Encouragement

Encouragement

Compelling Thought

Hope in a Cave: 1 Kings 19

We often relate finding hope with a miracle or a sign that God shows us, but more often than not, that is not the case. Hope comes in so many forms from people, to events, to defeats, all the way to victories. Here in 1 Kings 19, we see hope in a cave – not an ideal place. We see that the setting is this; Elijah had just slain the prophets of Baal and was on a spiritual high. In…
Compelling Thought

Hills and Valleys

Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” You can see from the Bible that life is full of hills and valleys. We see David was the King of Israel, a man after God’s own heart, but he also made a mistake with Bathsheba when he gave the order to put Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, at the…
Compelling Thought

The First Game of Hide and Seek

In the opening moments of the Bible, we read about the first humans — Adam and Eve. They were God’s creative masterpieces being perfect in every way! He made them with three intentions: to love them personally, for them to fill the earth with people, and for them to take care of the earth He had just created.  God had a few instructions for them including to enjoy everything in the earth except for one tree. We don’t know how…
Compelling Thought

A Glimmer of Hope from the Cemetery

At the impressionable age of 12, I was standing in Woodside Cemetery in Middletown, Ohio questioning God. My heart was broken. Rocky Glenn, my 16-month old brother, had died and all I could do was ask why! Why? Several weeks before Ken, my older brother, had begun to participate in a church sponsored basketball league. The prerequisite to play was that you would attend the church services. When the funeral director asked my father who he would like to officiate…
Compelling Thought

Right Thinking

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The Lord gave us a list of things in this verse we are to be thinking about, that we are to ponder, that we are to consider. These are worthy things to think upon. We…
Compelling Thought

Move On From the Past

Isaiah 43:18-19 – “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”  God is talking to Israel here in Isaiah chapter 43. Isaiah chapter 42 explains the chastening God gave to Israel for worshipping a graven image. God even tells Israel in Isaiah 42:8, “I am…
Compelling Thought

Take Care of the Roots

Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to visit China as part of a student exchange program. During my time there, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the rich culture. From learning tai chi to making authentic wontons, I was thankful to have this incredible experience.  While I was there, we were able to visit the incredible…
Compelling Thought

The Power of Love

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. Thought: If I hate, only problems will come, but love sets me free. One of the most misused words in the world today is the word love. We think that love is based on mere feelings or physical touch. But love is much more than that. Love is a sacrificial action. We see love clearly represented in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. There is no better image…
Compelling Thought

There are No Quitting Places in Life

Pastor Louis Johnson was the founding pastor of Tucson Baptist Temple in July 1958. He served the church for fifty years as senior pastor. I had the privilege of serving with him for thirty years. One of his statements, that he shared often, that is seared into my memory was, “There are no quitting places in life.” He would then quote the following poem written by John Greenleaf Whittier: When things go wrong as they sometimes will, When the road…
Compelling Thought

Waiting on God

James 5:7-8 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. The book of James was written to a group of Christians who were being abused, taken advantage of, and persecuted. These Christians were facing such great opposition that…
Compelling Thought

Doth Deliver

Paul, in II Corinthians chapter one, makes it clear that we will have problems and difficult circumstances – “we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us” (v. 8) – Paul lets us know we are going to have perplexing issues and burdens come into our life. Our problems can seem overwhelming – “we were pressed out of measure, above strength” (v. 8) – Paul is telling the Corinthians and us that these problems were…
Compelling Thought

Harmony

Imagine a roadblock the size of the Empire State Building! That is the kind of proportions we are talking about when the Ever Given cargo ship blocked the Suez Canal on March 23rd. This blockage affected the entire world and held up billions of dollars in goods by almost a week.  The Ever Given blocked shipments for the entire world, but have you ever had something create a barrier in your friendship? Maybe it wasn’t the size of the Empire…