Thursday, May 29, 2014

Disappointed??



The word "disappointment" means: "A feeling of dissatisfaction when one’s hopes, desires, and expectations fail to come to pass." When God somehow fails to satisfy our hopes or doesn't live up to our expectations, disappointment inevitably follows. If God doesn't perform in the manner we think He should, we are disillusioned with Him and dissatisfied with His performance. This can lead to wavering faith in God, especially in His sovereignty and His goodness. 

When God doesn't act when we think He should act, it isn't because He is unable to do so. Rather, He simply chooses not to. While this might seem an arbitrary or capricious act on His part, the exact opposite is true. God chooses to act or not to act according to His perfect and holy will in order to bring about His righteous purposes. Nothing happens that is out of God’s plan. He has control of every molecule that floats around in the universe, and God’s will encompasses every act and decision made by every person throughout the world at all times. He tells us in Isaiah 46:11, “From the east
I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” Even the birds are somehow part of His foreordained plan. Furthermore, there are times when He chooses to let us know His plans (Isaiah 46:10) and times when He does not. Sometimes we understand what He is doing; sometimes we do not (Isaiah 55:9). One thing we do know for sure: if we belong to Him, whatever He does will be to our benefit, whether we understand it or not (Romans 8:28). 

The key to avoiding disappointment with God is to align our wills with His and to submit to His will in all things. Doing so will not only keep us from being disappointed with God, but it will also preclude grumbling and complaining about the events that occur in our lives. The Israelites in the desert griped and questioned God on several occasions, despite having seen miraculous displays of His power in the parting of the Red Sea, the provision of manna and quail in the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord that followed them in the form of a pillar of fire(Exodus 15–16; Numbers 14:2-37). Despite God’s continual faithfulness to His people, they grumbled and were disappointed with God because He did not act as they thought He should. Rather than submitting to His will and trusting Him, they were in a constant state of turmoil and confusion. 


When we align our wills with God’s will and when we can say, with Jesus, “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42), then we find the contentment Paul spoke of in 1 Timothy 6:6-10 and Philippians 4:11-12. Paul had learned to be content with whatever God sent his way. He trusted God and submitted to His will, knowing that a holy, righteous, perfect, loving, and merciful God would work all things together for his good because that is what He promised. When we see God in that light, we can’t possibly be disappointed with Him. Rather, we submit willingly to our heavenly Father, knowing that His will is perfect and that everything He brings to pass in our lives will be for our good and for His glory.





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Friday, May 16, 2014

Hand of Hope


[This is an older post, but none the less, it is still encouraging... so I decided to re-post it on here]

HAND OF HOPE

I was working with a patient in clinical today, and the inspiration of this story has compelled me to share it.

Today, I met an 83 y/o woman whose optimism about her recovery permeated the hospital room. Her determination to overcome her mountainous illness was contagious. As the students and myself encouraged her to keep pushing toward her goal, she insisted, "I WILL get better and walk out of here." While I can't explain her condition to you, just know that her agility was remarkable progression for her age and condition.

As we marveled at her strong will and optimistic outlook, we asked her where her strength came from. She reached down into her purse and called us to huddle around her. She pulled out this tiny picture below and told us a story...

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by a surgeon named Joseph Bruner.

The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. During the surgery on little Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed, hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger.

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope." The text explaining the picture begins:

"The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life."


As the patient showed us this picture, she said, "Looking at this tiny 21-week-old baby gives me the motivation to go on."

No matter what you are going through in life, whether it be a debilitating illness, a loss, or temporary hardship, let this story encourage you to press on no matter how difficult or impossible the situation may seem. All things are possible with Christ. Our creator put you here for a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11) and has a plan and purpose for you. He sees your every trial and is walking beside you AND when you can't walk... He is carrying you! He will always be your strength in times of weakness! 

Abide in Him, and He will carry you through the storm!
"But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!" 
- 2 Corinthians 12:9




TIME



“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you." 
- Psalm 39:4-5

"Walk in wisdom... making the best use of the time." 
- Col. 4:5



So - I keep setting an alarm on the ipad to 'talk to God' every night and I've been about 7% successful in the past few weeks. I find that every time the reminder goes off I am doing something, so I hit ignore. Most of the time I never get around to doing it.

I've been convicted of not giving God enough 'personal' time for awhile now and watching sermons and reading His word doesn't count. For me, I need to be in 'prayer' with Him more and even though I talk with Him throughout the day, it's not enough. Lately, I've been really inspired by Billy Grahams life and passion for Christ and a couple from Faith Assembly who started a ministry in Columbia. (Take a moment to check out their site and please consider donating something... even if it's only $5... I laid in bed last night and as I looked up at the ceiling our central air kicked on. I thought, I have a cooling system that automatically turns on and cools my house if a certain temperature is reached. I AM rich!!! I was reminded of a kitchen that looked like a dungeon in one of the photos on their website and I felt convicted. Those people have nothing. God expects us to share what we have for His Glory. We donated today. I hope you'll do the same.


Home - Stirling Ministries

View on stmin.org

Getting back to being inspired by these true followers of Christ... Do you know what it takes... what kind of 'love' for Christ and others you must have to devote your WHOLE day to HIS cause??? I look at Billy G. and he went on crusade after crusade... all his time and energy... all for Christ - not himself! It just inspires me so much to want to do more for Him.

Sooo - I printed out this sign and I am going to hang it on my kitchen cabinet so I do not waste anymore time (that's what the clock is for in the printout below). Ryan recently moved our clock into the bedroom and for the first few nights all I could hear was tick-tock, tick-tock. I thought, "Every second that passes I could never get back. Am I really using all my time to the best of my ability?" Time is so valuable and I want to stop wasting it. Every second that passes is one more second closer to Christ's return. This puts the focus on all the unsaved people (that's what the other picture represents). I need to put God's will before everything. So many things consume my time... but He should get the most of it.

Well, just thought I'd briefly share what was on my mind ;o) Hope it makes sense. I am a huuuge procrastinator... so please pray for me that I use my time wisely and also... that everything I have... money, time, talent, etc. is used for the Lord.

Here is my pic that I'll be hanging, lol...