Tag Archives: death

The Appointment

Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? Are not his days also like the days of an hireling? As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work.

Job 7:1-2

Not a soul on earth has likely ever felt the frustration of ministry work like Job. Here he was, a man who the scripture described as “Perfect and upright and one that feared God,” ~ Job 1:1, and because of that he was targeted by Satan and tested by God. There is a vast difference between Job and I. Yet it doesn’t stop the ministry frustrations at times and the feeling that my eternal difference making is sparse. The only difference, I’m not worthy of the right to complain. Still doesn’t stop me from doing it though.

This morning Job 7:1-2 gave me the kick in the pants that I needed.

The Appointed Time

I have not felt well lately. Mainly because I’m not taking care of myself. My friend Gloria has told me that she is having a difficult time raising me. This damaged knee of mine has me feeling like I’m a rebellious teen ager who has just been told they’re grounded. I’m sneaking out at every turn, but unfortunately I’m closer to being a senior citizen than a senior in high school, and sneaking out means that I’m walking and working more than I should around the house. That’s sad isn’t it?

But my ministry work suffers because my psyche suffers.  If I sit, I feel worthless. Imagine how Job felt. It literally makes me nauseous to think what that man went through. It’s why his words carries weight. He earned that right.

Job knew that there was an appointed time to die, and that unfortunately this wasn’t it for him. He was wishing for death.

I am wishing for life! If there is an appointed time to die (and there is) there is also an appointed time to live; and by live I mean serve. Until we draw our last breath there is work to be done. This is our appointed time. What are we going to do with it?

If you’re not dead, God’s not done!

The Appointed Work

Job’s work for that time in his life was to be a witness. He didn’t realize. He didn’t know we’d be writing, talking and preaching about him for thousands of years later. And we don’t know what our tough times will mean either on the other side of eternity. 

I think God has some reading for us to do when we get to Heaven.

Psalm 56:8 says “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”

When we’re serving, they’re talking about us in Heaven. Our tears are in a bottle and there is a book of our story!  I don’t want my book covered in dust because it’s never written in. (not that they’ll be dust in heaven.” Maybe angel glitter. But I want my book to be a best seller!

The Appointed Reward

Revelation 22:12

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

We forget that God’s idea of quickly and ours is two separate notions. But “quickly” just might mean before this day is through, and the opportunity to collect those rewards are limited.

My rewards are those I love. I have a house full of kids today, I’m believing that they’re going to make my life easier. Yeah…. I didn’t believe that any more than you do. But, it’s an opportunity for them to see Noni serving God in hopes that they too will have that desire. And that will be reward enough!

Why Will You Die?

Another milestone in the zipper club (heart bypass) journal was the completion of my first week of cardiac rehab. Also another  reality check on the lack of care for myself over the last several years of life. Following my decision to stop smoking on May 26th, 1997 (with the prompting of the Holy Spirit after a year of salvation) I traded my addiction to tobacco for an addiction to all things tasty. Gradually I blossomed into the well-rounded person I am today both spiritually and figuratively.

The criticism and judgement of sometimes well-meaning people (sometimes not) served me well in the department of discouragement and depression. The added pressure added extra weight. However, before anyone thinks I blame others for my blessed figure status, the answer is no. I’m the one who lost her will power. And so today as I read Ezekiel 18, I remembered my week at cardiac rehab. The struggles that I had as I pushed through each piece of equipment and so did not enjoy it. As I tried to clean up the mess I had created over the past 21 years.

Ezekiel 8:31

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

I believe Israel had gotten on God’s last nerve. They’d sinned, worshiped idols and used their children as sacrifices. What a mess they’d gotten themselves into because they’d gotten their eyes off the Lord and put them onto the things around them. I won’t throw any stones in that department either.

But the end result of a life without God, is always death. And no matter what I try to do in life without God as the central focus, it will surely die, because I am His, and He is mine and He expects to be a part of my life.

So how do I make sure that’s the case when living everyday life and making decisions that can change my future? And how many times have I gotten on God’s last nerve by not listening to Him.

The Word tells me.

CAST IT

Cast away from you, all your transgressions.

