Let's remember that the key to being humble is
being grateful lest we become proud in our "humility". -- Dr. Jerry Porter, General Superintendent Church of the Nazarene
We can only truly humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord by
thanking Him again and again for the extreme expression of His love towards us
and for being grateful for the plans He has for us --whatever those plans may be
and wherever those plans may take us.
Think about it. Even at the tomb of Lazarus, we know Jesus was humble, because before
calling Lazarus out of the grave, God the Son gave thanks to God the Father for hearing
I thank you very much for everything, my God.
In Jesus' Name.
Amen and Amen.
"Intimacy between people requires closeness as well as distance. It is like dancing. Sometimes we are very close, touching each other or holding each other; sometimes we move away from each other and let the space between us become an area where we can freely move. To keep the right balance between closeness and distance requires hard work, especially since the needs of the partners may be quite different at a given moment. One might desire closeness while the other wants distance. One might want to be held while the other looks for independence. A perfect balance seldom occurs, but the honest and open search for that balance can give birth to a beautiful dance, worthy to behold."
-- Henri Nouwen
The precious Holy Spirit provides the music that beautifully balances our lives in "The Dance".
Sometimes God must laugh out loud at our plans. In fact, I once heard someone say, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans."
I've had one of those days. While I've had peace throughout the whole day, the plans I thought were in place for today have been totally rerouted. (And "totally rerouted" is not an over-statement.) While I set out early this morning to complete the things I thought were "the plan", God had other things in mind for me. So, I've just sort of chuckled inside as I've gone with the flow -- His flow.
Oswald Chambers taught that "God engineers our circumstances". So, if we really trust Him, going with His flow really is the only way to go. We must believe that God is trustworthy even when we cannot understand what He is up to. As a matter of fact, I think the number one thing that breaks our Lord's heart, is when we somehow wrongly imagine that He doesn't know what He's doing when he "totally reroutes" our routines by taking our lives off the beaten path of our own preferences.
In Heaven, it will be glorious to see the other side of things. Yes, now we have a limited perspective, but There we will understand what God was up to all along. Do you suppose we too will laugh out loud then?
Until Heaven is our reality, let's remember this: God's ways are immediately mysterious yet ultimately marvelous.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
-- 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)
The believer who studies the life of Christ as the promise of what his/hers may be, learns to understand how the "Without Me you can do nothing," is but the forerunner of "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." We learn to glory in sufferings, to take pleasure in necessities and distresses for Christ's sake; for "When I am weak, then I am strong."
-- Andrew Murray
Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. -- Psalm 23:6 (NLT) Yesterday, I officiated the funeral and graveside services for a dear saint named Ruth, age 93. Eighteen years ago, I alos had the blessed privilege to officiate the final services for her husband, Richard. Just before Richard passed the line of worlds in 1995, he whispered these comforting words on his death-bed to his beloved Ruth: "Soon we will be together again and we will have everything we ever dreamed of." I now know that Richard and Ruth were dreaming of things eternal, not clinging to the stuff of earth. Do we, too, dream of living in the house of the Lord forever? Grateful
On a blog designed to encourage others, why would I have a post today entitled "Negativism Defined"? Well, sometimes by knowing the definition of who we do not want to be, helps us to choose more precisely who we do want to be.
So here it is. The word "negativism" defined: "an attitude of mind marked by
skepticism about nearly everything affirmed by others"
Lord forgive us when we embrace negativism. Lord forbid that we should go in that direction. Let our lives be definitions of the optimistic Grace that is now ours. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In my reading this week, this poem surfaced. I am not sure of the author exactly, but am sure borrowing it for my blog today will honor our God, humble the writer, and help the readers:
Joy is love exalting, and peace is love at rest, Patience is
love enduring in every trial and test. Gentleness is love yielding to all
that is not sin, Goodness is love in actions that flow from Christ
within. Faith is love's eyes opened, the living Christ to see, Meekness,
love not fighting, but bowed at Calvary. Temperance is love in harness, and
under Christ's control, For Christ is love in person, and love, Christ in the
My wife and I were traveling towards Virginia's coastline and decided to make a pit stop in Hampton, Virginia. We were following our GPS to find some food. As we sat at a traffic light near a shopping center, I saw a scene quite unlike any scene I've ever witnessed before.
Let me attempt to paint a picture of what I experienced...
A light rain was beginning to fall on our car windshield when I first saw him struggling to push himself in his wheelchair through the crosswalk. He was the most pitiful person I believe I have ever seen. Perhaps the fact that he was all alone made him appear even more pitiful.
His clothes were loosely-fitted and his body was obviously paralyzed except for his right arm. He eventually made it up onto the sidewalk just before the light turned from red to green. I slowly turned into the shopping center and with a pain of sorrow for the pitiful young man deep in my heart, I pulled passed him.
We parked in the lot next to a Panera Bread Restaurant and as we approached the entrance, I looked to see how far he was from where we were. He was still probably 300 yards or so away. I didn't feel free to approach him just yet. He looked so tired from the physical exertion he had just made to get from one side of the four-lane road to the other.
