Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Before You is a Choice ~

If you were to die tonight are you assured of your eternity, 
where you will spend it?

So many of us maintain respectable morals and values, 
we are good people, we do good things for others.
Is it enough?
The Bible tells us it's not.
Happy doing our own thing.
Money and relationships are both in check.
Successful, got all the stuff, house, car, pool,
travel, friends, family, done deal.......
but where will you spend eternity.


Happiness, depends on the day.
Relationships are on and off, always worried about money.
Hoping the car has no problems, how will I feed the kids?
Barely hanging on,
relationship will I survive?
Will I always be alone?
Why is this happening to me?
When will it ever get better?
Where will you spend eternity?

Christianity, not a religion of do's and don'ts.
Rather a relationship with someone bigger than I.

Christian's often given a bad rap due to those radical's
behaving and judging in a manner that is so NOT Christian.
Christian's, we mess up daily. 
Some are hypocrites, liars, even self righteous people.
Not perfect by any means, but we should be striving to be better,
more like Him. 
It's why we need Him, because we do fail in some way daily.

I found myself wanting that piece of the puzzle that would fill me up,
secure in this life, promised an eternal life
when I leave this world... to be worried about tomorrow no more.
A peace within that I was forever lacking.
Found in the One true God.

I became a Christian in the 5th grade.
I lived my life praying when I needed something and believing God
was always with me, and He was.
What I didn't do was truly make Him Lord of my life. I continued
to live as though nothing had changed to anyone watching.
I still found myself
empty, worried,  silently  starving for some inner peace, 
for true hope.
Thinking I could live my life under my own terms doing what I wanted.
It wasn't enough, though I tried for years to prove it otherwise.
I was running the race but it was the wrong race.

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
 let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. 
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

I was
lost in what was "correct' according to the world.
Being a good person, having some fun, if it 
feels good do it....
 all that should be required to be happy...that's the story 
the world was telling me.
Still empty.
The message of Jesus to us, 
is to come to Him with
 the faith of a child, no preconceived notions,
no worry of what anyone else might think.
 He wants us to unlearn what the world has promised us
relearn life as it was marked out for us to live it fully
for Him.
There is nothing you have to change before you start to live the life
God had planned for you.
It requires only that you believe and you ask Him to be Lord of you life,
and mean it.
Studying what His book says and living it !

What changed for me.
 The world wasn't there for me when I needed what no other person
on earth could give me.
That night when I learned, 
I could not rely on my own strength, because all strength was lost.
Stripped of all control as I watched a team of Doctors and Nurses attempting 
to save my Father's life.
I needed God in that very moment,
 someone much larger than myself, to remain on my feet,
 to be my strength, the strength
I was going to need in the hours and days to come.

I needed God in that single moment that I had feared
would one day come, 
that moment
when my life would be a 
a life
 without my Father in it.

I made God the Lord of my life that day,
no longer attempting to guide myself.
It's in those difficult times you realize, you, in your own strength
are not enough.

Everything changed for me that day.
Days later I said good bye to my sweet Dad...
 That was bearable only because with that last breath of his,
I had God's promise I would see my Dad again.
I will spend eternity in heaven, one day to be reunited with, now, both of  my parents.

Without giving my life to Christ, starting new again,
 I can't imagine 
how fragile my life would be....

He will become your strength in every situation if you let Him. 

I'm aware there are many who do not believe what the Bible says.
Can I tell you, many have set out to prove it as false and have failed to do so?
Those very non believers whose life mission was to prove it a lie,
in the end many became Christians themselves.
(Read "More than a Carpenter"  by Josh McDowell)

I know there are doubters of the Christian faith....
When pondering the question of  your eternity, 
consider the possibility that He is the way, He is the truth.
What do you have to loose if you accept Him as the one true God
and discover in the end it was just a story?
You are no worse off.


believing it's false and
continuing to live how the world wants you to,
only to discover its
....Only it's too late for an eternity, with Him?
The alternative is an
 eternity so horrible you can't imagine,
if the story is true....

I have complete faith that I can believe without seeing;
 He is real and so are His promises.
I  have countless examples of moments in my life that can only
be explained as the hand of God....

I have found that piece of the puzzle.
I hope for all of those I care about and those I've yet to meet
to  have the promise of eternity in Heaven.

John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
 but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, 
for God’s wrath remains on them.

it's what echos from my heart today.....and always.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Leaving Lonely and Finding Hope ~

Just not feeling that thankful and cheerful......

It's nearing  that time of year we refer to as the holiday season.
At time of thankfulness and good cheer.
Not so for everyone.
This is a time of year when many are at there loneliest.
When you can't think of a thing to be thankful for, 
your missing someone so much it's erased the word cheer from your vocabulary.
Have you ever been there? 
Maybe you are now?

Your alone and nobody could possibly understand just how alone you are.
A long winters nap that would allow you to escape from this time of year?
Wake me up in January....long after the New Year's celebration...what's to celebrate?

I've been there and hope to never return to it!
It can be a very painful place to be.
More so if you are without companionship, but let it be can be just as lonely while in a relationship.

It always helps if you have a group of people in your life that will encourage you.

