Monthly Blog Archives: August 2014

Track Record of Trust

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“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands.  I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land… I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.”      Psalm 143:5-6, 8

How do you build trust in someone?  I believe that is by looking at their track record.  If they have been trustworthy in the past, then you can put your trust in them.  If they have broken your trust in the past, then you will probably be wary of trusting them again unless you have seen a radical change in their lives.  These verses start with remembering the days of old.  This is looking back at God’s track record both in the Old and New Testament and in your life.  It is good to write down answered prayers and times when you saw God’s hand in your circumstances.  Our brains tend to forget.  But by looking back you will see that God can be trusted.

Now, there may be some incident in your past where you believe God let you down.  Take a closer look and really ask yourself if it was God’s doing, Satan’s doing, or your own doing.  More than likely, God was not to blame.  He is faithful and true by His very character.  You might say, “Well, He didn’t make it happen, but he sure didn’t take me out of the situation either.”  That’s fair.  But again, sometimes God allows hard situations into our lives so that we will draw closer to Him, we will trust Him, we will realize our need for Him, or that we might be pruned so that our character more closely reflects Him.  God is at work.  He loves you.  If your past cries out that God is unfaithful, then you need to really look at the character of God and recognize that we live in a world ruled by Satan.

When we begin to see God’s goodness and faithfulness in the past and meditate on it then we can stretch out our hands to Him.  He was faithful then, He never changes, so He will be faithful now.  Lean on God.  Don’t look for what God can do for you, but rather, look at God – sit with Him, read His word, know Him.  He wants to know you!  When that track record of trust is laid down in your mind then you will be able to say, “Teach me the way in which I should walk.” because you know that God will not let you down.  His eternal purpose will be met in you and you will have been transformed to be ready for eternity!

As you look back and remember, if you find that you are angry at God, that’s okay.  Tell Him.  He is big enough to handle your anger.  Get it out.  Talk through it with someone and then let God begin to heal the hurts of the past.  He is the God of comfort and healing.

The devotional this week is provided by Dara Halydier.  Dara Halydier attended HPU in 1985 and now lives Early, Texas with her husband Tracy who graduated from HPU in 1986. They have five grown sons and run Abiding Truth Ministry which consists of writing curriculum, teaching at women’s retreats and speaking at homeschool conferences.  Dara has written Practical Proverbs for Older Students which is aimed at upper high school to college age students.

Be Still

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Be Still

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

“Still” is not an easy adverb for me. My job is to “do.” My affirmation comes primarily from doing. As a Christian I am expected to “do” the will of God.

Thus, I have chosen to be a part of a doing church‑‑a church and denomination noted for activity and involvement. And I am thankful to be a part of such a church. But I sense that I, and my fellow church members, often run out of steam and spiritual peace in the practice of our doing.

Could it be that to truly know God and “to do” His will, I have to “be still.” Paul Turnier, the noted physician and author, once said to a group of us that, “When God really wants to get our attention, He whispers.” Maybe I need to pause in my busy-ness and dampen the noise of life about me so that I can hear that whisper. Then, possibly, my doing will take on more direction and meaning.

Be…

Be still…

Be still and know…

Be still and know that I am God.

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The devotional this week is submitted by Wilson Wayne Grant, a 1962 graduate of HPU. He is married to Veronica Sorley, a 1965 graduate of HPU. They have two children and four grandchildren. He completed his medical training at the University of Texas in Galveston. He practices pediatrics in San Antonio. He loves writing, and his latest book is Living the Lord’s Prayer Day by Day. Dr. Grant currently severs on the HPU Board of Trustees.

Devotional – August 11

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Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Ever felt yourself melt down to a puddle on the floor? It happens when we get so disappointed we don’t see much future in going on. It happens when we set our expectations too soon.

I’m as prone as anyone to want instant gratification, instant success, instant pudding. I’m a great sprinter, not so great in marathons. As a result I tend to evaluate things before their time.

