said, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” The Lord is telling us to repent and He will bless us. The doors will be opened. The gold nuggets will be our rewards for being faithful and seeking His face.

It’s as simple as 1-2-3. Ask and we receive, seek and we find, and knock and the door is opened. Even a child can find these gold nuggets!