Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's The Thought That Counts

I wanted to share with you what my daughter Bailey did last night at the grocery store. While we were buying a few items, she came up to me and asked for a couple dollars. I reached into my wallet and took out two bucks. As I was handing it to her, I guess I just naturally asked what she needed. She said, "I am going to donate it to the lady outside who is collecting for diabetes research." I thought to myself, "instead of buying some junk?" I was very proud of her at that very moment.

But then the funny part hit me: It is so easy to be generous with somebody else's money. I nearly laughed and wondered why she didn't just ask for 5 or 10 dollars. Bailey has a kind heart, with my money or with her own. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I would have given those same two dollars to the lady outside. I guess the bottom line is that the money was given, and hopefully it will do some good. Is it truly the thought that counts? This time, it was my 14-year old's thought that counted the most. I love you, Boo.

Psalm 112:5 says, "Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely."

Father, thank-you for Bailey. She is such an awesome young lady, and I am so lucky you chose me to be her daddy. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

As Good As...Almost New

First of all, I wanna thank those who commented on my recent devotion concerning being a little upset at God. Your comments were very thought-provoking and really helped me deep down. So again, thank-you very much.

Today I had some medical trouble that landed me in the E.R. When I got there, I was praying like crazy, asking God to take away the pain and discomfort I was feeling. Due to the pain, needless to say my blood pressure was through the roof. It is amazing what the Good Lord and a doctor can do. I am back home now and feeling 100% better. I am having a slight case of insomnia, but I think that is more because I wanted to write this devotion. I got to thinking how we can have moments of extreme pain, and then with some help, can have moments of total relief. That's what I experienced today physically. But we also have those same episodes spiritually. Yesterday, I was questioning God why such mean people can hurt the innocent, and in turn, hurt us. But then today I can pray to God for relief, and He can give it to me in such a short time. Yesterday, I was "upset" at God. But today, I didn't hesitate to ask him to cure my physical pain. So I wanted to give God some praise for helping me today physically and spiritually. I have learned that it is OK to be upset with Him sometimes. He still loves us enough to make all our hurts and fears go away. Thank-you, Lord for helping me learn another level of your incredible Grace. You are my Lord; Please use me however You want.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pure Hell

I am writing this devotion just to get it off my chest. I invite you to give your thoughts in the "comments" section. When I read the testimony of Elizabeth Smart and learn of the pure hell her captor put her through, first of all, I realize I have no problems that can even compare. Second, how could a person possibly be so cruel to another human being? How could that monster completely rob that little 14-year old baby of her life? And this question hurts to ask: How could a loving, caring God ALLOW that child to go through such horror? I know it is not my place to question God, and I also know He lets people make up their own minds. I understand it was not God's fault, but why would He allow it to happen?

I love the Lord and believe He will "fix" humanity one day. It almost makes me think I am sinning to ask God why He would allow this to happen, for He is perfect and none of us come close to understanding His perfect ways. But He also gave me a brain and a heart. Doesn't He understand that sometimes we can be so over-whelmed by grief that we may ask such questions? Is it alright for us to be "upset with God" during these times?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Forgive Me, Forgive Me Not

I have a friend (we'll call him John) who is constantly deciding to start all over. Do you know what I mean? He decides to do everything for Christ, then after a little while, he back-slides. Soon after, he will ask everyone to forgive him and then start the whole process over. It's like he can't stay on the right path long before something comes along and derails him. Gosh, how many times will I continue to fall for his "I'm sorry, please forgive me" line? How many "just one more chances" do I give him? The fact is, as a human, I may number those "one more chances" that I allow him, and one of these times, it will be just too late; I will give up. I can't keep going through this time and time again. Do you blame me?

Our Jesus goes through this "on again, off again" process with every single one of us to some degree or another. We may not be able to forgive others 100 times, but Jesus sure does. Thank God for that! So if you are like John, and I think we all probably are, then rest assured that Jesus forgives us EVERY SINGLE time we ask Him. Don't worry if other people won't keep forgiving you; that is their problem. God does! And to show our appreciation for that, we should really work on forgiving matter how many times they ask.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:14, "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you."

Father, forgive me of all my sins. Thank-you for being a gracious God. Please help me to forgive all others. In Jesus name, Amen.