I turned 49 this week. My brother reminded me that this would be my last year in my 40's. Thank,s bro. What has the first 49 years of life shown me?
I'm going to have to think about that one for a bit.
Psalm 63:2 - I have seen you in the sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.
I've been challenged to write four daily devotions based on God's Glory for a student camp next year. I'm going to do two for each day. One will be a surface level devotion for new or beginning believers. The second for each day will be a little deeper and more challenging.
The above verse is going to be my theme and launching off point for these devotions. I want us to see God's glory. He tells us that if we seek Him, we will find Him. Pray for me to let God lead and show me what He wants in these devotions. I pray that you have found a way to stay connected to God and His Word every day.
It’s been a few months since my last post. I had the opportunity to lead some youth at my church in a Bible study a couple of weeks ago over 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.
In verses, 16-17, Paul writes that we are new creatures in Christ. He tells us not to recognize anyone by their flesh. When Christ comes into our life, we are to start looking at people differently than we did before just as God no longer looks at us the same way.
Then, in verses 18-19, Paul gives us the broad strokes of our ministry. Each of us has a gift from God to be used to honor and glorify Him. When Christ comes into our life, He gives us a mission or a ministry. Our primary ministry is showing others Jesus so that they can be reconciled to Him the way we have been reconciled. In conjunction with the first point, our trespasses (sins) are no longer counted against because of this reconciliation. We need to bring that word and message of reconciliation to the world.
Finally, in verses 20-21, Paul tells us the reason for this great mission. We are ambassadors of God to the world. God Himself came down from Heaven in the form of Jesus and took upon Himself the punishment for the entire world’s sin. Because of that sacrifice we are declared righteous in the sight of God.
A lot of life is about perspective. Photography is similar. Photography is about showing someone how life looks through your eyes. Every photo I take is from my perspective. Sometimes, it's not about the beautiful flower in the foreground. Sometimes, it's about the other flower hiding in the background, and you just need to let you eyes focus on the background to find the beauty.
My Dad sent me this picture while I was deployed after September 11th, 2001. It was taken in New York in June of 2001. They were on vacation with my brother's family after his retirement from the USAF. On the back of the picture my Dad wrote, "This is what it's all about."
My Dad passed away in 2009. This picture and his words still bring tears to my eyes even as I type this out.
Love and miss you everyday, Dad.
“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” -A.W. Tozer
I have struggled with this quote over the years, and I admit that I am still not entirely sure I agree. I know that I don’t wholeheartedly disagree. That may sound wishy washy. Okay. I think I struggle with it when things are going well because I feel greatly blessed by God. Then, I remember some of those hard times, when I struggled with some situation or event in my life.
Also, I don’t like to think that God is the cause of my hurt. The other part that bothers me about this quote is that I often mix the word “bless” with “use”. So, God blesses me constantly. God is constantly teaching me things, as well. Sometimes those lesson involve being hurt. Next week, I’ll share a testimony about God teaching me something through hurt.
Have I answered my question? Probably not. If you ask me next week if I agree or disagree with this quote, you might get a different answer.
Here’s what I know…
I'm excited to share my thoughts with anyone who wants to read them.
The above photo was taken in St. Maarten, Dutch Virgin Islands in June of this year. The islands have had it tough recovering from the hurricanes that ripped through them in recent years. This was one of the ships that we saw just left in the water. Their owners either had no insurance or no other way to repair them. There were many of these types of boats and even an airplane wreckage left sitting.
I am reminded that I praise God that He does not leave us stranded, when we have wrecked or been wrecked by the storms of life. I began my journey with Christ Jesus at a young age. I was only eight years old when I realized my need for a Savior and the only one who could save me was Jesus.
Over the last almost 40 years I have not been perfected, and I'm sure there have been times that God was disappointed in my progress or regress. I can only do my best to serve Him and look for the opportunities that He gives me to glorify Him.
How will you spend the rest of your life? Will you spend it as a wrecked ship or let the LORD of Glory pick you up and show you a path?