Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pick Up Your Cross: The Sacrifice of Serving

"Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals. And don't greet anyone on the road. "When you enter a house, first say, 'May this house be blessed with peace.' If someone there loves peace, your blessing of peace will rest on him. If not, it will return to you. Stay in that house. Eat and drink anything they give you. Workers are worthy of their pay. Do not move around from house to house.
(Luke 10:3-7) Jesus sent out seventy others after sending the twelve (Luke 9:1-5) with similar instruction. They were to go into areas where He Himself would be visiting in the near future. They were not to take food or money, but rely upon the same Spirit who would guide their teaching to provide others to meet their physical needs as well. Jesus had just finished teaching on true discipleship (Luke 9:57-62) and He now lays out the plan. The committed Christian worker (pastor, minister, missionary, laymen) is to work as God called him or her, and trust Him to provide. The harvest in indeed plentiful, and we all need to answer the call God has given to each of us: To go or to support those who have gone. We cannot muzzle the ox (1 Timothy 5:18) or shut down the work by not providing for his living expenses as he shares the Good News. Those who deliver the Gospel day after day throughout the land, in churches, on the city streets, or among the various neighborhoods in which we live receive their living (support) from the Gospel.(1 Corinthians 9:14) Serving God's people their job! We are their support system! It’s am embarrassment to the church and to us who believe when those who are called to serve are hamstrung by finances. God commanded some to go but He commanded us all to give. Even during tough economic times we can’t stop giving, because the servant does not stop serving! (2 Corinthians 9:10) Our commitment to Christ is a witness to the world of our dependence upon Him to supply our needs, as we trust Him. (Philippians 4:19).
Let’s allow His light to shine through us, whether we are actually doing the work or supporting the work of the Gospel. There is a cross for us all in the sacrifice of serving!

Friday, March 29, 2013

No Pain, No Gain, NO Reason to Live! Why Do We Live?

“‘My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.’ Going a little farther, he threw himself down with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will.’ Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, ‘So, couldn’t you stay awake with me for one hour? Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ He went away a second time and prayed,‘My Father, if this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will must be done.’ ”(Matthew 26:38-42 NET)
Recalling the movie, The Passion (Mel Gibson) and how Jesus was in agony in the garden prior to His arrest, I reflect upon the image of Satan right there, still plotting to thwart God’s plan to redeem man’s soul . . .my soul . . . your soul! Satan tried to convince Jesus that we were not worth His efforts and that no one man could possibly save all of man. Oh but my Jesus, He slammed His foot upon the serpent, bringing to mind the verse (Genesis 3:15) “…he will crush your head…” Satan was about to receive a crushing blow; the victory over death through the shed blood of Christ upon the cross. The emotional pain leading up to the cross must have wracked Jesus'soul, yet in no way would it compare to the physical pain leading up to and including the crucifixion. It was all for you and for me.
Thank you Jesus!
There is a familiar saying in the gym: “NO PAIN, NO GAIN”. Without the pain of the cross there is no gain of salvation. There had to be the pain to atone for the sin. There had to bloodshed!
“Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”(Hebrews 9:22)
His PAIN (beatings, scourging, spitting, curses, and the crucifixion) was our GAIN. His sacrifice was our freedom. We owe everything we are to Christ. No one could ever do what He did. All of our work is simple rubbish before a holy God. How deep and wide is the love of God for us for Him to allow Jesus to do all he did! He did it for Peter, who promised to follow Jesus through anything, yet denied Him three times in one night. He did it for the Jewish people and all who cried out “crucify Him!” He did it for the thief hanging next to Him on the cross. He did it for me. He did it for you! Why does He love us so? Jesus cried out while on the cross,
“‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matthew 27:46)
Then He sighed,
"‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30)
The work of Christ was complete. He had received all the sin of every person to live upon this earth. He felt the painful separation from His Father. The Old Testament sacrificial laws were now obsolete. His obedience to God the Father’s will was complete and perfect. The sacrifice had been made. The temple curtain was torn in two making the way clear to the Father. No more atonement was needed. No more rituals. The way of redemption had been paved! One person: Jesus, the only begotten of the Father, out of love for man and obedience to the Father, took on flesh (John 3:3)and became sin for us. No greater love would ever be established than for Jesus Christ to lay down His life for each of us. Never doubt His love! At the foot of the cross, as we look up and gaze upon our Savior, His outstretched arms show the width and depth of His love. I wonder what our pain . . . our sacrifice . . . our commitment . . .our obedience can lead to? How many will we be able to lead to the Savior? One life . . . our life . . .lived within another Holy Week?
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.(John 14:12-14)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Cost

