Friday, April 29, 2016

Two Fools

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  (Psalm 14:1 KJV)

In the Word of God we can find a number of contrasts: good fruit and bad fruit; good trees and bad trees; wise men and foolish men.  Fools who say God does not exist and fools for Christ.

God’s Word has much to say about foolishness and wisdom.  To the world, following hard after God can appear to be absolute foolishness.  However, God calls those who do not believe He exists fools. 

The Hebrew word for fool is nabal, meaning “foolish or senseless.”[1]  It can also mean “disgrace or dishonor.”[2]

Photo Credit C. Meissner

An example in the Old Testament of foolish thinking and behavior contrasted with wise thinking and behavior is found in the stories of David before he became king of Israel.  Foolish thinking leads to Nabal’s (his name means fool) behavior towards David and his men (see 1 Samuel 25:28-39).  Ultimately, God struck down Nabal because of his hard heart. 

In contrast, Nabal’s wife, Abigail, acted wisely, as did David.  Abigail’s wisdom to send a “peace offering” prevented David from taking vengeance into his own hands.  God got vengeance on Nabal in His own time and way.

Photo Credit C. Meissner

Sheer arrogance can lead us down paths that go away from God and the best He has for us—an arrogance that says, “we know better” or “there is no God”.  (I have gone down paths that God did not want me to go down, because the “cost” was too great.  However, I found that I paid an even greater cost than I would have paid had I followed God’s desire.)  How this behavior must pain God’s heart!  Ultimately, it brings great pain to us and those around us.  Fools in the spiritual sense are spiritually blind—it has nothing to do with their intellect.[3] 

While Jesus walked on the earth and had interactions with many people; we can see where the very ones who should have known Him (the Pharisees) completely missed Him due to their spiritual blindness (Jesus called them fools); while the people rejected by the Pharisees (sinners of various types) saw who Jesus was (the Messiah) and flocked to Him in droves.

Photo Credit P. Whitlach

Yet there is a better way, a better choice to make!  What is that choice?  You can say “yes” to God who has already said “yes” to you.  In the world’s eyes it will appear utterly foolish—Paul called himself a fool for Christ (see 1 Corinthians 4:10)—however, we will find true life and living not possible in any other way.

What have you decided?  Foolishly rejecting God now has horrific consequences for eternity.  God loves you more than you can imagine; He desires for no one to perish (see 2 Peter 3:9).

Living for Christ now will mean being misunderstood at times or being rejected or marginalized.  Rightly living for Christ can lead to persecution; in fact, Scriptures seem to imply that something is “wrong” if persecution does not happen (see 1 Peter 4:12-14). 

Compromising with the world is a dangerous choice!  It damages our witness.  If we look and act like the world, why would people want a relationship with Jesus?

Many years ago, I said “yes” to Jesus.  This decision has made all the difference!  While I have not yet faced persecution like my Brothers and Sisters face in other parts of the world, I have been misunderstood, rejected.  My prayer is that when the day comes, I will remain faithful and give my life for Jesus.

I will happily be a fool for Christ!  What about you?

Please join with me in prayer:

Lord, grant us godly wisdom to walk in the way that leads to life in You.  Empower us to stand the onslaught of the world and be fools for Christ.  Place within us Your heart for those who foolishly say You do not exist.  Free us to seek You above the things of this world.  Thank You for all that You do for us each day.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, April 22, 2016

Caring for God's Creation

“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”  (Psalm 24:1 KJV)

*Note: This is an edited post from April 17, 2015 titled Caring for God’s Creation


From the opening verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, we see the creative power of God—“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth”. God designed the earth for a purpose. Likewise, He created mankind to care for His creation—the whole of it. 

Photo Credit P. Whitlach

Photo Credit P. Whitlach

Once sin entered into the picture (Genesis 3), the whole of God’s creation began to suffer as the result of mankind’s decision to live in a way that God had not planned. The beauty was marred. Creation has beauty but within that beauty lies danger too—danger from various elements, as well as animals.  

