I was raised in the time when all we had was black and white television sets. We had three channels; three, nine, and twelve. They would go off the air at 12:00 am with the playing of our National Anthem. I know this is going to be hard for some of you to believe, but we actually had to get up and walk to the TV to change the channel. I was a pre-teen before we got our first color television and soon they came out with a device called a “Remote Control”. You could adjust the volume, turn it off and on, and actually change the channel from where you were sitting. It was small enough to be hid in plain sight lying on the coffee table and would effortlessly slide down inside the seat cushion.
Times have changed and so have the remote controls. They have gotten to the point that you need a college class to operate them. Why in the world do they need all those buttons on them?
I recently changed to a new TV provider and got the remote out and stared at it like it was the dashboard of the Space Shuttle. I had no idea where to start and I was afraid I was going to hit the “Launch Button”. So I did what any red blooded man would do, I laid it down and waited for Donna to figure it out.
It has been an unstated rule that the one with the remote has control of the television. I have no problem with this. There is no shame in leaving it in the hands of a competent person. There’s nothing worse than pushing the wrong button and having to navigate your way back before you fly off into cyber space, never to be heard of again and staring at a black screen. Complete shut-down all because you made the wrong choice.
Our lives are like this. Some buttons (choices) we choose we know the outcome and sometimes we make the wrong choice with devastating effects to ourselves and those around us.
Why not surrender the remote for our lives into the hands of God who is more than competent and let Him have control of your life.
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
After a long morning at work sifting through the endless tasks that I had to get finished that day, I found myself, (how should I put it), a little rung out. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that no one cared what I was doing. Like my presence and work there was unappreciated. I tried to cheer myself up by singing a good ole gospel song to myself but that also fell on deaf ears. This was going to be a long day and it wasn’t even 9:30 yet!
Nobody had come to my office to visit me, which normally is a “Hide from the Boss Hangout” I was alone and it was only getting worse.
I managed to make it to lunch and sat down with my two sandwiches that Donna had made for me the night before. I sat them before me with my chips and drink, sighed real deep, and said a half hearted prayer to God for what I was about to eat. When I bit into the first sandwich and started chewing it up, the meat had a different texture than I remembered ham having and as took my second bite I noticed a yellow colored object inside my sandwich. When I opened it up to see what it was, that was when my day took a major turn for the better.
There inside my two pieces of bread was a love letter from Donna. It simply read, “I love you have a great day”.
God also sends us love letters every day. They may be in the form of a gentle smile from a stranger, a loving hug from a grandchild, or even a helping hand at the door. The next time you see a person who seems to be “rung out” offer a kind word. You never know, God may be using you to be His love letter for that day.
I was sitting in my office the other day and I had deleted this email sent to me by Scott (sorry, Scott) and then I noticed a response that Whitney had posted to it. I don’t know the proper edict for re-posting a post but I felt compelled and convicted to share it with you. The first one is Scott’s and the second one is what Whitney had found. It’s a little long, but a good read.
Scott wrote, Read the words of this song. I’ve heard it a hundred times but these words really hit me like a ton of bricks this morning
By Mathew West
I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”
If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something
I’m so tired of talking
About how we are God’s hands and feet
But it’s easier to say than to be
Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
It’s alright, “somebody else will do something”
Well, I don’t know about you
But I’m sick and tired of life with no desire
I don’t want a flame, I want a fire
I wanna be the one who stands up and says,
“I’m gonna do something”
The Hands of Jesus
In a European town there was a beautiful statue of Jesus. The hands of the statue reached out, and the inscription read, “Come unto me.” But during World War II the statue was completely destroyed by bombing. So after the war the townspeople hired the same sculptor to rebuild it. The man worked hard and the work went well, but when he came to the statue’s defining feature, its outstretched hands, he decided to do something different. He kept his decision a secret, however, until the day of the unveiling.
When that day came, the townspeople all gathered around the covered statue. There was excitement in the air, and the whole affair featured quite a bit of pomp and circumstance. Then the sculptor unveiled the new statue. That’s when gasps of shock rose up all around. You see, the Jesus depicted by this new statue had arms but no hands. As the people stood there in stunned disbelief, the sculptor unveiled the inscription on the statue’s base. It read: “Who will be my hands today?”
