The difference between Luck and Providence

I have been thinking alot about luck recently. Some would say that there is no such thing as luck, but I actually believe in it. It is hard to deny it when one person can call up the radio station and never even get to the operator, while another has won more than one time. Luck is the lottery winner that has won twice. Luck is even being bit by a shark or struck by lightening, I mean what are the odds of that. I have never understood why someone would be luckier than someone else; for good or for bad. Today I was contemplating the difference between luck and God’s Providence and I think that I have come to a conclusion. Luck is fleeting while providence is forever. Think about it! It is commonly known that many that win the lottery, are sometimes worse off after. Some have gone bankrupt because they don’t know how to handle that kind of cash, while others just become different people. Even winning a gift is fleeting, or just in a moment. Providence on the other hand is God providing for your every need. You may not win the lottery and get through the telephone to the radio station, but your needs are always taken care of. Providence is making sure that the right thing happens at just the right moment – God is in Control. So I don’t need luck, even though it would be nice now and then; what I need is the providence that God gives and I can be content in the life that he has given  me.

Just a thought. It may not be too enlightening, but it struck me as something important. The next time I see someone that gets the glory or luck of the draw, I can look back at all what God has done for me and realize. He is my all, and all that I need. Thank God for his Providence, there is nothing in the world that can compare.

God of all Comfort

2 Cor 1:3-11 (NASB77)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. 8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many.

This scripture caught my eye this morning. I have always thought of the fact that we will suffer in this life because of our faith. We are not to be a friend of the world, we are to be part of the family of God – which the world hates. Jesus gave us the Comforter, and when we go through trials he is there to comfort us. I highlighted the parts that stood out to me this morning and don’t really know why I posted it, but felt that I should. If you are going through a rough time right now, just know that he is there to walk with you through it. Most of all he is there to comfort you through it as well.

In God’s Peace, My prayer goes out for you.

Heavenly father, I ask you as the God of all comfort to be in the midst of the person that is reading this right now. I don’t know what their circumstances are, but you do. I know that you will help this person through any trials and troubles and will see them through the tough times. I ask you to open their heart to you so that they would gain a better understanding of you in their life. If they are not going through anything right now, then I ask you to meet them at their need, whatever that might be.

Thank you for hearing me, and I ask this all in JESUS name, AMEN! (Let it be done according to your will.)

I hope that this blog will be a blessing for you today.

“ONE DAY” by Scott Ward

My wife was reading a poem that I wrote at a time when I was struggling with a particular sin. She thought that I should post it. So here it is:

One Day
One day things will be easier when stuggle goes by
and no temptations of sinning will arrive.
Self control seams so hard some days,
filled with struggle and war on the way.

One day I will fill the task
of listening more to a saviour at last.

One day comes, and one day goes,
and I realize I still have things that no one knows.
Sin beakons at the door, Struggle comes and then the war.

One day I will I survive and draw closer to the LORD,
but until that day, I will stand at judgements door.
Although I have messed up so many times,
I have hope of forgiveness of my many crimes.

One day I will win, this battle that rages from sin and death.
I will overcome and be his guest.

Abstinence is Possible

I know that I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks now, but it hasn’t been because I didn’t want to. School has been heavy and the reading extreme, but I was looking on my blog and I saw a link to this one on CNN:

 

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/02/17/abstinence-is-not-realistic-palins-daughter-says/

 

It is quite amazing that when someone agrees with the news that they give it high praise; while when it is contrasting to their view, it is something to attack.

 

So Palin’s daughter has stated that “abstinence is not realistic.” So I decided that I would discuss this a little from my perspective.

 

When I was a child, I accepted Christ as my Savior and wanted a pure life with my future wife. So I decided that abstinence was the way that I wanted to go. As I graduated High School I had achieved my goal and decided to go into the Military. I managed to make quite a few friends that helped me go to bars (the kind that clothes tends to disappear in) and drink and do all the things that I grew up believing to be contrary to what God had called me to do. However, I still maintained purity in sexual relationships with women that I had dated. Yes it was difficult and I lost a couple because of it. Then when I was around 25 years old I met a girl whom I loved very much and decided that she was the one for me. I thought it doesn’t really matter anymore because this is the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Besides I had waited 25 years and I was tired of waiting. Little did I know that shortly after we did “THE DEED” we broke up and my heart was broken. I had given up something that I could no longer give to my future wife. It was a few years later that I met my wife. 

