Looking Forward?

If you’re like me, there’s probably something you’re looking forward to. Maybe it’s the premiere of a long-awaited sequel to your favorite movie franchise. How about a family reunion where “everyone” will be there. Or it could be an appointment where the doctor says the tests are “clear”.

We’re looking forward to a family vacation. We’ve made many plans, bought the tickets, kept (and finally revealed) great secrets, packed the bags. Our departure is soon. So soon, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. It’s been a little consuming and I’ve become a little anxious about it. Of course there are great expectations. And hopes that there are no disappointments.

Memories will be made. There’s no doubt about that. Even if there be problems or trials. Romans 5 reminds us that even though those problem and trials WILL happen. But they lead us to something else, then something else, and finally…

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 NLT

God is fashioning us, molding us (if we let Him) to be more and more like His glorious Son. And that certainly will NEVER disappoint and is the greatest thing we could EVER look forward to.

Are You Finished?

The other day, I finished a movie I was watching. I also finished my lunch, finished getting dressed, finished a phone call with my mom, finished baseball practice. I’ve even finished my taxes; there’s not much time left, you know. But you know, I’m never really finished with them. I’ll have to do them again. They’re recurring tasks.

There are some of you who will finish school in a month or so, but you won’t stop learning. Your children will move away from home, but you aren’t finished being a parent. These are processes that last a lifetime. Continue reading

Got Enough?

There is a Finnish Proverb that reads: “Happiness is a place between too little and too much.”

But can you really have too little? Too much? Agur, the very little known writer of Proverbs 30 explains what would happen if the Lord’s provision was too far from “enough”.

“…give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.” (Proverbs 30:8-9 NLT)

The apostle Paul said, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Not because he was so great: “Boy, look at me. Aren’t I something!” No, he goes on to say, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13 NLT)

When he was little, my son Caleb had a very innocent way in which he gave thanks. He would sometimes pray at the dinner table and thank God for each of us (including himself) and usually included this phrase: “Thank you for the things we like, and the things we don’t like.” Granted, he’s talking about some of the food we’re about to eat that he’s not too crazy about, but that pretty much covers it doesn’t’ it? Let’s replace “like” for “have”. God has placed us right where we are, with what we have. Now are there things we shouldn’t strive for? Not necessarily, but still pursue godliness. Read 1 Timothy 6:6-11.

I’ve heard it best said like this: “Contentment is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” And that should be enough.