Apr 26, 2012

“I Will Run To You”

One Saturday, Cathy and I went to help my daughter Rachel move from one city to another. We decided to borrow my daughter Elizabeth’s and her husband Chris’ truck rather than use her car to haul boxes and furniture. Cathy drove separately and went to their house to pick up their truck while I drove directly to Rachel’s apartment to start taking apart her bed.

Cathy told me that when she arrived at their house, my seventeen month old granddaughter Fallon “pushed past Cathy” and called out; “Pa?” (that’s the name she calls me as her grandpa) as she looked to see if I was walking behind Cathy into the house. Elizabeth explained to Fallon that I was at Rachel’s apartment and wasn’t with grandma.

The truck wouldn’t start, so Cathy decided drive her car over to join Rachel and me to load up what we could while Chris tried to figure out what was wrong with their truck that was only a few years old.

It turns out that the truck’s battery was dead and needed to be replaced so Chris went to get a new battery. After he replaced it, he drove the truck to Rachel’s apartment, taking Elizabeth and Fallon with him.

When Elizabeth arrived, she helped Fallon out of her car seat and down to the parking lot. Fallon looked up and saw me and called out; “Pa!” and ran to my awaiting arms. She had found the one she was looking for and was being held in his arms.

Throughout the next hour, whenever Fallon so desired, she would once again call out “Pa!” and run to my awaiting arms that were wide open to receive her.

What a picture to how we should come to God! Running to awaiting arms that are wide open to receive us! Jesus said;
Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Mark 10:15).

I don’t think that Jesus was talking about our age chronologically. Rather, I believe that He was stating that our approach to our Heavenly Father needed to be “child-like”. (not childish).  We need to call out “Pa!” and run into His arms wide open!

Jesus said;
Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” (Mathew 18:3-5)

I love the picture of Jesus modeling this as recorded by Mark in his gospel;
 “Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” (Mark 9:36-37 NKJV)

He is calling out to you today to run to Him; His arms are wide open, waiting to receive you! Come to Him; won’t you?

If you would like to know what the Bible says about how you too can begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, call 1-888-NEED-HIM. Someone is waiting to talk to you right now.

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."


Apr 19, 2012

“Worn down from the long, long road trip”

From time to time all of us can feel worn down from life. Note that I said all of us. How long you stay down has a lot to do with your perspective; and for me, my perspective comes from God’s view of things as written in the Bible.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible that I like to read when I am worn down from life and my thoughts are going downward is Psalm 77; especially Eugene Peterson’s version; “The Message”

God has used Psalm 77 to turn my heart from being downcast to being filled with hope on numerous occasions; if I let Him.

My exhortation to you is to let me walk this passage through with you, and I pray that God will reveal His love to you today as together we go through this psalm.

I love how the writer starts out:

V1 “I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.”

The psalmist is not concerned with being religious. He needs help and he YELLS out to God believing that God is listening to his cries because He cares.

He goes on: 

2-6 I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord; my life was an open wound that wouldn't heal. When friends said, "Everything will turn out all right," I didn't believe a word they said. I remember God—and shake my head. I bow my head—then wring my hands. I'm awake all night—not a wink of sleep; I can't even say what's bothering me. I go over the days one by one, I ponder the years gone by. I strum my lute all through the night, wondering how to get my life together.

This writer is so troubled that he can’t even remember what is wrong, let alone tell us.
This guy is in trouble; he can’t figure out how to get his life back together! A different version says; “You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak” (NKJV).

He begins to ask some questions regarding the character of God:

7-10 Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? Will he never smile again? Is his love worn threadbare? Has his salvation promise burned out? Has God forgotten his manners? Has he angrily stalked off and left us? "Just my luck," I said. "The High God goes out of business just the moment I need him."

It is ok to ask questions, but then we need to stop and get answers. The correct answers to each of the psalmist’s questions are:

·         Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? NO!

·         Will he never smile again? NO!

·         Is his love worn threadbare? NO!

·         Has his salvation promise burned out? NO!

·         Has God forgotten his manners? NO!

·         Has he angrily stalked off and left us? NO!

·         And He has gone out of business? NO!

The psalmist stops! And makes a decision to recall and to remember when God helped him in the past:

11-12 Once again I'll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I'll ponder all the things you've accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts.

He goes on and remembers how God has rescued Israel in the past and starts praising God:

13-15 O God! Your way is holy! No god is great like God! You're the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do— You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble, rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.

Catch that, he said “worst kind of trouble”: Wait a minute; wasn’t this the psalmist who needed God to hold his eyelids open because he was so discouraged? What changed?

