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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Did Someone Break Your Heart?

The young man was handsome, pleasant and financially independent. Yet, with downcast eyes, he related to
me how someone had broken his heart. Yes, ladies, guys are not the only ones who break hearts. Some of us do it too. I tried my best to reassure him that he was still young, and for him, life held a lot of possibilities. I'm not sure he was convinced.

What we need to realize is that if we live long enough, someone is going to break our heart. It doesn't have to be a romantic interest; it can be a child, a friend, even a parent or someone we trusted in. So what do you do when someone breaks your heart? There are many psychological books and articles on the subject, but for me, the best resource is the Bible.

Many of us suffer heartbreak because we elevate people to a position they are not capable of maintaining. We forget they are mere mortals like we are with the same weaknesses and inconsistencies that we have. They may want to do the right thing, but like Paul said, "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing (Romans 7: 18 - 19).

If we understand this, we would not place unrealistic expectations on others. Someone said, "You may not always trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust." In other words, you love them unconditionally. Whether you can go on living with them is up to you. 

The Bible puts it this way: "It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man" (Psalm 118: 8). You know you can always trust Him and He will always love you, no matter how bad you are. King David was a very popular and well-loved king, yet he experienced heartbreak and betrayal from those he considered his friends. In Psalm 55 he said, "If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend" ( v 12- 13). 

And what was his consolation? "But I call to God, and the LORD saves me.  Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice" (v16-17).

That's your answer, my friend. Put your trust in God. When others disappoint you - as they will - cry out to Him. Enjoy the articles and the audio recording below and please drop me a line and let me know your thoughts.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Story Of Two Guinea Pigs

Recently, I was given the awesome responsibility of taking care of my grandchildren's pets while the family was away. Since I love animals, I didn't mind looking after the two Guinea pigs and a very playful Lab.  Once Ziggy, the Lab, was fed and given a fresh bowl of water, he pretty much took care of himself. But Charlie and Arthur, the guinea pigs, caused me a bit of concern.

To begin with, once I'd removed the water bottle from where it hung at the side of the cage, I couldn't figure out how to replace it. I was later embarrassed when I saw how simple it was, but for the time I was there, I had to hold the bottle while Charlie drank and drank and drank. Whenever Arthur tried to get near the bottle, she (Charlie is a girl) pushed  him away with her mouth or with her butt. The same thing happened when he tried to get near the food. I began to worry that if Charlie kept that up, Arthur may soon be undernourished. Charlie used to be a very nice, docile pet, but since Arthur came, she has become selfish and aggressive.
Jayden and Jen with Charlie


Maybe that's the nature of guinea pigs, I don't know, but Charlie's behavior set me thinking about the way we humans treat each other. Are we kind and compassionate toward others? Do we willingly share what we have, or are we like Charlie, trying to grab all for ourselves, not caring about the other person? Let's examine our behavior in the home, the workplace and even in the church. If we find that we are anything like Charlie, let's ask God to give us a caring and sharing heart.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4 : 19). This is a verse we often quote, but when Paul spoke these words, he was referring to the gifts the Philippians had sent him, which he called " a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God" (v 18). 

When we give or do good to others, we make a fragrant offering that is pleasing to God. Think about it.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Comfort To Mothers On Mother's Day

This is a repost of a blog posted a few years ago. When I reread it, I thought the message still relevant to Mother's Day is a pleasant time when mothers and their children get together to celebrate this happy occasion. Gifts, hugs and kisses and expressions of love will be exchanged, and that's the way it ought to be. However, for some, Mother's Day may not always be a time of celebration. I hate to interject a note of sadness, but the reality is, there are people for whom Mother's Day is one to dread rather than a day to look forward to. For mothers, especially those who have lost their children, this day can be even more depressing.
today. For most mothers around the world

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Disturbing The Peace

This week I have the unexpected pleasure of visiting with my grandchildren while their father is away. Kevin
Peaceful scene
is a  widower and has been raising his children single-handedly since their mother passed away eight years ago. He told me there is a park not far from the house, so on my first morning, after dropping the kids off to school, I decided to go for a walk.

The area includes a lake surrounded by tall trees and is made accessible in some places by wooden bridges. The air was cool and refreshing and occasionally I stopped to take the pictures you see here. There were lots of people walking, and nearly everyone smiled and said, "Good-morning," something I'm not used to where I live. After completing the two-mile circle, I headed home, feeling wonderfully refreshed and invigoraated. As I neared the paved path that would take me home, I saw three people standing looking at something on the ground.

Bridge over the lake
That's me the day I arrived
Fearing the worst, I whispered, "What is it?" 

One of the young men replied, "It's a little snake."

A little snake? Just where I have to pass? I didn't care how little it was, I wasn't going there. I looked around for another route, but saw none. Slowly, I approached the creature that had disturbed my peace. I watched as he took his time, slithering across the path. When he was almost in the grass, I bolted away. When I told this to a friend she said, "The devil always tries to steal your joy."