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27)
There is a cost to pay to follow Christ. It seems to be a major problem for many of us today. Fortunately, the problem is easy to overcome. We struggle because in the United States, our words love and hate lie at opposite extremes. They are opposed to one another. In the Middle Eastern mind and thought, however, they serve as comparative words, not opposite words. So Jesus is not commanding us to hate everyone who means a great deal to us; in fact, He’s saying that our love for them must pale in comparison to our love for God. We should love God so supremely that any other love looks like hate by comparison. To be His disciple, we must place His will above our own. Many still will not understand, especially family who have their own agenda for their relatives. However, we still must make a definitive choice. We cannot serve two masters.
How many will pay the cost?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not easy . . . but Possible . . . through Christ!

You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.(Psalm 71:20-21)
The same God who allows troubles in our lives also brings strength to not only get trhough them, but to get through them for the better! yes, we are better for our struggles, especially when we allow he Lord to have His way with us and not fight Him all the way. I don't know if I am quite like James, considering my trials and tribulations pure joy, but I can witness to the fact that I am better for them! God has been good to me and changed me for the better . . . because of the struggles He has allowed me to go through! he has brought me closer to Him. He has changed the way I live my life and the reason I live. I now know my future and I want everyone I have contact with to know theirs as well. God has an awesome plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11)but we must commit our ways to Him and live for His will so we may achieve it! Not easy, but possible through Christ . . .
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.(James 1:2-4)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today I praise Him!

O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded,O God, do not forsake me . . . Until I declare Your strength to this generation, your power to everyone who is to come. (Psalm 71:17-18)
I realize as I get older how God was with me even before I ever knew Him personally. He was preserving me for this time even through my foolish actions in my youth. He was teaching me right from wrong and the difference between wise choices and foolish ones.
So today I praise Him!
I praise Him for things I may never know that He has done. I praise Him for allowing me to go through things that were not so pleasant. I praise Him for alloing me to learn from dumb mistakes. I praise Him for where He has me now . . . in toal dependance upon His providence. I praise Him for what He has in store for me in the future!
I am nothing without the Lord! You hear me? . . . N O T H I N G!!!!
He is my stength. He is my foundation. He is the Source of every resource I may need. I will not quit until every one I come in contact hears of His love and grace toward me and to them as well. It is too late to be playing around. The time is running out, but I press on toward the final buzzer! It is how I finish, not how I began . . .
Today I Praise Him!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Old and Out of Touch? Planning retirement . . .

Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.” (Psalm 71:9-11)
I want the end of my life to be better than my beginnings. Since the Lord rescued me back in 1993, I want to believe I am living more for Him now than ever before. I want to be showing progress, not regression. It would be a shame to be old and out of touch with the Lord! Finishing strong is so important to us as individuals, but also to our families and those under our influence. You see, teenagers and those in their early twenties are not the only ones falling away from their faith! Recently, I have heard of and witnessed many older men, those who have beem married for twenty to thirty years now deciding to leave their wife and families. To me this is disgusting!!!! To make it worse, these men are leaders in their churches and some whom I have been in small group Bible studies. The psalmist fears drifting away from the Lord in his old age. We all should fear this and make plans to stay strong! Retirement is not a time to leave the Lord. In fact, it is time to get closer! It is time to pray harder. It is time to work even more for Him, because we have more time! As we plan vacations, family activities, and the like, we need to plan time with the Lord.
So how do we plan for retirement and when . . . NOW is the time!

Friday, March 22, 2013

My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.(Psalm 71:8)
This is how I should be . . . . Too many times I forget about God. Too many occassions I bask in my own glory and think about what I have done. I need to be more aware of what the Lord is doing. Perhaps then I will feel more like the Psalmist!
God is always at work around me! I need to remind myself and others of that fact all day long!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

my defense and my offense

Be my rock of refuge,to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.(Psalm 71:3-4)
In other words, God is my large fort or fortified town . . . . a place or source of refuge or support. He is where I go for protection, to re-arm my weapons, and to find encouragement and support. He is my strong wall of protection. He is my arsenal Whom I go to when I am out of weapons. He is my defense and my offense. He is all I need and should be all I desire! What is God to Us? Is He only there when we run out of our own schemes and devices? Do we seemingly try to do this thing called called life on our own day after day until we sit helpless, bloody and battered, and then run back to Jesus? I know I find myself there at times! Oh, if I would only realize that it is God all along where I can find all I need! As it has been said, when I realiz all I have is Jesus, I ralize Jesus is all I need!
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.(Colossians 1:16-17)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Life-Long Shelter

