Frankly Speaking- “Idea from a Prayer”


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And they said to one another,
“Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road,
and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32

I must admit that I get ideas from the most unusual places. These thoughts today came from another man’s prayer! At a men’s prayer time for our church, one of the men, Dr. Byron “Dad” Tippey, a retired college professor, made reference to the two men on the road to Emmaus. During his prayer he mentioned what they did and did not have as they were returning to Emmaus. When I got home, I tried to put down some of what he said. It goes something like this:

What did they have?
1. Doubts—was He the promised Messiah or not?
2. Disappointments—He died! How could this have happened?
3. Despair—they were leaving for another place. The Kingdom of
Heaven didn’t come!
4. Discouragement—they had worked so hard for and with Him.
They had failed.
5. Dejection (i.e.—downcast)— What’s the use of going on?
6. Depression—they were running away. Their ‘old’ life was
better!

Then Jesus shows up and starts walking with them. Believe it or not, they almost missed Him! Here’s what they almost missed:
1. His Presence—He was there but they didn’t see Him!
2. His Promises—His Word holds truth and life and light!
Regardless of the circumstances!
3. His Purpose—to be the salvation for ALL men as it was written
in the Scriptures.
4. His Power—the scars in His hands revealed He indeed had
come back!
5. His Prayer—we don’t know what He prayed but it opened their
eyes!

“Dad” Tippey that day finished his prayer by saying, “they almost missed the BLESSING of Him being there!” WOW! Powerful thoughts, huh?

I don’t know what you are going through at the moment, but let me encourage you to think through the 6 D’s above and add your own situation.

Then lay hold of and don’t ever let go of the 5 P’s! HE IS ALIVE! And He is still here! (Via His Holy Spirit!)

Oh, there’s one more thing. When those two disciples from Emmaus realized it was Jesus who was with them, they returned to Jerusalem to tell the others. There’s a principle here for you: when you see Jesus in your situation and how He has helped you and prayed for you, then return, meaning—tell others, what He has done for you!

Blessings!

Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace


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I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

What picture does the word Peace paint in your mind?

For some it is a beautiful ocean scene with emerald blue water and rolling waves that softly glide onto white sandy beaches. Yet, for others it means a rustic log cabin set back in the piney woods with a creek gently flowing out front. Maybe for you it is a grand mountain range with deep, vast canyons and majestic mountains that seem to reach the sky.

No matter what picture comes to mind when you think of peace, it can never compare to that moment when God’s peace sweeps over your weary soul. The most beautiful landscape you could imagine could not compare to the peace that passes all understanding, the peace that only Jesus can bring.

Have you experienced that peace? I surely have many times.

Oftentimes when we think of peace, our minds tend to also picture a worry-free setting. We are quick to assume that peace means a lack of trouble. However, as I was reading in Acts 12 this morning, I came across a verse that caught my attention. In my mind it painted a rather unusual picture of peace. Acts 12:16 tells us, “And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.”  

In order to fully grasp this picture of peace, let us go back just a moment and examine what is going on in this passage. Prior to Peter being imprisoned, he has had to endure seeing his fellow disciple, James, put to death at the hand of Herod. Now Peter finds himself imprisoned,no doubt facing the same fate that he has just watched James meet.

Now, we can continue our discussion on peace. Does the word peace come to mind when you read this story? Understandably not. So, how is it possible that we find Peter sleeping in this passage? Peace, Friend. It is because of that peace that passes all understanding that Peter can find himself chained between two guards, seemingly facing death, yet he sleeps.

I dare not say that I would handle such a situation the same way. Recently I have been going through some trials much less than imprisonment and death, and still I find myself worrying. Complaining. Fretting over things of which I have no control. I forgot to choose peace. I chose to place my focus on my problems rather than giving them to God and resting in His Peace.

Friend, I am reminded this morning that peace is a choice. Peace should not rely on our circumstances. Peace can not and should not be measured by our surroundings. We, like Peter, should choose peace in the middle of even the most dire situations. Peace can only be found in Jesus. You see, when we take our focus off of our problems and put it on Jesus, then and only then can He give us the Peace that we see in Peter. We can rest, right in the middle of our trial, knowing that God is working for us.

Will you choose peace today? Will you choose to stop looking at all that is wrong around you and focus on the One who holds you in His hand? It is a choice. Today, I choose peace. I choose the peace that passes all understanding. I choose to rest in Jesus today. I pray you will do the same.

 

 

Frankly Speaking—“Light”


light-on-a-hill

You are the light of the world.
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5:14

In our home I have a library. I must say that I’m rather proud of it! I have books, books, books! I love them. I have read most of them and the rest I hope to read sometime in the future.

The other morning, as I was entering my library to have my devotions, it was dark outside the library window and it was dark in the library. Before I turned on the light, this thought struck me—these books are useless unless there is light to read them by! Hmm.

These books contain words of history, psychology, humor, biographies, theology, and many more subjects, but if there is no light to read them by, then they are useless.

My books also contain words of hope, encouragement, admonishment, teaching, etc., but if I can’t read them because I can’t see the words, then those books are useless to me. I must have light in order for those words to help me.

This has me thinking about what Jesus once said—“I am the Light of the world.” Hmm. Why is He the Light? How is that Light to be used? What did He mean—Light of the world? Why does the world need light since we have the sun, moon, and stars? And electricity?