We went into the restaurant and placed an order to go. When we came out, there he was. He had parked his well-worn wheelchair and his weary body about 6 feet from the doorway where we exited. He was clutching a McDonald's paper cup in his hand. I looked in the cup as I leaned towards him and noticed about a dozen coins were at the bottom. I took a five-dollar-bill from my wallet and placed it in the cup. He smiled beautifully through his exceptionally, kind eyes. Then our sacred conversation began.
With hard-to-understand speech, he said, My name is Danny. I asked if he had cerebral palsy? He said, No. I was shot in the head by a relative. It pained my heart at the very depths. Noticing my pain for him, he followed up with these words, God allows everything to happen for a reason. He smiled again.
I asked, Do you know Jesus, Danny? Smiling still, he confidently replied, Yes, I do. Then he asked me a question: Do you believe in God? I assured him, I did. Then his questioning continued: Do you know the only thing in your house not made by man? I said, Danny, I'm not sure I know the answer to that question. You tell me, please. With a big grin, he answered: The light coming into your house through the windows. God made the light and placed it in your house. Yes, this seemingly most pitiful person I have probably ever seen inspired my soul with hislight from Heaven sacred language. I was amazed and humbled.
I told Danny that I knew one day he would have a new body in Heaven and that when he got there to look for me, Kerry. He agreed with my words and promised he would indeed look for me There.
I told him that I lived in Harrisonburg on the other side of the Commonwealth. He said, You're a long way from home. After promising to pray for one another until we meet in Heaven, Danny and I embraced as brothers and went on our separate ways.
Later on that same evening in a message to a church member seeking prayer and encouragement, I sent these words: Today, God brought a young paralyzed man across my path. He gave me full perspective. He gave me God's light for today. God loves us!
This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed His life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.
-- 1 John 3:16-17 (MSG)
Almighty God... Don't let the needs of others somehow become invisible to me. Lord forbid, that I should make Your Love disappear. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Last evening at our life group meeting, Eyde shared five good questions that she keeps in her vehicle to pray daily on her drive to and from work. Here they are:
1. Lord, how can I love You today? 2. What act of worship can I do? 3.
What words can I utter that will honor and bless You? 4. What act of service
can I do to represent Your love? 5. How would Your Spirit inspire me to pray
Five good questions to reflect upon and to pray into, for sure!
Let's remember as we reflect and pray that Christ lives in us! Grateful
This morning, I read aloud to our church congregation all of 1 John from the New Testament. It takes about 15 minutes, but the 15 minutes of reading is sure to make an eternal impact on all who will simply hear and choose to live John's first letter.
I invite you to take 15 minutes or so and read aloud this powerful letter written by the best friend of Jesus, yes, the Apostle of Love, John.
Here's the link that will take you to the version I read to our people. It's God's Word Translation of the Love Letter:
Note: There are 5 chapters in all, in 1 John, the Letter of Love. The link above opens up to chapter one, then you can keep clicking the appropriate arrow at the top of the text to read the other 5 chapters.
Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same
event, but one may choose to live it quite differently than the other. One may
choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The
other may choose despair and be destroyed by it.
-- Henri Nouwen
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
-- James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
With deep sincerity, I invite you to pray with me today:
Loving Lord, my Almighty Personal God:
For this new day, I am so totally thankful.
Though the world seems more confusing day-by-day,
You offer clarity to my mind and calm to my soul.
The ruler of this age has suffered defeat and will not prevail.
Surely, time on earth will soon run out...
And humanity will run head-long into eternity.
Intensify Your light in and through me, my Jesus;
Lest those around me, even my beloved ones are lost forever.
I want Your abiding presence to enlarge deep within my being,
Allowing Your glory to comfort me as it captures the hearts of others.
Please overcome all dread, despair, and discouragement inside me.
Replenish me with Your complete love, powerful grace, holy presence.
Let Your mercy renew my strength so I can serve you anew.
And when You return to earth, my Jesus,
Find full-blooming, up-to-date, faith in You... in my soul.
Amen and Amen.
...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?
-- Luke 18:8b (GWT)
Glory belongs to God, Whose power is at work in us. By this power He can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
-- Ephesians 3:20 (GWT)
My mentor, James, gave me a blank journal in January for the purpose of recording God-thoughts and especially for writing down new things the Lord is allowing me to see. When he gave me the book, James said, "Ask the Lord everyday to show you "something new" that you have never witnessed before."
Well, I've been seeing new things and recording some of these sightings as well. One way the Lord is showing me "something new" is in His marvelous Creation. For example, a few weeks ago while on our pastoral staff prayer retreat I saw for the very first time Shoveler ducks on the water. It was a cold day and the waters were iced over in many places. Suddenly these rafts of these beautiful Shoveler ducks were everywhere. (If you look at my digital images associated with this blog you will see a picture of two drake Shoveler ducks in flight over the cold, placid waters of Assateague Island, Virginia.) For a coastal boy, it doesn't get any better than seeing a new species of ducks never before witnessed up close and personal.