Easier said than done, right? Well, yes and no. We know that nothing is impossible for God! But we must first allow Him to have it. For me and my transgressions… there were many. The overeating and desire for food replaced an addition that had begun when I was a child. I smoked my first cigarette at 13 years of age. I had been addicted a very, very long time. But when God got involved the desire for that substance was replaced with a desire to be better for Him. But the cigarettes had also come with a stigma of non-acceptance by the world, both saved and unsaved people alike. So it wasn’t hard to not desire it. But everyone loved food!  It was acceptable.

But the weight gain was not.

Add to that the fact that God had called me into ministry work and I was now standing before people every week, I became very weak emotionally.

I allowed the pressure of that judgment, whether real or not to get the best of me and I ate all the more because it made me feel better.

So what did I need to cast off?

Addiction. Self-Condemnation. Irresponsibility.

If Jesus had cast my sins as far as the east is from the west, I needed to cast my transgression to Him so He could take care of them. Because when I threw them down, they never failed to land out of arms reach and I would pick them up again 

Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

CREATE IT

…and make you a new heart and a new spirit:

So how do I do that?

I have to change somethings about my life. Beginning with my mindset. Your brain tells your heart when to beat.

In the course of the day, your heart will beat somewhere around 100,000 times and over a calendar year might beat up to 35 million times. Over the course of a lifetime then, your brain and your heart have to work together to engineer 3 billion heartbeats.

However there’s something in the heart called automaticity.

Meaning that the heart, even if it’s disconnected from the brain, will continue to beat at a set rate.

For me that shows that there’s a thought controlled side of the heart and a God controlled side of the heart. Praise God! He knows when to kick His side in.

But when it comes to decision making He leaves that to me for the most part. So I need to create within myself a new heart and spirit. Basically new desires and passions that align with God.

I can only do that if I focus on godly things casting those things that are unhealthy to Christ so that He can help me get them out of my life.

COMMIT IT

…for why will ye die,

Commitment was something that Israel didn’t have. They’d make and break promises as fast as the ink would dry on the paper.

I’m not any different. I yo yo diet, and I yo yo commit to the promises that I make God that “I’ll do better.”

We take commitment too lightly. Forgetting that God doesn’t take it lightly. Over time, God allowed many of His chosen people to be killed because they couldn’t keep their commitment to live for Him.

When I quit smoking, I partially did so because I believed God was going to allow me to die a dreadful death because of the effect of smoking. He warned me to quit… and so I did.

The transgression of poor health was not so easy for me to commit to overcome. I allowed emotions and lack of self-respect to play the major role in controlling my diet. Scroll forward to May of 2018, three heart attacks, open heart surgery and now cardia rehab and I am beginning to think I should have listened sooner.

Duh. I’m a Slow learner. Israel and I have a lot in common. Most of all, and Hallelujah, we have God’s grace in common.

But eventually God’s patience runs thin and we get on God’s last nerve. Before that happens, it would be much better to give those transgressions to Jesus. Everyone has them, and their personal to them.  

There’s a 3 step plan for it. Cast. Create. Commit.

God’s final verse in chapter 18 was  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.  

There is life in Christ! And a much better, more rewarding life. Live it! And live it well. 

How Crazy is it?

The closer I get to Easter, the more my mind reflects on the cross. And the more I reflect on what God did that day the more I have to say that it’s got to be a crazy love that would be willing to do what Jesus did that day. When I look at the world we live in I think to myself “Why on earth would you have saved this wicked and rebellious generation?” For which I am one. I know my heart and how I can turn on a dime toward something sinful and ignore the Holy Spirit within in me that gives me more than enough support not to fall into it. And yet I do. And yet He still loves me. That’s crazy! But what’s crazier than His love is those who fail to accept it.

The Love of Jesus is Without Condemnation

While sin is not ever acceptable it is no less inevitable. 1 John 1:8 says If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” There is a difference between condemnation and conviction. Jesus will not condemn the child of God for the sins they’ve committed. That crazy day on the cross He died to cover every sin ever committed by His children. Is not that a worthy payment? Of course it is. Does that mean we can sin and not understand there should have been a penalty and yet may still be repercussions? Of course not.

