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Welcome!

Welcome to Amazing God Stories!  Christian allegories, parables, analogies, fiction short stories as well as creative nonfiction stories that show the variety of amazing ways God has been working in my life. And if He has done all this for me, I can only imagine what He’s been doing for you!

My  goals are simple:

#4.  To brighten your day with a little entertainment, for you to leave feeling a bit better than when you arrived.

#3. To teach, warn, and clarify Biblical issues we face as Christians so we can be all that God calls us to be. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

#2.  To inspire you to keep on keeping on in your own walk with God.  God is working in your life as much as He’s working in mine. Maybe something I’ve learned or experienced will help you get through a rough patch or to grow in your own desire to know God.

And the #1 reason: To glorify God – to acknowledge and thank Him for all the ways He has been faithful to me! From the day I met Him, He has been by my side. He’s been my Friend, Coach, Counselor, Father, Teacher, Comforter, Defender,  Provider, and a million other things.

This blog is my way to shout to the world that GOD IS AMAZING!

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If my stories do what I hope they will do – like, comment, follow, and/or share them!

It would mean a lot to me to to know that they are being read and to hear what you think!

When Praying is like Swimming Upstream

Does anyone else sound like this when they pray?

God, I lift up my friend Tammy to You. She is carrying such a weight right now. Please fill her with Your strength to handle all the details that are coming her way. It’s hard to sell a house, but even harder when you’re still emotionally attached to it. I wonder if I would feel the same way if I sold my house. The evidence of my kids growing up here are everywhere. I really should get that hole in the wall fixed, though. How do I do that? Do I cover it with wide tape, like duct tape, and then paint over it? Hmmm…. the new paint won’t match the rest, so I’ll need to paint the whole wall. Should I keep to the same color or change it to another? I wonder… oh, right, I was praying.

God, sorry for getting distracted. Like I was saying, please strengthen Tammy and give her the wisdom to make the best choices. I also lift up my daughter, Erica. She hasn’t been feeling well lately. Heal her quickly, Lord, and strengthen her to be able to handle her job and family responsibilities. Her husband may understand her lack of energy, but her baby will not. Mikey needs his mother, and when she’s too tired to spend that time with him, he cries. It hurts my heart to think of him crying. Bob is a good father, but not a replacement for mommy. I wonder why some kids gravitate towards one parent over the other. Erica was a momma’s girl when she was little, but ever since he was a baby, Steve preferred Matt. He still prefers his dad over me. That hurts, like I’m being rejected even though I know he loves me. What did Matt feel when Erica clung to me instead of to him? I never thought of looking at it from his perspective…

Oh.

God, I did it again. I’m so sorry. This time I will stay focused. School is starting soon. Please be with the teachers and students as they return to the classroom. Keep them safe as they start another year. There are so many dangers nowadays that I never had to face when I was teaching. It must be stressful to be in a place where the chance of getting the Covid virus is high. Or where a shooter might show up at any time. I wonder what I would have done if a shooter had entered my school when I was teaching. How would I have protected my kindergarten students? The bathroom could hold maybe half of them, if they squeezed in tight enough, but would they be able to stay quiet? Maybe the rest of them could hide inside the cabinets. I’d have to remove the stuff in them first, but they’re big enough for the kids to fit in them. There were 2, 3, 4, 5 cabinets on the back wall. That would work for five students, but then there’d still be…

Oh, Lord.

Please forgive me. I can’t stay focused. I can never stay focused. I don’t know how You put up with this. I would be so annoyed if someone kept doing this to me. Please have mercy on me and help me to do better. I’m good at some things, like giving to the poor and being kind to my neighbor. But praying – why is it so hard? What is wrong with me that I can’t pray like my pastor does? Or the other people in my small group…

And so it goes on until I eventually finish, give up, or run off to do something I just remembered I had to do.

