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.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

His Only Son

On this Christmas Day we remember what God has done for us. He sent his "only" son into the world knowing that his beloved little child would one day be a sacrifice for our sins.

As I thought of this I remember how much love I have for my son and how we almost lost him just about 14 years ago. As he was under an oxygen tent fighting for his life, I was fervently praying that God would hear my prayer and heal my only son. As I was praying, Will reached out with his tiny hand and held my little finger from under the tent and he never let go. He looked into my eyes with his and never looked away. It was as if God was telling me, "I have heard your prayers and I will save your son!" It was a miracle in how his lung attached and he was able to breath on his own. It was an answer to prayer that I am so so very thankful for. All I have to do is to think of those precious moments and days after Will's birth, and of the many days, weeks and years that followed with the growing love and joy that he has brought into our lives. There are times now that I look up too.
him, at his towering 6' frame and I reach over and grasp his big hand and then reach down and hold his little finger. Will then looks over at me and knows what that means and he gives me a warm understanding smile of recognition. He knows that as his father, I love him more than life itself, and that I will never let go of that love for him.

I see now in how God loved "his" only son, but for him to know ahead of time that his little baby would one day lay his own life down for us; for Jesus to do so willingly, I can only imagine how much pain was in God's heart at that moment. For God to see Jesus go through all the agony and pain that he would endure for us, it must have broken God's heart. Since God could not look at sin, he turned his back when Jesus bore our sin for us on the cross. I now realize that it must have broken both of their hearts that day. But, God and his son knew that it was the only way for our salvation. Oh how God loves you and me to give us his only son that we might accept him and come to live with him forever. Even knowing this now, I have only an inkling of his love for us. Thank you Father for loving us so much that you would give your only son for our sins. I know that you too held your little baby's hand in the manger that day of your son's birth, and you were willing to let go of it for a short time in order for you to gather your children to yourself.

John 3:16. "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Fire Light

Friday, December 8, 2017

When Heaven's Gate Seems to be Closed

Have you ever prayed for something and nothing seemed to happen? When this occurs, do you ever wonder if God is refusing to listen to your pleas?
I woke up this morning feeling that way about my prayers that I placed before God these last several weeks, and  nothing seemed to be happening. The thought went through my mind, "Could it be that heaven's doors do in fact close at times?"

As I sat in the darkness before the fire that I made, early this

morning, I prayed, "Lord, I believe, please help me with my unbelief!" I then recalled the story of a pleading father in the Bible who asked Jesus to heal his child by saying, "If you can, heal my child." Jesus responded by saying, "If I can? Anything is possible for those who believe!" The father's response, "I believe, please help my unbelief?" was exactly where I was at this morning.

Each day I read my devotions from the Bible in sequence, book by book, chapter by chapter. Today I did not want to open my Bible to read God's word. Call it being stubborn, call it a lack of faith, I just couldn't do it. Then I recalled from my past, "When it is the hardest time to open God's word, it is this time that I need to do it the most." So, I opened the scripture to the beginning of Matthew and read the account of Jesus' birth. In reading the passages of Joseph, I saw that he was going to divorce Mary in private, not wanting her to suffer humiliation by her relatives and community. Then I perceived as I read, Joseph must have been devastated, his dreams of marriage to Mary were dashed along with his planned future. His embarrassment he would have to face along with an empty uncertain future. This changed for him when an angel appeared in a dream and he was told that he must marry Mary and that God was going to change the world by Mary's unplanned birth. God had different plans than Joseph and God's plans were much greater than his.

A king was to be born, not in a palace, but a humble stable,
another event that Joseph had not planned nor accounted for. Next, his fleeing with Mary and the infant Jesus to Egypt was another event that he had not planned for or for that matter, one Joseph was not looking forward to.

After king Herod's death he was told he could return to Israel, but he could not go home, it was to be Nazareth instead of Bethlehem. This was not the town that Joseph had hoped to live in I am sure. In Joseph's day the term, "Nazarene" was virtually a synonym for "despised" as recorded in John 1:45-46. What went through my mind as I was reading these passages is what Joseph might have thought, "What is God thinking, for him to send us to this horrid place?"
Another plan that Joseph had not accounted for or even wanted. In pondering this further, it was a perfect place for Jesus, a place where no one wanted to be or exercise any treacherous and revengeful influence, such as "Archelaus" the son of Herod the dead king. In all this, God had a plan, it was not what Joseph had in mind I am sure, but Joseph was willing to listen and obey God. Through his obedience, Joseph exercised his faith.
After reading this I realized, "Can I do no less by waiting on God when there is silence from heaven's gate?" God was showing me that when reading this account of Joseph, that he is working even when it appears that nothing is happening, and my obedience is to wait on "His" plans to unfold. I am beginning to realize that God is not "Testing" my faith so much as he is causing it to increase. Without the opportunity in waiting and trusting in God's plan, faith cannot in fact grow. After my reluctance in reading the scripture this morning, I now see that Jesus was in fact answering my prayer, "Lord I believe, help my unbelief."

Monday, December 4, 2017

He Cares for Even the Little Things

In speaking with Anne before going to bed last night about the events of Abby's missing wallet, she mentioned a conversation she had with Abby when taking her to Target to meet with Abby's girlfriends. Abby, "Mom, if God can heal the sick and make the blind to see and the deaf to hear, he can find my wallet!" Sometimes God uses the faith of children to strengthen that of the adults around them. What a great reminder that God is bigger than our greatest problems, but he cares for even the smallest of details in our lives. Many times it is just the opposite for us adults, the more we become favored in the public's eye, sometimes we care less for the people around us and their concerns. But, God is never that way. 
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Lost Coins

God hears our prayers. Abby had been looking for her wallet this afternoon, but to no avail. She looked for a long time to her disappointment. I understood from Anne that she wanted to buy something at the store. Anne later had left Abby with her friends at Target with the message to Abby of possibly window shopping for now until we find her wallet. When getting home Anne began to cry when she told me, "Abby has worked so hard for her money that she saved up and this is so disappointing for her. I just didn't have the money on me to give her what she lost" After seeing Anne heart broke and Abby so disappointed, I was determined more than ever to find her wallet.
As I began to look for Abby's wallet we got a phone call that one of Abby's friends had left her purse on the back seat of our car, so I went down to drop it off. I had some money in my wallet so I gave it to Abby when dropping off her friend's purse. Later, when getting home, I searched the couch cushions, in between car seats, bedrooms and the like, but to no avail. Anne even called Abby's grandma and grandpa to see if Abby had left it in their van. Unfortunately, it was not there either. The money amount was not great, but to Abby it was the world to her. Abby worked many hours for that precious amount in her purse. Later, I found out from Anne that Abby was going to buy Christmas gifts for some of her friends with that money in her wallet. After hearing this I looked over at Anne on the couch and said, "Lets pray about this!" As I bowed my head to pray, I looked down and what was unbelievable appeared before my eyes on the couch cushion, her wallet. God is so good, he knows our needs and he cares for us so very much. 
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
(Matthew 18:10-14)
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around to listen to Jesus. So the Pharisees and scribes began to grumble: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the pasture and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, comes home, and calls together his friends and neighbors to tell them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep!’ In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who do not need to repent.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
Or what woman who has ten silver coins and loses one of them does not light a lamp, sweep her house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors to say, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.”