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Archive for the ‘Provision’ Category

In the church we often hear women talk about being a Proverbs 31 woman because that passage of scripture has a lot to say about what it means to be a godly woman and wife. The reason I say I want to be a Proverbs 31 man is due to how this passage begins. It begins with wisdom for a son about what not to do if one is a king- chase after woman and drink too much alcohol. In other words don’t live a messed up life. Then the advice goes on to what I have found to be inspiring words about what it means to be a godly king/leader.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

The exhortation is to be a leader who looks out for the welfare of others specifically those who cannot defend themselves in life- the poor and needy. God wants men to watch out for those who cannot watch out for themselves, to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to care for and about those in need.

Of course here in America we do not have a king. The principle is valid for all men who would be leaders in their churches, communities, families etc. If we want to know what God wants from us, we need look no further than the people suffering in our midst, in our community, in our nation, and  in our world. This makes me think about the children living in difficult circumstances of poverty or abuse. It makes me think about the single moms who are trying to make a go of it for themselves and their kids but need a helping hand and at times need someone to speak up for them. It makes me think about the refugees I meet and the hardships they face as they try to make a new life here in America.

So yes I want to be a Proverbs 31 man, even though in churches we only hear about women being a Proverbs 31 woman.

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The Lord’s prayer is well-known by many people from all denominations and even those who are not Christians. It has been put to song by some of the greatest singers in the world. Personally I enjoy the listening to it being sung. The prayer begins with Our Father which shows Jesus is teaching that prayer comes out of relationship with God. Prayer is not a chant to some impersonal it force out there somewhere. Prayer is communication between Father and child.

Jesus shared something with His disciples when they asked Him to teach them how to pray. Before teaching them the model of Our Father, Jesus shared with them a simple yet profound truth. He said “for your Father knows what you need before you ask.” Our Father in heaven is never surprised by our requests. He is prepared beforehand. He knows everything we go through, what we need, and our lives. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He even knows our failures and still wants us to come to Him in prayer. He invites us to come to Him in prayer.

So why should we pray when Our Father in Heaven knows what we have need of before we ask? Because we need Him 🙂 We need to spend time with Him. We need to grow in our relationship with Him. It reminds me of what many good parents will do. They know what their children will need for a activity like soccer for example. Their child will need a uniform, shoes, etc. Sometimes the parent even though they know what their child needs, will wait for their child to come to them to show them what they need. The parent has already planned in the budget to provide for the need, but the parent also knows allowing the child to come to them and talk will help the child to grow in their parent/child relationship. It gives them time together as parent and child. The relationship grows and the child is strengthened. The child needs this to grow and mature and to build their trust in their parent. The child needs this to be able to not just survive but thrive in the world.

Our Father in Heaven wants us to come to Him because we need do so to grow in our relationship with Him, so we can thrive here in this life. We need time with Him 🙂

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Life can be confusing at times and different voices express all sorts of ideas. It can be confusing to try to understand who God is and what does He want for us. I find comfort in what is recorded in the Bible. It gives me peace in the midst of a world that sometimes seems crazy. The bible records some encouraging words spoken by Jesus.

When he taught his followers about prayer and fasting He told them to not do so for recognition from others. He taught them to begin prayer with “Father” when He gave them an example of prayer that began with “Our Father”. He also said something significant when He said, “your heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask”. God knows what is going on in our lives. He knows before we do what we will need.

God does not want us to live in fear. The bible says that He has not given a spirit of fear but a spirit of adoption so that we can be called children of God. It also says that when we receive the Spirit of adoption we cry out Abba Father.

What does God want for us? He wants to be our Father in relationship with us, not to abuse us, but rather to lavish upon us His love. He spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for……, plans to prosper you… to give you a future and a hope. That is why He sent Jesus, so that through Him we could be restored to relationship with God as our Father.

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This morning I took a friend to the University of Nebraska to take care of some final details before she begins classes next week. When we got there, I found a parking spot right in front of the building where we needed to go. I told her Jesus helped us. She did not think a parking place was very important. I shared with her something Jesus said, “even the hairs on your head are numbered”

God cares about us so much that He pays attention to even the little details that we do not think are important. He knows the number of hairs we have on our head. If He cares enough to keep track of how many hairs we have on our head, how much more will He care about other details in our lives such as bringing friends into our lives, helping us make progress toward our goals, even helping us the find a parking place.

As we go through the busy day today let’s take a moment to ask God for His help. Let’s remember that He is there with us even in the little things. Let’s also remember to thank Him for those little things.

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Last year at this time I was wondering what would happen in the year ahead. My Sunday morning international bible study went from an average attendance of 7 to an average of 20, I was able to be wth my father as he died adn went on to be with Jesus, my Saturday reading class went from 5 to an average of 12, I made a lot of new friends, started 3 blogs, youtube account, hi5, orkut and was given a van.

It is the start of a new year and already I have met 2 new friends who have come ot my Sunday morning international bible study, will start a new class at my church this Thursday evening, and look forward to a great year. We never know what will come when we start a new year, but we can always trust in the fact that whatever comes our way, Jesus is there ahead of us and will be with us. He controls the future and has promised to never leave us.

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Personally I do not like the word religion because it communicates a system of works we do to be accepted by God or to achieve a level of spirituality. I tell people I do not have a religion but that I have a relationship with Jesus that I do not deserve. The bible does say in James 1:27 “Religion that God accpets is to care for the widows and Orphans”. In the bible God also calls Himself a Father to the fatherless.

If we have received and experienced the love of God through Jesus, we need to remember the rest of it “we love because He first loved us”. Christian love is not selfish. It is mean to be shared and shown to others. We cannot call ourselves Christians if we do not care for others. A great way to show the love of God is to love those who cannot give anything back to us. Orphans are not able to give back to us. The bible speaks of defending them, caring for them, and providing for them.

2 websites to check out http://www.orphansunday.org and http://www.cryoftheorphan.org

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Christians talk a lot about Jesus did when He was here on earth. Deservedly so when we stop to consider all of His miracles, His death and Resurrection. That was 2,000 years ago. He is not back yet. What is He doing now?

He is always at work on our behalf. He has not stopped helping us. One of the things He is doing is preparing a place for us. Jesus said”if I go, I will prepare a place for you that where I am you may also be”. He is at work right now preparing places for all who believe in Him. What a wonderful place that will be. A place where there is no sorrow, no sickness, no pain, no wars, none of the problems that plague this life. Best of all we will be  in His presence forever.

When we begin to feel tired and worn out with this life, we need to remember what Jesus is doing right now for us. He is preparing a place for us to marvelous for words. One day He will come for us to take us there. In the meantime we have work to do here to show His love to others.

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