Tag Archives: Christian

She Looks Drunk

As he watched, the priest wondered if she was drunk. She was at the temple, and it appeared as if she was praying. But the priest thought there was something odd about her appearance. Her mouth was moving but no words were coming out, and was she weeping? He approached her and boldly asked, “Are you drunk?”

She explained that she was sober. She was just so involved in her prayer that he thought she was under the influence. Her name is Hannah, and we read her story in 1 Samuel 1. We find out she is going through a really hard time, and she has come to the temple to pour her heart out to the Lord.

The Bible encourages us to pray without stopping; we should always be communicating with the Lord. In the best of times and in the worst of times, the Lord wants to help us, and we can talk with him through prayer just like Hannah, and just like David.

David exhorts in Psalm 62:8, “O my people trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.”

When David and Hannah were going through rough times, they poured their hearts out to the Lord. When they were in the best of times, they thanked God in prayer. They always prayed and left a mark in history challenging us to do the same.

Our prayers are just conversations with the Lord. They don’t have to be fancy, and we don’t have to be overwhelmed by the idea we may say the wrong thing. You see, we’re having a conversation with a great friend who doesn’t judge us by the words we use, but by what is in our heart. The Lord is always listening and always desiring to hear from us.

Spend some time talking with the Lord today. Share your thoughts with him. Ask for guidance as you plan tomorrow. Ask for help with your struggles. Don’t be afraid. He is your friend who wants to hear from you.

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“Are we there yet?”

“Are we there yet?” Anyone who’s traveled with kids has heard this question. The excitement of arriving at a destination and the boredom of sitting in a car, train, or plane causes this question to be asked. Truthfully, no one likes to wait. None of us are giddy at the thought of long checkout lines or waiting at the doctor’s office. Patience is a hard virtue.

This is especially true when we are going through a difficult time. We just want it to end! But it seems no matter how hard we work or how hard we pray, the difficulty persists. The doctor’s phone call with test results doesn’t come soon enough. We can’t shake the agony caused by this lonely feeling quick enough. It doesn’t seem like this rough patch in life will ever end.

David could relate. He had several rough patches in life lasting an extended period of time. As he was searching and praying for an end, he came to this conclusion.

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from the Lord alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me” (Psalm 62:5-7).

We can echo David’s conclusion. The Lord is:

  • Our rock.
  • Our salvation.
  • Our fortress.
  • Our refuge.

Therefore, the rough times in life can’t swallow us. The rough times will most definitely come and try to consume us, but they will not be victorious. As David says, our victory is in the Lord. We need only to wait before him in prayer.

Know a friend who is struggling right now? Share this as a source of encouragement.

Visitors at the Door

Peering into the stars, the scholars noticed something different and amazing one night. As they researched, their familiarity with the Scriptures caused them to follow the star. They knew a Messiah was coming, and they wanted to see him. Their journey took them to the land of King Herod, who asked a lot of questions, and eventually, their journey took them to the home of Mary and Joseph.

Matthew 2 records, “After this interview, the wise men went their own way, and the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped at the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshipped him, then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route. For God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.”

These wise men’s example offers some pointers for anyone desiring to deepen in our relationship with the Lord.

  • They were sensitive to the Lord’s leading. When they saw the star, they followed it. They didn’t ignore the prompting of the Lord. Do we pay enough attention to the Lord to know when he is prompting us?
  • They worshipped the Lord. The wise men realized who they were in comparison to the Lord, so they offered the Messiah praise. How often do we thank the Lord for what he has done for us?
  • Matthew tells us the wise men shared with the Lord. They shared gold, which is something of value, and frankincense and myrrh, which are incense. For us, we can share the gold of our time and talents with the Lord and the incense of our prayers with him.

As you think of the wise men’s example, try putting these pointers into practice in your walk with the Lord.

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Make 2022 A Year Of Encouragement

It has been said the biggest struggle we face is discouragement.

As we tear the first page from the calendar today, 2022 has 364 days to go. There’s still ample time to meet our New Year’s Resolutions and accomplish the goals we have set for the year. Is encouraging a neighbor one of those goals? Hebrews 3:13 exhorts, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Notice the writer says we are to be daily sources of encouragement.

