Archive for Inspiration

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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Start-Overs

When we’re tired physically, mentally, or spiritually, we sometimes start to wonder what, exactly, we’re fighting for. We forget what our goals are and even why they became our goals. When tiredness of any kind comes upon us, we must learn to rest. When we’re tired, we make mistakes, and our judgement is not at its best, and that’s when we need to turn to God and give our burdens to Him so we can rest.sunrise

The best way to serve God is to begin anew each day, putting the past behind, the future on hold, and starting the day with hope. There are no do-overs, but every day is a start-over.

 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

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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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The Early First Hours

Jesus hugIn the early first hours of the day, God speaks to me silently from His heart to mine, and I feel like a child on my Father’s knee, my head against His chest, listening to the sound of His loving heart. And as I go into the day, where I’m often quickly swallowed by the cares and turmoil of this world we live in, I hold tight to His hand, as a toddler holds his father’s hand. I feel His presence—His hand on my shoulder—every minute of every day.

The day will come when all this is true. Perhaps not while I inhabit this body and dwell on this earth, but it will come. He tells me this in the morning, and it causes me to sing for joy and be glad all my days.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

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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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Peace Like a River

Why do we find it so difficult to love the Lord and pay attention to His commands? His commands are not hard to pay attention to, loving Him is certainly no chore, and the reward is great. Why then is it so difficult?

woman in riverGod offers to each of us

His unconditional love

And when we heed His commands

His abundant peace

Like a river flowing full

And steadily to the sea

Is ours

I suppose we could coin the phrase, “if it were easy, everyone could do it.” But it is easy. I can think of nothing easier than loving God, who loves us and chose us to be His. I believe everyone can do it, and the rewards are fantastic!

When we accept these gifts

His righteousness returns to us

Washing over us

In powerful and never-ending waves

As we wade

In the calm waters

Of His peace

If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:18

 Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

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