Much like your parents attic, treasured memories lay within. So, wipe the dust off my ruminations and remembrances, sit back and enjoy!

...do not delay

Psalm 40

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.

5 Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced,
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.

7 Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.

8 I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."

9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD.

10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your truth
from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;
may your love and your truth always protect me.

12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.

13 Be pleased, O LORD, to save me;
O LORD, come quickly to help me.

14 May all who seek to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.

15 May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!"
be appalled at their own shame.

16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
"The LORD be exalted!"

17 Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.

In the past, when I had my quiet time with the Lord, I’ve chosen when, I’ve chosen the length, I’ve chosen the book…yeah, I have an ‘I’ problem! So, the other day, while reading a paper on blended families, the writer introduced me to the idea of radically changing my approach to prayer. He said ‘If we truly want radical change in our lives, our marriages/relationships, our families, or our children, we need to radically change our approach to prayer. Insanity has been described as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” The same is true of our prayer life. If we pray the same amount of time, with the same lack of zeal, with the same weak sacrifice and the same level of distraction, we CANNOT and WILL NOT experience change.’ That bowled me over! And it got me to thinking…what could happen, no…what WOULD happen if I applied that to my quiet time…what if I applied that to how I approach reading God’s word? God is challenging me to approach His word with a boldness and expectation. In James 4:2-3 it reads, ‘You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.’ So, that’s what I did today. I prayed in earnest before opening His word. I asked Him to lead me to were He needed me to read, to open my mind to His wisdom and to His teaching and to give me His heart so that I might have the compassion and humbleness to apply whatever teaching He brings to me to my life. The passage above is what He lead me to this morning.

Be bold! Be Radical! Approach God with zeal and a hunger! Approach His word with expectation…but let HIM lead you!

God is SO good!

~ V

Our Hands

Job 17:9 – But those who do right, will continue to do right, and those whose hands are not dirty with sin will grow stronger.

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess” ~ Martin Luther

What if a film producer came to you and wanted to do a documentary, a biography if you will, on your hands? What would we see? Most likely it would begin by panning it a newborn’s quaking fist…shaking from the wailing and stark cold of the world you just entered. The next scene might show a close up of your infant fingers gently wrapped around mommy’s finger and the next your toddler hands gripping a chair as you learned to walk…what would we see as you got older? …hands extended as you gave a gift…hands placing a ring on another’s finger…hands cleaning and dressing a wound or making repairs. What about the scenes showing your hands taking more than giving? Or your hands clenched in anger or hurting?
Oh, the power we have in our hands! We can kill with a stroke or save a life through the work of our hands. Leave them unmanaged and they become weapons clawing for power, strangling for survival and seducing for gratification. But manage them, and our hands become instruments of grace…not just tools in the hands of God, but the VERY hands of God!

Oh be careful like hands what you do, oh be careful little hands what you do
For the Father up above is looking down in love, oh be careful little hands what you do…

~ Vince

Winds of Change...

Well, today finally came…first day back to school! It was a mixed bag at my house as everyone got up right away and proceeded to get ready and off on time, but Hope was a little nervous about meeting her new teacher, Vinny was just plain ready, Brittany was very business like and Trevor while ready, just didn’t seem as into it. He’s been taking some hard hits in football lately and so I think he was just tired and a little sore! I must admit that it was odd doing it all on my own this year…the shopping, getting their backpacks ready, going to the school’s open houses…yeah, but we made it and so starts another year. A big year of changes…Vinny’s last year in elementary, Trevor’s first year at the high school, Brittany’s last year in high school…change is everywhere I look, it’s in the air and it crouches as if ready to spring…
If you had the power to change your future, would you? If you knew that on September 25th, 2010 at 5:34pm you would die in a car accident, would you avoid traveling on that day? Or that on December 24th 2009 at 7:13pm, a string of Christmas lights would short out, burning your house to the ground, would you choose to leave your lights off…maybe even unplugged? Of course you would! Who in their right mind, knowing these things were to occur, would allow the appointed time to pass without attempting to alter the outcome?? When faced with the possibility of spending eternity in heaven or hell, why are people so cavalier about their souls? Hell is a place of physical agony, mental suffering, loneliness and emotional sorrow. Jesus described it as a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. It’s a place of insecurity and fear and is described as a bottomless pit, an abyss, a lake of fire and a place where every moment is lived in uncertainty. Hell is a pit of darkness; totally devoid of light. It is pitch black with nothing to distract people from their suffering, sorrow, fears and torment. All of this will be without end; every moment of every day…for the rest of eternity (Jude 6, Matt 5:21-23, Matt 7:23, Matt 8:12, Matt 13:42, 50, Matt 25:30, 2 Peter 3-5, Rev 20:15).
There is a way, the ONLY way actually, that you CAN change your future and know beyond a shadow of a doubt where you will spend eternity. Romans 3:23 says, ‘For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ You and I are in the same boat…we are ALL sinners, from the little white lie to stealing and much much worse. Again, in Romans (6:23) the Bible tells us the consequences of our sin, ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ The hope that we have is in Jesus Christ, God’s son and perfect payment for our sins past, present and future! John 3:16 says this, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Believe…trust…be free!

~ Vince