Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Put On the Armour of Light

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." Romans 13:12
Last Sunday the pastor's sermon was titled "No Middle Ground" and one of his points was "We Can Choose Light or Darkness". One of the Scriptures he used was Romans 13:12. I have not been able to get it off my mind this week. The part about the "armour of light" is what is so fascinating to me.
A few weeks ago my husband came home from Harbor Freight Tools with a new "toy"... an LED flashlight with thirty-two (yes, I counted them! ha) little bulbs in it. It is so bright that it hurts my eyes if I ever accidentally look at it while it's on. As you may know, I'm a very visual person so this morning I turned the flashlight on, laid it on a desk and then put an "object" right beside it. The light was so bright that all I could see was the light...not the object beside it. I had to squint my eyes together while I took the picture that you see at the top of the blog. Pretty much all you can see is the blinding light!
Now look at this next picture. The object behind the bright light was a small "Praying Hands" that was given to me at a recent ladies meeting I attended. And notice how small the flashlight is! It will fit in the palm of my hand

All that to say this: Jesus Christ is our armour of Light! When we are covered by Him, we can't be seen by the enemy! The light is too bright! I just love this thought!

"Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12
But God has given each person a choice: to have light or to walk in darkness. Sometimes darkness is chosen because it hides sin so well. Do you remember when most evil deeds were done in the dark night hours? Knowing that more and more crime is committed in "broad daylight" makes me realize this world is getting darker and darker all the time!
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men lived darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19
I want that "armour of light" around me today! How about you?


*** I'm not sure what is wrong with "Blogger" but I could never get this post to format properly! Please forgive the way it looks!!*****

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When I Remember..... I Stand Amazed

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Psalm 8:3-4

This picture of a "tent city" in India always makes me sad when I look at it. Sad for the people who have to live here daily in the direst of circumstances: eating food from someone else's garbage, having no access to dental or health care, no running water, no electricity, no toilets....nothing really between them and the soaking rain or the scorching sun but a thin blue tarp made into a tent. But it also makes me sad because it reminds me that unless I'm looking at such extreme poverty, I'm not usually as thankful as I should be for what I do have! I'm very rich compared to these people! And yet I complain so many times! That's just sad!

Sometimes then I read about rich people who have so much to start with and then people just seem to give them more and more. This is in stark contrast to so many across the world who have little and even that seems to be dwindling away. I thought about that the other day when I was reading a chapter in Proverbs and came across this verse: "The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich hath many friends." (Prov.14:20) Have you ever noticed how people want to always either give the rich (who don't need it) a discount or else give them gifts? So sometimes when I see this playing out in real life, it bothers me. Is it because I'm jealous? Or is it disgust? Perhaps a little of both.

And then I remember that I have more than I need just where I am! God has blessed me so very much in so many ways. It may not seem so to some people but to me it does! I think of the thousands of people within an hour or two's drive from my home who have lost their homes and even families to tornadoes or floods in the past few weeks. When I remember all the wonderful things God has given me, then I stand amazed! Amazed that He loved me. Amazed that He gave me eternal life when He owes me nothing! And that reminds me of one of my favorite songs written by Squire Parsons, Jr. called "I Stand Amazed". Something we all should do when we think of what Christ has done for us!I hope that you too will remember....and stand amazed!

I Stand Amazed
Words and Music by Squire Parsons, Jr.

    When I examine that old rugged cross the mighty gulf did span;
    It reaches down to the brinks of hell, to heaven's golden stand.

    I stand amazed, I stand amazed;
    Of the love that has sought me, saved me and bought me,
    I stand amazed.

    When I imagine in glory that day, when all of heav'n stood still
    As God, incarnate, the Savior of man, died upon Calv'ry's hill.

    I stand amazed, I stand amazed;
    Of the love that has sought me, saved me and bought me,
    I stand amazed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bloom Where You're Planted

These yellow "flags" can barely be seen from my front door. They are blooming alone down by the "tire swing tree". But they are as beautiful and as fragrant as they would be if they were planted right beside my front door where I could see and smell them every time I went out.

Do you wonder why you were "planted" where you are in this life? I sometimes do. We may wonder why we were born in the country and seem to have so few opportunities to do things for God. Or we may wonder why we were born in the midst of a teeming city and stay so busy that we don't know what to do!

I've often heard the old saying, "Bloom where you're planted" and I thought about it this morning when I was walking and noticed these yellow Iris blooming way off from the house, all by themselves. Maybe you feel today like God has somehow set you aside. Like you are alone. Like there is not a "big" job for you to do right now. Don't be discouraged. Just bloom where you are! And there will be perhaps a weary traveler who comes by your way and is refreshed and encouraged by the beauty and fragrance of your "blooms"!

"Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." (Luke 12:27)

God bless you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Where Is God In the Storm?

(Smithville, MS, after April 27, 2011, tornado damage)

I've been hearing different people pose the question, "Where is God in the storm?" lately. Many are meaning where was God when the tornadoes ripped through several towns and cities in MS and AL last week. Some are meaning where was God when their lives were devastated because of a diagnois of cancer, a loved one died, a womb became barren, a marriage was defiled and broken, a job was lost, or many other situations too numerous to name. It's a valid question. One that saved and lost alike have asked.

Yesterday as I listened to American Family Radio, Bro. Bert Harper, Pastor of West Jackson Street Baptist Church in Tupelo, MS, spoke directly to this question of "Where is God in the storm?". He basically gave two answers. One, that God is where He's always been...He's still on the throne! He still decides what happens and we can't know the mind of God. (Matthew 5:45b) "for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

And two, that just as God was IN THE FIRE with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, He's in the midst of our storms WITH us if we are Christians. (Daniel 3: 24-25)"Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. "
I thought Bro. Harper had a lot of good thoughts along this line.

Some may still argue that it's not fair for bad things to happen to good people! We get to thinking sometimes that we deserve good things from God don't we! Rev. R.C. Sproul was in a meeting one time where a woman asked him this question..."Why do bad things happen to good people?"....to which Rev. Sproul replied, "If I ever find some 'good people' I'll let you know. I only know One Good Person that bad things happened to and He volunteered!" (Rom.3:12) "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

There will always be seasons of storms throughout our lives. But as Christians we can be comforted by remembering that God is still God and that He will go WITH us through any storms that come our way. Amen!

(Victory Baptist Church in Smithville,MS, worships in the ruble left by the F5 tornado)