Archive for: November, 2011

Are You Standing at a Crossroad?

Nov 28 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

By Dr. Mary Logan

Sitting on my patio around noon on my day off from work, I was praying about some decisions and concerns. Struggling about which road to take, I asked God to show me. After praying, I walked inside the house, and a song from the Martins immediately began to play on my CD player:

Are you standing at a crossroad wondering which road you should take? And you’re dreading the decision and a possible mistake

I began to cry. I don’t ever remember God answering a prayer for me that quickly. Not wanting to take the wrong road and make a possible mistake, I was reassured through the remainder of the first verse:

But the will of God won’t lead you where the grace of God can’t keep you.  You will never be out of His care. Remember that the Lord’s already there.

Once again I felt the confidence of God’s love and care. As the Martins sang the chorus of the song, I was reminded that “He already knows what lies ahead and what’s behind.”

Wherever you are

Wherever you’re going

God is right there beside you

Seeing and knowing.

Wherever you go

He already knows

What lies ahead and what’s behind.

You’ll always find He’s never too far

From wherever you are.

The first part of verse two mentions a “still, small voice”:

You are waiting

To hear thunder

And see lightning in the sky.

Oh, but God can

 Work His wonders

Through a still, small voice inside.

Later in the day, I meditated on the passage in 1 Kings 19:11–18 where God told Elijah to “go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” On this occasion, God was not in the wind that tore the mountains or the earthquake or the fire. Instead, God was in the still, small voice.

Elijah listened to that still small voice, wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. The implication to me was the importance of not only recognizing God’s voice but also truly listening to that still, small voice. The end of verse two of the Martins’ song speaks of such listening:

So keep listening and learning

And continue on the journey,

Following the One who is the way,

Oh, He’s the only road You need to take.

Several years ago as I was going through some very difficult times and seeking God’s direction and guidance, my pastor encouraged me to write down what God was teaching me. Now, this day, I felt the same urge to write down what I was learning.

Life is a journey. Each day should be one of listening and learning on this journey. Jesus spoke of himself in John 14:6, saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Knowing Jesus is the way assures me I am on the right road. With that assurance, surely I can trust Him with the details of the journey.

Mary Logan, Ed.D., is a Course Development Specialist and Professor of Business and Education at Global University. For information about Global University, visit http://think.globaluniversity.edu.

Song used in this article: “Wherever You Are.” CCLI Song No. 1968954.
© 1996 Paragon Music Corporation

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Guilty or Not Guilty

Nov 21 2011 Published by under Evangelism

By Roberto Ponce  

By now you probably know that Conrad Murray, a high profile Houston cardiologist, was recently convicted of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Michael Jackson’s death. The jury deliberated for eight and a half hours over two days before delivering the verdict. Murray’s lawyers asked for him to remain free on bail. However, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor did not allow bail until Murray is sentenced on November 29. Murray will be behind bars at least until he is sentenced.

The trial

Just as an earthly trial involves a time of judgment, we as Christians believe there will be a final Judgment Day. And guess who will be the ones on trial? We will—you and I.

When this earthly life ends, we will continue living an eternal life. In Matthew 25:31–46, the parable of the sheep and the goats, we learn that when Jesus returns, people will be divided into two groups. Some will be separated to the left and some to the right. Some people will be saved and will be in the presence of the Lord, and some people will be condemned to the eternal lake of fire.

The sentence

Someday your name will be called up before God on His throne. If you get nervous about a client’s unexpected call for you to report on his account, imagine how you will feel when God asks you to give an account for your life. Every trial demands a sentence. There will be a Judge (God), an accuser (the Devil), and a Defender (Jesus). You will be tried for your eternal life. Revelation 12:10 mentions the salvation and power of the Kingdom of God and the authority of His Messiah. It also says there is an “accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night.”

The verdict

The truth is that you and I are guilty. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Yet God desires that we spend eternal life with Him: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

You don’t have to pay a price or do any works to earn your salvation because it is impossible for you to do it on your own merit—it is God’s gift (Romans 6:23). By accepting Jesus’ sacrifice and the atonement through the blood He shed on your behalf, you can be found not guilty.

Even when Jesus was dying on the cross, He was defending humankind. “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34).

