Sixteen year old Ashley Mulroy collects water!After reading about antibiotics creeping into the rivers of Europe, she collected and tested 350 samples from the Ohio River near her home.Her scientific curiosity has amassed her some $70,000 in prize money from science fairs.She became interested in nature as a child while taking walks in the woods with her mother.
"Day-to-day stuff, how water comes through the faucet, fascinates me.Science is not this dead thing.It's happening all around us," she said.
Knowing God is like that.His handiwork isn't the exclusive property of theologians in seminaries, and discovery of the daily miracles of the Holy Spirit aren't limited to preachers, bishops and deacons.He is seen in the drop of rain on the window sill, the blade of grass pushing through the crack in the concrete, and the diligent little ant laboring with a load which is, to him, larger than life.In all these things spiritual lessons can be learned.Oh, to be childlike again, to wonder about stuff as we did back then.Where does rain come from and where does it go after it falls?How do blades of grass and ants have the strength to lift impossible burdens and grow where there is so little nourishment?What a magnificent God we serve!
GospeLines Prayer:"Father, if I could not see, I would FEEL your handiwork; if I could not touch, I would HEAR your creation; if I could not hear, I would SMELL what you have made.Your sweet aroma is everywhere; You are in, on, above, below and around all that there is.You are bigger than life itself.How do people miss Your presence?"Amen and amen
Finding something we enjoyed doing together became more difficult as my sixteen year old son got older and became more independent; however, fishing is one sport we both enjoy and find common ground with a rod in our hands.
I remember the day we stood on a man made jetty on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico near Freeport, TX., fishing for whatever would bite the hook.The school holiday resulted in crowded conditions but the large group of fellow-anglers were catching only a few small fish, but nothing to brag about.Down here in Texas, bragging is as much a part of this sport as catching fish.
Miraculously, something nibbled on my line and I patiently waited to set the hook.Then the battle began with my light tackle straining to the maximum.A small crowd gathered to watch the action as it was plain by the bend in the rod that something good was about to happen.
At the base of the jetty, there are huge boulders jutting out into the water.Catching the fish would prove to be a lot easier than landing it....without a net!After several minutes, the fish tired as I muscled it closer, and waited for a wave to lift it higher so it could be tugged upon a nearby rock.I turned to hand my son the rod while I pulled the fish in by hand.Together we successfully landed a large sheepshead and received kudos from the spectators for our expertise.
The response of the crowd to the biggest fish of the day was gratifying, but the proud look I saw on the face of my son was priceless.For a few moments, the gap narrowed between teenager and middle-age dad.We did something together that neither of us could have successfully accomplished alone.
Bridging gaps is a lifetime opportunity.Setting aside our own pride and handing the rod to someone else is not a sign of weakness, but of inclusion.If the task you have been given seems overwhelming, it could be God's way of saying "Bridge the gap."Serve as mentor to a child or a co-worker and let them share in the joy of being needed.A Christian doesn't live on an island of separation.We thrive in a sea of individuals, to whom we are obligated to become divinely connected.
GospeLines Prayer:"Father, I really need help with this.It is so much easier to just do it myself, that I forget how I learned to serve you at the feet of some very special, very patient tutors.Open my eyes to see the value of asking help from others.Thank you for my son's willingness to take the rod when it was handed it to him."Amen and amen.
Sometimes as I sit at my keyboard, I have no idea what to write about.Sure, I have lots of ideas; but, frequently, when I start one, it just doesn't seem to go anywhere - The Spirit isn't helping - so I stop.
I've found that God will tell me what to write if I just pay attention to His messages.Recently, He sent me a topic by way of one of our readers who asked:
"I've learned that it's the intimacy with God that's lacking in my relationship with Him and that this is the reason I felt and still feel at times that I'm not saved. Is there anything you can and would share that may be able to help me?"
When I read those words, my spirit cried out and my eyes filled with tears.My brother is in pain when he should be rejoicing.He is knows our Savior and King; but, he does not know that he has free access into the Holy of Holies - The place where Jesus lives.
For this beloved brother and for all of you who do not have a close and intimate relation with our Savior, I humbly dedicate this devotional.
From the NIV we read these words of John the Baptist: "Whoever believesin the Son haseternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."(John 3:36)
Let's read these words again from the Amplified Bible to help us fully understanding what John was saying:"And he who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life. But whoever disobeys (is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to) the Son will never see (experience) life, but [instead] the wrath of God abides on him. [God's displeasure remains on him; His indignation hangs over him continually]."Do you cling to Jesus?Do you place all your confidence in Him?If so, you have (present tense) eternal life with Him.
Jesus' own words tell us that "...whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24).
Many times, we read these words; but, somehow, they just don't sink in... They don't satisfy our need to KNOW we are saved.Brothers and Sisters, this knowledge - this knowing what you know - is available to you.
"Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me.He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him." (John 14:21)
The Greek word we translate as "show" is emphanizo and it means to inform, to manifest, to show one's self, to appear, to disclose, declare, and make known.Brothers and Sisters, if you want Him to personally tell you that you are saved, He has promised that He will.
Go to Him in prayer.Be silent before Him and listen to Him as He speaks to your spirit.Jesus promised that He would be with us always (Matthew 28:20) and that He would show Himself to us (John 14:21).Give Him the opportunity to speak to you.Hear Him and you will KNOW that you are His, now and forever, so you can be at peace; knowing what you know.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 2:5
Thursday: November 10, 2005
Vacation is over.It was fun; we celebrated my wife's birthday with her family (in Arizona) and my twin girls (13) got to spend a week taking care of their 1 and 2 year-old cousins (They loved it!).
It turned out to be a lot more than a vacation.God planned several lessons that I needed to learn; and, as I sit hear tonight, I realize that even when things seemed to be falling apart, He was always in charge.
Most of you know that I send out our daily devotionals from my "alternate" e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.I planned on doing everything just like I do at home; except, while on vacation, I would be using my laptop instead of my desktop computer.Unfortunately, my plans to "easily" send our devotionals from my laptop met with many problems.
Two days into our vacation and two very late nights with lots of frustration and disappointment, finally convinced me that the only way I was going to send devotionals was to use Web-mail, not my normal Microsoft Outlook.I didn't like the solution; but, it seemed better than not sending anything.
Yes, I was frustrated, angry and disappointed.I had forgotten that this was God's business and He was the only one that mattered.I hadn't stopped to ask what he thought.
God's view of the situation was totally different.As a result of these "problems," He revealed three subscribers to GospeLines who were not getting their daily devotionals - and the situation was corrected.All of these subscribers let us know that the most recent devotionals (the one's they would have missed) really blessed them.
Many of our readers wrote that although the formats were "strange" (I'm being kind to myself), they were actually blessed by the frequent multiple copies they receives as I learned to operate in Web-Mail.Several readers were amused (in a loving way) at my frustrations.I would like to say to each of you who responded with love and support that you not only blessed me; but, you taught me a tremendous lesson; God is in charge and He will always work things to His liking.All we have to do is be patient and wait for His hand to move.
God not only resolved our technical problems; but, He reached people in ways that would not have happened if everything had operated normally.
Why do we keep forgetting His words in Isaiah 55:9:"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts"?
Thank you and God bless each of you who offered words of encouragement as I struggled through this "learning experience."Let's all resolve to let God be in charge and trust Him to always work our circumstances for His glory and purpose.More than ever, I stand before you as your servant.Humbled by the work of the Master's hand and filled with joy to be serving beside each of you.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 2:5
Friday: November 11, 2005
"Do you think they'll notice"?
Have you ever seen any of Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies?In almost every one, there is a scene where he is preparing for "the battle."He straps on weapon after weapon; he puts on camouflage; and, loads himself up with ammunition and explosives.Can you imagine what would happen if someone equipped like this walked into your place of work?
Have you ever been to the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" in Washington?If so, did you watch the Honor Guard stationed at the tomb?No matter what happens, those men stay at their post and they never smile, react, or show any emotion other than their total commitment to their assignment.When you see them, you know that they are totally committed to the honor and memory of their fallen comrades.
Have you ever watched Billy Graham on television?If you have, you could not have missed his total commitment to saving the lost.His every word, action and deed shows his devotion to the Lord and his love for mankind.No matter where he goes, he is forever true to his calling.
Three people, one imaginary (Arnold's characters), one military, and one spiritual, all are obviously and totally committed to their calling.Is there any similarity between these people and the image Paul describes in Ephesians 6: 10-18?
Paul tells us to "Put on the full armor of God."This includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and coverings for our feet that come from the gospel of peace.We are also told to "take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one"and to put on"the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit."Sounds a lot like Schwarzenegger doesn't it?
If we really do what the Word tells us, we'll have one thing in common with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Tomb Honor Guards and Billy Graham; our purpose and mission will be obvious to all observers.
Are you obvious?Does everyone who comes in contact with you know that you are an heir of God and a co-heir with Christ?Do they know with certainty that you are a Child of God and that you have been born again?If not, why not?
The soldier Paul described in Ephesians was an analogy of a Roman soldier.The Roman soldier of that day would never be unrecognized.They were known (and feared) all over the world.Paul was telling us that we should be likewise recognized and feared by those whose allegiance is to Satan.
Are you recognized?Are you answering God's calling in such a way that everyone who comes in contact with you has seen and touched our Lord Christ?Are you a light unto the world; a city on a hill that cannot be hidden? God does not want us to put His light under a bowl; but, He wants us to put it on a stand and let it give light to everyone. (Matthew 5:14-15)
It's time to stand us for Jesus.Be like the man with the shriveled hand and "Stand up in front of everyone."Stand up on your feet and be recognized.Jesus said, "If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in His Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)Jesus also said, "I'll be back."