If a store is robbed there is an earthly expectation of the penalty that freedom should be lost. If I hurt a friend without regard for them or our friendship I may lose that friend. But when I sin, regardless of the depth of the sin the penalty is paid in the eyes of God, and the relationship is restored the very second I turn to Him. That’s crazy love, but it’s how He works.

Sin is without condemnation but it is not without conviction. The Holy Spirit reveals to the child of God when sin is in the house, we know better. We may still fail but He has given us the power within us not to. If we fall into sin it is our choice.

The Love of Jesus Cannot be without Declaration

Matthew 10:33

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Professing Christ is more than just saying that you know Him. Satan knows Him. The demons of Hell know Him, but they are not children of God. I knew Him in my head from the time I was a child until 1996. But not until I declared Him as Lord of my life and trusted in Him to save me did I know Him in my heart. It was then that I truly felt the Holy Spirit guiding me and putting that conviction upon me when I wasn’t going in the right direction. It was also when I began to declare my love for Him. Even when the world thought I was crazy.

My friend Doyle Ballengee said it best when he said “Go ahead and call me a fanatic, when you or someone you love gets a bad doctor’s report, you’ll be looking for a fanatic.”

That’s how I feel about my declaration of love for Jesus. Go ahead and say I’m crazy when all I want to do is talk about my Lord and all that He’s done in my life. Because when your life gets turned upside down but this old world, someone as crazy as me can help you set it up aright by showing you how Jesus did that for me.

I know it sounds crazy to the world when I say that Jesus died for me. Because the world wouldn’t give you the time of day if it cost them anything of any magnitude. But Jesus will give you more than you could ever imagine in return for your declaration, acknowledgement of Who He is. God.

The Love of Jesus is Not without Expectation

I can hear the naysayers now, “Oh, there it is. I knew you had to do something.” No, you can sit on your toosh and do absolutely nothing and still make it to Heaven. Jesus paid the price once and for all at the cross. All who accept, believe and declare Him as Lord, that He died on the cross, rose again the third day, and ascended to Heaven to make intercession for you will be saved. But if you want to be all you can be for Christ, and have the reward of His glory, on earth and in Heaven, there is an expectation.

I sat at a table with three friends this past Wednesday, each with their own story of coming to the knowledge of Christ in their lives; four very different people with one common bond…Christ.

  • One came to Christ because she grew tired of being with people, and yet alone.
  • One came to Christ because the religion she had grown up with let her down when she needed it most.
  • One came to Christ when He realized the law wouldn’t save anyone.
  • And this one, me, came to Christ when I realized there was no peace in this world without the Prince of Peace. And “religion” wasn’t the same as a “relationship.”

Each one of us now serve Christ and desire to serve Him greater because He did that crazy thing on the cross.

How crazy was it? He was beat until His body was unrecognizable and said to have looked like hamburger, He was spit upon, and ridiculed, at the height of His pain had a crown of thorns rammed on His head and was mocked as King of the Jews. His earthly mother sat at His feet with her friends and wept for the Son God had allowed her to give birth to. Some of His final words were “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 in part) That’s crazy because it’s true.

He did that for you. Have you experienced His love? Declare it and share it! He is worthy.

Heaven’s Post Master Has a Message for you Today

CHICK POSTAGEAs I ran along in the sermon of my friend Roger Carter…(I say “ran” because you’ll not likely walk through one. Once he starts preaching it’s like he’s been shot out of a cannon. He’s not stopping until he reaches his destination. He’s fun like that!), but along the way he said this, “Death is a change of address.” He had to run ahead without me for a little while because my mind got stuck on that thought and I couldn’t let it go. When someone we love moves a distance away we may be sad for a little while, but most of us adjust to the idea. We talk to them on the phone, or correspond by other means and plan for the next time we see them again; and we get excited in the planning process. But when someone dies the conversation is lost… and that’s tough. I don’t make light of it.

