Monday, November 22, 2010

Inspired by Faith

for we walk by faith, not by sight-- ~~ 2 Corinthians 5:7 NASB

Last week, November 9-14, I attended the CLASS Christian Writers Conference. I served CLASS in the capacity of the Transportation Coordinator, therefore, I had prior contact with most the faculty and attendees who flew in for the conference.

Several days before time to depart, I received an email that a late registration was approved. I emailed Nancy informing her of what to expect. When she replied, she informed me when she expected to arrive, but would contact me if it did not turn out the way she planned.

She literally was walking out by faith what the Lord just placed on her heart -- to attend this writers conference. She flew standby and trusted the Lord that if He wanted her there, she would be on time.

I prayed, but still had my "concerns." But boy, did the Lord show me! Nancy arrived right on time, which was a few hours before the bus was scheduled to leave the airport for the ranch.

However, it doesn’t stop there. She still had to return to her hometown after the conference ended. She checked on the best possibilities for standby on return flights. She had no idea how she would make the 2 1/2 trek back to the airport from the ranch, but told me she fully trusted God to meet her needs.

As it turned out, she needed to be at the airport by 7:30 am on Sunday morning, and by God's grace, CLASS had a driver willing leave at 5am.

When traveling, I prefer my flights arranged and on schedule. Flying on Southwest Airlines, I did not get to preselect my seat, but I paid extra so I could be first in line to choose a seat.

Would I be willing to fly standby like Nancy? I think God would give me the grace to do so if He asked me.

Nancy isn't the only woman I met who flew by faith. I made a mistake in scheduling times for the return bus. Sharon missed her scheduled flight home due to my error, and had to fly standby.

These women are a living testimony of walking (actually flying) by faith, not by sight. Their faith in God meeting all their needs spoke volumes to me. Nancy made it home Sunday in time to teach her Sunday night Bible class. Sharon trusted God to get her home that night and He did. Both these ladies demonstrated their faith in God though they could not see how He would do it.

Seeing their faith inspired me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Open My Eyes - Repost

I spent the last week at the CLASS Christian Writers Conference. I plan on sharing some highlights with you next week. In the meantime, please enjoy this repost.

And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. ~~Luke 24:31 ESV

Have you ever cried out, “I just don’t understand?” Sometimes events unfold right in front of us and we do not understand the meaning of it.

Two men were walking on the road to Emmaus, which was about seven miles northwest from Jerusalem. They were talking about the crucifixion of Christ. They, like so many of the other people of the times hoped Jesus was the one to redeem Israel from the Roman rule. They were so caught up in the situation, they could not see past it.

Then the resurrected Jesus showed up and walked along side of these two men. ”And he said to them, ‘What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?’ Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’”

Apparently the news of the crucifixion traveled very quickly among the people of the land, without the use of cell phones and email. They did not recognize Jesus and they thought he must be the only one who did not know what just took place. So they proceeded to explain it to Jesus. When they got to the part about the women who reported angels and an empty tomb, Jesus interrupted them.

"O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27 ESV)

I can see myself explaining an event and Jesus interrupting me to tell me how foolish I am. We need to understand the Scriptures. It is so easy for me to talk about what is going on in our world today, and feel disgruntled like these men on their way to Emmaus. But what if I let Jesus explain the Scriptures to me?

Jesus stayed with the men for just a little bit longer. When Jesus broke bread with them and gave it to them, then their eyes were opened. They realized it was Jesus and He was alive! They had an “ah-ha” moment.

Jesus explained the Scriptures to them. Most of us have several copies of the Bible in our homes. There are several places on the internet to read the Bible. God’s word is readily available to us. Let’s read and study God’s word and ask Him to explain what it means to us and ask Him to open our eyes to see Him.

Monday, November 8, 2010

About Time

Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, "O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon." So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. ~~Joshua 10:12-13 NASB

Night vision goggles were not an option in the day of Joshua. He needed more daylight to lead the Israelites to victory against the five allied kings that came against him.

Joshua led the Hebrew people into the Promised Land, but they had to fight the occupants for it. God said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you." (Joshua 10:8, NASB).

The Lord fought for His people as if He were almost literally throwing hailstones from the sky at the enemy. The Israelites fought using swords. But they needed more time, specifically daylight, so Joshua spoke to God requesting that the sun stand still. God granted his request for almost a whole day.

"There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel" (Joshua 10:14).

So there has never been a day like that since Joshua's request. However, man has had his attempts at taking advantage of daylight by adjusting the time, which confuses a lot of us (myself being one of them).

When the United States entered World War I, Daylight Saving Time was enacted to take advantage of the later daylight hours between April and October in effort to save energy for war production. Once again during World War II, the U.S. government required observance of the adjusted times to have more light hours. In 1966, Congress standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time. Then in 2007, the government lengthened the time by four weeks.

For me, some of the confusion comes because states and communities have the option to participate in Daylight Saving Time or not, as well as the recent change a few years ago on which Sunday the time "springs forward" and "falls back."

I confess, last weekend of October I was confused. I did not change my clocks, but as I prepared to walk out the door, my iPhone time showed it was an hour earlier. I looked in the newspaper and the internet for info about the time change. Well, my smart phone wasn’t so smart. I had to manually set it back forward. I had the right time and so glad my confusion was very temporary.

I hope you moved your clocks back yesterday and enjoyed the extra hour of sleep. God gave us time and we must live within those confines. Our government has tried to make us feel like we have more time, but regardless, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. I close with this C.S. Lewis quote about time.

Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. C. S. Lewis

Monday, November 1, 2010

Do Our Part

"Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.'" ~~Exodus 3:16-17 NIV

The Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob gave Moses a promise for the Israelites. For their time of suffering in Egypt, God led them to the Promised Land. A land flowing with milk and honey.

God being God keeps His word for He is not a man that should lie (Numbers 23:19). He never concealed the fact that the land was occupied. God told Moses and Moses conveyed the message to the Hebrew people.

The Pharaoh let God's people go and led them right to the Red Sea. It was there Moses was instructed by God to consecrate the first born male and to eat nothing containing yeast. This instituted the first observance of the Passover. Then Moses told them:

When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your forefathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month. ~~ Exodus 13:5

The people were advised that the land was occupied by others. When the people actually arrived at the border, Moses sent in spies to spy out the land. The spies then instilled fear in God's people with this report (Numbers 13:26-33, my paraphrase):

  • The land does flow with milk and honey.
  • Here's the fruit.
  • The people there are powerful.
  • We saw the Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Canaanites living there.
  • They are stronger so we can't attack.
  • The land devours those who live there.
  • The people are giants.
  • We look like grasshoppers.

Only Joshua and Caleb said, " We can do it." God promised the people the land, but they had to do their part. Because they failed to do their part, they spent 40 years in the wilderness.

In America, on Tuesday, we have an opportunity to do our part. God promised Abraham He would bless those who bless him. Our nation has so many blessings and promises from the Lord, but we must do our part. We MUST vote.

The Hebrew people were to take the land with weapons, but our weapons are our pencils at the polling places tomorrow. Our nation was founded on the belief of one nation under God. We can take this land by trusting God to lead us into battle as we exercise our freedoms by voting. Seek the Lord on whom to vote.

Typically fewer people turn out for mid-term elections. We can change what has been the norm. Let's not instill fear to be complacent among our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let's be like Joshua and Caleb saying, "We can do it!"

To continue to live in our land that flows with milk and honey, let's do our part.