Thursday, April 16, 2009

the ups & downs

Two years ago this morning I was sitting in my office editing video when the police scanner in our office started going crazy.  Not sure what was going on, we started to scan the TV stations as well as turn up the scanner.  That day 32 innocent lives were taking and many were injured on the campus of Virginia Tech only about 70 miles from our location.  As many of you were, we listened, prayed and were grieved about this horrible tragedy.  The next Sunday was a solemn day at The Community as we shared and prayed together.  That was a difficult time, and we remember and pray for those who were touched by this life changing event.
We have just finished our Easter celebration.  Jesus has risen from the dead.  He is alive and has opened the way for us and others to know God.  It is a high time.  It is a time to celebrate.  But have you noticed that on the heels of celebration and of spiritual highs are often spiritual lows and battles.  Why is that?  Think about it.  Have you gone through some low or turmoil this week?  I have.  Here is why:
1 Peter 5:8 (nlt) --- Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
John 10:10 (nlt) --- The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
God tells us to stay alert.  Yet it is at times like this (we're tired though excited) that we let down our guard, and we need a warning.  I need to hear the truth often because of this.  Satan is always going to try to change my focus and take my attention off of what God is doing.  He does that by pushing lows and struggles my way.  Do you see that in your life?
In conversations and conflicts, in thinking and more, lets spend more time on what God says than what other people say.  Lets us times like the tragedy at Virginia Tech to lead us to spend time with God.  Lets allow God to move in and through our lives so that the people around us will see God, the God we celebrated at Easter ... alive and well, God of the living and the dead, Savior and keeper of us all.
What will it take to keep our hearts, lives and eyes turned toward God?  Think with me about the ups & downs.
Acts 17:27 (nlt) --- His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.
I want to ask you to pray for those touched by the events of April 16, 2007 on the Virginia Tech campus.  I ask you to pray for a genuine move of God in and around your life as well.  Here are a couple of the verses that I have been spending a great deal of time with the last few days.  May they big time encourage you through the ups & downs of life.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 (nasb) --- But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
Psalm 39:7 (nlt) --- And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.

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