The Lord has placed people in our lives who, like John, Andrew, and Philip, introduced us to Jesus. Sometimes He sought us out, as He did Philip. In Christ, God called us saying, “Follow Me!” He already knew us before we followed Him. He still knows our thoughts, our character, the meditations of our heart, and where we are at all times.
We continue to follow Jesus because He is the Lamb of God, the Messiah, the One Moses wrote about in the Law, the Son of God, the King of Israel, the Word incarnate. Knowing that He is always with us is a great comfort. He knows our anxious thoughts and the challenges we face. Lord, let us see You in all we do today. Help us to overcome our challenges, and to give You thanks when You do!
God’s glorious presence filled the tabernacle that Moses built in the wilderness, and the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem. However, Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of God’s glory. He is God in the flesh. In Him God dwelt, or, more accurately in the Greek, “tabernacled” among us. The love of God the Father, sent His Son, the eternal Word, into the world to give us true life and true light, and to baptize us with the Holy Spirit.
Today, afresh, we can receive Him into our lives and so proclaim Jesus Christ as the glory of the One and Only Son. Today, afresh, we can proclaim that through our faith in Him, and by the Father’s will, we have been granted the right to be His adopted children.
May the glorious light and life of Christ be evident in all we do this day.
I have a chronic neuro-muscular condition called Cervical Dystonia. I was diagnosed in 2014. Like a wrecking ball, it shattered my once active life. I used to fly us around the Pacific Northwest in our plane. I used to practice karate. I used to do a lot of things.
This is the first time I’ve revealed my condition online. I’m doing it now because things just got worse. There are so few suffers of this rare condition that a support group must be international. Even then, there are only 2,500 members. Each major holiday we usually lose one or two to suicide. Most have unsupportive family and friends who say the most hurtful things to them. Some have no one, and no income. Tragically, they give up the fight.
I’m blessed to have a supportive, loving, and encouraging wife and family. I’m blessed to have Christ in my life. Some days, despite all my family’s love, only He can reach into the deep place in my heart that needs joy. Until He grants me healing, I join in His sufferings, and I follow His example: not my will, but His be done on earth as it is in heaven. Trust in Him is key, and so is leaning on His Word and not my own understanding.
One of the kindnesses of suffering — at least mine — is the quiet. Life is simple. The stress of managing multi-million dollar projects, for example, is gone. Many times, in that quiet, it is just God and me … and a lot of pain. I can have long quiet times. I can pray. I can reflect. I can write. I think that’s His will for me right now. I just released an updated and edited version of my book, and I have two writing projects scheduled for this year.
Due to the treatments to paralyze the affected neck muscles, I feel close to normal for three weeks out of ten, but then the slide downward begins all over again. It’s frustrating.
Hanging in there is vital. Things change and research continues on this condition. More doctors have become aware of it. Because it’s rare, many sufferers, like me, get misdiagnosed and mistreated for years. Last summer was difficult for me, but then in August a new doctor added something new to the treatments which has lessened the extreme symptoms. I’ll take it.
This is the place from which I write. Through writing I try to comfort others with the comfort and hope I have received from Him. I want others to see the grandeur, greatness, gentleness, and compassion of God in Christ through the power and presence of His Holy Spirit. I want to encourage others to take a deep dive in their faith and to get closer to Christ. Ultimately, I hope to help Christians align their wills, thoughts, and hearts with His. This is what Jesus prayed for in the Upper Room when He prayed for unity.
Many times, I have asked God to remove this thorn in my flesh. He hasn’t yet. The Apostle Paul was right, God’s grace is sufficient and His power is perfected in weakness. Yet, I continue to ask for healing.
I have experienced healing and other miracles first hand over the years. For example, last week God worked radically in my wife’s career. God is good. We’ve been praying about her situation for two years.
In contrast, last week I developed a significant complication which is causing acute pain, stiffness, and more sleeplessness. I didn’t need this, but God is still good. Today, I get an MRI to determine exactly what’s going on in my neck and to see if there is anything the orthopedic surgeon can do about it.
Chronic illness is not fun. Despite it, my goal is to connect deeper with God and to follow Christ in His suffering. Did I mention how important it was to trust God and submit to His will?
God can instantly heal me if He chooses, but then would I get too busy and too distracted to write? I often wonder if has God painted me into this corner to do the one thing He wants me to do.
Jesus is calling you deeper in your relationship with Him.
After the shepherds heard an angel of the Lord announcing the Messiah’s birth and the multitude of heavenly hosts praising God, they went straight to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the feeding trough (Luke 2:8–20). The shepherds story amazed everyone. It was the first Nativity.
When the shepherds returned to their flocks they glorified and praised God for all they had seen (Luke 2:20).
Carolyn was distant, aloof, and alone in her far-off world.
There were four of us who were her co-workers, but none of us, employed at this regional grocery retailer, was her friend. It wasn’t that she rebuffed our efforts to engage her in conversation, or that she was in a drugged induced haze. It was more like our voices couldn’t reach her. The only voice she seemed to hear was hers, singing quietly to herself – while barely audible, it was pleasant.
Are Guardian Angels a myth we tell children to comfort them, or do they actually exist? In Matthew 18:10, Jesus says: “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.” (NRSV)
I’m an extremely light sleeper; always have been. One night I was awakened by some faint noises in our home. I sat up listening. I expected the sounds to be those of one of our two young daughters, but they weren’t. Someone else was in the house!
Is Hebrews 13:2 true? Have some entertained angels without knowing it?
In my early twenties, I was the buyer for my family’s manufacturing company. A buyer deals with many different types of sales representatives, for many different types of products, from many different vendors. I bought whatever raw materials, tools, or supplies we needed to make what our customers ordered.
One of those orders was for the piston housings of the M1A1 Abrams Army tank’s engine. A particular challenge was finding a lathe tool bit holder that could fit in the bore’s unusual bottom shape and was robust enough to reach the 14-inch depth without chattering. I custom ordered it from a national tool supplier. It arrived within two weeks and worked perfectly. Production continued. We subsequently made thousands of these housings and the pistons that went into them.
“Discipleship is a tricky business sometimes,” began the man introduced one Sunday morning as the head of the prison ministry. “You don’t always know how new believers are internalizing Scriptural truths, or some aspect of Christianity that you are explaining. They can parrot the right words back, but they might misunderstand those words – significantly sometimes.”
Such was the case with one prisoner — Jim let’s say. Jim was convicted of bank robbery and sent to the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe, WA (USA).
“Pastor Rob, a man arrived requesting to talk with a minister,” my secretary announced one early Monday afternoon.
I met Ted (not his real name) in the waiting room. He was clean cut and in his mid-thirties. I had just spent two hours helping sixteen people with food and other types of assistance. “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought as we walked back to my office.
Ted sat down and came right to the point, “My wife threw me out of the house. I’ve been living in my truck for the past three days, and it’s all my fault.”