Friday, October 31, 2008

Better Tasting

Hershey's Special Dark. As a child it was my favorite candy bar. But then I discovered Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles, and once I'd tasted one, Hershey's was history. Movies, television, shopping. Once they were my favorite past times. But then I experienced God's goodness through sharing my faith, spending time with those who don't yet know Him, memorizing and meditating on His Word, singing His praises, listening to sermons, reading the biographies of Christian missionaries, and serving others. Life is a vapor; I'm going to spend time on what's better tasting. "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Psalm 34:8)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Falling Leaves

The window on my bedroom wall frames one of His most moving masterpieces. Autumn's leaves, beckoned by a gentle breeze, drift dreamily downward from their lofty boughs. In a bright array of colors and a seemingly endless variety of shapes, they fill the air. Swirling, twirling, floating, falling. Through dappled sunlight and a blue sky backdrop, their beauty proclaims the glory of God. "Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth." (Psalm 96:11-12)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hallow Him

Tiny toys. Tasty treats. Truth-filled tracts. Halloween goody bags lined up on the table become opportunities to tell children about Jesus. After they're filled, they are prayed over: "Lord, use Your Truth to open these precious young eyes to who You are!" Others we know pull their grill out, light up the house, and serve up hot dogs for all the kids and parents and in their neighborhood. People are coming to us, knocking on our doors, and asking for a treat, and we have it! Let us not miss a chance at this holiday that one 9-year-old recently described to me as "all about evil" to honor our King. Hallow Him! "To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:17)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Unthwarted Plan

Forty-five years ago today, a baby boy was born to an unwed mother, living in poverty in a run-down apartment in Jersey City, New Jersey. His father was a trucker, married to another woman and uninterested in a relationship with a child the world labeled "illegitimate." He grew up on welfare with many needs unmet and many wants not realized, and he garnered a great dislike for roaches, rage, and reality. Many would see this as a great argument for abortion: Why should a child have to enter the world this way? I see it as an ordained path traveled by a man I love by the grace of God and for His glory. May He use you always for the furtherance of His kingdom! Happy Birthday, John!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Graceful Dreaming

Snarling dogs were chasing me, and I was running as fast as I could. But, one was gaining on me, and I suddenly felt his teeth grab hold of my clothes. Terrified, I started screaming for help. "Wake up; you're dreaming," my husband said gently. That kind of dream makes for stressful sleeping. "Lord, let me dream as Jeremiah did. Fill my mind with thoughts of You and Your promises of joy to those who find their hope in You." "At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me." (Jeremiah 31:26)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Timely Tracts

The smell of curry greeted us before we entered the huge convention hall. Music drifted through the doorway. Brightly dressed dancers entertained the crowd. The Indian Festival. Just before we had left home I had stuffed some Gospel tracts written in the Hindi language in the diaper bag. As we strolled through the booths, a man asked us to take his literature describing how we could have a stressless life through meditation and yoga. "I'll take your literature, if you'll take mine," I said, smiling. He agreed, as I handed him the tract. "Oh, I don't read Hindi very well," he said as he read the cover, "but I'll try." Lord, use your word to reach him. "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Perfect Presents

In the past, I would ponder what presents to ask for on my birthday. Perhaps jewelry. Possibly clothes. But, regardless of the gift I received or how expensive it was, the thrill at the moment of opening it would soon dissipate, and a new list for next time would begin. Now God has given me eyes to see the best gifts; this year it was a thank you note that read in part, "We are putting down roots and growing in faith. Thanks to you and John for planting the seed and providing the encouragement to get me started." I no longer ask for or desire material gifts, but I do so hungrily pray for the spiritual ones, to know that our great God has used me to touch a life for eternity. "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed you are our glory and joy." (1 Thessalonians 3:19-20)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Timeless Zeal

Listening in on lunch time conversation between two friends, I find myself feeling encouraged. The conversation flows freely from two hearts that love Jesus, and the topic easily moves from soup and chicken salad to unsaved souls. One shares her passion to have a co-worker join her at church this Sunday; the other shares his desire for a friend at school to know the Savior. These two friends happen to be mother and son. One: age 43, the other: age 18. "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

Avoiding Bandwagons

Rolling along the road of popularity, bandwagons often come blaring what our itching ears want to hear. "Jump on; everybody's reading this." "Jump on; everybody's watching this." "Jump on; everybody's doing this." I have found myself suspicious of bandwagons as I have so often been deceived by what appeared to be prudent but proved only to be popular. God's Word must be our guide, and we must be wise and discerning in all our behavior. "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oak Tree

Rolling down my rooftop, acorns dropping from the branches above noisily make their descent to the ground below. This fruit of the oak tree has created a carpet where once there was grass. Squirrels scurry about, picking them up and running around, burying them in various spots. A breeze blows and the wind sends others flying wildly to land loudly in gutters, or on trash cans, or cars! When spring arrives, the seeds that are being planted now will be evident to all with the hundreds, thousands, of seedlings that will emerge. Oh, Lord, may I, like the mighty oak, be an abundant seed spreader! May I scurry about spreading Your Truth. May I busily blow the winds of Your Word. What joy there is in the seedlings!