En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Archive for the ‘encouragement’ Category

-From A Dad: Like Trees Planted By A Stream of Water!

Posted by Scott on October 23, 2007

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Imagine for a moment you are sitting near a stream that is flowing with crystal clear water over rocks and tree stumps with its gentle sound.  You are sitting under huge trees that are old, but still very vibrant and green.  As you observe the beauty of God’s creation, notice at the bottom of those trees, near the stream…the roots are exposed typically.  Those roots grow deep into that stream of water.   We are very much like those trees.

“The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon He planted.” 

-Psalm 104:16

 

As the roots of these trees near the stream they are exposed to all the elements that may prevail around them.  They are totally dependent upon that stream for its nourishment and water.  Storms and drought may often beat at this tree, but because its roots are deep into that stream of water it remains constant, vibrant, stable, and steady.  The trees will lose a limb from time to time.  The trees may show signs of scarring from horrific storms that battered against it sometime within its life.  However, it never faltered or died with its roots embodied deep in the water.

“They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.  Such trees are not bothered by heat or worried by long months of drought.  Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.”  -Jeremiah 17:8 (NLT)

God has created each of us much like these trees.  We are very much exposed to all kinds of attacks from our enemy.  Yet if we are in the word of God daily our roots grow deep into our Lord.  He wants us to be totally respondent to Him.  He wants us totally dependent upon Him for our food, water, shelter, and life.  Through the storms of life He expects us to remain stable, constant, vibrant, and steady.  As each storm rages we grow our roots closer and deeper towards Him.  As droughts come we grow our roots deeper.  All of life’s beatings, batterings, trials, financial turmoils, deaths, diseases, and such are to help us to grow our roots deeper and more firmly in Him.  Many times these events stay for a long time…we must have our roots planted deeply in God’s stream of water rather the worlds to survive. 

‘Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”   -2 Cor 4:16

God in His sovereign will is working His plan all the time.  These events are only a part of that plan.  As He draws us into each situation, each storm of life it is only to bring Him more honor and glory.  Our reactions to these difficulties are to be met with calmness, consistency, steadiness, and stability.  This is hard to understand, but God provides over time all that we need and many time more than we need.  Take each day and movement of God one step at a time.  It says in the model prayer Jesus used in Matthew, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  It did not say weekly or monthly bread, but daily bread.  So, as the storms of life swell around you to the point you cannot see land remember God is in every moment.  Get involved in the study of the Bible.  This is where your spiritual stability will come from.  This is the place your spiritual roots grow deep.  We as His chosen people are under His Divine care always.  Think of how you will respond to your current or next storm….where are your roots growing?

“Never a trial that He is not there,

Never a burden that He does not bear,

Never a sorrow that He does not share,

Moment by moment, we’re under His care.”

-Old Hymn by Daniel W. Whittle

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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-Seasons of Life in God’s Creation!

Posted by Scott on October 21, 2007

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Don’t you enjoy the smell of clean fresh cool Fall air early in the mornings?  The feel of that cool breeze against your face and that still calmness the early mornings bring.  Each day comes to us innocent and full of life for us to experience true joy in God.  In the house the fresh smell of hot coffee in the kitchen.  What a great time to reflect on God’s greatness in the seasons.  He is the creator of every season.  He placed within us a desire for these changes in the seasons.  For some it is the sign of highschool, college, and pro football.  For others it is the leaves turning and falling…the little animals rushing around preparing for winter. At Thanksgiving the wonderful aroma of pecan and pumpkin pie baking, a large turkey cooking in the oven and the smells of all the trimmings fuming its glorious vapor in the air to draw us to the table.  It is just one of my favorite times of the year along with Spring.

“And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs and tokens [of God’s provident care], and [to mark] seasons, days, and years…”  -Genesis 1:14 AMP

God set the seasons in place over 6,000 years ago.  The seasons we witness each year in and year out are very reflective of the seasons of life.  In life we have our baby years, toddler years, childhood years, which resemble the Spring of life.  The teenage years  and young adulthood years are the Summer years of our life.  The middle age, golden years, and senior years would be the Fall and Winter Years.  Each season of life holds within it numerous opportunities to bring glory to God.  Each season has different circumstances that the Lord has drawn us to.  Each season is designed for His purposes and with His ultimate glory in mind.