When I lost my Dad, I missed those conversations; his sense of humor, his love of family and music and most of all, his love of God. But because of his love of God and his personal testimony of a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, I might have moments of sadness but I have I eons of hope! My Dad simply got a new address, and I know that I know that I’ll see him again in glory and that makes this journey bearable. And in the mean time I ask God to tell my dad “Hey,” and go back to planning our reunion.

So what about that address?

Living in rural West Virginia has many advantages, but one advantage is our source of entertainment… each other. As I began this blog, my mind drifted back to the 1980’s when I worked as an ad manager for a local newspaper. The editor of that paper had moved to our area after retiring as an editor for the New York Times. He absolutely fell in love with West Virginia! But he did have days which caused him ponder his decision. One such day was when he went across the street to the local post office to mail a book to a friend in Canada. He was informed by our elderly post master that you couldn’t mail anything out of the country (and he was serious). After a lengthy argument with the old man, the editor returned to our office, half angry and half in hysterical laughter. I’m not sure if he ever convinced the post master that you could mail things out of country, or if he took his book to another post office, but none the less made for a great story and one we laughed about for years to come.

There’s no physical address for that country where God dwells with my friends and loved ones who have died, but there’s a spiritual address and it’s every bit as real as Grantsville, West Virginia. Are you planning for the trip?

RETURN TO SENDER

A child of God will return to sender in the blink of an eye when their day comes to leave this world. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” That speaks of the day that Christ will call His church home. Many of us will go at once and a lost world will be left in turmoil. That day is likely very near. But for those who pass away before that day Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

Confident that he would be delivered, postage paid by the blood of Jesus Christ who paid the price for us to be able to dwell in that city not made of hands but by God Himself.

But what about those who haven’t made preparation?

TURNED TO CINDER

Jesus told a religious crowd the fate of a rich man who died without knowing God in Luke 16:23 when He said “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments”. God doesn’t sugar coat Hell, and just because someone doesn’t believe it exists or chooses not to make a choice doesn’t make it an untruth and their choice is made. Hell is eternal separation from everyone. Look at the people in your life that you care about. Are you prepared to never see them again? It’s not only separation it’s also a place of fire, torment and gnashing of teeth and totally unnecessary. That address was never meant to be on the map, but because of sin and our rejection of God’s forgiveness by and through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, it’s there.

Have you been marked postage paid, or are you lost in transit; having never accepted God’s gift of salvation? It’s the best gift ever! And it’s never undeliverable. No matter where you’ve been in life or what you’ve done, God’s grace is sufficient for all. Don’t spend another second in time without making that decision. Watch the news… and more importantly read the Word of God. Written thousands of years ago and yet they line up together with God’s warning that He’s going to return. Don’t miss the Post Master to Heaven!!!!

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Breaking up is hard to do

chick ready

How quickly people fall away from the Lord and call it a “new direction” or perhaps they just don’t call it anything. They just ignore the fact that they are out of fellowship with God and pretend that they’re decisions will have no ramification in eternity. If I began to make a list of the friends and family who have fallen out on God I would soon run out of lines on a sheet of paper or perhaps I could write a book about each one and what a difference they made in my life at a crucial time in my spiritual growth, it would be easy to write because it would be truth and my days with them seem like yesterday and yet also another lifetime away. How exactly does one go from standing and testifying about what the Lord has done to walking out on God? And how does it not scare the pants off of them because at one point they knew what God had saved them from. They had a burden for the lost in their family, they cried out at the altar of grace for God to save their children and their family and then one day that just didn’t matter. It makes me nauseous and ever conscience that I could be there tomorrow.

Matthew 24:42-43

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

There is a bluegrass song about Matthew 24 that I used to sing with friends and it was always a reminder of the need to be ready; a favorite sung at revivals and funerals. Revivals and Funerals – the opposite ends of the spectrum. One speaks of new life and the other of death, and yet if the death is that of a saint of God their eternal life just began. Both of those services draw us into the realization that changes could possibly need to be made. Nobody likes the separation that comes with death, but it serves to remind us that it comes to all lest Jesus returns before it and we need to make preparation; not only for us but for those we influence.  It’s funny how Jesus is welcome at Weddings but not in the marriage, He’s given the glory for the blessing of a child but then those same children are not raised to know Him. His Name is spoken often in the message of a funeral but how often was His name spoken by the one who died? Someone’s family member is sick or injured and prayer requests abound but few or hollow praises are heard when the heartache is done and all is well.

