Archive | April 2010

Storm Watch…

Well, we’re under a storm watch today, here in the Midwest.

A  warm front from the south will be smacked down by a nasty cold front from the north, right over our heads, creating perfect weather conditions, the weatherman said, for strong winds, heavy rain, and maybe even a tornado or two.

Well, the cooler temps and rain predicted for the rest of the week, have my family packing our bikes back into the garage.

Cold fronts can be real party-poopers for us fair-weather-bikers. 😦

Sigh…

And we certainly don’t want cold fronts building up in our hearts, Christian.  Cold winds of doubt can smack down our faith and blow away any chances of happiness and peace.

Fortunately, we can control our heart conditions by… (drum roll, please)

READING OUR BIBLES! Say it with me —   THE BIBLE IS MY FRIEND!  The B-i-b-l-e, that’s the book for you.  It’s true!

Regular Bible reading (and doing) will keep our hearts warm.

Below is a diagram, from the Navigators ministry, showing how to get a HAND-le on the Bible:

“The Word Hand”.  “Meditate, Memorize, Study, Read, Hear.”

Memorizing the verses on each finger of that hand above might be just the thing to improve your internal weather pattern.  You could trace your hand into your journal to make your own HAND-y diagram. (can you tell I’ve taught a lot of Sunday School?)

(Click on the WORD HAND for a more thorough explanation of the verses from Navigators.org, if you’re interested)

Another cold front stopper and heart warmer is to PRAY.

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!!

Stop! Drop! and Pray!

We don’t have to weather our storms alone!

My pastor said, “The storm your going through isn’t the issue.  It’s Who’s going through it with you that matters.” ~Cal Rychener

So, Who’s your storm-buddy? You gotta be prepared…

“When I think I’m goin’ under, part the waters, Lord.

When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea.

When I cry for help, O, hear me, Lord, and hold out your hand!

Touch my life!

Still the raging storm in me.”

I need you every hour...

“The Cold Front Prayer:

“Oh, Father, thank you for loving me.  I need you every hour, every minute, every second.

Thank you for touching my life when I call to you, like the song said above, and stilling the raging storms in me.

Please help me to love Your Word, the Bible.  The B-I-B-L-E — may it be the book for me.

And, Lord, I know there’s so much time wasted I”ve wasted because I didn’t pray, and so many storms in my life that could have been avoided if I’d relied on You in the midst of them.

I am so weak.  Strengthen me inside with power through Your Spirit (Ephesians 3:16) In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

You got a storm buddy?  Click on the pic below to meet mine:

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em…

image by Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, click on the pic to see more.

My most popular post these days is Snowflake Faith Say what?!

I thought by April we were through with that stuff and good riddance!  I guess the weather’s always a little cheerier on the other side of the thermometer.

Oh, well, if you can’t figure ’em out, join ’em, I say.  So, click HERE
to read Snowflake Faith for yourself.  Brrr…

Prayers for the South…

Mississippi Tornado Damage

On April 24th, 2010, just a few days back,  a raging storm system swept across the South killing people and destroying towns; particularly in Mississippi where 50 miles worth of homes, farms, and businesses were completely wiped out.

People dove for their tubs, their closets, their hallways, anywhere sturdy, when they heard the thunderous tornadoes approaching.  In the small town of Yazoo, MI, customers and workers at a local steak house crammed into a walk-in freezer as the restaurant exploded around them.  Fortunately most people along the storm front survived to tell their tales,  and to thank thier God for saving their lives, but 12 precious lives did not.

Click on the pic above for more information, then come on back here to pray for the storm-damaged South.

“Father, this isn’t news to You, but WE NEED YOU!! Not just every hour like in the famous hymn, but every minute, in good weather and bad, and ESPECIALLY in the storms.  We need, need, need you!  Thank you that You are here.

