Thursday, July 28, 2011
I will reflect on all You have done and meditate on Your actions. Psalm 77:12 HCSB
This is my Father’s world; O let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. Mark Babcock*
Often, when I come to God in worship, my mind is filled with thoughts of horrible things that are happening around the world. I think of terrorists wreaking havoc, financial institutions crumbling, devastating natural disasters, orphans crying out, and people living in hunger. When this happens, I can’t help but echo the words of Asaph: Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He is anger withheld His compassion? (Psalm 77:9 HCSB)
However, as I begin to worship, God reminds me of how often He has provided for others and for me. He reminds me of how it’s only by His mercy that the world is not consumed. He reminds me of how He offered His Son as a sacrifice to pay the price for our sins. Then, I remember the further words of Asaph: I will reflect on all You have done and meditate on Your actions. (Psalm 77:12 HCSB)
Lord, when we remember Your faithfulness, help us to worship You?
*This Is My Father’s World
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6 HCSB
Many years ago, I learned a song about faithfully praising God during difficult times. I sang it whenever I had the opportunity. I wanted it known that I was extremely loyal to Jesus.
But then, life happened. My car was stolen, twice. Bills and taxes became a reality. My metabolism slowed. I gained weight. Church business meetings wounded my heart. I lost my ministry position. And then came the miscarriage. It took me lower than I ever thought I could go. I considered leaving the ministry and abandoning my faith.
But then, I remembered all that the Lord had done for me. I remembered how He had always provided for me. I remembered the love that He had for me. And then, I remembered that He died for me. How could I turn away from Him when He had been so faithful to me?
I still want to praise the Lord, no matter what happens. But now, I understand that it’s more reflected in the way I live my life through difficult times than in the songs that I sing about them.
Lord, help us to be faithful to You, always.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.” Genesis 22:5 HCSB
Abraham never thought that he would be a father, but there he stood, on a mission of faith, with his son Isaac beside him. The Lord had told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as an act of worship. Can you imagine how Abraham must have felt upon hearing God’s request? As an old man, he had finally seen the beginnings of everything that he had been promised by the Lord and now he was being asked to willingly offer it all back to God in worship. Talk about a crisis of belief! What was God thinking? Didn’t He remember His promise to Abraham? Didn’t the Lord know how much Abraham loved Isaac? Surely something inside Abraham encouraged him to disobey the Lord and spare the life of his son. But, that didn’t happen. Abraham obeyed God, but he also had faith that somehow he would return from worshiping with a live Isaac beside safely beside him.
Lord, help us to have the faith of Abraham as we worship You.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I hope you enjoy this youth drama I wrote for my friend's Steven's church. It was presented at the Arkansas Assembly of God drama contest in 2010. Thanks for reading.
Larry is a nervous overachiever. Harry is his calm friend. Fluffy is a stuffed animal, preferably fluffy and white.
(Larry nervously enters, grabs stuffed cat by the tail and raises toy sword over his head. Harry enters, is shocked by what he sees, and runs to Larry.)
Harry: Larry! What are you doing?
Larry: Something that I should have done a long time ago.
Harry: What are you going to do with that knife?
Larry: Stand back, Harry! This could get ugly.
Harry: But what are you doing?
Larry: I (long dramatic pause) am going to sacrifice Fluffy’s tail!
Harry: You’re gonna do what?
Larry: Yes, Larry. (Melodramatically) I am going to sacrifice my dear beloved cat Fluffy’s tail!
Harry: Why would you want to sacrifice your cat’s tail?
Larry: It’s what I must do, Harry. We all have to sacrifice something sooner or later. And don’t you dare try to stop me…
Larry: Like I said, you had better not try to stop me! Don’t you dare try to stop me.
Harry: You’re not seriously…
Larry: Harry! Don’t try to stop me! Don’t you dare try to stop me!
Harry: All right, I won’t try. What’s one less cat’s tail, anyway?
Larry: (changing his tone) Try to stop me. Please try to stop me.
Harry: Well, I, uh… (Ponders for a moment, then adds nonchalantly) No, I won’t do it. You seem to know what you’re doing. You must have thought this through. Just try not to make a mess. You know how your mom hates a messy room.
(Harry starts to leave. Larry drops the knife, grabs Fluffy and runs after Harry.)
Larry: Wait, Harry! Wait!
Harry: (Turns to face Larry) What?
Larry: Didn’t you hear me? I said that I was going to sacrifice Fluffy’s tail!
Harry: Yeah, I heard you.
Larry: But you didn’t try to stop me!
Harry: You asked me not to.
Larry: Yeah, but then I changed my mind. Why didn’t you stop me?
Harry: (smiles) It looks to me like I did stop you.
Larry: (drops jaw) You did stop me! Oh, thank you!
(Larry and Harry sit)
Harry: Why were you going to cut off your cat’s tail?
Larry: Well, I’ve been reading through the Bible this year and I’ve been in the Old Testament for weeks now, and all that they talk about is how you’ve got to make some type of animal sacrifice to atone for your sins.
Harry: Yeah, Old Testament people did have to make animal sacrifices, but…
Larry: (interrupts) You know that the only animal I have is Fluffy.
Harry: Okay, I see where you got the idea, but…
Larry: I thought about sacrificing Fluffy all the way, but I just couldn’t bring myself to kill her because she’s just so, uh, uh…
Larry: Yeah, so instead I thought that I would cut off her tail as a sacrifice.
Harry: (shakes his head) I can’t believe you.
Harry: First, you know that Jesus died on the cross to atone for your sins?
Larry: Yeah, I know that and I asked for forgiveness for my sins.
Harry: Then why were you going to cut off your cat’s tail?
Larry: I guess I was still feeling guilty and far from God.
Harry: (Shakes his head in disbelief) It doesn’t matter how you feel, Larry. It matters that you’re forgiven. You said that you asked for forgiveness, right?
Harry: Then God forgave you.
Larry: (Starts to cry. Speaks to Fluffy) Did you hear that Fluffy? You get to keep your tail!
Harry: Secondly, if you cut off Fluffy’s tail, she would have been the one making the sacrifice.
Larry: (Raises one eyebrow) Oh yeah.
(Harry and Larry Exit. Larry runs back, picks up Fluffy and exits, holding Fluffy close.)