Wednesday, June 30, 2010

To God Be The Glory

The glory of God is a human being fully alive!
St. Irenaeus

As I wrote the title for today's message I instantly remembered a favorite hymn of the same name.  It is sung with energy and passion.  God wants us to be passionate about bringing glory to Himself.  That is why He created bring Him glory.  We bring Him glory in countless ways when we put Him in His proper place in our the center of everything we say and everything we do.  The smallest, most insignificant task brings Him glory when we do it with a happy heart and give Him the honor and recognition so deserving our Creator. 
With Godly motivation, we find ourselves on a higher plane of potential.  When we worship Him privately and publicly, He is pleased.  When we love, not only our close family members and friends, but those who seem unlovable, God smiles upon us.  As we grow in our own spiritual maturity, and all our lives, develop our Godly character, we honor Him.  As God gives each one of us spiritual gifts, talents, abilities and specific skills, not for our own gain, but to serve others, God is pleased.  It is our responsibility and we are accountable to Him to manage these gifts with all the strength we possess.  When we think our strength is gone, God understands and supplies more strength, not before we need it, but exactly as much strength as we need  when we need to be strengthened.  It is no secret that God wants others to hear the Good News.  When we share our own faith story with someone, we give glory to God.  When we take a tragedy and give it a new meaning, God is well pleased.  We all have experienced tragedies in life.  It is understandably human to take on the worst possible outlook rather than to search for the Heavenly truth that is wrapped up inside the tragedy.  In every tragedy, trial, problem, suffering in life, therein lies the Godly insight, the success, the solution and the healing that only comes from asking God to reveal the mystery to us.  He reveals truths to us when we are open and ready to accept them. 
We are all a masterpiece in progress.  Though we know we all fall short of the glory of God, resist the temptation to look down on your own self.  Accept the fact that we were made for God's purposes.  Live.  Do more than merely exist.  Fully live.  God made us to last forever.  None of us is an accidental human.  We were created on purpose and for a purpose.  Accepting our failings and asking God for forgiveness is the way.  Believe Jesus died on the cross and paid our sin debt.  Receive forgiveness from the Lord.  He offers it with open arms.  Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior if you haven't done so.  Nurture unbelievers and share the Good News.  This all brings glory to God.  To Him Be The Glory!  Amen!   Hopefully this youtube link will work for you to listen to the song I mentioned earlier.  If not, search youtube to find it.  I'm sure you will be motivated and activated!  To God Be The Glory!

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Great Reunion

But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Philippians 3:20-21

My family and I went to our family reunion on my husband's mother's side yesterday and had a wonderful time visiting relatives we hadn't seen in a long time.  By the time we got on the road to go to the reunion our number had dwindled from eight people to three because of one reason or another.  They all wanted to attend this special time of fellowship, but for them, it didn't happen this year.  Due to stomach ailments and other health issues, it was necessary to make the last minute decisions to stay home.  They hope and believe that they will be able to attend the reunion next year.
It was delightful to get together with relatives we hadn't seen in two or three years.  Sure, we had been in contact by phone or email.  Hugs are great!  Nothing can take the place of a genuine hug from someone you love.  It was especially wonderful reuniting with Jenny.  She is a treasure.  She had such a beautiful glow on her face.  We could have talked for hours.
We can also talk ourselves out of many things.  Some of the cousins may have talked themselves out of going to the reunion.  We know this because their absence was obvious.  We drove several hours to get there, and yes, it was a relatively short visit, but it was worth all the time and effort necessary to get there.  Keeping family close through the years is very important.
Though we have come to know this earth as home, remember, it is a tempory home.  Our citizenship is in heaven.  It says so in the Bible and I believe it.  When we truly understand this concept, it is easier to get through our difficult times.  Let go of the burdens and hold onto the peace that only comes from God.   
Remember, it's temporary.  Imagine the great reunion we have to look forward to when we get to heaven.  Friends, that gets me excited!  Our family is still alive and kicking.  We just don't get to be together very often.  Our family and friends who have gone on to heaven are still alive and kicking.  We just can't see them as they used to be in their earthly bodies. 
Should you get the opportunity to attend a family reunion, by all means, go.  You will be glad you did!  I'm glad I went to our family reunion yesterday.
Take care and stay cool.  God guides and God provides!  Love, Nan

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Faulty Metaphor Or Not

Have you been influenced by a faulty life metaphor or is your life metaphor biblically based?

