Let Us Come Together As One

In the midst of all the chaos in this world, I didn’t even know where to begin to write.   I was afraid anything I said would be wrong.  But then I saw this picture and watched this 24 second video from a group in Houston, Texas where the white community bowed and asked the black community for forgiveness for years of racism.  Then the black community accepted the apology and bowed and asked for forgiveness for years of holding back forgiveness and for acting out in anger.

Then they all prayed together.

As one group.

Holding hands and grasping arms and touching the shoulder of the ones in front of them.  They came together as ONE nation under God.  One people created by God.

The media wants to continue to portray only the negative but we must believe there is good in this world and we must do our part and show love to ALL people.

The devil is having a hay-day right now.  He loves chaos.  He loves seeing people turn against people.  He loves violence.  He loves unrest.  He loves when people break the commandments.  He loves hate and anger.

In Ephesians 6:12, Paul clearly tells us that our struggle is NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.  We are all fighting the devil, not each other.

It’s sin that causes all of this heartache.  And the only way to fight against this evil is to come together and stand our ground with truth from God, prayers, the Bible, faith and salvation.

Please join me in not pointing fingers, not blaming, not rioting, not hating and not becoming angry but rather in coming together as one body created by God, praying on our knees like there is no tomorrow, witnessing to others about the salvation of Jesus and standing strong in faith that God uses all things for the good of those who love Him.  (Romans 8:28)

Let’s use this time of chaos to come together as ONE and allow God to give us peace in the middle of our hurt.

You can see the video here.

 

Inconvenient Freedom

INCONVENIENCE:  noun – trouble or difficulty caused to one’s personal requirements or comfort.

Have you experienced any “inconvenience” over the last several months?  It seems like during this pandemic, we are now living every day in an inconvenient state.

I can’t go to the movies or church.
I have to wear a mask that makes me claustrophobic.
I’ve used alcohol-based hand sanitizer until my hands are chapped.
I have to be sure to stand on the blue X to stay six-feet away from any human.
I can’t go to the pizza joint with my friends.

Cry. Sob. Whine.

WOW!  Do you realize what all I just said?  And I imagine you were nodding your head or thinking to yourself, “yes, I know.  I’ve experienced all that stuff, too”.

Look at us!  Crying over a little inconvenience on the day we honor and remember those who have sacrificed their lives and their own freedom to protect ours. What about their inconvenience?

Soldiers in 100 degree temperatures, weighed down with pounds and pounds of gear holding rifles in their hands marching through the dark of night.

Men and women lying for days in bunkers with very little water, stale food and no toilet to relieve themselves all the while being on the lookout for the enemy.

Brave people flying into bullets.  And those going before them to prepare the way.

Living with all their inconveniences……. to save our freedom.

Freedom to still be able to have curbside grocery pickup.
Freedom to drive-thru and get ice cream and a cheeseburger.
Freedom to work from home and meet our colleagues on the latest app.
Freedom to worship with others via streamed technology.
Freedom to choose what movie we will watch from 100’s of channels on the guide.

Folks…we are inconvenienced but we are free.

On this Memorial Day Mid-Pandemic 2020, remember and honor those who lived an inconvenienced life to allow us this awesome Freedom.

Whether it’s a spoiled freedom or inconvenienced freedom, it’s still freedom.

Thank you for all who sacrificed for my freedom.  May God continue to show up in mighty ways and bless our great big, awesome United States of America.

What’s For Dinner……..Again?

Oh the infamous question that plagues us each night?  What’s for dinner?

I was thinking about the story of Jesus and his disciples having to figure out what was for dinner when they only had a couple fish and a few pieces of bread and a whole hillside full of people!  I love the account in the gospel of Mark.  The apostles had been so busy that day and so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat.

People just kept following Jesus everywhere and he realized they were hungry and needed to be fed.  The disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away but He said, “let’s give them something to eat.”

The disciples were beside themselves!  I imagine their question was, “what’s for dinner?”  They were telling Jesus how they didn’t have enough money to buy food for everyone and all they had were a couple loaves of bread and a few fish.  They had no idea what to make for dinner.

But Jesus took that little bit that they had and fed 5000 people according to Mark 6:44.  Jesus used the little to bless the many.

What talent or gift do you have that you think isn’t sufficient or is of little value?  Do you think you have nothing to give to others?  Do you ever find yourself just living the same day over and not looking for ways to bless others?

We have to remember that Jesus took a small amount and used it to reach a lot of people.  Don’t trudge along today thinking you have nothing to offer people.  God gave us all something to offer, and He will use it to bless many.  We can always smile at the clerk at the grocery store.  We can offer to take someone’s cart back to the cart corral; buy coffee for the car behind us at McDonalds; babysit a friend’s children so she can have a night to herself;  take cookies to the local fire department; do a chore that your spouse hates to do;  make your kids their favorite dessert.

Whatever your plans are today, take a minute and find something small and do it with big love.  Your “few loaves of bread” can make a difference to someone in a big way!  Maybe even think about what’s for dinner and then make it and take some to the neighbor!  When I think about it this way, it kinda makes planning dinner not so much of a chore!

Hey, Did You Hear?

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Mr. Smith got arrested last night?

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Mr. Jones is supposedly having an affair.

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Mrs. Anderson’s son was caught cheating.

Boy…… we are sure excited to spread the local “news”, aren’t we?  Asking the next friend you see whether or not they know the juicy gossip.  We’ve got some scoop and we have got to tell someone.

Sometimes we even whisper, like that will make the gossip sting less coming off of our tongue.

Sometimes we preface it with, “now don’t tell anyone but….”

And sometimes we strut around like we are somebody with all the know of the local, very important, life-changing news.

But let me tell you something that maybe you aren’t aware of.  In the book of Isaiah, chapter 40, verses 28-31 there is a little gossip to be spread.  Isaiah was trying to warn the people that Jerusalem and Judah were going to be judged for their wickedness.

These verses are just as relevant today because God’s word never changes.  We are still a wicked society and one day, we also will be judged before God.  Instead of the local gossip, this is the word we should be sharing:

v. 26 – Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.

Isaiah goes on to tell us what God can do.  And in today’s times as we get tired from worry and uncertainty and even from just being bored and getting lazy, these verses can give us some hope as to who God is and how He can help us.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  (vs 29-31).

WOW!  The next time we think about spreading a little hometown gossip, maybe we should catch ourselves and reel it back in to change what we were going to say.

Do you know?  Have you not heard?……There is a God who is here to give us hope.

May you find your hope in God and His words today.