Archive for October, 2007

Why, O Why?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

I see and hear sad things each day
Illness, hunger, deep dismay
Depressed I gaze into the sky
As I cry out, “Lord. Tell me why!
One non-believer, Freud, once said
There is no God. When you die, you’re dead
What God would cause an infant pain?
Man’s grief and wars? Blood spilled for gain?
So many people think as he
There’s no God because there’s misery
A loving God wouldn’t cause despair
Ignore an ill one’s pleading prayer
But such is life. Am I then a fool
Believing God exists and I have a soul?

Then I think…

Who shaped the endless universe;
Its galaxies, its worlds, this earth?
What great and mighty mind in fact
Devised rules to keep it all intact?
Formed far off worlds of giant size
Yet too distant for our mortal eyes
But also made the tiny mite,
And microbe life beyond our sight
Atoms having worlds within
All basic to man’s origin
Yet conforming to a perfect plan
Known alone to Him, though not to man

The potter’s greater than the pot*

All nature follows God’s strict laws
A mighty network without flaws
Except first man made lovingly
And free of all mortality
To live immune from pain and fear
To have no need to spill a tear
In a place of beauty, green and fresh
Without labor, sadness or distress
Eden was a paradise
That evil entered in disguise
And tempted man to disobey
God’s only rule to God’s dismay
thenceforth man had himself to blame
For a mortal life of toil and pain
To struggle with reality
Now that he lost immunity

by T.H. Everingham

Our Guide

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.  Psalm 23 KJV

We sing the song “He leadeth me, O blessed thought” but are we following Him? Are we allowing Him to lead us up to the mountain top of joy or are we going our own way which leads us to the valley of despair? He will guide and lead us but He won’t make us follow. He gives us a choice to follow Him, or to follow satan. Nobody can make that choice for us. Each one of us has to make the decision to follow Him.

We will never be able to lead someone to Jesus if we aren’t following Him ourselves. I think that if we would listen with our hearts that we would Him saying “I love you and I long to lead you into happiness and joy.” He loves us so much that He died for us. There is no greater love than the love of Jesus and our Heavenly Father.

Sometimes when we take trips we get lost even while following the directions on a map. If we will follow Jesus, we will never get lost. There is a song that I used to sing in Sunday School “He knows the way through the wilderness.” He not only knows the way through the wilderness; He also knows the way through the difficult situations in our lives.

There are times when we allow our hearts to become cold and indifferent because of the hateful and cruel words and hateful and cruel actions that have been said and done to us. It is then that our Shepherd plucks the weeds of bitterness, hatred, jealousy, criticism and unforgiveness from our hearts and makes our hearts tender. He gives us compassion, forgiveness, kindness, and unconditional love for our families, for our friends and for a world that is lost and starving to know that somebody cares if they live or die.

Are you following Jesus today? Are you allowing Him to guide your footsteps and also your decisions? Have you experienced the heights of joy which are found when we follow Him? Have you laughed with Him and rejoiced with Him when a sinner was saved? There is no greater joy in the entire world than following Jesus and allowing Him to lead us up into the joyous mountains of happiness.

There’s another song that I love. It’s called “Have you decided to follow Jesus?” How about it? Have you decided to follow Jesus? If so, are you willing to follow Him all the way or just until He takes you out of your comfort zone? Sometimes He asks us to do something that may not be convenient for us or fit into what we had planned for that day. Are you willing to do it even if it means a change of plans?

I don’t think it was convenient for Jesus to be tortured and die on the cross for us that day but He did it because He loves us so much. Our service to Him always comes back to this question: “How much do I love Him and how much am I willing to give up for Him?” Remember, our level of service depends on our level of love for Him. How much do you love Him?

Joanne Lowe

joannelowe.blogspot.com

The Trap Is Set

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. Isaiah 26:3-4 KJV

I have a friend who goes hunting and he told me that many times he sets traps and then covers them up so the animals he is trying to catch won’t know that a trap has been set for them. That is exactly what satan does to us. Our sneaky enemy sets traps for us and then makes them look appealing.

We wonder why our peace disappears at times and why we are so anxious and worried. I think one of the reasons is that we get too busy and we commit ourselves to too many things. We find ourselves joining more online groups and clubs. We already don’t have enough time to do what needs to be done, yet we join more things.

It’s not God’s fault that our peace disappears. He has said that if we will keep our minds stayed on Him that He will keep us in perfect peace. We get anxious and we start worrying that we won’t meet our deadlines and accomplish everything on our schedules for the day. We sometimes find that we don’t have the time to finish anything because we have committed ourselves to too many projects.

We have so many irons in the fire that we are unable to focus on the things that God has assigned to us. Many times we join clubs and schedule things without asking God first if that is what He wants us to do. I’m just as guilty as you are because there are times that I do something without first asking Him if He wants me to do it.

