Monday, January 25, 2010

Let It Fade

I'm a big Jeremy Camp fan and have all of his albums.  Recently we sang one of his songs during our church service..."Let It Fade".  The words really spoke to me, and I wanted to share them here.

Have you been walking on a surface that's uncertain?
Have you helped yourself to everything that's empty?
You can't live this way too long.
There's more than this, more than this.
Have you been standing on your own feet too long?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?
You can rest, you will find rest.
You can rest, you will find rest.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
We spend so much of our lives running around doing hard work or tons of errands (my "to do" list today is typically long).  We complain about how tired we are and how little we rest and relax.  Researchers spend money to study how we spend our free time and how much we work.  But all of us know that sometimes we're simply tired.  And more importantly, we get tired spiritually.  Our very souls seem burdened and heavy, drawing us into depression. 

But God has told us that we can find rest with Him.  When we are tired and run-down, when the weight of the world is too much for us, we can go to Him.  Christ will take our burdens and allow us to relax and rest in His presence.  Unfortunately, we are often reluctant to give up these loads.  But if we do, we can find the peace we are seeking.  As Jeremy Camp recognized, we can let all of the troubles of the world fade.

Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace.
Let this old life crumble, let it fade, let it fade.

Let it fade.

Are you carrying the weight too much?, are you running from the call?
Let it fade, Oh yeah.

You can rest, you will find rest.
You can rest you will find rest.

Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace.
Let this old life crumble, let it fade, let it fade.

Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Have you been standing on your own feet too long?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Little Blessings

A week ago during the recent cold weather a pipe burst in our garage, flooding it and part of our downstairs.

My car is old and run-down, and is slowly falling apart.  Most recently, the turn signals simply stopped working.

I wasn't going to be able to make a Bible study tonight because I had agreed to work an extra day on my day off.

Do you ever feel that things aren't going your way?  That things keep breaking or going wrong?  It happens to all of us at some time or another.  And it's frequent during these times that we wonder where God is.  After all, if He really cares about us, why do bad things keep happening?  When our bills are already behind, why does He allow the car to break down?  We pray and pray and things keep going against us.  It's enough to make us doubt whether or not God is listening or even cares.

But are we really overlooking that small, quiet voice of God?  Sometimes He speaks to us softly, and if we're not really listening we might miss it.

When the pipe broke we were home and awake.  I had just been downstairs 20-30 minutes prior to it happening, so the flooding was minimal.  The pipe was easy to get to, and the next day it took me about $30 worth of parts and about 10 minutes time to fix it.  What if we hadn't been home?  What if we had been asleep?  What if it was something that we needed to call a plumber to fix?  God's little blessings kept it from being worse.

Earlier this week the turn signals suddenly started working again.  Sure, the car is still in relatively bad condition, but it's not unsafe to drive.  We can't afford a new one yet, and God helped with a small thing to keep it driveable.

Work was slow today, and I was working with another vet who said that I could go home early.  I ended up getting off work two hours early and was able to attend the Bible study.

God does care, so very, very much.  Listen for that little voice, and look for the small blessings.  They're there, just waiting for us to notice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Cursed By God????

Yesterday there was an incredible tragedy in Haiti as the island nation was rocked by a severe earthquake.  Loss of life may top 500,000, and this already poverty-stricken nation will be dealing with the consequences of this act for many years to come.  As a Christian I pray for God to bless these people and show His hand to them, guiding them through the horror and loss.  God loves them as much as he does anyone, and I know that He wants us to care for them.

Which makes Pat Robertson's comments very upsetting to me (see the link).  He stated that the reason Haiti is currently in a state of poverty is because of a pact made with Satan to free them from French rule in the 18th century.  What???  I'm sorry, but as a conservative, evangelical Christian I find Robertson's words offensive.  They are also misinformed, as explained by a Haitian minister.  But even if there was some truth to this Satanic pact, what part of "God's grace" and "God's love" would cause Him to ruin the country and kill a half-million people over 200 years later?

Yes, I know that many people in Haiti practice voodoo and other non-Christian practices that are influenced by Satan, and even officially recognize it as a valid religion.  But there are also numerous Christian ministries and missionaries making inroads with the people of the country, and a growing Christian presence.  In the Old Testament Lot is told by God that He will not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if there are even 10 righteous people.  Do you think God is more strict nowadays, after the sacrifice of Christ?

I do believe that people who curse God and turn from Him will find punishment, but that may not be until after death.  I also know that many Christians died in this earthquake, as they did during Hurricane Katrian and 9/11 (both of which were also God's punishment for sinful behavior according to Robertson).  Sometimes a natural disaster is simply that...natural.  God allows it, but doesn't cause it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

God's Imensity

Do you know just how big the universe is?  God created all of it, and He's pretty big, so His creation must be big also.  Check out this video.  Seriously!  Take the six minutes and watch it all of the way through.  It's worth it, trust me (and click on the bottom right corner to make it full-screen).

Are you back?  Did you catch all of that?  The universe is pretty stinkin' huge!  And we're pretty stinkin' small.  Compared to the immensity of all of creation, we are less than a tiny blip.  God created this universe, so He is even larger than it is.  Kind of gives you a bit of perspective, doesn't it?  Centuries ago religious leaders and scientists believed that everything revolved around the Earth and that our planet was the center of the universe.  They had no idea of the truth, of how insignificant we really are.

Or are we?  God knows us.  He knows YOU.  He can count every hair on your body and has known you since before you were born.  He knows every little thing about you and your life.  This being who created the whole, huge universe knows you personally and intimately.  He cares about what goes on in your life and he loves you so much.

Many people think that God is too big for them.  That He has too much to worry about to help with their little problems.  That He is too busy doing other things to look down at them.  Nothing could be farther than the truth.  We should be amazed that someone as big as Him actually does care.  Never forget that.  As big as He is, nothing about us is too small to love and care.