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Archive for June, 2009

“The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”   Job 1:21b

Job was a man who lost everything he had.  He lost his children, his servants, his animals, all of his earthly possessions, and still, he stayed faithful to God. 

Then Job lost his health, and his three closest friends started condeming him and telling him that he must have some sort of sin in his life or he wouldn’t have the trials he was going through.  Even then, Job was still faithful to God. 

Job’s wife even told him that he should stop being faithful to God.  She told him he should give up……her exact words to her husband were “curse God and die.” 

 Job still stayed faithful to God.  Job loved God more than anyone or anything on this earth.  At one point, Job said “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”  Job trusted God with everything he had and with his life. 

This was a man who knew that God doesn’t make mistakes, who lived out “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  A man who knew that God’s ways are not our ways. 
The part that amazes me is that Job didn’t even have the written word of God. 

 Job is the oldest book of the Bible, so none of the Old Testament had been written yet……Job didn’t have any promises of God to look up and read to remind himself that God would take care of him.  Job couldn’t look back and read the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses,  Daniel, David or any other stories about great men who did great things with the help of our Great God.  Job didn’t have the Psalms to look to for comfort.  He didn’t have the book of Proverbs to look to for wisdom.

 All Job had was faith in God, and prayer.  That was enough.

 When I look at Job’s life, I realize that my trials, burdens and struggles are no where near what Job dealt with and I have the Bible to read….I can look back and read exactly how God took care of His children, I can read the book of Psalms and Proverbs, I have a church to go to, songs that remind me of my faith, I have so many resources available to help me through my Christian life, and sometimes it’s still a struggle.  I remind myself that Job made it to the end and stayed faithful to God without all of the resources we have today…..for Job, faith, prayer and God were enough.

In the end, God blessed Job with more children,  possessions, and animals than he lost in the beginning of his life and God gave Job another 140 years to live and enjoy the blessings that God gave him for staying faithful.

Here are the words to a song written about Job by Mac Lynch.

He Knoweth The Way

O Lord, Thou are my King, and who am I to question Thy way?
Whatever the loss, whatever the cost, draw me closer to Thee every day.

O Lord, Thou art my life, and who am I to understand why?
You died on a tree for a sinner like me, Lord to self make me willing to die.

O Lord, Thou art my all, and who am I to walk without Thee? 
My sin I forsake, Thy cross I will take, Thy servant dear Lord, make of me.

He knoweth the way that I take; A new heart within He’ll create.
That I may walk worthy and come forth as gold, He giveth and taketh away.

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I just finished reading “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts” By Dr. Les Parrott III and Dr. Leslie Parrott.

The book has seven questions to ask before and after you marry, and it expounds on them. I really liked it how they tied things back to Biblical principles.

The seven questions are:

  • Have you  faced the myths of marriage with honesty?
  • Can you identify your love style?
  • Have you developed the habit of happiness?
  • Can you say what you mean and understand what you hear?
  • Have you bridged the gender gap?
  • Do you know how to fight a good fight?
  • Are you and your partner soul mates?

One of the  most helpful parts of this book is that it explains the male and the female side of  each section of the book.  We know that males and females are different, but I didn’t really understand how very different they are until I read this book, and it really helped me to understand some of the differences.

I’ve read a few other books by the Parrotts and have enjoyed them as well.  This is one book that I plan to read again.

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“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Why is forgetting the past so hard to do?  I’m not sure.  Sometimes I think the memories are all gone, that it doesn’t bother me anymore.  Then satan likes to put those little thoughts into our minds…..

“God can’t use you in that way.”

  “You’ll never be good enough.”

 “After what you did?

I’ve had to learn a hard lesson……Don’t dwell on the past.   When you dwell on the past, it’s never really your past life, is it?  When you continually think about something, it becomes your world, your reality.  Satan knows this, and likes nothing better than to throw things up in our faces to discourage us, and to keep us from doing what we should be doing for God.

So many of our heroes in the Bible had a “past” 

Moses killed an Egyptian man, but God used him to lead the Children of Israel.

David committed adultery, yet he was a man after God’s own heart and God used him to write most of the Psalms.

Paul persecuted the church and killed Christians before he was saved.

There are so many other examples in the Bible, but the point I’m trying to make is that, we are all human.  None of us are without sin, but there’s not a sin that God can’t forgive.  When we sin, (no matter how big or how small we think the sin is.) and ask God’s forgiveness, He forgives us of that sin and still uses us for His glory.

Here is a song entitled “Rise Up Again”  (sorry, but I can’t find a video of it or I’d include the link.)

Rise Up Again

Though sin has beset you and taken control,
Though Satan’s great strongholds stand fast in your soul,
What ever your failure, though great be your fall,
God’s mercy and pardon are offered to all.

Rise up again, take back the ground.
Turn from your sin and let grace abound.
Press toward the prize; the victory you”ll will.
Forget things behind you and rise up again.

Let’s seek those who’ve fallen from grace to restore
and show them God’s mercies forever endure.
In spite of our past our Lord uses us still,
and works it for good in the course of His will.

Rise up again, take back the ground.
Turn from your sin and let grace abound.
Press toward the prize; the victory you”ll will.
Forget things behind you and rise up again.

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Have you ever been there?  Sometimes, there are things that we go through in life that just seem too big for us to handle, we feel like it’s more than we can bear. 

Our humanness kicks in and we almost get this numb feeling.  We don’t know what to do or even what to think, much less what to pray.

I’ve been there a couple of times.

The only thing I can say is “God, I don’t even know what to pray.” 

When this happens, I’ve realized that first of all, It’s OK……  just going to God and telling Him that you don’t know what to pray and then being “still”  is amazing.  At that point He takes over, and guides your prayer. 

Second of all, I’ve realized that this is one of the most important reasons to pray for other people.  Everyone has times in their life when they don’t know what to pray, and you may not even know when that time is for some of the people you know.  We don’t know what’s going on in other people’s lives, but when we include other people in our prayers, it’s amazing what God does for them, and for us too.

Sometimes, the Holy Spirit puts someone in our thoughts.  Several times, I’ve had people pop into my mind in the middle of the night, or as I’m going about my day.  I’ve learned to make sure to pray for them when that happens, we never know right at that moment what that person is going through, but God does and He has a purpose in putting that person on your mind.

Twice in this last week, I’ve had an ambulance race up behind me with it’s sirens on and lights flashing.  I start praying for the person in need, for the Doctors, the EMT’s, the family.  Maybe right then, they don’t know what to pray, but I can pray for them, even though I don’t know them. 

“What a privilidge to carry everything to God in prayer. “

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