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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Prophet, A Prostitute, and Eric

Isaiah 12:1-6 & 17:1-14, 2 Chronicles 28:16-29:2, 2 Kings 16:10-18, 18:1-8, 15:30-31, 17:1-4, Hosea 1:1-2:13
Last night I came home from the office and sat out on my back patio and finish reading one of my all time favorite Christian fiction books, Redeeming Love.  I discovered it while packing last week and decided to begin reading it again.
The book is based on the story of the prophet Hosea and Gomer who we just so happened to read the beginning of their story today.  I would say that was a coincidence, but I don’t really think so.
The story of Hosea and Gomer is an incredible picture of redemption, love and forgiveness.  And after reading Redeeming Love again I am once more humbled that God would forgive me over and over. He never gives up on us even when we have at times blatantly turned our backs on Him.  His love really is extravagant and incomprehensible.
At the end of the book the author, Francine Rivers, shares how she came to Christ.  She was a secular romance novelist at the time but even though her and her husband were successful on the outside, on the inside their lives and marriage were decaying, fast.
Until one day they moved to start a new life, in a new town, with new business.  The day they pulled their U-Haul up in front of their new home a little boy named Eric came out to welcome them and help out.  He told them, “Have I got a church for you!” to which Francine and her husband rolled their eyes.
But one day they realized the new town, new job and new life was not helping like they had hoped so they decided to give this church a try.  There they found love, they found hope, they found new life, they found redemption.
Had Eric not come over that day and invited them to church, there is no telling where Francine and her husband would have ended up, but I am pretty sure it would have been divorce court because it was that bad.
But Eric did go over that day.
And today, Francine Rivers has authored almost 30 Christian books that have touched and change more lives than anyone will probably ever know this side of heaven.
So, who do you need to invite to church today?  You NEVER know the plans God has for that person’s life.
And how incredibly humbling is it that He uses US to accomplish His will!?! Even through a simple invite.
For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. Philippians 2:13
Stay tuned because tomorrow we will see how things work out for Hosea and Gomer.
p.s. I encourage you to go to francinerivers.com and learn more about her books and life.

Monday, June 17, 2013

It's Monday

2 Chronicles 21:8-20, 2 Kings 8:23-29, 2 Chronicles 22:1-9, 2 Kings 9:1-10:31 
really like Mondays.
But I really don’t like waking up on Mondays to see posts on social media that say, It’s Monday.  UGGGGHH!!! :(   I feel sorry for these people because it makes me think of how depressing their lives must be to feel this way.
I like Mondays because it is a new week, a new beginning, another chance to do something great and make a difference.
Although after reading our chronological reading today I will agree that it was a little bit of a depressing way to start a Monday too.  We read about a lot of death, pain and destruction.
But the saddest of all lines was in 2 Chronicles 21:20.   Jehoram has died as foretold by Elijah and in verse 20 it said, No one was sorry when he died.
Nobody valued Jehoram while he lived and no one lamented him when he died.  What a depressing life he had to live.
Any difference he made was toward evil and not good.
Any emotion he had was toward hate and not love.
Any sacrifice he made was toward pagan gods not God.
And when he died, no one cared.  Rather they were relieved.
My prayer for us on this Monday is that we would we would live today, and everyday, to make a difference toward good and be a living sacrifice so that others’ lives would be changed because God is working through us.
If we live like this, everyone we know will be sad when we die because we did not live a depressing life, rather we lived a life that made a difference in theirs.
Today is a new week, a new beginning, another chance to do something great and make a difference!!
It's Monday. YEAAAH!!! :)