“The Wisdom [godly Wisdom, which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] of the prudent is to understand his way…”  -Proverbs 14:8  AMP

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In the life my wife and I are in is nearing early mid-life which I would compare to late Summer.  With this season comes the challenges of teaching our 16 year old to drive a car, teaching many of the boys to play ball and do those manly activites all the way down to a one year old climbing on everything and getting into everything.  We have been at this for along time and it seems that each season has a certain crisis of its own.  With us raising the kids and ministering to moms and dads plus trying to make a living we are experiencing a host of changes.  For us it comes in the way of faithfulness.  For me to make a living these days is tough.  We have our bills down ot the basics and that is hard to make.  It seems that we are always down to the wire every month as to whether we will have enough to make it.  I hear this same situation from others.  Many dads out there just trying to make it and are stressed beyond their wildest imaginations.  This stress can manifest into many different problems if we don’t watch it.  Depression can creep up on us, heart problems, cancers, heavy drinking, heavy smoking, nervousness, total lost-ness, hopelessness, and many other issues.  God is there in the midst of this.  He is sovereign over the affairs of His people.  As you can read in other post I am a big believer that God has a plan for each (Predestination) and everyone of us.  Each crisis is for a purpose to continue on the plan God formulated from the beginning.  We are not shocking Him or altering that plan by one second.  He has each and every millisecond under control.  Not one molecule has strayed out of His reach, not a bullet in any war or murder has been fired that He did not know about before hand, or one hair on our heads that is not accounted for.  If this is the way we really believe why do we fret over these temporary crisis we find ourselves in here?  Could it be the fear of the unknown that bothers us so much?  Our heavenly Father is all about our unknowns.  He is all about our fears and crisis.  Our rest is in the faith that He will take care of us no matter what happens.  How quickly we forget this.

Each of these seasons of our lives change us.  All along the way we find the challenges of the season, the fun and happiness of the season and we grow and learn throughout each season.  As we enter each different season of life we need to embrace the changes.  Our prayer life is the main area of our life that has hopefully grown the most.  This has been an area that my wife and I have grown the most over the years.  Early on we do as most Christians do….pray to God with a list of wants and needs.  We lay out our hearts before Him, but we have a hard time listening to His call.  As the next season sails quickly towards us we find ourselves conforming to His will.  The attitude of the prayer is more praise and less complaint.  Dana and I are in such “awe” of our Lord that He would have favor on our lives in any situation.  Favor is not necessarily riches, but favor is His hand forever evident in our lives.  When we have nothing in the bank He faithfully feeds us…our needs get met in His way rather than mans.   Our vision becomes much clearer as Dana and I see His plan barreling forward through each storm of our life.  I love the seasons of life, but it can grow weary if we start to live it in our own power.

 

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“You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,O God our savior.You are the hope of everyone on earth,even those who sail on distant seas.”  -Psalm 65:5 NLT

Finally, our prayers are answered when we are praying according to God’s sovereign will.  It is an enjoyable time to experience answers to prayer that we know was in direct obedience to His will.  Our is in God.  Our prayers rest in Him.  As we take time out to listen to God first and then meditate on His word we find ourselves praying more and more as though we know exactly what God wants to hear from us.  As I stated above, we pray with more praise and less complaint.  It is not that God does not want to hear everything that is burdening our hearts, but He wants us to be in completely in tune with His will, plan and desires for us.  He know better than we do what our season of life will hold for us.  He knows exactly how we should pray at each moment.  He is constantly waiting for us to stop and listen.  In this Fall time of the year it is a great time to stop and listen to what God is trying to tell us.  Let us move forward in our prayer lives in a pleasing and aromatic fragrance that fills the nosterals of God with exactly what He is has been waiting for.  Thankfully, we serve a merciful and patient God.  He never tires of waiting on us to come and listen to Him.

“He knows the way He taketh,” even if for the moment we do not.  -J.I. Packer

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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-Do You Have an Ebenezer?

Posted by Scott on October 16, 2007

ebenezer.jpgDo you have an Ebenezer?

ByDana Bailey

www.LivingStones4Moms.com

 

Do you know the old hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing“?  It has always been one of my favorites, but there was something in the second verse that I just didn’t get, but never really questioned until recently. 

The second verse says, ” Here I raise mine Ebenezer; Hither by they help I’m come…”

So, I wondered what is an “Ebenezer”?  Well, I googled it, found out & was really excited by what I found.

For the rest of this story you can go to Living Stones 4 Moms!

This post is one from my wife’s site.  She is a terrific writer and encourager to moms.  So, dads, if you have a wife that may be discouraged about her mothering role or life in general you can refer her to www.LivingStones4Moms.com and I think she will find refreshing there.

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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