Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Story - "The King Who Did Not Believe"

A king who did not believe in the goodness of God, had a slave

who, in all circumstances would always say, "My king, do not be

discouraged, because everything God does is perfect. He makes no mistakes!"

One day, they went hunting and along the way a wild animal 
attacked the king. His slave managed to kill the animal, but could 
not prevent his majesty from losing a finger. Furious and without

showing his gratitude for being saved, the nobleman asked, "Is God good? If He was good, I would not have been attacked and lost my finger."

The slave replied: "My king, despite all these things, I can only 
tell you that God is good, and he knows why these things happened.
What God does is perfect. He is never wrong!"

Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave.

Later, the king left for another hunt, this time alone. He was 
captured by savages who engaged in human sacrifices.

On the altar and ready to sacrifice the nobleman, the savages 
discovered that their victim did not have one of his fingers.
According to them, only a whole person with all his/her parts 
intact could be offered to the gods.The king without a finger was 
deemed an abominable sacrifice for their gods. So, they released the king.

Upon his return to the palace, the king authorized the release of 
his slave. He received the slave affectionately. "God was really 
good to me! I was almost killed by the wild men, but for lack of a 
single finger, I was let go! But I have a question: If God is so 
good, why did he allow me to put you in jail?"

The slave answered, "My king, if I had gone with you on this hunt, 
I would have been sacrificed instead because I have no missing finger.
Remember, everything God does is perfect. He is never wrong. He 
made you keep me in jail so I would not be with you on the hunt."

Often we complain about life, and negative things that happen to 
us, forgetting that nothing is random and that everything has a purpose.

Every morning, offer your day to God; don't be in a rush.
Ask God to inspire your thoughts, guide your actions, and ease 
your feelings. And do not be afraid. God is never wrong!

You know why this message is for you? I do not know, but God

knows, because He never makes mistakes.

What you do with this message is up to you. May God put in your

heart the desire to send it to someone. God knows why He chose you

to receive this message. Please bless someone with it.

God is never wrong!

When you feel like you are drowning in life, don't worry----Your

Lifeguard walks on water.

<Author Unknown>

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Post: "Can Your Failed Plans Still Turn-Out Positive?"

To re-cap from a recent post...
God’s plans for you may be intentional.
He may actually want you to miss some target,
and fail to reach your goal. But why?!?
I believe God often has another plan for us,
and it is bigger than the one we have envisioned.
Which then raises the question…
How could a failure turn out to be positive?

First, a simple idea to represent this thought,
followed-up with a real story.

I enjoy physical fitness, and have pursued it for many years.
There have been long-term and short-term plans,
and I have met nearly all of them.
But recently I have not only missed my goals,
but have grown disinterested and bored in the process.
However, I know there is something worthwhile in the effort,
even if the goals are far from being realized.
I am still pursuing health and wellness,
flexibility and strength which can be used for my family.

You may have no such desire for fitness, and thats ok.
But, when else can failed plans still produce good results?

While in prison, I heard the story of another inmate,
who for years continued to seek early release,
on the ten-year sentence he faced,
by asking the court to overturn his conviction.
He never claimed to be innocent,
but insisted that the evidence was wrongly acquired.
And if illegal, then it should be inadmissible.

During the process, he made clear of one thing,
he wanted another chance with his family.
He couldn't ‘right-the-wrong’ of his past,
and he didnt expect his family would once again respect him,
but he did hope to repair the damage done,
and build some type of new relationship.

For four-years he fought the legal battle, hoping to win,
and after using every possible resource,
he still came up short.
He would not receive the acquittal he sought.
Yet, he did something different during the entire time…
he wrote letters regularly to his family.

He let them know how important they each were to him,
and how he would wanted to re-prioritize his life around them.

Then, when an attorney made it clear
that his case would proceed no further,
he wrote one final letter to each of his family,
telling them of his final hope being lost.

And here is the amazing thing...
they each wrote, and came to visit him.
For six long years, they came.
Not because he was a good person,
but because he cared enough to try and connect with them.
He wrote them letters,
called, and made every effort,
He didn't wait for the conviction to be overturned.
And he didnt wait for circumstances to be perfect.
But he did risk everything,
to let them know where he had failed them,
and of his re-alignment to putting them first in life.

Could this happen to you?
Can you miss certain goals,
and learn to be happy with other success?

This man had a family who walked with him through incarceration,
and while he had no chance for a reduced sentence,
or an overturned court-case,
he did have the chance for a relationship with those he valued most.
So while freedom was not his to have,

he did have joy knowing the love of family.

Where can a positive result still be found in your own short-coming?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Post: "In the Middle of Our Failed Plans"

When in the middle of working out your goal,
and you come to discern that it may not be achieved,
what do you do?

You may be a salesperson wrapping up the year,
an athlete performing towards a winning season,
a physician in search of a cure,
or a prisoner working for an early release,
and you come to recognize the signs,
thats it is about to all come apart,
how do you cope with this realization?

You wont win the financing for your project,
the team wont make the playoffs,
the court-case wont be won,
and your family wont make it in time.

There is a sadness that sets in,
perhaps even depression and bouts of anger.
You may feel numb,
distant from everything else,
or like nothing around you is quite real.
You may question the purpose for everything,
and come to value nothing.

At the end, your efforts seem… worthless.
But are they?

Is there any value in what you have gone through?
Or is it all for nothing??

The truth is, the time was well spent, because
You have begun… something.

Whatever you have been working towards has become - real.

The power of attraction towards that goal is not gone,
but somehow in our despair we lose focus.
So why do we fear it will now always be out of reach?

If you believe in God, you may question Him:
Like He doesnt care, or doesnt even notice you,
And perhaps you just plain feel unimportant to God,
because He hasnt allowed your well laid plans to be fruitful.

In the Bible, Jesus had a friend Lazarus who became sick.
Jesus loved this man, and his two sisters.
Yet Jesus delayed in coming to Lazarus.
And those closest to Lazarus became confused, because - why?
Why would Jesus, the Son of God, wait?
Why would He not show up?
Why doesnt He allow your hard-work to pay-off??

First - as a reminder, because it is not all about you.
God’s plans may be intentional.
He may actually want you to miss the target,
and fail to reach your goal. 
But why?!?

I believe God often has another plan,
and it is bigger than the one we have experienced.
This raises a question for another day, which is…
How could this failure turn out to be positive?

And Second - I believe that in the middle of our failed plans,
we are meant to re-focus on worship to God.

When our plans are falling apart, 
we may still seek God blessing,
but I believe the main thing we can still do is 
to seek knowing Him better.

In the past, I have become so obsessed with own own goals,
that I forget and miss anything of importance to God.
Have I made time to dig into His word?
Connect with other believers?
Serve others in need?
Have I found new ways to live so that God receives glory?
New ways to improve as a father? A husband?
Or do I become so focused, that I let those all go?

In the middle of your failed plans, seek God.
Ask for a deeper understanding of His love for you,
that your faith may grow, and that others might see Christ in you.
Remember, even in your times of failure, God can still use you.
Will you let Him?