Where is God…

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the Kingdom of God…”

Where is God…

My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed.
At least that’s what I heard him say one night. He was
praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped
outside his closed door to listen.

“Are you there, God?” he said. “Where are you?”
“Oh, I see. Under the bed.” I giggled softly and tiptoed
off to my own room. Kevin’s unique perspectives are
often a source of amusement. But that night something
else lingered long after the humor. I realized
for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a
result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size
(he’s 6-foot-2); there are few ways in which he is an
adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities
of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably
always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa
Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every
Christmas, and that airplanes stay up in the sky because
angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is
different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous
life? Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop
for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel,
returning to eat his favorite macaroni and cheese for
dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the
entire scheme are laundry days, when he hovers excitedly
over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn
child. He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to
the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple
work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water
boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late
twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next
day’s laundry chores.

And Saturdays – oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day
my dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink,
watch the planes land, and speculates loudly on the
destination of each passenger inside. “That one’s goin’
to Chi-car-go!” Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His
anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

I don’t think Kevin knows anything exists outside his world of
daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn’t know what it
means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never
know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does
not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of
food he eats. He recognizes no differences in people,
treating each person as an equal and a friend. His needs
have always been met, and he never worries that one day
they may not be. His hands are diligent.

Kevin is never as happy as when he is working. When he
unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart
is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when
it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is
finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how
to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work
of others. His heart is pure. He still believes
everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and
when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. Free
from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is
not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is
always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to
God, he comes as a child.

Kevin seems to know God-to really be friends with
Him in a way that is difficult for an “educated” person to
grasp. God seems like his closest companion. In my
moments of doubt and frustrations with my religion,
I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is
then that I am most willing to admit that he has some
divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with
the handicap; I am.

My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances – they
all become disabilities when I do not submit them to God.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn?
After all, he has spends his whole life in that kind of
innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the
goodness and love of the Lord. And one day, when the
mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at
how close God really is to our hearts, we’ll realize
that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed
that God lived under his bed. Kevin won’t be surprised at all.

Mat 18:3, 4 “Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

ALLthings work together for good…If God is in your Life…

Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. “

All things work together for good…..if God is in your Life…

God knows where you need to be!

Next time your morning seems to be going wrong and the children
are slow getting dressed and you can’t seem to find the car keys and you hit every
traffic light, don’t get mad or frustrated; praise God instead because God is at work
watching over you.

Listen to this account of why we may need a perspective change.  After Sept. 11 … I happened to call a man on business that I didn’t know and have not, nor will ever, talk to again. But this day, he felt like talking.  He was the head of security of a company that had invited the remaining members of a company who had been decimated by the attack on the Twin Towers to share their office space. With his voice full of awe he told me stories of why these people were
alive and their counterparts were dead…..and all the stories were just ‘little’ things.

As you might know, the head of the company got in late that day
because his son started kindergarten. Another fellow was alive because it was his
turn to bring donuts.
One woman was late because her alarm clock didn’t go off in time.
One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an auto accident.
One missed his bus.
One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change.
One’s car wouldn’t start.
One went back to answer the telephone.
One had a child that dawdled and didn’t get ready as soon as he should have.
One couldn’t get a taxi.
There were other stories that I hope and pray will someday be gathered
and put in a book.

The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of
shoes that morning, took the various means to get to work but before he got there,
he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.
That is why he is alive today.

Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to
answer a ringing phone…. all the little things that annoy me …I think to myself,
this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment.

May God continue to bless you with all those annoying little
things and may you remember their possible purpose

As a ‘born again’ believer we are reminded that;

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them
who love the Lord, to them who are called according to His purposes”

If you are not a ‘born again’ believer check out what Jesus said;

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

And another reminder. Some were in the Towers on that day to be a light
among a dark world to help those needing and wanting last minute help….today
they are with Jesus….

The Greatest Pain in Life…

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me…”

The Greatest Pain in Life

The greatest pain in life is not to die, but to be ignored.
To lose the person you love so much to another who doesn’t care at all.
To have someone you care about so much throw a party and not tell you about it.
When your favorite person on earth neglects to invite you to his graduation.

To have people think that you don’t care.
The greatest pain in life is not to die, but to be forgotten.
To be left in the dust after another’s great achievement.
To never get a call from a friend, just saying “hi”.

When you show someone your innermost thoughts and they laugh.
For friends to always be too busy to console you when you need someone to lift your spirits.

When it seems like the only person who cares about you, is you.
Life is full of pain, but does it ever get better?

Will people ever care about each other, and make time for those who are in need?

Each of us has a part to play in this great show we call life.

Each of us has a duty to mankind to tell our friends we love them.
You will simply be ignored…forgotten…as you have done to others.

*This poem was written by a young girl who committed suicide.
Perhaps if the people surrounding her had shown a little more love,
and had paid more attention to her, her death could have been prevented.

Remember that when going through life, you can’t judge a sad, lonely, or
suicidal person by their facial expression, what comes out of their mouths or even
their actions. You need to get to know each person you come in contact with, cherish
your friendship with them, and show them that you care.

