Friday, January 25, 2013


Do you have enough in life? How much do you need? When is enough, enough? 
An elderly mother and her daughter were saying a tearful goodbye at an airport. As she boarded the plane the mother said, "I love you and I wish you enough." A fellow passenger overheard this and later on the plane asked the woman why she had said, "I wish you enough." She replied, "It is a custom in our family to say this when parting with loved ones. When we say 'I wish you enough' we are wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them." Then the mother recited the following:

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear larger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye."

For most of my ministry in my wedding services, I have prayed for the couple these words adapted from the bridal prayer of Rev. Louis B. Evans. "Give them enough joys to keep them hopeful and enough trials to keep them faithful. Give them enough happiness for daily joy and enough sorrow for daily trust. Give them enough strength for persistence and enough tears for tenderness."  

Do you have enough of what is important in your life? If you want more of anything, is it worthwhile? Will it be lasting or will it sustain you? In John 14:8, Phillip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus did show His disciples what God the Father is like, for he said, "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30), and again, "Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father." (John 14:9)

Jesus, the Son of the Father, willingly gave His life on the cross for us, so that we can have enough of what we really need. May you this day have enough faith, hope and love, through Jesus Christ, to sustain you, so that you may be blessed by God in the life that is yet to come.

With faith in Christ, you already have enough!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Here's a lesson in stress management. Take a cup and fill it with some water. How much water you put in is up to you. Now hold it out in front of you and guess how heavy the cup of water is. Your answer will probably range from a few ounces to a pound. Some will say how heavy it is depends on the weight of the cup, while others will say it depends on the amount of the water in the cup.
But the heaviness of your cup of water does not depend on its weight alone, but on how long you hold it. If you hold your cup in front of you for a minute, it will seem light. If you hold it out there for one hour (if you actually can hold it that long) you will probably have an aching arm. But if you try to hold your cup in that same hand for an entire day and never put it down, you may need someone call you an ambulance. The weight of your cup never changes, but the longer you hold it, the heavier it seems.
If we attempt to carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later we will not be able to do so, because we will weaken and they will weigh us down. In order to carry our burdens, we must rest for awhile before picking them up again. Putting down our burdens periodically will refresh us so we are able to carry on.

Jesus had this in mind when He said, "Come to me, all you who are burdened and weary, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Jesus will help us carry our burdens if we have faith to let Him. We can give them to Him in prayer, day or night, for a short time or for a lifetime. Many of our burdens will not go away, but they will be easier to bear when we let Him help us.
Before returning home from work tonight, put that burden down. Don't carry it back home with you. You can pick it up tomorrow. If you have the burden of poor health, or meager finances, or a struggling relationship or any kind of unrest in your soul, give that burden to Jesus. He will make it lighter by helping you carry it.
Whatever burdens you have that now weigh heavily, put them into the hands of our Lord and Savior. When you have rested, then you can pick them up and carry them again. You will find their weight is lighter. You may even find some of them are gone entirely.

Life is short. Don't let your worries weigh you down without the Savior's help!
"Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Jim and Jack were the same age and became friends in elementary school. Both boys were brought up in the same church, made friends easily and were enjoyable to be around. But as they grew into adulthood, Jack observed Jim growing callous towards religion. He went to church less and less and eventually stopped going all together. Jack told Jim he was concerned about this and urged him to worship God again. But Jim told him to back off, that he'd make up his own mind. So Jack witnessed to Jim less often and only prayed for him. 
As years went by, Jim and Jack remained friends. They attended college, got married, had families and became successful in their careers. Jim didn't mind if his wife and daughters attended church, but he stayed home. Jack witnessed once more to Jim, but it became a source of strife, so he dropped the subject. He just kept praying that God would somehow bring Jim back to faith. 

Then came the bad news - Jim had cancer, a form that resisted treatment. His health declined rapidly, and he was in and out of the hospital. Jack visited him one day and talked about trusting God and His will, but Jim said nothing. A few weeks later Jack got the call that Jim had died. He was shocked because Jim was still so young. Not only was his friend gone, he wasn't sure about his salvation. He felt he should have done more.

At the funeral several of Jim's friends spoke, and there was some light-hearted joy despite the young man's death. But one of them, an old neighbor, came forward and told of witnessing to Jim about Jesus. Apparently he had shared Jesus over a period of months, and the last time Jim wanted to pray. The old man said Jim prayed for forgiveness, faith and God's mercy. Jack was shocked once again, but this time it was due to joy. God had answered his prayers through a man he'd never met, a old man who helped open his young friend's heart to the Lord. 

There are times when God-fearing men and women struggle with how to relate to a friend or relative who seems to have lost faith in Jesus. Our witnessing and even our prayers may seem to be in vain. But God does answer our prayers, very often in unexpected ways. It may be through a child, an old friend or even a stranger who does his part to share the Gospel message that finally strikes home. And when it does, there can be a shock of joy that only God can give us. 

"There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)

Friday, January 11, 2013


General John B. Gordon was a respected officer for the South during the Civil War.  After the war, he decided to run for the United States Senate from his state. However, one particular man who had served under him in the war, became angry over some political incident and was determined to see him defeated. Everyone knew this man would fight Gordon's bid to become a senator.
During the convention, the man angrily stomped down the aisle with his  anti-Gordon vote in hand. As he saw Gordon sitting on the platform, he noticed how his once handsome face was disfigured with the scars of battle -- marks of his willingness to suffer and bleed for a cause he believed in.

The angry old soldier stopped and looked at Gordon's battles scars. After a few moments, he sat down and clearly was stricken with remorse. Overcome with emotion, he exclaimed, "It's no use; I can't do it. Here's my vote for John  Gordon." Then, turning to the general, he said, "Forgive me, General. I had forgotten the scars."

As a result of this change of heart, the former General was elected Senator from Georgia in 1873, and in 1879 became the first ex-Confederate to preside over the United States Senate. He later served a term as Governor of Georgia.

What a difference it makes in our lives when we remember the scars!  With so many things to distract us, we don't often take time each day to reflect on what Jesus went through on the cross for us. But, when we are tempted to stray, it is a remembrance of Christ's sacrifice that has the power to draw us back to him.

As Holy Scripture reminds us, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our  iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)