Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Have a playful Christmas!

Posted: December 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

kids & animals manger scene

If the mystery and awe and joy of the Christmas story does not move you the way it used to, maybe it’s time to release your inner child.

When my grandchildren came on the scene, they helped to restore my playful spirit. They are so easily amused and entertained and I love to experience their new discoveries with them. Asher, who is 2, is now saying “ooooooo!!!” when we drive by the colorful lights.

When we were toddlers, our world was full of wonder. Laughter was common and trust came easy. We had no past to regret and we hadn’t yet learned to worry. Then something happened. We grew up. We experienced pain, embarrassment and heartache, which produced fear, cynicism and distrust. But Jesus said,

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little
children
, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 18:3)

We need a childlike faith to trust God, to enjoy being his children and to live without fear and anxiety, even in this crazy, cruel world. The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension (Philippians 4:7) produces a joy that beats circumstantial happiness any day.

So go ahead, have fun this Christmas. It’s supposed to be merry, after all!

The angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you
good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
(Luke 2:19)

During the coldest time of year, when the trees are bare and the nights are long and signs of life are hard to find, a shimmer of hope breaks through with the emergence of a brand new year.  I used to wonder why people celebrate so much on January 1st

https://dwellinhissecretplace.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/draw-closer-this-week-15-its-time-to-turn-over-a-new-leaf/

a new leaf

Hello, everyone!

I haven’t added any posts for awhile because I’ve been busy working on a new study called Dwell in His secret place. It’s similar to the Get Close to God series on this blog but will be a year long quest discovering and practicing 12 keys for an intimate relationship with Christ.  There will also be weekly posts to help keep us on track.

If you are a Facebook user you will soon receive an invitation to join us.  If not, you can catch the posts on my new blog:

http://dwellinhissecretplace.wordpress.com/

I’m really excited about this project because it is a collection of truths and tips from the Bible, authors, friends, and things you have shared on Rob’s Reflections since August, 2008.

I really appreciate the way you have followed this blog over the years and I hope you will come along on this new journey with me and contribute often with your comments.  We can learn so much from each other!

See you there,
Rob

 

 

How hungry are you for God?

Posted: August 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

Forty-third in the series Get close to God

Bible with communionComfortable, Content, Satisfied.  Sound good?  While we should appreciate the blessings God has given us, these adjectives can actually lead to a stagnant and lukewarm Christian life.  The American dream tends to temper our dependence on God, puff up our pride and in many cases, relegate our religion to a weekly ritual and meal time graces to keep us in good standing.  We tend to forget how wretched we are and how much we need Christ to live a holy life.

Maybe we don’t know what we’re missing.  Maybe we don’t understand how Paul could say that everything he had accomplished in his life was rubbish compared to knowing Christ.  (Philippians 3:8)  God gives us material things to enjoy, but if we’re not careful they can become idols, cheap imitations for the true riches he intends for us.  Materialism can lull us into a false sense of security and make us complacent, eroding our trust and dependence on him.

“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You…my soul clings to You…my soul longs for You.”  (Psalm 63:1, 8, 143:6)  Do David’s words describe your appetite for God?  If not, how can we increase our desire for him, or for anything, for that matter?  Think back on the first time you tried a new food and discovered you liked it or discovered a common interest with an acquaintance which resulted in a close friendship over time.  “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8)  Seek and pursue Christ like you would for buried treasure and you’ll be rewarded.  When you find him and get to know him, you’ll desire him above all else.

I am so content that I’m not content

The closer I get to God, the more I want him.  According to Andrew Murray, “It is only into the thirst of an empty soul that streams of living water flow.  Ever thirsting is the secret of never thirsting.”  I have become so content with Christ that I’m not content when I have allowed the distractions of life to pull me away from him.  Even my emotions and moods are affected.  My quiet times are more than a filling station.  They’re an opportunity to enjoy sweet fellowship with my Savior and immerse myself into his word, not just to read my daily quota.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”  (John 6:53)  If you want to really live, you need Christ in you.  Everything else is counterfeit.

