Tag : as-father
Tag : as-father
The pressure is mounting.
I still have some residual effects of COVID, a little congestion and occasional headaches, and a week from Monday I leave to speak at a Fatherless Summit in Wisconsin, the following weekend at a women’s conference in College Station, then we hold our Level-Up Conference in Lewisville, TX on October 9th. That alone requires a lot of work and time. But I trust and know that God is faithful and compassionate and the One who called me to these events will accomplish the task through me and our POP team.
This week, as I was reading in Psalm 106, I was especially thankful for the LORD’s compassion and forgiveness. It’s an account of the Israelites’ history—the good and the bad. After God saved them from a life of slavery in Egypt, they were obedient for a while, but then turned on Him by worshipping idols and sacrificing their children. That understandably made God angry so he allowed His chosen ones to be taken captive by their enemies.
But here is the verse that impacted me: “Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries. He remembered His covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love. He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness” (Psalm 106:44, NLT).
God was forced to issue discipline, but His love remained the same, so much so that he made sure they were treated with kindness by their enemies.
And I thought about my “even so’s.”
When Lisa turned away from God for seventeen years after salvation, even so, God pitied her in the midst of a career crash and brought her back into His fold.
There have been times where Lisa placed other idols before God, but even so, He allowed her some success and patiently waited for her to come back to Him.
And when, because of the roots of her fatherless past, Lisa feels betrayed, even so, God always restores her faith in mankind through acts of love.
What is your “even so?”
No matter how you may have “failed” in your faith journey, God’s compassion and love never changes for you. He is the God of “even so’s.” He will always forgive. He always restores. And he’s always waiting for us to repent and return to Him. The warranty never expires on His love.
The remembrance of the even so’s gives me the strength to move forward—in difficult times. Today I am thankful that God will never cast me aside. What about you?
It feels good to be back in the saddle again after being out to pasture for a while.
I’m in San Antonio, Texas preparing to share my personal testimony tonight at an event, one of the first times I’ve spoken publicly since the pandemic began in March 2020. There are a few concerns. Will I remember everything? Will people respond? Will God’s presence be felt?
However, this morning, the Holy Spirit reminded me through a simple visual that His light cannot be contained.
As I saw the sunshine peeking through the blackout curtain in my hotel room, I realized that we cannot put a lid on God’s radiant light. It will shine through one way or another, and often we are the vessels God uses—if we are willing.
Matthew 5:14–16 says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Tonight, I am placing myself in a position to be a vessel of light and I am confident God will illuminate the room through me. One of the most effective prayers we can pray each morning is, “O LORD, will you give me an opportunity to shine for you?” When I pray to be a light, God almost always gives me an opportunity to glow for Him.
What about you? Are you willing to be a vessel of light today? The warmth of God’s radiant light, in and through you, could make an eternal difference in someone else’s life.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8)
Summer should be a time of rest. A time when we grow spiritually because we have more leisure time to stick our nose in an inspirational book or expand our quiet time in the morning. But what I’ve found is that the summer can be one of the driest times both weather-wise and spiritually.
I’m not sure why this happens, but it may be because we travel during the summer and we get out of our patterns of connecting with God. For myself, over the past few weeks, I was immersed in a convention, spent a week in Hawaii, and I’m now speaking out of town this weekend. Quiet times can be rushed—one-on-one conversations with God can be timed and brief.
So it’s during these stretches that we have to be more intentional about connecting. We have to trust God even in the dry seasons. Trust can be a discipline.
I’m still personally struggling with the fact that I thought I was hearing God correctly about a recent scenario, but discovered I was wrong. Instead of retreating into even drier land when I am disappointed that I did not hear His voice correctly, I have to trust that God sees the bigger picture, that He is a good God and there is purpose in everything. Sometimes the answers will come much later.
We also have to pray that the Holy Spirit will refresh us during the dry times spiritually. This morning, I prayed that He would fill me and that I would experience His presence today. Although I don’t feel as connected, on faith I am certain the LORD will answer my prayer. I also know that I need a day totally immersed in God’s word and prayer in order to saturate the dry land. I am looking for an opening on my calendar and will book an all-day appointment with God.
So if you are also feeling a bit dry on your spiritual journey, be intentional about reconnecting. Don’t pull away further. Be sure to trust God even though He seems very far away. I promise—the dry season will come to an end.
As I reflect on the freedom we still claim in the United States, I am grateful that I’m able to live in this country.
But as a Christian, I am also thankful for the daily freedom that God has given me as well. He did not design us to be mindless puppets. He gave us a brain and free will. We can choose to follow Him and His ways, or we can make the choice to run the opposite direction. I know because I have done that—but I’m glad I came to my senses and turned around.
It’s out of His love for mankind that God allows us to freely choose.
Choose to listen or close our ears.
Choose to go where He leads, or stay put in what we know.
We can also choose to believe the Bible and live it out,
or choose to make up our own set of rules.
It’s all part of the freedom we receive from God. He won’t force us to choose Him but that’s His desire.
The Apostle Peter said, “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves” (1 Peter 2:16).
What I’ve found is that even though I’ve turned over the reins of my life to God, my existence is not oppressive. It’s the opposite. He leads me through very exciting adventures in my servitude to him. He takes me places I never thought I’d go, gives me opportunities I never thought I’d have, and provides abundantly more than I ever fathomed I’d receive.
In the midst of it I feel so free!
As I write this blog from a beautiful vacation in Hawaii, from the balcony of my hotel room, I’m watching the waves crash the shoreline. And I think of my analogy for following God. I call it “riding the God wave.” When you surrender your life to God, you flow wherever the Spirit takes you. There are many assignments over a lifetime, and He’ll make it clear when one ends, and another begins. Like in the movie Mission Impossible we can choose to accept the mission or not. It’s freedom of choice, but I would not want to miss one second of what God has planned. I choose Him! I know it’s a thousand times better than anything I could ever imagine.
So today, I am thankful for the God-given freedom to choose, but also that there is a choice in the first place. What about you? What choices are you making?
My study is a mess.
It’s the staging area for all of the stuff we have to take to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention (NRB) next week—books, pens, flyers, our Level Up Conference marketing cards, more books and some décor for our POP Talk television/radio exhibit booth at the NRB expo.
Our NRB schedule is packed. I have a tendency to squeeze in as much as possible because I am people person who wants to learn from, and interact with many, whether it’s through our POP Talk interviews or meetings.
Some things don’t change. As a sportscaster, I also loved covering the big events like the Super Bowl or the Olympics. I probably did my best work at those premiere sporting events, and I consider NRB the crème de la crème of broadcasting conventions because scores of Christian broadcasters and authors who make a difference for the Lord will come together in one place. It’s exciting.
But it can also be stressful, as there’s still more to prepare. However, I was reminded this morning that I cannot proceed in my own strength. My prayer is the Apostle Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14: “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.”
I may not have unlimited resources, energy, or strength, but God does, and now is the time to tap into that reservoir.
Paul closes out Ephesians 3 by giving glory to God for this mighty power at work within us because we are able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. The definition of infinite is: “limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate. ‘the infinite mercy of God.'”
I am wondering. Do you need a vat of God’s limitless power right now?
It’s available. Just ask Him for it. He’ll give you infinitely more than you imagined.