Sometimes we get so busy doing things that we don’t have the time for our families, for our loved ones, for our friends and for a world that desperately needs someone to befriend them. Even worse than this, we get so busy serving Jesus, we don’t take the time to fellowship with Him. Oh we might spend an hour or so with Him in the morning but what about the rest of the day. Sometimes we are so busy that the only time during the day that we think about Him is when we need something. He is not a puppet to have His strings pulled when we want something.

Have you fallen into the trap set by satan? Have you gotten so busy with your schedules and with meeting your deadlines that you don’t have time for people or for Jesus during the day? If so, you are too busy. The time is short. We must be about the Master’s business. Jesus may come back for us any minute. Will He find us telling others of the good news of a risen Saviour or will He find us trying to meet our deadlines and stay on schedule?

~Joanne Lowe

We Are Related

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:18–22 KJV

Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote a beautiful song that I love so much. It is called “GETTING USED TO THE FAMILY OF GOD”. We need to spend more time getting used to our brothers and sisters in Christ because we are all one family. All of us who have asked Jesus to forgive us and come into our hearts to be our personal Saviour and have been cleansed by the atoning blood that Jesus shed for our sins on the cross of Calvary are part of the family of God. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.

A pastor friend of mine back in Oklahoma said many years ago in one of his sermons “You’d better start being loving, kind, compassionate, understanding and forgiving to one another because all Christians are going to spend eternity together.” The church had just finished a business meeting and there were a lot of disagreements over the finances of the church; how to spend the money. How that must have hurt our Heavenly Father to hear them quarreling in His house!

I have never forgotten what my pastor friend said that Sunday morning. Someone asked me if I ever get upset with anyone. The answer is yes. I am still in the flesh and as such it is only by the grace of God that I don’t react in a way that would hurt Jesus. We need to realize that just because we are Christians doesn’t mean that we are perfect and will never sin again or fail God. We are only sinners saved by grace. None of us are perfect. There was only one perfect person who ever lived or ever will live, and His name is Jesus! I fail Him just like you fail Him. The person who says that he or she never does anything wrong is calling God a liar because He said that there is none that doeth good.

I have heard this comment many times over the years and have even read it in articles discussing relationships in families “It’s only natural for families to fight.” That is a lie straight from the pits of hell. It is not natural. God did not create us to argue and fight. We are to love one another. Loving one another is not an option; it is a commandment from God! We had better start loving one another so that one day when we stand before a Holy God, we won’t have to see the hurt look in His eyes.

Are you being kind and loving to your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you forgive them when they hurt you or do you keep an account of all the times they hurt you? Remember, you’re not perfect either. You hurt them also. If you want them to forgive you, then you had better forgive them. What would happen if God kept an account of every time we hurt Him? We would all be in serious trouble. Let’s start being loving, understanding, forgiving and kind to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Joanne Lowe http://heavenwardbound.com

Even the Radio

Friday, October 12th, 2007

“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16 KJV

I have a radio and unless I put my hand on it, all I hear is static. It doesn’t matter which way I turn the radio or the antenna, nothing works unless I touch the radio. If a radio needs someone to touch it, how much more do we need Jesus to touch us? Jesus knows the importance of touch because not only did He lift the children up in His arms; He also put His hands upon the children and blessed them.

Our children need us to hold them and hug them. We can buy them the most expensive things on the market; things that will probably make them happy. However, that happiness won’t last forever. The love that we give them will last forever. When a baby keeps crying and nothing we do seems to help, have you ever noticed that when we pick a baby up and go sit in the rocking chair and rock them, they stop crying? What is the reason they stopped crying? It is because they felt the touch of their parent’s hands.

Jesus gives us many wonderful things; our homes, our cars, our jobs; our families and our friends, but if He didn’t pick us up in His compassionate arms and rock us with His unconditional love and understanding we would be lonely and crying for His touch. Oh the precious touch of our Saviour’s hands; how they thrill my heart! When He puts His loving arms around me and picks me up and holds me close to His tender heart of compassion, I feel a joy that is impossible to express in mere words. I need my Saviour’s touch every day of my life. He is my joy, my strength, my song, my peace, my encourager and my comforter.

Are you picking up your children and hugging them? They may be grown and too big to pick up but you can hug them with your words and with your actions. It doesn’t matter if your child is married and has children; he or she still needs you. Please hug your children. Tell them that you love them and then prove to them that you love them by your actions. Above all, tell them that Jesus loves them and prove to them that Jesus loves them by the way you treat them. Do your children see Jesus in your actions? Do they see the joy of Jesus on your face and in your smile?

