God. Is He Someone I can Pray to?

God is our Father and our creator. That is my story and I’m sticking to it. That is something I was taught in my upbringing.  Since God is our Father, that makes him in essence and in character, our Dad.  Being a perfect Father, we know that he must enjoy the interaction, respect and reciprocal love from his kids.

Long ago in my life experience I gained a great respect for God. That was even before I could say that I had a personal “experience” or relationship with him. As a child, when others would pray, I was taught to bow my head and close my eyes (simple I know). But if I knew nothing else personally about God, at least I knew to respect Him and revere who he was.

When we speak God’s name, mention him in passing or even simply think of him, he is acutely aware of us and at full attention and ready to hear from us. The scriptures instruct us to pray without ceasing. I think we all know what that really means. It means that in every situation we should have God’s name on the tip of our tongue asking him for guidance, comfort, and every other thing we could possibly need. Prayer is reaching out to God. It is also acknowledging that He (and he alone) is our source and strength. I’m a guy who loves fun and find some sort of humor in anything. It’s just how I’m wired. But mixed in with my humor there is a serious side to me as I think of who God is.

God expects us to call on him in thick and thin. I think it has to be a wonderful thing to him, when we call on his name to a simple conversation with him and lovingly thank him for being who he is. This conversation can be equated to telling our earthly father – I love you daddy.

Our paw owns it all. He’s really a rich guy. He lavishes his wealth on us each day. At times I feel like a spoiled brat the way he blesses and cares for me, even when I’ve been a fool. But in his goodness he knows what’s best for us. He also knows full well when to withhold his wealth from us and correct us.

The next time to have the need to reach out to your father for advice or strength or even to just thank him, don’t hold back. Speak his name, call out to him boldly. He will hear your voice and respond to you in grace and love.

God inhabits the praises of his children, all day – everyday.

Advertisements

Scabs and Scars

I’ve personally been met with obstacles and challenges in my life that left me battered, bruised and broken. I bear scars of failure and defeat. Some wounds have been deep and lasting. Some battles I’ve faced seemed to have lasted for a lifetime. Then there are are those really tough events that defined my life, at least for a time.

The human condition gives us all episodes of life where we get punched and slapped and knocked down. It’s just life. Some battles leave you with evidences of your survival. Some skirmishes can leave you with nasty little scabs. Then there are those events that leave indelible marks on your life. Those seem to stay with you. Scars left behind can be reminders of failure and brokenness.

A few years ago I was at crossroads in my life. Failure and despair seemed to haunt me. That thinking seemed to be a new norm for me. I decided one day that I was far better at failure than I was at winning. Let me tell you, that is not a place you want to be. That feeling takes you captive and makes you its slave. It seems there is no escape from that dungeon.

But then I found some really wise counsel, from some very honest and godly men. They didn’t ridicule me, they didn’t shun me. They didn’t try to figure it all out for me. They came along side me in my pain. They prayed with and for me. They hounded me with compassion and care, in an humble yet strong kind of way.

It was a rather odd and new time for me. Men were taught to suck it up, take it on the chin and just deal with it. Don’t show your weakness, don’t display your pain. And whatever you do, do  not tell any other man your weaknesses or failures. If you do, your man card is cancelled permanently. Does anyone know who wrote those rules?

I can honestly say, at this point in my life, that I wear my scars as badges of honor. I know I am a survivor of the rarest kind. I’ve been in the trenches of life and am still here to tell of them. I have a marriage that has stood the test of time. I have folks around me that I’d willingly give it all up for. I’ve seen ugliness and pain yet I smile in spite of it all.

There’s nothing special or gifted about me, yet I’ve found the secret to success in life. It is not about reaching some pinnacle of fame or fortune, or reaching some lofty goal or getting some large reward.

I’ve learned to simply rest in what my God has shown me, in my pain. He’s a trustworthy teacher that takes you to the highest of places of submission and tests you to see if you really do trust him. When I’m shaken and thrown down I know that He still loves and cares about me, especially in my pain. It must seem odd to those around me, but I’ve been blessed beyond measure in some of the darkest places in life. Yet God is good. All the time.

 

Justifiable Acts Against Wrong

    There are times when doing the right thing is against one’s principle of following the law  or morals. When considering the gravity or the emergency of an issue, the practice of defying authority to follow your own conscience for a higher priority becomes absolutely justifiable.
Let’s say you arrive on the scene of a horrific car crash and see a car upside down and starting to catch on fire. Let’s say that car is immediately behind a fence with a sign that says “Posted – No Trespassing”. Do you say to yourself, “oh gosh I wish I could help this person escape certain death but I’d have to trespass to help”?
And let’s say your home is invaded one night by an intruder. You see that they are armed with a knife. They demand that you open your safe. In the process of the event your sleepy child comes out from their bedroom and the intruder immediately grabs your child and holds the knife to their throat. Are you thinking, the 10 commandments says that killing is wrong? Do you plead with the intruder or do you grab your weapon and kill the intruder?
A new movie is due out soon called Return to the Hiding Place. It is a follow up to the movie from 1975 based on the life and experience of a lady by the named Corrie ten Boom. The Nazi invaded Holland in 1940 and began rounding up and killing Jews. This new movie depicts how a group of youth fight to save  lives of countless innocent Jews, by hiding them from their certain deaths.
Today we are faced with similar atrocities staining our world once again. Defying written law that is contrary to what we know to be true and against the scriptures that we trust can become a daily reality. We must defend the helpless, at all cost. This is especially needed when the will of the people is being ignored and thwarted. The higher principle of trusting what we are told by God over what we are told by men must not be viewed as sin or as wrong in any way.
The issue we face today in America is our own special holocaust. It is the killing of innocent babies inside, and even outside of the womb.
Consider today what part you might be called to do to stop this modern atrocity. Speaking up is no longer enough. Taking action is required. First pray to our God that he would do our bidding for us. Pray that the depraved perpi”traitors” would come to their senses and stop. And pray for our elected leaders that they would do whatever is needed to stop the insanity. Secondly, follow the money trail and shut it off. Find out who supports these baby killing machines and stop doing business with them, and tell them why.

Our God has apparently given our society over to having “reprobate minds”. We as individuals can repent and turn from our sin of inaction and ignorance by finally taking action against the taking of innocent lives. God have mercy on us all if we do not take up arms against this horrible stain.