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we don’t have to fake a smile.  The joy and peace comes through and we don’t need a self improvement book to make us feel good about ourselves.  We just need to count our blessings and share this priceless gift with others who are trying to fill their empty souls.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  (Mathew 5:6)

rr

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Why do I go to church?

Posted: July 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

steeple2

Forty-second in the series Get close to God

Going to church is something I’ve done all my life.  I’ve benefited greatly from the instruction, inspiration, and encouragement I have received, but lately I’ve been wondering if I’ve been more of a taker than a giver.  Am I only seeking to be fed or am I willing to be more than a spectator?  I’m not talking about the offering here; most of us know we shouldn’t come to church with a closed fist; “No one is to appear before Me empty-handed.” (Exodus 23:15)

But what is worship on Sunday morning?  Is it something I can stroll into after it’s started as long as I get into my seat before the sermon begins or is it something more than a preliminary, something that I should be on time for to prepare my heart to hear from God?   Or maybe come a little early so I can encourage or pray for someone?  Am I hoping to meet God together with my fellow believers, to bring glory to Him, not only for his goodness to me but in the midst of severe trials? Am I awed to be in the presence of the Lord or am I lukewarm as I enter his house?

Am I just mouthing the words like a robot when I sing “All that is within me bless his holy name” or am I giving it my best shot?  Am I expressing my love and thanks to the Lord my God with all my heart and soul and mind and strength or just going through the motions?  Am I expecting the worship leaders to bless me or do I have some responsibility to shoulder, like blessing the Lord?

Those are a lot of questions, but ones I need to ask myself when I get up on Sunday morning.  If I don’t start my worship as soon as I get out of bed and pray for the upcoming service I will probably be distracted when I get there and be critical of the musicians or the song selections or become detached from my mission, which is to focus on the glorious meeting with my Savior and enjoy the privilege of making music (or least a joyful noise) to the Lord with my Christian brothers and sisters.  I need to “worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”  (Hebrews 12:28)

When people come to church ready to engage in praise and worship, it’s contagious and a wonderful experience to behold.  I know there are as many styles of worship as there are personalities, but I want the Lord to know that I’m happy to be in his house.  Can he see our love for him on our faces as he looks out on our congregation?  I hope so.

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”  (Psalm 122:1)

 

Click here for the entire Get Close to God series


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Click this link to watch a video our worship pastor, Kevin Perry, produced of our daughter, Stephanie, and her husband, Chris, telling their story of heartache, pain and God’s love, grace and hope.

 http://vimeo.com/28695387

Patient Continuance

Posted: May 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 candle_lights_heading21

Vacations never seem long enough.  Times of fellowship with our loved ones appear to end quickly.  Our babies become adults overnight.  We often make the statement “Time flies when you are having fun.”  Happy times do go by quickly, but not so with the hard times.  The hard times often seem to move at a snail’s pace.

Recently Phobe Snow, a bluesy singer, guitarist, and songwriter died.  When reading about her life, I was particularly impressed, not by her accomplishments in the world of music, but by the fact that for thirty-one years she took care of her daughter, Valerie, who was brain damaged.  Day by day, year by year, Ms. Snow poured her life into the life of her daughter.

Often in life we are called to take long-term care of someone, and it can fatigue us physically and exhaust us mentally.  Long-term care of someone is not only taking care of one’s physical needs, but sometimes long-term care is being kind to someone in our lives who has an ungrateful spirit.  Long-term care can be years of praying for a loved one to be saved.  Many times, long-term care involves caring and loving someone who is incapable of returning that care and love.

Doing what is right does not necessarily mean that it will be easy, fun, or short-lived.  We are not to get “weary in well doing” (II Thess. 3:13), but with “patient continuance” (Romans 2:7) we are to continue taking care of, praying for, and loving each other.  No one else may see what we do, care that we do it or remember what we have done, but our Father sees, cares, and will remember.

Galatians 6:9  “And let us not be weary in well doing:  for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Diane Padgett  5/11/2011

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