Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Thanksgiving Day reminds me that a grateful heart is a Christian woman’s best medicine! It makes the continual adjustments we inevitably face in our day to day walk with Christ easier to handle. Gratefulness is a like a great view of life. It enriches our lives, allowing us to enjoy any size blessing, not just the biggies.
Gratefulness accepts each and every situation, allowing us to see how it enriches our lives. Gratefulness isn’t visionary, it accepts what is instead of longing for what could be. Gratefulness cannot dwell in a heart filled with bitterness or discontentment.
Like internal fog, discontentment and ungratefulness obscures our spiritual sight. It keeps us from enjoying what God has given us.
When we are grateful for the good things God has already given to us we are able to see more clearly the other blessing that may have been block by the "fog". On the other hand, when we are ungrateful, we tend to shut ourselves off from the blessings we might otherwise experience and lose a time of growth.

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude. ~Robert Brault

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~William A. Ward

Live out your gratitude, today. Keep a biblical perspective, giving thanks in all things! If I could use only a few words to speak to the LORD, I wonder what I would say. "I'm sorry." "I love you." "I surrender." "I'm Yours." I think I would say "Thank You, LORD!" For there are not a few words to describe what I feel about the Gift given to us. But, "Thank You, LORD" seems like a start.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Touch of the Master's Hand

It was battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."
And many a man with life out of tune
All battered with bourbon and gin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.
Myra Brooks Welch

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tick Tock by Chris Rice

I'd love to say something along with this song; but he says it all! I hope you enjoy it! Oh, don't forget to pause the music on the side, before playing the video!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Just a Coincidence

I went to a worldview class today and we were learning a little about ways to "prove" the Bible. I thought you might like to hear some neat facts!

Let’s consider the odds of all the prophecies about the Messiah in the OT being fulfilled by someone who walked the earth since the beginning of time until this day. If it wasn’t divine intervention, then perhaps we can measure the odds of it happening by chance. Well, there are 109 direct prophecies the Messiah must fulfill according to OT Scripture. (There are over 300 if we included the indirect prophecies He fulfilled) The odds of anyone fulfilling just 20/109 are 1/12,000,000,000,000!

What about probability that one single individual since the beginning of time until now could fulfill just the eight following conditions?

1. Come from Bethlehem: 1 in 10,000 (rough estimate)
2. A messenger will prepare the way for him and then the Lord will come to His Temple: 1 in 1,000 (rough estimate)
3. Ride on a donkey into Jerusalem and be declared as a righteous king having salvation: 1 in 10,000 (rough estimate)
4. Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver: 1 in 1,000
5. Silver returned, thrown into the Temple and used for the Potters field: 1 in 100,000
6. No defense though innocent: 1 in 1,000
7. Crucified (predicted before it was invented): 1 in 10,000
8. Bones not broken: 1 in 100 (rough estimate)

That makes the possibilities 1 in 10 to the 28th power. You do the math! To be fair, this could have been fulfilled by anyone who has lived since the time of these prophecies which would include 8.8 billion people. Of course the Temple must be standing, so that could slice 2/3 of history off this exponential number, but let's not.

Therefore the odds of these eight prophecies happening by chance to one particular man within that time frame is found by dividing 10 to the 28th power by 10 to the 10th power, which gives us 10 to the 18th power.

How big a number is that? Let’s take a silver dollar. So let’s look at that huge number that is required in order to make eight of these prophesies come to pass in one man since the beginning of time up until today. Let’s pretend that you had 10 to 18th power silver dollars. Do you know how many that is? It is enough to fill an area two feet deep. How big is the area? We would need to take the whole state of Texas and cover it with silver dollars to a depth of two feet. This area is 268,581 square miles and remember that it is filled two feet deep with silver dollars. That is an unbelievable amount of silver dollars.

We aren’t done yet. The next step is to mark one of them, randomly place it somewhere in the state of Texas. Finally we would need to take a blind man or women, and let the blind person go anywhere in the state and pick up one coin. The likelihood of that person picking up that marked silver dollar on the first try is the same as the odds of just these eight prophecies coming true in one person without divine intervention. Impossible.

And if we wanted to only chose 8 of the 300+ predictions...

Scientists tell us that the range of total atoms in our entire universe are somewhere between 10 to the 66th power and 10 to the 80th power.

That means you would have much more of a chance to randomly picking one atom out of the whole universe than all of these prophecies coming to pass in one man without it being controlled by God. Amazing. Breath-taking. Awesome. What can describe it but God's miraculous intervention.

In the field of physics, it is assumed that any probability smaller than 1 chance in 10 to the 50th power being selected on the first try is manifestly absurd.

To say Jesus Christ fulling just eight of these prophecies is "coincidental" is absurd. Every one of them have come to pass in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Praise be to God!

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
~ C. S. Lewis

For this I also used work from Dr. Chuck Missler, from his book, Cosmic Codes, Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity, chapter 16, titled “Measuring Confidence” (pp.217-230).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Take It All, LORD. I Surrender!

"Take all away. I am content to know
Such love is mine-for life is all too brief
To grieve for pleasures bringing only grief;
Give me but You; it is enough just so."

-Ruth Bell Graham

"The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us. "
~ A. W. Tozer

All to Jesus I surrender;
all to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him,
in his presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
all to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender;
humbly at his feet I bow,
worldly pleasures all forsaken;
take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
make me, Savior, wholly thine;
fill me with thy love and power;
truly know that thou art mine.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to thee;
fill me with thy love and power;
let thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to his name!

I surrender all, I surrender all,
all to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

"I wish Thy way.
But when in me myself would rise
And long for something otherwise
Then, Holy One, take sword and spear
And slay."
~Amy Carmichael

I pray the LORD God will bring me to my knees and let me see my own nothingness. For when I am not the center of my life it is then that I will see God in everything.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

If I Can Make a Difference

I don't know if you've ever heard the story of the boy and the starfish. But it recently came to my mind.

Many starfish washed up on shore one morning. A young boy started picking them up and throwing them back into the ocean. Someone saw what he was doing and told him that it was pointless, that there were too many to save, that it really wouldn’t make a difference. Throwing another starfish into the sea, the little boy responded, “It makes a difference to this one.”
It is easy for us to go through life doing nothing, because we think there is nothing of importance to do. We may say that there is no way we can "save all those starfish". But I think it is more about the little things we do, than the big things. If we continue to do the next -maybe small, hard, or seemingly piontless- thing, and we do it as unto the LORD, although we may not see, we are making a difference.

"The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little."
-Sydney Smith

One verse my mom likes to recite to us is Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." We need to give 100% in whatever we do. Even those "pointless" tasks. Those are often the most important of all because those "small" things are what make us ready for the "big" things. Didn't Jesus say "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much."(Lk 16:10) We must not, in thinking about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make. Over time, they will add up to big differences that we more often than not are unable to foresee.

I recently read this quote: "It is during adversity when one can really make a big difference. But making a difference is not about being a big hero. It is simply about leaving the bathroom a little cleaner going out, than when you came in." I do not know who said it but I thought that it fit right in with what I was saying.

This is a hard lesson to learn. But when we remember to keep it in the perspective that GOD is the One giving us these "small" or tedious tasks to do, we should be willing to surrender our all to Him - always.

Just because you can not do everything, does not mean you cannot do something. Do something today to bless someone else. Do all that you do today with your wholeheart, do it as unto the LORD.