Oh Father, without faith it is impossible to please You, the Bible says. (Hebrews 11:6)  And anyone coming to You must believe that You exist, and that You reward those who earnestly seek You.   I am earnestly seeking You now on behalf of all the people in the southern states who lived or worked in the paths of those tornadoes.  Please help them.

Father, the Bible says that to know You is to have eternal life. (John 17:3)   Please may any of the survivors who don’t know You please come to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You sent to us.

You are the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3)  Please comfort those who lost loved ones in the storms, or who lost their houses, or their business, or ALL of the above.

Father, You are love.  (1 John 4:8)  May the survivors all pull together and love one another and help one another in these hard times.  May there be LOTS of stories to tell and testimonies to give about all the good that came out of these storms because You helped them and showed that You were with them in the storm.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

Do You know the One who calmed a storm?  You can read about it here.  His name is Jesus.  Click on the pic below to meet Him:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Popcorn Faith

I love popcorn!  Yum, yum, yum!  You start out with the hard kernals and some oil.

Add some heat, give a stir now and then, and..

Voila’!

Add some salt and butter, and…

POPCORN!!!!!

You know, if you crack the kernals, the popcorn won’t pop.

That’s because the shell needs to be intact for the right amount of pressure to build up, to heat the water inside, to allow it to escape as steam immediately when the kernal pops, leaving behind the hardened mass of starchy foam we call Popcorn.  Get it?

Well, it’s the same with our faith.  For it to pop, sometimes God has to apply heat and pressure.  We call it trials.  The Lord calls it discipline:

‘ “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!  Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-11

The Popcorn Prayer: Oh, Father, thank you for loving me and for sometimes disciplining me.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Help me to hang in there when the heat is on and to believe that later it WILL produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for me when I’ve been trained by it. (Hebrews 12: 11)

And Father, like the popcorn has to have enough moisture to respond to the heat for the kernal to pop, I need enough humility to respond correctly to the trials in my life.

Help me to be HUMBLE, Lord.  And patient, and thankful for all you do.  Transform my faith from a cold kernal to a warm, salty treat that pleases you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

To see videos of cracked popcorn popping-vs-whole, click HERE

Thanks! Danke! Gracias! Ahéhee’!

Ever wonder what God’s will is for your life?  Well, I don’t know the details, but I know He wants us to be thankful!

“in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

What have you got to be thankful for today?  Think about those things.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 KJV

The Thankful Prayer: Thank you, Father, for loving me!  May Your peace control my heart today. (Colossians 3:15)  Please show me all the things I have to be thankful for in my life.

Here are some of the things that come to mind: (write them down in your journal, or on a post-it-note to post next to your mirror to remind yourself every time you look in it)

Thank you for all these wonderful things, Father.  The Bible says, “Every good thing given and     every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights [that’s You, Father 🙂 ], with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”  James 1:17 THANK YOU!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Break Down!!!!

Little help?

My son, Andy, on the right in the picture above, got a flat on a recent bike ride. He’d sped way past us on the windy country road, and so were surprised to find him stranded on the side with a flat tire when we finally caught up to him.

It was probably humbling for the young whipper snapper, but he’d gone flat, and had to ask his dad for some help.

Sounds familiar. How many times have I gone flat in my faith and had to ask for a little help from my dad, too?

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”  1 Peter 5:6

Let’s pray: “Oh, Father, thank You for always being near to help me.  I love the verse that says I can always approach Your throne grace with confidence to find mercy and grace to help me in my time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Thank You that I can cast ALL my anxiety on You because You care for me. (1 Peter 5:7)

Here’s what I’m feeling anxious about these days: (fill in the blank.  Take your time.  Ask God to show you what’s bothering you.  While we can be blinded to what’s on our hearts, God sees it all.) _________________________.

I will trust You to work out all the details and inflate my faith again.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Do you need a little help?  Who you gonna call?  Click the pic below to meet the One who’s close to the broken hearted. (Psalm 34:18)

Dave helping Andy fix his flat.