How have you seen danger within the beauty of God’s world?  

Photo Credit P. Whitlach

Photo Credit P. Whitlach

God expects us to care for the environment and the world He has given us. This is a sacred trust, in fact, Ecclesiastes 1:4 states: “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.”  

We have only one planet…let us care for it! How are we doing at caring for our environment?  Are we helping or hurting it? 

It would be so easy to take the easy way out and flippantly think: “Jesus is returning. Why should I do anything to help the environment?” While Jesus is indeed returning—likely soon—we still need to use care in what we do and how we do it. Creation is fragile; therefore, we need to handle it with care.

Photo Credit C. Meissner

Photo Credit C. Meissner 

We can do many things (such as recycling paper or plastic, or planting a tree, or walking instead of driving), that will make our world a cleaner, healthier place to live. 

It was not all that long ago, during the Great Depression, that our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and others learned to recycle/reuse/repurpose almost everything. They were on to something that many of us in this disposable culture have seemed to have forgotten: there is not an unlimited supply of resources, eventually things run out, disappear. We would be wise to use its resources with care.

How do you repurpose/reuse things? 

Our world—the whole of creation—is crying out. Crying out in desperation for a change, for help—help that is found in Jesus Christ alone. The whole of creation groans as even it awaits the return of Jesus (see Romans 8:22). Are we crying out as well? 


Check out this article on The High Calling website for some ideas of how you can care for the environment. 

Somewhere I read that we borrow the earth from our children; therefore, we should give to them an environment that is as healthy as possible.  

Take some time to soak in the beauty of God’s creation and praise and glorify Him for it!  

What can you do today or this week or this month to help the environment?  

What are you already doing to care for God’s wonderful, beautiful creation?

Please join with me in prayer:

God of Creation, thank You for Your beautiful and fragile world. We recognize many times we have not cared for it as carefully as we should and have taken its resources and beauty for granted; please forgive us. Grant us the wisdom to protect Your world and use its resources with care. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.  

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, April 15, 2016

Spring Time!

“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, the voice of the turtle [turtledove] is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs; the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”  (Song of Songs 2:11-13 KJV)

*Note: This is an edited post from April 10, 2015 titled Spring! 

Spring is here (may be not fully, depending on where you live)! The winter is ended for this year. Cold days slowly give way to warmer days, along with spring rain showers and thunderstorms—storms that show God’s power.   

Rains refresh the land in spring, similarly, each day we can receive refreshing spiritual “rain” through communing with the Holy Spirit.  When we lack spiritual “rain”, we discover dryness, cracks, and bareness in our spirits. 

How do you refresh your spirit? 

Photo Credit C. Meissner

A hint of spring is in the air. Hopefully, it is gentle breezes and not strong winds that cause random objects to tumble down the street!  

In some areas pollen can be seen floating in the air, covering everything in its path! Though spring may begin tentatively at first; suddenly, flowers burst out in spring time glory. Grass slowly turns from a dead brown to a lively green. Meanwhile, trees ever so slowly grow leaves that will provide shade on hot summer days.

Spring seems to be a time for renewal—renewal of creation and renewal in our daily lives. Many take time to do “spring cleaning”. Spring cleaning can be a literal cleaning of our physical environments; it can also be more metaphorical in the cleaning of our inner lives.

What do you think about an inner “spring cleaning”?  How do you “spring clean” your inner man?

Photo Credit C. Meissner

The potential of new life is waiting to spring forth from the ground.

Trees are budding—leaves beginning to appear, the grass is becoming green, birds are returning from wintering in the South. Flowers are beginning to appear, reminding us of the new life that is possible through Christ. 

Soon we will see young animals beginning their lives. There is much beauty in watching nature come to life again; but there is much more joy and beauty in seeing the transformation that is possible when people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is here that true, powerful transformation is seen. 

Do you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord? If not, why not turn to Him today asking Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart and life? Please see my earlier posts: Salvation, A New Creation, and Counting the Cost.

