Thursday, September 27, 2012

Persistence of a Puppy

It amazes me lately how much God is saying to me during my breakfast time. Today was much like every other morning and I had just sat down for a good breakfast with a hot cup of coffee when all of a sudden, peeking around the corner of the couch is a little snout and two black eyes. I've been known to give a 'treat' before and once you open Pandora's box, there comes a certain expectation of it becoming a regular habit.

As many of you already know, I find myself in the unemployment line seeking a job. It is a position that I do not desire to be in, but I am trusting God to lead me in the direction that He wants me to go. However, not that long ago, my wife and I were praying for some people and situations and after I had said 'amen', she quickly added that I would find employment in the right place at the right time. It got me thinking.

In the book of Psalms, David states, "Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly" (Psalm 5:3 NLT). David never came to God once a month. He never even came to God once a week. He came each and every day with his requests before Almighty God. But the second part of this verse is the clincher for me. David waited with expectation. He didn't wait thinking that God wasn't going to provide. He didn't wait thinking God couldn't heal him. He didn't even wait thinking that God wasn't going to answer him. He waited with expectation that Jehovah was going to come through and meet his requests.

Let's go back to my breakfast and the peeking puppy. She didn't peek around the corner thinking she was going to get nothing. She didn't even peek around the corner because she thought nothing was there. That cute adorable puppy came around the corner of the chair, like she does every morning, in the hopes that she would get a little treat. She came with expectation and persistence.

I'm learning every day that I need to bring my current employment issue along with my other requests to God and wait expectantly. But it is through my persistence of daily coming and expecting that shows that my hope is in God and not my own ability to create resolve to my situation. At the right time, God will provide all that I need.

This morning, no matter how many times you have come to Father God before, come to Him with expectation and persistence. If you're believing for healing, come expecting for God to heal you. If you're coming for provision, come expecting for God to provide for you. If you're coming for restoration, come believing that God is going to restore the brokenness in your life. If your coming on behalf of a loved, come believing that God is going to reach out to them. But don't stop there. Tomorrow, come again with the same expectation. The next day, come with the same expectation. Keep coming back to our Heavenly Father day after day with the same expectation and watch what He does as you seek Him.

Oh ... and to answer your question … yes … the puppy got her treat.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Breakfast. Ahhh ... Memories

It is a beautiful September morning and I find myself at the breakfast table.  As I partake of my hard-boiled eggs, raisin bread toast, green grapes and coffee (you cannot forget the coffee) I find my mind reminiscing about moments passed with great friends over the breakfast table.

Back when I was going to Bible school, a group of friends that were formed by a desire to follow God found themselves sleeping in and gaining weight but we were determined to stop the downward spiral and change our habits.  Jamie, Carl, Sean and myself started getting up each morning and headed down for a quick workout before showering and heading to the school cafeteria for what was arguably the best meal of the day.  We all seemed to gravitate to the same things and I specifically remember Jamie with his fried eggs (left the yokes for last) and me with my hard-boiled eggs.  When he mixed it up however (quite literally) I will never forget the amount of butter he would put on hard-boiled eggs to create almost an egg salad with just eggs, butter, salt and pepper.  However, it was so much more than the way that Jamie ate his eggs.  The conversations we had and the dreams we shared are still treasured today.  The way we encouraged one another and just listened to what the other person was going through.  Breakfast.  Ahhh ... Memories.

Fast forward to Dave and Michelle's kitchen and coming down for work in the morning to the smell of fresh ground coffee percolating in the coffee maker with the craft which always leaked when pouring my morning cup.  In my humble opinion, there is nothing better than a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, however, it was so much more than a cup of coffee.  On countless occasions Michelle and I would share our victories and our concerns over a cup of coffee as we dreamed of a better day ahead but relishing in a God that had brought us through so much.  Breakfast.  Ahhh ... Memories.

As I watch the sun rise over the trees this morning, I remember great breakfast moments with people that I care about.  But in those thoughts, I was challenged with this: Why not say a quick prayer for those people today?  I do pray for family and friends, but often I find that when I am getting ready in the morning and especially when I am enjoying breakfast, my thoughts are mostly on me and what is my plan of action for the day.  But now I have a choice: Do I accept this challenge or do I ignore it and just keep my daily routine.  I would love to say that this is an easy choice, but it is one thing to say that I accept the challenge, but it is another thing to actually do it.  I hope I'm up for the challenge.  Breakfast.  Ahhh ... Memories.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Big Problems, Bigger God.

I haven't posted anything on here for a while, but that doesn't mean that things haven't been running through my mind.  It has been quite a journey over the past year.  I switched jobs, got married to an amazing women (those that know her would agree that I married up) and now I find myself in the unemployment line learning to trust God one more time.  I'll come back to that in a minute.

There are times in our lives that we 'struggle' or 'fight' to understand what is happening.  We might be waiting for our soulmate, disappointed about being overlooked for a promotion at work, fighting an illness in our bodies or wondering about a loved one that is not living the life that we would desire for them.  In those moments of 'struggle', it is where our faith is shaped and strengthened and it is when God takes us to a new level of learning to lean on him and not on our own understanding.

In the book of Judges, a man by the name of Gideon was preparing for a battle against the Midianites which God had instructed him to "go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!"(Judges 6:14).  For seven years, Israel had been subject to the cruelty of the Midianites and were living in fear for their lives.  Israel felt as if their future was very bleak and they were feeling abandoned by God.  They were wondering where "all the miracles our ancestors told us about?  Didn't they say, 'The LORD brought us up out of Egypt'?"(Judges 6:13).  They were facing 'struggle' and trying to understand what was happening to them.  But God WAS with them and watching over them.  He had a plan to glorify Himself through their situation and Gideon who made it clear of his limitations when he pointed out to God, "how can I rescue Israel?  My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!"

Because God is in the middle of your situation, it doesn't matter how weak, poor, sick or beat down you may be, He has a desire to glorify Himself in your life because you belong to Him.  He doesn't care how big the fight is in front of you, but God's desire is to show how big He is despite your situation.  In the historical account of Gideon, God said to him, "I will be with you.  And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man."(Judges 6:16).  In chapter 7, God showed up and with only 300 men, Gideon defeated the Midianites who "had settled in the valley like a swarm of locusts"(Judges 7:12).  God was bigger than their problem.  God gave Gideon and his men the victory over what seemed, insurmountable odds.

No matter what you're facing today, don't look to the size of your problem, look to your BIG God and remember that He is bigger than any 'struggle' or 'fight' that you may face.  Look to Him to show you the way past it.  Let His Word find root in your heart and may the truth that God loves you very much.  Remember that, "[He] will be with you."(Judges 6:16) and that He will bring you through whatever you are going through.  He will provide the right person at the right time (as I recently can give thanks for ... WOO HOO!!!), the right promotion or position, the much needed healing and direction for that wayward loved one.  God will show up!  Just have faith and believe.

So what's the deal with me ... well ... I've recently lost my job after only a couple weeks of marriage.  It is never a desirable situation but I know that the GOD who is faithful is with me and has a plan for my life.  As I, "trust in the LORD with all [my] heart; do not depend on [my] own understanding"(Proverbs 3:5), I know that He is going to open doors of opportunity and increase my faith.  It doesn't mean that it is an easy road, but I step back and allow God to glorify himself in me.  I'm just learning to lean.

Never Lose the Passion,