Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Use Me, Lord

I got the most exciting news today!  I have been writing devotions for a few years now.  I am not a professional writer nor am I a Bible scholar.  I write devotions because it helps me stay in-tune to what God is speaking to me.  As you know, the Bible can be very hard to interpret and understand.  I do a lot of praying before, during, and after my Bible study.  I also like to use a few sites from the Internet to help research topics.  I want to HIGHLY recommend www.gotquestions.org.  I have used this site for a couple years.  It is a topic-related site which answers thousands of questions about anything you want to know about the Bible, God, Jesus, Christianity, etc.  I honestly feel God through this site.  It is awesome, and I hope you will get a chance to check it out.  If you have a question about a topic, Email it to them, and within a couple days, they respond with your answers, completely backed-up by Bible verses.

I saw a link on their site where they were taking applications to be a volunteer writer.  For about a year, I never even considered it because their writers are much, much better than I am.  But I got to thinking that just maybe it could be in God's will for me.  So I applied.  After completing a few surveys and such, I got a response today.  It began, "Congratulations Allen!  Welcome aboard!"  Praise God.  I almost shouted for joy right in front of my classroom.  So now, when people write to them with their questions, they direct those questions to their volunteer writers to answer.  They told me to prayerfully research the topic, answer their question, and then send it to the editors who, thankfully, clean it up and make it sound like a professional wrote it.  Can you tell I am excited?  Now, I will grow in the Lord simply by studying harder to answer questions.  I admit I am nervous, but also I know that Jesus has my back.  It was Him that got me to this point in my life, anyway.  And I am as thrilled as I have ever been.  PRAISE GOD!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I finally did a little spring cleaning in and around my house this past weekend.  I have the sore, aching muscles and sun-burned face to prove it, too.  But I also have a cleaner, more comfortable home.  I love this time of year!  It is so rejuvenating to see God's world come alive.  Green grass, green trees, and blossoming flowers always have a way of filling me with hope and happiness.  I love the way God "wakes" up the land around us. 

I have also started doing some spring cleaning in my walk with Him.  I have started reading and studying God's Word more, telling more people about Him, and writing my devotions again every day.  I feel rejuvenated!  I feel excited about what this year may hold for me, through Him.  Just as God turns the dead, bleak winter into bright, happy spring, He can also do the same thing in our souls.  I am excited and thankful that He has transformed my seasons.  Happy spring! 

Job 8:21 says, "God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

Father, thank-you for refreshing my spirit.  Please help me to continue my walk with You.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Is It Soon

Driving around town yesterday, I saw a house that still had it's Christmas lights up.  The lights were not just up, they were actually on.  Here in late March, I don't know if the people who live there are early or late.  But it did remind me of a very important Bible verse.  Hebrews 11:1 says, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

 I love Christmas now probably as much as I did as a kid.  The only difference is that now, it comes way too fast.  But that was not the case when I was a kid.  Can't you remember how long it took for Christmas morning to finally arrive?  I can remember getting excited about it just as soon as summer was ending.  There were no Christmas lights, trees, or other signs of it's approach, but I knew it would eventually get here. That was true faith.  I was sure it was coming even though there were no signs of it.  God wants us to have that same depth of faith in Him.  He wants us to trust in Him for everything, even what we may perceive as impossible.  Nothing is impossible with God.  Do we have the same kind of faith in God now as we did in Christmas when we were younger?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good Credit, Bad Credit, No Credit

I teach a section on home mortgages, credit card interest, and personal loans at the college here in town.  It is a real eye-opener to some students who never stop to think how expensive it can be to borrow money.  And although the cost of borrowing money is based on various conditions, one's credit rating is perhaps the most important.  It is simple:  The better your credit rating, the cheaper the loan.  When one has less-than-perfect credit, it can begin an endless cycle of high debt.  Sometimes a person's credit can be so bad that they are not even able to get a loan at all, no matter how badly they may need one.  Let's face it, we all have to borrow money sometimes.  But we also have to be very careful and responsible with that loan, or it can lead to big problems down the line.