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. (Psalm 71:1-2)
According to Webster, a refuge is a shelter or protection from danger or distress, a place that provides shelter or protection, or : something to which one has recourse in difficulty. Jesus is all of that more! He is a person who desires to do all these things for His children and then to give us all we need. He does not simply hide us out from danger, but gives us the weapons we need to fight as well. He is the Source of all of all our resources!
Jesus is a life-long shelter, not just for defense, but as an offensive weapon as well!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Not in Vain

I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ(Philippians 1:23-27)
While some view it as a cop-out to desire to be with Christ, it is my goal. What peace there will be . . . what joy knowing there will be no more temptation to sin and no more consequences from sin! However, the greatest joy will be simply to see my Savior, the very One who loved me enough to rescue me when I was so low! As much as I love my family, to be home is my goal.
Yet until He returns or at the least comes for me, there is work to be done! My life should be lived out to the glory of God and for the purpose of letting others expereince Him! It is not in vain! This is my prayer!!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

An Irish Way of Life

Taken from the Prayer of Patrick's breastplate . . . a great reminder for all believers daily:
Christ be with me Christ before me Christ behind me Christ in me Christ beneath me Christ above me Christ on my right Christ on my left Christ where I lie Christ where I sit Christ where I arise Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me Christ in every eye that sees me Christ in every ear that hears me Salvation is of the Lord.
May this prayer be our prayer . . . or to relate it more to the Bible, we can say it this way:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Friday, March 15, 2013

You mean I gotta die?

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
No one wants to die, yet everyone wants to be in heaven. Well the only way to get to heaven is to live for Christ and then die . . . unless of course He returns while we are yet upon this earth! We believers love to be identified with Christ and love the fellowship of believers, yet we all fear death. That's to be expected I guess. But here, Paul reminds of us ofour goal . . . to be with Christ! Yes, it is awesome to walk with the Lord here on earth and serve His purposes. It is awesome to see folks hear His Word and respond by giving their lives over to Him, especially our youth. Yet the ultimate is to be with Christ. Death brings us into His presence! Like Christ, we live to die.
I guess what Paul is really saying is to live hard for the Lord until we die. If the worst that can happen to us is to die, then bring it on! Until then . . . I live!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Is HE my reason for doing all that I do?

But what does it matter? Here is the important thing. Whether for reasons that are right or wrong, Christ is being preached about. That makes me very glad. (Philippians 1:18)
I grew up in a large denominational church and even though I have been born-again now for twenty years, the legalism agenga still creeps in now and then. I am made to feel guilty by what others might think, by how many times I do this or that, or by the amount of work I might do for the church. These are the times when paul's words ring true and bring back to what really matters; my relationship with my Savior and the spreading of the Gospel. You see, Jesus is not keeping tabs on how many times I attend church or how many ministries have me signed up on their calendars. it's not about how much I tithe or whom I am friends with in the church. The title I hold or the seat I sit upon is not important. While I should regularly attend church, support ministry events, give of my finances, and encourgae fellow members and the church leaders, what matters most is JESUS!
Is HE my reason for doing all that I do?
JESUS must be my reason for living. HE alone must nbe my motivation for serving within the Church. HE is why I volunteer or attend.I give to JESUS, not man or a building or a cause. I support my pastor and church leaders because they support JESUS' agenda and not their own. I live and breathe for HIS applause, not others'! This needs to be my goal. One of my influential mentors always reminds me: Only what I do for CHRIST will last.
Work at everything you do with all your heart. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for human masters. Work because you know that you will finally receive as a reward what the Lord wants you to have. You are serving the Lord Christ.(Colossians 3:23-24)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keep leaning Forward . . .