Copyright 2007 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved
The author may be contacted via her website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com

The Heart of a Home

Monday, October 8th, 2007

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Jesus is preparing a mansion for us and with Him as our interior decorator; we can’t even be. However, if He wasn’t there, I wouldn’t want to live there. I think the same is true with some of our homes. We decorate our homes with the finest things money can buy and they are lovely. Some of them look like homes that we see in a magazine about homes but Jesus doesn’t live there.

If Jesus doesn’t live in our hearts, all of the decorations in the world won’t make our homes beautiful because Jesus is the heart of a home. If there is fighting and chaos in our homes, all the expensive decorations in the world won’t make our homes beautiful. If we are yelling at our spouses and at our children, our homes are ugly.

Jesus paid a very expensive price for our peace, for our joy and for our happiness when He died on the cruel cross of horror for us. Our precious Saviour was beaten beyond recognition. He was spat upon, cursed, ridiculed, mocked and rejected. While the physical pain that He endured is beyond our understanding and something that we will never fully comprehend, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died of a broken heart.

Everyone had deserted him and He was totally alone. He had asked them to watch and pray with Him in the garden and they fell asleep. How that must have hurt Him and broken His heart! His own Father had to turn away from Him because Jesus had taken our sins on Him. Our Heavenly Father is a Holy God and He can not look on sin. How that must have broken the heart of our Father because He had to turn away from His own Son.

What condition is your home in today? Is it filled with peace, laughter, joy and happiness? If so, Jesus is living in your heart and in your home. If your home is filled with anger, turmoil, cursing and hatred, then satan is the ruler of your heart and home. Who would you rather have living in your heart and home, Jesus or satan?

The author may be contacted via her website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com

God’s Shower Curtain

Friday, October 5th, 2007

“For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” Isaiah 25:4 KJV

As I was taking a shower last night, I made sure the shower curtain was in place so that no water would get on the floor. The shower curtains in our bathrooms are to keep the water from going out on the floor. God’s shower curtain does just the opposite.

Instead of allowing the waters of hopelessness and pain to drench us, He makes sure that they don’t overflow us. He shelters us from discouragement when people dampen our enthusiasm and joy. He stops the storms of life and keeps us from drowning. He protects us from satan and from those who would attack us with criticism, sarcasm and ridicule.

I received a telephone call last night from someone who is drowning in discouragement, loneliness, fears and despair. This person needs God’s shower curtain to protect her from the situation she is facing. If we would open our hearts and look around our neighborhoods, we would see people who are hurting and desperately need the protection of God’s shower curtain.

Oh that you and I would become an extension of God’s shower curtain. We must not only meet the needs of the people who are hurting, we also need to tell them that Jesus loves them and then prove that He loves them by our words and by our actions. Are you leading people to Jesus so He can protect them from the storms of life with His shower curtain?

It Went Out

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 KJV

For those of us who have been in church for any length of time, we might have heard this song “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” I think that there are many times in our lives when the light goes out. Jesus hasn’t left us; He is still in our hearts. Jesus is still our light but when crises and difficult situations come against us instead of allowing Him to shine brightly through us, we become discouraged.

So once again, satan had his way in the situation and won that battle. I don’t know about you but I am tired of satan winning a battle in my life. Jesus has already won the war when He died on the cross but we will still have attacks from satan and from the world. We don’t have anyone to blame for losing the battles but ourselves. Jesus has promised us that He will walk beside us and hold our hand and protect us from our enemies. He said that He would never leave us, not even for one minute.

Too often in our lives instead of immediately crying out to Jesus when someone hurts us or when we are in the middle of a crisis, we forget to pray and ask Jesus to help us. We try to solve the problem ourselves. When will we ever learn that we need Jesus to fight our battles for us? We don’t have the strength to constantly battle satan.

It is only as we lean on Jesus and depend on Him for everything that we will be victorious. It takes the power of the risen Christ to bring us through our battles. We don’t have any power; it is Jesus working in us and through us who has the power to change lives and circumstances for the better. It has been pounded into our heads just as if someone was using a sledge hammer that it is a sign of weakness to cry or ask for help. That is a lie straight from the pits of hell! Jesus has told us that we are to be encouragers to one another. It is very important that we have a support system.

We need to surround ourselves with people who love Jesus and who will pray for us when we are hurting so badly that we are unable to pray for ourselves. It is very important that we have more than one person who will pray for us because that person may be in the middle of a heartbreaking situation himself or herself. Thank You, Jesus, for giving us friends to comfort us, pray for us and encourage us.

Are you allowing Jesus to shine through you so that others will know that we do have a Saviour who is not only able to save us from our sins; but also able to bring us through every battle in life victoriously? Have you allowed satan and the world to extinguish the light in your heart and life with their criticism, sarcasm and ridicule? If so, ask Jesus to shine brightly once again in your heart and in your life.

Copyright 2007 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved
I may be contacted via my website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com