Aren't you glad that Jesus doesn't look at our past in order to predict our future?  Being saved by Christ has nothing to do with how much sin is in our past.  Jesus promises to save the very worse of the worst.  There is absolutely nothing you have ever done in your past, nor future, that will keep God from saving you.  We all come to Him in the same shape: pitiful, pathetic, and infested with sin.  But He is so merciful and Gracious that He will wipe our past history completely clean.  All we have to do is ask Him.  The Bible is full of passages that promise us that He is willing to save you and even me.  Jesus is loaning "everlasting money", no matter what our credit rating.  Praise God!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dedicated To My Students

Today's devotion is dedicated to all my students who will be taking the Alabama High School Graduation Exam in mathematics tomorrow.  This is a required test, and no student in Alabama can receive a diploma unless they pass this test.  I know just how hard my fellow-teachers have worked to prepare these students to pass it, and how hard the students themselves have worked.  When I was younger, I used to watch Major league baseball on TV and couldn't understand why a batter would get upset for striking out.  Wasn't he still gonna make the same million dollars anyway?  Now as a teacher, I understand.  I will still get my salary whether the students pass or not.  But deep down, it bugs me to death when they don't.  God called me to be a teacher 18 years ago, and I still have the same passion as I did the first day.  I want these kids to pass.  In a way, I need them to pass.

The Bible teaches us that all things are possible with God.  I 100% truly believe that because I see it come true all the time.  Even when I look back over my life and certain situations that I thought I could not recover from, God was right there making the impossible, possible.  He did it for me, I am sure he has done it for you, and now I am praying that He will do it for my students.  Some of them really have a phobia about math, and that alone keeps them from doing well.  I pray that God will take away that phobia tomorrow and help them be the very best they can be.  I also ask you to say a quick little prayer, too.  Prayer can move mountains...and math.

Oh heavenly father, I lift up my students to you at this hour.  Please be with them and help them to do their very best tomorrow.  Thank-you for what You have already done in helping us prepare these students.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time To Say Thanks

I have a bad habit of not stopping what I am doing and thanking God for what He has done for me lately.  So today, I want to brag a little bit about my Jesus.  About a week ago, I woke up with a great deal of pain in my lower back.  The way that it felt, I knew it was not a muscle cramp or spasm.  I was sure I had a herniated disc just like the one I had three years ago in my neck.  I could barely stand up straight.  No matter what I did, I could not get any relief.  I called my doctor and he agreed to see me right away.  After examining me, he too thought it might be a problem with a disc.  He sent me for an MRI.  The MRI showed two bulging discs in my lower back.  He told me that I would not need surgery however, and that he could treat me with just meds and maybe a little therapy.  I want you to know that within 24 hours, those meds helped to take away the inflammation around the discs.  The pain was gone and I was able to walk around without any trouble.  It truly felt like a miracle!

I want to take about 5 or 10 minutes each day to thank God for all that He does for me.  I almost take it for granted.  But that is wrong, and I want to correct that right away.  God works behind the scenes everyday to make things better in our lives.  Most of the time, we don't really give it a second thought.  But if we are truly honest with ourselves, we know that He does a tremendous amount for us every day.  Have you thanked Him today for His many blessings?  I bet He would really appreciate it.

Dear Father.  Thank you for helping me with my back pain.  I am sorry I don't thank you more than I do.  I promise to work on that.  Help me to remember to take just a few minutes each day to thank you for the many blessings you have given me.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


At the school system where I work, we get paid one per month.  The money is always direct-deposited into our accounts on the last day of the month.  But when I checked my account yesterday, there was no money.  I panicked!  The Central office sent out a system-wide Email explaining that they "forgot" to release the money.  I am serious; they actually said "forgot".  They rushed paper checks to everyone today.  How does one forget to do what they have done every month for years?  There sure were a lot of unhappy campers around the system.

How do we sometimes "forget" to thank God for all He's done for us?  I know I am guilty of asking Him for more things I don't have than thanking Him for things I do have.  Do you think that hurts God?  I need to re-prioritize.  I need to be more thankful than I have been.  Instead of flipping out when I don't see my money right away, maybe I should next time just thank God I have a job.

Lord, thank-you for everything You do for me.  Help me to try to make a list tonight of those things You have blessed me with.  In Jesus name, Amen.