My prayer for you today is that the Lord will show you "something new". I want His glory to bring awe into Your soul for His intricate involvement in Creation, even in yourself. Whether He speaks to you through the whispering wings of ducks or in some other unique way, I invite you to live with your eyes and ears wide open.
Lord, Your glory is all around us and even within us. May we be amazed in Your presence. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear "something new" today, yes, something beyond our own imagination. In Jesus' Name. Amen and Amen.
Football season officially ended in the USA last evening with the Super Bowl and this morning there's much talk about famous football greats who were and were not voted into the National Football League's Hall of Fame.
With these thoughts on my mind this morning, I prayed this prayer:
Dearest Lord Jesus, it matters not that people remember my name, only that they remember Yours and that You remember mine. I rejoice today not because my name is up in lights, but because my name is written down in Your Lamb's Book of Life. I claim Your fame, not mine. In Your Holy Name, I pray. Amen.
...rejoice that your names are written in Heaven...
-- Luke 10:20b (NIV)
Perhaps you have clicked the link associated with this blog to listen to audio editions my son, Grayson, and I, record twice weekly called "Front Porch Talks." If you have not, I am including a link that will take you straight there in today's post.
The post was uploaded 2/1/2013 is an interview we were blessed to have with my mentor, Pastor James Spruill. The topic we discussed at Pastor James' request is entitled "Forever Young!"
Pastor James is approaching 74-years-young and I believe it is one of the best interviews to date that we have posted on Front Porch Talks. It will be worth your 30-minute investment to have a listen. I promise.
8Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. -- Colossians 2:8-10 (NLT)
Abba Father, give to us the mind of Christ! Grateful
Twenty-four years ago today, my wife, Kim, gave birth to our second born, a daughter. We named her Allison. She has brought much joy and laughter to our lives. What a precious soul the Lord entrusted her mom and me with when she was born to us.
Allison was married to Joshua on October 6, 2012. Our baby girl is already a wife. The years just flew by. The passage of time is mysterious, but also filled with marvelous memories.
Today our Allison and her Joshua took the train from their new home in New York City to Washington, D.C. We just arrived back from picking them up in Northern Virgina. They will spend the weekend with us at our home in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.
We thank God for the opportunity to celebrate our daughter's birthday. It is a time to rejoice and I just wanted to say on my blog today that I am grateful to God for the blessing of today. I know I don't usually write about my immediate family but today it seemed to be the most essential thing for me to do.
Please pray for my family. How can you pray? Pray the same prayer that my mom often prays. "Lord, help us all to make it to Heaven without the loss of one. Please, Lord don't let our family circle be broken in the Sweet By-and-By. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
Personal success in life for me is to be loved, respected, and appreciated most by the one who calls me husband and the two who call me daddy. I am honored to be the son of a fisherman and humbled to be a fisherman (and a shepherd) for the Son. To help others minimize future regrets is my joy-description. Ultimately, I only exist so that Christ can manifest Himself in/through me. In fact, for me, the Secret of Life is found in these 7 words from The New Testament in Colossians 1:27 -- "Christ in you, the hope of glory." I do not consider myself to be "religious" but I wholeheartedly believe that "when relationship RULES, there's little need for rules!" My first published book was released by Beacon Hill Press, Kansas City, on August 6, 2009. It is titled "Relational Leadership -- What I learned from a Fisherman about Leading a Church." My second book from Beacon Hill Press was released in 2013. Co-written with Dr. Brian Charette it is titled "The Stress Factor -- Finding Rest in an Uneasy World." Finally, not to forget, I was master to a 13-year-old Beagle who passed in 2016 -- The Oreo Pup. I miss him. "...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW
My "Relational Leadership" Book. Click Image to review book and/or to order from Beacon Hill Press, NPH, Kansas City. Grateful!
We don't have to. We get to.
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me...
My late, dear, artist friend, David A. Lawrence, painted this dove in the 1970s. It hangs majestically today in my Granny and Granddaddy's old homeplace. Click on Dove Above for David A. Lawrence's tribute page.
From Cradle to the Cross
From His first cry in the manger to His final cry on the Cross, Jesus lived and lives again with His arms-opened-wide saying, "Come to Me!"
i am grateful. kerry i am.
I pray the time you invest saturating on my RomansTenFifteen blog will inspire your life by radically increasing real intimacy with the Wonderful One, Jesus the Nazarene.
LOVE A GOOD NEIGHBOR!
My neighbor, Philip blessing me.
Lil' Boy, Big Sea. I Stand in Awe of YOU, my GOD!
Click Image to visit America's Best Beach, Ocracoke Island, N.C.
His Beautiful Feet
I want to know Christ... in the fellowship of His sufferings...
Spontaneous Baptism: Click Image for Article
Sunday, May 31, 2009, was Pentecost Sunday and a highlight in my life and ministry as 191 in our local church were spontaneously baptized -- some emmersed, some poured, all humbled! Hallelujah!
Human Feet, Holy Water
i am grateful. kerry i am.
Christ in you, the hope of glory. -- Colossians 1:27b