“The source of lasting joy is gratefulness…it is not joy that makes us grateful. It is GRATITUDE that makes us JOYFUL.”
FALL – “to lose the old, to have its proper place.” This is just part of the many definitions of what the dictionary says “fall” is. What does this autumn season mean to you?
I love fall. The color change, the weather change, the smell change…..its about change. But to change means that something must go. Always.
As I sit here looking out the window at all the trees, I see the changes happening right now. Leaves falling. What was once a tree deep in rich green, then a tree with vibrant shades of red and orange, now is soon becoming a tree that will be empty. Nothing left but the branches. I guess our human side finds that sad and we wish the color stayed, we think the only thing that makes the tree beautiful is the colorful leaves …why does it have to be so bare but that’s a sign of what is to come.
But for every beginning there is an end and for every ending there is a new beginning. What I find amazing is that those trees still stand. Those branches still reach out and upward. .
This is such a picture of what Jesus does in our lives. We go through all kinds of seasons in life don’t we? Some are seasons of hard times, some loneliness, seasons of loss or other things such as health problems, divorce, financial hardships, family worries. And those seasons change us. Some seasons push us to grow, to move on, to take a fresh perspective at our lives and see where we need to make much-needed adjustments in order to enjoy our lives to the fullest.
We have seasons that are bright and beautiful and rich in life. Then we have seasons that He allows things in our life to enter so that we don’t remain the same. But through all those seasons He is telling us let go and let Me. Let go and let me show you what I can do. Let go and let me show you what I can teach you… There is strength in your branches with Me. We have to let go grow a new perspective.
Ask God to help you see the things in your life that need to go, that you need to release to Him. Maybe it’s not really bad things, but things you’ve tried to control but find doing so only brings you unnecessary stress and loss of peace. Only the Spirit of God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, can help us not only see what needs to be let go, but also help us in the process of letting go and letting God be our all. This is the only way to truly enjoy this season of change with true, inner joy! Happy Autumn to You!
Isaiah 43: 18-19, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a NEW thing: now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
How Did Jesus Deal with Difficult People?
How would you like some Good News today?
No, seriously, I’m talking really Good News so good that it’s the BEST news you’ve heard in a very long time!
If so, then take a listen to this;
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you real rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Since the early dawn of mankind’s history, when our Eden of bliss became a desert of discord, we have been creatures of restlessness. When we are bereft of the peace that comes from God through the saving grace of Christ, we become fish out of water.
Divorce, alcoholism and immorality are direct results of the restlessness of sin. This diabolical unrest has permeated our nation like a contagious disease and has become the underlying cause of domestic, community and social problems. The basic cause of our national immorality is this spiritual unrest in people’s lives today.
Christ could solve the problems of the many celebrities who have made headlines because of their marital difficulties. If the principals in a domestic brawl were to accept Christ, not only would their sins be forgiven, but Christ would help them solve their problems. A love that has apparently gone dead between husband and wife could be rekindled.
Psychologists, schooled in the intricate workings of the mind, are confessing that psychology is helpless to solve all of the mental and nervous disturbances of people today. Sociologists, trained in the interactions of society, are admitting that sociology cannot cope with the tremendous problems in human relationships.
Political leaders point out the moral ills of America, but none of them seem to have an answer to the desperate need for a new moral integrity that would reverse the moral plunge that Americans are taking. Many political leaders privately admit that they are unable to cope with the seriousness of the moral dilemma.
In my travels about the country I have sensed unrest in almost every phase of our modern-day living. This changeable, unsettled, roving, transient, sleepless and fidgety spirit is due primarily to the restlessness of the human heart and its separation from the Christ of tranquility and peace. These insecure individuals could find spiritual peace and physical rest by surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ.
The Bible says, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20). “In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’” (Deuteronomy 28:67). Every day I come in contact with mixed-up, paradoxical men and women: rich people who are held in the grip of insecurity; intellectual people who have lost their way; strong people who live in fear of weakness and defeat. I long to take every one of them by the hand and lead them into the presence of the Savior who said,“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
Why die of thirst when you stand upon the brink of a lake? Why starve to death when you are within arm’s length of the Living Bread? Why live in a hovel of spiritual misery when Christ has provided a mansion of divine peace? Hear and accept the divine invitation today: “Come to Me, and rest!”
