Monthly Archives: July 2014

We Saw Your Smoke Signal!

burning-hut

Greetings in the Lord,

The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uncharted island. He prayed constantly for God to rescue him, and everyday he scanned the horizon for help…but none came. Exhausted he finally built himself a hut out of thatch and driftwood to protect him from the elements. He loved his little hut.

But then one day after rummaging around the island for food and fresh water he came home to find that a spark from his cooking fire had sent his little hut up in flames. Everything he had was stored in that little hut. All he could do was watch it be engulfed in flames and go up in smoke.

In anger he yelled at God, “How could you do this to me!? How could you let me lose everything I had!!!?”

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. The man asked the Captain, “How did you know I was here?” And the Captain replied, “We saw your smoke signal.”

It’s easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. It might even seem that God isn’t listening. But the Apostle Paul wrote to God’s people with this reminder…”All things work together for the good of those who love God and have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

This promise is for believers…that God is in control…that He is at work in our lives…for the purpose of making us more like His son, Jesus. It’s so easy to become bitter instead of better. Especially during the shipwrecked, hut burning times in our lives. But remember the next time your little everything of a hut is burning to the ground, it may just be a smoke signal that announces God’s rescue ship of grace.

Think about it. It is never easy to do something that requires FAITH…NEVER. When all the kids are fine and well behaved (Pretend it could happen ūüôā When you just got your promotion or raise. While you’re on vacation in Hawaii. When everything is sunshine and roses…you don’t need much faith. Those times are great. But the power of God is found in our weakness. His grace is sufficient in our thorns. You see I’ve discovered I have the tendency to try to be self sufficient. And it’s only when my resources run dry and my hut has burned down that a cry out to God for rescue. I’m trying to learn to depend on God and live in Christ, not just during crisis’s…but during every season of life…but I’ll also be grateful that He’s allowed a few of my self constructed huts to burn down so I can find real rescue in His grace…Aren’t you?

Sending up smoke signals.

Rick

“Picking Them Up And putting Them Down Again”

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 Hey Everybody,
 
How easy is it for us to let the “urgent” squeeze the “important” out of our lives? ¬†It’s Super easy because life gets hectic and busy and when it gets hectic and busy we go into “survival mode.” ¬†We usually think, “Hey, as soon as I reach a quieter place…a “Rest Area” I’ll slow down and get some rest and renewed focus.” Here’s one of the biggest problems with that thought process…It reminded me of a story I read the other day and thought about how easy it is to get caught in this world’s vortex of busyness.¬† How it can drag us along if we’re not careful….
 

” A Tacoma, Washington newspaper carried the story of Tattoo the basset hound a while back. Tattoo didn’t intend to go for an evening run, but when his owner shut the dog’s leash in the car door and took off for a drive with Tattoo still outside the vehicle, he had no choice.

Motorcycle officer Terry Filbert notice a passing vehicle with something dragging behind it. He commented that the poor basset hound was, “picking them up and putting them down as fast as he could.” He chased the car to a stop, and Tattoo was rescued. But not before the dog had reached a top speed of 25 miles per hour, falling down and rolling over several times.”

Too many of us are living our lives like Tattoo, picking them up and putting them down as fast as we can‚ÄĒrolling around and feeling dragged through life. ¬†Hoping that someone will stop the speeding car we’re caught in.

No wonder the Apostle Paul tells us “not to be conformed to the image of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” ¬†Please know you each are in my prayers daily as the world seeks to drag us along, and we feel like we’re picking them up and putting them down as quickly as we can.¬† It is my prayer that you will be carried along by God’s Spirit and protected by His amazing grace.

And may we remember the call of Jesus in this hectic and busy world….”Come to me all of you that are weary and burdened and you will find rest for your soul…” ¬†Jesus is an amazing “Rest Area!!!!”

 

His servant and yours,

 

Rick

Revolutionary Freedom

 

 
 
 
220px-Gilbert_Stuart_Williamstown_Portrait_of_George_Washington
Greetings in the Lord,

 

 

 

 

 

¬†¬†¬†¬† I’ve been watching a T. V. show on the History channel called, “The Revolution,” and much of it traces the life of George Washington, the father of our country.¬† He was born in 1732.¬† When he was eleven his father died.¬† Between the ages of sixteen to nineteen he traveled the western frontier as a surveyor and managed to save enough money he purchased several plots of land.¬† After returning his brother secured him a position in the Virginia militia when he was nineteen.¬† His Commander was General Braddock, and during the battle of Duquesne he had two horses shot out from under him and after the battle they found four bullet holes in his coat, but Washington wasn’t wounded.¬† For the next 4 years he commanded all of Virginia’s forces.

 

¬†¬†¬†¬† When his half brother died he inherited Mount Vernon.¬† He added to his estate when he married a wealthy widow, Martha Curtis.¬† At the age of twenty-seven Washington appeared set for a leisurely life as a distinguished landowner.¬† But things were about to change….

 

¬†¬†¬†¬† During the first Continental Congress he was appointed to represent Virginia…and during the second Congress, he was unanimously voted as Commander-in-chief of the Continental Forces.¬† He became the leader of fourteen thousand men who had no discipline, no arms, no commissary, and no morale.¬† He, through example and perseverance welded together a loyal army and proved himself a brilliant military tactician.¬† Ironically, Washington would have been rejected for military service by a modern draft board because he suffered from smallpox, influenza, T. B., dysentery and malaria.¬† Yet he was never ill during the Revolutionary war.

 

¬†¬†¬†¬† After this Washington returned to Mount Vernon and was sent by Virginia to the Continental Convention in 1787 and later unanimously elected President.¬† He served two terms.¬† Here were his final remarks to the nation in 1796, he said…

 

 

 

     Of all the habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports,

 

     In Vain would men claim the tributes of patriotism who would destroy these great pillars of

 

¬†¬†¬†¬† human happiness.”¬†¬†He said,¬†It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the

 

     Bible.

 

 

 

     Few American presidents have advocated prayer more openly than Washington.  His secretary often

 

found him on his knees with a Bible in front of him.¬† He gave orders relieving troops as far as possible from duty on Sundays and gave them opportunity to attend worship services.¬† He denounced vulgarity and profanity.¬† He was the first to declare a national day of thanksgiving saying, “it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits.”

 

     That my friends is revolutionary!!!  And because of leaders like that we enjoy the freedoms we do in this great nation.  O God, give us leaders like that today!

 

 

 

Forever thankful for our foundation,