Archive for Food for thought

We Shine

Have you ever seen something you’ve seen many times before, and suddenly it looks different? Maybe it’s the way the light hits it. That obviously happens. A table that looked clean the day before, looks dusty when the morning light lays across it.

The light of God’s love shows things as they truly are. I cringe at the thought, wondering how I must look when God’s light shines on me. But then I remember, He loved me even before I knew Him, and I realize His love is much the same as that morning light, and things are not as I thought they were. They’re better. Because though some of the dust remains, in His eyes… we shine.

Ray of Light, India 2005

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

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Right Where I Am

I am quoteAll my life, I’ve heard the saying, “let go and let God,” but I resisted, thinking it was a cop out—an easy way out. No, I thought, I’ve got to keep fighting; I’ve got to figure this out on my own. These days, I can’t say I’ve completely let go, and I can’t say I’m now completely letting God. But I can say I’ve come a long way in both regards. And I didn’t know it at the time but even when I was trying to do it all on my own, God was guiding me to the place He needed me to be. Right where I am.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

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I Want To Be Like Billy

This is a repeat, but it bears repeating. God puts people in our paths to show us the way. I wish I could’ve realized it sooner; maybe I would have paid better attention. Fortunately, the lessons he showed me with the people he sent my way took root. It just took me awhile to realize it.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Psalms 25:4

God sends special people into our lives for us to learn from. Today, I’d like to tell you about three very special ones He sent my way.

Judge Billy Meck was my Sunday school teacher when I was ten. I didn’t spend a lot of time with him, but he left a lasting impression on me. I remember him as one of the kindest, perpetually happy men I’ve ever encountered. I want to be kind and always happy like Billy.

just us kids 2

In case you can’t tell, Billy Ray is the one on the right. The other two are pretty special too. (I’m the beanpole on the left. Kenny is the hot dog below me, and sister, Patsy is the beautiful little girl in the middle.

Another Billy who left a lasting impression on me was my little brother, Billy Ray Mashburn, who died at fourteen in a car accident two weeks before I graduated high school. Billy Ray could look at you with those big blue eyes—fighting back a smile, so as not to crack his forever chapped lips—and you couldn’t help but smile back at him. Billy Ray loved everybody and everybody loved Billy Ray. I want to love and be loved like Billy.

My oldest son, Billy (he goes by Bill these days, being grown up and all) is the Billy I admire these days. I don’t know anyone who can match his work ethic or his love for his family. He’s a good man, a good husband, and the most devoted father I have ever seen. I am so very proud of my son. I want to be a good man like Billy.

I’m working on it.

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Powerful Words

couple with crossThe following are excerpts from the new book of encouragements we’re working on. Sherry and I read two of them every morning as a method of editing. We’ve read devotionals, and then my encouragements, every morning since we’ve been together. It has made us and our love stronger in so many ways. Our faith in God and in each other grows more powerful each time we read His Word together.

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I cannot imagine facing the challenges and evil in this world without God. If I didn’t have Him, my rock, to lean on, this would be a very scary time to be alive. But I do, and so do you.

Unfortunately, we are too often easily distracted and often find ourselves deep into the battle without our shield—the Lord. It’s so easy to get swept up in the fast-moving current of worldly affairs, suddenly finding we’re in a battle that simply doesn’t matter. Many of the things the world thinks are so important, are of no importance at all to God.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

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When we’re constantly seeking God’s knowledge, He’ll deliver us—even keep us—from the battles of this world. If we persistently seek Him and take refuge within the walls of His love, He will cause the things of this world to seem trivial and meaningless, which, by the way, they are.

Everything we do in the name of God matters, and everything going on in this world that isn’t of God, doesn’t matter. How do we know the difference? Ask Him. Seek Him through His Holy Word constantly, loving Him and praising Him as you do. He will reveal what is good and He will deliver you from what is evil. Seek first the kingdom of God.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

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Far and Beyond

07-19-17 3 quoteGod’s love never fails; it is always constant, always strong, always everything we could want, even when we don’t deserve it. Our love for others, even for Him, is fragile and easily disturbed. The smallest word or gesture can cause us to shrink back from those we hold most dear, and even from God. Our love fails.

Therein lies the wonder of God’s love; His love never fails, and one day our love for Him and others will be as perfect as His love. All else will pass away, but love—because God is love—will never cease to be.

Love never fails. But where there are prophesies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8

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Priceless

The choice to be made is not whether to be sinful or not sinful. The choice is whether we will seek God, love and follow Him, or seek the pleasures of this world. Having sought both, I can tell you the world has one very needful thing missing in its repertoire of earthly offerings: peace. No matter how much wealth, power, and love the world might offer us, none will bring us the peace God can offer. It has been proven time and again that the more earthly possessions one has, the more one seems to want. Enough is an elusive thing.

God's Peace

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

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It’s A Furniture Thing

For years, my pal, Rooster, and I worked together and lived in the same area. During those twenty-plus years, we spent many hours debating the various topics of the day. Well, not so much debating as discussing in what was typically a humorous vein. We’d hash things out quite thoroughly, until at some point one or the other of us would say, “But you know what?” To which the other would always respond, with a knowing nod, “It doesn’t matter.”

And usually, it doesn’t. In the overall scheme of things, we (people in general) tend to get all riled up about things that usually… well… just don’t matter. Or, at best, if they do matter, there’s not a doggone thing we can do about them.

rv couchThe point of this non-mattering diatribe is this; I’ve changed my response from, “It doesn’t matter”, to, “It’s a furniture thing.” I did this after a recent conversation with Sherry. We were talking about our upcoming move to our new-to-us house, and at some point the topic of furniture came up. We discussed it for a bit, her telling me what she wanted, me agreeing some, disagreeing some, until I finally ended the conversation with this statement; “You know. I have an opinion about furniture, and I like furniture, but in the overall scheme of things, I don’t really care about furniture, so whatever you want is cool with me.” What I was saying was, furniture doesn’t matter to me.

So, since that conversation I’ve stopped saying, “It doesn’t matter, and I’ve replaced the statement with, “It’s a furniture thing.”

Now… just between you, me, and the post turtle, I don’t expect my little saying to catch on but, hey, Rooster likes it, the Duck likes it, and … it’s a furniture thing.

 

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