Saturday, March 19, 2016

An Easter Challenge


Easter is one of the most celebrated events in the world today.
In fact, many people will attend a church service at Easter
and at Christmas who otherwise would never go to church.
Certainly there must be something missing otherwise you would
see many of these same people return to further church services.
What could that missing factor be that keeps them from wanting
more?  I believe that these visitors have never really had their
eyes opened to truly see who Jesus is.

The Bible has instances of this very thing happening.  One such
instance is found in Luke chapter 4 where there is a story of two
men traveling down the road to Emmaus.  Jesus joins these two
men and yet they didn't recognize Him.  They had a powerful
discussion and Jesus explained many things to them.  Yet, it wasn't
until they sat down to eat and God opened their eyes that they
really saw Jesus and recognized Him.  In fact, they said, "were
not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us."

Anther instance was when Jesus appeared to some of the disciples
as the Risen Lord but Thomas was not with them.  This is found
in John 20 verses 24 to 29.  When they later tried to explain to
Thomas that they had seen Jesus and that He had risen from
the dead, Thomas would have none of it.  Thomas said that he
would not believe until he could touch the wounds of Jesus in
His hands, feet, and side.  And that is exactly what happened when
Jesus appeared again.  After touching Jesus' wounds, the eyes of
Thomas were opened and he exclaimed, "my Lord and my God!"

This Easter as always, many people will visit our churches.  They
will go through the motions and probably hear a lot about Jesus
and how He overcame the grave.  Yet for most of them their eyes
will not be opened to be able to see who Jesus really is- the
Resurrected Lord!  Until God opens their eyes they will not and
cannot see.  That means that we, as Christians, have a big challenge
before us.  We need to earnestly pray for these visitors. that God
will touch their hearts and open their eyes.  Maybe for the first
time in their lives they will be able to see who Jesus really is.

So here is my challenge to all Christians this Easter.  Don't look
for what you can get out of your Easter service.  Get focused on
others.  Invite as many people as you can to join you at church
this Easter.  People who don't normally go are open at this time.
Then pray for them like crazy.  Pray that God will open the eyes
of all the visitors.  Pray that they will see for the first time that
Jesus is the Resurrected Lord and that He overcame hell, death,
and the grave.  That He has the power to totally turn their life
around.  Will you accept the challenge?

Have a wonderful Easter.  Jesus is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Beating the winter blues

A lot of people get the "winter blues" when winter drags on too long.  This was especially true when we lived in Alaska.  Where we were it wasn't too bad, but the light in those winter days became awfully short.  Way up on the north in Alaska where they don't see the sun for some time, people even get special lights to keep depression away.  Also, drinking was a big problem and I am sure it had it lot to do with that.

We now live in the Rockies of Colorado and it is not that extreme but winter can definitely get long.  So what is a person to do to get through winter and try to avoid the "blues"?

Some of our friends whom we have known for some time head south and that is a great answer.  However, for most of us, we are rather stuck where we are and being a "snow bird" is more like a dream!  So is there anything else we can do?

One of the most important things I have found that effects my attitude, and in turn my mood, is the act of being thankful.  Even on a cold winter day there is nothing more beautiful then blue skies with snow covered mountains.  Get out there and enjoy God's creation. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says in all things give thanks!  All things even means a long winter!  Ephesians 5:20 says to always be giving thanks for ALL things, which pretty much sums it up.

Another thing that helps is to try and enjoy winter rather than just enduring it.  Get the old  snow shoes on and go after if for a few miles.  Or do some skiing if you are into that.  If money is a problem, do cross country as it is a whole lot cheaper than downhill.  Force yourself  to go out if you can.  Meet somebody for a cup of coffee.  Stay active and don't just "mope" around hoping for summer to come.  I read an interesting article about how folks in the Scandinavian countries endure their very, very long winter.  They have learned to go with the flow.  They celebrate winter and find all kinds of things to do to make it fun.  By the way, you see how good they are in the winter Olympics in the snow sports.  That is because they are out there doing it.

I hope these ideas have helped you to some degree to enjoy winter and not just look forward for it to end.  Some of the ideas might help in that regard.  But I still think that the most important thing of all is to get up each day and to be thankful for what God has given you.  That will affect your attitude more than anything. 

Thank you God for your goodness and for all your blessings!  You are so good to me!

Friday, October 16, 2015

When the fog lifts

Living in the Rockies we often get a layer of fog,
especially after it rained the day before.  That layer
of fog can look so gloomy as the light is down and
you can't see the sun.  

However, I know from experience that if you are patient the sun will burn through and you might even end up with a beautiful
sunny day.  

Isn't that the way life is so often. Sometimes it feels as if our life is covered  by a gloomy cloud.  Things just aren't going right and
and life looks dark.  Yet the Bible says in Psalms
30:5b that "weeping may last for the night, but a shout
of joy comes in the morning."  

My friend, God will turn things around in His perfect timing.  The fog in your life will lift.  Wow, just thinking about that
truth makes it look sunnier already!