What is your view of life?  You may be basing your life on a faulty life metaphor.  To fulfill the purposes God made you for, you will have to challenge conventional wisdom and replace it with the biblical metaphors of life.  Rick Warren

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.  If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:1-8 NIV

What is your life metaphor?  Whether you hold it consciously or otherwise, you hold it in your mind.  The foundation of a life lived on purpose and for a purpose begins in the Bible.  God's view of life is much different than our own.  There will be countless times in life when we will be tested.  Our character, our faith and also our faithfulness to our Creator will be tested.
God has entrusted to our care and management the gifts he has given us, such as our relationships, our energy and our resources.  Everything on this earth belongs to God.  We are stewards of all God has created.  We have a responsibility toward God and he rewards our responsibility accordingly.  How can God trust us with the riches of Heaven when we are not responsible or trustworthy regarding worldly wealth? 
Our time here on earth is truly brief.  Everything this side of Heaven is temporary.  Everything.  When we look at our lives as preparation for eternity, we take on a different perspective.  Our view of life suddenly changes.  We are not here for our pleasure.  We are here for God's pleasure.  We are not here to fulfill our purposes.  We are here to fulfill God's purposes for our lives.  In order to understand this, we need to spend a lot of quality time in fellowship with the Lord and truly submit our lives to his will.  Rather than waste time, energy and concern for the temporary things of this earthly life, use this time you have been given wisely and in preparation for the things unseen by human eyes. 
When our time on earth is done and we are held accountable, it will be grand to hear him say "well done, my good and faithful servant."
Take care and don't waste one minute of this precious gift of time God has given you today.  We all are given 24 hours in a day.  It is up to us how we use it.  Love, Nan

Friday, June 18, 2010

Afterglow or Aftermath

Surely God would not have created such a being as man to exist for only a day!  No, no, man was made for immortality.
Abraham Lincoln

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.  That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God.  I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.  God does it so that men will revere him.  Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.  Ecclesiastes 3:11-15

I know you have seen someone before as they shook their head and cradled it in their hands, saying, "I have no choice, but to .......", or perhaps you have uttered those same words yourself during a moment of dispair.  I encounter adults every day in my office who believe they have no choice, who are helpless and hold no hope for their future.  They feel they are doomed to a life of misery. 
Our daughter is 22 years old and our son is 18 years old.  They have been raised to understand that they always have a choice.  The best choice may not be the easiest one to take, but rather than instant gratification, the best choice may be the one in which they will reap the rewards and/or benefits later, perhaps, much later.  I can't make their decisions for them.  Personal experience is the best teacher. 
Everything this side of Heaven is temporary.  Whatever we are contemplating today we will either face or ignore.  We will either turn to God and allow Him to lead us, guide us and direct us as we journey through this life as we know it or we will ignore Him.  We will either live for all eternity in the afterglow of a life lived for God or we will live in the aftermath of our empty life in which we excluded God.
I have not reached perfection.....far from it.  I do make mistakes, but I want to spend eternity with my Creator in Heaven and I make a conscious effort to do what would be pleasing to Him.  After the last breath has left my earthly body, I want my family and friends to rejoice.  This body of mine is a temporary covering.  My soul is not temporary.  My soul is the very essence of me.  God gave me/us a soul that will live for all eternity.  I will be somewhere and I will have a purpose after I cross over.  I want that somewhere to be with my Lord and Savior.
How about you?  How about a friend or family member who needs to be reminded of this?  Ask God to guide you as you gently, lovingly influence that person to turn back to Him.  It's not too late.  Never, never, never give up hope.  Be the example.  Set the standard.  Plant the seed.  Help prepare those you love for their unlimited forever.
Afterglow or today as though it were the last day of your life.   In other words "Spend Your Dash Wisely".

Spend Your Dash Wisely
By: Nan Forehand

September 18, 1959 -
my ending date is yet unnamed
to the world I am not famed
I'm spending something more important than cash
each day I live, I'm spending my dash
to you, my dash may be a thin, little line
I find it's a very important sign
when my dates are carved on stone
my dash will represent the love I've shown
it will consist of every thing I've ever done
yes, in the dark and under the sun
dust to dust and ash to ash
a word to the wise - be careful how you spend your dash
written Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stay Away From Negative Drivers

The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder - a waif, a nothing, a no man.
Thomas Carlyle

