Thursday, January 29, 2015

I'm Not Going to Run

Talking about the forces of secular humanism that have taken root in the United States, Franklin Graham called on Christ followers to take an active interest in politics—from local school board races to Washington.

“Now I’m not talking about Baptists or Republicans and the Tea Party,” he said. “I have no confidence that any of these politicians or any party is going to turn this country around. The only hope for this country is for men and women of God to stand up and take a stand.”

“Well, you say, ‘Now Franklin, your father wouldn’t get onto these subjects,'” Franklin Graham said, addressing the need to stand up to secularism.

“Wait a second. My father, when he was going to school, they had a Bible in school,” he continued. “When he was going to school, they had the Ten Commandments on the wall. When he was going to school, you could pray in school, and the teachers would lead in those prayers.

“Our country has changed. And we’ve got to take a stand.”

Read the entire article here on the BGEA website.

Riding and Trusting

Read my article Training Wheels and Walking on Water on Michelle Cox' Just 18 Summers blog here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Trusting God in January

For me, January is a month of getting back to some basic disciplines of life.  Because tax season looms, it always requires doing some essential work on family finances.  Typically January involves working on organization - going through files, books, computers and deciding what needs to be thrown out, saved, or used.  Often that includes discovering a forgotten treasure - a note from a loved one, a picture from a child, an idea I scribbled on a piece of paper and filed.  It involves cleaning out from the Christmas clutter and making way for new things for a new year.
And for me, January is a good time to re-evaluate myself spiritually.  I try to dig again into a healthy spiritual disciplines routine.  I try to think, "What are some good books I am going to read the next few months to help me grow spiritually?"  One man said that there are only 2 things that will make you different 5 years from now than you are today - the people you meet and the books you read.  So, choosing good books to help our spiritual growth is essential.
This month I began reading a devotional that is new to me.  I often use the tried and true classic devotionals by Oswald Chambers, Cowman, Andrew Murray, etc.  But I was excited this month to begin using Jerry Bridges' 31 Days Toward Trusting God.  Through 31 brief, but meaty, readings, the Navigators staff member challenges the reader to work at not just obeying God but trusting God. 
It's just as important to trust God as to obey Him.  When we disobey God, we defy His authority and despise His holiness.  And when we fail to trust Him, we doubt His sovereignty and question His goodness.  In both cases, we cast aspersions upon His majesty and HIs character.  God views both with equal seriousness.  When the people of Israel were hungry, "they spoke against God, saying, 'Can God spread a table in the wilderness? . . .  Can He also give bread or provide meat for His people?" (Ps. 78:19-20).  The next two verses tell us, "When the Lord heard, he was full of wrath . . . because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power." 
In order to trust God, we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not of sense.
If you are looking for a good, fresh devotional, I recommend 31 Days Toward Trusting God to you.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fantastic Family Friday: Training Wheels and Walking on Water

For weeks my daughter tried unsuccessfully to ride her bicycle without training wheels.  Fearing falling, she would not peddle forward and stay on the bike. 
We lived in the country.  A large rolling green hill faced the front of the house.  Anna-Frances and I sat down in the white rocking chairs on the porch, facing the hill.
Rocking next to my six-year old, I asked,” Do you remember the Bible story about Peter walking on the water?  In a great storm, the disciples experienced fear.  When Jesus came walking on the water, they were afraid.  They had never seen anyone do that before.  What did Peter do that no one else did?”
“He got out of the boat and walked on water.”
“That’s right, honey,” I replied.  “He tried something new and trusted God to care for him even though it was scary.”
She quietly and thoughtfully listened.  “Anna, what do you think God wants you to do with this bike?”
“Trust God and try to ride.” 
We arose and walked the bicycle to the very top of the large green hill.  She mounted, and I held on from behind.  As she began peddling, I ran behind her.  Knowing she had her balance, I let go of the bike and yelled, “Go, Anna!  You’ve got it, babe!” 

Watching her peddle that bike all the way to the hill’s bottom remains one of my favorite memories from that season of our lives.  She got out of the boat and rode without training wheels.

David told his son Solomon, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it; God - my God - will be with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you" (1 Chronicles 28:20).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Quote of the Day

Creativity is not a function of intelligence; rather it is a function of imagination.  Have you ever known a child to not be imaginative?  So are you.  You may just need to tap into that childlike part of yourself once again.  - Dan Miller

State of the Union

David Barton gives an excellent brief history of the State of the Union address.  He also shows historically - even during World War II - how the Bible, prayer, the "cross of mercy," and the Christian faith were undeniably linked to the United States of America. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

10 Questions to Ask as the New Year Begins

The following is a helpful article by Donald Whitney.  Perhaps you can get alone sometime the next week and thoughtfully go through these questions . . .

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

Read the entire article, 10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year or On Your Birthday, here.