For me, sometimes praying is like swimming upstream. I’m trying to swim towards God, to be in His presence and stay focused on our conversation. But the current of human weakness keeps pushing me back to my own thoughts. Debris, such as memories, worries, reminders of things I need to do constantly distract me. How much easier it is to float downstream with them than to maintain the energy required to push against that current. This causes frequent feelings of failure or inadequacy resulting in many apologies and pleas of forgiveness. I think God is gracious to keep forgiving me. And He is.

And yet, what if God’s response is different? What if instead of disapproval and tolerance, He looks at it in a different way. What if instead of saying, “You keep drifting away,” He says, “You keep coming back.”

For me, that would be game-changer.


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Suntans, an allegory based on a dream

Anna entered the front door into the living room and watched as people quickly left when they saw her. She knew what it was. Seeming to grow darker every week, her glowing tan made her stand out from the pale skin the other people in this house. These people, like many others in town, avoided the sun at all cost. They treasured their ghostly appearance and looked down on her sun-darkened skin as if it made her of less value than they saw themselves. Anna didn’t like that they treated her differently than they treated each other, but accepted it. Her tan was important to her – more important than the opinions of those who didn’t understand its significance.

Spotting her new friend across the room, she waved and hurried to join her. “Hi, Tammy! How’s it going?”

“Pretty good,” Tammy said. “I just got a new gardening book and am excited to try out some of its ideas.”

“Awesome,” Anna said. “Let me know if you want any help. I love gardening.”

“I sure will. Right now, though, I’m starving. Want to see what’s in the kitchen?”

“Mmm… that sounds wonderful.” Anna motioned towards the hallway. “After you.”

Tammy led Anna down the hallway and into the large, well-lit kitchen. Several people were gathered around the island counter helping themselves to chips and salsa. One man was stirring a pot on the stove, while an older lady was filling a cup with ice from the refrigerator’s ice dispenser. Two children were arguing over the last cupcake on a plate near the sink. Across the room half a dozen people sat at a large table topped with the remains of an assortment of finger foods. From the sound of their animated voices, they were in the middle of a serious debate.

As soon as Anna and Tammy stepped into the room, all conversation stopped. People either glared at the girls or stared at their plates. Some mumbled to each other. A few took sips from their cups. The man at the stove continued stirring, but the lady with the cup of ice motioned to the kids and ushered them out of the room.

Anna tried to ignore the animosity she felt being directed at her. She smiled at Tammy. “The chips and salsa look good.”

Before Tammy could respond, a woman at the island said, “Sorry, there isn’t enough left for you.”

“But the bowl is full…” Tammy said.

“I said there’s not enough.” The lady frowned at Tammy.

“But – ”

Anna interrupted her. “It’s okay, Tammy. She says there’s not enough. I have a better idea. Let’s go get some ice cream. My treat.”

Tammy frowned but agreed.

Once outside, Tammy said, “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that. Why do they hate us so much?”

“It’s our tans. It sets us apart, makes us different. And they don’t like that.” Anna unlocked her car doors and climbed in the driver’s seat. “By the way, your new tan is looking good.”

 “But they are all different.” Tammy continued as soon as she had settled in the passenger seat. “Different sizes, different hair color, different ages, even different clothing styles. Why don’t they accept our difference like they accept each other’s?”

Anna started the engine and back down the driveway. “I don’t know. It seems unfair that they celebrate all differences, except for one.”

Tammy crossed her arms. “I wish we could make them see how hypocritical they are.”

“That would do no good. They can’t see. Besides, we were warned that spending time in the sun would give us tans, and that the tans would not be welcomed by other people.”

“Yeah, you’re right. So, what are we supposed to do about it?” Tammy sighed as she looked out of the side window. “Just ignore it?”

Anna shot Tammy a half-smile. “You got it. It’s not easy. It’s even harder trying to be nice to them when they aren’t nice to us, but that’s what we’re told to do. How else will they see that tans are not bad? How else will they be curious enough to spend time in the sun themselves?”

“If only they would. Then they would find out what we’ve discovered. Nothing is as life-giving as the sun. I love my tan.” Tammy looked over at Anna. “Hey, what about after the ice cream, we go to the park and spend some time soaking up some more sun?”

