Saturday, December 24, 2016

I Can Be Patient, Can't You See How Patient I Am

5:30 am. The Sun has not even thought about rising, yet you jump out of bed and race down the stairs as fast as your little feet can carry you. You hope you can get to the living room before Mom and Dad stop you. "Not yet,"they say, "We need some coffee and tea before we begin." So, there you stand, eagerly trying to peek around the parents to see the wonder and the joy of the gifts around the Christmas tree. At the point where you are about to burst with excitement, they release you to go check out the treasures under the evergreen. But wait. You can't open your gifts all at once. There is an order to the madness. Stockings are opened first. Then, one-by-one, the gifts are opened where everyone can see and enjoy with you. Being a kid on christmas takes an incredible amount of patience. Some of us have more than others. As we get older, it seems more and more that we need to wait longer and longer for the things we are wanting. Working hard at your job for the promotion you have been waiting for, waiting for a promise from God. Anticipation of a friend's arrival from long ago. Sometimes, being patient can be really hard. I have found this to be true more and more lately as I work in retail over the holiday season. People can get real impatient when we don't have enough milk and eggs out, and, as much as I hate to admit it, my patience for people can begin to run real thin. It takes great control to not greet people with angry when I am asked for the hundredth time if I have any sugar cookies in the back. if we are not careful, the smallest things will set us off, and it takes a while to cool off. As hard as it may seem, it is in these times that we need patience the most. To keep our mouths shut and our ears open to what the people are asking.

I love this quote from the movie Evan Almighty, "When someone prays for patience, do you Think God will give them patience, or rather an opportunity to be patient. When they ask for courage, will they receive courage, or the chance to be courageous."

We pray all the time for patience and courage, and get anxious when it doesn't come right away, but does that not seem a little redundant. We pray for patience, yet when God makes us wait for us, we get even more impatient. What?!? We desire patience in our lives, yet get annoyed at someone at the drop of a hat.  Maybe, God is presenting opportunities in front of us to help build the patience over time. It will probably take some time and a lot of patient waiting, but one day, someone will get on your last nerve, and you won't blow up on them.  So be patient. Your patience you have been praying for has be given to you in small packages over a span of time that is undetermined. God will give you patience if you are willing to wait for it.

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Just A Carpenter

Well, it's that time of year again. You know what I mean. Christmas Time. Hard to believe we are less than 2 weeks away from Christmas morning. Where has the time gone? Wasn't it just summertime 3 days ago. I mean, if it were based on Georgia weather, it would have been. Anyway, it is the time to give gifts and connect with family and friends. Lets go back in time a little to the first Christmas. You have probably heard the story of the first Christmas a hundred times. An angel comes to a young girl and tells her she will give birth to the Son of God. Her and her husband go to Bethlehem and her baby is born in a stable and laid in a cow's breakfast tray. Angels come to shepherds, wise men bring gifts(a few years later) and Jesus is born into the world. Have you ever considered Joseph's side of the story. I mean, come on. A simple carpenter meets a young girl and falls in love. He goes to her father and asks him for her hand. Soon thereafter, they are pledged to be married. Now, like the honest man he is, he has not known his fiancee yet. Then one day, his bride-to-be comes to him and tells him news that should excite him. instead, we read that Joseph is confused. How can this be? She's pregnant? With God's child? There is only one thing I can do. In order to not disgrace her publicly, I would divorce her in secret. I'll just call off the wedding and forget this whole thing. I will take care of this tomorrow. I will just go to sleep. Maybe a better solution will work itself out. "Joseph, Don't be afraid. Take Mary as your wife. This is God's will." An angel appeared to Joseph while he slept and assured him that everything would be ok. So, Joseph took Mary as his wife. Then, you know the rest. Caesar gets all high and mighty and wants to know how many people are under his command. So, he sends out a decree telling everyone to go back to their father's home town. So off to Bethlehem they go and the rest is history. Just a simple carpenter and a simple girl were used by God to bring His son into the world.
So whatever you do in life, don't look down on yourself because you are "just a ...", because God can and will use all of us, if we believe in his plan.

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God.

*photo credit-

Saturday, December 3, 2016

On My Side

Over the last month or so, I have been reading through the book of Ezekiel found in the Old Testament. Ezekiel was a prophet of God during the exile into Babylon. Like many prophets in scripture, Ezekiel didn't have it easy as a prophet. Have you ever read through scripture numerous times, yet every time you read it, new things are revealed. Well, this happened for me towards the beginning of the book. In the fourth chapter of Ezekiel, we are told that that he is told by God to lie on his side for 390 days, then switch and lay on his other side for 40 days eating bread made from wheat, barley, beans and lentils. This will be is food during this time. Oh, and he must cook it in his own poop. Ezekiel asks God in his true human nature,"Not so Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth". To paraphrase, "Please God, don't make me eat my own excrement!" "Alright," Says God," Use cow dung instead. "He then said to me: "Son of man, I am about to cut off the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair, for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of their sin."- Ezekiel 4:16

Talk about a tough sermon illustration.   

Ezekiel spends 22 years prophesying about the fall of Jerusalem. That had to be rough, but he did it because God told him to. He knew that if God had said it, it would not return void. He realized that God had picked him to preach his word, and if God had chosen him, he couldn't turn it down. If God called you to do something hard and probably uncomfortable, would you do it? Would you do the hard in order to save the lost. I hope that if and when that time comes, I will put aside myself, and lay on my side for a period of time in order to get my message across. Will you?

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God

*photo credit-