Tuesday, April 22, 2014

happy moments

Acts 11:23  NLT
When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and he encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord.

Thank you for spending some time with today’s devotion, but I am going to take some time today sharing personal moments from Easter weekend.  I am calling them “happy moments” because I saw the hand of God that also brought big encouragement my way.

Soon time after worship ended on Easter Sunday one of our children’s teachers came up to see me with one of our young guys.  What I heard next was worth more than you may know.  Logan had accepted Jesus as his Savior in our children’s worship.  That made our Easter celebration incredible. 

A few minutes later I was talking with two ladies.  They are the same age, and when we moved to Virginia, almost 13 years ago, both helped baby sit our girls.  They have grown in to two beautiful ladies with kids of their own.  I am proud of the Christ followers they continue to be.

Before our Easter worship began I was talking with several people visiting our church.  One of our men introduced me to a friend that he had been praying for and sharing with for some time.  The friend took steps to follow Jesus that day.  Several others introduced me to friends they invited and brought to church as well.  That’s a happy moment!

The weekend began with some conversations that aren’t very easy for parents to have with their kids, yet this conversation in particular took a turn in a better direction.  Let me say that I am proud of my children.  Proud of their decisions.  Proud of their hearts.  Proud of the people and Jesus followers they are becoming.  I pray they will see in their mother and I vision for God’s best for them and for our family.

You might think that I am always up, joyful and full of nice things to say, but that is not always the case.  Late last week I got a note from someone that I rarely hear from, and it was not very nice.  But my desire is always to turn things from negative to positive, to be kind when others are seeking to do harm.  The choice I had was either to hand back harshness or to be kind.  I chose the later, and I have spent time praying for a difficult situation and those in it.  Haven’t seen any change as of yet, but I am believing God for lives to be turned toward Him.

On Friday morning I got an email from one of Raceway Ministry leaders about our friends Ron and Jackie Pegram whose son, Pat, had seen missing for several days.  Since then I have gotten a report each day from Ron, and his son has yet to be found.  My heart breaks for this precious family.  I have watched Ron over the years minister to lots of people in the racing community and through our friends at Samaritan Feet.  Jackie is gifted in sharing Jesus with kids.  My life and ministry is stronger because of what they have poured in to my life.  Pray for this special family and that their son would be found.

Turning in another direction that is much more positive I was so excited to hear how God worked in so many churches over the weekend.  Some of those churches are local and some are a long way off.  I heard about hundreds of people who gave their lives to Jesus.  I also heard of some new churches that kicked off this weekend that I pray will do great things leading and serving people in Jesus’ name.

I close with something that rings in my mind that makes me more excited than anything else.  It is about men who are seeking Jesus and allowing their lives to shine for Jesus.  I talked to a man whose dad died last week, and his biggest concern is family members who do not know Jesus.  I was touched and am praying for their salvation.  I watched one of our young leaders at church step up to serve, and what came to my mind was the time I watched him begin to follow Jesus.  In another direction I see a lady who began serving with one of our outreach ministries and is now passionate about helping people meet Jesus.  Those stories don’t end.

God’s love is not tied up in what we own.  God’s love is tied up in us.  He loves people.  He loves us.  He loves you and me.  We must be the same in loving people more than we love anything else.  It ought to make our day when we see someone begin to walk with Jesus.  Those really are the happiest of all moments.

May God bring more happy moments our way!

The humble will see their God at work and be glad.  Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.

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happy birthday, Julie

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