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, January 18, 2014

Maturing in My Faith

Many times in life some of us wish that it would be nice to live in a castle in some far away land. We look outside at the snow and clouds and wonder what it would be like to live a fairy tale existence.  For most people in the world, we here in the U.S. do live in castles compared to them.  We have wealth matched by no other country throughout time.  Our parents worked all their lives to live in a house that we have now.

Those that have lost their health, or a loved ones, these material dreams seem so much less important.  Thoughts go back to the times that we wished we should have settled for less, and spent more time with those that are gone, a time when one's health could have allowed it.   We do have the chance today to do what we can with the physical abilities still given to us; abilities that allow us to love those around us that need us so desperately.
For some, it is time to leave the past in the past and do what we can today.  In doing a self inventory, we may find that God has blessed us more than we deserve.  He has given to us a life worth an infinite amount of wealth.  As long as I breath, I am slowly finding that I need to strive to be the blessing God desires of me to be to others as he has been to myself.

In visiting an elderly friend in the hospital the other day, to my surprise, I found that this wonderful saint wanted to know my needs and politely asked if she could place them on a pray chain.  In her illness and pain, she was thinking of others and not herself.  What a Christian model for us all.  I left uplifted and yet very humbled by her selflessness.  So many times I have found myself left wanting, feeling that I have so far to go in my faith.  But during my quiet times with God he assures me by his spirit and his word that I am his, and that he will not let me go.  He tells me that he has wonderful plans for me yet, plans that will give me hope and a great future.
God gives me glimpses of who he wants me to be by allowing me to know people like this wonderful elderly woman whose eyes are fixed on Jesus and his love for his children.   I do so want to mature in my faith like this wonderful lady.  Thank you Lord for helping me to refocus on what is important.

JeremiahJeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Here I am Lord, teach me to listen.

Each day we have a choice in how it will progress.  I have found for myself that it is not in external events that make my choices for me, it is in my attitude.  The times that my day has looked less than joyful has been my decision, whether conscious or otherwise.

Introspection many times is the key that helps us to see beyond our circumstances.  It makes a way to escape our surroundings and look at another path to peace and contentment.

There will be times though that life is just too much for us.  It is during these events that everything seems to be crashing down around us and we find ourselves in a pit of despair with no apparent escape.

Turning to Jesus first each day is a must long before we reach our desperation point.  Our Lord helps us to see beyond what our feelings, thoughts, and surroundings show us.  Sometimes though it is tough to find a quiet place to escape in spending time with Jesus.  Life it seems is just too overwhelming with what might transpire inexpectantly.  It is in these times as well that we can ask him to give us this help that we so desperately need.  He does not abandon us, we only have to call on him and he will be there.

"Lord, I am weak and you are strong, please be my strength and wisdom, show me the way?  Teach me how to listen to your voice?"

John 10:2-5 (NIV) "The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Birth and God's Miracle

These last few months our family has been praying for my wife's sister Gayle Porter who lives in the extreme southern part of Texas in a town called Brownsville.  Gayle is a nurse who has a gentle nature, and some of her patients have called her "The Angel."  She is loved by people at work and those within her church.

Gayle has health issues of her own that she deals with, an auto immune disorder.  Several years ago she gave birth to a wonderful baby boy.  Just before the child was born though, Gayle was rushed to Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota where doctors frantically worked on her in an effort to save the baby and Gayle.  Her blood pressure was out of control and it looked as if she was going to die.  Her eyes hemorrhaged and she became blind shortly after giving birth to a beautiful baby boy, Nathaniel Porter.  Not only could she now not see, Gayle could not feed her baby due to the fact that she was on so many medications.  On top of all that, the eye doctor now told her that she would be blind for the rest of her life.

Escaping death by shear hours, Gayle was now facing the fact that she could not see even to the end of her bed.  I cannot imagine what was going through her mind, Gayle now would not be able to see even her own little baby boy.  God though had a plan.

 Many people were praying for Gayle during those moments of trial.  Pastor Dennis Hudson during this time brought Gayle's gentle and soft spoken grandmother Marjorie Dalzell to see her.  Together they prayed for Gayle at the hospital.  A miracle was about to take place.  Within hours Gayle's vision started to improve and in a short time it was completely restored.  The doctor's were amazed and perplexed by what they saw when they examined her.  During these same moments in time, Gayle's dangerously high blood pressure returned to normal as well. (James 5:16  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  

God heard all the prayers given up to him and honored the faithfulness of those that believed in his power.  One such mighty prayer warrior was Marjorie Dalzell.  Marjorie is now in heaven with her pastor husband, Ron Dalzell.  Together they are looking down and seeing their legacy growing in numbers.  Yesterday another blessing was given in the form of a little girl named Elizabeth Anne Porter.  But before this happened, Gayle was airlifted to a larger hospital 2 1/2 hours from Brownsville in Corpus Christi.  Her blood pressure was again out of control and the placenta was deteriorating fast.  Again many prayers went up for Gayle.  Even Pastor Dennis Hudson who he himself in a hospital bed was praying fervently for her and the baby.  A choir in Rochester stopped and prayed for her during this time.  Many people in Gayle's church were also praying for her and Gayle's baby.  God once again heard the prayers of his people.  Gayle's blood pressure immediately dropped when a emergency C section was done, and both her and the baby are now doing fine.  Both Elizabeth and her mommy are improving every hour.  Praise God for his many blessings.

My wife and daughter, Anne and Abby along with Gayle's parents, John and Marji Gustafson, and along with those, Anne's brother Brandon Gustafson are driving non stop to Texas to be with Gayle, her husband Stephen, son Nathaniel and of course baby Elizabeth Anne Porter.  God is so good!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Success and Failure

In a recent post someone shared with me the statement, "Do not be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try."

So many times I said this to my students who were too afraid to try.  They were coming from places where not trying meant they would not fail, and that had always been ok with those family and friends in their lives.  Failure and success are sisters.

Thomas Edison was once told that it must be discouraging to have failed so many times in getting the light bulb to work.  He responded by saying that they were not failures, but only ways that did not work.  You need to understand, Edison saw failed attempts not as failure, but only as closed doors that one needed to find the right key in unlocking them.

When  attempting anything, one has to come to realize that you are already in the house, it just now means that you have to find the right door and unlock it!
Revelation 3:20
20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Jesus will give us the strength that we need to complete the task before us, if we first ask this of him.  He wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives, if we invite him in to our home (our heart) today.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Eyes to See Without Sight

God's compassion and forgiveness goes beyond our understanding and that is ok.  We just need to trust him, and in his love for us.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Isn't it puzzling in how sometimes we choose to look at the darkness rather than the light?

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”