May 23, 2011

Hidden Treasure

“And He shall be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is his [your] treasure.” Isaiah 33:6 NASB (Brackets mine)

On one hand I am certainly glad to be with you today. On the other, I must wait a little longer before seeing my Lord face to face. That is one treasure yet to be discovered.

Just curious, what were you doing at 6:00pm this past Saturday? I must sheepishly admit to attending the movies. Bob and I went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. This was the fourth installment and like its predecessors – there was a search for “treasure.” I will not spoil it for those yet to go, so that’s all I’ll say except it was really good!

However, in the first movie, our fun loving pirate Jack Sparrow, oh wait, excuse me, Captain Jack Sparrow told blacksmith-turned wanna-be-pirate Will Turner, “Not all treasure is gold.” I find it amazing how many spiritual truths can emanate from Hollywood without them even knowing it.

Are you in need of some treasure today? Let me offer you an offering from Sarah Young’s devotional book, Jesus Calling. You must read this as if Christ the King were speaking the words directly to you! And I believe He is!

From May 23:

Approach each new day with desire to find Me. Before you get out of bed, I have already been working to prepare the path that will get you through this day. There are hidden treasures strategically placed along the way. Some of the treasures are trials designed to shake you free from earth-shackles. Others are blessings that reveal My Presence: sunshine, flowers, birds, friendships, answered prayer. I have not abandoned this sin-wracked world; I am still richly present in it.   Search for deep treasure as you go through this day. You will find Me all along the way.

May the treasure you seek today, be the true treasure of His Presence, and may you find it in abundance!

Seeking First His Kingdom to find a wealth of salvation, knowledge and wisdom!

May 16, 2011

Are You Ready? Are You Prepared?

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matthew 24:36 (NASB)

This might be the last time I write to you. That thought brings with it some sadness. Since 2003, I have been jotting my thoughts and experiences down to share with you and it has been a great source of joy for me. I’ve been able to share my faith and my Father, my Lord and my Savior with you. I pray God has found me obedient because based on some recent news, in the next few days – my life will be over.

You see, there is a group promoting the notion that the world will end this Saturday May 21 at 6:00pm. Our pastor talked about it Wednesday night. My boss has seen the billboards for a while and I just noticed one myself recently. They say the Bible guarantees that life as we know it will end May 21 at 6:00pm.

I can’t think of a situation where I would ever limit God because His ways and thoughts are certainly higher than mine. And if He wants to come back on Saturday – He will. However, the Bible is quite clear:

Matthew 24:4 “And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.”

Matthew 24:11 “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.”

Repeatedly we are told, God’s Word is true and I must believe that if the Father – Lord God of all creation, didn’t tell His own Son the time of return as it clearly states in MAtthew 24:36, why would he tell some guy on earth?

Oh wait, He didn’t tell this guy! Of course, this misguided-man said he figured it out. I have a problem with that. Is it possible to figure God out to the point where we discover stuff He said no one but Him knew? I doubt it. But apparently others believe this guy.

I understand that some believe to the point of quitting college and one report has a couple who budgeted all their funds to run out on May 21. Of course I’d like to ask what happens on Sunday when they wake up. Yet, I have to give them credit for one thing – getting the message out with passion.

Now let me pivot around to another point. If by some strange turn of events (which I personally doubt will happen, but never say never!), this guy has coincidently guessed the right day of Christ’s return, are you prepared?

I was chatting with one of our deacons after church last Wednesday night. I am sorry but we had to laugh a bit, a sad laugh at what we believe is the misleading of many in the name of Christ. However, we both agreed that if Christ comes this Saturday or any other Saturday – we are prepared.

Ready, we thought was another subject. We both have grandkids we’d like to spend more time with. There are more folks we’d like to tell about Jesus. There are the proverbial places to go and people to see. So are we ready? Maybe not, but we are prepared as our hearts belong to Jesus. We have repented of our sin, trusted Christ as our Savior and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christ Himself lives within us.