Make no mistake about it; the Lord Jesus Christ is reaching out to you in compassion, love and mercy right now. Why not take His hand and “put your hand in the hand of Man who stilled the waters,” as the song goes. He will still all the troubled waters of your soul and give you a new, profound sense supernatural peace you’ve always wanted, a new depth you’ve never known…all because you trusted Him and took His hand and let Him take yours to “lead you beside still waters” that will calm your soul (Psalm 23).
Oftentimes in our frenzied world of technology today, we get so caught up in our personal schedules that we drift away from the very things that mean the most. We get stuck into a kind of “funk,” when you’re physically, spiritually and emotionally wiped out. The absolute drain of struggling with doubt, questions of trusting and following Christ with all our heart, wrestling with fear of surrendering all to God’s will for our life. These are the modern ‘peace robbers’ we contend with. God has a better way for you.
Take the hand of Jesus by faith and open your heart in personal prayer to Him. There’s no need to fear anymore. God is your Shield to completely cover and protect you from all the enemies weapons, but you must take His hand and avoid fighting the enemy in your own limited, mortal strength, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me…”
I pray you will take His hand today and trust God to be your true Provider, Protector and your Peace. He is your great Reward. May you know and experience a greater fullness and new depth of God’s peace, love and joy through Jesus Christ the Lord, His Son our Savior. Amen.
One lovely morning, an agnostic was walking through the woods admiring nature’s beautiful surroundings and many creatures.
He said to himself, “What resplendent trees! What mighty rivers! What elegant animals and insects!” and he thought “Mother Nature sure made an awesome and wondrous world. I’m sure glad I don’t need to believe or trust in some ridiculous, mythical, invisible God for anything like this. Evolution made this, not some Creator God anyway!”
While he was walking along the river, he heard the rustling of leaves in the bushes behind him. He turned to look, and saw a 9-foot-tall-1200-pound-HUGE-man-eating-hungry-grizzly bear, growling, charging towards him full speed knocking down little bushes and kicking up the the turf as it bolted straight to him.
Screaming in utter terror, he ran for his life, as fast he could, up the rugged, lengthy, earthy path. Looking over his shoulder, the hungry bear was closing in on him. Looking over his shoulder again, the bear was even closer! He suddenly tripped and fell on the ground.
And as he frantically rolled over to pick himself up, the angry bear’s gigantic, terrifying shadow fell upon his now pale with fear face. The growling bear stood up on its hind legs!
With a loud, menacing, ear-deafening roar, it pinned him down with its left paw and as it raised its terrifying, clawed right paw to strike, the agnostic screamed at the top of his voice: “Oh God please help me!!!”
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.
Everything stood still.
The sky opened.
A bright white light shone upon the man, and a thundering voice came out of the sky. “You doubt Me Jesus Christ all these years, as a proud agnostic. You’ve refused to follow, love or serve Me, in spite of the fact you know better. Do you expect Me to help you out of this predicament now?”
The LORD continued, “Nevertheless, since I am the Merciful, even though you don’t believe or trust in Me, I am loving, kind and here for every being on this earth. I will give you ONE wish to help you and that is all.”
The agnostic looked directly into the light and felt relieved. “Well, Jesus, I still don’t really want to believe in You and it would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask You to treat me as a believer now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a believer and believe in You?” (He was desperately hoping this would get him out of this precarious situation)
The LORD Jesus then said “Let be it done, according to your wish.”
The bright light vanished. The sounds of the forest resumed. The hungry bear dropped its right paw that was about to strike the agnostic, and oddly brought both its paws together, bowed its head & prayed:
(Thank You God for this meal I’m about to receive!)
[The Moral of the Story?]
As the old saying goes, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”
Don’t wait for calamity to strike before you start living for the Lord. Do it now! (And also, if you are hiking in bear country, you might want to carry some bear spray too).