Friday, October 24, 2014

Flashback Friday - Martin Wiles

Trusting In The Storms

Lightning peeled and thunder rolled. All protecting us was a tent. 

My brother and I were camping in the Smokies. The day was beautiful, but darkness brought dramatic changes. Storms rolled in bringing deafening thunder, keen lightning and torrential rain. Our tents provided little security, and we lay awake listening, fearing, praying and contemplating our powerlessness over the storm. Eventually we drifted off to sleep and the storms subsided. Read more...

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Martin N Michelle
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Can I Be a Christian and Still Have Fun? - Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. John 2:1-2 NLT

For some, Christianity and enjoyment are mutually exclusive. 

My dad was almost legalistic during my growing up years. His idea of having fun was a trip to the mountains or working in his woodshop. Things like going out with friends, shopping with mom, playing a game with his sons, seeing a movie, going bowling, or taking a fishing trip weren’t often on his list of pleasurable things. Still he wasn’t a sad man and didn’t think Christians should be either. His famous saying for those who equated holiness with frowning was, “They looked like they have been baptized in pickle juice.” 

Jesus, too, was often found at places where fun, laughter, and celebration occurred. One excuse given by many who aren’t Christians for not becoming one is that they would have to renounce all their fun. Depending on how they define pleasure, it may be a true statement. Christianity, however, doesn’t have to be boring or unenjoyable. I can follow Christ and take pleasure in life. Jesus classified it as abundant life. 

Yet even innocent fun can affect my spiritual life if I’m not careful. Hobbies can become time consuming, expensive, jumble my priorities, and even lead me to sin. While most hobbies are innocent enough, if it steals time from my family or God, causes my family financial hardship, or makes it impossible for me to give to God, it has progressed beyond the fun stage. Entertainment is also harmless enough. If not guarded carefully, however, it too can lead me down the same path as an out-of-kilter hobby. 

Jesus wants me to enjoy life, but the fun I have must be gauged by thoughtful questions: “Is it sinful?” “Is it unwise?” “Is it harmful to my body?” “Is is financially draining?” and “Does it steal time from God, my family, and my church?” 

Prayer: God of joy, thank You for creating things that enable us to enjoy the world You’ve created and the life You’ve granted us. Keep our focus on You as we enjoy Your world. 

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Martin N Michelle
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why Are There Inequalities Among People? - Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

The rich and poor have this in common: The LORD made them both. Proverbs 22:7 NLT

First used by Louis Blanc in 1851, the slogan De chacun selon ses moyens, à chacun selon ses besoins (“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”) was later popularized by Karl Marx—the father of Communism. Communism maintained socialism’s full development would result in an abundance of goods and services that everyone would enjoy uniformly. Although the philosophy sounded good, it didn’t materialize. Not everyone works equally hard nor can humans perfectly run the structure that disseminates the goods and services. 

Differences abound within humanity…not only in race and language but also in economic standing. Why didn’t God give everyone the same amount of money, possessions, job opportunities, children, pets, etc.? 

Free will often explains the differences. God created everyone with this wonderful feature. Normally he doesn’t interfere with the outcomes of my decisions unless he’s using disciplinary tactics to confront my negative choices. At least within a democratic society, God allows me the choice to reside where I choose—a country where the average annual income is $75,000 or $500. 

Other inequalities appear because of government style. Some are born in countries with totalitarian governments and have no means of escape. Their opportunities are limited. Governments are ruled by errant people, and therefore differences abound. 

Circumstances—whether a particular government style or other aspects, also explain inequalities. Generally speaking, I am who I am and where I am because of genealogical heritage…not necessarily personal choices. There have been occasions when I was able to change my circumstances but others when I couldn’t…because of circumstances. 

Among the inequalities, however, there are commonalities. God has created everyone, loves everyone, and sent his Son to die for everyone. While the color of our skin, the income we earn, and the possessions we own may differ now, there will come a day when we’ll equally enjoy what God has made for us in heaven and on the new earth. 

Prayer: All praise we give to You merciful Father for the great abundance we have in You presently and the unimaginable plenty we anticipate in the future.

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Martin N Michelle
Help us spread God's encouragement through his love lines. Share this devotion with a friend. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Throwback Tuesday - Martin Wiles

One Stitch At A Time

She was a marvel to observe, and you never knew what she would make next. 

My great grandmother was a master crocheter. She would sit for hours with needle and thread, seemingly content to labor tirelessly on her projects. But nothing began until the yarn was rolled into a ball. This is where I came in. I held the mass of string firmly while she pulled and rolled. This prohibited tangles while crocheting. Then she carefully placed the rolled yarn in a cloth bag so it wouldn’t escape when she stitched. 

I never saw my great grandmother use a pattern; I suppose they were ingrained in her mind. Her motions seemed repetitive: pull a little slack, make a few stitches and then repeat the process. Read more...

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Martin N Michelle
Thanks to all our faithful followers who are "sharing" our posts--please keep it up! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter. Help us spread God's encouragement through his love lines.
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