Jan 10, 2019

It's Not About You

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).
"I kept for nearly a year the flask-shaped cocoon of an emperor moth. It is very peculiar in its construction. A narrow opening is left in the neck of the flask, through which the perfect insect forces its way, so that a forsaken cocoon is as entire as one still tenanted, no rupture of the interlacing fibers having taken place.
The great disproportion between the means of egress and the size of the imprisoned insect makes one wonder how the exit is ever accomplished at all -- and it never is without great labor and difficulty. It is supposed that the pressure to which the moth's body is subjected in passing through such a narrow opening is a provision of nature for forcing the juices into the vessels of the wings, these being less developed at the period of emerging from the chrysalis than they are in other insects.
I happened to witness the first efforts of my prisoned moth to escape from its long confinement. During a whole forenoon, from time to time, I watched it patiently striving and struggling to get out. It never seemed able to get beyond a certain point, and at last my patience was exhausted. Very probably the confining fibers were drier and less elastic than if the cocoon had been left all winter on its native heather, as nature meant it to be. At all events I thought I was wiser and more compassionate than its Maker, and I resolved to give it a helping hand. 
With the point of my scissors I snipped the confining threads to make the exit just a very little easier, and lo! immediately, and with perfect case, out crawled my moth dragging a huge swollen body and little shriveled wings. In vain I watched to see that marvelous process of expansion in which these silently and swiftly develop before one's eyes; and as I traced the exquisite spots and markings of divers colors which were all there in miniature, I longed to see these assume their due proportions and the creature to appear in all its perfect beauty, as it is, in truth, one of the loveliest of its kind. But I looked in vain. 
My false tenderness had proved its ruin. It never was anything but a stunted abortion, crawling painfully through that brief life which it should have spent flying through the air on rainbow wings.
I have thought of it often, often, when watching with pitiful eyes those who were struggling with sorrow, suffering, and distress; and I would fain cut short the discipline and give deliverance. Short-sighted man! How know I that one of these pangs or groans could be spared? The far-sighted, perfect love that seeks the perfection of its object does not weakly shrink from present, transient suffering. 
Our Father's love is too true to be weak. Because He loves His children, He chastises them that they may be partakers of His holiness. With this glorious end in view, He spares not for their crying. Made perfect through sufferings, as the Elder Brother was, the sons of God are trained up to obedience and brought to glory through much Tribulation."
-Author Unknown

Jan 3, 2019

Happy New Year 2019

What will you do with new opportunity? How will you use it?

The world we are in (at least here in the USA) is so divided, isolated, and partial to whom we will show allegiance.

This past year was marked with people reacting rather than responding to events as we left our mark in the history books without really making anything good from all of our efforts.

This past year was marked with people choosing sides and people being asked; “Whose side are you on?” as we further drove wedges between each other.

Enough division! Enough choosing sides! Enough is enough people! Let’s step out, forgetting the past, and make a difference in our world.

The world is looking for some heroes who will cross party lines and show love to those who are not like “us”. 

Jesus told a story of “The Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37) to explain whom we are called to reach out to. In the story it was the religious folks who were too busy to cross over to the other side of the street and show mercy on a person who needed their help.

In fact, in the story, the man who helped out was an “enemy” of the one who needed his help.

This is a New Year; A Fresh Start; A Chance to Do It Differently. How 2019 turns out to be partially in your control based upon how you choose to view it.

As Oswald Chambers wrote:
“As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness.
But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us.
Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future.
Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.
Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.”

The question one year from now will still be; “how did you make a difference in this world this year?”

The Apostle Paul wrote:
 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

Jesus said (in the story of the Good Samaritan);
So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

You may be asking; "So, how do I do this?"

To be straight forward, you can't do it on your own...

Billy Graham wrote:
"Are you trying to face an uncertain future without the Lord Jesus Christ? Only in Christ will you find real hope and, ultimately, eternal life. He calls you to turn away from sin and to receive Jesus Christ by faith as your Lord and Savior. 

You can do that right now, wherever you are. You'll begin a relationship with God, and He promises that you will be forgiven and become a completely new person."

Then, and only then will you make a difference in this world that will be for good and for the glory of God.

Happy New Year! I’m pulling for you to make a difference this new year!