Against All Odds...
Sometimes when we look back at our lives we realize how far we have come, and for most of us, it has been against all odds. The life of Moses is an amazing story. He was born at a time when baby boys were suppose to be killed, his mom sent him down stream in a makeshift baby boat, and after being nursed by his own mom, was raised in Pharaohs court.
Then, as a young adult he realizes that his own people are being oppressed, and in an effort to help, he kills an Egyptian. Like many of us, he felt the call of God in his heart, a destiny of greatness, but responded in the flesh. Sadly, I can relate to that! No, I haven’t killed anyone, but moving when I should have been still, opening my mouth when I should have been quiet, and wrestling when I should have been resting I know all too well!
Posted by fspeaks on Monday, June 13 @ 08:15:02 EDT (525 reads)
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The Hypocrite, the Son and the Pagan
I have been enjoying what Jesus said in Matthew 6:5-8 these last two weeks and find myself going back often to read and listen to what he is saying. The more I come to understand the love of my Father, the more it seems His Word speaks new and refreshing things to me. It is like having just finished a fine meal with friends and loved ones and then sipping on a fine cup of coffee together. The pleasure of fellowship never stops!
Jesus has just started introducing the concept of God being a Father to this crowd that had gathered to listen to what has been called the “Sermon on the Mount.” Imagine, that God, the Almighty, Jehovah, Yahweh, the Maker of Heaven and earth, is now being revealed to us as a Dad. As you can imagine, the religious folks of that day were fit to be tied when Jesus started saying this.
Posted by fspeaks on Sunday, May 09 @ 00:37:16 EDT (853 reads)
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What is this inner cry?
My father died back in June of 1974. I was only 19 at the time, the youngest of three sons, and newly married. I guess we don’t realize it at the time and maybe it is the years of maturity or perhaps simply the fact that I am now past the age my father was when he died, but whatever the reasons, I came to realize that I loved him so much and wished I could just sit down and talk with him.
Three years ago, some 33 years after my dad died I began to realize that every day I was missing him more and more. It had been years since the thought of him brought tears to my eyes, but now, I was thinking of him every day, and would at times just start crying at his memory. Why all of a sudden? What was going on inside my heart that renewed the feelings and emotions that I had towards his loss?
Posted by fspeaks on Wednesday, March 24 @ 18:15:38 EDT (975 reads)
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It has been a few months now since I have written anything, and frankly, it has not been by deliberate choice, but by necessity. For about twenty years I wrote an article for our local small town news paper, five years of which were published weekly and the rest either monthly or bi-monthly. During that time I could often sit just a couple of hours before my deadline and the Lord would pour through me things that surprised even me. It was wonderful.
Lately however, the well seemed to be dry and the effort and desire to inspire others had been replaced with the need to be inspired myself. It reminds me of something that happened to us years ago. I use to have lower back problems that required an occasional trip to the Chiropractor. On one occasion I found myself unable to walk without the help of someone or something to lean on.
Posted by fspeaks on Tuesday, February 03 @ 15:19:07 EST (1349 reads)
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God in a Box
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:6-9
Even in the midst of this world in crisis; where people hate people, wars abound, economies are uncertain, deception is rampant, starvation and disease kills thousands every day, and fear seems to grip most of us in even the most subtle of ways, God is still moving! He is still healing people in miraculous ways, raising people from the dead both physically and spiritually, and taking the least likely to succeed and lifting them up to places of great honor.
Posted by fspeaks on Sunday, May 25 @ 17:30:03 EDT (1708 reads)
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"I Want to Die!"
“Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Mattie (not her real name) has never been married, is intelligent, beautiful, and deeply committed to the Lord. She is in leadership at a place we taught at last October in . One of her responsibilities was to tend to our needs while we were there. She has the respect of the other leaders and the students as well. To be around her you would think she was one of the most funny, fun loving people you have ever met.
Posted by fspeaks on Monday, March 24 @ 22:40:11 EDT (1599 reads)
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What is Grace?
What is grace? By now most of us have heard the short and very inclusive answer, “Grace is getting what we do not deserve!” Certainly this is a great definition, but lately, as I experience and live in this place of the Father’s love, I find myself wanting to say so much more. In fact, maybe I could say that His grace is His love and that His love is His grace. My heart longs to express this grace in terms that not only I can better understand but also in ways that I can share with others. This grace is there for all of us. Yes, it is for you as well!
Posted by fspeaks on Monday, March 24 @ 22:29:11 EDT (1547 reads)
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The Need for Love
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a fragrant offering to God.” Ephesians 5:1
Love seems to come in many different shapes and sizes today. What I mean by that is that there are many different meanings and expectations behind the word love. To be sure, there are times when these differences are appropriate and necessary, but in this we run the risk of missing what real God like love is in the end.
The ability to love and be loved is established in us very early in life. From the womb a child begins to learn that love is both giving and receiving and that it becomes deeper and even takes on different forms the older we get. At that time it matters little what the definitions of love may be, all that matters is if I am receiving it or not.
Posted by fspeaks on Tuesday, February 26 @ 10:23:45 EST (1541 reads)
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A Demonstration of Love
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:21-24
I remember reading a story more than 20 years ago about Charles Spurgeon. It seemed that he had to be away from his church for a certain length of time and his absence necessitated him having to get someone to speak in his place. Finally the decision came to use a young man who had nowhere near the experience Charles had and for Charles this set off a great inner struggle. After all, he was the great Spurgeon who at such a young age himself had a congregation of thousands, which in his day was no small thing.
Posted by admin on Tuesday, February 19 @ 13:23:17 EST (2395 reads)
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Father Loves You! (Part Two)
“When he came to his senses… So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 16:17-20
When we look and see all of the hate and sin there is around us we can’t help but be a little frightened. Often after just a few minutes of watching the six o’clock news we will have heard the majority of the Ten Commandments broken somewhere. At times we Christians bow up and point a very religious finger towards those who are out in the world sinning. “You had better change or you are going to bust hell wide open!” is the cry often coming from the camp of the redeemed.
Posted by admin on Tuesday, February 19 @ 13:15:08 EST (1654 reads)
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