Yes I’m going there this morning.

I’m frustrated and this is my only place to vent without going toe to toe with someone I love, or perhaps I should. Maybe it would knock some sense into them. Being the Jesus Chick doesn’t always get you a fan club, sometimes people would like to club you. They tolerate my saying grace over dinner just so it doesn’t lead into dinner conversations that lead into guilt. Oh, glory to God, now I’ve begun to meddle. I just need to get this off my chest and throw it out there in hopes that somebody will read it and determine to get themselves ready.

What spurred this thought this morning and broke my heart was the closing words in verse 43 “and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.”

So let me ask you… if Jesus comes back today will your house be broken? If the decision to claim Christ as Savior, Lord of your life has not been made by you or members of your family then your house will be broken. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Children don’t  just magically get  saved one day, seeds need to have been sown, life doesn’t always get better, sometimes it’s the worse that leaves you longing for the better of Heaven. This morning was not just a reality check for you, but for me. I need to do more, say more. Nobody will care if I talk about Jesus  when we’re all in Heaven, but they’ll certainly care in Hell if I didn’t.

Continue on weary soldier…

 

 

Pondering Eternity

chick eternityI once heard that eternity can be understood by shutting yourself into a very small room and then imagining the remainder of the universe outside your door, and that’s only the beginning. Eternity is something we give little thought to in the day to days of life until something or someone causes us to ponder and desire to have a taste ourselves. The internet is filled with $1.99 wisdom on the subject and Satan and his doomsday tribe would love for you to buy it; ideas like reincarnation, soul sleep, deep self, or the end of existence. Because it brings you face to face with the reality of the means of passing to eternity most people don’t dwell much on the notion until life or death forces them to.

In my small world I’ve been dealing with it a little more than usual lately. A good friend’s funeral is tomorrow where I’ll say goodbye to his earthly body. A local family lost a child yesterday, a friend of some of my Sunday School students. It causes questions from the young and old alike as to why God would allow that to happen. How do we explain it to a child who barely understands the death of an older person but now has to cope with the loss of someone their own age? How do we explain it to us? It’s tragedy, plain and simple. But in pondering those why’s I have been dwelling more on the where. There is no peace in the loss of someone we love, but there’s a bountiful supply in understanding God’s plan of reunion.

When David lost his son as told in 2 Samuel 12 he told his servants in verses  22-23 “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” David had not read the $1.99 internet wisdom. He had only read the Word of God, the truth on all matters of life. The truth on life and death is that this is not the end… this is the middle, and the end never ends… oh glory!!! That causes my heart to leap with joy when I think about all those people that I have loved and had to say goodbye to. There is coming a day when we shall reunite for all eternity and there will be no more farewells, only “Stop by again!” Open ended invitations of lovin’ on each other.

Today, I don’t want to think about what I lost, I want to think about what they found.

They found what God Prepared

1 Corinthians 2:9 ~ But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

They found a Place Designed just for them

And not just any place, but a mansion!

John 14:2 ~ In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

They found Paradise (Better than any postcard scene)

Luke 23:43 ~ And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

They found the Power Company! The source of all.

Revelation 21:21-25

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

That is worthy of pondering. But before we get there we have to ask ourselves one question, “Just as the thief on the cross seen paradise by accepting Christ’s death as payment for his sin, have you done so likewise? Don’t miss your reunion day. Jesus told us “John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

That is the key that unlocks your story…

Stop! in the name of Love

chick stop

Last night I taught our teens from the Francis Chan study on Crazy Love and managed to heap huge conviction upon myself. I hate that! But it’s necessary in your walk with Christ to look at life through the eyes of God, not the eyes of self. I measure up pretty good next to me… as a matter of fact we’re dead even. But line me up next the disciples, or Who we should be lining ourselves up to (Christ Himself) and I’m not so hot. I fall far short of who I should be. I don’t fall in to the completely lukewarm category but I have tendencies that no doubt make God’s stomach queasy.

