Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Does God Feel Distant?

Does God Feel Distant?

When reading the passage today two thoughts came to mind. The first one is where Pharaoh claims that he does not know "The Lord". You serve the Lord most likely because you have had an encounter with Him. There are a lot of people in our world that do not believe in Christ, they have never had an encounter with Him. If or when you try and witness to your friends we can't become discouraged. It may take years, so do not give up!

The second thought is that the Lord's work is never easy. So far Moses had an encounter with God, God almost killed him, and now God is telling Moses to do his work, but then God turns around and basically tells Moses that this battle you will not win, because I am going to harden his heart.

We can never become discouraged doing God's work. We must always keep our eye on the end goal. Maybe when you started something out, it did not turn out the way you planned, but it turned out the way God wanted it. Moses never saw the promised land, but if it were not for him and his work, God's people may have never entered it.

Exodus 5:1-2, 7:1-3 
"Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.' "

Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go."

Then the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt"

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Fighting is Good

Fighting is Good!

I have had people tell me that they never fight with each other..... I look at them and think..... Really???

My wife and I have been married for over 25 years and we fight. I mean there are times we get into some Real House Wife, Throw the Table Teresa fights. I believe fighting is healthy and is vital for any relationship We need not be afraid of them, but embrace them and use them to better our relationship. 

Last Wednesday my wife and I had a Perfect Storm fights. Usually she or I do not want to argue so one of us either gives in or just walks away from the other. We will let the other one "Be Grumpy" and in about an hour or so we are OK. But last Wednesday was a Perfect Storm type of fights. We were both grumpy and did not want to give in. 

We started fighting, trying to prove our points like we were in some court of law. The fight went on for a couple of hours, it was ugly. I was ashamed for the way I acted. It lasted all night, I finally went up into the guys room and she went into the bedroom. She came up to apologize, but I was a jerk and did not accept it. She went to bed, and I crawled in about an hour later.

We woke up still mad, we did not talk much that day, we did not get into it again, but the day was weird. Then the next day I came to her and told her I was really sorry and that I did not want to let it get that bad again. The fight was truly over. Wow, that was a bad one! But there was a lot of good that came from it.  Fighting is not bad as long and you grow together. First, I think you need to know how each other fight.

Guys are funny when they fight, they can punch each other out, then two minutes later they are having a beer and best friends again. Women fight differently, they hold a grudge, I have found it can last for hours. I just want the fight to be over with, they have to "Cool Down." I find while they are cooling down I start to become mad again. Learn how your partner fights, it really helps. 

When the fight was over with I told her I never want to do that again. Yes, we will probably do it again, but I will try. I asked her want can I do to help her when I get that grumpy again? She asked me what she can do when she reaches that point again. We came to an agreement and we are both going to try what each other suggested. 

After you fight do you talk about it? If you do not talk about it and just fight over and over again you are like a car stuck in the mud, spinning its wheels. You need to let go of the ego and really make a commitment to better yourselves. 

Do not be afraid of fighting, but embrace it as a necessary part of any relationship. Work to improve yourselves and grow together.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jesus Wants You To Share Your Story

Jesus Wants Us To Share Your Story

As I was reading the chapters for today I came across these verses. God wants us to tell others what He has done. It is that simple. I think that a lot of us feel that we need a degree in preaching to be effective for His kingdom, and that may be helpful, but what God asks from us, is to simply tell others.

You might be thinking that you do not have a story or what you have to say may not be effective. What are the turning points in your life where God intervened? What is God doing for your right now? So whether you are a parent, grandparent, big brother or sister, or just a good friend we need to share with others what God has done in the past and is doing in our lives now to affect the future

Insight Into the Scriptures
Just a little fact on locusts. They can consume it's own weight a day in food. It has also been known that an area of one square mile could contain over one hundred million locusts.

Have you ever thought about what the Hebrews were thinking while all of this was going on? In verse 8:22 this is the first plague that does not effect the Hebrews, only the Egyptians. I think I would be saying, Ha ha ha my God is bigger than your gods. Another interesting point, in verses 9:15-16, 10:1-2 God reveals why He hardened Pharaoh's heart. Good or Bad.... everything is used to glorify God.

Exodus 10:1-2 
"Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD."

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Greatest Love Story Ever Written

The Greatest Love Story Ever Written

My wife and I were watching the movie "The Last of the Mohicans". It is a love story where two people from different worlds meet, fall in love, but due to the war going on, the woman is captured by Indians who vowed to kill her. But, before she is captured, her love vows, he will find her no matter the cost, "I will find you"! After her capture, her love bravely walks into the Indian camp where he is cut, beaten, and mocked. He then boldly tells the chief to take his life and spare hers. But, due to a twist in the movie they both are spared, the movie fades with them in each other's arms watching a sunset. Don't you love a good love story?

Did you know that you are reading the greatest love story ever written? And, better yet you are involved in this love story. Your Jesus will do anything for you, in fact He paid the ultimate price.Last night, while talking with my Best Friend, He showed me this love story. You and I might have become a Believer for eternal life; to spend eternity with Christ, but then after you become a believer you gain a relationship with Christ. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had many God's, they did not have a Bible to show them right from wrong, they did not have eternal life, so how did they come to a relationship with God? He pursued them. Do you remember the first time when you met your true love? What did you do? I can imagine that you pursued them, I know that I pursued my wife and courted her.

