Wednesday, July 27, 2011

By Their Fruit You Will Recognize Them

I was watching "The O'Reilly Factor" last night on television.  Bill O'Reilly and his guest, I think her name is Sally Quinn, were talking about the man who murdered a lot of people in Norway.  Sally said that it was reported that this man is a Christian and we just have to take his word on it.  Why do we have to take his word on it?  Does this man, Anders Behring Breivik bear good fruit or bad fruit?  Answer: Bad fruit.

"Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them.  Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."  Matthew 7:15-20 NIV

"I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John15:5-8 NIV

Let's pray,  Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for the people of Norway in this sad, difficult time.  I pray that You would  comfort them.  I pray for those people who have lost loved ones and parents who have lost their children.  I ask Lord that You would help them get through their grief and give them hope for there is hope in You.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why is Love and Marriage a Beautiful Thing?

Genesis 2:23-24, "The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." NIV

Mark 10:5-9, "It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law, "Jesus replied.  "But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." NIV

Ephesians 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." NIV

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up everyone who is reading this around the world, for there are many of you.  I pray for their marriages that You, Jesus would be invited to come and be in the center of those marriages.  Please protect marriage and protect Your people.  Please bless Your people and keep us safe and healthy.  I say these things in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Can You Paint The Wind?

I was sitting in my car the other day waiting for my son.  It was a beautiful, sunny, windy day.  The trees were swaying so gracefully in the wind.  As I watched those trees it brought me back to a day in 1991.  My dad was dying of cancer. My mom,  myself and our pastor the Reverend Cully Anderson were in the hospital cafeteria.  There were lots of big windows all around the cafeteria and it also was a sunny spring day.  I remember crying about missing my dad and all those things father's do for their children.  I was so very heartbroken at the coming loss of my dad.  Pastor Cully said some comforting words that still comfort me to this day.  He asked me to look out the window and notice how the trees are moving in the wind.  Pastor Cully went on to say that the wind is like the spirit, invisible, yet we can see the effect from the wind.  We cannot see the wind itself, but we can feel it and we can see the things it moves. The next day my dad passed on.  Because he was a born-again Christian I know my dad is in heaven with the Lord.  In my grief I found myself taking really long walks.  These walks were so soothing because I would feel the wind on my face and in my hair.  With the gentle wind I felt God's arms wrapping around me and letting me know He was taking care of my dad and me too.  So back to my question, can you paint the wind?  No I cannot paint the wind, but I can paint the effects from the wind.  Our Father in heaven is an awesome God who has created everything on this earth and in the universe.  Our God from the Bible is the only one who can paint the wind. So remember, when you are feeling like God isn't there or He doesn't hear you go outside and feel the wind.  He is there wrapping His arms around you too. 
John 3:8 NIV, "The wind blows where ever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
Mark 11:22 NIV, "Have faith in God, Jesus answered."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for anyone who is reading this that they will come to have faith in You.  I pray that You will wrap Your loving arms around them. I pray for anyone reading this who is unsaved.  I pray for your salvation and I remember Jesus' words "Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born-again.'"  John 3:5-7 NIV.  My prayer for you out there in the world is that you will choose Jesus.  I pray you will choose to be born-again. Ask Jesus into your heart and ask Him to forgive you for your sins.  Jesus loves you and He is waiting to hear from you. I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Answered Prayers

This is a painting of my dog Amy Rose.  She loves to play soccer so that is why I included her favorite soccer ball.  Amy is such a sweet dog and we really love her.  Back in 2003 when my golden ret. Sophie died suddenly I was heartbroken.  I remember praying that the Lord would bring another sweet golden ret. into our lives.  Well, the Lord answered that prayer and Amy Rose entered our lives.  She and our other little dog, Misty are best friends.  Fast forward to 2011 and Amy Rose started having seizures.  We had an MRI done and it revealed a benign brain tumor.  The surgery  to remove this tumor is pretty expensive and so I prayed that the Lord would provide the money.  Again, the Lord answered my prayer because within two hours of praying I had the money for Amy's surgery.  Amy had her surgery a week ago and she is doing great.  Today I was feeling a little anxious about Amy's future health.  I said out loud to God to please heal her completely and I just need to hear His voice. In the past the Lord has spoken to me through His word and so I opened the Bible.  Many times a verse will pop out and this is what I read: "When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." John 11:4.  After I read this all my anxious feelings went away.  I know the Lord's hand is on my Amy Rose.  I know she will be OK because the Lord said "this sickness will not end in death". Talk to the Lord, read the Bible and listen for His still, small voice.  Then rest in the peace that only Jesus can give you.