"These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. Things that are seen don't last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That's why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen." —2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (CEV)
When we're called to do something for God, no matter how we may feel—or how bleak things may look—if we're obedient, we'll continue to push forward. The breakthrough (amazing discovery, divine help, success) may be just around the bend in the road. Why quit now just because the stats are bad, the media reports are troubling, the impossible looms too large?
Our great God and heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning. But, wait...He knows the middle, too! The middle, where we get stuck, where we wish we could give up and go home, where we're discouraged, and maybe even a bit angry if we're honest.
This verse instructs us with the most encouraging words, dear friend: These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory. I love that, and I choose to embrace it. Will you join me?
Well, it's already August and for those whose glasses are half-empty, the summer is winding down. Here, in Colorado, however, the summer is just picking up—warmer temps, less rain, more vividly colorful wildflowers in the mountains, more sunshine, perfectly glorious sunsets. So, it's all good!
Let's make August a memorable and happy month with our family and friends! Are you in?
I remember the first time I heard the following song performed by a male quartet—in Lancaster, PA, my hometown. I was a young teenager and the song made me cry, it was so convicting and inspiring. This month, I offer it to you, as well, hoping you might have the opportunity to hear it sung on YouTube, perhaps. I can assure you that the blending of these lyrics, and the melody and harmonies, too, might stir your soul, as it always does mine.
The Cross is My Statue of Liberty
by Neil Enloe
In New York Harbor stands a lady,
With a torch raised to the sky;
And all who see her know she stands for
Liberty for you and me.
I am proud to be called an American,
To be named with the brave and the free;
I will honor our flag and our trust in God,
And the Statue of Liberty.
On lonely Golgotha stood a cross,
With my Lord raised to the sky;
And all who kneel there live forever
As all the saved can testify.
I am so glad to be called a Christian,
To be named with the ransomed and whole:
As the statue liberates the citizen,
So the cross liberates the soul.
Oh the cross is my Statue of Liberty,
It was there that my soul was set free:
Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross
Is my Statue of Liberty!
"So he said to them, 'Let’s go to a place where we can be alone to rest for a while.' Many people were coming and going, and Jesus and the apostles didn’t even have a chance to eat." —Mark 6:31
“School’s out!” The cry rings through the crowded halls of my granddaughter’s school, and moms and dads—and some grandparents, too—sigh a collective relief and welcome the prospect of less frenzied weeks ahead…at least for the summer.
Each of us needs downtime, don’t we? Time to reflect, time to change up the typical daily schedule—the so-called "grind"—and time to inhale deeply and look ahead to a new and different routine, even if that means just planning a special menu for a cookout, or dinner in honor of our dads for Father’s Day.
During this first month of longed-for summer, let’s pause to thank God for our incredible blessings—our Lord Jesus, our families, our health, and our country.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is...peace..." —Galatians 5:22
People all around us are fearful--concerned with health, employment, extended family issues, even the future.
It's easy to fall prey to this trap. But there is a powerful source for dealing with worry, anxiety, and, yes, fear. That precious resource is God's peace—a treasure to cling to daily, sometimes hour by hour, when surrounded by the dismal news offered on twenty-four-hour media and other outlets.
The beauty of this peace-gift is that regardless of what crises may arise, divine peace endures for all time. It is in direct correlation to the sovereignty of God. Do we trust our heavenly Father's will for us, for our world? Our hearts enjoy sweet repose when we put our total confidence in our Lord...when we embrace His peace.