Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea And a path through the mighty waters, “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NKJV
Surely God is my help,
the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Times are hard, and sometimes, for a Christian, times seem even harder. Am I complaining? I guess so. As I have said in the past, I’m not a happy, happy, joy, joy Christian. I live in the real world. I have friends in similar circumstances and the will ask me, “Why can’t I get a break? Where is God when I need Him? He knows I believe, but why does it seem that all I do is suffer?”
I put on my Pastor Hat and say, “I honestly don’t know.” You can only tell someone that God loves them so much, before the words lose their meaning. I have sat in silence listening to stories that will break the strongest heart, and wonder what can I say or do? I truly believe that God doesn’t want us to suffer, but we do. God doesn’t want us to feel pain, but we do. God doesn’t want us to lose faith, but we do.
Why don’t we understand God’s plan for our life? Wouldn’t be great if He came to us at some point in our lives, ideally just after graduating high school, and said, “This is My plan for you and this is exactly what you need to do.” Maybe He does, and we just don’t listen. I can count the times I was supposed to get into the ministry, but didn’t.” Me? A Pastor? Yeah, right God, You’re crazy! There’s no way I can do that now. Look at my situation. Here, let me do this for you.”
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
My life makes Jonah’s three days in the whale seem like a picnic. How does yours look? Thought so. Faith is more than saying we have it; we have to believe it, just let go and let God drive. Remember when you were teaching your kids to drive, and you had to sit in the passenger seat and trust your kid wouldn’t total the car and kill you? Yeah, it’s a lot like that.
Perhaps this will help you when things aren’t going well during the week, and you can’t get to your iTunes to listen to some Albert Collins, “Cold, Cold, Feeling.” I look at things in this way; I imagine I’m standing on a huge brown spot. I can’t figure out what it is. There is nothing else around me. No matter where I move, there is still brown under my feet. I live my whole life with nothing but brown under my feet. I pray and ask God, “Why there is always brown under my feet?” Perhaps He tells me, chances are He has, but I just don’t listen because I’m so absorbed in my little, selfish brown world.
Then one day, hopefully a long time from now, and I’m in Heaven. Jesus strolls up to me and says, “Greg, I’m so glad you made it. It’s great to see you here. Come walk with me.” We walk a little, and finally I ask the one question that I need to know the answer to, or it will drive me crazy. (If that would be possible in Heaven.)
“Lord, why was there always brown under my feet?”
Jesus smiles, spreads His arms, and says, “Look.”
Below me I see the most magnificent painting. I can’t describe it, but believe me when you do, you’ll understand. The brown that was under my feet was just a small piece of God’s plan and I was just a small part in a much, much bigger picture. I could see how from my place in the masterpiece I affected people, and what He had done for me.
We may not understand what God is doing in our lives, but we must understand, and believe, that He is in control. Let loose the wheel, and trust in the Divine Artist as He paints His masterpiece.
He who forms the mountains,
who creates the wind,
and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth-
the Lord God Almighty is his name.
Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. -Jeremiah 7:24
The violence we are witnessing in not only our area, but around the nation is disturbing. While it is easy to blame guns for much of the violence, it is unfair. The use of a gun to kill or injure someone is the end result of years of neglect. That neglect starts at home with parents that want to be their child's friend or the other extreme where the child is not just wanted. Single parents often overworked and tired; slowly lose their influence to the gangs. Without the direction of the parents, churches sit empty on a Sunday and moral relativism takes over in our communities.
In many aspects the government has replaced the church. At the federal, state and local levels people turn to government to feed, house, educate, employ, set moral standards and solve problems. It could be argued that the government is the leading charity organization in the country. We have become reliant on the government instead of our neighbors and religious institutions. Unfortunately the government has no vested interest in our success; our neighbors and community do.
The government can impose all the laws that it likes, but it is our communities that can change the culture of violence faster and more effectively. There are thousands of gun laws on the books, yet it seems, the murder rate continues to climb. Why? Prosecutors accept plea deals that drop the gun charges; cases are dismissed or lost because witnesses refuse to cooperate. What does it say about society were a line of clothing promotes a "Don't Snitch" attitude? Could it be possible that the crime in the street actually is caused by law abiding citizens who take a "don't ask, don't tell" position on the violence in their own neighbor hoods?
Often after a tragic death there are protests, speeches and posturing by political and community leaders. However, once the television crews have left so has the will to solve the problem. What if we actually followed through on the pomp and circumstance and actually made a stand against the thugs that are killing our youth and destroying our neighborhoods? To do that we need to make a stand against those committing the acts of violence, relying more on our communities and less on the government.
We are currently fighting a "War on Terror" around the world. How much longer will the battle need to be to stop the terror that rules our streets? Ask yourself if it is possible to teach our young people that respect doesn't come from a barrel of a gun. Can we get our young men to believe that women are not as portrayed on MTV and BET? Can we convince our young men and women that sex is not love? Is it possible to get adults to make lifelong commitments to their spouse and children?
What type of a commitment are we as a community willing to make to end the violence on the streets? Turning off the television or radio and putting down the newspaper are not options. We need boots on the ground in this battle, and they need to be ours.
Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.-Luke 19:40-42
We kill the unborn, genetically alter the unborn, kill each other, and now want to be euthanized. Is it any wonder people believe life has no value. God help us all.
Euthanasia activist making headway in forcing assisted suicide on Catholic hospitals
What a world WE have created. How are we different than Sodom and Gomorrah? Are you ready?
1 Corinthians 15:52
TEDx speaker: ‘Pedophilia is an unchangeable sexual orientation,’ ‘anyone’ could be born that way
I must be on the verge of doing something good for the Lord; Satan is attacking me, physically, financially, and spiritually. He is attacking my gal, emotionally and physically, and my pooch physically.
Hunkering down and praying through the storm.
Say a prayer for us all.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
john Gregory Parks
I only worry about the things I can control; as I control nothing, I have no worries.