We always think of our neighbors as the people who live in proximity to where we live. However Jesus , when asked by a lawyer about the identity of our neighbors launches into the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The whole purpose of the parable is to show the lawyer and others including us that our neighbors are anybody we see who needs our help. In other words anybody we come in contact with, because the world needs to know love. So the next time you run into a neighbor show them Jesus’ love and take the time to help them to the best of your abilities.
Have you ever had one of those days. I know I have had many in lifetime. More than I like to think about. Today’s little message is a simple one. There are three things you can do to get through one of those days.
1. Don’t dwell on the difficulty. Dwelling on things will not do you any good it will only make things worse. This is not to say it will be easy to just put the bad day out of your mind but it will help if you can.
2.Seek out friends. When you have a bad day don’t hold it in seek out the advice of friends and family to help guide you along.
3. Pray! To me this is the most important thing to do of all three. The Bible is clear we must all bring our cares and worries before God. Isaiah 41:10 has these words from God for us. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
So when you’re having one of those days seek out God and He will being your comfort.
The title of today’s drawing is, “Umbrella Man.” There are some who view God as the umbrella man. You know the guy who is going to cover your head so the rain doesn’t get to you. Isaiah 4:6 does say that God will provide,”a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.” I however have learned over the years there are times when God lets the rain wash over us because He wants us to learn something from the trials or troubles in which we are embroiled. I have grown stronger in my faith through the trials I have had in my life, diabetes, cancer, deaths in the family. Each one has given me more wisdom and prepared for what is yet to come in my life. I have also lived through the times when God returned the umbrella and stopped before it became to much for me to bear. Still I must say no matter the weather condition I am living under I will put my faith In God and live my days with joy in my heart.
The title of today’s drawing is, “A Little Prayer Goes A Long Way.” Philippians 4:6 ESV has this to say about prayer, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” One of the most important aspects of Christian life is praying. We are called on in another Bible verse to, “Pray continuously.” This does not mean you walk around with your hands folded in prayer as you walk down the street. It does however mean you must be in a constant mindset where you honor and thank God for what He is doing in your life.
Back many,many years ago I first accepted the call of Jesus and asked Him into my heart. Soon after I started attending a church where many people listened to what was at the time labeled Contemporary Christian Music or CCM. One of my favorite artists of the genre was Steve Taylor. His music was to say different than anything I had ever heard before. I look back from many years later and think of one song of his which I really liked entitled, “This Disco Used to be a Cute Cathedral.” The song to me was about the decline in attendance at many churches which seems to be on the rise. Years ago attending your local church was something you did without question. Back then the church in turn to care of the needs of the people.
In our modern society over 80% of Americans claim to be Christians but only 20% attend church. That leaves 60% of the people who claim to be Christians not filling the seats in local churches. This means as Steve Taylor sings many churches empty and being converted to other uses.
This is sad my friends because a church is not just a place where we worship, it is a place called to be in service to God in the local community. So we need to get our you know whats back into the seats to worship but also out of the seats and into the streets in service to serve God by helping those in need.
The prompt for today is the word, “shadow.” I love this quote from Austin O’Malley, “When walking through the ‘valley of shadows,’ remember, a shadow is cast by a Light.” When walking through the shadows of life we must always remember there is light in front of us to guide out way. Jesus said, “I am the truth, the way and the light.”
I just realized I did a variation on the his picture before. This one is entitled, “Hot Times, Cool Breeze.” I am not a beach person, my wife, well it is hard to get her to leave. She loves the sea shore, the sand the ocean. Need I go on? While I am not a sandy beach person there is one thing however I do like about the shore, the ocean breeze. After a blazing hot day at the shore, driving up and down the highway looking in all the thrift stores, there is nothing like sitting by the ocean with breeze blowing in off the ocean. The cool air washes away the heat of the the day making you feel refreshed.
I often think of Sunday morning church in the same way. After a long week in the hot sun of a daily work week in our hectic world there is nothing like the cool breeze of a church service. The music, the fellowship, the sermon, the worship wash over you giving you a refreshed feeling like sitting on the beach at night. All is calm, all is bright.