Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Shadow of Agony

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Despite the brutality of truth and amidst the harshness of daily reality, grace, peace, hope, redemption, and salvation wait to receive those who humbly surrender self-reliance and willingly accept the divine intervention of faith.

To those who have had no agony Jesus says, “I have nothing for you; stand on your own feet, square your own shoulders. I have come for the man who knows he has a bigger handful than he can cope with, who knows there are forces he cannot touch; I will do everything for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I will do it for him. (Chambers)

 

Where The Battle is Won & Lost

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Special thanks to Mr. Chambers…

Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world. The Spirit of God seizes me and I am compelled to get alone with God and fight the battle before Him. Until I do this, I will lose every time. The battle may take one minute or one year, but that will depend on me, not God. However long it takes, I must wrestle with it alone before God, and I must resolve to go through the hell of renunciation or rejection before Him. Nothing has any power over someone who has fought the battle before God and won there.

I should never say, “I will wait until I get into difficult circumstances and then I’ll put God to the test.” Trying to do that will not work. I must first get the issue settled between God and myself in the secret places of my soul, where no one else can interfere. Then I can go ahead, knowing with certainty that the battle is won. Lose it there, and calamity, disaster, and defeat before the world are as sure as the laws of God. The reason the battle is lost is that I fight it first in the external world. Get alone with God, do battle before Him, and settle the matter once and for all.

In dealing with other people, our stance should always be to drive them toward making a decision of their will. That is how surrendering to God begins. Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point— a great crossroads in our life. From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory.

Pick-Up Lines That Fail

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There once was an old man who owned a jewelry store in Whitefish, Montana.

One bright, sunny, summer day an unsuspecting young woman (*pointing to self* me… I’m talking about me) walked into his store, drawn to large stones that shined in the window.

As she pressed her nose against the glass cases to see the diamonds up close, he sauntered towards her.

“You from ’round here?” he asked dryly.

Startled, she looked up and politely shook her head, no.

“You attached?”

Again, she shook her head and began glancing over her shoulder to find the closest exit.

“Well,” he began, “stick with me kid and I’ll have you wearing diamonds bigger than horse-turds.”

And she blankly stared back at him, bile rising in the back of her throat, she excused herself from the store and decided that no diamond would ever be big enough to compensate for a general lack of tact.

Your turn! Let’s hear ’em. The worst pick-up lines.

Ready? Go!

Gifts of Compassion

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News flash– I work for Compassion International.  You may have heard of it if you have read this blog more than once.

‘Nother news flash– It’s Christmas time. That blessed time of year when you gather together with loved ones and give gifts out of obligation love. But I pray that you’ll remember that the reason to celebrate and give gifts has nothing to do with how naughty or nice you were. I hope that you’ll remember that it actually has nothing to do with any of us at all. 

Christmas has everything to do with Jesus and what He gave to us. Salvation from death. Restoration from sin and shame. And complete redemption from where we’ve been and what we’ve done. 

For the believer, this anointed time of year has everything to do with being the recipients of divine intervention.

Don’t get me wrong. I like presents as much as the next person. The thing is, material gifts so often dilute the immaterial gift of eternal life. And they really, really dilute “need vs want.”

If you live in the United States, chances are what you’ll receive this year is what you want, not necessarily what you need. 

For the vast majority of humanity on earth though, receiving what they need on a daily basis is a toss-up.  Sometimes they’ll eat.  Sometimes they won’t. Sometimes they’ll survive malaria.  Sometimes they won’t. What is a sure promise, for those living in poverty, is that Jesus came for them too.

So what if we, the church, the body, the bride, stepped up to the plate like the church before us.

In Acts 4 we get a glimpse of what the church is supposed to be. Beginning in verse 34, it says,

There was no needy among them, for as many were owners of lands and houses sold them and brought the proceeds to the apostles feet to be distributed to each as they needed.

I have an idea of how we can start looking a little more like this; giving of what we have to others who don’t.  And it starts with Compassion.

This year at Compassion, we’re proud to introduce a gift catalogue. Here, you can buy different supplies that meet real material needs for those who need them most.  And with the various price points, everyone can buy something!

For under $25, you can purchase mosquito nets for children that are vulnerable or prone to malaria. Or you can buy soccer balls for stellar athletes in the making.  You could also buy a chicken for a family that will allow them to not only eat daily through the production of eggs, but the ability to start a small business. For $25, you could provide life saving vaccinations to young, at risk children.

For under $50, you can purchase educational supplies for children in school; you could provide mothers of babies with the nutritional supplies through kits; or you could purchase a goat, a common source of milk, meat, and income for many rural families.

For under $100, you  help get Compassion beneficiaries start small business through bakeries and beauty school training.  Or, you can help provide clean water for a lifetime to an entire family by purchasing a water filtration system.

Gifts above $100 can purchase anything from cows, to computers, sanitation facilities, to life saving surgeries through our Medical Assistance Fund.

Please prayerfully consider giving the gift of compassion and hope this Christmas season.

  “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Grace for the Moment

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An excerpt from Max Lucado’s “Grace for the Moment” devotional book.

God knows best. No struggle will come your way apart from His purpose, presence, and permission. What an encouragement! You are never the victim of nature or the prey of fate. Chance is eliminated. You are more than a weather vane whipped about the winds of fortune.

Would God truly abandon you? Perish the thought!

We live beneath the protective palm of a sovereign King who superintends ever circumstance of our lives and delights in doing so.

Nothing comes your way that has not first passed through the filter of His love.