Sunday, August 30, 2009

Non-smoking...

honestly I can not count how many times I had "quit" smoking in my life prior to the most recent, which was a few months ago. However, this time there is something different. Previously (if brought up in conversation) I would say, "I am trying to quit, it has been [fill in the blank] days, weeks, months, etc." The difference this time is that for the first time in over fifteen years, I actually think of myself as a nonsmoker! It happened a few days ago when I was the gym and my mind was wondering and covering all kinds of topics (as it always does 24/7). It was at that moment that the thought went through my mind that I am actually a nonsmoker. Now if I could only get back into the habit of consistently exercising...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tomorrow

Let’s talk about tomorrow—today. What will your tomorrow be like?

Tomorrow could bring death. From the moment we’re born, we’re dying. Someone has said that death is one appointment you may postpone, but can’t cancel (see Psalm 89:47-48).

Tomorrow could bring about sickness (Job 14:1-2). We desire a healthy life. But we have to deal with the fickleness of life and our fragile bodies.

Tomorrow could bring about trouble and suffering. Our days are filled with pain and grief (Job 5:7, 7:1; Ecclesiastes 2:23). We live with frustration, disappointment, and bitterness (Psalm 90:9-10; Ecclesiastes 5:17).

Tomorrow may of course bring no change. Just the mundane grind of sameness. Tomorrow is just like yesterday and the same as today (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Tomorrow could bring about success and rewards. (Ah, finally something positive!) A promotion? Good profits? Life is good and you can’t wait for tomorrow to come (Isaiah 56:12).

But what about the next tomorrow? Will tomorrow’s tomorrow change your good fortunes—bringing death, sickness, or suffering? Your life comes full circle (Ecclesiastes 1:5-6,9, 3:15).

Ira Stanphill sums up our response to our tomorrows with these lyrics: “I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day. I don’t borrow from its sunshine, for its skies may turn to gray. I don’t worry [about] the future, for I know what Jesus said; And today I’ll walk beside Him, for He knows what is ahead. Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand; but I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.” —K.T. Sim, Our Daily Journey

Friday, August 14, 2009

Are You a Threat? - by Os Hillman

"But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries" (1 Cor 16:8-10).

Angie and I entered the airport when suddenly she began to feel sick. "Honey, I don't think I can go. I feel awful. I was fine driving down here," she said. We stopped and prayed. She didn't feel any better. She decided she would not go. Sadly we said goodbye to one another.

About thirty minutes later I was sitting at the gate when Angie comes running up to me. "I am coming with you," she said. "What happened?" I responded. "I asked the Lord if I was to go and He said 'Yes.' So, I am coming, despite the way I feel."

We got onto the airplane and it was only a few minutes into the flight when she turned to me and said, "I feel fine now. I can't believe how much better I feel." Angie and I began to recognize a consistent pattern of this happening whenever we would go on our ministry trips. We have become increasingly aware of Paul's admonition in Ephesians 6:12,13: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

How big of a threat are you to the kingdom of darkness? If you are pushing back the kingdom of darkness, then chances are you will have opposition in your life. The apostle Paul realized that as doors became open to him, so too were the adversaries in the spiritual realm to his activities.

Today, realize you are in a physical and spiritual battle and put on the armor of God.