Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Trust The Unchanging Rock

Ending Your Day Right
By: Joyce Meyer

Feelings are emotions that are always changing, so you cannot depend on them. As a follower of Christ, you must learn to live by truth and wisdom, not by feelings and emotions.

1 Corinthians 10:4 refers to Jesus as the Rock. An important part of His nature is His emotional maturity, which includes unchanging stability. During His time on earth, Jesus did not allow himself to be led around by His emotions. He was led by the Spirit even though He was subject to all the same feeling we experience in our daily lives. Jesus was always the same.

And He is still the same...and will be forever. You can safely put your trust in Him today, knowing He will not change, but will help you develop the same kind of emotional maturity and stability that marked His own life.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Monday, November 16, 2009

Can You Be Still?

Today I received an email that really touched me. How many of us truly listen? When someone speaks are you too busy thinking about what your going to say as soon as they stop? This message really hit home!

Being the Stillness
Bonnie Grove, She Reads Featured Author
I have sought comfort in the book of Job many times in my life. After I buried my infant son, I asked, "Why?" God reminded me that when Job asked the same question His answer was, "Who?"

While laying on a hospital bed knowing for certain I would lose the twins I had carried only a few precious months, God reminded me how in the midst of Job's suffering, God came. And in the whirlwind He answered. Not right away, not in Job's time, but in God's time - the perfect time when Job's heart could take in the words of healing.

In the years following those dark events, I trained in theology, counseling and psychology. I was on a quest to understand my brokenness, and that of others. I'm still on that quest, though my formal training is behind me.

One evening, I was in conversation with a man who was going through a divorce and was in obvious pain. He spoke of his daughter, and how his hopes for the future had been destroyed. When he finished speaking I sat in silence, knowing I had no great words to offer. Spent from telling his story, he too sat quietly.

Our silence stretched into minutes. Then, the man began to cry. I sat with him, keeping his tears company, and still said nothing. More minutes passed, and the man said, "That's the first time I've cried since this whole mess started." Then he said something surprising: "You've helped me so much. Thank you."

The silence had changed something for him. From my perspective, the silence was a result of my limitations as a counselor - I was empty handed. But it became clear to me there was something powerful at work. I remembered how Job's friends sat in silence with him for seven days and nights. With that in mind, I began to pay close attention to silence. I found that by being quiet, I could better understand my thoughts, fears, hopes, and desires. And in my long silences I was able to sense God's presence and hear His voice. When I sat with the man going through a divorce I listened to him without interruption. Then, by saying nothing, I helped him listen to what God had to say to him.

There are astounding lessons to be learned from the act of listening. I have learned that listening is an act of love. It is not passive; it is intentional, engaging with the heart and mind of another person. To listen you must turn off all outside distractions; say "no" to the world rushing by you. A sacred act of deliberate silence and meaningful pause, listening helps people clear a space in their life, heart, and mind in order to simply "be." Our listening is an important gift. I am learning to make it my first response. Through listening I want to provide the stillness God speaks into.

Dear Lord, bring me into a deeper silence before You, that I may hear Your voice, and in hearing, believe, and in believing, listen to the heart of others. When people hurt Lord, let me first offer them my listening, not my advice. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

"Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great."
Job 2:13 (NASB)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Major Brian Dennis of the United State Marine Corp. had a life changing experience while in Iraq. His troop was patrolling the Syrian border in October 2007 when they came across a group of stray dogs. This was very common in the desert where you would often find several packs of dogs and wolves roaming around.

They all got into their Humvee when a dog came running up. An Iraqi soldier had cut off the tops of the dogs ears to make him look tough. The Major bent down to pet him and said, “You got little nubs for ears.” They all began calling him Nubs.

Every couple of weeks they would return to the Border Fort and he would feed him food scraps and Frosted Strawberry Pop Tarts. Each night Nubs would patrol the area with the Major, as if he too was on duty. When they would leave Nubs would run beside the Humvee, which was traveling at 40 mph, keeping up with them until he became worn out and would disappear into the dust.

One day when they returned to the area to patrol, they found Nubs badly wounded on his side from being stabbed with a screwdriver. The wound was badly infected so they pulled out some antiseptic from their kits and some antibiotics and fed it to him with some peanut butter. That night Nubs was in so much pain that he didn’t eat or drink and slept standing up because he could not lay down.

The next day Nubs was doing better, but once they left the Major couldn’t stop thinking about him, wondering if he would survive. Two weeks later when they returned they found Nubs alive & well. The Major said that he feels that was the turning point in their relationship.

This time when the Humvees left, Nubs continued to follow. He lost sight of them but somehow continued the two-day journey. Nubs traveled 70 miles in freezing temperature, without food or water, surviving attacks from several wild dogs and wolves. He fought and ran and fought and ran, until he eventually reached the camp, torn and chewed up. When the Major walked outside his tent, Nubs jumped up on him licking his face with joy and excitement. No one could believe that he had followed them so many miles and was able to survive the trip through the desert and find them.

The Major had found a very special friend but knew he wasn’t able to keep him at the camp. He decided to e-mail family & friends to try and raise money to have him shipped to his home in San Diego. They heard the incredibly touching story and were so inspired that they were able to raise $5,000.00 to have Nubs flown to CA. One month later the Major finished his tour and was reunited with Nubs. They have an incredible bond that was established through an act of kindness. He has written a children’s book titled, "Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle," published by Little, Brown for Young Readers.

This story is a reminder that a simple act of kindness can have an incredible effect on not only animals, but people too. When you see someone who looks beaten down, sad, lonely, discouraged or hungry. Take a moment to stop and offer a kind word, smile, words of encouragement or a meal.

That one simple gesture may just help someone rise above their current circumstance and change their life. If a dog can travel over 70 miles, endure pain and the freezing elements, imagine what a human being can do with a little help!

"If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."
John 13:14-17

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever - the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."
John 14:16-18

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name. He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."
John 14:26

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fix It Now!

I just finished putting the last of the groceries away and put a baked potato in the microwave when the lights went out. We scrambled around to find some matches and candles. Expecting the lights to go on in 10 to 15 min., we sat down to eat our chicken and bread dinner by candlelight.

An hour went by, still pitch dark…now I was starting to get a little angry. A show I had been waiting to watch was coming on. I thought, “What are those guys doing? They need to fix this problem NOW!”

The time stretched to three hours…pitch black. My mind now raced to all the food I had just bought. “What is going on?” We finally decided to just go to bed because there wasn’t anything we could do about the situation. At 4:30 a.m. all the power came back on.

During the dark times in your life do you find yourself worrying? Are you filled with anxiety and stress while your waiting for something to change? We cry out to God, “Fix this problem NOW! I have tried everything, I can’t take it anymore.” Nothing seems to happen…everything stays dark.

What we don’t see is what’s going on behind the scenes. I didn’t know how the electrical company was going to fix the problem and turn on my power. But I knew that they were going to make it happen. I knew that I could go to sleep and wait for them to do their job.

We need to adapt this same mentality with God’s work in our lives. He has a plan for us. We may want something to happen NOW…but he knows there are some things that we aren’t yet ready for. Know that He is working behind the scenes in your life. In times like this, pray and ask for Him to fill you with his peace, trust and FAITH.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13