January 29, 2009

Who is the lucky man with this hot chick?

I just downloaded our pictures from Denver where Preacher's Wife and I spent a few days with Michael, Amy and the grandchildren. I just realized when you have your picture made with your children they have a way of making you look older even if they are still young, vivacious, energetic and sexy looking. They also have a way of making you proud. I am proud of all our children. When I stop and think that all of them love God, their spouse, their children, their church and their parents. That is pretty awesome. You wouldn't believe me if I told you Amy's age. So I won't.

January 24, 2009

Headed Home to San Antone

Preacher's Wife and I are in Albuquerque, NM. We are on our way back from visiting our middle daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren in Denver. We had a great visit and are now spending the weekend with our friends the Howards in Albuquerque. Today I signed on to my daughter's weblog TEAMTHOMAS. I was pleasantly surprised to see a new picture of our newest grandson Logan. WOW! Is he ever growing. Oh yes, that's our daughter Marlie holding him.

January 19, 2009

Why can't we just get along?

I found this video rather amazing. You will enjoy seeing it. I thought a good point was made while watching it... wouldn't it be nice if we could all care for one another and just get along.

January 16, 2009

Logan returns

I guess you thought after those last three mini sermons that I had departed from life and family blogging. Sorry, but I am back. Surely you didn't expect me to not post the latest picture of my newest grandson. I am headed for the Rio Grande Valley for the weekend then we are off to Denver to see three of our other six grandchildren. It has been a while since we last saw them and are so looking forward to it. Here is Logan...

January 8, 2009

You are fully accepted...

To become all God intended us to be, we need to grasp that, in God's eyes, we're OK. He is not mad and holding our sins against us. A New Testament writer by the name of Paul wrote these words found in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 "For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

We really are loved, accepted and forgiven. Nothing we can do will improve upon what he has done for us thru Christ. Once we get this, then we're most qualified to join him in his reclamation effort.

I quote from Henri Nouwen who says it so well: "As long as we are not fully convinced that we have been reconciled with God, accepted by God, and that we are forgiven, we continue to create divisions among people because we expect from them a healing power they do not possess. Only when we fully trust that we belong to God and can find in our relationship with God all that we need, can we be truly free and be ministers of reconciliation. This is not easy; we readily fall back into self-doubt and self-rejection. We need to be constantly reminded that we are indeed reconciled."

To the degree that we accept that through Christ we ourselves have been reconciled with God and accepted by Him we can be messengers of reconciliation for others. So to love with God’s love you have to love yourself. To forgive you have to know you have been and are forgiven. Therefore, one has to know they have been reconciled to God and fully accepted by him if they are to enjoy life and bring others to this wonderful place.

January 6, 2009

Learning to Live Loved...

I wonder how many New Year's resolutions list included: I will receive and walk in God's forgiveness. I will receive and walk in God's love. If these weren't on the list they should have been. I am convinced many, if not most people including Christians struggle with receiving God's forgiveness and His love. To not do so makes for a miserable life.

If God instructs us to love our neighbor as ourselves then surely He expects us to love ourselves the way He loves us.

God’s love does not hinge on yours. The abundance of your love does not increase His, and the lack of your love does not diminish His. Your goodness does not enhance His love, nor does your weakness dilute it.

God loves you simply because He has chosen to do so. He loves you when you don’t feel lovely. He loves you when you feel no one else loves you. Others may ignore you, reject you, abandon even divorce you, but God will always love you, no matter what.

This is His sentiment: “I’ll call no-bodies and make them some-bodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.” (Romans 9:25 MSG).

This is his promise. “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT).

Our love depends on the receiver of the love. Let a thousand people pass before us, and we will not feel the same about each. Our love will be regulated by their appearance, or maybe their personalities. Even when we find a few people we like, our feelings will fluctuate. How they treat us will affect how we love them. The receiver regulates our love.

Not so with the love of God. We have no thermostatic impact on His love for us. The love of God is born from within Him, not from what He finds in us. His love is uncaused and spontaneous.

Does He love us because of our goodness? Because of our kindness? Because of our great faith? No, he loves us because of His goodness, kindness, and great faith. John says it like this: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us” (I John 4:10 NIV).

Do you know what else that means? You have a deep aquifer of love from which to draw. When you find it hard to love, then you need a drink! Drink daily, Drink deeply!

Don’t forget, love is a fruit. Step into the orchard of God’s work, and what is the first fruit you see? “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal.5:22 NIV, emphasis mine). His love and forgiveness is yours to enjoy.

January 3, 2009

If Only You Would...

Why Can’t You Forgive Yourself? If only you would learn how to forgive yourself your life would be different. So many people allow their past or present sins, failures, performance or lack thereof, to keep them from reaching their full potential as well as enjoying life. In your life journey you will struggle and even fail in certain areas. Many rather than receive forgiveness will fall into what is called the Guilt-Trip. Do you guilt-trip over your past? In the scripture God says, your sins will I remember no more. Does this mean God is forgetful? No, He chooses not to remember your sins and failures or hold them against you. When you choose otherwise you question His forgiveness, declare your standards to be higher than His, allow the enemy to bring you into condemnation, and forfeit the confidence needed to pray for and receive what God has for you.

When you rehearse your past failures you not only keep them alive, you empower them. What you keep on deposit you’re more likely to withdraw and act on in the hour of weakness. Only by forgiving yourself, and others, can you truly break the hold the past has over you and be able to get on with your life.

Shame and condemnation is not a blessing. Shame and condemnation is a weight Jesus carried for you on the cross. Set it down and walk away. You have the right to do that because God promises as far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our sins from us. Any time the enemy brings up your past it’s because he fears your future, or he wants to rob you of God’s best. What should you do? Point him to the cross, where you were forgiven past, present and future sins, and refuse to discuss it further --- then keep moving forward. I did it! I do it! And it works!

January 1, 2009

Off And Running...

Some of you have made New Year's resolutions and are off to a good start. Good for you. No doubt these things you are resolving to do will help you live a better quality life. Many years ago I resolved to do a few things that have changed my life forever. I continue to do them to this day. I don't think I'm a better person than others because I practice these things, but I do think I am better me because I practice them. My vocation for the past 40 years has allowed me to work closely with people. I wish it wasn't so, but from my experience few people have yet to learn to practice these things that I know would forever change their lives. They would enjoy God, life, friends, family, church, work and even themselves more. I think these few things could help people live longer physically, but I am positive that mentally, emotionally and spiritually they would live more happy and productive lives. I am going to watch football (no not jog) now but over the next few days I will put my thoughts on paper concerning these things that have become such a part of my life.