Suppose I go on living in my body. Then I will be able to carry on my work. It will bear a lot of fruit. But what should I choose? I don’t know. I can’t decide between the two. I long to leave this world and be with Christ. That is better by far. (Philippians 1:22-23)
Challenges in the Christian life and in serving others cause us to wonder if what we do is really worth it at times. We get ridiculed, rejected, even lied on at times. Many times I find myself asking the Lord, "When are You coming back?" Yet however glorious it will seem to be in heaven with the Lord and all His saints, there is still work to do until Jesus says it's time! So let's not grow weary in doing good. Wedo it to honor Christ, not to bring any applause upon ourselves. God is still at work and it is His Spirit that will change folks and even keep us going.
As my friend once told me, "keep leaning forward . . ."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Always Time to Change

But a message from God came to Shemaiah. He was a man of God. God said to him, “Speak to Solomon’s son Rehoboam, the king of Judah. Speak to the royal house of Judah and Benjamin. Also speak to the rest of the people. Tell all of them, ‘The Lord says, “Do not go up to fight against the Israelites. They are your relatives. I want every one of you to go back home. Things have happened exactly the way I planned them.”’” So the fighting men obeyed the Lord’s message. They went home again, just as he had ordered. (1 Kings 12:22-24)
Rehoboam finally listened to Godly advice. We all have rejected wisdom over the years. Some of us have a hard time accepting that others' advice is better than our own! But there is always a chance to change . . .God is pursuing us and wooing us through others and through His Word.
Those of us who have learned this lesson must not give up on those who reject it. God is still at work. There is always time to change as long as we have breath . . .

Monday, March 11, 2013

Listen Wisely!

But Rehoboam didn’t accept the advice the elders gave him. Instead, he asked for advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were now serving him. (1 Kings 12:8)
There is so much in the way of advice today . . . talk shows . . . on-line discussions . . . social media . . . friends . . . family . . . church family . . . Who de we listen to anyway? Who knows what is right?
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
Solomon himself stated the words above. Maybe his son should have listened! It is much better to get more than a few opinions, then check it out with God;'s Word. Listen wisely!
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Not Everyone Listens

But Rehoboam didn’t accept the advice the elders gave him. Instead, he asked for advice from the young men who had grown up with him and were now serving him. (1 Kings 12:8)
Whether it's our own kids, kids we teach or mentor, or just youth in general, not all of them will listen. Many will take their own advice or the advice of peers and end up failing . . . worse. It is frustrating, painful, and breaks our hearts at times. Yet is it a fact.
Not everyone listens . . . but we never give up! God has plan!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Set the pace!

What you teach must agree with true teaching. Tell the older men that in anything they do, they must not go too far. They must be worthy of respect. They must control themselves. They must have true faith. They must love others. They must not give up. In the same way, teach the older women to lead a holy life. They must not tell lies about others. They must not let wine control them. Instead, they must teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children. The younger women must control themselves. They must be pure. They must take good care of their homes. They must be kind. They must follow the lead of their husbands. Then no one will be able to speak evil things against God’s word. In the same way, help the young men to control themselves. Do what is good. Set an example for them in everything. When you teach, be honest and serious. 8 No one can question the truth. (Titus 2:1-7)
You want to be a teacher . . . a mentor . . . sonmeone worth following? You gotta set the pace! No one wants to follow someone who is doing the same thing everyone is doing! You have to be the spotlight. You have to be the different thing. You have to be be the challenge. You cannot be a clone! To teach we must believe what we know and follow. If we are to teach the Gospel and mentor young (and older) folks to Christ, then we must truly believe what we teach and model it! The ones we teach must see the words we speak as we live! Words fall on deaf ears when they are not put into practice! it takes sacrifice and planning. It takes committment. It's work, but the work we do for Christ is all that will last anyway!
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill can’t be hidden. Also, people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand. Then it gives light to everyone in the house. “In the same way, let your light shine in front of others. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will praise your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Trusting God as We Live Out Our Faith

“The Lord, the God of heaven, took me away from my father’s family. He brought me out of my own land. And he made me a promise with an oath. He said, ‘I will give this land to your family after you.’ The Lord will send his angel ahead of you. So you will be able to get a wife for my son from there. (Genesis 24:7)
Ahh, the freedom of home security . . . I can barely remember being able to make my own decisions for the first time. Can you? When to get up . . . when to go to bed . . . should I leave the TV on all night . . .maybe I will eat cake for breakfast . . .do I really have to go to church . . . does the person I date really matter. . . But imagine the turmoil our parents went through! Now, as a parent and grandparent, I can really relate to Abraham's struggles and my parents' worries as well. When will my children realy become independent? When will they begin to make the proper mature decisions concerning their future? When will I stop worrying? Just as Abraham stated in the verse above, we must trust God with the promises He has made. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Just as He was with Abraham, He will be with us. What will worry do anyway? Let's continue trusting God as we live out our faith!
Don’t worry about anything. Instead, tell God about everything. Ask and pray. Give thanks to him. Then God’s peace will watch over your hearts and your minds because you belong to Christ Jesus. God’s peace can never be completely understood. (Philipians 4:6-7)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Concern for my Children

