2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Upholding Others (Psalm 54:4)

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God has promised that he will provide to us the help that we need to endure life in this fallen world and face all its perils. How he accomplishes this is different than what we expect. Our mind visions God reaching out from Heaven and miraculous zapping us with his divine strength. However, the Psalmist clearly reveals how his help comes. Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. (Psalms 54:4)

God’s help comes from other people. He moves upon the hearts of other believers to minister to us and uphold or prop up our soul. It is their words, actions and prayers that are the helping work that he provides.

As we journey through life, we must recognize that we are both receivers and providers of God’s help. He will be there for us when we need him and we should be there for him when he needs to use us. There are so many people struggling in life who just need somebody to uphold them. Will you be the person that God uses to provide the strength that they need?

A similar passage to consider is found in the New Testament and reveals that this type of living is an essential part of Christian living. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Being a Helper (Psalm 31:11-12)

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Everybody is in the midst of dealing with trials. We know that The Lord is the solution to their trial and God wants to bring them to the point of trusting him. But what can we do for others as they face trials? The Psalmist provides some insight.

I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. (Psalms 31:11-12)

David shares that as he faced trials, his neighbors saw him as a reproach and fled from him. We do the same. It seems that as soon as a person faces a trial, we wonder what the person did to allow such circumstances to occur. Our first thoughts are that they must be under chastisement and this leads us to flee from them. We hide behind words such as, “I’m praying for you” or “Just trust The Lord and he will lead you through”. All the while we believe what they really need is to get right with God.

If we as believers can get past this, we may be able to support such individuals and put ourselves into a position to make a difference in their lives. We must determine that we will not view them as a reproach and flee from them. We must decide to stand by them and provide the encouragement and support that they need.

In verse 12, the Psalmist indicates that these people are then forgotten. Ask yourself, “Whom do I know that has experienced trouble, fallen away and been forgotten?” Oh, you may remember who they are, but are they in your thoughts, minds, and prayers? Decide today to be one of the rare few that will stand with those in trials and even the fallen. By doing this, you will have the potential to make a great difference in people’s live.

If you would like to read more of these thoughts in a hard copy format, my new book is now available at the link below.

https://www.createspace.com/4441566

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Take Refuge (Psalm 28:7)

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Some time ago, my wife and I were enjoying ourselves as we explored the capital city of the Dominican Republic. We decided to rest and sit on the shore and watch a ship pass, but after some time, we noticed a storm coming in off of the coast. Being intrigued by the sight, we lingered a bit too long and found ourselves caught in a down pour. While holding hands, we scurried through the tiny streets of the city and finally found a small cafe to take refuge. Needless to say, it wasn’t any where nearly as romantic as the movies make it seem. But regardless of the fact, we found refuge from the storm.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (Psalms 28:7)

The psalmist declared that his heart trusted in The Lord. By that, he was stating that when his trouble arose, he sought refuge in The Lord and subsequently The Lord gave him help. God may not have necessarily removed the trouble, but he did bring help to his heart. Sadly to say, but many believers as they face troubles do not immediately seek refuge in The Lord. They struggle alone trying to battle the circumstances and become weary in the process. God has never intended that to be. He always wants us to abound in Christ and to experience joy and contentment regardless of the circumstances.

As you face trials, seek The Lord early. He will be found and you will find refuge for your soul.

If you would like to read more of these thoughts in a hard copy format, my new book is now available at the link below.

https://www.createspace.com/4441566

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Hold It Together (Psalm 27:14)

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I remember when quite a few years ago, I was sitting in the heart station at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. My daughter was sitting on my wife’s lap as they were completing the last preliminaries before her open heart surgery the next morning. Each of us were on edge and doing our best to deal with the situation. It was then that my daughter said her first word. She turned her head, looked across the room at me and said, “Daddy.” Needless to said, I nearly fell apart.

The two options that we have when we face trouble are holding it together or falling apart. Faith is what enables us to hold our hearts together. When we lose faith or fail to exercise faith, our heart no longer binds itself together for The Lord and then we essentially cave in or fall under the circumstances of your trial. However, our path to victory begins with just one step.

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalms 27:14)

Waiting on The Lord and being of good courage are attributes of the heart. We see this from the context of the verse and can understand that they essentially mean to bind the heart together and be emotionally strong. When we have faith in The Lord to provide what we need and take that stand, God will strengthen our hearts. We then have greater faith to take that same stand and God again strengthens our hearts. The process repeats itself and this is what enables believers to overcome all obstacles and yet at the same time rejoice in The Lord.

You too can experience this victory. It begins with one step: hold your heart together by trusting in the goodness of The Lord. After that, he will do the rest.

His Face Is Not Hid (Psalm 22:24)

At times, life can be very difficult. Not just for a few people, but everybody on the planet. Health issues, financial strains, domestic upheavals, death, enemies, violent crimes or any other negative experience cause difficulty for our lives. What makes those times even more difficult is the mental struggle that we endure until the difficulty ends.

Many during these times turn their focus towards God. They either focus on him for help or question his holiness. The Psalmist faced a similar situation, but maintain integrity in his faith by recognizing that even when it seems that God is not responding, he does not look down on our affliction and hears our prayer.

For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. (Psalms 22:24)

Regardless of how circumstances may appear, God is attentive to us and our problems. By his sovereignty, he will accomplish his intended purposes and afterwards bring deliverance. Victory for us is not so much deliverance from the trial, but more so in the battle that occurs in our hearts. We must trust or have faith in the goodness and holiness of God and not allow the enemies’ accusations to abide in our hearts. This battle will not be easy, but by truth from God’s word and fellowship in prayer, the battle can be won.

If you would like to read more of these thoughts in a hard copy format, my new book is now available at the link below.

https://www.createspace.com/4441566

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The Turning Point (Jonah 2:7)

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I was glad to hear recently that a friend’s father had finally trusted Christ as Savior. He shared how he and his family had prayed for this person for 20 years. Recently the individual had become very ill. It was during this stage in his life that more people began praying for his health and salvation. My friend encouraged others to continue to pray for the lost because God is still working.

God is still working on the lost and he continually works on the hearts of those who have drifted away. Many get discouraged in prayer because their prayer does not get answered in a reasonable time. What they fail to see is that God does answer their prayer in a reasonable time. However, the reasonable time is not determined by God, but instead by the lost or backslidden.

What needs to occur before a person turns to God is that they must come to the end of themselves. In other words, they get to a point where they recognize that they cannot make it on their own or they cannot face the conditions in their lives. It was at this point that Jonah finally turned to God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. (Jonah 2:7). It will be at this same point when the lost will turn to God and the backslidden will do the same. Until that occurs, you and I may not see any change in the individual’s actions or attitude, but rest assured, God is working to bring them to the point that they will turn to him.

Be patient in your prayers and trust that God will work in your loved one’s heart. Yield to him so that he may use you in this work and keep you from trying to bring about the change that only he can bring.

If you would like to read more of these thoughts in a hard copy format, my new book is now available at the link below.

https://www.createspace.com/4441566

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