The psalmist goes on to recall how God took Israel from Egypt to the Promised land via the Red Sea:

16-19 Ocean saw you in action, God, saw you and trembled with fear; Deep Ocean was scared to death. Clouds belched buckets of rain, Sky exploded with thunder, your arrows flashing this way and that. From Whirlwind came your thundering voice, Lightning exposed the world, Earth reeled and rocked. You strode right through Ocean, walked straight through roaring Ocean, but nobody saw you come or go.

Finally, he goes on to describe how behind Moses and Aaron was a God who had everything under control:

20 Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron, You led your people like a flock of sheep.

I don’t know where you are at right now; but I do know that you don’t have to remain there; God is waiting to help you through.

God WILL make a way when there seems to be no way. God WILL complete the work that He bean in you!

Need further help? Feel free to drop me an email at hopeofhiscalling@juno.com

Here is an audio version of Psalm called; “Losing Your Song in the Night”

 The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Apr 12, 2012

“What is the expiration date on dandelions?”

Does anyone know?

I ask because I was given a handful of them as a gift from my seventeen month old granddaughter Fallon the other day when I was sitting on the front steps of my mother-in-law’s house drinking a cup of coffee and eating a piece of cake.

And now, they are wilting and losing their once bright yellow color.

Fallon and I had been eating a piece of cake together when all of a sudden she left the remaining cake and went towards the boulevard to pick a dandelion with her mother.

After she picked the dandelion, she turned to find me by calling out; “Pa” (that’s the name she calls me as her grandpa) and walked over with a big smile on her face and handed the dandelion to me. And my heart was touched!

The irony to this story is that just the week prior to this I had applied fertilizer on the lawn at my own house to kill the dandelions BEFORE they could emerge. But these were  not weeds to me, but “flowers” given as a gift from a little girl to her “Pa”.

Fallon repeated this process of walking to the boulevard, picking a dandelion, calling out “Pa”, and walking over to hand me another dandelion until I had a small bouquet of dandelions; and one violet. She smiled at me when I put them into a button hole in my shirt; and then requested another bite of cake. And then went to play with her mom.

And then I wondered; “What is the expiration date on dandelions?”

Now, I’m not new to being the recipient of dandelions given to me as a sign of affection. As a father, I had experienced the joy of receiving dandelion “flowers” from my own children and watching their faces as they gave them to me. When my own children were young, we seemed to always have vases full of them during the dandelion growing season. And, eventually, we would discard them; usually to re-fill the vases with a fresh batch.

But these dandelion “flowers” from Fallon were the first ones that I received from one of my grandchildren; and because of that, these were extra special. So, after Fallon went home, I removed the dandelions from the button hole in my shirt and placed them in a plastic bag to take home with me until I could figure out what to do with them.

So today, my question then and now is; “What is the expiration date on dandelions?”
Something inside of me can’t seem to simply toss them into the trash because of the value I see in them as precious flowers instead of as weeds to be discarded. Perhaps it is because of the love of God has shown me the value of my own life and has also opened my eyes to look at people and see the “flowers” hidden behind those who the world would consider to be simply “weeds”.

God has created every one of us in His image; we are “flowers”, not “weeds”. And that is true whether we know that or not, whether we love Him or not; whether we obey Him or not. The Bible clearly says that; “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).

That means that we are flowers, not weeds.

That is not to say that just because we are made in His image that He approves of everything that we do; that kind of theology is ridiculous and contradicts what the Bible clearly says that all of us “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Perhaps that is why we feel some days more like a weed rather than a flower.

So how do you see yourself today? Have those around you convinced you that you are nothing more than a dandelion to bloom and then be tossed into the trash? Or as a precious flower that reflects the handiwork of One who skillfully, masterfully created you as a display of His love and affection.

Today can be the day that it all changes for you. Visit www.PeaceWithGod.net

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."


Apr 5, 2012


From Strong's Concordance: "a standing up again, that is, (literally) a resurrection from death (individual, general or by implication (its author)), or (figuratively) a (moral) recovery (of spiritual truth): - raised to life again, resurrection, rise from the dead, that should rise, rising again."

The Risen Christ, Faith’s Reality

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.  9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

The Risen Christ, Our Hope
12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

The Last Enemy Destroyed
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Effects of Denying the Resurrection
29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

A Glorious Body
35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear[f] the image of the heavenly Man.

Our Final Victory
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
            55 “O Death, where is your sting?
            O Hades, where is your victory?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians Chapter 15)

 “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."