We often picture God’s will for our lives like a thin, definitive line. A tightrope we must walk carefully and with the utmost caution. One wrong step and we’ll surely fall. And when we do, we’ll mess up our future forever.
But when we come to know Jesus, our life is not a tightrope but a wide, open space of grace. We have so much room to breathe, to grow, to learn. God knows we are human. He knows we will take detours, face obstacles, and make mistakes. If he were committed only to using those of us who never stray then no human would ever be part of his plan.
A seventeenth-century craftsman worked alone with primitive tools, but his focus everyday was to put the best he had into his work. This man made violins. He created his own personal standard of excellence and signed his name on each instrument that passed the test.
Many of you spent the month of May praying for a Foster Child or a sibling group in the Arkansas foster care system. This month we had a chance to talk with someone else who is investing in the lives of these same children. Ken Ferguson is the founder and president of New Beginning Children's Homes, a long term residential care facility for foster children in Northwest Arkansas. Ken explains that while the organization is structured like an orphanage, the environment is family and faith oriented.
According to recent statistics, I made 5,000 decisions today.
Some of our everyday choices are random, others weighty, but many of our decisions become choice points, leading us in one direction or another.
If we could have coffee today, I’d say, "You’re part of a plan!"
When you look at the future, you wonder what’s ahead. How will everything work out? Where are you going? What will tomorrow bring?
You can rest assured that there is One who already knows the answer to all of those questions. He’s the God who created time and he’s not limited by it. He knows everything in a way that's beyond our understanding.
In the gospel of Luke, Jesus asks a question. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?"
Planning is crucial to any endeavor. The old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is true of our finances, our eating, how we use our time, every area of life.
You've likely already seen the images of destruction on the news from tornadoes that ripped through Mayflower and Vilonia here in Arkansas, as well as Quapaw in Oklahoma and Baxter Springs in Kansas. Yesterday, additional storms caused even more widespread damage in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and several other states. Much like you, our hearts here at KLRC are very heavy as we see the loss of lives, property, and possessions that are now being reported.
KLRC listeners have been quick to respond to tornado disasters in Joplin, Missouri as well as Moore, Oklahoma over the past few years. True to form, we have already had many in our community ask us how they might be able to contribute to the victims of this latest round of storms. We're so thankful for the generosity of the KLRC listening family!
Dr. Richard Dobbins has been in counseling for about 40 years. He made this statement: "In all my years at Emerge Ministries, I have never had someone with significant issues who had adequate verbal love expressed by their parents."
That is a huge, time-bomb statement made by an expert.
"Liesel observed her foster Father's eyes. They were made of kindness, and silver. Like soft silver, melting. Liesel, upon seeing those eyes, understood that her father was worth a lot."
A few months ago I read those words in a story by Markus Zusak, The Book Thief.
This week, I sit across from a foster mother named Ann, and I saw it for myself. I see it in her eyes too - the kindness and the shining when she talks about those kids.
If we could have coffee today I'd say, "You've already won!"
You've been fighting a hard battle. Behind closed doors, within the quietness of your heart, in the hours when it seems the rest of the world is sleeping. You are a warrior, my friend. A person of courage. Yes, you. The one who sometimes feels weak. The one who wonders if they will ever prevail. The one whose hand trembles on the sword sometimes.