When I met my wife, she told me that God had convicted her to, “Not date anyone that she had not known for at least a year.” Confusing me, especially in this day and age, but at the same time it intrigued me. We decided to be friends and to just do functions with mutual friends and eventually realized that what we were doing was courting. It became a conviction of ours that we would not even kiss until we had at least past that year mark.

Titus 2:11-15 (www.biblegateway.com)
11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. 15These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority Let no one disregard you.

One year after we met, we went on our first date. This was 4 months after I had asked her to marry me. It was quite a shock to people when we didn’t even kiss when I asked her to marry me. Now 4 months later we could date – according to her conviction, but we decided at this point we only had a couple more months before we would get married and decided that we wanted our first kiss to be at the alter. This is pretty extreme I know and very difficult at that. Either way we were able to go from the beginnings of our relationship to our marriage with a pure relationship. I have mistakes in my life, but I will never regret this decision and I have a true blessing in my wife.

Now we have been married for almost 7 years and I love her more today then yesterday. I did not think it possible, but it is. My point is that purity can be a choice but the road will be hard and it is also possible. Is it realistic, “Yes” and yes I messed up before my wife, but our relationship this time encouraged many people that it is possible! The question is then, “If it is possible, would it then be realistic?” Well that is something that you will have to decide, but either way “know that it is possible!”

Romans 13:11-14
11Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12The night is almost gone, and the day is near Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Heart Breaking News!

Recently I read a couple of blogs online that seem not only to reject the God that created them, but also to chide those who embrace him. I know that persecution is not that strong in the United States, but it is in other countries (See Voice of the Martyrs), but it still doesn’t take away the fact that these people are rejecting God. It is heartbreaking news to know that someone is outright rejecting God – that is heartbreaking enough, but to know that they reject and hatefully go after those who do, is even more heartbreaking.

I used to be the type that would argue my point until I was blue in the face. Then I realized that it was going to do no good when they closed to the idea that Christ died for them so that he could spend an eternity with them. This is when Matthew 7:6 came more to light for me.

Matthew 7:6 (www.biblegateway.com)
” Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:5-7 (in Context) Matthew 7 (Whole Chapter)

The “Good News” (Gospel) that we have is a precious pearl and treasure to the Christian. It brings hope. It brings life. It brings joy (notice I said joy not happiness there is a difference). It brings us closer to a God who loved us enough to send His son to take on the penalties of our wrong doing (Sin).

Romans 5:8 (www.biblegateway.com)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:7-9 (in Context) Romans 5 (Whole Chapter)

But your faith will also bring persecution. They will turn on you and trample you, but just like Paul you have to brush yourself off and continue in the Faith. It is not always easy but it is always for the good.

Now I read things like this with a saddened heart and maybe or maybe not leave a comment, then I move on. It is heartbreaking to leave them as they are, but we have to remember, “Just like the people complaining to Moses, it wasn’t him who they were rejecting.” We cannot give up on sharing the gospel, but remember Matthew 7:6. Give what information that you can in love and pray for those who persecute you – but don’t throw your pearls before swine for they will turn on you and trample it underfoot.

Word of the Week: “Dawns New Day”

Tomorrow marks the dawn of a new day. The First Black President will take office and will go down in the History books as such. Some are fearful for what this means, others are showing their hate, while others are in awe of a truly magnificent new day. I cannot say that I voted for him because of the Political views, but I have to admit I think that he is trying to do something that Dr. Martin Luther King would be proud of. He is trying to bring together the nation into one. It does seem fitting that the Inauguration is the day after Martin Luther King Day. King said that, “He had a dream, where a black man and a white man, Jew or Gentile, Protestant or Catholic would come together.” I think it is time that we do our best to bring the Conservative and Liberal together as well. After all they can be just as hateful to one another at times. This marks Obama as a man that has the ideals of a Hero and although I did not vote for Him, I will hope and pray for him to bring the nation together. Not everyone will like what he does. At times, I am going to hate his policies, but either way I will accept him for who he is: The President of the United States. So for this week I bring two different passages of Scripture and it deals with praying for our leaders and our responsibility as Christians to his authority, as long as it does not oppose scripture and God’s Mandate.