It is comforting to know that you can have the best Defender in the universe. His name is Jesus. You don’t have to have huge sums of money or pay anything in any way, shape, or form. He already paid the price for you on the cross. All you have to do is accept Him as your Savior, as your Defender. In the end, as in any trial, the verdict will be guilty or not guilty.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many blessings, but I am most thankful for my salvation in Jesus.

 Roberto Ponce is Director of Communications at Global University. For more information about Global University, visit http://think.globaluniversity.edu

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Illness

Nov 14 2011 Published by under Ministry

By Dr. Mary Logan

 Have you ever been extremely ill? If so, have you ever asked yourself what God wanted to teach you through your illness?

 In November 2010, I arrived safely in Cape Town, South Africa around 11 p.m. Missionaries Bob and Jackie Braswell met me at the airport and took me to their guest house. The next day we ate a delicious meal at an established restaurant in the mall. The following morning around 6:30, I awoke with extreme nausea and diarrhea. I don’t remember ever vomiting so much. Even the small amount of Coke I drank to settle my stomach did not help.

 Was the illness due to the food I had eaten? Was it caused by the tap water? Was there another cause? That Saturday was a miserable day physically yet a wonderful day spiritually. As I contemplated what God wanted to teach me through this illness, the following areas came to mind:

 1.  Learning to have compassion for others who have needs. When all is well with us, sometimes we forget how badly people feel when they are sick or when they have problems.

 2.  Depending on God’s healing power. Divine healing is provided for in the atonement. The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:4–5, emphasis added).

 3.  Allowing others to serve me during my illness. God blesses you and them through their service. Missionary Jackie Braswell so graciously took care of me.

 4.  Spending time meditating on God’s Word and thoroughly basking in His presence. We were scheduled to take a trip to Cape Point and to see the penguins on the beach. However, the illness took precedence over these plans. In essence, God gave me a special time with Him to prepare spiritually for the Global University course I came to facilitate for Cape Theological Seminary.

 5. Allowing God to speak to me through songs. Because music has always been a part of my life, God frequently reminds me of songs I have learned. One song God brought to my mind during the illness was Dottie Rambo’s “I Will Glory in the Cross.” It reminded me of the Scripture verse, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).

Did I glory in the cross of Christ, or did I glory in my own works? As a believer, did I live every day with a sensitive awareness of the cross of Christ?

What do you think it means to “glory in the cross”? What has God taught you through an illness?

Mary Logan, Ed.D., is a Course Development Specialist and Professor of Business and Education at Global University. For more information about Global University, visit http://think.globaluniversity.edu.

 

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The Race

Nov 07 2011 Published by under Life

By Roberto Ponce

As I was reading a newspaper this afternoon, I learned that Tony La Russa is retiring as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. La Russa, 67, has managed in major league baseball for thirty-three seasons. He retires a champion and leaves behind a legacy of success. One can argue that, upon winning the 2011 World Series for the Cardinals, La Russa has finished his race well.

Experts and trainers agree that finishing a race requires three ingredients: (1) motivation, (2) training, and (3) nutrition.

Motivation

In previous blogs, I mentioned how life can be distracting at times. We have so many daily responsibilities and preoccupations that it is easy to get discouraged. As we run the race of life, we need to be motivated to overcome discouragement. If you are not motivated, you had better find it quickly! Trainers agree that in order to finish a long race such as marathon, being motivated is essential. So how do we go about staying motivated? I am not sure there is a formula for motivation. Today, I just want to suggest keeping the big picture in front of you. Ask yourself these questions: Why do I do what I do? Why am I in ministry? Dig deep. It is possible that just thinking about your calling in life will get you motivated. Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do anything in Christ who strengthens us.

Training

As we exercise our bodies, we also need to exercise our souls. We need to pray continually so we can be strengthened. In 1 Corinthians 9:24–25, Paul calls us to train to win the race:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Let’s pray for strength and motivation so we can be victorious!

Nutrition

The human body needs a proper and balanced nutrition to get the energy it needs to run a race. Likewise, we need the proper spiritual nutrition to finish our spiritual race in life. Reading and studying the Bible helps to give you the balanced spiritual diet you need: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). Paul also speaks of Scripture’s role in helping us to be motivated and to stay encouraged. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

As we run the race of life, we may not see our names written on headlines of national newspapers. Yet as Paul reminds us, we can find hope in the Word of God—a hope to see our name written, not in a newspaper, but in the Book of Life.

Roberto Ponce is Director of Communications at Global University. For more information about Global University, visit http://think.globaluniversity.edu.

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