Saturday, July 7, 2012

Perfect Peace, Perfect Strength (by Randy Speck)

You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Why should we worry when we can have peace, instead? Not just peace, but perfect peace.

“How much peace can we have if we doubt the only person who can help us through difficulties?” writes Ula Gillion, on her website, Jesus Carries Me.

Philippians 4:6-7 says 'Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.'

God's peace exceeds ANYTHING we can understand. Isn't that wonderful?

Not only is Jesus’ peace perfect, so is His strength.

One day, a few years ago, my niece, Cassie, came to my house with my mom. When she got out of the car, mom noticed my son, J.D.'s, ankle weights lying on the ground over by the basketball goal. That boy was always leaving something outside.

One day he was kicking a football out in the yard, when he managed to get not one, but TWO footballs stuck high in the tree out near the mailbox. Those were the only footballs he had, and he tried for several days to get them down by throwing rocks and other objects at them. His brother, Elijah, and I also joined in the rescue operation, but none of us had any success. We simply could not get those footballs out of that tree! It seemed as if they were destined to stay there forever.

And then one day, as J.D. would probably describe it, something miraculous happened — a power outage! Miraculous, because the power outage sent Richie Richardson of South Kentucky RECC to our home. J.D. looked out his bedroom window and saw Richie standing beside his ladder truck, which just happened to be parked next to the tree, that coincidentally held J.D.’s footballs. In a flash, J.D. was out the door. A minute later, I looked outside just in time to see Richie using this long-arm apparatus to remove the footballs from the tree. Then, I saw him turn toward J.D. and point up to the sky, in the opposite direction of the tree. I chuckled when I saw him do that. Then, Richie drove off down the road, smiling as he waved goodbye to a very happy J.D. Speck. Later, J.D. said Richie told him to kick the football ‘THAT WAY’ from now on!

Mom retrieved the ankle weights from the yard and carried them into the house, and Cassie went over to investigate. She wanted to know what they were. Mom explained to her how that J.D. used them to strengthen his leg muscles so that he will jump higher when he payed basketball. A puzzled Cassie replied, “Isn’t that illegal?”

Have you ever been at that spot in the road where you find yourself in a lull because of something that is weighing you down? And, no matter how hard you try, you’re just STUCK…like J.D.’s footballs? Even though it may be a hard battle, don’t give up. God loves you! Reach out to Him. He will be reaching back for you. J.D. could not get those footballs to move until he asked Richie to help him. And, you know, no matter how far out of reach a solution seems, no matter how difficult the situation is, no matter the size of the weight you are carrying around, just trust in the Lord. He WILL make a way for you.

Perfect peace, perfect strength!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blessed Assurance

When the British annexed Transvaal, a territory in South Africa in the late 1800's, it greatly annoyed the famers, also known as Boers (white settlers in Africa of Dutch origin). So, the farmers rebelled and war ensued.

At a 'Stop The War' conference, held in 1900 at Exeter Hall in London, a gentleman at the meeting said, "When the sol­diers go­ing to the front were pass­ing ano­ther bo­dy of sol­diers whom they re­cog­nized, their greet­ings used to be, Four-nine-four, boys; four-nine-four; and the sa­lute would in­var­i­ably be an­swered with Six furt­her on, boys; six fur­ther on. The sig­nif­i­cance of this was that, in ‘Sac­red Songs and So­los,’ a num­ber of co­pies of the small edi­tion of which had been sent to the front, num­ber 494 was, ‘God Be With You Till We Meet Again," and six fur­ther on than 494, or num­ber 500, was ‘Bless­ed As­sur­ance, Jesus is mine.’ - Ira D. Sankey, (author of one of the most popular hymn and time books in the English language, entitled “Sacred Songs and Solos“)

Bless├Ęd assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior, all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior, all the day long
Perfect submission, perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love