To be a lasting friend you must first receive Jesus, Who is the source of
unconditional love. You then can share with those in need that there is a Friend
available to them that will never forsake or leave them. He was crucified, died and
was buried for their sins and never once turns His back on us. And He is coming again.

John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me… In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Have a great day with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus

Growth in the Valley of Life…

Rom 8:28 “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord,
to those who are the called according to His purposes.”

Growth in the Valley of Life….

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
it’s then I have to remember
that it’s in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top
and never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God’s love
and would be living in vain.

I have so much to learn
and my growth is very slow,
sometimes I need the mountain tops,
but it’s in the valleys I grow.

I do not always understand
why things happen as they do,
but I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.

My little valleys are nothing
when I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan’s loss.

Forgive me Lord, for complaining
when I’m feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
that it’s in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me, Lord
and use my life each day
to share your love with others
and help them find their way.

Thank you for valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
the mountain tops are glorious
But it’s in the valleys I grow!

Have a blessed day!

REMEMBER…

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance
between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can
by Jesus’ power stand up to anything.

II Cor 12:9 “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

I Thes 5:17, 18 “Pray without ceasing, for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus, concerning you.”

 Good and Bad Angels….

Recently as we were doing our morning devotions we came across a great description of angels. As I thought about how our world portrays them today it struck me how much different real angels truly are. If you think about how our world pictures them you have images of fluffy little creatures that can be our pets or as cute little figurines on display in our living rooms and many other descriptions not found when you study actual angels in the one book that holds truth, the Bible. For you see our world thinks the truths of God are foolishness. We must see everything around us both visible and invisible as God sees them to truly understand.

I Cor 2:14 “But the natural man (unsaved) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Our study Bible provided the following examples of Angels. For more on angels do some studying by looking up the word angel in your Bible and where and how it is used in scripture. Notice the reactions most of the time when angels appeared. People were afraid of them because of their powerful structure and presence. The following are only a few of the verses found on angels.

Angels

  • There are both good and bad angels;
    • Rev 12:7
    • Because bad angels are allied with satan they have considerably less power and authority than good angels.
  • God sent angels to help certain people so they could understand the significance of what was happening to them.
    • Mat 2:13, Luke 1:11,26 Luke 2:9
  • Angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out His work on earth. They bring God’s messages to people;
    • Luke 1:26, Gen 19:1
  • They protect God’s people;
    • Daniel 6:22
  • Offer encouragement;
    • Gen 16:7
  • Give guidance;
    • Numbers 22:32, Exodus 14:19
  • Carry out punishment;
    • 2 Sam 24:16, Rev 7:1
  • Patrol the earth;
    • Zech 1:9-14
  • Fight the forces of evil;
    • 2 Kings 6:16-18, Rev 20:1,2
  • Eventually the main role of angels will be to offer continuous praise to God;
    • Rev 7:11,12

Remember these are but a few passages in scripture describing angelic beings and their purpose in the lives of mankind. The most important thing to remember is that we must weigh all earthly teachings with God’s word as our source of authority. If you feel God has provided an angel that has ministered to you remember to give the praise to the One who sent the helper!

 John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The Road to Success…

Hebrews 12:2a “Looking unto Jesus…”

The Road to Success

The road to success is not Straight.
There is a curve called Failure.

A loop called Confusion,
Speed bumps called Friends,

Red lights called Enemies,
Caution lights called Family,

You will have flats along the way,

But, if you have a spare called Determination,
An engine called Perseverance,
Insurance called Faith,
A driver called Jesus,
You will make it to a place called Success!

In spite of our unworthiness

Romans 3:10 “As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith who for the
joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is set
down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Bitterness and Jealousy Destroy…

Heb 12:15 “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;

lest any root of bitterness, springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
************************
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man
was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help
drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only
window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked
for hours on end.  They spoke of their wives and families, their homes,
their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had
been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the
window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his
room-mate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where
his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color
of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model
boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of
the rainbow.  Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of
the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man
on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the
picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a
parade passing by.  Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he
could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed
it with descriptive words.
Then unexpectedly, a sinister thought entered his mind. Why should the
other man alone experience all the pleasures of seeing everything while
he himself never got to see anything? It didn’t seem fair.  At first
thought the man felt ashamed. But as the days passed and he missed
seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him
sour. He began to brood and he found himself unable to sleep. He should
be by that window – that thought, and only that thought now controlled
his life.
Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window
began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man
watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped
for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room he never
moved never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse
running in.  In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped,
along with that the sound of breathing. Now there was only
silence, deathly silence.
The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their
baths.  When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window,
she was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take it away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be
moved next to the window.  The nurse was happy to make the switch, and
after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully,
he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside.
Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly
turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate
who had described such wonderful things outside this window.  The nurse
responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She
said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”
The sins of jealousy and anger are deadly and left unconfessed they fester and destroy a person.
Psalm 137:7b, 8, 9 “…do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret; it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.”