OUR GOD ALWAYS DESERVES THANKS

November 28, 2016

On Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day we honor very special people and express our gratitude for their love and sacrifice. They all have a special day…but shouldn’t we ALWAYS  be thankful for them?

We just celebrated Thanksgiving Day. Is one day enough to thank God for all He does for us and for all he gives us? Of course not! We all know that God deserves our thanks more than one day a year!

In Ephesians 5:20, the Apostle Paul wrote:  “…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Reading that, and taking note of the word ALWAYS, I made a long “ALWAYS GIVE THANKS” list and would like to share some things with you. To give thanks always means…

  • When I feel thankful and when I don’t
  • When I understand ‘why’ and when I don’t
  • When God answers my prayers my way and when He answers them His way
  • When it seems as though God doesn’t even hear me
  • When I don’t see an end in sight
  • When I feel energized and when I’m tired
  • When I look at the past and when I look at the future

You get the idea. So as you dig for another recipe for leftover turkey, take a minute to make your own “ALWAYS GIVE THANKS” list. Let’s all expand our thanksgiving beyond the holiday and cultivate a thankful attitude every day, because our God ALWAYS deserves thanks!

Join me each Monday in 2016 to share more of what I’m finding on my quest to know God better.

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OUR GOD ANSWERS US

October 17, 2016

Silence can be frustrating. No one answers the doorbell. No one answers the phone call. No one answers your question. No one responds.

The prophets of Baal discovered just how frustrating silence is. After hours of desperately crying out to their god, the prophets of Baal faced reality: “…there was no voice, no one answered, no one paid attention.” (1st Kings 18:29).

Just silence.

Moments later, God’s prophet Elijah prayed “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God…” (1st Kings 18:37). Elijah’s God – our God who hears – answered, sending fire to consume the water-drenched altar, the sacrifice and the water in the trenches. As a result, the people acknowledged the Lord as the only true God.

That’s a perfect example of what our God does: He answers, just as He promised: “Call on me, and I will answer you…” (Jeremiah 33:3) Our God always answers us.

God may answer immediately, as in Elijah’s case, or He may delay; but He will answer us.

God may answer in an unexpected way, but He will answer us.

God may answer “No”. (Remember the Apostle Paul’s experience in 2nd Corinthians 12:7-10?) “No” is a valid answer, and with the “No”, God gives sufficient grace to deal with it…because He always answers us.

Whatever your situation, call on God, and trust Him. You won’t be frustrated by deafening silence, because…He promised to answer us!

(Join me each Monday of 2016 as I share my discoveries on my quest to know God better)


OUR GOD REMEMBERS TO KEEP HIS PROMISES

May 2, 2016

“But you promised!” Stinging words are hurled, and the accusation is valid.
“I’m so sorry, I totally forgot!” is our feeble reply.

We blame busy days, countless responsibilities, endless distractions and life’s hamster wheel; but the truth is, we often forget what we promise. We let others down. Unintentional forgetfulness plagues us, because we are human.

Thankfully, our God is not human; He remembers His promises. He never, ever forgets any promise that He’s made, and He never fails to keep them. The Psalmist confirmed that God’s memory is perfect: “He remembers His covenant forever, the Word which He commanded, for a thousand generations.” (Psalm 105:8)

Here are just a few of the promises that our God remembers:
God promises eternal life to those who believe in Jesus. John 3:16
God promises that all who seek Him will find Him. Jeremiah 29:13
God promises to bless His people with peace. Psalm 29:11
God promises to give His people strength. Psalm 29:11
God promises that He will never leave us. Hebrews 13:5
God promises to forgive us. Luke 6:37

I challenge you to add to this list. Dig into God’s Word and discover His “exceedingly great and precious promises”. (2 Peter 1:4). Our Promise-giver will never let us down; He always remembers to keep His promises, and we can praise Him for that!

(Join me each Monday in 2016 on my quest to know God better)


I ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER

June 7, 2014

We’re never too old to learn from others; even children have qualities we can imitate. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned lately have been from our grandkids.

Not long ago, “Lolo George” (their nickname for Grandpa Jorge) promised the boys that he would get them fishing poles. Now that we have a pond in our backyard, they were excited about going fishing with Lolo George.

When I picked the kids up after work on Thursday to bring them to our place, the first thing they asked was, “Did Lolo George get our fishing rods?” Not wanting to spoil the surprise, I said “Hmmmm….you’ll have to ask him.” Jehiel, 7, immediately responded “I already know the answer. It’s YES, because he said he would!”

