>Most know I’m not at all a fan of the unbiblical concept of Your Best Life Now in its various disguises. (By the way, have you considered the only people who can say they are having their best life now are the people enroute to hell???).
Jesus said following Him would involved persecution, hatred, struggle. Perhaps best to take Him at His Word?
Here’s some tremendous and comforting counsel from C. H. Spurgeon:
“Salt seasons, purifies, preserves. But somebody ought to remind us that salt also irritates. Real living Christianity rubs this world the wrong way.”
>On this date in 1982 a pastor said, “wilt thou?” and I wilted.
Hard to fathom it has been 28 years since Jane and I became one. Next to salvation alone, she is my greatest gift…a wondrous wife, a marvelous mom, a faithful friend, a willing worker, a persistent pray-er, a kapable-kicker-in-the-butt when I need it, and so much more.
What a ride it has been…living in Phillipsburg, Ks; Rhinelander, Wi; Bath, NY; Shakopee, Mn; back to Bath, NY; and now Missouri.
Four wonderful kids…two the old-fashioned way, two adopted at birth.
Struggles, victories, trials, testings, unspeakable joy, inexpressible anguish…all the stuff that is part of real life (as opposed to ‘your best life now’)
Putting up with me, my schedule, my stuff of life…Jane should get a medal…yet I know she will be rewarded greatly at the Judgment Seat of Christ. I know it’s normal to say a wife is a Proverbs 31 woman…but…she is.
Every husband who has a brain knows that his wife is the greatest wife of all time.
I’m glad our anniversary is around (and every 7 years, on) Thanksgiving…
Because I am so very, very thankful that the Lord brought Jane into my life, as well as my heart.
>Yeah the Zona Rosa shopping center opened at midnight Friday…and three Hagers joined the Williams’ and other God’s Mountain people to score $25.00 gift cards for the first 1000 in line…Jacob and I warmly enjoyed fellowship at home…he hacked and coughed for a seventh day, great spirits, but took him to clinic today, treatment and mucho medications…
Here’s Janelle and Jane bundled up:
Josiah (2nd from right) and others enjoying the wait:
Gotta get the basics right…and if we are “growing deep in the things of God” and forget the basics, we are deceived and deceiving:
“Redeeming love and retributive justice joined hands, so to speak, at Calvary, for there God showed Himself to be ‘just, and the justifer of him who hath faith in Jesus’.
Do you understand this? If you do, you are now seeing to the very heart of the Christian gospel. No version of that message goes deeper than that which declares man’s root problem before God to be his sin, which evokes wrath, and God’s basic provision for man to be propitiation, which out of wrath brings peace.”
– J.I. Packerhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1433502003&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
I recall several verses as I read Snoopy’s sigh…
And I ask myself…am I watching for people in my sphere of influence who need a word of encouragement, twenty bucks, a prayer, whatever?
Too many have “no one.”
Deu 28.29: “…day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.”
2 Sam 22.42: “They cried for help, but there was no one to save them…”
2 Ki 14.26: “The Lord had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them.”
Ps 22.11: “Do not be far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help.”
Ps 142.4: “Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.”
Here’s a challenge: Is there anyone in your sphere of influence who appears to have no one? Will you be one?
On the other hand, at this time of Thanksgiving, does God bring to your mind someone who came alongside you when you felt there was no one? Maybe it’s time to remind them how much you appreciated their help?
>A great prayer from SCOTTY SMITH
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Lord Jesus, how I praise you that we don’t have to fake, stuff, or spin anything. The gospel puts an end to many things, including posing and pretending. That’s why the call to perpetual joy, prayer and thankfulness doesn’t mock our sensibilities and stoke our incredulity.
In fact these very words—this trio of commands were written by a man who had every right in the world to question your goodness… doubt your promises… and struggle with your providences (2 Corinthians 11:16-33). So who’s better positioned—who can be more trusted than Paul to deliver such a difficult calling?
Jesus, our prayer today is for our friends and family members for whom life is a crucible of body and heart aches. The call to giving thanks is more difficult than usual. I pray for the chronic sufferers I know and love—those for whom life feels like a never-ending saga—a bottomless pit of physical, emotional or mental pain. Their weariness is palpable. I understand the mounting frustrations and their intensified cry, “How long, O Lord?”
Jesus, may your joy be their strength, for they have very little. May your prayer life be their encouragement, for theirs is nearly non-existent. May your thankfulness before the Father be mediated to their hearts… when it would be easier for them to curse than to praise… to disbelieve than hope… to run away rather than run to you.
Jesus, I also pray for those for whom the greatest pain is relational. Marriages and families which are in meltdown and breakdown… those for whom Thanksgiving will be spent at a table set for one… friendships broken by sin, strained by disagreement, weakened by neglect.
Jesus, come in power and kindness, with your redeeming and transforming love. How might we be a part of your answer this very prayer? Extend your tear wiping hand through us to our family and friends this Thanksgiving week. So very Amen, we pray, in your merciful and mighty name.