Archive for June, 2007

Pearly Gates

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown (Isaiah 43:2)

One day trouble entered the land of the bivalves. A tiny grain of sand, sharp and painful, intruded into one oyster’s shell.

The oyster might have protested, “If there is a God of justice and love, why should this be permitted?”

The oyster might have harbored resentment and bitterness or entertained self-pity.

Or the oyster might have tried to deny reality. It might have said, “Pain is an error of the mind. I’ll dismiss it by projecting my thoughts on a high, positive level.”

Or the oyster might be stoic: “Though I’m bleeding and sore,” it might proclaim, “I’ll never surrender.”

Instead, the oyster begins patiently to deposit upon the quartz a milky substance, making out of the grain of sand that for which divers are willing to risk their lives—a pearl, a thing of wondrous beauty wrapped around trouble.

It’s more than a figure of speech to say that we enter into heaven through pearly gates. When the Spirit of God enters into you, you’ll become triumphant because Christ has promised not to save us from trouble, but to save us in it.

Making a Great Knife Blade

Monday, June 11th, 2007

I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10-11)

Buck knives have been called the best sporting knives in the world. Chuck Buck, CEO of the Buck Knife Corp., says, “The Christian life is analogous to our process of making blades. The blade is put in the furnace and has to go through 2,000-degree heat for 45 minutes to an hour.

“Then we plunge it into a 100-degree-below-zero container for three hours. After that, it’s put in a tempering furnace for one and a half to two hours at a low, steady 800 degrees, and it really seems we’ve forgotten this little knife. Finally it comes out, toughened to a 58 Rockwell hardness and ready for anything.

“When a person gets saved, he thinks, Now I’m a Christian and everything is going to be okay. But all of a sudden here come the temptations, here comes the persecution, and the person thinks God has forgotten him. I’ve been tempered through the trials I’ve faced.”

Pain and loss forge strength into our character and teach us about the character of God. They remove our impurities, harden our moral fiber, and make us more useful tools in His hand.

From The Power Book by Stephen Arterburn

Benefit of the Doubt

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

I was throwing batting practice to my son one day, and Graham was hitting just about everything that crossed the plate. His confidence was soaring, and during one break he said, “Now that I know I can hit a fastball, the only thing I’m worried about facing is a right-handed pitcher who throws sidearmed. That really throws me off.”

What do you think I did as soon as we began playing again? That’s right—I threw sidearmed, as hard as I could, until Graham could start hitting it. He needed to face his fears in order to grow as a hitter—just as we need to face our worst fears in order to grow as children of God.

Here’s the key point: I threw sidearmed because I love Graham and want to help him grow, not because I enjoy being mean or malicious. Graham knew what I was doing. He even smiled about it, totally giving me the benefit of the doubt.

Will you do the same for God—give Him the benefit of the doubt—if He chooses to take you past your worst fears?

The BIG Phoenix Picture Update!

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Here’s da beener (as he’s known round here)

Man they grow up quick – he’ll be in preschool next year!!!

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The BIG Vienna Picture Update!

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

Here’s the big picture update of Vienna!!!

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