Going through the motions:

Isaiah 29:13 says “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”

Does that not describe the church of modern day to a tee? Everybody’s a Christian (just ask them) but their lives certainly don’t back it up. SMO’s. “Sunday morning only folk.” If you’re one of them, I’m about to get on your last nerve. If we feasted on food like we feast on the word of God you could count our ribs. It’s truth. How on earth do we expect to survive in perilous times, when the only thing that’s going to get you through is the promises of God? And we don’t’ have them. I’m so proud of my group of teens at our church. Wednesday night we’re packed out! But the truth is, we could do better. That’s why I’ve been doing this Crazy Love series with them. I don’t want lukewarm Christians in my class, I want crazy kids who are sold out for Jesus Christ and they don’t care who knows it. I want them to look at their friends and understand if they don’t tell them about Christ, there’s a good chance no one else will either; and the end result is their friend will go to Hell.

Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:2It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” A funeral is better than a party? Yes, because a funeral brings the reality that our lives are like a vapor.

James 4:14

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

If we lived what we say we believe we’d be telling someone about Christ. As a gospel singer I’ve sang at a great multitude of funerals. They’ve not all been for saved people. As a matter of fact the very first funeral I sang for was for a lost soul. His family asked me to sing “Hello in Heaven,” because it was too late for the one whose funeral was being held, but it was not too late for the rest of their friends and family. That was a real eye opener for me as a young convert. I’ve been blessed to be among a congregation of people who try to live for Christ. We all fail. Daily. But we’re trying.

I encourage you to live for Jesus today and tell someone about His saving grace before it’s too late. Live the crazy love that we’re taught the disciples lived.  God likely will not ask you to give up everything you own and serve Christ, but are you willing to use what He’s given you to serve Him? What friend or family are you willing to let go to Hell? You’ve likely said none… but what are you doing to stop it?

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A Dangerous Attitude

As fate would have it, in the pop and chip aisle of the local grocer, I met an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Within seconds he turned to show me a scar down the back of his neck and to tell me of the miracle that had occurred in his life of a brain surgery that had taken him from a slobbering, stumbling, weak soul to a new lease on life. I praised God for it and encouraged him to come to church with me on Sunday and praise the Lord himself for what God had surely done. His response sent a shockwave through me that still reverberates in my soul, he said “No I don’t think so, people spend too much time worrying about eternity and less about this current life.”

I was sick, and disheartened. I felt for sure he would understand who it was that held his fate in the palm of his hand.

Daniel 5:22-23

And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

That same night Belshazzar the King was slain.

Arrogance against God was dangerous business then, and it’s dangerous business today, yet so prevalent in our world. Because my parents brought me up in a God fearing household I had a healthy respect for God even unsaved. I didn’t know God as my Savior but there was an instinct within me to know that He was the God in whose hand my breath was. As my friend walked away my prayer was that God would shake him to the core that night. I was hurt for God and I believe righteously angry that this world is so deceived.

I had just witnessed the miracle of birth with my grandson Parker, and I knew that God held his breath in His hand and had blessed us with this beautiful little soul. And in the hours that followed that early morning call that Tiffani was being rushed in for an emergency delivery at only 30 weeks I knew that God could also choose to take Parker home, and Tiffani as well. And as I knelt in tears beside my bed asking God to spare them there was no arrogance within me only absolute reliance on the Creator of life.

Why God chose to allow me to be raised in a Christian home is beyond my understanding. I could have just as easily been in a home where God does not dwell. There is always that underlying seed of arrogance within me too that likes to rear its head thinking I hold the steering wheel of life. Parker’s birth was a “Jesus take the wheel” kind of moment for me. I knew the only power I had was the Holy Spirit of God speaking peace to my soul. He is in control.

Less than the length of time it took for me to type the punctuation at the end of a sentence is the length of time when your world can go upside down and out of control. Do me a favor and tell God how very much you love Him and that you know He alone is in control. Acknowledge His Sovereignty of your life. My heart hurts for Him and for my friend who’s missing out on the greatest blessings of life. Knowing the Creator of our existence.