What about you?

The interesting thing is Jesus could come at any time. We are not guaranteed our next breath. It could be tonight, tomorrow, next Saturday or a hundred years from now. The pivotal point is this: Right now, are you prepared to meet the God of all Creation face to face? Are you ready to answer this question from God’s own lips, “Do you know my Son?” I truly don’t believe He’ll ask “Do you know OF my Son?”

Regardless of the time of Christ’s return, the Bible says today is the day of salvation. So I will make the most of our time right now. If you are a born-again believer, blood-bought and not ashamed – let’s be telling others about the Gospel of Hope and Eternity now and continue to do so as His day draws near – whenever it occurs.

If you don’t know where you stand with God, then let God use me to shine a light on the pathway to Heaven:

Admit: Rom 3:23 says in plain English that NO ONE is perfect – we’ve all sinned before God. Take a moment in prayer to admit your sinful state TO GOD!

Believe and Confess: The Bible in Rom 6:23 tells us the results of our sin is death, you and I rightfully deserve to die, but God’s gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ, who said in John 14 “I am the way, the Truth and the Life – no one comes to the Father except by me.” In John 3:16 – we are told that God loved us so much He sent His only Son Jesus to die so that if we believed we would have eternal life. Rom10: 9-13 tells us to confess with our mouth, which results in righteousness and believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord which results in salvation. Take another moment in prayer to confess your belief in Jesus Christ the Son of God and His death in your place.

Invite: Rev 3:20 – tells us when we invite Jesus in – He’ll come! Take a final moment to invite Jesus into your heart. Allow Him to be not just the God of the church or the God you hear about, but a personal God living in you.

Now regardless of what hour God chooses to tell His Son to go and get His children, you will be prepared! Until that time, share this with a friend so they will be prepared too!

So in closing and as a friend Al, would say: See you here or see you there, and if not, I’ll see you in the air!

Love, Barbara

May 10, 2011

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

“…always giving thanks for things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father…” Ephesians 5:20

Sometimes life resembles a hurricane where things spin out of control and land in utter chaos at your feet. Sometimes life feels like a flood washing destruction over your body until life seems to ebb away. Sometimes life imitates a sinkhole where once solid ground instantly opens up and swallows you whole. But sometimes life is like being at Disneyland!

Now who doesn’t love the rides at Disney! Some of us are Tea Cup people while others just like the ease of riding Dumbo. Now my personal favorites are the Haunted House and the Pirates of the Caribbean, while yours might be It’s A Small, Small World.

Why do these rides thrill us so much? Take a moment to answer that for yourself. We could come up with a plethora of reasons. Our reasons would be as many and as different as all the rides in the park combined. However, each ride has two things in common. Each one is controlled and each one ends.

I remember riding Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride as a child. The ride was dark, it jerked to and fro. You never knew when a turn or perceived drop was coming. One minute you would be riding along and the next minute a train would be heading right toward you! Well, as far as I know – that train never hit anyone. I guess someone operating the controls made sure of that! Then as suddenly as the ride began, it ended and we all exited screaming, “We want more!”

Fast forward many years to today’s date, May 10, 2011. Now I must say I missed writing to all of you last week. Why did I miss my appointed rounds? It was because I was on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. The only thing was I never set foot inside Disney!

Like many of you, I have had a very chaotic several weeks. Nothing bad has happened, just a lot of whirling in one direction and then another. Many times I wanted off the ride and I wasn’t screaming for more! Yet, more is what I got! Can anyone relate?

However, God reminded me, as I need reminding often, that just like at Disney there is someone in control of my ride and there is an end in sight. His sight - that is.

My life this week is still going to be wild! But with God in control of all the turns this week will take, I can smile and consider it all an adventure. I will give Him thanks for all things He allows my way – so that in my life He will be glorified and just maybe I will be found obedient.

Whatever your week brings, buckle up and smile! Give thanks to God through Jesus Christ and make this week be the ride of your life!