Thursday, February 27, 2014

Beat or aggravatingly upbeat?

There are people out there who do not care for people like myself who seem to always be upbeat! Well I am not always upbeat, sometimes I am beat, I just don't surrender to the beat part! My life has had obstacles, yet it has not been as bad as some around me. Those are the folks I watch, those are the folks I set my eyes on, who seem to always praise God even through the storms that come their way!

I have watched those around me, even young folks who have suffered tragedy, yet have not given up, they fight, they reach out to God their healer for help and strength. One such young man I would like to mention is Mike Rooney. He was in a motorcycle accident that put him in a wheelchair. A young man, in his early 20's, who could of given up and caved in yet with his faith in God, and a very loving family, he has done amazing things.

I remember my sister Robin, who I share very little about, at 18 dove in a swimming pool and broke her neck, her remaining years would be lived out as a quadriplegic. During that time she came to know Jesus Christ as Savior. Folks would tell me after a visit how their lives where changed, how, though they came to encourage and a left with more encouragement than they came with.

One Sunday morning as I was getting ready to preach, my heart was overwhelmed by a special guest and his mom and dad. Sometimes God just knows what you need to inspire you at a time you need it most. When I saw this young man being pushed through the door, a smile from ear to ear, if I had any doubts, if I was a little down, that smile of victory put me right back in touch.

With who you ask? God, Mike's unwillingness to give up reminded me that day, we have a God that can get us through anything if we just trust and hold on. Now I am sure Mike has his down times, and memories of youthful things he may not be as able to do. Yet he fights, his mom Michelle and dad Michael fight and pray. His sisters Kara and Erin fight and pray.

I watched this family come together and give God the glory, not for him to walk necessarily, but just grateful Mike is with them. Though there were times of trial, they reached out knowing and trusting that God would answer their prayers, and He did. Through traches, learning to eat again, to many other challenges, though beat at times Mike and his family were never beaten.

I do not even remember them asking for big miracles, but everyone they would receive, they gave God the glory. So you see, when you are feeling beaten, when you feel that life is unfair, you can give into the beat down and be defeated, or think of those around you going through so much more and find a reason to be aggravatingly upbeat.

Psalm 116:1-2 "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice, and my pleas for mercy. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Frustrated with ministry?

If ministry is a frustration, you may need to evaluate who you are in ministry for, God or you? Remember Jesus had a pretty busy schedule also, the only time He was frustrated was with people who had priority problems! So reevaluate who you are doing things for, stop take a breathe, turn it all back to God, because He wants you too. Get free, get the victory back and serve Him because you have joined Him where He is. If you do it right you will not be overwhelmed you will be over blessed!

When we lose sight of what God's plan is, we usually lose sight of our direction and lose focus on our relationship with God. We tend to feel that if we are doing it for God we must be doing what we should. That is not always so. Just because we are doing a lot does not mean God is always in what we are doing. The Pharisees thought they were doing a lot for God, but in essence it was all about them! (Matthew 23)

Working hard for God and getting frustrated with God at the same time does not make sense does it? Well it is not to late to stop and truly ask God, if what you are doing for Him is genuine. Are we doing it because we see Him working, or are we doing it because we think it is our soul responsibility to do it all? The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few Jesus said. ( Matthew 9:37)

If we are frustrated, than maybe what we need to be doing more of is discipling others to come along with us. We may have a calling on our life, but it is never a calling to do it all! Are we praying and asking God for direction, or are we controlled by feelings? What we need to see is, we can do a whole lot of things half halfheartedly, or one thing successfully? What do you think God thinks here?

Get out of the way, let God have His way, and see if you don't see your way, a little better today!

1 Peter 5:6, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. (NKJV)

Psalm 51:17, "My sacrifice, Oh God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise." (NIV)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A wonderful son, probably not.

You know something? People are always telling me what a wonderful son I am to care for my mom. Well without a wonderful God and being blessed with a wonderful wife who loves my mom as much, I would probably fall a little short of wonderful! Though I would care for her anyway, it sure makes it a double blessing to have the relationships I do! 

We have a support system from our church family, our children, our neighbors, my wife's family jumps in when we need them. To be wonderful, whatever that truly means, you have to have some amazing people in your life also. And an amazing God who transformed my life for just moment as this! Wonderful no, a son always! The scripture tells us we are supposed to take care of family. 

1 Timothy 5:8, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 

So you see I am not trying to be wonderful here, just faithful, not anything special, just a son who wants his mother to have the best care! Just a son and a believer who wants to be an encouragement to anyone going through the same as my wife and I. I know there are different circumstances in life, and not all situations are the same, but family is family and they still deserve the best we have to offer.

I am always reminded of what Jesus did for me at Calvary, He gave his very best for my very worst! He gave His life so I could live! He took my place so I would have the place I do now! He restored my life, healed my marriage, set me free so I could serve. So I do, with His help, the help of my precious wife Karen, and so many other wonderful people He has put in our lives. 

So when people around me call me wonderful I have to tell them, probably not, I am just doing what I am supposed to do. Wonderful? No just being a son!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Be encouraged please!

Those families struggling with Alzheimer's, as hard as it may seem, and though there is little understanding still, just be you always, because they cannot be them! They may have forgotten, but you shouldn't. Is it hard? Yes. Is it hurtful? Yes. But never, ever forget, they are still mom, dad, uncle, aunt, and human beings. Yes they need help, yes they may even have to go to a care facility, but they are still who they are, no less!

They just don't remember and it is hard for them also, trying to figure it all out, looking at you, knowing you belong in their life, just not where! They try, they do, they just cannot help what has happened to them, and that is no punishment toward you, or them! One thing you can never, ever forget though, is you! Take a break, get some rest, find a support system, and what ever you do, do not be or feel embarrassed.

You are not alone, and there is nothing to be ashamed of! Hang in there and just be you for them, you never know when that one moment will come, that they will remember just a little, and how blessed you will be because you were there!