OUR GOD NEVER GETS TIRED

February 1, 2016

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.” Isaiah 40:28

Being tired can give us an “I don’t feel like it” attitude. We don’t “feel like” doing anything that requires effort. If we have to make any effort, we might get grumpy, because grumpiness co-exists with tiredness.

When we’re tired, we get a glazed-over look and don’t pay attention to what’s being said. Lack of concentration and reduced mental capacity are also signs of being tired.

Aren’t you thankful that God never gets tired?

God never has an “I don’t feel like it” attitude. God never gets grumpy. God’s eyes never glaze over, and He’s never in La-La-Land when we talk to Him.

Knowing that God never gets tired makes me appreciate Him even more. It motivates me to call on Him and to trust in Him with the full assurance that He’ll be very much alert as He handles every issue I have. And we can all be thankful for that!!

(Every Monday of 2016 I’ll be posting more discoveries on my quest to know God better. Join me!)


FREE TO CHOOSE

December 29, 2015

A new year, a clean slate and endless choices. We have 366 days ahead of us, (2016 is a Leap Year!) and how we choose to live each day depends on us. We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we are free to choose our reactions, attitudes, and our conduct. Since we are free to choose, here are some excellent choices I want to make, and I hope you join me!

CHOOSE TIME ALONE WITH GOD. We can start each day spending time with God to get His perspective, wisdom, direction, strength and peace, or we can “wing it” on our own. Psalm 63:1 tells us: “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You…”  It usually doesn’t go as good when we “wing it.”

CHOOSE GRACE. Let’s opt to treat others with the lavish grace that God pours out in our life. In Matthew 10:8 we find these words of Jesus: “Freely you have received, freely give.” We can show grace to others only because we’ve received it from Him.

CHOOSE TRUTH. Instead of allowing damaging thoughts pull us down, let’s believe what is true. We find truth in God’s word. Christ said that if we abide in His word, we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free. (John 8:32) Believing the truth of His Word, we’ll be free!

CHOOSE TRUST. We have a choice: to worry and be afraid, or to trust God. We can’t do both. Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Why would we not choose to trust our Faithful God?

CHOOSE TO LIVE FOR JESUS. It’s either our selfish agenda, or His; our lives revolve around ourselves, or they revolve around Him. The Apostle Paul wrote that “…those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14)

CHOOSE SURRENDER. Our burdens can get really heavy; we weren’t made to carry them. That’s why we have the privilege of giving them to God. Peter’s encouragement to believers is to cast “all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Our Heavenly Father wants us to trust Him with our burdens.

CHOOSE CONTENTMENT. It’s easy to gripe and complain; to be grumpy instead of thankful. Let’s learn what the Apostle Paul learned: to be content. He said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) When we are content, we are thankful!

CHOOSE TO END THE DAY PROCLAIMING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS. We can end each day lamenting how bad it went, or thankfully proclaim God’s faithfulness. Here’s a recommendation from the Psalmist: “It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord…to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness every night.” (Psalm 92:1,2)

Don’t forget: we’re free to choose!


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!”


JESUS AND THE BOOMERANG EFFECT

October 7, 2013

The definition of the “Boomerang Effect” on www.psychologydictionary.com reads that it “refers to a persuasive form of communication sent to a receiver, yet returned back with the opposite reaction. Thus, the consequential result is not the original, intended message. This effect is often generated when the counter-argument is stronger than the original statement. Ideally, the Boomerang Effect generates a favorable outcome when the positive message sent also comes back as a positive feedback received.”

Centuries before the Boomerang Effect was defined as such, Jesus applied it very skillfully. In chapter 9 of the gospel of Mark we empathize with the dad whose son was possessed by an evil spirit, and we feel his disappointment after the disciples’ unsuccessful attempt to cast the spirit out of the young boy. The dad’s voice was heard above the chaotic crowd as he cried out to Jesus in his desperation. At Christ’s request, the boy was brought to Him, and the dad explained the horrors this young man suffered, adding, “…If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (9:22)

That’s where Jesus applied the Boomerang Effect. He directed three words right back to the desperate dad: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (v. 23) With tearful eyes and deep pain in his heart, the dad cried out “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”. The son was healed because Jesus intervened.

