Archive for September, 2013

When Will You Praise the Lord?

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Psalm 146:2: “I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”

I don’t know about you, but I find it easy to praise the Lord when everything goes well. However, we haven’t gone to heaven yet. We still live in an imperfect world.

What happens when things don’t go well? Two weeks ago, I learned my former neighbor has cancer again. Fear and dread entered my heart. I thought back to the first time she went through cancer treatment and cried.

She and her family probably faced the same emotions I did.

I went to the Bible and saw this verse. My best option is to praise God in advance for answered prayer for my former neighbor.

If she survives, she will sing praise to God all her life on this earth. I will sing praise to God with her.

If she receives the ultimate healing, she will sing praise to God in heaven. I will praise God that she will never suffer again. When I die, I will join her in heaven to sing praise to our God.

What about you? Will you praise God if your friend or family member receives a diagnosis of a life-threatening disease? Will you praise God when you face other difficulties?

What if you can’t find a job or your best friend moves a thousand miles away? Will you still praise God?

Dear God, please help me praise you as long as I live in the good times and the bad ones. Amen.

Application: In what difficult circumstances will you praise God this week?

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Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

A Garden Parable

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

What if the Kingdom is as simple as seeds planted by a Master Gardener?

The seeds sprout and become the plants they were destined to become. They produce their particular fruit.

It’s not complicated. God knows He planted seeds of love, so He knows the kinds of plants and fruit His garden will yield.

He invites us to help tend the garden. We get to pull some weeds, add a little fertilizer, enjoy and share some of the produce. If we accept His invitation, we experience the joy of being part of the process. We also get blisters and stickers, because they’re part of tending the garden.

Mostly, we get to hang out and learn God’s way of gardening.

It’s God’s garden. It’s long-term. It’s simple.

I make it complicated.

A certain weed becomes my personal quest. That weed will destroy the garden unless I vanquish it. I’ll dump poison in the garden. I’ll shove other garden-tenders aside. This weed’s got to be killed, no matter the cost, even if I violate the principles of the garden. I’m on a mission from God!

A particular plant doesn’t grow as I think it should. It needs more fertilizer, more water, or it’ll die! Without my wisdom, we won’t get the right fruit.

Another garden-tender’s doing it wrong. If I don’t change things, he’ll wreck the garden and offend the Gardener. It’s obviously my job to judge and criticize. If things don’t improve, he’s simply gotta go. This garden is too important to allow one bad worker to destroy what the rest of us created.

The Gardener chuckles. He didn’t invite me because He needed my help or advice. He wanted us to spend time together. He hoped I’d watch and learn about His way of gardening. He even brought His own Son along as an example of how to hang out and grow the garden His way.

But it’s God’s garden, and it’ll grow as He intended.

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com