Friday, April 18, 2008

Lessons from a New Cell Phone

My daughter worked really hard the past few months to save money to buy a cell phone. The day finally arrived where she had all the money that she needed. That day was yesterday. My wife and I went to the AT& T office and purchased her phone. We picked her up from school and put her phone into her hand. I will never forget the look of excitement on her face. She could hardly sit still as she IMMEDIATELY starting texting her friends to let them know that she had a cell phone! As her father, I smiled inwardly and outwardly because of the happiness that it brought into her life. That was 19 hours ago, and I have enjoyed watching the way she has responded.

I have 32 text messages that she has sent to me that said, "I love you daddy". Thirty-two! And I love every single one of them. Right before I went to bed last night I checked my phone and saw that I had a text message. It was from my daughter who had already drifted to sleep, with her new phone right beside her. It said, "I love you daddy." I woke up this morning early and I saw that I already had a text message. You guessed it…from my daughter. It said, "I love you daddy". The last thing that she did before she went to bed was to express to me, her daddy, how much she loved me. The first thing that she did when she woke up was to express her love to her daddy.

For the second day in a row, God has used one of my children to teach me some valuable spiritual lessons. I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me and ask me when was the last time I got that excited about one of God's blessings. We can all get excited about the big stuff, but what about the daily blessings such as health, groceries, clothes, home, car, being able to walk, talk, feel, see, and hear…what about the health of our family? I had to stop and ask God to forgive me for all of the complaining that I have been doing lately. Maybe not outwardly, as much as inwardly, and it has been expressed through my demeanor and attitude. I really have a lot to be excited about and thankful for. As I so enjoyed watching my daughter's excitement over the gift that I had given to her, I thought how much God must enjoy watching us experience the daily gifts and blessings that he bestows upon us. How disappointed would I have been if my little girl had just looked at the phone and put it beside her and went on with life? I would have been so disappointed and I would have missed out on the joy of watching her respond with excitement and thankfulness! How disappointed must God, my heavenly Father be when He blesses me with daily blessings and I just put them "beside me" and go on with life without one single "thank you or I love you."

How often do I look toward my heavenly Father for no other reason than to say, "I love you daddy!" Why don't I go to bed with the last words on my lips sharing with my Heavenly Father my love for Him? Too often, what is on my mind right before I go to bed is what else I need from my heavenly Father, not how much I love Him. And when I wake up, too often the first thing on my mind is what I need from Him today, not how much I love Him!

I truly want to follow my daughter's example today and get excited again about the blessings in my life, and to express many times TODAY, how much I love my Heavenly Father. My Father's love for me is renewed day by day…

Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. (23) They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

And today, I'm going to reciprocate that love:

"Father, thank you so much for every blessing that you have given to me, so many of which I DAILY take for granted. I don't deserve such goodness, but you give them to me anyway. That is your GRACE. I want to once again, get excited over the daily things that you bring into my life. Forgive me for just setting them aside without so much as a "thank you" coming out of my lips. I also ask you to forgive me for going to bed at night thinking ONLY about what else I need from you, and waking up in the morning resuming my thoughts of how much I need from you today. I am thankful that I can bring my needs to you, but I was reminded last night and this morning of how important it is to express my thanks and love to You. Thank you that my little girl was used by you to speak a deep lesson into my heart. I close this prayer by saying with every emotion in my heart…I LOVE YOU DADDY! And I determine to keep that thought on my mind throughout this day. Amen."

Pastor Rusty

This weekends "THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR" Bible Reading:

Friday (April 18): Esther 5:3 - Esther 10:3 Saturday (April 19): Job 1:1 - Job 2:13 Sunday (April 20): Job 3:1 - Job 14:22