Spring gives us hope that the long, cold days (mourning) of winter are over and the time of warmer days (joy) of spring are here. Likewise, Jesus gives us hope—hope for our lives here and now and hope for a glorious future for all eternity!

What are you looking forward to this spring?

How do you fresh yourself spiritually? 


Please join with me in prayer:

God of Creation, thank You for the beauty of spring with all of the new life springing forth.  Help us to stop and absorb the beauty of Your creation that is all around us.  Remind us of the new life that we have in You and that others can have as well.  We thank and praise You for that new life.  Grant us the courage and desire we need to share Jesus with others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.  

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, April 8, 2016

Serving in Jesus’ Name: Benefits

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  
(Colossians 3:23-24 KJV)

A few weeks ago, I shared a post, Serving in Jesus’ Name:  Mission Trip.  This week, I will be returning to the topic of serving in Jesus’ name—considering how we can benefit (or be blessed) in serving others in the name of Jesus.

Many opportunities surround us that will allow us to serve others.  The jobs may not be all that glamorous, clean, or easy.  However, we will discover that we receive far more out of it than we could ever imagine.  In many ways we receive far more than we give as we serve others in Jesus’ name.  Our lives will be blessed in ways we could never dream possible.

Arizona: God's Beautiful Creation, photo credit: P. Whitlach

Volunteer work, much like tutoring, gives seemingly more to the person doing than to the recipients.  We are blessed by God to be a blessing.  As we bless others; we find that we are blessed in return.  

While not all of us can or should build a house or a ramp to a house (some of us should stay as far away as possible!); we can all do something.  Each one of us has been given talents and gifts that we should use to help and bless others. The gifts are unique to each person and should be encouraged and celebrated. 

Photo Credit: P. Whitlach

For some of us, our talents may be the gift of listening well to others—such as a person who is hurting emotionally.  Some times listening is the most helpful thing that we can do.  Other talents may include:  providing transportation to a doctor’s appointment, providing a meal, mentoring a child or a youth, working in a domestic violence shelter, or simply being a good friend.

All of this and more is vitally important in a world full of darkness, hurt, trauma, anger, and deception.  As Christians we have a positive story to share; sometimes the best way to do it is to simply care and use the fewest words possible.  

Photo Credit: P. Whitlach

Take some time to pray and reflect—discovering what God wants you to do in your work for Him.  Age does not matter to God; last time I checked a retirement plan was not in the works.

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the gift of meaningful work, particularly work that allows us to help others in a positive and meaningful way.  Help us, Lord to see Jesus in those we are serving, as well as in those who are around us each day.  Bless the work that we do to help others who need to experience Your love and care with skin on.  Thank You for the blessings we receive as we love and care for those You place in our lives.  In Jesus’ Name we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, April 1, 2016

Worship Time: Healing

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.  
(Exodus 15:26 KJV)

We know God desires our worship.  Worship changes our focus—our minds should turn to the Lord and away from worldly concerns.  Ideally, our worship should occur more frequently than on Sundays; we are to worship throughout the week.  Worshiping God can be beneficial to our well-being, reducing stress and anxiety—refocusing our thoughts on One greater than all of our troubles.

This week, I would like to offer the following songs that come to mind for comfort and healing.

(Jesus You are My Healer by Don Moen)

 (Healer by Kari Jobe)

 (Blessings by Laura Story, in this video Laura shares the story behind the song)

Where are you seeking the Lord for healing—perhaps a healing that only the Lord can do?  There are many physical issues/problems that only the Lord can heal, man does not have an answer of any type. I believe the Lord still heals supernaturally today.

Please join with me in prayer:

Healing Lord, intellectually know that we are to worship You always.  It is so easy in the hustle and bustle of every day life to forget to give You the time and honor You deserve.  Heighten our awareness of Your presence all around us every moment of every day.  We know that we are to focus our hearts and mind on You alone as we worship You.  However, many times we find that our minds wander to the past or to the future or even to our current needs.  Help us to rein in those wandering thoughts, so that we can give You our all.  Focus our worship of You for the healing that You freely provide.    

From My Heart to Yours,