We live in a hurting world and interact with hurting people each day. As you go through your day-to-day activities this year, ask the Lord to help you be a source of encouragement. This doesn’t have to be a grand presentation each day. It might be something as simple as smiling at a cashier, saying hi to someone as you pass in the store, or telling someone to have a good day at the end of your conversation. Encouragement comes in all shapes and sizes. How will you be a source of encouragement today and throughout 2022?

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New Opportunities

Goodbye 2021!

Hello 2022! We’re excited you’re here!

Today ushers out 2021. For many, it brings a welcomed relief. This year was difficult in a lot of ways. The calendar resets tomorrow.

Perhaps this is the perfect time to reignite your passion to meet your goals and fulfill your dreams. Perhaps it is the perfect time to strike out on that new adventure for which you feel called. Maybe this is the year for your grind to lead to an achieved goal. You and I will be given a fresh calendar of 365 days to use, and the Bible encourages us to make the most of every opportunity. So, how are we going to use 2022?

Take some time today to develop a strategy to move forward on your passion, goals, and dreams in 2022. Perhaps these things had to take a back seat to the flux of last year, and it is time to pick them up again. Ask the Lord to guide you as you plan and make the most of the opportunity 2022 brings.

Please offer this post to a friend as a bit of encouragement today.

Hope on the Horizon

The day seemed ordinary. Vickie dropped Leo off at daycare and went to work. Later that evening, they returned home and spent family time with John. Everyone retired to bed with thoughts of the next day, but they had no idea what awaited. Vickie passed away from a heart attack in the middle of the night. It was a peaceful passing in her sleep.

This left John and 6-month-old Leo devastated. It was only a few short months ago they welcomed 2021 as a family. John and Vickie had several goals for the future, and now, all of that had changed. The man and his son are left to navigate through the world without Vickie. But, there’s hope!

A lot of folks read John and Leo’s story and relate. Change the names and a few minor details, and it becomes their story. 2021 has been a devastating year. Life was abruptly interrupted by death, divorce, or illness. The year is not wrapping up with the same joyous celebration in which it began. But, there’s hope!

Hope comes in knowing we don’t have to walk into 2022 alone. We may still be recovering from the devastation of this year, but the Lord says he is walking with us. In Hebrews 13:5, the Lord promises, “I will never leave you; I will never forsake you.” He didn’t leave when the bad news hit. The Lord is beside each of us, and he wants to grab our hand to help us walk into the new year and through this rough season.

Hope comes in knowing Heaven awaits. Revelation 21 promises a day where there will be no more struggle, and all of those in Christ will be reunited. For John and Leo, this means they will be back with Vickie someday. For you and me, this means death is not good-bye to our loved ones, but only see you later. The future is hopeful.

Offer this post as a source of encouragement to a friend today.

Happy Tick Tock Day!

There are only a few hours left in 2021! What has happened this year? What is still left to do before the year ends?

Today is Tick Tock Day, a day set aside to look at the to-do lists to see what is checked off and what still needs to be checked. It is a day to assess how well we met our 2021 goals. As you think back on these goals and the year, allow two thoughts to come to mind:

  1. Jeremiah 29:11 says the Lord knows the plans he has for us. They are plans to help us and not harm us. They are plans for good and not evil. This means the Lord may send us in a different direction causing us to pivot from our original goal. So, as you look at your goals, don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t meet one of them. It is more important to follow the Lord’s leading than check a goal off a list.
  2. Hebrews 3 encourages, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” In other words, if you hear his voice, listen. Maybe your 2021 goals didn’t include the Lord, and you realize now that was an error. There’s no better time than right now to fix it. “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor; now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

The year will be over in just a few short hours, and before us will be a new year, 2022. What goals do you have for the year? Spend time in prayer the next couple days asking the Lord to guide you in goal setting and priority arranging. Be ready to start 2022 on a firm foundation of the Lord’s grace, mercy, peace, and guidance.

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Only One Opinion Matters

He was stunned by what he was hearing. The words coming out of the other person’s mouth cut deep. They stabbed directly to the heart. He was being told he wasn’t good enough, that he wasn’t measuring up to the other person’s standard. Hearing this hurt a great deal.

She was visibly shaken by the string of insults being launched at her. The insults were directed at her character, her physical appearance, and every other aspect of her life. Hearing this hurt a great deal.