In ancient times they had many gods, so what made them follow Yahweh? God pursued them, revealing Himself to them little by little, and what they felt was amazing. Thus this love story begins, and still continues today, God LOVES; LOVES you, He wants to be with you forever, He has done and will do whatever is best for you, all you have to do is accept this amazing love.
Insight Into the Scriptures

Laban's household gods were associated with luck or prosperity. These gods were passed down from generation to generation. As we have said before, in ancient times they worshiped many gods.When Laban was looking for his gods, and Rachel had hid them under her saddle, Laban asked to search under her saddle. Rachel used the excuse that she could not get off because of her period. A women in her menstrual cycle was considered dangerous because the menstrual blood was widely believed to be a habit for demons.

Genesis 32:9-12 
"Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who said to me, 'Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,' I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups. Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. But you have said, 'I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.' "

As I said in yesterday's devotional, God has a funny way of bringing things around again. As we read on in Genesis, we read how Jacob is struggling with Laban and his deceitful ways. It is also nice to see that God has worked on Esau's heart. In reading this passage, I wonder why Rachel took her father's family gods? Did she want it to change him or did she need it for her protection?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Make The World A Better Place Today

Make The World A Better Place

I know that we have talked about love quite a bit, but God has put it in His Word over and over and over again. It starts in the Old Testament and continues through into the New Testament. God really wants us to understand and live this. It is the core of our Christian beliefs, it is what we stand for and what will separate us from everyone else.

We have talked about what it means to love, and how to show our brothers and sisters love when they are hurtful. But, now let's talk about taking a proactive stand with love. Instead of waiting for us to love someone, we need to do at least one selfless act of love each day.

Our family at the dinner table will talk about our day. It is amazing the conversations you will have with each other and your children when you all sit down for dinner at the same time, with the television off. Anyway, during our time we will tell each other one act of love that we did for someone else. It really helps you reflect on your day. It is a time for encouraging each other and helping each other. Yes, even the "Head of the Table" can use some helpful hints.

Today I would encourage you to see if you commit an act of selfless love. At the end of the day, if you can not think of one act, maybe you need a reminder halfway through the day to be on the lookout for an opportunity.

2 John 1:5-6
"And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love."

Insight Into the Scriptures
2 John was written the same time as 1 John. It is written to "The chosen lady and her children." It is a short personal letter from John to his friend in a church that he might of been overseeing.

Today we read 2 John, and if you blink you might miss it. It is almost like a "Post it Note" scripture.

As I read this short book, I could not help think why did God put this book in the Bible in this context? Why did He not put this into 1 John as another chapter, after all it has the same theme as 1 John? Everything that God does is for a reason, so when I see a book like 2 John it is easy to skip over it or read it fast, but we need to ask ourselves, what does God want me to learn, what is He telling me?

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Always In My Heart Memorial Necklace

Always In My Heart Memorial Necklace

Losing a loved on is hard. We lost our son and I know that I want to keep him close. I have this Always In My Heart Necklace that has an urn to put ash or other momento. I know that it does not bring him back, and he is always with me in my heart, but this necklace is nice to have around my neck. This Always in My Heart is wonderful for the men and women that have seved in our military. 

"Always in My Heart" locket with brass vial which hilds ashes or momento. With 24" silver rope chain. Necklace that has a stadard "O" ring clasp. The pendant may be removed off the necklace. The solid imass with contained in the locket gold the memories of your loved one. Keeping them close to your heart and bringing them comfort. Pendant comes with verse card.  "I thank my God every time I remember you." Phil 1:3 The necklace comes in a white box that closes shut. It makes a great gift.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

God Is With You

God Is With You

This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. It has so many good lessons that we could learn. I am sure you have heard the story of Joseph, how he was sold into slavery, then thrown into prison. There are a couple of thoughts that I have, these are very important for you to understand if you are to receive all of the Lord's blessings He has for you.
In life you can do everything right, follow God, live a Godly life, and still end up in "Life's prison". Joseph may have been a little cocky in his young age, but surely did not deserve to have his brothers turn on him and be sold to be a slave. He also could have easily slept with Potiphar's wife, but he chose to do the Godly thing and run, he ended up in prison.
Life is what you make of it. Joseph, if anyone, had every right to be angry and bitter towards God. After all, he did the right thing, and this is what "Doing the right thing" landed him; in prison. Joseph instead accepted where God had him. I can imagine it is not where Joseph thought he would have been, but he knew God was in control.
Wherever you are in your life, whatever your situation, GOD IS WITH YOU. When Joseph was a slave, GOD WAS WITH HIM (v39:2) When Joseph was in prison GOD WAS WITH HIM (v39:21,23) Let me say this again, wherever you are, GOD IS WITH YOU, and if God is with you, you are blessed, all you need to do is accept His blessings.
Genesis 39:2, 20-23
"The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.
Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did."