By the title of today's message, I think you believe the subject is about being out on the highway with drivers who exhibit road rage.  That's not the case today.  I'm talking about the negative drivers that influence your direction in life.  Such drivers are guilt, resentment, anger, fear and the need for approval. 
People ridden with guilt bring about self-inflicted pain and suffering.  The past need not control the future.  Don't let guilt be the driving force that manipulates your life.  There is little success to be had in life when guilt is the driver.
You will blow up eventually when resentment and anger become the drivers.  You were already on the stage and completed the original performance, good or bad.  Why go through life rehearsing the play again and again?  You can't change the past.  It's over and done.  Learn from it and release it as dust blown from your hands.
I think you get the picture.  Stay away from negative drivers.  Keeping close to them won't bring success, happiness or prosperity.  Turn, rather, to positive drivers and learn from them.  The greatest driver of all is the love of God.  God has a purpose for your life.  Turn to Him and release all the negative influences to Him and He will reveal to you His purpose for your life.  Be alert and be prepared.  You may find yourself bucking and snorting when He reveals it to you.  Suck it up and take a deep breath and move forward in God's purpose for your life!  Remember, I speak with a soft voice and love in my heart each and every time I speak to you.  I'm not here to scold or preach.  I may not be your mother and I'm certainly not your preacher.  I'm here to be a positive influence.  Take care and be safe out there!  Love, Nan

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Conceived In The Mind Of God

I am your Creator.  You were in my care even before you were born.
Isaiah 44:2a

Our human minds simply aren't equipped to totally comprehend the depth of God's love for each of us.  He knew us even before we took our first breath of air.  Though we all have had troubles and surely may be going through troubles today, we can still have joy in our hearts today!  God prepares us when we don't know we are being prepared.  Yes, it's easy to say "don't worry", but I'm telling you "don't worry".  To worry about something that may or may not happen robs us of the joy we can experience in life right now.  Our reality is never as bad as our imagination will make it out to be.  Let go and let God do his work in you.  Think about the poem I share with you today. ...... Yesterday's Tomorrow......'s yours to do with what you will.  It's a gift.  Tomorrow isn't guaranteed.  We can't change what happened yesterday.  Twenty four hours ago you may have said "maybe things will be better tomorrow".  Today is the tomorrow of which you spoke yesterday.  It's that simple.  Believe.  Take care.  Love, Nan

Yesterday's Tomorrow
by: Nan Forehand

yesterday's tomorrow
isn't ours to borrow

yesterday's tomorrow
need not be filled with sorrow

yesterday's tomorrow will take care of itself
don't put your faith in God on a shelf

always give credit to the Heavenly Host
for yesterday's tomorrow we should not boast

to say "don't worry about tomorrow" is an invitation
for yesterday's tomorrow one can experience jubilation

give God the credit He's due
and yesterday's tomorrow will come shining through

if yesterday's tomorrow is to be God's will
the sun will rise and we'll hear mockingbird's trill

enjoy yesterday's tomorrow in a special way
for yesterday's tomorrow is today!!

Proverbs 27:1
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It All Starts With God

It all starts with God.  We were all created for a purpose even though it may take years to understand what God has in mind for each of us.  Rather than "me, I, my, mine," being in the center of everything, we will sooner understand God's purpose for our existence when we take our proper place.  That being, God first, others and then ourselves.  We long to find balance in all aspects of life.  There surely is a time for us, but first and foremost, we live a higher quality of life in whatever shape we are in when we give God the honor and glory He deserves and when we live by His will rather than our own will.  Apart from Him, we are nothing and we can do nothing without Him.  I'm glad I'm not an athiest.  I know who to thank for all I am and for all I have and for all I will become.  Praise God!

For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible....everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.  Colossians 1:16

Monday, June 7, 2010

What Do You See?

The Lord and I had an amazing encounter with a young man this afternoon.  I couldn't go to bed without sharing the story with you.  It was this afternoon in my office.  I work for a psychiatrist and a young man was before me to schedule a follow up appointment.  I have known him for at least two years in my limited capacity sitting at my desk, scheduling his appointments, calling in his meds, listening to him when he needed to talk.  Today was priceless.  I knew he was deeply troubled.  I sensed it.  By the grace of God, I asked him for his hand and he gave it to me.  Tears ran down his face as he told me he had turned from God too many times.  I told him that God has always loved him and He loves him now.  As I quietly witnessed to him, the tears continued to fall down his cheeks.  He's just a young guy and he needs your prayers.  I'll call him Mitch.  That's not his real name, but when you pray for him, God will know who you're talking about.  Please do pray for him.  He had to get a ride from his dad to get to the appointment. he also owes the doctor a lot of money.  He's paying it back a little at a time.  We haven't turned him away because of the high bill or taken him to collections.  The doctor is still seeing him and we're all doing the best we can to help him.   A while later in the afternoon, we checked the phone messages and there was a message from Mitch.  He wanted me to know how much he appreciated the things I said to him.  He was still crying when he got into the pick up truck after our conversation.  His dad wanted to know why he was crying and Mitch told him of our conversation.  His dad told him "the words came from that lady's mouth, but it was the Lord talking to you, Mitch."  My co worker and I felt moved to the point of tears.   She witnessed the conversation between God, Mitch and myself as we quietly held hands and I spoke to him of God's love for him.  She drew the attention of a lady waiting to be scheduled as Mitch and I talked quietly.  I believe the lady patient heard us talking and I believe God wanted her to hear and to witness our conversation, also.  I believe Mitch heard God's voice when I spoke with him.  I hope he saw God's face instead of mine.  What did he see when he saw me?  It's a mystery.  Allow God to use you to witness to others and to give them hope.  I told Mitch that I believe in him, among other things I've not shared here with you tonight.  It's almost 11:30 pm and I could be in bed right now.......all in good time.  God will see to it that I get enough rest.  Before laying my head down on my pillow, I had to know you have access to this message.  Take care.  I believe in God; I believe in Mitch and I believe in you.  Love, Nan

What Do You See?

