Friday, January 15, 2010

Looking on the Heart

“ . . Man looks at the outward appearance,

but God looks at the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV

How often do we look at a person and only see the disheveled clothes, the dirty unruly hair, the scuffed up shoes? How do we react? Do we befriend them? Treat them with kindness? Or do we ignore them and go on our way thinking unkind thoughts about their circumstances?

What would Jesus do? He met a blind beggar, named Bartimaeus. Christ healed him. One of the women in a crowd had a longstanding sickness. Our Lord told her that her faith made her whole. When he met the demonpossessed man, Jesus restored his sanity.

What can we do? The choices are endless. God can help us decide the way we can positively help one of the homeless, someone less fortunate, or someone with a temporary setback.

In each person Jesus met, He saw past the outer fa├žade and saw their hearts. We are to emulate our Lord in all we do. In order to do this, shouldn’t we follow his lead and look past the external?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


“The man who loves his life will lose it,

while the man who hates this life in this

world will keep it for eternal life.” John12:25 NIV

How many times have we seen small children hold tightly to a toy when another child wants it. They scream and cry, if they are two years old, they yell, “No.” as loud as they can.

At the writing group I belong to, we recently had an exercise in free writing. The lady sitting next to me finished before everyone else. She then said for no one to copy from her. Being in a good mood, I acted like I was looking over at her paper. She reacted by covering her notebook with the upper half of her body. My next remark was that she was territorial. A lady sitting across the table called the first lady possessive. We were all joking but the lesson stuck with me.

We, as children of God have to learn to surrender our possessions to Him. In 1988, we bought or first brand new car, my husband said it was in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary. I was so overcome with emotion that I made a vow. I promised to use that car for the Lord.

A close friend of mine sometimes prays with her hands held open as a sign of her giving the issues she has on her heart to the Lord. I recently remembered this and held my right hand open and out in front of me during prayer. I found it to be freeing.

Another lady I know has taught me not to be so tied to possessions. We talked one time when we were at the hospital seeing a mutual friend.  I complimented her on her outfit.Her water was acting up, they live in the country. Her granddaughter had done her laundry and carried it around in her trunk for ‘two weeks’. I was appalledI thought of the respect issue. My friend saidit’s just clothes.

Could it be that God is telling us to hold things loosely? Could He be wanting His to give Him the best we have and let Him provide for our temporal needs?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mountain Tops and Valleys

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John

the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain

by themselves. Mt 17:1 NIV

Have we had mountain top experiences in our Christian walk? Yes, most of us have. Have we been in the valleys as we follow Jesus? Again, we have to say yes.

In one of my favorite songs, God of the Mountain, the beginning words of the chorus say, “The God of the mountain is still God in the valley.” I like this song because it reminds me God is still God, no matter what our need. He’s still in control.

As humans we want to have the mountain top experiences all the time. But, God seems to use them as rewards. We can’t expect them to come on a weekly or monthly basis. They come when God decides we are ready to accept and learn from them.

A very saintly lady I had the privilege of knowing said in Sunday School that we are the most teachable when we are in the valleys. As I had gotten to know her earlier, I decided she knew what she was talking about.

How many valleys can there be? We have the valley of doubt, of discouragement, of sorrow, of defeat, of depression, of anxiety, of worry. These are just a few of them. But God can lead us through them and help us overcome these time of despair.

Praise God for his watch care over us as we go through the valleys. Praise Him for taking us to the mountain tops.

Right now, our church is going through a valley. A man who was a robust, vibrant man has gone on to be with the Lord. His departure came unexpectedly. The chemo treatments were supposed to cure him 100% of his Leukemia and his lymphoma. We don’t understand but we have to trust God for this.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...