I think He means He gives Light to the darkness of men’s hearts. Why is this so important? It is important because all of us are born into darkness when we entered this world. We lost the Light of our life when Adam and Eve gave it away in the Garden by believing Satan’s lie! They ‘lost’ the ‘Light’ of the Garden which was God Himself. Therefore, Jesus came to show men and women and boys and girls how to see God once again by His life/Light! In so doing, that Light reveals how they can have a relationship with Him. Does this make sense?

Here’s another observation—if man’s heart remain dark then it breeds all kinds of evil, wickedness, harm, war, unrest, and death. And the only way to stop this awfulness is the cleansing Light of Jesus!

But Jesus goes on by saying that once we have met Him, we can be a light for Him as well. He wants to use us as ‘lights’ to take the Light of His Gospel to the whole dark world. Our light is the talents and gifts He has given us to witness to those around us. Because His Light is in us, it draws people to us, which allows us to share about Him! Oh friends, just as assuredly as an outside house light draws bugs to it in the night, the warmth and glow of Jesus in us will draw people who are in their dark like nothing else can!

So is the Light of the world shining in you today? Is the Light of the world shining through you today? If not, let Him ‘trim’ your wick or ‘clean’ your reflecting mirror and lenses so you are able to do so! Then shine, Friends! Shine! Let His LIGHT reach those around you with hope, love, and peace.

Frankly Speaking—“The Hobbit”


old book.jpg

For the word of God is alive and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,
joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Are you a ‘visual’ person? Or are you a ‘reader’? I guess I’m a little of both. I like to read but I also like people ‘showing’ me how to do something. And if I can get ‘hands on’ experience! Voila! I’m a happy camper!

Currently, I’m re-reading “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. Yes, ‘re-reading’! Why? You see, though I’ve seen the movies a couple of times and love them, I’ve never ‘read’ the books until one of my nieces ‘encouraged’ me to do so! Oh, friends, I’m so glad I did!!!! The movies can’t put in everything and didn’t! There’s lots of ‘really good stuff’ in the books!

So why am I going down this road today? First, let me ask you this—have you ‘read’ the Bible clear through at least one time? If not, can I encourage you to do so this New Year? Why? You see, church is really the “Visual” form of the Bible. Church can’t possibly ‘put in’ everything in just the ‘hour’ the pastor has on Sunday morning. Therefore, it is critical, yes, critical to ‘read’ the Book, God’s Word, to get the information we need to live like God wants us to!

Our pastors try hard, with the Holy Spirit’s leading, to give you really ‘good stuff’ for your soul. But my friends, it’s up to you to ‘dig’ into the Book, God’s Word, daily to get the ‘good stuff’ you need to serve Him that day. That’s something the pastor can’t do! You have to ‘feed’ yourself. You need to do this to get ‘the rest of the story’ as radio commentator, Paul Harvey, used to say.

One more thing. Keep reading the Bible. It’s the only book I know that will ‘grow’ with you. It says one thing to you when you are a child, something else when in your teen years, and still more into your adult years. For sure, the words haven’t changed, you have! Your life’s experiences continue to ‘grow’ you. Thus you need God’s Word, regularly, to help temper those experiences so you can discern what truth is. So keep reading my friends! Keep reading.

And if you have a mind to, dive into “The Hobbit” as well!

Your Past Does not Define You


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“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Do you ever reminisce? Do you like to sit with family or friends and talk about the way things used to be? Maybe you discuss experiences you have had or lessons you have learned?  Does your past ever trip you up? Maybe there are things that you would rather forget.

I would say I fall into both categories. I love to sit with family and listen to old stories being told. I enjoy the memories that go through my head as my brother and I reminisce about our younger years at home together. I laugh with my husband as we remember our dating years. Yet amid all the fun memories there are many I would rather not speak of. There are sections of my past which I am happy to leave right where they are. There are even some over which I still trip from time to time.

One of my favorite parts of a new year is the feeling of freshness that comes with it. For me it is like turning the page in a book and beginning a new chapter. Sure, you can go back and visit the previous pages if you would like, but oh the excitement that comes with the many blank pages that lie ahead, just waiting to be filled! The possibilities are endless.

Many times, however, the devil wants to steal that joy from us. Yes, he wants to hold us back, to bind us down. He reminds us of our mistakes. Often times he tortures us with our past. You see, satan has no hope. He was given a choice many, many years ago and he made it. His fate is sealed. Now he wants nothing more than to keep you down, to hold you back. Remember friend, the devil is the father of all lies. (John 8:44)

I want to encourage you today with these words. Your past does not define you. No matter what you have done, or what your past may hold, God loves you. He sent His Son in order that you may have a future. When you confess your sins and give it all to God, He makes all things new. He wipes your slate clean and gives you a fresh start. (Psalm 103:12) What better way to start a new year than with the realization that you are God’s child? The plans He has for you are amazing! (Jeremiah 29:11) Do not let your past failures hold you down any more. Do not allow the devil to fill your head with lies. Hold fast to Jesus and the promises that He has made you.

Will you commit with me right now to put the past behind? Can we lay down the weight of our past mistakes and boldly walk into the future that God has for us? My prayer for you today is that you will take hold of the hand of Jesus and allow Him to lead you to the things He has waiting for you in this new year. The possibilities are endless if we will let go and let God.