By that time Abraham was very old. The Lord had blessed him in every way. The best servant in his house was in charge of everything he had. Abraham said to him, “Put your hand under my thigh. The Lord is the God of heaven and the God of earth. I want you to make a promise with an oath in his name.“I’m living among the people of Canaan. But I want you to promise me that you won’t get a wife for my son from their daughters. Instead, promise me that you will go to my country and to my own relatives. Get a wife for my son Isaac from there.” (Genesis 24:1-4) Abaraham was up in years and had so much concern for not only his legacy, but the legacy of God for his children. The world was a very inviting place, but a treacherous place as well. It was full of lusts and temptations. There were competing cultures with values much different than the values God had instilled in Abraham. Abraham wanted the best for his children and grandchildren.
Sound familiar . . . .?
As parents, we are obligated to follow God's design for ourselves and our families. many times, we place our children on the right path yet they still choose to waiver. Even as we grieve their choices, we are still to be there to coach them back, encourage them to repent, and be willing to welcome them back as they are when they realize the error of their ways. Remember, we too make bad choices and even in our wisdom, do not always follow God! Recall the reaction of both the prodigal son and his father?
So he got up and went to his father.“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Not Enough to Know . . . We Must Obey!

In spite of what their father Eli said, his sons didn’t pay any attention to his warning. That’s because the Lord had already decided to put them to death. The boy Samuel continued to grow stronger. He also became more and more pleasing to the Lord and to people. (1 Samuel 12:25-26)
Responsibility is a two-way street when it comes to parenting and even teaching. As the elders, we cannot fail in our duties to teach, correct, and set the example. However, the student (or the child) must aslo make the decision to obey. Here, Eli did not carry our his mandate to teach and discipline his sons properly. is sons were also accountable to respect and obey the ways of the priests as well. Regardless of their disrespect of their father, they were committing abominatons before God! God could not sit back and watch this happen in Eli's family and He will not do so today within our families and communities. Fathers, we need to step it up! We need to set the example and hod our children accountable. If we do not, God will step in. We need only watch the evening news to see the result of the lack of discipline within our homes! Yet there are the few (parents and children alike) who are doing what they can to honor God, as Samuel did.
Will we commit to seek and obey the wisdom of God?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Taking Wise Advice

Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves. (Exodus 18:24-26)
I don't know about you, but often I need to hear things more than once in order to change. I am not the best at changing plans. here Moses sets a good example for me and perhaps you as well. We need the fresh and honest advice of those around us. Even someone from the outside may offer some sound advice, as he may be coming from a fresh perspective. As the old saying goes, at times we are so deep in the forest we cannot see the trees! Jethro listened, observed, and offered sound advice while still respecting Moses' decision making and responsibilities. Moses humbly accepted and applied the tactics. All things worked out for the better! Speaking for myself, I need to be more aware of others' sound (and biblical) advice when it comes to work, family, and relationships. I cannot do it all my way all the time. Everyone will be better off.
Taking wise advice . . .

Friday, March 1, 2013

Craving wisdom and guidance . . .

Moses’ father-in-law Jethro came to Moses in the desert. Moses’ sons and wife came with Jethro. Moses was camped near the mountain of God. Jethro had sent a message to him. It said, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you. I’m bringing your wife and her two sons.” So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law. Moses bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other. Then they went into the tent. Moses told his father-in-law about everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians because of how much he loved Israel. He told him about all of their hard times along the way. He told him about how the Lord had saved them.(Exodus 18:5-8)
The in-laws are coming . . . the in-laws are coming! These are dangerous words for some families. They even make some men run for the man cave, the garage or even the local pub to watch the game with friends. But Moses' father-in-law Jethro isnot only visiting, but he is bringing Moses' wife and children with him! Uh-oh!!!!
Do we fear the words of older folks? Do we run from their advice . . . even their presence? Do we crave their wisdom and guidance?
Moses welcomed the company and the advice of Jethro. However, Jethro also did not simply butt in and give his two-cents. He listened, observed, then offered Moses his counsel. There are some lessons for all of us here. Respect the wisdom of our elders. They have the experience. Older folks need also to give their advice in a way that can be received.
No matter our age, are craving wisdom and guidance?

Storms and Faith

Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him.  Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesu...