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.

Friday, January 23, 2015

God's Guidance

I remember going on one of my dates with Anne the summer before we got married. I took her to a steep bluff (I call it "Half Peak") along the Mississippi River.  It was a very hot day and the woods instead of being cool were hot and humid.  The horse flies were biting through my socks (had scars for a year) and the climb was getting harder by the minute.  I wondered if Anne was having second thoughts about a man who would take her on a date like this.  Was it an adventure or more accurately, "labor of love" for Anne?  Nearing the top, it was so steep that we literally had to crawl to make headway.  The only bright spot for our efforts was a beautiful view and a cool breeze.  Many times in relationships, the best of laid plans seem to fall way short of what was hoped for.  We take our loved ones in the direction that we think will prove right, and what follows is less than glorious.  We then ask ourselves, did I misunderstand God in his leading?  Was I not really listening to what he was saying?  Did I really want this so badly that I believed that God was leading me in this direction? 

Anne has always had the philosophy when buying something of expense, that it is good to wait at least one day before purchasing it.  After being married for only a short time, I asked her why she did this since it was obvious to me that it might not be there tomorrow and it seemed like a good buy.  Her answer as it turned out was sound and I have found that it applies to so many things in life.
“I wait because right now my desires tells me to buy this item.  I am afraid that because of this, I might be impulse buying and not purchasing it out of need and necessity.  If I wait until at least tomorrow, it will give me time to think it through and make a wise choice by weighing the pros and cons of my purchase.”  Her wisdom has been a building block for many of our decisions since. 

I have found that this applies to everything from major purchases to a plethora of decisions that I have made over the years.  Do I always make wise choices, no.  Have I always prayed through something and waited on the Lord for his answer, again the answer is no.  
"I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
But the times that I have, God has led me in such a way that I can see when looking back, that his course was best.  Is it to say that “my” choices were bad? Again no.  But after looking back at what could have been, I saw that if I had waited on the Lord and listened to him through his word and gentle quiet voice speaking to me through his Holy Spirit, that it could have been a so much better way to go. 
"I shall hear a word behind me, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever I turn to the right or the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

Can God redeem “my” less than perfect choices?  Yes he can.  But many times I would not have had to, “Go around the desert one more time” like the headstrong children of God fleeing from the Pharaoh, if I had taken the time to listen to God first before making my decision.  I am finding that God’s direction sometimes requires patience on my part.  That too he can supply for me when I ask this of him.  God is patient with me and he waits for his child to seek him out, I just need to bend a knee to God and look away from my distractions long enough to find his perfect will.

"I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Son Will Celebrates His 12th Birthday Today

Our church watched the movie, "Heaven Is For Real" this afternoon.  It was hard watching it in the respect that we almost lost our son, Will, 12  years ago today (Will's birthday).  He was in nicu for 5 days and the doctors were not certain he would make it.  Will held on to my little finger all this time and he continually stared into my eyes while under an oxygen hood.  I gave him to the Lord that day when he was born.  It was so hard to do, since I was not knowing whether God would take him to heaven or
allow our son to stay with us.  We lost our first child two years previous, and now I was so in love with my newborn son the very first moment I saw him.  God was so gracious and Will made it through his illness.  So many prayers were going to heaven those first few days of his life.  I have never ceased thanking God for my son since that first day of his life
Will (Right) in Christmas Presentation
twelve years ago.  God is so good!  Happy birthday son, I love you so very much!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Seeking God's Direction

Like many of us when wanting to know God’s leading and will for a particular direction in our lives, we struggle at times to see through the clouds of doubt, anxiousness and concern.  We want to know his will, but we find ourselves wavering in a sea of confusion.  “What should I do, is this the direction I should go,  or is it another way?  Should I wait on the Lord, or take the first opportunity that comes my way and hope that it is God’s leading.  Should I do what was done in the casting of lots in seeking God’s direction for the apostles, that is, in who was to take Judas Iscariot’s place?”  The choices go on and on with endless possibilities it seems.   See:   Here within this hyperlink the author speaks about how lots are replaced with the Holy Spirit in discerning God’s will. 

There are many collective sayings going around, “ A ship in the harbor may be safe, but it is in the midst of the storm that the boat goes forth.”   “Every journey begins with one step.”  But is it God’s desire for me to be in the midst of the storm, or for me to seek a safe haven instead?  Should I wait upon the Lord or begin with a first step?

There are cult groups throughout time that have determined in their own minds that if the right sequence of numbers or letters are derived at, then the secrets of the Bible will be revealed and all the answers to our many questions will be answered.  On the other hand, many believe that it is wrong to place our prayers up to God without reflection and self examination first.  They say that our prayers cannot be treated like a drive through window with an order placed before his throne with hopes that God chooses to answer our prayer in time.   

I believe that these questions are good to have.  It compels us to examine our relationship with God.  I believe that the truth is, there is no perfect way to approach God.  It is a growing process in walking with our Lord.  We want to know everything and we desire to walk the right paths in life, paths that God would support in our walk with him.  But, the truth is, we many times don’t choose to go his way.  Feelings, hidden desires, outside influences, health, the climate around us all play a part in our decision processes.    And this makes for much confusion and despair at times.  In 1st Corthinians 13:12  Paul writes, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”  Paul states that we can only see God’s will and purpose for the time and duration that he has set for this season of our life.  So what do we do, walk in darkness and wonder if God is
leading us?

Perhaps a glimpse of the life of the apostle Paul can reveal to us his walk with God.  In reading 2 Corinthians 2: 12-14 Paul is talking about his journey ahead.
“12 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-by to them and went on to Macedonia. 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”

Reading in these passages we see that Paul went forth in faith and believed that God was going before him.  He saw that God permitted Paul to go to Troas and yet Paul found no peace of mind.  Evidence was shown to Paul by the fact that his fellow disciple, Titus was not there.  We see that Paul was sensitive to God’s leading by the LACK OF PEACE that he felt in his heart.  Outward evidence was true as well, by Paul “seeing” that Titus was not there.  Paul was using his senses to confirm the way that God was leading him.

We see in Acts 16:9-10 that Paul is given a vision by our Lord in guiding his walk. 
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to
preach the gospel unto them.”  Taken from:

God in this instance used a vision to guide the apostle Paul.  Did God always use this method, the answer we view in the New Testament is, no.  We see that there are countless methods God has chosen to use in relaying his message and direction for his people throughout the New Testament.  He speaks to us through many methods, but in all of these approaches, God uses “his” way to communicate.     God asks us to have an open heart, a willingness to follow his leading, and the desire to listen to his voice, and as well, a yearning to do “God’s” will as he leads us.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

My Son, Will.

Will is going to be 12 on the  17th of this month.  I recall when he was about "2" we took a train ride to LaCrosse, Wisconsin from Winona.  Will really loved Thomas the Tank Engine and to be able to get a train ride, and with grandpa too, it was a most wonderful day.  Children do in fact grow up very quickly.  Sometimes it is hard for parents to keep pace.  I find myself, at times wanting to watch Thomas the Tank Engine with him still.  What a great privilege and a blessing from God to be a parent.