When you see those ads on TV that seem too good to be true, you’re right. Most, if not all, are just that, too good to be true. Even if whatever you order is a good product, once they get your email address or phone number, you’re going to be added to a lot of other lists. Soon the annoying emails and phone calls will make you wish you had not ever responded in the first place. The only time we can be sure it’s not too good to be true is with God’s promises. When something he says seems too good to be true, in God it is always true.
Generous in Gifts
Have you ever started a new job and found no one would offer to help you catch on to all the unfamiliar company procedures? This happens in some work environments where people are anxious about their jobs. You are seen as the competition. Or maybe you find yourself a bit jealous when you see someone else promoted at work. Our Savior was never that way. He didn’t hoard his spiritual gifts. He allowed his disciples to heal and to cast out demons. He also gave these spiritual powers to the seventy when he sent them out. When his disciples questioned others not in their group who were casting out demons in his name, Jesus said leave them alone. As followers of Jesus we all were given gifts and talents to serve. Let’s not be jealous or concerned about sharing them with others. Like Jesus, let’s be generous, putting any thoughts of competitiveness behind us.
Wild and Stormy
Here in north Texas we had another wild and stormy evening. First came the wind, then driving rain and hail. It sounded like rocks crashing onto my roof, which it was—ice rocks! With the howling wind and the hail and rain hitting roof and windows, I appreciated my little house and felt sorry for any who had to be out with no shelter. As vulnerable human beings we need physical shelter but we also need spiritual shelter. Jesus knows how important that need is and includes it in the Lord’s Prayer. Sometimes our lives can seem wild and stormy, both physically and spiritually, but we can be secure knowing he is always there. He has hold of our hand and he won’t let go!
All artists know if they’ve been painting or sculpting for a while, errors happen. They also know sometimes what they first thought was a devastating mistake added something special to their work, something they hadn’t originally imagined. Think about that when awful failures from your past come to haunt you, and remember who the greatest artist is.
Ducks Are Back
Our neighborhood mallard duck couple is back! After our latest rainstorm there they were, floating along in the flooded bar ditch next to the road. Those two are one of the signs of spring for me, like daffodils and tulips. The seasons here in Texas aren’t as clearly defined as in other areas. Many years it’s one or two weeks of spring dividing a frigid winter cold spell from scorching hot summer temps. It seems that way, anyway. In a world of continuous change, it’s comforting to see some of nature’s familiar patterns. I’m sure God planned it that way.
He Raised Me Up
After singing worship songs, I’m left with the music still going through my head. I like that. It’s like background music to my life. Now I wouldn’t like it if what was in my head was some commercial ditty or elevator music. I would hate that, but words of praise to God, that’s great. It helps me focus on what’s truly important. Right now, the words that come: “He raised me up to sit upon his shoulders. He raised me up to be what I could be.” I love that, because I know it’s so true. How about you? What a disaster we can make of our lives until he raises us up out of the holes we dig for ourselves.
While growing up I would hear my dad complain about sparrows eating his maize crop, so to me sparrows were bad. Even now when I see sparrows feeding on birdseed meant for cardinals, chickadees and bluebirds, my first thought is to shoo them away. But, when the Scriptures tell us God knows every time one tiny sparrow falls, it tells me he cares about sparrows too. They may be dull colored little beggars, but he created them and he calls his creation good. When we consider how blessed we are in this country, dressed like Joseph in his splendid, many-colored coat, I hope we don’t believe God cares for us more than for those covered in rags in other countries, suffering famine and disease.
Don’t you love to sing worship music! I especially love the hymn, “Great Is His Faithfulness.” Tears always come when I sing that song because I so appreciate God’s faithfulness to me. He was faithful to me, provided for me, loved me, even when I was going my own way, wanting what I wanted above all, instead of looking to him. Great is his faithfulness! Hymns are prayers to God set to music. When I was part of a choir, our director would remind us to think about the words we were singing. It made such a difference when we were not so focused on getting everything just right and were truly singing praises to our God.
A Trivial Request
I got off late to meet friends for dinner, so on the drive to the town some miles away I prayed for no holdups. I pride myself on not being late to anything. Along the way I sailed through half a dozen or more stoplights, amazingly all green, and with no other slowdowns, I arrived right on the dot. Running late was my fault. If I had been late, the sky wouldn’t have fallen, yet God acknowledged my prayer. How embarrassing! What a trivial request when there’s so much suffering in the world! Sometimes God reminds us he is always right there, hearing all our prayers, even the most insignificant.
Rain, Blessed Rain!
Before and after the snow and ice came rain, blessed rain, falling like silver dollars dropping on our dry pastures and fields. Those raindrops are much more valuable than silver dollars because rain is worth more than any amount silver or gold can buy. Ask any farmer or rancher here in Texas. Okay, they might complain about the slush and muck they must deal with working outside, but they have to smile when they see their stock ponds filling up.