It’s Friday again, and around my house even though the thermometer sits in the upper 90’s, summer is rapidly coming to a close. Monday is the start of a new school year, and subsequently I am spending my time today away from the normal haunts and activities to spend a few hours with the boys before they are engrossed in homework, practices, events and friends. Therefore today’s post is quite simple, but I think very powerful.
Last Friday, I noticed one of the groups I follow on Twitter posted this simple question:
Take a look back at this week…what was a highlight?
So today, I ask you the same thing. What was the highlight of your week? Give it some thought and also throughout the weekend think about what you will do to make some highlights next week!
And while you are thinking here is a obscure verse from the book of Job to enocurage you through the day. Its relates, it’s up to you to make the connection!
9 Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways,
and those with clean hands will grow stronger. Job 17:9New International Version (NIV)
It’s Severe Weather Week in Tennessee! Yes, a week to have severe weather. Well, actually it’s severe weather awareness week. Apparently, most states have a week or two designated for this sort of thing. You can find our more from our friends at NOAA. On a tangent, isn’t it interesting that our government’s weather agency is named after the dude who survived the world wide flood event – Noah? Back to SWAW (Severe Weather Awareness Week). This week is set up to educate about Lightning and tornadoes and the like. Today in Tennessee at 9:30 there is a state wide Tornado Drill – so watch out for that!
And then, while you are thinking about the power of severe weather, take a moment to remember its creator. First of all, is so amazing that the creator established such a diverse weather system, and that we can actually predict it with some reasonableness. That design alone is magnificent. But then consider the power and force that is packed into the extreme weather we see. It is really awe inspiring to watch and study this things. But even more awe inspiring is that the creator has control of this type of stuff and can control it whenever he wants, for instance, Moses crossing the Red Sea, or the storm calming after Jonah was thrown overboard or the Christ and the storm:
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
I hope you participate in SWAW, and learn more about the powerful forces of nature that surround us, but also take some time to thank the creator and praise him for his magnificent creation.
14 “Listen to this, Job;
stop and consider God’s wonders. 15 Do you know how God controls the clouds
and makes his lightning flash? 16 Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge? 17 You who swelter in your clothes
when the land lies hushed under the south wind, 18 can you join him in spreading out the skies,
hard as a mirror of cast bronze? Job 37 (NIV)
I am sure by now you heard about Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson’s reaction to dropping the winning touchdown pass on Sunday. If you have not, after dropping the winning touchdown pass, he later tweeted this:
“I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…
My first reaction was like “What’s up with you man?”, but then I thought about how that’s just like all the rest of us. We are so much like football players with our praise- quick to thank God for the winning touchdowns and to blame him for the loss!
But I don’t think that’s the way we are to go about life – accepting the good, and discounting the bad and ugly and using it as a source of judgment. Take a look over in the book of Job. When really bad things descended on Job, and his wife says “Curse God and die!”, he responds with this:
So today, if you are have having the “Best day ever”, or your storage bin with all of your belongings has been sold off, or you wreck you vehicle, or you get stuck with a dirty job, or whatever does not go your way – remember to accept the trouble from God with praise – just like you would accept the good things!
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 ESV
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 ESV
Oh and Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law – Lori!!
You may be aware of the massive earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday. A friend of mine who is trying to adopt some Haitian children and travels there several times a year sent me a few pictures last night that I thought were worth sharing.
Wow!. Can you imagine? This is just an example of the damage and despair that has occurred on that troubled island. Likewise some of you may be experiencing earthquakes in your lives. Its not something we can take a picture of, but the devastation, and despair are equal. You may feel like your life is like this palace – destroyed. It may be your job, your relationships, your children, your financial position and many other things that rock our foundation. What do we do?
We could look at James 1
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (NIV)
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. (NIV)
Both of these are good things to know. These lifequakes will build up our faith, and create, and in our weakness create a leaning on God. However, I usually take strength in these two passages. from Job
9 His wife said, “Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!”
10 He told her, “You’re talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?”
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose.(NIV)
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.(NIV)
The last one, brings the most hope. A message that even when the world falls in around you, we still have a promise of life eternal with our Lord and Savior. So if today, you world is shaking, remember this. If you are blessed with peace, pray for those in Haiti and find way to build up the people right around who maybe in the middle of the devastation of a lifequake.
I was preparing to write about an entirely different topic, when I was checking to see if schools were closing hours before the first snow flake even was forming and I saw this classic poll on the front of my local news station:
Preparations and plans. Sometimes it’s important to make them. Apparently, when winter weather strikes its even more important. It’s always the running joke about hitting the grocery when winter weather approaches, and it always makes good news stories. That and a story about the road crews loading up the salt and sand. Winter in the South is fun stuff. However I noticed yesterday on weather.com, more evidence of my government weather conspiracy plot. Notice the green circle around Chattanooga!!!
Anyway, since snow is once again the talk of the town, and yesterday’s post dealt remotely with the creation, I almost think this is an incredible image to try to conjure up in your mind. The storehouses of snow. I think it shows the mightiness and the greatness of the Lord.
20 “Have you ever traveled to where snow is made,
seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,
The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness
for times of trouble and battle and war?
Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,
or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyons
for the downpours of rain, and charts
the route of thunderstorms
That bring water to unvisited fields,
deserts no one ever lays eyes on,
Drenching the useless wastelands
so they’re carpeted with wildflowers and grass?
And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,
the mother of ice and frost?
You don’t for a minute imagine
these marvels of weather just happen, do you? (Job 38:21-23, The Message)
and since we started with a little bit of planning, how about this verse to consider today:
3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
Enjoy the snow – if we get it!
( oh, by the way, the conspiracy theory is a joke -just a joke)