I agreed. Stealing our joy is the devil's business, but Jesus delights in giving us peace.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14: 27).

Do not let anything or anyone disturb your peace today. Be blessed.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Don't Go There!

David and Bathsheba by Jan Matsys, 1562, Louvre
David and Bathsheba by Jan Matsys, 1562, Louvre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just one is all it takes. One drink, one puff, one night in a cheap motel somewhere and you can end up in a condition that may last the rest of your life. You may even end up dead. Just one. People, young and old, are getting hooked on drugs and alcohol. Teenage girls, as young as eleven, experts say, are getting pregnant and/or contracting STDs.

Recently, I listened to a broadcast by one of my favorite apologetics, Ravi Zacharias. He said something so significant I had to write it down. He said, "It is easier to say no before you have tasted it than after you have tasted it." In other words, don't taste it! You know what happens when you eat that first nut or that first chip. Before you know it, you have eaten the whole bag.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Ravi states that God has given us the capacity to control our appetite. We do not have to give in to sin and temptation. The Bible tells us, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin" (Hebrews 4: 15). 

In an earlier chapter, the writer said, "Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted" (Hebrews 2 : 18). 

King David was a powerful and highly-respected king, but one day he saw a woman having a bath, and he gave into temptation. He committed adultery with Bathsheba, but it didn't stop there. When she became pregnant, David tried to get her husband Uriah, a general in his army, to go home and sleep with his wife so she could pass the child off as his. But good soldier that Uriah was, he refused to go home while the other men were either camping out in the fields or sleeping in tents. So, David conspired to have Uriah killed. Just one look led to adultery then murder. To top it off, the baby died. 

God is saying to us, "Don't go there!" Don't start something that will cause you regret. If you are tempted, pray. Jesus knows our weaknesses and  "is able to help those who are being tempted" (Hebrews 2 : 18). 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

After Jesus?

Some years ago, CNN ran a program around Easter titled "After Jesus." I don't remember the content of the
program, but I did not like the title then and I do not like it now. It sounds like Jesus is dead or obsolete or a thing of the past. Nothing can be further from the truth. According to Newsmax, there has been a rise in practicing Christians in America as opposed to those who simply profess to be Christians but never darken the doorway of a church. People are getting saved, witnessing for Christ and finding new hope in Christ.

Other reports state that Christianity is on the rise in South America, Africa, Asia and South Korea. Many Muslims are also risking their lives by converting to Christianity. One only has to look at the number of Christians being martyred in Iraq and Africa as testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ. In addition, Christian bookstores, radio and television stations and major films continue to draw record numbers of people.

Whenever I visit some forums on the internet, I am always amazed at the number of questions that atheists are asking about God and Christianity. Many of these questions are very sarcastic, but why take the time to inquire about someone you don't believe in, or someone you say is dead. I attended a viewing this weekend and you can be sure I won't be inquiring about that person any longer. 

Some may look at the number of negative events happening in the world and say, where is God?  However, the Bible tells us that in the last days, "perilous times will come." 2 Timothy 3: 1. Luke 21: 28 says, And when these things begin to come to pass , then look up , and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." 

Jesus is very present in the world today, and always will be. When you write the date on a check or post something to your calendar, you are acknowledging that we live in 2015 AD, the year of Our Lord. He says,
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (Revelation 22: 13). His name is "Emmanuel, which which being interpreted is , God with us," (Matthew 1: 23). 

Let us as Christians show the world that the light of Jesus still shines in us and through us, not only at Easter, but all year through. Enjoy the video below and please leave a comment in the box below or share this post on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site you frequent. God bless.  

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Rejoice?

News of another fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a police officer has left Americans stunned and another family grieving for their loved one. As I thought about this latest incident, a word flashed across my mind: REJOICE. But as quickly as it came, I tried to push it away. What was there to rejoice about? A father, brother, husband, friend lost his life in a senseless way. The Scott family will never be the same again.

Yet, the apostle Paul said, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" So I questioned the Lord, "How can we rejoice when such a tragedy takes place? There can be no cause for rejoicing when the breadwinner of a family has been cut off. But the Holy Spirit gently reminded me, "Two thousand years ago an innocent Man was crucified."

Yes, Jesus was innocent. He was unarmed. He didn't even open his mouth to try to defend Himself. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And after He died, His disciples saw no cause for rejoicing. They went back to the life they had before they met Him. They obviously thought, that was the end of the story. But on Easter Sunday, He rose from the grave, and the world has never been the same since. Now we rejoice because Jesus is risen and we who have accepted Him will one day be with Him.

So what does this have to do with the Scott family? We certainly do not rejoice over their loss. We mourn with them and the Browns and all the other families who lost loved ones. But we can take comfort in knowing that just as God used Jesus' death for good, in the same way He will use the deaths of Walter Scott and the others for good. And in that we can rejoice. 

If you enjoyed reading this blog, will you share it on your Facebook page and any other social media sites that you frequent. Thank you and God bless.