“I would love to.” Anna smiled back. “A perfect way for two friends to spend the afternoon.”


In him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4

But whoever does what is true comes into the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:21

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. John 15:20

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Timothy 3:12

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, Luke 6:27

For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. John 3:20

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

The Throne of Your Heart

One of the things all Christians have in common is that we had to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior in order to become one.

Romans 10:9-10 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Most Christians have little trouble accepting Him as Savior. Most of us know we can’t save ourselves (there are some whose lives show differently, but that’s a topic for another day) and we are grateful for what Jesus did to save us. But for many people, that’s enough. Accepting His Lordship seems to take a lower priority in many of our lives and hearts. Jesus warned us about this.

Luke 6a “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

Could that be because as Americans, we don’t have a clear grasp of lords or of thrones? Merriam-Webster describes a lord as “someone having power and authority over others, to whom service and obedience are due.” They sit on thrones. Thrones symbolize the sovereignty, power, control, glory, judgment, and authority of the one who has the right to sit on it. For us, that person is supposed to be Jesus.

Revelation 17:14b for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

In our culture today, we don’t have kings, lords, or thrones. If it helps, we can think of Jesus as the Boss of bosses, the Top Guy, the 6-star General (that puts Him above the 5-star generals), or the CEO of Planet Earth. What He says goes. Not one can tell Him what to do, how to do it, or what needs to be changed. He holds total authority.

Is this how we see Jesus? Is He Lord to us? As I watch and listen to Christians, I think the answer is yes and no.

We freely acknowledge His Lordship over the earth. He created everything and is sovereign over all.

Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.

We freely acknowledge His Lordship over our churches. We, the church, exist to worship Him, learn about Him, and to serve Him through serving others.

We somewhat acknowledge His Lordship over our families. We try to live by Christian principles and expect other members of our family to abide by Christian morals.

But when it comes down to our lives – to our hearts – it’s often a different story. We don’t want to give up control of our lives. We want to sit on the throne. We believe we have the right to choose for ourselves what we do, say, and believe. However, the truth is, we gave up those rights when we accepted Jesus as Lord.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Song of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Peter 2:10a Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people;

Jesus is Lord. We are not. Yet, no matter how much we may mean it when we say it, we live as though we are still on the thrones in our hearts. While praying this morning, I got an idea, inspiration, thought, whatever of some of the ways we cling to the throne in our heart. I am guilty of them all, so this is for me as well as for you.

The Can We Share Position

Some of us squeeze over on the seat to make room for Jesus. We don’t want to give up our throne, but we want Him to be on it with us. We want to share the rulership. We want to do what we want, until things get too hard or crazy, and then we ask Him to take over. That doesn’t make Him Lord. That makes Him our servant – a very powerful servant, but a servant nonetheless because we only yield to Him when we choose to.

Many others of us have managed to get off the throne – mostly. We cling in various ways, afraid to give up total control.

The I Can Help Position

Sometimes it’s our arms that remain glued to the armrest. Arms symbolize power.

Psalm 44:3 for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, and the light of your face, for you delighted in them.

We want some of the power to make our own decisions based on our own knowledge and understanding. We want to help Jesus deal with what happens in our lives. We want to fight against those who get in our way. We want to get back at those who hurt us. We want to forge paths into our careers. We want to make people change in order for us to live more comfortably. We want to judge the motivation of those who ask for money. But Jesus had a lot to say about this…

Matthew 5:42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

Matthew 5:44b and pray for those who persecute you,

Luke 6:27b do good to those who hate you,

Matthew 5:39b-40 Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right check, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

It’s scary to give up this power. What if God doesn’t do things the way we think He ought? What if by thinking that, we are actually saying God can’t take care of us as well as we can take care of ourselves? There’s plenty of assurance in the Bible that He can and will.

Psalm 145:16 You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

(Isaiah 41:10 NASB1995  Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’)

Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me; you stretch forth your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand will save me.

Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.

The Is This Enough Position

Sometimes it’s our feet that stay attached. Feet symbolize our lives, our walk with Him.