They got their fishing gear, Lolo George taught them how to cast and they had a great time fishing. Their big eyes sparkled with excitement as they told me about the “fishes” they caught.

God is faithful, and He keeps His word. As I read His promises and pray, I want to get to the same level of confidence that Jehiel had, and be quick to say “I already know the answer. It’s YES, because He said He would!”


PERSISTENCE REWARDED

September 5, 2013

Knock, knock.

“Who’s there?”

“Your friend. I need something.”

“Go away and don’t bother me. I can’t help you now.”

That may have been the dialogue in Christ’s example in Luke chapter 11. We aren’t told how many times the “knock-knock-who’s-there” scenario took place, but we know it was more than once, because Jesus said the friend in need would be answered because of his persistence.  Immediately following that illustration, Christ assured His listeners (and us!), “… ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)

Not long ago I was rewarded for persistence, and this passage came to mind. The president of the company I work for has his main office at company headquarters in another state and he comes to our office / manufacturing facility several times a year. Because I make travel arrangements for upper management, engineers and visitors, I make the president’s hotel reservations when he comes to town. “Hotel A” is his preferred home away from home, so I called “Hotel A” and requested a reservation for the date he would be staying. Unfortunately, all the rooms were booked and I had to reserve a room at “Hotel B”. My plan was to call “Hotel A” several times again before his arrival to see if they had a cancellation and could get the president in before we would be charged for “Hotel B”. On my fourth attempt in the course of about three weeks, I was rewarded. The reservation clerk of “Hotel A” gave me the reservation and commented: “Well, since you’ve been so persistent, I’ll give him a room.”

No one who calls on God expects Him to say, “Go away, I can’t help you now. Don’t bother Me.”  We ask because we expect an answer. If we don’t get an answer, we keep asking. And we ask again, we seek again, and we knock again. And again. And again.

If that’s your experience, don’t give up! Remember the promise of Jesus: “…everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:10) We know the promise and we can expect an answer, because God rewards persistence!


CALLER ID: UNKNOWN

September 1, 2013

At my place of employment, I do travel arrangements for upper management, engineers and guests. Because some trips are complicated, I often call Cindy, who works for the travel agency that specializes in corporate travel. She always does an excellent job of getting the best itineraries at excellent prices. When I call, my name appears on Cindy’s caller ID, so she immediately responds and we get down to business. A few days ago when I called and Cindy answered, she didn’t greet me by my name, as she usually does. Recognizing my voice, she explained that her caller ID showed “UNKNOWN”. The call then proceeded as normal; I laid out my need and Cindy prepared the perfect itinerary for our traveler.

That incident reminds me of a very encouraging truth: God knows my name. If He had to depend on caller ID – and thankfully He doesn’t – it would never show “UNKNOWN” when I call on Him, because His Word gives us the assurance that “He knows those who trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:7).

Are you a child of God? If so, you don’t need to wonder if He’ll hear your prayers. God doesn’t need caller ID. He knows you, your voice, your need and your name. Be encouraged by the promise He made in Psalm 50:15: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Whatever your need, whatever your trouble, don’t hesitate to call on Him. His promise is true and He is faithful. He will answer you!


¿Cómo Explicar “Me quedé mudo”?

May 24, 2013

“¿Qué te pasó?” Esto es lo primero que preguntamos cuando vemos a alguien con un brazo enyesado o con un parche en el ojo. Es la pregunta que – sin duda – muchas personas formularon a Zacarías durante nueve meses…sin embargo, Zacarías no podía contestar, porque había quedado mudo por no creer la promesa de Dios. (Lucas capítulo 1)

El sacerdote Zacarías y su esposa Elisabet habían orado por un bebé desde su juventud. Cada año la llama de su esperanza se extinguía un poco más, y finalmente llegaron a la vejez con los brazos vacíos, la cuna guardada, y su esperanza perdida…hasta el ángel Gabriel le visitó a Zacarías, anunciando el nacimiento de un hijo. “Zacarías, no temas; porque tu oración ha sido oída, y tu mujer Elisabet te dará a luz un hijo, y llamarás su nombre Juan. Y tendrás gozo y alegría, y muchos se regocijarán de su nacimiento; porque será grande delante de Dios…” (vv.13-15)

Mirando más a sus circunstancias que a la fidelidad de Dios, quien NUNCA falla, Zacarías expresó incredulidad frente a tal promesa. Como consecuencia, fue sentenciado: “Ahora quedarás mudo y no podrás hablar, hasta el día en que esto se haga, por cuanto no creíste mis palabras, las cuales se cumplirán a su tiempo.” (v.20)

Desde este momento, el mudo Zacarías tuvo que explicar con señas lo que le pasaba. ¿Cómo explicar “Me quedé mudo porque dudé la promesa de Dios. Voy a poder hablar cuando se cumpla la promesa.” a toda la gente? ¡Sin duda, fue para Zacarías un recordar constante de la consecuencia de no creerle a Dios!