Heavenly Father above
Do I make you proud and show enough love?
what do you see when you see me?

Do others see your reflection when they gaze into my eyes?
Lord keep me away from things You despise.
What is it about me You like the least?

Do I talk to You enough for you to recognize my voice?
Do I praise You so much You smile and rejoice?
What is it about me You'd like to change?

Do I succeed on Your behalf to those despondent?
Self-confident...or mature enough to be God-confident?
What is it about me You love the most?

They say "if you're not sure, just ask."
Lord, I know You're up to the task.
I feel like a child asking twenty questions...

What do You see when you see me?
Do You ever get tired of me asking questions?
One day You and I are going to have a nice long talk...

written October 25, 2005
by Nan Forehand

Friday, June 4, 2010

Faith Comes From Hearing The Message

Beautiful Feet - Romans 1:16-17 >10:14-17

(16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (17) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Chapter 10:14-17

(14) How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (15) And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (16) But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" (17) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Please add Gary James Smith and his son and his son's daughter and her friend to your daily prayer list. Gary is a gifted man I consider a brother in Christ.  He is a native Canadian and is currently living in a very neglected area of Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, Canada and is ministering to the native Indians there.  As of my last letter from him, he is sleeping in a van and working odd jobs to earn money for gas and food.  Gary and his family are living in a dangerous area of Regina, as I understood from Gary when he related the recent crime reports.  I know without a doubt that God is providing for them, protecting them and guiding them as they minister to these very needy people.  Gary was called by God to this area and to this ministry and covets our prayers.  Right now I have no idea how long Gary and his family will be in Regina, but he said to me in his letter that he will share with me updates as he is able.  He was overjoyed to the point of tears to be able to get to a computer to write me a letter.   Please keep Gary, his wife and all their family in your thoughts and prayers.  His wife and their other children who are living in Alberta, Canada, also need your prayers as they support and encourage him in this ministry.  This is a condensed version of his story.
God is Good; God is Great: Go with God.
Love, Nan

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This Is The Moment

Hebrews 3:12-15
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.  As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."

When I began writing Nan's Calendar in the format of  handwritten journal entries, I had so much energy and enthusiusm.  I wrote every day and sometimes, several times in the day.  The beginning of Nan's Calendar was August 01, 2007.  It progressed to being sent out by email to family and friends on October 21, 2007.  I continued to be energetic and inspired in my writings.  Much of my inspiration came from comments by family and friends when they were touched by something they read.  With few exceptions, I sent out the messages every day.  The Calendar outgrew email September of last year and I believe God led me to this format of sending it out to the far reaches of the world.  I am humbled that people in many states of our country and people in other countries, as well, have taken time to read the messages God has inspired for me to write. 
It has been my hearts desire to encourage others in my daily life.  I say all of this to make a point.  That being,  in the past few months, I have been writing less and less.  I have heard that when we give our best, the best comes to us.  Maybe I haven't been giving my best of late.  Maybe I haven't been as driven and as inspired.  There are very few people who send comments when they read Nan's Calendar.  They know who they are and I thank them dearly.  It only takes a moment to give a word of encouragement and these people took that moment.
This is the moment.  If Nan's Calendar has meant anything to you, let me know.  We don't know what tomorrow will bring.  "Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today..."  I want to live my life making conscious decisions that will result in knowing as the last breath leaves my body, I will have no regrets.  This begins with today....each decision I make today matters.  Each decision is important.  Each person with whom I interact in what ever way, matters.  Life can't be enjoyed when regrets are realized and held tightly within the heart.  "I wish I had....I should have......I could have....why didn't I......?" 
I am truly far from being perfect.  Sometimes, I mess up.  Sometimes, I make mistakes.  The sooner I accept my failing and move forward, it as at that moment of acceptance I learn and grow.  Learning and growing is never a mistake.  We live and have life experiences.  None are ever going to be all good or all bad.  We take the good and the bad and thank God for all.  Giving God the honor and glory and love and praise He deserves is what life is all about.  This is the moment.