Wednesday, February 23, 2005
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:14 nkjv
I needed to drive to a meeting. The drive takes about forty minutes, most of which is on the interstate. Since I don’t drive on the highway frequently, before backing out of the garage, I strapped my seatbelt, adjusted my mirrors, checked my directions, and prayed. In fact, I prayed for almost forty minutes!
As I whizzed down the road at sixty, okay seventy, miles per hour, I thought about how often I looked in the rear-view mirror. Many years ago in driver’s education, my instructor told me to check my mirrors frequently while driving.
Looking back is advantageous at times. On the way home, I passed through downtown at rush hour, and I could keep my eye on the semis, aggressive drivers who rushed past me like I stood still, or the drivers distracted by cellphones.
In life, looking back can be an education. We learn what not to do by examining our mistakes. But bad memories can hinder us from living in the present. We must not dwell on past mistakes, but learn from them and move on.
We can also reminisce with our positive memories thanking God for His blessings. We never want to forget the goodness of our Father. We sing a popular song at church that says, “Look what the Lord has done.” Even good memories can stifle our lives by causing us to wish things were ‘the way they used to be.’ God has done marvelous things in the past, and because He does not change, He does marvelous things today, too!
If I had spent the greater part of my time driving on the interstate looking in my rearview mirror, I’m sure I wouldn’t be here at all. To live life to its fullest, we cannot linger in the past. The apostle Paul put it this way. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:12-13 nkjv)
Maybe I wouldn’t check my mirrors so often if I drove the speed limit. Oh, me. Did I admit that?
Prayer: Lord, help me to trust You, to thank You for ‘this day,’ and to and to be present and ready to do Your will. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Lori Anton of Women with Heart has published Steak or Green Beans? - an article dealing with Christians being judgmental of one another. Click here to read. I'd love some feedback. God bless you! - Donna
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. – Hebrews 13:15 amp
I received the nicest email from someone who stumbled across my devotionals. Dianne complimented me on the site, and encouraged me to keep working for the Lord. I appreciate the fact that Dianne took the time to cheer on a fellow Christian she has never met.
Her email caused me to wonder. Have I applauded someone who’s done a good job lately? Have I inspired someone to work harder in his or her ministry? And most importantly – have I been faithful to praise God?
Everyone can use a boost now and then. I have to admit that sometimes I notice the negative before the positive. I jump in to fix what I perceive as wrong before I stop to appreciate what is right. These days I make an intentional effort to focus on the positive.
Does God really need for us to compliment Him? In Psalm 22:3, David said, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” What does it mean to inhabit? To be present in; be inside of. God is present when we praise Him. God dwells inside those who praise Him.
Stop for a moment. Is there someone in your life you could call today to encourage? In our church, Lori Barker does a lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ kind of work. As the ‘pastor’s wife’, I’m so grateful for people like Lori who don’t hesitate to do the things for which there is no outward praise. We have several more like Lori, too. We are blessed.
Not everyone writes or sings or preaches, but tell me – who in your church buys the bread for Communion? Who cleans the church or types up the bulletins? Do you know? Why not tell them today how much you appreciate their ministry?
Take some time, too, to praise the Lord. Perhaps you might like to memorize this verse: While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. - Psalm 146:2
Prayer: Lord, I praise You and give You glory for You are so worthy to be praised. Make me aware of those around me in need of a word of praise or thanks. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them. – Psalm 139:16 esv
I can finally see some shoots of grass in my front yard. A big snowstorm hit our area a few weeks ago, and blanketed everything with twenty inches of snow with a few more added here and there since then. For a while, I felt like God had us inside a giant snow globe, and every so often, He’d give us a good shake.
As I stood at my back door watching the enormous flakes floating gently to the ground, I thought about how each one is unique. Just like people. Did you know there is no one else exactly like you? The arrangement of ridges in any fingerprint is thought to be unique and permanent with each person. No two persons having the same prints have ever been found.
Isn’t that amazing? Lenny LeBlane wrote a song entitled “There Is None Like You.” The lyrics refer to God, but the title could have been written about you.
David wrote in the 139th Psalm: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139:14-15 esv)
As a musician, David, wrote a beautiful song extolling the wonder of the intricacy of our form. It’s just like a unique God to make each of His creatures unique as well.
You have a ministry and a commission given to you by Jesus Christ Himself to reach those around you in your ‘Jerusalem.’ You have an incomparable mission. We have a common goal to reach others for Christ, but your ministry is unique. Your circle of influence reaches people I will never touch. They’ll never read my writing or talk to me or hear me sing. They will have never heard of me. But they know you. They know your life. Who will cross your path today? Are you ready to be the witness God would have you be? Perhaps someone will need to hear words only you can speak, or you might be the only person who can empathize with someone’s plight. Pray. Be ready.
As I write this, God has seen fit to shake my world once again. Giant snowflakes fall in silence outside my window – so beautiful, but please, God – can we keep it down to just an inch or less?
Prayer: Lord, help me to be aware of my unique ministry. May I be led of the Holy Spirit to minister to those You bring across my path. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
To read the Lyrics to “There Is None Like You,” click here.
To hear a recording: click here.