Proverbs 4:26-27 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Romans 10:14-15 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Being a light, spreading the Good News, witnessing to others about Jesus, and living by all of Jesus’ words will make us stand out from the world. It will be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and messy at times. We will become targets of persecution (Jesus said “when”, not “if”). By keeping our foot attached to our throne, we give ourselves the option to adjust or refuse an assignment from Jesus. “Not this time.” “Maybe later.” “Let me think about it.” “Will this be good enough?” It could be we are too comfortable with rejecting or compromising with earthly authority when it doesn’t suit us or make sense, and extend that same attitude towards Jesus. But rejecting authority puts us above the authority, even if it’s just a foot’s worth.

The Do You Have Enough Room Position

A common idiom – by the seat of my pants – is defined by dictionary.com as “using or based on experience, instinct, or guesswork, done without the aid of instruments”. Based on this, I would like to submit that our bottoms represent our thoughts.

We want to use our reasoning, our understandings, what we see and hear, to determine our actions. We resist using the Bible if what we think makes more sense to us than what we read. What we forget is that God can see so much more than we can. We get caught up with all the details, skirmishes, and distractions around us while God can see the everything from above. He sees the big picture, the beginning to the end, and how all things fit together. He looks at things differently than we do. He values different things than we value. He has different goals than we sometimes have.

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We are okay about giving room for His thoughts, but we don’t want to give up all of our own. We like to think we and those around us have some wisdom and knowledge because of our past experiences, and frequently we’d rather rely on that than what we find in the Bible – the tool God has given to us. It’s hard to accept in the moment that God’s view and knowledge is better than our own. It’s hard to rejoice that we are blessed while we are being persecuted. It’s hard to obey when we’re told to sell all we have and give to the poor, or to leave our family to go to an unfamiliar place. It doesn’t make sense.

Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Mark 10:21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

It’s hard to get completely off the throne in our hearts. It’s hard to trust all He says, to obey all He commands. Few of us want to be or admit to rebellious, and yet we live in as much rebellion as the Israelites did, only in much subtler ways. Why? Is it because we want to be comfortable? Is it because we want to be in charge? Or is it because we don’t really – deep down really – trust God to take care of us, to do what He says He will do, when it makes no sense?

If it’s this third reason that forms the bottom line of our attitude, God understands, as is evidenced from the multitude of scriptures He gave us about His faithfulness.

Psalm 33:4 For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.

Psalms 40:11 As for you, O LORD, you will not retrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

2 Timothy 2:13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.

Psalm 26:3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.

The Bible is clear – God is faithful. He will do what He says. He will take care of us, lead us, sustain us, and provide for us. What if we took Him at His word? What if we did things His way? What if we truly made Him Lord in our lives?

I have not achieved that yet, but I am committing to working towards that goal daily, with His help. My first step is to determine what those commandments are by reading through the Gospels and list everything He said to do. If you think that would be helpful to you, let me know and I will post that list when it’s finished.

Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.

I’m not talking about becoming religious or legalistic. I know we have been set free from that. I’m talking about walking as Jesus did, of seeing things through God’s eyes, and being a woman after God’s own heart. I’m also not talking about earning my way into heaven. Jesus already did that for me. I’m talking about responding to His love by loving Him the way He said in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I’m talking about getting off the throne in my heart.

What about you? Will you make Him Lord as well as Savior? Will you get off the throne in your heart?

Psalm 26:2 Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.

If God is Our Father… A Parable

Tessy took one final look at her smiling reflection in the mirror before heading to the front door. The purple highlights in her blonde hair matched the low-cut crop top she wore over a black mini-skirt. Even though her seventeen-year-old body didn’t look like the girls on TV, she hoped her outfit would be enough to keep her new boyfriend’s eyes from wandering tonight. Steven was nineteen and could have any girl he wanted. Tonight, she wanted him to want her.

“Tessy?”

The deep voice of her father stopped her just steps from the front door. Sighing, she turned to face him. “What?”

“You’re not going out wearing – “

Tessy put her hand up. “I know what you’re going to say.”