1 Timothy 2:1-6
www.Biblegateway.com (New International Version)
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.

Titus 3:1-2
www.Biblegateway.com (New International Version)
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

…IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST by Dorris Murdock Blough

I recently read an article that I find worthy of posting. I have added it below.

 

Brethren Life and Thought 32 no 2 Spr 1987, p 111-112. Issue Record: ATLA0000179382

 

… IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST

DORRIS MURDOCK BLOUGH

The divorce was only a matter of time. The pain, the frustration, sense of failure … it was all there. But there was nothing else to be done about the relationship … Jim had made that very clear. No more counseling with Dr. Brown … no more painful confrontations …

He had moved out, and that day he was coming back so they could divide their possessions, those collected items of shared experiences. The records, the momentoes from travels, the rocking chairs …

Jim and Jean moved through the house, tense and terse, keeping the conversation strictly on an arms-length basis. He had made that footstool in high school… it should be his, of course. That old book belonged to his Uncle Jim… that cream pitcher to his mother… And the piano, originally a gift from his parents would go to Chérie, their daughter. Jean had spent many pleasant hours playing the piano … but…

In “their” bedroom Jean stood looking at the beautiful handmade dresser. .. crafted in 1856 for another Mrs. Smith, Jim’s great grandmother. Sometimes when Jean dusted it, she had felt close to that other Mrs. Smith in whose name and lineage she followed. But, of course, the dresser would stay in the family… anything that had come from Jim’s family would stay with him …

Thirty-three years of marriage, and nothing belonged to her. Suddenly she could not go on. “Let’s do this another time. I . . . it’s much too hot right now.”

He left very soon.

Jean dropped into the big arm chair in the front room and let her feelings wash over her. As she had done since the beginning of this experience, some months before, she allowed herself to be submerged in the feelings, the emotion of the moment. Fear, anger, pain… all of them. She had discovered that by immersing herself in them, they passed more quickly, and by not denying the deepest level of feeling, she could take from it the gift of learning. And though terribly painful, over and over she had gained new insights into herself and her world.

From Henri Nouwen she had learned to go to her “desert” and there to meet Jesus Christ, the God that was within her. She went to that desert now, letting the thoughts flow without an attempt to organize or impede them.

Talking aloud seemed to help her think.

“For thirty-three years I have been on loan from the McKay family to the Smith family. I have given birth to four children with the name of Smith.

 

Brethren Life and Thought

 

111

 

“Jim does not want to continue the relationship… I have been Mrs. James Smith for thirty-three years. As of the time Jim moved out, Mrs. James Smith ceased to exist. But I WAS Mrs. James Smith for thirty-three years. If Mrs. James Smith does not exist, then I do not exist!

“I cannot go back to being McKay… that was too long ago. I gave up my family thirty-three years ago to become Smith.

“… At this moment I have no name… no family… no roots… no financial base of security… no emotional support system that comes from family. I have no past and therefore no future … because the future comes out of the past.

“And so … at this moment… I am nobody! NOBODY!”

She gave herself to her tears and felt swept into the terrible darkness of nothingness, of being NOBODY.

Finally her sobs lessened, and again she spoke aloud.

“Who am I? If I am not the person I have been for thirty-three years… then who am I?

“… Mrs. Jean Smith … Jean McKay Smith … Jean Smith MpKay…

“… to what name shall I answer … to what name shall I respond?

“… In whose name shall I do the work I have to do?… in the name of Jean Smith … in the name of Jesus Christ…”

Abruptly her tears stopped… she sat up straight. “… In the name of Jesus Christ…” she said again.

And suddenly she knew the answer… the answer to who she was … and, for the first time in her fifty-four years, she knew why the Christian says, “… in the name of Jesus Christ.”

She spoke now with a strong voice. “There comes the time when, because of broken relationships, we discover that we are ‘nobody’… we have no identity … no name of our own… and in our lostness and our aloneness we discover that to do something in the name of Jesus Christ is to take on the image of Christ… special… unique.

“To accept the ‘name of Christ’ as my own gives me identity and personhood.

“I am Jean Christ…!”

She wept again, copious tear, but now of joy. She had a name, her own special unique name… one that no one on this earth… nor death… no, not even death, could take away.

She was no longer “Nobody”!

 

112

 

Volume XXXII, Spring 1987

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