Monthly Archives: March 2016

Never Alone

I’ve been blessed with wonderful parents. My dad went on home to a heaven a few years ago. My mom resides in an assisted living facility in Pennsylvania. I don’t get down to see her often enough, but I try to call her every week. She’s one of those rare people who can make your day, even in a short phone conversation.

Just today mom and I chatted for a short while. She keeps me abreast of my relatives in Pennsylvania and news from the home front. She’s a strong Christian, so we get to pray together and share what God has been doing in our lives. Mom expressed how one day not long after dad had died she mumbled a question something like, “Did you see that?” Suddenly she realized that she was alone. Having been in a good marriage for over sixty years, she was used to having someone there for conversation. But there was no reply, only silence.

What mom shared next was beautiful. I say that because many people tend to open the door to depression and loneliness when they find themselves where mom was. But mom went the other direction. She realized that she was NOT alone. She remembered a scripture where God promised that He would be a husband to the husbandless. [Isaiah 54:5] She became suddenly aware of His presence in a profound way. God was always there, but now mom was actually experiencing the reality of it.

One of my instructors at RHEMA taught us that you can be lonely in a crowd and be comfortable when all alone. It’s not about how many people surround you; it’s about knowing (and experiencing) a God Who will never leave you. To know that is to know great peace.

In Hebrews 13:5 we’re told “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” The Amplified Bible reads this way:  “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” Add to that part of the Apostle Paul’s statement in Romans that nothing can separate us from the love of God and we have reason to live with a sense of great peace. Of course, we must believe what the Bible says, or it won’t help us at all.

When we know and believe that God is always there, other bits of scripture come alive. In I Thessalonians chapter 5 we’re instructed to “pray without ceasing.” If we think of God as being far off, prayer becomes a laborious chore. We attempt to “pray hard” or “pray through” in order to get His attention. When we know that we know that God is right there, plus we recognize that prayer is a lot more than a list of the things we need, we can pray without ceasing. We can talk to God as we go through our day because HE’S RIGHT THERE!

So, don’t give in to loneliness. The One who loves you more than anyone in the universe is close at hand. In fact, if you’re born again, He lives inside you as the Holy Spirit.

Enjoy His presence today!

God Don’t Make No Fools

I did a little research into the “April Fools” phenomenon associated with the first day of April each year. While no one is sure how it all began, it seems to be widely celebrated as a time to pull pranks on unsuspecting people around the globe. I found a website entitled “Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes.” Here is a sample:

April 1, 1906: The front page of the Wichita Daily Eagle carried news of an astounding natural phenomena. A huge wave, eleven-feet high, was moving southward down the Arkansas River. Simultaneously, a giant mass of millions of frogs, spanning a distance of over eleven miles, was migrating northward up the river. The two (wave and frogs) were predicted to meet at Wichita at around 10 o’clock that morning. The report brought out thousands of Kansans who lined the banks of the river, eager to see such a once-in-a-lifetime event. When, after three hours, the wonder never materialized, it occurred to the crowd what day it was, and they dispersed quietly back to their homes.

While I’ve never pulled off a prank on this level, but I have attempted some on a smaller scale, and I’ve been duped a few times myself.

I’m convinced that our God has a great sense of humor. [Just look around!] I don’t think of Jesus as being morose or depressing. There’s nothing wrong with having a sense of humor. Just be sure to know when it’s time to be serious, and never use humor to denigrate anyone or cause them pain.

We’ve been studying along in the book of Proverbs recently in our New Beginnings class. This book of wisdom contains a kind of “cast of characters” and their attitudes toward Godly wisdom. Three of these are listed in verse 22 of the first chapter: “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?”  Allow me to take a quick look at each.

“The simple” are those who are naïve. They’re not bad people, but their lives display a lack of experience, wisdom and/or judgment. According to verse 22, they love their simplicity. That’s not a compliment! These simple ones are too easily fooled and manipulated, plus people tend to take advantage of them. The good news for the simple is that they don’t have to stay that way. Wisdom is available!

Next we find “the scorners.” Scorn is defined as open dislike or disrespect. Scorners, according to Proverbs, delight in their scorning; they take pleasure in it. As one reads through this book of wisdom we find they mock others, they boast about their superiority, and they even make facial gestures at others to demean them. Hey there mister scorner, you need to get off your high horse and develop some respect for others. If you stay on this course you’ll eventually find yourself friendless!

Thirdly we have “the fool.” Solomon spends a lot of time dealing with this fellow. He’s not stupid or unlearned as much as he is rebellious. He neither knows nor cares about wise living. In fact, the fool hates knowledge, perception, discernment and understanding. They reject those who could teach them, because a fool thinks he knows better. He may even know some things about God, but doesn’t truly know God. Knowing god intimately and personally changes a person. If he would focus on experiencing actual fellowship with God, the fool would begin lose his foolishness. Jesus is made wisdom unto us.

God didn’t make no fools! He didn’t make us to be naïve or scornful either. We should all present ourselves to God and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, bringing forth the new man that we are now in Christ Jesus. No foolin’!