Categories
Christian Blog Faith

It’s Time to Sing?

Photo by Skyler Ewing on Pexels.com

Early one crisp morning I stepped out on the back porch, coffee mug in hand. It was late February, and there was still snow on the ground. And that’s when I heard it: bird song! A male cardinal sat in our leafless butterfly bush singing his heart out–at 36 degrees Fahrenheit!

“How do you know winter’s over?” I said to him. He answered back in song–though not in English,🎶 “I don’t. I just know it’s time to establish my territory, find a mate, and build a nest.”🎶

The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk had a similar experience. Things weren’t looking too “spring like” in Judah when he cried out to God, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” –Habakkuk 1:2 (NIV)

God told the questioning prophet that even MORE trouble was coming. Jerusalem was about to be leveled by the ruthless Babylonians. But the Lord offers the beleaguered Habbakuk a timeless piece of advice: “But the righteous will live by his faith.”–Habakuk 2:4 (NIV)

At the end of the book the prophet takes God at His word. Like my cardinal friend he says–in so many syllables–even though things don’t look promising at the moment, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”— Habakkuk 3:18 (NIV).

Kind reader, a big part of faith is faithfulness–consistent obedience to God, no matter the weather. It’s time to sing!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️

Categories
Christian Living Faith

God Believes in You

I once heard of a small business who chooses its employee of the month 30 days in advance. And for *Mrs. Clarice, the owner, it’s purposefully random. She draws the name out of a hat at the first weekly team meeting of the month, and no employee gets chosen twice until everyone has a turn.

“But what if the person whose name you draw doesn’t deserve to be employee of the month?” asked a puzzled television news reporter. “Every single one of them has always lived up to the honor,” said Clarice with a wink. “I have faith in my people.”

God does that. He puts faith in His people and entrusts them with things —BIG things. Like when He told Abram, “To your descendants I will give this land.” – Genesis 12:7 (NIV)

He also restores and recalibrates people to their REAL life mission. Think Moses or Paul. You probably know all the Bible stories, so I won’t write a Sunday School lesson, but I do have a question:

With what has God entrusted you?


Here’s a brief story of my time as heaven’s employee of the month.

The evening before I assumed a key leadership position in my church, I fell asleep worried if I was up to the task. Later, I had a vivid dream.

As I walked through a crowded congregation, Brother Bob–a pastor from my youth–came up to me carrying a large ring of keys. As he pressed them into my hand he said, “Here you go. Now, take care of things.”

Of course, I spent most of my devotional time the next morning thinking about the dream! It really felt like God was sending me a message. But what?

Bro. Bob handed me KEYS. That must mean something!

I immediately thought of Peter’s confession of Christ in Matthew 16. Jesus told him, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:19 (NIV)

Now I understood! Bro. Bob–a much loved mentor from my youth–represented God. And by handing me the keys, He was saying, “I am empowering you to do this job. I have faith in you.”

I served in that church leadership position for two years. At times it was certainly a stretch (for me personally), but I never forgot about the proverbial keys in my pocket.

With God’s help, I lived up to the honor.

Now back to the question:

With what has God entrusted you?

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 1:6 (NIV)


*Mrs. Clarice, her company and the inquisitive reporter came out of my overactive imagination. But isn’t it a neat idea?! 😊


First Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Second photo credit unknown.

Categories
Faith positivity

Find the Good

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:9

Pastorpete51 of Praise2worshipdotnet recently shared a superb story about the mother of Jesus from a fresh angle. Mary’s Treasure focuses on the fact that this young (very pregnant) woman had just traveled a considerable distance and then given birth in a stable.

Pastor Pete sets the scene:

Finally, just as Mary and her newborn baby settled off to sleep, a crowd of shepherds stampeded in and began singing and shouting something about angels.

Peter Caligiuri

But rather than being annoyed, the Bible says Mary “Treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

In other words, she recognized that the events unfolding around her were a fulfillment of what the angel Gabriel told her nine months earlier.

If you don’t already follow Pastor Pete’s blog, please check it out! He shares some great scriptural thoughts, sprinkled with personal stories and music. Again, it’s called praise2worshipdotnet.

I have these two bracelets that I often wear–doubled up, just like this. They remind me that I need to look twice as hard for the good.

I think that’s what Mary did. After traveling 90 miles by donkey to give birth in a barn, she treasured the shepherd’s story of how angels told them about her newborn son.

She found the good. And so can we.

No, everything that happens to us isn’t going to be positive, but our response CAN be.

Thank God for Mary, who agreed to be the mother of Jesus Christ. She went through more trauma (and later, grief) than most moms, but I believe she kept the faith.

For a look at why finding the good–especially these days–is more important than ever, please read my post, The Sky is Probably NOT Falling.