Saturday, August 21, 2010



2 Samuel 22:50 - “Therefore I will give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto Thy name.”


If we get in an automobile accident and come out alive, we typically thank God for sparing our lives. But do you ever just thank God for saving your life as you drove home from work and didn’t have an accident? Isn’t that even better? I heard a story that poignantly illustrates this. There was a family who heard that a person in their church gave a significant love offering to the memory of their son who died on the battlefield. On the way home, the wife asked her husband, “Why don’t we give an offering for our son?” He said, “Why? Our son wasn’t killed.” She said, “Don’t you think that’s a good reason?”

What things have you thanked God for lately that DIDN'T happen?

You DIDN'T get hit by a car on the way home?

You DIDN'T get a "pink slip" at work?

You DIDN'T get a call from the police that your child was in jail?

You DIDN'T find out your spouse was having an affair?

You DIDN'T get a bad diagnosis from the doctor.

You DIDN'T get a call from the bank saying your house was being foreclosed on?

You DIDN'T find out termites were devouring your house?

You DIDN'T find out your vehicle needed major, expensive repairs?

You DIDN'T find out your child had flunked out of school?

Today take time to thank God for all the things that DIDN'T happen as well as thank Him for the good things that DID! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Shortly after we arrived home Sunday evening a neighbor called to tell me that another neighbor, a young mother of 2 little boys, had been tragically killed in an automobile accident while on vacation in Colorado. It struck me like a ton of bricks.

I had just begun to get to know this young woman as we played Bunco together once a month. She was a working mom and had a lot on her plate. Her little boys are about 7 and 2.

The dad and the 7 year old were en route to Colorado, too, but they were driving towing their boat. This was to be a fishing trip with extended family. The mother and his parents had flown to Denver and were taking a rental car to the vacation location in Wyoming where they were all to eventually meet. The 2 year old remained at home with a nanny.

I'm sure months of planning had gone into this trip and the anticipation had probably been building and building. I can just imagine little Jimmy's excitement as he and his dad hooked up the boat Sunday morning and began their cross country journey together...father and son. What special times together.

Certainly Ashlea and Jim's parents were also relieved to have landed in Denver and be making their way through what had to be some beautiful country as they neared Wyoming. Their destination was almost in sight and Jim and Jimmy would be joining them soon.

None of them had tragedy on their radar. I'm sure when Jim and Ashlea kissed each other goodbye and when she kissed little Jimmy goodbye, none of them ever dreamed that it would be the last time they would see her alive. But....God knew. The clock was ticking and soon the last second of her life would be heard in Heaven and then the curtain would close on her life.

Today we each have our plans for the day. Maybe it's work as usual. Maybe we have a TO DO list a mile long that we are dreading, kids are back at school, lots to get done. Maybe you are planning a trip or anticipating a big event in your life like Ashlea and Jim were. None of us know when that last second on our clock will chime....but God does.

Psalm 31:15 says "My times are in thy hands..." Only God knows our appointed time of death. "It is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment." Heb. 9:27. It is a certainty that we will all face that day at some point. We just do not know when.

It could be today.

If today were to be YOUR day, are you ready? Do you know if you died today that you would spend eternity in Heaven with God?

Monday, August 9, 2010


How often does Jesus come to your mind in a given week?

Do you converse with Him throughout your day or do you occasionally yell for help when something goes wrong?

Many people believe in God....they give mental assent to the fact of His existence. They would even admit to the occasional prayer. They might own a Bible which they carry to church from time to time. But James says "You believe there is one God? You do well...the devils also believe, and tremble." James 2: 19

I know many people who profess to be Christians who have not opened their Bible in years EXCEPT on Sunday mornings, who only pray when they are in trouble and who rarely think of Jesus except on Sundays or when they or someone they know use His name in vain.

In essence, they tip their hat to Jesus and say "Thanks for dying for me on that cross. Appreciate the ticket to Heaven. See ya up there one day!" and go about their merry way. Does that describe YOU?

What does Jesus REALLY mean to you? Do you REALLY know Him at all? Do you have a RELATIONSHIP with Him? You can and I assure you that it will change your life.

Everyone must make a decision regarding Jesus. EVERYONE.

You can choose to reject Him.

You can choose to tip your hat to Him.

You can choose to call Him Savior and Lord and have a one-on-one relationship, up close and personal.

It is your choice, but it will impact you for all eternity and for every day til then.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I have been lax in posting recently and I truly miss it. Seems the tyranny of the urgent has kept me from something I love to do....WRITE!!! Gonna have to work on that.

However, I was reading a friend's blog this morning and what he shared was SO powerful that I decided to post it. Sam Shaw, former pastor of Germantown Baptist Church and current pastor of the newly formed Orchard Fellowship wrote the following:

Did you ever wonder why things happen to you?

I’m learning that the gospel gives you glasses to help you understand.

The Apostle Paul once said… “God… set me apart from birth.” (Galatians 1:15). I believe every Christian can say that. By faith, we can often look back on our life and see God guiding, shaping, preparing.

In the Old Testament, when Joseph forgave his brothers who sold into slavery, he said, “You meant it for evil, God meant it for good.”

In other words, “I have come to see that God used the events of my life, both good and bad, to prepare me to serve people, to make me whom I am. What you did was wrong, but God was working through it.”

In other words, “the bad things that happened to me were God’s way of setting me apart.”

It was true for Paul, and Joseph – and for you!

Everything that has happened to you, even stupid things you have done – everything – is being used by God to make you able to do certain things for him.
C. S. Lewis was married to Joy Davidman. After she died, he wrote a book to help him work through his grief. In his book, A Grief Observed, Lewis wrote… “
She is in God’s hands. That gains new energy when I think of her as a sword. Perhaps the earthly life I shared with her was only part of the tempering. Perhaps he grasps the hilt, weighs the new weapon, makes lightning in the air. She is a right Jerusalem blade.”

That is what is going on in your life. God has been tempering you and sharpening you. All your life – in everything you have done, and everything that has happened to you – God is turning you into a right Jerusalem blade – something sharp, something beautiful, something great, he can use.

God’s plan for Paul, for Joseph, for C. S. Lewis – and for you – is very personal. It is to reveal Jesus to you, and then through you, so others know. That is his plan for you.

We’ll talk more about this Sunday night, August 8, at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. The Orchard Fellowship meets at 6:00pm. I hope to see you there!

(The idea behind this reflection came from a sermon in Tim Keller’s Galatians series