Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 1 continued

One more comment from Day 1. A stone with Pontius Pilate's name was discovered in Caesarea in 1961. This is the only archaeological evidence for the existence of Pontius Pilate. One of Lon's favorite phrases was -- the more they dig, the more the Bible proves to be true.

I didn't need archaeological evidence to believe the accuracy and the perfection of the Bible. But it's still fascinating to learn about discoveries like this one. The original stone can be seen in the Israeli Museum in Jerusalem. The pictured stone is a replica.

Today I'm so thankful for God's Holy word that comes alive before our very eyes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Israel Day 1

Sometimes our life shakes and quakes because of trouble and hardship. Other times we experience LifeTremors because God interrupts our lives with His very presence. My husband and I just experienced one of those LifeTremors as a result of a trip to Israel with Lon Solomon of McLean Bible Church. I thought I'd share some of the experiences that caused us to tremble as the Bible literally came alive to us.

On day 1 our flight arrived midday, and we went straight to Caesarea. We sat in the ancient theatre while gazing across at the Mediterranean Sea. In Caesarea Paul testified before Agrippa as recorded in Acts 26. From the scripture we conclude that Agrippa had all the facts necessary to believe in Jesus. Verse 26 says that these things were not "done in a corner." He knew the miracles of Jesus, he knew of his death, he heard of his resurrection. Yet, he did not believe.

Lon shared with us that the same is true today. Many people have enough facts to believe. So many times we think we need just the right words, a persuasive argument, more facts, or the right book or tape in order to "convince" our loved ones of the truth of Jesus Christ. However, the problem is not the mind, but the heart. The Holy Spirit softens and prepares the heart. Our part is prayer -- prayer for soft and receptive hearts.

Lon shared that one woman prayed for his salvation for 21 long years -- 21 years! He knows of no one else, no other person who prayed for him -- just her.

Would you pray that long -- would you wait that long -- even with no signs of hope? Would I?

On that sacred ground I sat and prayed for those I love who don't love Christ -- name by name -- prayer by prayer. And I committed to faithfully pray, to persevere, to wait, to hope. I can still hear the echo of our voices as we sang the words to "People Need the Lord."

People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize, people need the Lord?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Battle of the Mind

I've been having a battle of the mind the past few days. I didn't want to admit it to anyone. Why not? Don't know. Maybe because I'd look bad, or because I didn't know what others would think of me. Trying to protect my reputation? All of those reasons sound so silly now.

You see, from time to time I struggle with my thoughts. I can live in a fantasy world inside my own head -- making up stories -- all with happy endings. Unfortunately my stories aren't always so, so, mmmmmmm, how do I say this .................. my stories are not so pure. My thoughts would embarrass me if you knew about them. I don't want you to know about them. I'd rather you not even know I struggle with them.

But, I've come to realize anew that these thoughts are too powerful for me to battle on my own. I pray and try my best to control my thoughts. Trouble is I'm just not strong enough. My secret thoughts have too much power over me.

I have discovered a solution. It's simple really, doesn't require a lot of time or effort.

I just need to tell someone and ask them to pray for me. Simple, right?

Right. Somehow admitting my struggle out loud lessons its hold on me. And the power of prayer is incredible.

The only problem is the part about swallowing my pride, risking my reputation, and suffering a bit of embarrassment. Why is that so hard? Everyone already knows I'm less than perfect -- far from it. In fact, anything good you see in me is a gift from God. I claim no credit, take no glory.

Still, my inner self says keep quiet, while my spirit cries out for help. I am reminded of the scripture I keep running across -- Gal 5:17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

Anyone else struggle with this? Anyone else prone to keep secrets?
You're not alone. Me too.

Just glad God nudges and prods and won't leave me alone until I come clean once again. Coming clean sure feels good -- much better than keeping secrets.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Waiting for the Next Tremor

Do you ever find yourself waiting for the next crisis -- the next LifeTremor? I'm in that phase right now. I've come out of one LifeTremor, and life is much calmer. However, I find myself wondering when the next one will hit. Waiting, watching, anticipating.

I don't like that. It's living life in the future instead of the here-and-now. Looking too far ahead takes the joy out of life today. I want to embrace the good days and celebrate the victories. This day is good -- even if tomorrow brings turmoil. This day is good.

Thank you Lord, for peaceful days. I even thank you for the tough days that make today seem even better.