Not A Great Way To Go

On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. – Acts 12:21-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts12:21-23&version=NIV

The Cure For America’s Slump

So Solomon finished the Lord’s temple and the royal palace. Everything that had entered Solomon’s heart to do for the Lord ’s temple and for his own palace succeeded.Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him: I have heardindividualistsand have chosen this place for Myself as a temple of sacrifice.If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on My people,and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.My eyes will now be open and My ears attentive to prayer from this place.And I have now chosen and consecrated this temple so that My name may be there forever; My eyes and My heart will be there at all times. – 2 Chronicles 7:11-16 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2Chronicles7:11-16&version=HCSB

So the cure for the American malaise is to be humble, pray, and seek God’s face.  In other words, we need to include God in our plans.  Even more, we need to ask Him what His plans are and then make our plans conform to His.  Therein lies the problem.  We Americans are rugged individualists who like to pretend that we can control our own destiny well.  We do not want to submit our wills, our plans, our lives to the One who created us, sustains us, and who knows us fully and completely.  Why wouldn’t you want to have your life conform to the plans of Someone who always has your back?

Health, Wealth, and . . .

Then He told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive.17 He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops?18 I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there.19 Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”’20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?’21 “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” – Luke 12:16-21 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke12:16-21&version=HCSB

Refusal and Neglect

Since I called out and you refused, extended my hand and no one paid attention,since you neglected all my counsel and did not accept my correction,I, in turn, will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when terror strikes you,when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when trouble and stress overcome you.Then they will call me, but I won’t answer; they will search for me, but won’t find me.Because they hated knowledge, didn’t choose to fear the Lord,were not interested in my counsel, and rejected all my correction,they will eat the fruit of their way and be glutted with their own schemes.For the turning away of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.But whoever listens to me will live securely and be free from the fear of danger.” – Proverbs 1:24-33 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs1:24-33&version=HCSB

All Hope Is Gone . . . Or Is It?

All Hope Is Gone
A tireless stream of indifference flows
Through veins ’till the river runs dry
I no longer care, I have all but disposed
Of dreams that I once held inside
Desire is gone after all of these years
The fight has been lost, I can see
The apathy born a long time ago
Has grown to what I cant defeat
I’ve been here too long
I’m tired and longing for more
How long must I run
To find what I’m looking for
All hope is gone
The sadness I carry so deep in my heart
Of what could have been and might be
Is never forgotten, its never to far
I’m wasted so worn and so weak
I’ve been here too long
I’m tired, longing for more

How long must I run
To find what I’m looking for
I’ve been here too long
I’m tired, longing for more
All hope is gone
All hope is gone
All hope is gone
Songwriters: Mark Tremonti / Myles Kennedy

Newsboys Lyrics

“We Believe”

In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only one foundation
We believe, we believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only one salvation
We believe, we believe

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He’s given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He’s comin’ back again, we believe

So, let our faith be more than anthems
Greater than the songs we sing
And in our weakness and temptations
We believe, we believe!

We believe in God the Father!
We believe in Jesus Christ!
We believe in the Holy Spirit!
And He’s given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He’s comin’ back again!

Let the lost be found and the dead be raised!
In the here and now, let love invade!
Let the church live loud, our God we’ll say
We believe, we believe!
And the gates of hell will not prevail!
For the power of God, has torn the veil!
Now we know Your love will never fail!
We believe, we believe!

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He’s given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He’s comin’ back,
He’s comin’ back again!
He’s comin’ back again!
We believe!
We believe

Mr. Tremonti and Mr. Kennedy, all hope is NOT gone!  What you are longing for, what you are looking for, what you have spent so many years searching “for what could have been and might be” still might be.  Just look to the right person:  Jesus.  He is what you are looking for, longing for, hoping for.  He is the only one who can fill the void deep inside.  It’s not about churchy rules, jumping through spiritual hoops, or trying to please everybody.  It’s about a relationship with the one true God who loved you enough to send His Son to die in your place, to pay the penalty for your sin.  You will never be good enough to merit salvation, so stop trying, but don’t stop trying to live.  Just live the way you were created to live – in an awesome day to day relationship with your Creator and Sustainer.  But that relationship has to have a starting point.  It starts with talking to God.  Here’s a sample:
  • God, I am messed up.  I have made a mess of my life as I have rebelled against you.
  • I’m ready to turn away from my life of sin, of rebellion, of emptiness.
  • I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place so that I might be saved.
  • God, please save me.

That’s it.  Get yourself right with God because He is waiting to show you what his plans are for you.  I’ve known Him personally almost 45 years.  I’ve been through my fair share of trials and tribulations, but I can honestly say that all of God’s plans for me, past, present, and future, are good plans for my best.  He knows what He is doing and He does what He does because He loves us.

Questions?  He’s Got Answers

“The LORD who made the earth, the LORD who forms it to establish it, Yahweh is His name, says this: Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Jeremiah%2033%3A2-Jeremiah%2033%3A3&version=HCSB

Do you want to know “great and incomprehensible things?”  That would be great right?  Yes, but for today, I just want to know how I’m going to finish digging a 12″ deep trench for the gas line to the generator through roots and rocks since the trencher malfunctioned yesterday.  I want to know how I can best balance my time as a professional contractor, an ordained minister, and a husband and father, not neglecting any of the three.  I want to know how I can better love God and love my neighbor in real time and in real ways.  

Yeah, I want to know the “great and incomprehensible things,” and I also want to know how to live today in order to please God and bring Him glory.  Can God help me with the mundane, everyday stuff of life for which I need wisdom?  Yes He can.

All you have to do is ask Him for help.

But He Looks So Good

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=1%20Samuel%2016%3A7&version=HCSB

It’s human nature.  I once counseled a friend who was going through a tough time in his marriage.  I asked him what was it about his wife that caused him to want to marry her.  He said she was beautiful.  I waited for him to share other qualities, inner qualities.  Nope.  Nothing.  She was beautiful so he wanted to marry her.  How many people have realized on their honeymoon that this physically beautiful person they just married has a not so beautiful heart?

It’s human nature.  We make our judgments based on appearance too much of the time.  Yet it’s not the externally attractive people that make a difference in our world.  It’s those with beautiful hearts that are not rejected by God.