If you can do…”

If you can believe…”

In our seemingly impossible situations, we also cry out to God, “Lord, if You can…” (Finish the sentence with your own plea), when that’s not the issue at all. Of course He can do…!! He is Almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He CAN do what we ask of Him because His power is limitless! At the point of our desperation, when we hurl out “If You can…” Jesus sends the boomerang right back and we hear “…if you can believe…believe in My power; believe in My perfect plans and purposes for you; believe in My goodness, believe in My patience and my love for you…believe that you are not alone; believe that I’ll never leave you, believe that no matter what, I’ve got you in the palm of My powerful, everlasting hand. Believe that every word I’ve ever said is true…if you can believe.”

The Boomerang Effect isn’t a theory of modern psychology. Jesus used it thousands of years ago, and still uses it now. When the “if you can believe” boomerang flies towards us, let’s believe!…and God will intervene!


“GOOD” ISN’T A BIG ENOUGH WORD!

August 2, 2013

“…the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting…” Psalm 100:5

I open my eyes this morning and praise God because His compassions are new again today. Just in the first hour of this brand-new day, He pours His compassions on me. God is good, but “good” isn’t a big enough word.

I can think. I open my eyes after a restful sleep. Nothing hurts. I am healthy.  I can see the person He gave me to share life with, who lives out His love to me, and who I’m deeper in love with than I was when I met him. He’s right beside me. I hear “Amazing Grace” being sung on the radio and praise Him for that grace. I get out of our comfy bed. The temperature is perfect. I’m in our own home. I go through my morning routine, enhanced by hot, running water, indoor plumbing, and electricity. I smell the coffee and enjoy breakfast. I taste and savor each bite. I can walk, talk, breath and digest. I have enough food in my refrigerator to prepare my lunch to take to work. I am employed.

I take my steaming mug of dark-roast to my office and sit in my cushioned chair. As I open my Bible and notebook to worship my good God and Savior who makes all this possible, my all-time favorite guitar player is playing a worship melody from his office, right beside mine. “Cuando pienso en tu amor tan bello, y te veo a ti en santidad…te adoro a ti…la razón por la cual yo vivo es para adorarte…” (I worship You…the reason I live is to worship You.)

I pray, “Lord, let me start off each new day with a sense of awe of You; with thanksgiving and praise, blessing Your name. You are our unchanging God. You are good”

At that point my heart nearly bursts with gratitude as I “taste and see” God’s goodness (Psalm 34:8) God is good, but “good” isn’t a big enough Word!


¿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!


IN A DRY AND THIRSTY LAND

March 24, 2013

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless you while I live. I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied…
and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips
.”
Psalm 63:3-5

When he wrote this, the Psalmist David was not peacefully strumming on his harp, gazing on his satisfied sheep in lush green pastures. Nor was he reigning from his throne, oblivious to pain and suffering of the masses. In fact, when David made the declarations of Psalm 63, he was running for his life. King Saul’s plan was to kill David for fear that this young, popular warrior would take his throne.

This Psalm finds David in the desert, after he escaped from hiding in a cave. Even in this wilderness of Judah, David did not let his seemingly hopeless situation eclipse his worship. Here’s how David worshiped in that “dry and thirsty land

Your lovingkindness is better than life” … even life in this dry and thirsty land.
My lips shall praise You” …even though they are parched in this dry and thirsty land.
Thus I will bless You while I live”…even in this dry and thirsty land, You are worthy.
I will lift up my hands in Your name”….trusting You in this dry and thirsty land.
My soul shall be satisfied”…because I know You are with me in this dry and thirsty land.
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips”…You created me to praise You, even in this dry and thirsty land.

