Monday, May 24, 2010

I Promise!

We often say "I promise" with good intentions, but fail to follow through with the promise. I am guilty of this very thing...several posts back I wrote I would be posting more on Moses and did not follow through with my promise. Now, if Jack Bauer were to say "I promise" you could count on him to follow through with it. The same goes for Moses at this part of his journey.

I do apologize for not following through with the promise, but I am posting more on Moses now...

Exodus 13:19 (MSG) "Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the Israelites solemnly swear to do it, saying, 'God will surely hold you accountable, so make sure you bring my bones from here with you.'"

The Israelites were heading for the land which God had promised them and Moses made sure the bones of Joseph were in route as well. Moses was not taking the promise made, lightly. He knew how important this promise was...even if the person who made them promise was dead. It was so important that Joseph impressed upon the people that God was going to hold them accountable for the promise.

As I was thinking on this I began to think of where God has taken me over the years, the place He has brought me at this point in my life and where He is taking me. What has God done for you? Where are you right now because of what God has done for you? Where is He taking you? Has He promised you things while in your private prayer time with Him? Are we living expecting those promises to be fulfilled?

I know that 20 years ago, as I was in a hospital chapel praying for my son, Daniel, to be healed and his life spared, God gave me the word restoration for Daniel. That same night I heard a testimony on Kenneth Copeland's program of a woman who had what my son had while pregnant. Her baby had to be born prematurely and not expected to live. That evening on the broadcast they spoke of restoration. Other confirmations happened in the following days. I have stood on that promise for 20 years. Daniel will be 22 years old this year. He has been totally dependant on others for his survival since the age of 15 months old. He cannot walk or talk, but I believe, and stand on the promise God gave me, that Daniel will one day be restored, and walk and talk as a normal man his age. Just when I say, "God I am ready to give up. I am just going to accept Daniel as he is," God reaffirms His promise through some person or something I read.

God's promises are worth remembering and keeping. Joseph never saw the land God promised, but he did believe it was going to happen and made sure those who actually saw it fulfilled carried him in with them. Many years after his death, Joseph was being transported to the fulfillment of the promise God gave. Moses made sure and followed through with the promise given to Joseph.

Promises are worth keeping. Promises are worth believing in year after year. Promises should always be in the forefront of our mind. Promises should always be fulfilled.

God gives us an awesome example to follow. He always comes through with His promise. It may not be when we want or how we expect, but He always fulfills His promise. Remember, don't give up on the promises given to us. Make sure we follow through with the promises we make.

Let's learn from Moses and Joseph and expect the promises in our lives to shine bright and be an example for generations to follow.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Tribute to Mothers and Grandmothers

In today’s society it is easy to say a marriage is too hard and move on…even in the church. After you move on you just find another “significant other” and start over. Because of various circumstances that may need to be done. My point is, we need to make sure we have tried to do whatever we could to save the marriage and use divorce only as a last resort. When we live with another person that is our opportunity to allow God to mature and develop us, into the person He desires us to be, by using our differences. So, don’t take lightly the person God has placed in your life. Remember we are leaving a legacy. What kind of legacy are we portraying to those following after us?

That leads me into who I want to admonish this month, since it is Mother’s Day. My mom is a wonderful woman who has lived her life with Christ as her Source. The reason she was able to do this was because of the tremendous heritage from her own mother.

You see, back when it was not the normal way of life, my grandfather left my grandmother and their five young daughters. My grandmother had traveled from Oklahoma, to Virginia, to California, and back to Oklahoma to try and save their marriage. My grandfather just didn’t want the responsibility and decided to leave. In those days families lived close to each other, so my grandmother had her family to help her. She worked and did what she needed to do in order to provide and raise those girls to follow after God.

Her pastor admonished her to remarry. He reassured her it would be alright, but grandma would not even contemplate remarriage. In those days if you divorced you were not suppose to remarry and she stood by that belief. It didn’t matter what the weather was like, Grandma would walk with her five little girls to church for every meeting. They were committed to the house and that commitment would be passed on to her daughters and they would in turn pass it on to their children.

When grandma began to be blessed with grandchildren she was able to see the harvest of seeds she had sown. In our family when the church was holding a service or needed people to help with anything we were there. If, for some reason, we were not able to make it to church we had church at grandmas. My sister was the song leader and I was our preacher. We had a great time and we always had an altar call! As I remember back to that it makes me smile. I also think that is why my sister’s and I do what we do today. As we grew up my mom and dad were very active in our church and encouraged young people. That was important to them and I can see how that has influenced the way I do ministry today. My mom’s faith had an influence on my dad. If she had not learned from her mom, the importance of commitment and faith and passed it on, who knows where our family would be today?

My grandmother is going to be 95 years old this year and has lived a very good and fruitful life. She has dementia and it has been hard on my mom and dad, since grandma has lived next door to them for years. They finally had to put her in a nursing center, where her brother was able to move in with her. The five daughters take turns going and sitting with them. Her short term memory has been affected. She does recognize me when I call, and remembers where I live. It is hard to see someone you love affected in this way, but I will always cherish the heritage she and my parents gave me and my sisters. I thank God for the privilege of having a mother and grandmother who loved God with all their heart, mind and soul and gave that love to me.

I understand some of us did not have the privilege of growing up with this kind of heritage; but, my question to each of us is, “What kind of heritage are we leaving for our children and grandchildren?” Will they be committed to the house in which they worship or more committed to extra-curricular activities? Don’t get me wrong, extra-curricular activities are important; but should never replace the commitment to our local church, as long as that church is thriving and healthy. The commitment to the local church should be seen in our activities. Are we making sure our lives are balanced and healthy? Are we leaving the legacy that Timothy’s mother and grandmother left him as seen in 2 Timothy 1:5?

This month we celebrate Mother’s Day; let’s not forget to celebrate our mom’s and thank them for what they mean to us. We can also take time to remember our spiritual mom’s and the influence they have in our lives. May God bless you as you continue on your journey with Him and be purposeful in influencing others.