Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why did God choose me?

This story was shared in our registration packet at the last Ladies Retreat I went to. I love the way the author gives us no excuses for ignoring what God called us to do.

by Grantley Morris

There are many reasons why God shouldn't have called you, but don't worry, you're in good company.

Moses stuttered.
David's armor didn't fit.
John Mark was rejected by Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Jesus was too poor.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a murderer.
So was Moses.
Jonah ran from God.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Mary was lazy.
Samson had long hair.
Noah got drunk.
Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul--well, lots of folks did.

But God doesn't require a job interview. He doesn't hire and fire like most bosses, because He's more our Dad than our Boss. He doesn't look at financial gain or loss. He's not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.

As much as we try, God's gifts are free. We could do wonderful things for wonderful people and still not be ...Wonderful. The adversary says, "You're not worthy." Jesus says, "So what? I AM." The adversary looks back and sees our mistakes. God looks back and sees the cross. He doesn't calculate what you did in '78. It's not even on the record.

Sure, there are lots of reasons why God shouldn't have called us. But if we are in love with Him, if we hunger for Him more than our next breath, He'll use us in spite of who we are, where we've been, or what we look like. I pray that as Christians, we will step out of our limitations into the illimitable nature of who God is. Then our passion for God and our passion to communicate Him will make mince-meat of our limitations.

Like vine branches, we are not continually laden with fruit. That would be unnatural. For a significant portion of its life, a grapevine is nothing but a dry, twisted stick; fruitless, useless for shade, worthless as timber; to all appearances fit only to be ripped from the ground and reduced to ashes. Yet those barren times are as vital in the life of the vine, as the seasons of fruit.

If spring could tip-toe passed nature without stirring it from its winter slumber; if the sun could slip through the sky without dispelling the night; if rain could fall to the ground without bringing life to the desert - only then should you fear dry times, dark times, lean times. Though you feel as useless as a fur coat in a heat-wave, the time will come when your warmth is treasured. For everything there is a season.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If I Had My Life To Live Over

by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

© Erma Bombeck

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Perfect Mistake

By: Author Unknown

My Mother's father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to orphanages in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what had happened; the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!

The Great Depression was at its height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was really upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. "It's not fair," he told God as he drove home in frustration. "I've been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this."

Months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather's small church in Chicago.

The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. "But most of all," he said, "I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses wedged between two blankets.

The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: "Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that."

The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas. But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.

There are times we want to blame God instead of thanking him! Perhaps it is something we ought to try more often, "Thank you, God, for not allowing my car to start this morning." He may have been saving your life from a car accident. "Lord Jesus, thank you for letting me lose my glasses; I'm sure they'll be put to good use or there is a lesson to be learned."

I have to remember this in these times of trial with my own family.

May GOD bless your week. Look for the perfect mistakes.

God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. - Phil 4:19

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Bible in a Year

Have you ever read through the entire Bible?

Have you ever done it in a year?

I have read the whole Bible, but never in one stretch, and I want to do that. I want to do that in 2010. I marveled the other day at how I could read novel after novel and not be able to set it down. But, when it comes to my daily Bible reading, I constantly fall short. I think that 10 verses is enough meat for the day. It's usually not.

Why is that? Do you struggle, too? There are so many Bible reading plans available out there. They take sections of the Old Testament and New Testament, as well as Psalms or Proverbs, and you read a little bit each day. Over the span of a year, you cover the entire Bible. There's Bible Gateway, and My Daily Bread. These devotional plans can be downloaded, emailed, listened to and watched on YouTube. The amount of Bible access we have is astounding. Why don't we (why don't I?) use it?

I want to read the Bible as a story - cover to cover. Not in one sitting, obviously, but in one year. If I can read 2000 pages of other books in a single week, then surely I should be able to read my Bible, which is only 2035 pages long, in a year. And that is with 2 versions, so divide that by 2 and you get 1017.5 pages... that is like only three and a half days worth of reading.

However, we are now in the middle of August and I am still in Exodus. The good news is this - 2010 is NOT over yet! And the even better news is that I could read my Bible anywhere I want in this entire country and nobody would ever bother me. I can even go into a regular bookstore, and even some grocery stores, and find a Bible on the shelf to buy.

I once bought a Bible at Superstore for $10. The girl at the till said she'd never seen a Bible go through her till before, and she had to call someone for a price on it! I gave that Bible away.

The Bible I am reading out of right now is a parallel Bible which includes the NIV and Message versions. It was a gift from my husband for my 29th Birthday. That was 5 years ago, and it is not as beat up as it should be in that amount of time. Bibles should wear out from overuse. Bibles should be replaced because you are giving them away to people that don't have one of their own. When someone says, "That's my Bible." They should be really talking about a BIBLE, and not the latest Ikea catalogue or a car magazine.

The B-I-B-L-E... now, THAT'S the book for me. Can you (can I?!) say that with full meaning? It's one of the ways God speaks to us. His word is living and active.

Read it. Live it. Believe it.


I am gearing up for BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) this Fall. I am excited that my daughter will get to come along with me and be part of the kids' program. My boys went 2 years ago, and they learned so much.

I learned so much, too. It is a Bible study program like non other that I have ever been a part of. There is a 4 step process to the study, so you really get to the heart of a passage of scripture.

It's been two years since I've really studied my Bible that way, and I am long overdue for dissecting and digesting the Word like that.

This year's study is on the book of Isaiah, and it is a new addition to the BSF studies. In the past, there were 7 years of studies and then you repeat again. Isaiah will be the 8th study added to the rotation.

If you are not in a Bible Study this Fall, please check out the BSF link, and find a Bible Study group near you. You'll be so glad you did. There are groups for men, women and kids.


From the creators of Fireproof, Facing the Giants and Flywheel, comes a new movie, Courageous. Join the Facebook group for updates, and plan to go see Courageous in theatres. Get the message out there that we want good quality movies in our theatres.