Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trusting God

Trusting God 

We wait for the storm to pass when we see all things more clearly, in God's light.
Doesn’t it seem at times that the days go by very quickly?  One thing after another leads to a full day of events.  After a while, if one looks back at the year, we wonder where it went.  When looking to the past, one year seems to blend with all the others.  First, 5 years and then 10, and soon twenty years have passed and it becomes hard to pinpoint the different events that made up all those seasons of our lives.  We celebrate birthdays, weddings, and one day when we least expect it, funerals are a part of our schedule as well.  Life is but a breath King David of Israel once said.  When I first read that passage, I was in my 20s and I thought that David must have been wrong.  “I have a lifetime of ‘stuff’ ahead of me.”  Now looking back I see that what David had said was so true, life does pass too quickly. 

Old Railroad Inn in Jackson, Minnesota
I have come to realize that it is not the years that a man lives that make him wise, it is in “how” he lives that results in wisdom gained.  I can look back and see that I have made many mistakes in my life.  Am I wise?  I cannot say for sure, I think it must be left for others to determine that.  I am reminded of my father who once told me, “Making mistakes is a part of being human, but how you learn from those same mistakes is the beginning of regret, or the road to wisdom.”  I have to say that in some cases I have regret in my life, while yet in others, they have been very much learning events for me.   Either way, most are ones that I do not wish to repeat.  Life though is made up of these experiences that we go through. 

Anne, Abby and Will at the Whitewater State Park
Perhaps one never learns more than when teaching your own children how to make right choices.  Every parent wants for their child to not have to go through the difficulties that they themselves have experienced, but in some cases we have to let our children go and give them over to God, especially when they are grown and our influence is least felt.  As a child grows though, we hope to find that what we have taught them, allows for more independence with every right choice that they make.  We then eventually find that our children are a reflection of who we are, and that can bring with it some regret and/or pride. 

The home where I grew up.
In our limited wisdom we at times come to realize that some things are beyond our abilities, and we must admit that we are helpless to effect change. The one medium that we as parents do not do as often as we should, is to pray for our children.  God though knows what is needed for each child even before we as parents ask of him.  (Matthew 6:8)  He does want us to ask though.  God hears our prayers and he answers those requests in the time that ‘he’ determines that will help our child the most.  I encourage you as a parent to be patient, and trust God to do his work.  (Psalms 37:5)


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The War Within

I am sitting here very early in the morning listening to the rain falling on the skylight above my bed.  The soft pitter-patter of the rain lulls me to sleep and then for some reason I am awake again.  I shift right and then left trying to find a place that will allow me to fall asleep once more.  After about a half hour of tossing and turning I decide to get up and I look at the clock and it says 5:15 a.m.  I walk over to the coffee maker and push the button and open my Bible to the page that I have book marked in Romans 6.  I say my prayer asking God to give me insight into what I am about to read. 

While sitting before God’s word, I find my body relaxing, and my mind which was troubled before is now being calmed, and I feel a peace fall over me.  In meditating on what I just read, I realize that God’s word is life to my weary soul.  I next pick up my computer and read about the war in Syria, and see slides of the carnage to body and land that war creates.  I look at signs made by the war weary, they are asking for our help and pleading to us to assist them in their quest to win this war.  In the photos, they seem to look at me and ask, “Why are you not helping me?”  This troubles me greatly.

My heart is saddened in how we treat one another, and the apparent futility of war and what harm it does for so many people.  I have seen this in the past, that when reason leaves, it is because anger has taken its place, and then what is left is destruction. 
I know that when we allow ourselves to be ruled by anything other than Jesus Christ, we become a slave to its bidding.  Before war takes place between people, it first is present within our souls.  If we choose not to give over to God what is his, (our right to . . .) then we become the servant of what it is that rules our hearts, whether that be anger, vengeance, greed, coveting, lust etc.  The list goes on and on when we find that our struggle is fought alone, that is, without God at our side. 

Jesus says in his word (John 16:33), “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”   We realize then that God has already won the victory; all we have to do is let Jesus into our hearts daily, and allow him to deal with the things that trouble us.

In Proverbs 3:25-26 the Bible says, “Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.”   If we then allow God to be apart of our lives, he promises to take care of us, and all our needs that we have each day.

“I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.  I lay down and slept.  I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.  I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.”  (Psalm 3:4-6.)  God will protect us and he will help us with all our needs that we have today, even when our circumstances try to tell us differently.  God will always find a way.  Give your cares to Jesus today; he will help you because he loves you enough that he died for you.


Sunday, April 15, 2012



Teaching my son Will to blow snow.
Today storms are popping up from Texas all the way north to Minnesota with tornadoes sprouting in most of the states in the Midwest.  Right now, here we are having high winds with many dark clouds passing overhead.  During times like this I am glad we are not living on the prairie as Anne and I once did.  Anne is from North Dakota, there the wind does not seem to ever slow down.  I on the other hand grew up in Southwestern Minnesota where the wind is at such a premium that they are building wind farms as fast as they can construct them.  When driving through my home area recently, I found myself watching the huge wind generators at work.   One almost sees their propellers doing a ballet of motion, as they are all in sync one with another.  Since we now live several hundred feet below the prairie in the Mississippi River Valley, we have only a fraction of the wind that is blowing on the prairie above us.  As I listen sometimes to the high winds hitting the ridge tops, I look into the valley below and I seem to almost see God’s giant hands cupped around us, protecting us from the elements blowing far above. 

Winter time residents, cardinals.
When first coming to Winona, I was amazed at the snow falling straight down rather than at a 45 to 90 degree angle as it does so many times back home.  Anne once half jokingly told me that she almost fell over one day after moving to Winona when opening her car door.  She found absolutely no wind pressure holding her in the car. 

Each of you reading this are from different parts of the world, United States, Africa, China, Mongolia, Canada as well as different parts of Europe.   You have many different climates with extremes that might make where I live seem rather tame.  I have to admit though that we live in a world that has as many variables in weather as people that live in them.  God has made each of us as unique as the snowflakes that fall to our feet, not one is alike.  Though each of us are unique individuals, just as different as those snow flakes that fall to the ground around us, we are each very special in God’s eyes. 

God's Promise

I want to thank each one of you for taking the time in reading my blog regularly.  
Please feel free to share what is on your mind at any time here on my blog.  I would love to hear from you, and I am sure many other readers would enjoy reading what you have to say as well.  God Bless you,  August.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Current Events and God's Word

Today the sun is shining and the temperatures are below normal with a low of 28 degrees at 7 a.m. this morning.  It seems that March and April have traded places this year.  All is all though; it is a wonderful day with a coolness that would be appreciated come July or August. 

I have been following the political issues in the Middle East, perhaps as you have been.  Our Navy ships are now sailing into the area around Iran; this is being done in order to support our interests concerning Iran.  Russia on the other hand, is sending more troops into the same area through neighboring Georgia to Armenia, that borders Iran.  In counteracting the United States moves, Russia is in turn is rattling their sabers saying that if Iran is attacked, they will respond in kind toward any aggressors, including the U.S.  China as well, has recently been asked by the people of Pakistan to establish a naval base within its borders.
    Not only is Russia moving troops into Armenia, they also have a naval base in nearby Syria and are supporting the existing government there.  Syria now is in a state of civil war with hundreds and thousands of citizens being killed each day in their struggle for control of the government.  This unrest is now spreading rapidly to other Middle Eastern countries as well.  It seems that all of the Middle East is becoming a powder keg waiting to explode.  Where will all this end?
Are we heading in Revelation?   As Christians, we are told in the Bible that we will not know of the hour of Jesus’ return and the end times events leading to his arrival, only God will know.  As Christians though, we are informed that we must be aware of the signs of the times and be prepared.  Jesus tells us through the story of the 10 virgins waiting for the groom to arrive, that we must be prepared for these events to come as written in Matthew 25:3.  Paul admonishes us, as well, to be prepared for the end times as recorded in 1 Thes. 5.  As Christians, we need to be in prayer as well as reading God’s word, and not to be fearful of the these things, because God has a plan for each of us. 

The following areas listed are signs of the end times in the Bible.

1.    Godlessness in the Last Days  II Tim. 3:3-5,7
2.    Falling away from the faith.  I Tim.  4:1-3
3.    200,000,000 man army in the East.  Rev. 9:16
4.    Redevelopment of the Roman Empire.  Dan. 2:32-33 / Dan. 2:40-43
5.    Rebuilding the Temple   Rev. 11:2/Dan. 9:27/Dan. 9/26
6.    Increase of Knowledge and Travel.  Dan. 12:4
7.    Return of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.  Zeph. 3:10
8.    The rise of Russia.  Ezekiel 38:2,4,8
9.    Return of Russian Jews to Israel.  Jer. 23:7-8
10.           Mark of the Beast.  Rev. 13:16-17
11.           Instant communication globally.  Rev. 11:3,7-10

These are just but a few of the signs of the coming age.  Still, we do not know when these times will arrive, but again, we are admonished to be aware of the signs of these things happening.  Read God’s word concerning the end times and be diligent in reading the latest news of what is happening around the world, and finally pray, pray for understanding in what God would have you do.

Do I believe that these things are happening now?  It is hard to say, but if it is not during our age, then I believe we are in the birth pains stage.  I also trust that when these things occur, they will take place very quickly, as do most events happening today. 

Again, I would encourage you to study God’s word while at the same time, pray and ask for his understanding. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Troubled Hearts

Today I awoke and noticed a beautiful sunrise.  This in itself gave me hope that all is well, and my world is untouched.  But, this thought gave me a moment of pause and I wondered, what about those who woke up and found that someone in their family was hurt or dying, or their world had been turned upside down in some way?  Does the sunrise have the same meaning for them that it did for me this morning, obviously not? 

We constantly desire that life, which is so fragile, continue each day the way that it has all the days before.  But, for some of us on this day, it will not be the case.  Life’s unexpected circumstances at times do not fall into place, and we are left with many unexplained hardships that leave us with no adequate answers to meet the challenges that lie before us.  Where do we then find that place of solace that we so desperately seek?  The sunrise that gave us so much peace and joy yesterday, now somehow echoes an empty promise that the day will go well.  What do we do then?

When King Saul, a king who wanted to kill David, was pursuing him,
David found himself overwhelmed by the sheer necessity in just staying alive.  Feeling overcome by circumstances, David learned through these hardships that his solace was to be found in his God.  “The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.  In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.  From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.  . . .  You have made known to me the path of life. . .” Psalms 18

David realized that he could not rely on the everyday elements around him to give him comfort, peace and protection that he so desired.  He knew that his faith was the key to getting through these hard times, even when circumstances denied this peace that he so craved.  We do not know why hardships enter our lives at times, God doesn’t always tell us the reasons why.  His will is that we trust in him during these times of darkness.  In Romans 8:28 Paul tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  We at times cannot see the “good” that Paul talks about but, during these moments, we must walk by faith, a faith that goes beyond our desire for answers.  In time though, like the blossoms of spring, we eventually will see the fruits of his promises come forth.  By trusting him today, we will experience this inner peace that passes all understanding.  Jesus tells his disciples who were suffering, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27

May Jesus our Savior surround you this day with his love and peace.