These incidents may describe you. Perhaps you’ve been in this situation. David was. His enemies taunting and insulting him in every way possible. Amid these insults, David pinned the words of Psalm 62; look at what he says in the first two verses.

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress and I will never be shaken.”

Amid everything that was happening and everything David’s enemies were telling him, he could stand on the rock, the fortress, of the Lord. David understood the opinions of his enemies did not matter; he understood the only opinion that mattered was the Lord’s. David could find rest in knowing the Lord was his rock and his fortress.

Our world is saturated with social media, and everyone has an opinion. It is highly likely we’ve been the individuals described above – we’ve been deeply wounded by someone’s opinion or words. When we are the recipients of such harshness, may we remember the only opinion that matters is the Lord’s. Our safety and security are not found in the comments under our Facebook post or the number of likes our picture receives on Instagram. Our rock and fortress are the Lord who gives us salvation. His opinion is the only one that matters.

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Different Views of Christmas

Given the opportunity to have a conversation with one of the characters from the Christmas account, who would you choose? I was recently asked this question, and it spurred my thinking. The people starring in Jesus’ birth story would have witnessed the events from a wide array of perspectives, yet we see much faith shine through each perspective.

Mary

Mary obviously plays a crucial role, being the young mother of Jesus. This would have been a lot for her to take on, but she does in a faithful way. Luke records the angel Gabriel visiting Mary to reveal her part in God’s grand plan. Luke 1:28 says, “The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you.”

After reassuring Mary his visit was to bring good news, Gabriel explained how she would be the mother of Jesus, and reminded Mary God can do anything. Mary was an ordinary girl, but she was given an extraordinary part to play in God’s plan. We know she inquired about the virgin birth, but we can only imagine what else went through Mary’s mind’ as she listened to the angel’s words.

She would have to explain this to Joseph. A pregnancy can’t be easily hidden, and people would speculate about her as they would not understand what the Lord was doing. This would have been a lot for Mary to process, and she may have not fully grasped it, but because of her faith, Mary was willing to offer herself as a servant. She realized fulfilling her purpose would have rough parts, but she trusted the Lord to be with her during those times. 

Joseph

Joseph would have to take on much in his role. Joseph was certainly put in a unique spot. Hisfiance was pregnant, but the baby wasn’t his. As Joseph was struggling with what to do, he was faithful to the Lord’s calling. Matthew 1 tells us Joseph was going to divorce Mary, but listened when the Lord told him to stay. Joseph’s response in this moment truly demonstrates his faithfulness.

Shepherds

The shepherds could have stayed in the field with their sheep and dismissed the angel’s message, but they had a different response. “When the angels had left them and gone into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger” (Luke 2:15-16).

The shepherds responded to the angel with much faith. Believing the angel, the shepherds acted upon their belief. The shepherds’ faith shined through brightly.

Magi

The Magi allowed their faith to push them. As they were studying the stars, they could have ignored the star introducing Jesus as another supernova, but they chose to seek the answer to why the star suddenly appeared. Their faith pushed them to investigate God’s Word.

Each of these characters has a different perspective of Jesus’ birth, but they all respond with much faith. As we all approach life from differing perspectives, we should share this commonalty with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the Magi. We should approach the Lord with faith. The writer of Hebrews reminds us the Lord rewards those who earnestly seek him.

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Trading Spaces

The show Trading Spaces gives couples a chance to trade houses with a neighbor for a few days. They trade so that each couple can give a make-over to a room in the other’s home. New paint, wall hangings, and furniture usually go into place, and at the end of each episode, the couples go back home to offer their reaction to the newly decorated space. Sometimes it turns out well. Other times not so much. Trading spaces can mean giving up something valuable.

It did for Jesus. The Bible teaches he traded places with us. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” Allow these words to dwell in your mind for a moment.

Jesus had everything. He was not confined by time or space; he did not have the limits of our bodies. He was in Heaven and had it made, yet he was willing to trade spaces with us. He traded all of Heaven’s perfection for all of this world’s imperfection. He did this so we could experience Heaven.

His trading spaces allows us the opportunity to have a spiritual make-over. Through Christ, all the richness and fullness of Heaven awaits us. All the difficulties of this world will give way to no more pain, sorrow, or suffering. The imperfection will give way to perfection because Jesus traded spaces.

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