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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Wrestling with Why - Mindy Ferguson
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55 NIV
After a careless walk through a freshly mowed field, my daughter came running into the house, wildly brushing at her ankles. With wrinkled brow, she looked at me and asked in a loud voice, “Why did God Create ants?!” Grabbing the calamine lotion from the bathroom medicine cabinet, I responded, “I have no idea. Let’s ask Him when we see Him!”
Have you ever asked God why? “Why does He allow His servants to suffer?” “Why do cheaters often appear to win?” I must admit, the more answers I stumble upon in my journey of faith, the less I fully understand. God uses the unqualified and exalts the meek. Sometimes He cures a loved one of a life-threatening illness, other times He chooses to heal by ushering one to Heaven.
In wrestling through the whys in my life, I’ve often thought I might do things differently if I were God. I’d probably choose the strongest and most influential folks to carry out my work. Certainly I’d only select leaders with unwavering faith and steadfast obedience. Criminals would always suffer and the righteous would always prosper.
But, truth be known, if God operated according to my set of standards, the woman in my mirror would never qualify to work for the Kingdom of God. She is often weak. At times, she struggles desperately to walk faithfully with God. And, sadly, she frequently fails to display the righteous behavior God deserves from His “servants.”
Yes, I might have created a world without annoying ants, creepy cockroaches (there’s a why!), or the nuisance of bees, but in my attempt to avoid discomfort, I would have produced a planet void of amusing creatures like anteaters, the beauty of flowers, or the sweetness of honey.
In Isaiah we read, For my thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
I do not always understand the ways of God. But I marvel at the beauty He frequently generates from the ashes of tragedy. I am often amazed as He graciously chooses mercy when others might opt for wrath. And I am gratefully in awe of His ability to transform the rebellious and restore the broken.
I have asked my Lord why on more than one occasion. But the question with which I most often struggle? Why would He send His Son to die so that He could have a relationship with someone as flawed as me?
Yes, I question. But I am eternally grateful that God’s ways are far higher than mine. (I guess I can put up with ants.)
-Copyright 2009 © Fruitful Word Ministries, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
Mindy founded Fruitful Word Ministries in 2003. She is an author of women’s Bible studies and speaks nationally at women's conferences and events. Her writings have appeared in the P31 Woman magazine, Just Between Us magazine, Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul, and the One Year Life Verse Devotional. Mindy is the author of Walking with God: From Slavery to Freedom; Living the Promised Life
(Hensley), an in-depth Bible study for women and the Hugs Bible Reflections for Women
(Howard Books), scheduled to be in bookstores in August 2009. Mindy lives in a suburb of Houston, Texas with her husband of twenty-two years and their daughter. Their son is currently attending college in Bryan, Texas.
Labels: mindyferguson, thanks
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Giving Thanks -- Ariel Allison
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I sat next to a dying man on Thanksgiving evening five years ago. He was present mentally, his mind sharp. But his body was barely alive – his heart struggling to beat against an over-sized tumor. In that moment the fringe between Heaven and Earth was transparent. It was a holy moment as I watched a man hover on the edge of eternity. That man was my father.
Such moments in life are rare. It is the only time I’ve ever spoken with one so close to the presence of God. It is no coincidence that it all happened on a day that we are called to give thanks. And I feared it at first. I knew his time had come and I did not want this day to be marked by such sad memories forever. But I learned in those hours, huddled near his shrunken form, that the hardest moments in life are often the ones that call us into worship.
He made a request in the midst of his final goodbyes that forever changed the way I view Thanksgiving. He asked us to sing his favorite worship song. With quivering voices we lifted the words heavenward, eyes closed, smiling at the image of my father in his younger days stomping and clapping his hands to music:Some bright morning when this life is over
I'll fly away
To that home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away
I'll fly away oh glory I'll fly away (in the morning)
When I die hallelujah by and by I'll fly away
By dawn the next morning my father had flown away. And now, each year I stop and give thanks to the God who gives and takes away. I give thanks to the God who calls me to walk through heartbreaking moments. I give thanks every year on Thanksgiving that God gave me a father who I often struggled to love. And I give thanks that one day I will see him again and we will pick up right where we left off, in worship to the God who is worthy of thanking – for all the good and the bad we endure.Ariel Allison writes, reads, and lives in a small Texas town with her husband and three young sons. She is the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter’s Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006). Her days are filled with toothless grins, muddy hands, and a never ending stream of words that try to find their way to her laptop. She ponders life as a mother of all boys at www.themoabclub.blogspot.com and her thoughts as a redeemed dreamer at www.arielallison.blogspot.com. She and her husband are expecting their fourth son in December.
Labels: arielallison, thanks
Christian Devotions SPEAK UP!
Join us this week on Christian Devotions SPEAK UP! when host Scott McCausey interviews Chaplain Eric Dollyhigh. Eric is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, earning a degree in Pastoral Ministry and Bible Exposition. He has been married to Amy for four years and enjoys their ten-month old son, Drew. Upon his graduation, he took a job as Assistant Chaplain of Interstate Battery. Interstate Battery is a Christian-operated company whose mission statement is unique: To glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries, related electrical power-source products and distribution services. Eric's work exemplifies this statement. One of the duties Eric performs is teaching Bible studies for Interstate team members. He also organizes ministry luncheons, heads a prison ministry and leads the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program for Interstate. The Chaplains' Department not only serves the Interstate employees, but organizes mission trips, raises support for Christian camps, and creates commercials to promote God's love.
To learn more about Interstate Battery and its company philosophy.
Devotions SPEAK UP! is a live call-in show. Call-in
Number: (347) 884-9367. If you know someone
who would be a great guest on the show contact Scott
Coming up on Christian
Devotions SPEAK UP!
April 27, Brad Stine, Christian Comedian
May 11 - Curt and Marybeth Whalen, Authors
May 18 - Live from Ridgecrest
May 25 - Phil Beavers, Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Tuesday evenings from 6:00 PM. to 7:00 PM.
Catch Christian Devotions Ministry at these events in 2010:
January 19, 2010, Writers Panel Discussion, Blue Mountain College, Mississippi
February 26-27, 2010 - Write2Ignite! Christian Children's Writers Conference, North Greenville University in Greenville, South Carolina. Terri Kelly/DevoKids
March 17, 2010 - The Western North Carolina Christian Writer's Fellowship, Waynesville, NC
March 24 - MOPS, at Mud Creek Baptist Church, Hendersonville, NC - Terri Kelly
March 26 - St. James School, Ormond Beach, FL - Terri Kelly
April 16, 17, 18, 2010 - FCC Annual Women's Spring Retreat, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
May 12-15, 2010 - Colorado Christian Writers Conference, YMCA Estes Park Center
North West of Denver
May 16-20, 2010 - The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Lifeway Conference Center, Ridgecrest, North Carolina
June 9-12, 2010 - Write
To Publish Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., a Chicago suburb
June 11-12, 2010 - Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, Elizabethtown, KY, - Andrea Merrell, Associate Editor
August 12-14, 2010 - The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, 200 Manor Avenue, Langhorne, PA 19047
If you would like more information on when and where we'll be appearing or if you would like the staff of Christian Devotion Ministry to speak to your group
contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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