You know, that’s a question that Jesus could ask every day. Will you do His work today?
The heart of God, is the Father,
The face of God is Jesus,
The voice of God is the blessed Holy Spirit,
But the hands and feet of God is the Church
He loves me
I remember the first Bible I ever owned. I was seventeen years old when it was given to me by my mother for a high school graduation present in 1977. The amazing thing is that I lose my wallet and keys every other week but I have managed to hang on to it for all these years. It lays open on my desk at work and has been the source of many bible discussions throughout the day. The pages are severely dog eared and most key verses are underlined. It has served me well for all these years and will one day be Chad’s. (Minus a few pages)
Soon after I received this Bible, I noticed that someone had highlighted Romans 8:35-39. You know the passage; it starts with, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"
Now imagine my surprise when years later I asked my mom about her marking this for me before she gave it to me and she said it wasn’t her that did it. She didn’t know anything about it. The only other one who had access and motive to do such a thing was God. So for all these years that has been my verses that have carried me and in my mind was marked with the finger of God.
It’s hard to get our arms around the fact that God loves us unconditionally. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us more and nothing we can do to make Him love us less. He loves us equally on our best day as well as our worst. Your goodness can’t win God’s love nor can your badness lose it. But you can resist it.
Stop trying to “work for it” and accept it for what it is. It is God’s Grace at its finest. I love this quote that I read the other day, “Junkyard wrecks and showroom models share equal space in God’s garage.” Which one are you? It doesn’t matter; he loves you just the same.
Now go read your Romans 8:35-39 homework assignment and stop resisting the great love that surpasses understanding.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
"You have your Daddy's eyes"
Sometimes as I look into the eyes of Kalynn (my seven year old granddaughter) there are the eyes of her mother. It’s uncanny how we inherit traits of our parents neither asked for nor developed on our own. I remember little about my own dad, he went to be with the Lord when I was a boy. Many of those who knew him tell me I walk like him. It isn’t that I try to; it’s just in me I guess.
The Bible teaches, “We were created in the image of God”. (Genesis 1:27) We have His attributes such as the capacity to love, forgive, and care for others. Living our Christian life, others should be able to look and see God’s image in us. We are His children and bare the likeness of He who created us.
You are His design. He created you just like He wanted you. To be Christ-like means you are acting and talking like your Father. My desire is to be like him when I grow up (If I ever do grow up), you know what I mean.
I have not seen the face of Jesus however; I have seen artist’s renderings of Him. Upon arriving in Glory, I will not recognize Jesus by his clothing; I will know him by his eyes. The eyes desperately loving everyone he saw; the eyes which had compassion for all who came to him; the eyes reaching out to make a difference in everyone’s life.
Let it be said of us, “You have your Daddy’s eyes”
Adam, Where are you?
Those must have been words that put a knot in Adam's stomach. Something had changed. There was a separation that wasn't there before. Never before had God had to call for Adam. He was always waiting to talk to God. To take the evening walks and to hear God explain his creation. But now, now there was shame, now there was dread.
Remember the times that your mother used your middle name? Mark Ralph Cameron come here right now! I knew this wasn't going to end well. Remember the dread of them finding out? When I heard the door shut after my mother came home, I knew it was only a matter of time before she found what I had done. You may ask, " what did you do?" The list is endless. But each time the same knot would be in my stomach.
I've always wondered what would have happened if I had just met her at the door and confessed what I had done that day. Would it have made taking the punishment any easier?
Here's what I've learned from my years with God. When I'm playing hide and seek with God over a sin that I've committed, I've found it better if we play like we're two years old. If you have ever played hide and seek with a two year old then you know how it goes. It goes something like this:
You - "Three, two, one, ready or not here I come. Where are you?"
Two year old- ( immediate response ) "I'm behind the chair!"
The sooner you confess, the sooner God can forgive.
Don't hide your sin from God. He already knows.