God can use this time to train us to depend on Him first!
He is inviting us to depend on Him.
This is the best time to begin journaling if you don't already.
Soon you can read back and see that you have made progress, you 
can see what God did when maybe you were unaware.

We aren't always aware of His presence.
However the Bible tells us in 

Matthew 28:20;

"I am with you always (not sometimes),
even tell the end of time."

Focus on that fact, not what your feeling.

Philippians 4:13;

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me"

all things not some things.

Keep your focus on God's promises, read His Word,
reach out to others rather than isolate yourself.
If you will seek Him you will be comforted and 
gain the strength and courage to see it through.

If God brings you to it, 
God will bring you through it.

I remember at one time feeling so low that nothing and no one 
could bring me out of it.....a point of no return from sad and lonely.
Of course I failed to allow God in, 
I failed to reach out to Him.
I failed to realize God had a plan for my life,
and He has one for you too!

If this is speaking to you, then God has just used me in a special way!
Praying for all who read this,
He can do what no other can.

it's what echos from my heart today.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

On Giving Thanks ~

I love to read quotes on specific topics, 
today it was on giving thanks.

"Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all."

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal
more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life
becomes rich."
                                                                  ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Thou hast given so much to me....
Give one more thing - a grateful heart."
                                             ~George Herbert

"Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your blessings;
See what God hath done."
             ~Charles Spurgeon

On giving thanks,  it's what echos from my heart today......

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Handling the Results ~

A friend and Pastor I went to school with posted this ~
Thanks Paul :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tranquility in the Political

The election is over and we can, at long last, beat our political posters into plowshares.  Are you content with the results?  Coping with the elusive equanimity of spirit we hoped would accompany things going our way is a challenge we all must face.  

Battles have their place, but the peace twixt battles must be handled harmoniously and with a serenity which fosters civility—even among those who severely disagree.  The hangings in effigy, midnight beatings among neighbors, vandalism and artful digital gesticulations against pedestrian billboards must cease.

Soon (too soon for my taste) the next election will beckon us to once again participate in the process and we will all re-arm—hopefully with only thoughts and arguments, but for now we must resign to our destinies.  The election is over and the people have spoken—but from a deeper perspective, God has spoken. 

In a primary and ultimate sense it is God who makes kings and laws.  Those kings and laws can be a blessing or they can be a curse but mere man finds the acme of contentment in knowing there is a Supreme Governor of events who declares the beginning from the end— whose counsel shall stand.  To curse the results of the election is to curse the providence of God. 

Is this an encouragement to call good evil or evil good?  Far from it!  Does it mean those who believe in a sovereign God should be passive in the affairs of this world?  Certainly not!  We should pursue our convictions—be they ecclesiastical, familial or political with zeal and vigor.  But we are to be reassured that the world is not left to slapdash, uncertain promiscuities—as Einstein said, “God would not play dice with the universe.”  God has given us just what we need—or just what we deserve.

These words may only speak to those who believe in an omnipotent Triune God—who believe God’s hand is not too short to determine election results.  If that’s the case, more than half the readers will find some peace, though perhaps hoping for different results in the election.  If that half finds some peace, they’ll be better neighbors and everyone benefits.  

Peace of mind begins when we realize God is capable of utilizing ungodly people making ungodly decisions (I’m not saying who falls into this category) in His own incomprehensibly divine, just and glorious manner. 

For example, I never would have voted for Pilate for governor.  Let’s do the ciphering:  If not for Pilate there would have been no conviction of Jesus—If there were no conviction of Jesus there would have been no cross—If there were no cross there would be no redemption.  God had Pilate right where He wanted him.  And through a negligent politician, man was emancipated from sin.  I would never have voted for Pilate.  But when God revealed His secret plan, I am grateful that His will and not my will was done. 

It was this knowledge of God’s mighty hand that gave Joseph (the one with the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) solace when his brothers threw him in a ditch, sold him into slavery resulting in his imprisonment in Egypt.  Their purpose for the treachery was evil but God meant it for good. 

In the first century the followers of Jesus were about to face deadly and torturous religious and political persecution.  In that hostile context Jesus said “peace be with you.”  When the faithful are invited by God to peace, it’s not a ‘grin and bear it’ peace.  It’s a peace recognizing the invisible hand of a good God behind all of men’s decisions—even the evil decisions.

          The Apostle Peter calls his readers to honor the king.  The king was Nero, the psychopathic Caesar.  Peter wrote this knowing there was a King of kings, a ruler of the kings of the earth.  Solomon taught that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it where He wishes.”

          We all wish things were better.  But true, unwavering peace comes through a yielding of our souls to a primary decision-maker who will not apologize for one moment of the history he’s ordained.  Nothing settles the heart better than knowing there is an able Captain at the helm—a Captain who is not only capable of sailing the ship, but governing the storm.  I’m hoping I can be that content person—for my neighbor’s sake.
On being's what echos from my heart today.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Thankful today for the right to vote.
Trusting God with the outcome !

America is what echos from my heart today....

Thursday, November 1, 2012





This little chubby duck....
is what echos from my heart blessed.