Though no one join me still….

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Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:14

Following Jesus is not about the road he has called us to walk  or the company of others who may be going with us but rather the growing realization of who He truly is and the joy of passing through the gate with Him at the end of the road.

I have decided to follow Jesus

I have decided to follow Jesus

I have decided to follow Jesus

No turning back – No turning back

” The lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Assam, north-east India, who along with his family was converted to Christianity in the middle of the 19th century through the efforts of a Welsh missionary. Called to renounce his faith by the village chief, the convert declared, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” In response to threats to his family, he continued, “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.” His wife was killed, and he was executed while singing, “The cross before me, the world behind me.” This display of faith is reported to have led to the conversion of the chief and others in the village”   …Wikipedia

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Hearing God’s Call

 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8 ESV

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While meeting with a candidate for the pastorate of a small church, the interviewer was surprised to hear the young man say, “Oh no I can not accept this position. I am called to pastor a church of at least a thousand members!”

But Isaiah didn’t hesitate at the call God had for him. He was not promised success. In fact, God told him that he would be going to people who would listen but not accept the message he had to preach. His congregation would be obstinate, hard-headed and cold-hearted! Wow! That doesn’t sound like a call I would be eager to pursue but not Isaiah. “I’m your guy – Lord!” Isaiah responded

Nursing home ministry isn’t exactly like Isaiah’s call. We do get listened to and appreciated by many people, but like Isaiah we are often alone and misunderstood by the people around us. Our calling may involve some sights and smells that take some getting used to. Our call may mean  allowing God to stretch us and use us in ways quite different from what we are used to. But wherever God leads He will also go with us. Our chief shepherd has promised to stay with us even when we watch over His flocks by night. Even when nothing seems to be going on at all, be prepared. He just might send an angel choir to wake us up!

For more insight and encouragement here is a resource:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U…

Saying Goodbye

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I will be packing my bags tonight and tomorrow I will be going home. Some things won’t be able to fit so I am carefully choosing what to bring and what to leave behind.

James asks us what is our life: and answers,

James 4:14… It is a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes.

We are here for only so many years and then we must decide how to get ready for the final voyage. Will we leave behind bitterness and unforgiveness? Will there be enough room for the mustard seed of faith in Christ that we need for heaven? Will you be able to say that you can leave behind all unkind thoughts and leave unsaid harsh and critical words? Will we truly be able to go to God and tell Him we have loved our neighbor as He commanded?

When our bags are stowed and the flight is ready to board will we be prepared to joyfully give our kiss and trust the captain of our Salvation with the coordinates for our destination? When in our life things are right and ready then our goodbyes will give hope for the ones leaving on a later flight.

Joyful Thankful Prayer!

     Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God

Philippians 4:6

Sometimes I treat prayer like taking a ticket at the deli line. I take a number, then patiently wait for my turn to be called. When my name is called I feel sure that then I will get God’s full attention. Then after I am served I say something like, “Hey thanks – have a great day!”

But my reality seems to end up more like the man that Jesus met at the pool of Bethesda. He had been waiting in line not for minutes, hours, or weeks, but for thirty-eight long years. He told Jesus, “… but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  Do you sometimes feel like that guy? Does it seem that others get the financial provision, the amazing career opportunities or the special thanks in front of the church. Do you feel that God has forgotten you and left  you holding the ticket that never gets called?

When the Apostle Paul talks about prayer to the Philippian church he gives quite a different outlook. His prayers were not made while he anxiously waited his turn. Paul did not have the idea that God was probably busy with the person in front of him in line. In fact Paul was so confident of His heavenly Father that he actually began his request by saying thank you. He knew that because of Jesus Christ his prayers were making their way immediately to the front of the line. He joyfully gave thanks even though he didn’t always get things just the way he wished (like when he was ship-wrecked, beaten, thrown in prison or treated as the least important apostle by his own church.

In fact, while Paul sat in his prison cell chained next to his friend Silas, he was so thankful that he broke out into song, Silas joined in and God sent an earthquake that unlocked the prison door. Wow, now that is an answer to prayer!

No matter what the circumstance, no matter how long we have waited, no matter what everyone else thinks, God loves not just a joyful giver, but a joyful thankful prayer as well. When God sees our faces he sees us as His children. God loves to hear from His children when we come to him with a joyful thankful prayer!Nepal and India 016