Your “dry and thirsty land” isn’t a wilderness; neither is mine. You are not running from the authorities to save your life; neither am I. But our “dry and thirsty land” might look like pain, disappointment, grief, uncertainty, fear, loneliness, loss. When we have to deal with those issues, like David, we must focus on the fact that God’s “lovingkindness is better than life.” Believing that, we will be motivated to worship Him…even in a dry and thirsty land!


TODAY’S TRUTH

March 21, 2013

TODAY!

Goodness and mercy will follow me! Psalm 23:6

TODAY!

Is a gift from GOD! I will rejoice! Psalm 118:24

TODAY!

God’s mercies are new! Lamentations 3:22,23

TODAY!

Jesus is the same as yesterday, and the same as tomorrow! Hebrews 13:8

TODAY!

Jesus is with me! Matthew 28:20

TODAY!

HOW CAN I NOT BE THANKFUL???


FAMOUS LAST WORDS

March 9, 2013

A few days ago, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died after a long struggle with cancer.  According to Gen. Jose Ornella, the Chief of the Presidential guard, the President’s last words were: “I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die…” words of despair and helplessness.

That detail about Mr. Chavez’s caught my attention, because a few days earlier I was thinking about “Famous Last Words”. Researching internet, I found some were interesting, some were cynical, and others very straightforward. Here’s a sample of what we can read on www.mapping.com:

Lady Nancy Astor (1879-1964) “Jakie, is it my birthday or am I dying?” (Seeing all her children assembled at her bedside in her last illness.)

Louis XIV (1638-1715) “Why are you weeping? Did you imagine that I was immortal?” (Noticing as he lay on his deathbed that his attendants were crying.)

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) “I hope I haven’t bored you.” (Concluding what would be his last press conference.)

George Washington (1732-1799) “It is well, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.”

We can also find the last words of men of faith in the Bible. Let’s look at three of them: Joseph, Moses and Joshua.

Joseph proclaimed the certainty of God’s faithfulness in the future. Joseph knew that God was always with him, and he never stopped believing in the promise that God made generations earlier to his forefathers. In Genesis 50:24 we read: And Joseph said to his brethren, “I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”

Moses gave words of blessing and assurance. Moses personally experienced God’s eternal arms holding him up throughout his lifetime, and often saw God fight the enemy for His people.  In Deuteronomy 33:27, after Moses blessed the children of Israel on his deathbed, he assured them that “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will thrust out the enemy from before you.”

Joshua reminded the people of God’s faithfulness in the past. Joshua experienced it all: the miracles, the journey across the wilderness, the giants, victories in battle, and the Promised Land. Knowing his time was short, he reminded his people of God’s faithfulness in the past. In Joshua 23:14 we read: “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.”

We’ll all have last words one day. Will they be words of despair and helplessness? Expressions of regret?  Will they be words of blessing and assurance? How we live our lives now determines what our very last thoughts and words will be. The last verse of “Bless the Lord” (10,000 Reasons) by Matt Redman  reflects my desire to praise God, even to my last breath!   Please take time to listen to it and make it your prayer, too!


“So What’s New?”

February 7, 2013

“So what’s new?” A coworker ran that overused question by me one morning, not really expecting anything more than the normal, mumbled “not much” that we usually hear – or say – in response. That’s why my own half-hearted “not much” answer didn’t impress him at all.

Thinking I should really amend my reply, I added with genuine “oomph”:  “Do you REALLY want to know what’s new? I have something awesome to share with you. It’s good news! God’s mercies and compassions are NEW this morning, just like they are every morning!

That reply got a response from him that I didn’t expect; he quickly added, “…and so is His forgiveness.” My coworker went on to share a situation when he unexpectedly received very undeserved forgiveness from someone he wounded deeply; he also commented that he always asks God for forgiveness, and a good conversation followed.

“So what’s new?” I discovered that our reply can open doors to share more truth about God when we lay the foundation of expressing that His mercies and compassions are new. Try it!

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23


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