“What was I going to say?”

“That you don’t like my what I’m wearing, that Steven is no good for me, and that I should spend tonight with you than to go to this party.”

Her father tilted his head. “If you know I disapprove, why are you doing it?”

“Because I like Steven. He’s not as bad as you think. And all the girls wear stuff like this. I wouldn’t fit in if I didn’t”

“I’m your father, not their’s. Fitting in is not what I’ve taught you. Dressing that way is not only indecent, but dangerous. You don’t know – “

Again, Tessy cut him off. “I’ll be fine. I appreciate your warning, but I don’t think it relevant. Maybe if I was younger or went to a bar or dressed like a hooker, but I’m just going to a party. There’s nothing wrong with what I’m doing.”

Without giving her father an opportunity to say anything else, she opened the door and slipped out.

Steven was just pulling up in the driveway. Waving to him, she hurried towards the car. Steven got out without looking at her and walked behind his car. He opened the trunk and reached inside.

 Disappointed that he hadn’t greeted her but curious about what he was doing, she joined him at his trunk. Steven was pulling something out of a crate. She gasped as soon as she recognized the long, wiggling mass.

“Look what my friend gave me.” Steven looked over at her. “Don’t worry. It’s friendly. You want to hold it?”

Tessy backed away, shaking her head. “That’s okay.”

“Come on, don’t be a chicken.” Steven smiled as he held out the snake. “You’re going to love how sleek if feels.”

“Don’t touch it,” came a soft voice next to her.

Startled, Tessy turned to her father. “I didn’t know you have followed me.”

“I –“

Steven’s loud voice drowned out whatever her father was going to say. “Come on, Baby, we don’t have all night.”

“Don’t touch it,” her father repeated.

But Tessy ignored him as she reached to touch the snake. Steven smiled as he handed it to her. Tessy returned his smile as she watched the snake coil and uncoil itself around her arm. It was colder than she expected, but just as smooth as Steven had promised.

Suddenly the snake writhed sharply. Startled, she dropped it, but not before its fangs grazed her arm. “Ow!”

“Hey!” Steven shouted. He lunged for the snake, grabbing its tail as it tried to disappear under the car. Pulling it out, he shoved it back in the crate. Then he turned on Tessy, “How could you drop it like that? It almost got away.”

“It bit me.” She held out her arm to him, but he turned away and slammed the trunk.  Without looking at her, he headed back to the driver’s seat. “You coming or what?”

Turning to her father, Tessy said, “This is your fault. You were supposed to protect me.”

“I tried but you wouldn’t listen to me. You chose Steven’s word over mine.”

His words gripped her heart. “You’re right. I’m sorry. Will you take care of this for me? It really hurts.”

Putting his arm around her, he said, “Come back to the house with me.”

The car roared to life, making Tessy jump. She pulled away from her father. “I can’t right now, but just as soon as I get home, okay?” Without waiting for a response, she hurried to the passenger side and jumped in.

“Be back by ten,” her father called as he stepped out of the way.

Steven backed out and took off down the road, his tired screeching almost as loud as his engine. A few minutes later, they got to the highway and he turned to her. “Ten o’clock? Did he mean that?”

“Yeah, I guess so.” Tessy answered. “But don’t worry about it. Whatever time I get home will be okay. I’ll just apologize and he’ll forgive me. He always does.”

Steven put his free hand on her leg. “This is going to be a great night.”

Tessy covered his hand with her own. Relaxing back in her seat, she agreed. “It sure will.”


Malachi 1:6a

A son honors his father and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts…

God was speaking to the priests about offering blemished animals in their sacrifices to Him. But as I look around at Christians today, I wonder if He wouldn’t say the same thing to us? Do those of us who know Him and claim to follow Jesus really respect Him? Or do we take God for granted, relying on His love and mercy to cover our self-centered decisions? Do we fear Him as Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul did? Or are we arrogant because of our status as His children?

Let’s be courageous enough to pray like David did in Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

And to do like Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see if whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you fail to meet the test!


Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,

on the day of testing in the wilderness,

where your fathers put me to the test

and saw my works for forty years.

Therefore I was provoked with that generation,

and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;

they have not known my ways.’

As I swore in my wrath,

‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

Take care my brothers, lets there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called, “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Hebrews 3:7-14

Celebrations

We tend to celebrate the days in our lives that mark a birth or change or completion of something. Days like…

Birthday

First day of school

Graduation

First car

First job

Marriage

New home

Birth of children

Retirement

As Christians, there is something missing from that list. Something that should stand out from everything else. Something that is worth more than all of that list put together.

That something is … the day we were saved.

For me, it was April 24, 1977. I can remember it clearly. Not the physical details as much as more, although there’s still plenty of those. But I will never forget the spiritual wonder of meeting Jesus. In an instant I was changed forever. It was the most significant day of my life, and yet, I do not celebrate it.

I don’t really celebrate any day. I’m like the second person described in Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

But I think I might just make an exception come next April.

God is Bigger Than Climate Change

Climate change. Who hasn’t heard the warnings? Higher temperatures, more drought and heat waves, heavier downpours, stronger hurricanes, rising sea levels, widespread flooding, melting ice caps… it goes on and on. According to Wikipedia, climate change “threatens people with food and water scarcity, increased flooding, extreme heat, more disease, and economic loss. Human migration and conflict can be a result. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.”

All of this is serious and frightening.

But God is bigger than climate change.

God made the earth (Neh 9:6, Ps 24:1) and not only knows how to take care of it, but does so according to His will (Job 12:10, Ps 65:9-13, Ps. 107:33-34 NOTE: all cited Scriptures are written out in full at the end of this blog). He also gave us the job of tending the earth (Gen 2:15) knowing full well that we wouldn’t be as good at it as He is. Yet He is powerful enough to correct the mistakes we make, smart enough to know the needs for all generations, and strong enough to control the effects of our ignorance (Job 26:14, 37:13, Is 45:5-7, Matt 8:26-27).

But the truth is, even if we had done a phenomenal job, no matter what we do or don’t do, the earth is passing away. It was not made to last forever (Ps 102:25-28, Is 51:6, Matt 24:35, Heb 1:10-12). God’s plan is to make a new heaven and a new earth once this one has grown old and worn out (Is 65:17, Rev 21:1).

Until then, we can trust God with our future. We can tend the earth in the best ways we know. We can enjoy what He has given us until the new, better earth arrives. And we can rely on Him as we go through the coming storms, floods, droughts, and times of pestilence. We may not be able to fix the earth, the Bible makes it clear that the earth will pass away, but we can be at peace knowing Jesus is with us all the way (Matthew 28:20b, Hebrews 13:5).

What we shouldn’t do is be obsessed with the earth’s condition or to live in fear (John 14:27). Concern is one thing – obsession is another. There is only one thing He has told us to be obsessed with – and that is Him. Instead of dwelling on the earth until it consumes us, let’s get our eyes back on the One who holds the earth in His hands. Let’s dwell on the LORD who dwells on us. Let’s be obsessed with God Most High.

And he said to them, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matt 22:37).

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Col 3:2.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3


Other Scriptures cited in this blog:

“You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. Nehemiah 9:6

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, Psalm 24:1b

In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:10

By his power he stilled the sea…Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,
and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?
Job 26:14

He loads the thick clouds with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen. Job 37:13

I am the Lord, and there is no other ,besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things. Isaiah 45:5-7

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Gen 2:15

And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea , and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” Matthew 8:26-27

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offering shall be established before you. Psalm 102:25-28

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the Earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, and the Earth will wax like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner. Isaiah 51:6

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Matthew 24:35

you, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end. Psalm 102:25-27 (also quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12)

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and the farthest seas; the one who by his strength established the mountains being girded with might; who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe of your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for you joy. You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothes themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy. Psalm 65:5-13

Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Isaiah 65:17

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sun was no more. Revelation 21:1

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

As long as the present earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. Genesis 8:22

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matt 28:20b