The Dusty Road

There are many examples in Scripture of God’s love for those who did not return His love or for those who had known His love and then turned away. Sometimes He asked His prophets to demonstrate what He was trying to teach the people about His love.

Haggai was one of those prophets God used. He was married and then his wife became a prostitute. God asked him to find her and take her back as his wife, as an example of His love for Israel, even after she turned her back on Him.

So often we accept His love and salvation, become His beloved, and then we follow the allure of the world and, like Haggai’s wife, we prostitute ourselves. He doesn’t give up on us. He may come after us like the Shepherd looking for the lost or wandering sheep.

One familiar story that Jesus told about the prodigal son, always captures our imagination. He asked for his inheritance while his father was still alive and then went off and wasted it, in a far away land. We might wonder, how long it took him to realize that he had made some bad choices?

And what about the father, who never stopped looking down that dusty road, shading his eyes against the hot sun, longing to see his son coming. Patiently he waited and the day finally came when his waiting was rewarded. Away, in the distance he saw something. Could it be? Eagerly, he watches.

He sees someone, clad in scanty, dirty clothes, trudging wearily along the dusty road. The father runs, something out of character for a man of his stature. He runs toward him and embraces this unkempt child who smells like pigs.

The father disregards the appearance of his child, he is filled with love and joy for his return. The son returns in an attitude of humility. Gone is the pride, gone is the sense of entitlement. Now the words are, “Make me as one of your servants.”

The circle is complete, the same dusty road going away, leads home. Broken and wiser, the son is home. Jesus told this story about a son but it could just as easily be about a daughter. I’ve been on that dusty road. Coming home, I found the Father’s love and forgiveness.

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Have You Found God’s Will?

Five main principles for finding the will of God are outlined in a small book by John Macarthur called, “Found:God’s Will.” I found these principles, thought provoking and very interesting.

God’s will is:
1. That you be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth – 1 Tim 2:3-4

2. That you be Spirit filled, controlled by the Spirit – Eph 5:18
This means a Christ conscious life, saturated with the things of Christ; His Word, His person

3. That you be sanctified – 1 Thess 4:3-7
This means that you live a life that is pure and holy, not controlled by your passions

4. That you be submissive – 1 Pet 2:13-18
This means that you submit to authority; the law, the King, your boss

5. That you suffer for the Name of Christ – 1 Pet 4:13-19
This means that you suffer as a Christian who is godly – Phil 1:29 – “to suffer for Christ’s sake”
2 Tim 3:12 “all who desire to live godly (in an ungodly world) will be persecuted.”

If you are doing all five basic things, God will give you the right desires in your heart which will then lead you into His perfect will. God will give you the desires of your heart because they will be His desires.

Romans 12:1-2 “I urge you – by the mercies of God, to present your bodies, a living and a holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Thess 5:18 -give thanks for happenings in your life “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
He’s using the experiences in your life to shape you into His will.

No Agenda

Humbly, I come, no agenda in hand,
My life map is blank, it is laid out in sand.
I thought it was following one path for sure,
But it changed, and became somehow quite obscure

I tried to become what I thought I should be,
As a wife and a mother, somehow I lost me,
Divorce, then remarriage, brought love so sublime
Which changed when God took him, in His blessed time.

Alone, I now travel, no companion I see.
If God brings me someone, accepting I’d be
But, as He’s forming me, more careful I am,
Only godliness, characterizes this kind of man.

Not good looks or charm, but honest and kind,
A genuine follower of Christ would I find.
If no one is chosen, my companion to be,
I’m content with my life, being Jesus and me.

Run Your Own Race

The following post is from notes I took on a sermon by Joel Osteen on June 24, 2012 called, “Run Your Race”

Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a right to their opinion. I have a right not to listen to their opinion. A man fell into a pit. Different people came along with their opinion.

The Pharisee said, “You deserve to be in the pit.” The Catholic said, “You need to suffer while in the pit.”

The baptist sad, “If you’d got saved you wouldn’t have fallen in the pit.” The Charismatic said, “Just confess, ‘I’m not in the pit.”

The mathematician said, “Let me calculate how you fell in the pit.” The IRS agent said, “Have you paid taxes on that pit?”

The Optimist said, “Things could be worse.” The pessimist said, “They will get worse.”

If you try to please every person, the one person that will not be happy is you. If something doesn’t bear witness with your spirit, you have a boldness to say, “Thanks, but no thanks. I love you and I appreciate your advice but this time, it’s not for me.” Most people who try to run your life, can’t even run their own life.

Don’t share your dreams with other people, they won’t understand. Joseph told his dreams and had problems. Mary pondered in her heart. Keep them in your heart. When the time is right, God will help you give birth to every dream He’s given you. You don’t need other’s approval, you have God’s approval.

Stay focused! If you’ll decide you’re going to run your race, then God will get you to where you’re supposed to be. You will overcome every obstacle and accomplish every God given dream in Jesus’ name!

 

 

What Makes A Real Dad?

Is it a night when two become one,
An egg and a sperm make a babe and it’s done?
Is it the day when the couple is bringing,
The babe home with much joy and singing?

Does time make the dad as babe learns to talk,
Saying, ‘Mama’ and ‘Daddy’ and to outstretched arms walk?
When the child calls him, ‘Dad’ does that make him one?
Or maybe it’s when the man says he’s his son.

From all of these things we could surely construe,
That these make a dad that is loving and true.
I believe it’s not time, but a place in the heart,
A calling to give, the whole, not just a part

Of oneself, to the child in their care.
Unselfish love makes a dad that is rare.
He may not have given it life to begin,
But the life that he gives to the child is a win.

The importance of dad, we can not understate.
How the child is developed can’t be left up to fate,
For values are taught, both the good and the bad.
Best ones are taught by the wisdom of dad.

 

I have seen many kinds of dads in my day, some good and some not so good. My own dad was a verbally abusive alcoholic, whose own low sense of worth caused him to tell us regularly, we were no good. In contrast, my husband, Larry had a very caring father, who told his children, verbally and non verbally, they had value and worth. He was a godly man who loved his children and tried to be the best dad possible. As a result of his loving example, Larrys ideas of how to be a man were well formed.

Recently, I have contemplated this question, “What makes a real dad?” or “What makes a man a dad?” In pondering this question, I am comparing two men who have some connection to a member of my family. One man does not really want to be a dad but he has impregnated at least three women, in the past, leaving them to raise the child by themselves. He gives nothing to their care, no financial support or contact, after the child is born.

One of these children is my daughter’s litle boy. When this man ( using the term lightly,) knew she was pregnant, he wanted her to terminate the pregnancy. When she refused, he left, never saw her again nor the child when he was born. He has never given any kind of support, financially or otherwise. He has a another boy a few years older that he abandoned as well.

As it happened, shortly after this, my daughter met a man who loves her and wants to be a dad to her little boy. This man once knew what it was to anticipate the birth of his baby, only to have his hopes dashed when the baby died at birth. Along the way he tried to be a dad to another boy but was not allowed the privilege when the relationship with his mother failed.

He gives to my grandson, all that a child could ask for, with love and appropriate discipline. My grandson calls him, “daddy” and does not know any other. I’m watching and what I see is the heart of a dad. He’s not perfect and no parent is, but he has a desire to mold and shape his son, into what he believes a man should be.

Who is the real dad here? What makes a dad, really a dad? T’m convinced, it’s not the DNA or the genetics, it’s the heart’s desire.  It’s the motivation and the love that gives of themselves for the well being and the good of the chid in their care. That makes a real dad, truly Dad!