Our lives can be chopped up into segments, some of those segments are better than others. If I evaluate my life at the wrong segment I can come up with the wrong opinion as to how things are going.

If I make a road trip out West and have a flat in one of those segments and then evaluate the trip based upon that segment, the whole trip is a bummer. But if I look at the trip as a total experience, that flat becomes insignificant. It’s just a blip.

I could just be having a bad day. Those happen, you know. If I evaluate my life based upon that day, my whole existence is in the toilet. That’s why I can’t expect every moment to be the single criteria by which I judge the worth of what I’m doing. I need more data.

Raising kids, taking a job, beginning a project, living a life all have great and not so great moments. But taken as a whole, they are amazing adventures.

The bad times of our lives are relatively brief when we consider the over-all. The problem comes when we get hung up on one segment and can’t move past it. We’re letting one flat tire ruin a very good life.

The best approach is to pace ourselves, live each segment fully and keep an eye on the goal.

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The devotional this week is provided by Cary Smith, a ’72 graduate of HPU with a degree in Bible. He married Jan Nettles a music major who graduated in 1975. Both, actually, were a part of the Class of ’73. Cary graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and has served a variety of churches in Texas, California and Nevada. He pastored for eleven years in Las Vegas, Nevada. He currently serves as Associate in Senior Adult Ministry at West Conroe Baptist Church, Conroe, Texas. Jan teaches music at Covenant Christian School in Conroe. They have three boys and eight grandchildren scattered from California, Nevada, Texas and Alabama. He is a published author and songwriter.

Forgetful Christians

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10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.    Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (NIV)

Israel was blessed according to God’s promise.  They were to become richly favored, and had to do nothing to earn it, not unlike many of us.  We have roads to drive on and cities that we live in which we did not build ourselves.  We live in houses not build by our own hands.  Even when the economy is poor, we are still some of the most blessed people on earth.  In many regards, we have it all!  Moses, says, when you have it all, it becomes easy to forget about God.  Repeatedly in scripture, people who have everything they need physically forget their spiritual neediness.  Often cultures of great affluence are rife with spiritual poverty, and not only spiritual poverty, but spiritual perversion.

In our own culture—so fast paced, technology driven, consumer centered, and celebrity obsessed—the remembrance of God seems like a faint and distant memory of times gone by.  People who have it all seemingly do not need God, but nothing could be further from the truth.  The Israelites were a people who God delivered from captivity and blessed with the promise of land.  The covenant God makes with us is freedom from the bondage of sin.  Often times our allegiance to an earthly kingdom—a corporation, a sports team, a dream to retire comfortably, or even a nation state—far outweighs our allegiance to the kingdom of God.  Affluence and privilege may make it difficult to relate to the heart of God, who cares for the poor, the afflicted, and the brokenhearted. There is nothing wrong with being blessed, or even living a comfortable lifestyle, but Moses’s words still ring true: “be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”  Remember today that God has delivered you from slavery to sin, and give thanks to the Lord for the comforts and blessings you enjoy in life.

Prayer:

Lord God,  I quiet my heart before you now.  Thank You for all the many ways you bless me.  Help me, in the midst of blessing, not to forget Your providence in my life. Thank you for the freedom from sin that comes in Christ Jesus.  Give me the strength to walk in Your freedom, the courage to stand for what’s right, and the humility to give You the glory that is already Yours.  Help my allegiance to Your kingdom grow, and to my kingdoms fade.  Amen.

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The devotional this week is provided by Rev. Jonathan Davis, pastor of Urbanna Baptist Church in Urbanna, Virginia.  Jonathan is married to Audrey Davis (HPU class of ’05) and has two sons, Eli, and Andrew.  He is the founder of www.studentministryideas.com, where he blogs regularly, providing free resources and ideas for youth ministers everywhere.  Jonathan is an HPU graduate (class of ’04), holds an M.Div. from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and is currently doing doctoral studies at Logsdon Seminary.