“You May Not Have One—Yet…”

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As I look at our Church Family, I see many who do not have a father.  Some were literally orphaned, being raised by the state, foster care or an inconvenienced grandparent. As on Mother’s Day, so too, on Father’s Day, this often adds to the heartache and emptiness many may feel. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Many of these I am thinking of have a blessing: They have a ‘father figure’…, a caring man who has stepped into the role of father….

Some of these men sacrifice much time and energy weaving this ‘orphaned’ child into their already full-family and full-schedule lives, but they are doing a marvelous job at a quiet miracle. Many of these ‘adopted fathers’ did not apply for the position, nor did they volunteer. Instead, they were chosen by the disconnected ones who yearned to have this father influence in their lives…. I am also witnessing some wonderful grandfathers who have stepped in to fill the void left by a heart-breaking wayward child…. “Wonderful” just doesn’t capture it, does it?

Not long after becoming a Christian I discovered a promise Jesus made to His disciples found in  Luke 18:29-30 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”  (This promise is echoed in Mark 10:29-30.) As I began to observe my relationships, I discovered that, in fact, several men had stepped into that role as father while I was away from my father. I found this fascinating. As with all relationships, these were messy and often awkward, but over time, we have build enduring bonds that have filled that void….

Lifestyle worshiper, you may not have one—yet. But I am suspicious that when you take inventory of your relationships, you may just be surprised that this promise has been fulfilled in your life as well.

Perhaps you might want to pass along a Father’s Day, “Thank you.” to one of these men, too? What do you think?

Main Text: — Mark 10:29-30 — “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.  [NIV84]

Additional Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts

Sing to God, sing praise to His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds— His name is the YHWH [Blessed Be His Name]— and rejoice before Him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.  — Psalm 68:4-5 (NIV84)

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  —John 14:18 (NIV84)

 May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. — 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV84)

 Heavenly Father, open my eyes to the men around me whose relationships have become more like a father to me. Let my life pour into others as they have poured into me the Love of the Lord Jesus. In His Name, Amen.

Pastor Mike

“What If the Miracle…?”

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Date: 02-28-15

The Big Idea: Lifestyle worshiper, let us not miss the miracle that the LORD will surely bless you with.

My Thoughts: “What if the miracle never comes?” This is what the enemy wants you to ask. With his slithering, slippery tongue, he hisses doubts in your ear. He wants you to buy the lie that the LORD is withholding something good from you. Oh, sadly, I have often listened to this hiss….

But, Lifestyle worshiper, perhaps our definition of “miracle” needs a bit refining. When we think of  “miracle,” we often picture the Charlton Heston’s  Moses posed on the edge of the Red Sea with all the special effects of a Cecil B. DeMille movie. We picture miracles loud and flashy. But don’t you think they can be as quiet as a sunrise or sunset? Or a baby’s sigh as she slips asleep?

Oh, a miracle is still something beyond what we could achieve. It is still something beyond what we could think or imagine, but perhaps it is also something beyond what we can perceive—at least for the moment, and maybe even in this life. Now I know that this may sound like a copout of sorts, but if we have a predetermined “miracle” that we are looking for, won’t this make it harder to see the actual miracle the LORD has provided? We will miss seeing it because we are looking for something quite different.

The other day I was looking for the vacuum cleaner at the church. It is helpful to know that there are actually three vacuum cleaners, but I was looking for the vacuum cleaner. So I asked the person I was working with: “Where’s the vacuum cleaner?” With a wry smile and a soft giggle, she gently said, “Ah, right in front of you.” I was amazed: I couldn’t see the ‘other’ vacuum cleaner literally in front of me, and yet as I had panned the room, I missed it. Why? Because I had a predetermined picture in my mind as to what the vacuum cleaner ‘ought’ to look like….

Lifestyle worshiper, let us not miss the miracle that the Lord will surely bless you and me with. Oh, and join me in ignoring the hiss of that sly snake….

Main Text: — Nehemiah 6:15-16, 19 — 15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth day of Elul in 52 days.16 When all of our enemies—including the surrounding nations—heard this, they became very discouraged, since they saw that the work had been done by our God…. 19 Furthermore, they kept reporting Tobiah’s good deeds to me, and kept repeating what I told him. Tobiah kept sending letters to intimidate me. [ISV]

Additional Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts

Fear the LORD, you his saints,for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

— Psalm 34:9-10 (NIV84)

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

—Psalm 84:11 (NIV84)

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? — Romans 8:32 (NIV84)

  Lord Jesus Christ,  as I patiently wait for the blessing of Your Goodness towards me, open my eyes to see the ‘miracles’  already before me. Deaden my ears to the hissing lies of the sly snake. By Your Blood and in Your Name, Amen.

Coach Mike