Friday, May 29, 2015

Flashback Friday - Martin Wiles

Clear Conscience Good Sleep

“If you go to sleep with a clear conscience, you won’t have any trouble sleeping,” the older gentleman said. And he was right.

Whether my conscience bothers me because I’ve done or said something wrong or whether it’s just filled with leftovers and undones from the day’s activities is immaterial. Either will keep me up. The mind is a funny thing. During the day when I’m occupied with other things, it doesn’t have much time to wander. But at night it can race with furry. Read more...

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Waiting Patiently - Martin Wiles

Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised. Hebrews 6:15 NLT

I’m the king of impatient. While growing up, one of my parents’ and grandparents’ favorite sayings to me was, “That money is burning a hole in your pocket.” They were right. What little money I earned from allowance I quickly spent. Interestingly, my wants usually occurred somewhere in close proximity to my birthday or Christmas. I was cautioned about buying things so close to these special days. “Wait and see if you get it for Christmas or your birthday,” they would say. Rarely did I. As I proudly displayed my new purchase, I often witnessed a sigh. Now they would have to think of something else to get me…or even take back what they had already purchased.  

God promised Abraham a son through whom millions of descendants would come. Twenty five years passed from God’s initial promise to the son’s actual birth. Abraham’s patience was interrupted by his wife’s impatience. She suggested they hurry God along. She gave her servant in marriage to Abraham as a surrogate mother. God wasn’t pleased, but still kept his promise. 

People say not to pray for patience because I probably won’t like the methods God uses to develop it in me. Nowadays, I rarely do, but I’ve discovered God uses the methods they were referencing anyway. God manufactures patience in me through life experiences that teach me to wait even though the money still burns my leg. 

Though I don’t always appreciate the methods God uses to test and develop my patience, the fact that I allow him to use them demonstrates my trust level. His methods are varied, sometimes illogical, and may seem unending, but he sees end results I can’t. Through his mercy driven tests, I learn to take things in stride without getting angry, upset, or running ahead of him. And to top it off, he produces spiritual growth and maturity so I can be a spiritual guide to those who follow in my footsteps. 

How are you responding to God’s efforts to produce patience in your life?

Prayer: Dear Father, give us the patience needed to allow You to accomplish Your plan in our life. 

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Keeping Promises - Martin Wiles

For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name. Hebrews 6:13 NLT

He was currently serving as the United States military advisor to the Philippines. The day after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor—December 7, 1941, they launched an invasion against his adopted home. He was finally forced to flee his island fortress in 1942. Unfortunately, 90,000 American and Filipinos were left behind without adequate provisions or protection. As he fled to Australia, he made a promise to the people of the Philippines: “I shall return.” Over the next two and one half years, it was a promised he repeated on a number of occasions. On October 20, 1944, shortly after his troops had landed on the island of Leyte, General Douglas MacArthur waded ashore and made a public radio announcement: “People of the Philippines. I have returned!”

God told Abraham to leave his homeland and head for a place he’d never seen before, and he promised he would stand by his side as he traveled. He would also give him descendants as numerous as the stars in the heaven and the sands on the seashore. The assurance of the promise came when God swore by his own name, a name above which there was none greater.

When I make a promise, a handshake won’t suffice. Nor will saying, “I promise to pay,” or “I promise to do…” Anything I purchase on credit or any service I promise to perform must be accompanied by mounds of paperwork and countless signatures as well as initialing. In addition to protecting the one I’m doing business with, the contracts protect me as well. 

In spite of the legal issues involved in any purchase or act of service, I should be as good as my word. God was, and he’s my great example. He never reneges on his promise to love and care for me. Empty promises are of no value and reflect poorly on the one I claim to represent. My “I shall return”—or pay or do this, promises should be legitimate, well-intentioned, and only postponed—or broken, when there are extenuating circumstances. 

Have you made promises that need fulfilling? 

Prayer: God in heaven, thank You that we can depend on Your promises. Give us strength to be as faithful as You when we make promises to others. 
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and hotblack.)

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Throwback Tuesday - Martin Wiles

Validate The Message

I was once employed with a local tax office. Customers could pay online with credit and debit cards, but our in house system wasn’t set up to process them. Cash and checks were the only methods of payment. Since most people didn’t carry cash we received numerous checks. 

Mixed in the checks were a few with inadequate funds to cover them. The Treasurer established rules dictating what information tellers must have when taking a customer’s check in order to safeguard our interest. They were typical: correct date address and phone number, driver’s license number and signature. And of course the teller’s initials. Some of these items only helped determine who took the check but some actually validated it. Without the correct date and a signature, the bank would likely return it. Read more...

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