Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One More Reason to Study

Preacher Chuck Swindoll sounded great on the radio this morning. His topic--the temptation of Jesus--made me realize I need to know the Bible better.

In Matthew 4, Jesus is tempted three times by the devil. The devil gives up on each attack after Jesus quotes scripture. That tells me if I can recite verses in the face of temptation, the devil will give up on me, too. In verse 10, Jesus adds a direct order, "Begone, Satan!" I think I'll just start every day out that way and see how it goes.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Do people ever ask you your favorite Bible verse, story or character? They may be just trying to start conversation, or maybe they feel like they can get some insight into your personality or spiritual status. For example, if you said, "Job," then the questioner might ask if your patience had been tried lately. And if you pronounced it with a short "o," then the inquirer would have an idea of how much Sunday school you'd attended.

When I get asked this, I usually go blank in confusion. I want to say, "I like them all." But I fear that is the wrong answer. For instance, I don't like the story of Jesus' death--it's not a pretty one. But without it, we wouldn't have the story of His glorious resurrection. While that has to be the best and most important story of all, the Bible is full of such great stories, it's hard to pick another favorite.

As for verses, phew, one will be my favorite for a few years, and then I'll come across another one and that one just has to be my favorite. Some people have "life verses." That impresses me. They can commit to a verse for life!

Right now, my favorite verse is Joshua 1:9 (NIV): "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

That probably gives you way too much insight into me.

Here's a funny story about that verse. It was sent to me last summer by my friend Angie. I liked it so much, I forwarded her e-mail to a few friends. My friend Ellen's computer started acting up a few months later, and that message with that verse kept popping up! She lost many of her other e-mails and files, but not that one! God was with her even in a technology crisis.

Here's good news... God is with you even if you don't have a favorite story, character or verse.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

In the Scheme of Things

Whoever said, "When it rains, it pours" must have lived in Texas in the springtime. Or Oklahoma or Kansas...

Spring storms have tested a lot of us recently. A young man reminded me today that God promised He would never destroy the Earth again by flood.

I said, "Maybe He was just joking." Then I started to get a lecture about God.

"Just KIDDING," I interrupted, to stop him. Who needs a lecture when her house is flooded?

This is my third house flooding as an adult, living on my own. In the scheme of things, this one was not so bad. But that it came while the dog was recovering from surgery and two days before the computer crashed made me think I am under attack from the Evil One.

I was discouraged for a few days, but then realized as long as I am down and out, Satan wins! Don't you suppose the enemy wants us downtrodden, so we won't share the love and joy of Jesus with others?

Of course, I will have more compassion for others who run into a spate of troubles. But I'm not going to let a few obstacles get in my way!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Noticing the Signs

"And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place..." Acts 2:43 (NASB)

You ever feel like God is trying to tell you something? I heard a testimony from a fellow named Moby today who said he had been almost killed in truck accident when he was a truck driver, so he became an electrician. Then he had a zillion volts go through him, burning spots all over his body, so he became a mechanic, and then, he got hit by a train! Fading in and out of conscienceness, he felt he heard the Lord ask, "Have I got your attention yet?"

Moby tells everyone about Jesus now, saying you don't have to get nearly killed three times to invite him into your life, you just have to ask!

For those of us who already know salvation, the signs might be more subtle. For instance, I saw a tire cover on the SUV speeding in the left lane. It said, "Life is Good." Then later the same day, I read a bumper sticker that advised, "Look for the blessings."

The good news is: God has posted the signs. We just have to notice them.