Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Storm Series Part II - The Storm

I sat at my computer listening to the winds howl.  The glass in the windows rattled.  Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, the lights flickered, sometimes staying off for a minute or two.

The prep work had been done...
  • I had found the last package of D batteries on the planet in a local 7/11 after hours of searching.
  • The wet/dry vac I bought after last year's hurricane Irene was assembled and at the ready.
  • Candles and matches and flashlights were lined up to pierce the darkness if it came.
  • The tub was filled with water, the laundry was all done, food had been purchased and cooked.
I was as prepared as I could be, with nothing to do but wait for the full force of the storm.  So I sat and listened to the windows rattling...hard.  I wondered if they would shatter.  My computer is near a dining room window, and I considered moving out of potential harm's way.

As the night progressed, I grew tired, but was afraid to sleep.  What if the windows DID break?  What if the neighbor's very large tree being whipped mercilessly by the winds DID fall?  What if the wires were ripped from the house?  What if...what if...what if...

Suddenly I recalled a devotional I had written which had been published just a week before.  Entitled Peaceful Slumber, it talked about my fears of the unknown which resulted in lack of sleep following my separation and divorce years earlier.

It referenced Psalm 4:8 "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, oh Lord make me dwell in safety."

Had I really learned the lesson like I said I had?  Was not the Lord who makes me dwell in safety in control of ALL circumstances - weather included?  If something was going to happen to my home, keeping my eyes open wouldn't stop it.

I needed to trust Him in the midst of the storm.  I needed to believe that no matter what happened, He was there.  Nothing ever takes Him by surprise.

The disciples had to be taught that.  Matthew 8:23-26 tell us "Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"  Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm."

If we trust in ourselves, in what we can do to prepare for life's storms - savings, insurance, and the like - we will still be caught off guard.  The disciples weren't wimps...they were seasoned fisherman who had fished through many storms.  But this one was big.  Really big.  Too big for them to tackle in their humanness.  They couldn't trust in what they knew or had prepared for.

When you find yourself in the midst of one of those life storms that's bigger than anything you imagined, your natural instinct may be to look to what you've done, what you were trusting in and suddenly feel powerless.  The truth is, you were powerless all along.  You had a false sense of security.  Only God can rebuke the wind and waves and calm the storm. 

Psalm 91: 4-6 says He will cover you with his wings you will be safe in his care, his faithfulness will protect and defend you. You need not fear any dangers at night or sudden attacks during the day or the plagues that strike in the dark or the evils that kill in daylight.

God sees the big picture...He's prepared to deal with all the events coming your way.  Your part in the preparation is not to trust in the things of this world, but to trust in Him.  Doing that requires building your relationship with Him now, during the peaceful times, through the ways He's provided - prayer, His Word, wise counsel, etc., so that when the storms come - and they will - you'll already be leaning on Him, sheltered in the safety of His wings.

For more on this series, click here: Part 1 - Storm Series

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hold Your Tongue

Once again today, I am honored to have one of my devotionals published on christiandevotions.us.  You'll find the link here You're Fired.  If you've ever been tempted to gossip (and be honest...haven't we all?), this reflection on James 3:5-6 may remind you that no good comes from it and sometimes, it can be very damaging.

With all the preparations for the upcoming holidays at full throttle, there haven't been many posts on this blog as of late.  There are more entries from the storm series coming, as well as other lessons from the lakeside...watch for them in the coming week or two!

In the meantime...as Thanksgiving approaches, you might want to read the recent post A Heart of Thanksgiving as a way to jump start your list of things you're grateful for!

Blessings and enjoy your Thanksgiving Day!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Storm Series Part I - Be Prepared

Be prepared.  It's not just the Boy Scout's motto.  It's the warning we heard again and again over the previous 10 days or so.

Stock up on non-perishable food...water...batteries.  Buy a generator...candles...matches.  Fill a tub with water.  Tie down or put away outside objects that could blow away.  A storm is coming.


      The Perfect Storm.

            The Storm of the Century!

Newspapers, radio, television...media outlets near and far warned of the impending wrath.  Loss of property.  Loss of life.  It's coming...be warned.

The warnings became a two-edged sword.  Some heard it so often, it became room noise.  Knowing about the impending hurricane so far in advance took away the urgency.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah.  A storm is coming...enough already...let's get back to the regularly scheduled program."

"It's just a ploy to boost sales of batteries...generators...fill in the blank." 

"They always make a big deal about these things and then they just seem to blow over."

Then the clouds began to roll in.  The rain fell.  And the winds picked up...fast..  And suddenly, it all became very real.  No longer did the nay-sayers believe the impact of what was coming was over-hyped. 

There is another warning going out my friends.  Matthew 24:42 says "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.".  It's also easy to allow that warning to become room noise...to doubt its urgency.

"People have said Christ is returning since the beginning of time."

"It's just a tactic of fear to get you back in church."

"Didn't some guy just  predict the end of the world?  Twice?  And you see how that worked out!"

First, the Bible says in Matthew 24:36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."  So if anyone says they have an exact day and time, they are a liar.

But that doesn't mean the time is not coming.  Matthew 24:37-39 tells us "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."

And 2 Peter 3:10 warns "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up."

The reality of the return of Christ will become very real, very quickly.   While it's been predicted for so long you may be tempted to be complacent, don't be caught off guard.  The results of being unprepared for this warning are so much greater than lack of power or loss of property - as devastating as those things are to us in this life.  Being caught unaware means loss of life.  Eternal life. 

The warnings are not there to invoke panic or fear.  For those who believe in Christ, the ones whose hearts are prepared, the warnings are a comfort.   A chance to prepare for the safety and security of an eternal home.  Unlike the earthly storm we've just weathered, it will not adversely affect everyone in its path.  Only those unprepared will find themselves at a loss. 

Believe the storm is coming...and be prepared.