¿Cuántas veces tú y yo, como Zacarías, miramos la imposibilidad de nuestras circunstancias, y dudamos las promesas de Dios? ¿O cuestionamos cómo va a poder cumplir con la promesa? ¿Cuántos días, meses o años merecíamos – o merecemos – estar sin poder hablar hasta cumplir la promesa?

¡Agradezco a Dios que NO me quita el habla cada vez que dudo su Palabra! Por la experiencia de Zacarías podemos asegurarnos de que Dios siempre oye nuestras oraciones, aún cuando pensamos que no hay más posibilidad de una respuesta. Aunque Dios NO nos va a hacer quedar mudos por nuestra falta de fe, lo mejor que podemos hacer es…CREERLE!


CONTINUE STEADFASTLY IN PRAYER

January 25, 2013

“…being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

If the Apostle Paul were here in person, he might add: “Don’t quit praying! Be committed! Watch out! Don’t call it quits. Don’t be discouraged!”

“But Paul”, I whine, “I have unanswered prayers.”

“Continue steadfast in prayer”, he repeats.

“You don’t get it, Paul. I’m really busy.”

“Continue steadfastly in prayer.”

“Sometimes I get discouraged because I’m not sure it’s worth it.”

“Continue steadfastly in prayer.”

“You know what happens, Paul? Sometimes I forget to pray.”

“Continue steadfastly in prayer.”

“There are some things I actually think I can handle on my own. Really.”

“Continue steadfastly in prayer.”

“Let me put it this way: my prayer life is sporadic, at best”, I confess.

“Continue steadfastly in prayer” is Paul’s advice.

“I can’t do that. I simply can’t”, I finally confess, facing up to reality.

“I know you can’t; that’s exactly why you need to ‘continue steadfastly in prayer’ “

Then I realize that those four words hold so much meaning, and though simple, it is a very weighty piece of advice that is too often willingly ignored. “Continue steadfastly in prayer” is the key to incorporating God in every area of my life…and that is what I need! AMEN!


THEY DON’T FORGET THE PROMISES!

January 7, 2013

As our bundled-up grandsons, ages 4 and 5, were about to go home with Daddy after their weekly visit on a cold December evening, little Milos exclaimed, “Lola! What about our treat?” Knowing it is part of our farewell ritual, he was just making sure that I didn’t forget to give them the Twizzlers I promised them that day. Our son was quick to remark, “They don’t forget the promises!”

Maybe that’s another reason why Jesus said we should become as little children…maybe we are too prone to forget His promises. How often do we remember that He promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”? (Hebrews 13:5) Or we forget that “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”? (1 John 1:9) Or that “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”? (John 8:36) How about “if you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”? (John 15:7)

While there are countless promises, and each one is, as Peter stated, “exceedingly great and precious” (2 Peter 1:4), God gave us one that validates them all and that we definitely should never forget: “My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.” (Psalm 89:34)

It’s true. Children’ don’t forget promises. Our faithful God doesn’t either. So let’s be diligent to remember them, so it can be said of us that “they don’t forget the promises!”


WAITING

August 21, 2012

Fussing, fidgeting, fuming…we all hate to wait!
Complaining, sighing, blaming…wondering why we have to wait.
Confusion, doubt, worry and anguish…why is waiting taking so long? What’s going on?
No one likes to wait. We may be waiting for something as common as a red light; as essential as a check in the mail; as complicated as an answer from our boss, or as important as an answer to prayer. Minutes stretch into hours; days lengthen until they feel like months and years.

There’s something that many of us wait years for: answered prayer.

So what do we do in the meantime? How should we wait? The Bible has a lot to say about waiting and encourages us with eternal truths. The Psalmist instructs us to “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret…” (Psalm 37:7) In other Psalms we read about waiting silently for God (62:1) and being of good courage (27:14) as we wait on Him. Easy? Not at all! UNTIL… we realize and believe that as we wait for Him to answer, He is working behind the scenes. Isaiah expressed this truth: “…since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides YOU who acts for the one who waits for Him.”

Are you waiting for God to answer your prayers? I am. As I wait, this truth encourages me: He is working out the answers! Let’s wait in a way that would honor God: resting in Him without fretting, silently, and with the assurance that He will come through with the answer. “Though it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come…” (Habakkuk 2:3)


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