Things to Ponder

  Most of us at one time or another just sit and ponder.  What are some of the things on which you have been pondering?  The comedian Jerry Seinfeld ponders about weird things like “when they ship styrofoam, what do they pack it in?” Jerry was pondering about people’s fears when he said, “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two, does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

   Just this past week, the good folks at the First Baptist Church in Temple, Texas lost their historic church buildings in a fire.  My good friend, Gary Anthony, the worship pastor of the church, lost 25 years worth of ministry work product and memories!  I’m pondering what good can come out of that tragedy?  On a more personal note, the past 12 months have been a roller coaster for Pam and me.  After 9 amazing years, I left a church and ministry that I loved, was unemployed for 5 months, and restarted my career in public education.  It has been an amazing year.  As I’ve pondered these events, I realize that we really are Romans 8:28 people! 

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASV)

   This verse has been true in my life over the past year and I’m anxious to see how it is lived out with my friends at the First Baptist Church in Temple.  Here’s the point: God will use the difficult things in our lives to work for His and our good.  I don’t understand it, but He just does it; and I for one am very grateful. 

   I ran across a list of “things to ponder” written by Annette LaPlaca.  She’s a freelance author that has appeared in many publications.  This is her list, but I’ve added my comments.

  1.  Put first things first, like…FAMILY.  Major on the major thing!  I’m all for majoring on the major things, but it seems to me that we need to put our relationship with God first, then take care of ourselves and our families.  From my journey this past here’s what I’ve learned.  If I don’t take care of myself, I’m no good to anyone else.  There’s a reason why flight attendants tell you that if you have to use the oxygen masks during an in-flight emergency, put yours on FIRST then help those around you!  The point is that we need to take care of ourselves so that we can in turn take care of those around us. 
  2. Get out of the rut.  Do something out of your comfort zone!  You know what a “rut” is do you not?  A rut is a grave with both ends knocked out!  Living in the rut will get you where you’re going but the journey won’t have any joy!
  3. Laugh…sometimes at yourself!  “A joyful heart is good medicine;…” Proverbs 17:22 (NASV).  Google up Jerry Seinfeld quotes and have a good laugh!
  4. Serve…without fanfare.  Someone will always notice.  “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 21:28 (NASV).  Want to know what God’s will is for your life?  It’s the same as it was for Jesus, to serve and to give.  Go thou and do likewise!
  5. Be gentle.  Gentleness will beat abruptness every time!  The apostle Paul asks this question, “What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod or with love and a spirit of gentleness?”  1 Corinthians 4:21 (NASV).  Want to get the very best out of your spouse, your kids, your friends, your employees?  Put away the rod and be gentle!  “A gentle answer turns away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1 (NASV)
  6. Forgive!  Perhaps the most difficult thing to do….even for the best of us.  Ponder this point for just a moment.  Wrap your brain around this concept.  On the cross, Jesus pleaded with God to forgive those who treated him so badly, even to point of crucifixion.  With that plea, Jesus was including his disciples and friends who left Him at the time of His greatest need!  Have you been abandoned at the time of your greatest need?  Have you been slandered, ill-treated, broken and beaten down?  It’s time to forgive, just as the God forgives when we come to Him in confession and repentance.  “But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:15 (NASV). 

   So my friends, be encouraged with these words.  Join me today in some time of pondering.  Ponder God and His awesome works in our lives; ponder these 6 things I’ve shared with you and put them into practice, like today!  Leave me a comment and let me know what you are pondering today!

Be encouraged friends!

Randy

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by diane ball on January 28, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Wow! Did I ever need this one! Jim & I both quit our jobs and moved to Irving where his plans for a second career are about to prove to be futile. Just today I was “pondering” on all the things we gave up at this point in our lives and wondering if we had Made a huge mistake. Thanks for sharing this. Maybe it will help me refocus a little so I can be the kind of supportive wife JiM needs right now. Love yall! Diane

    Reply

    • Thanks for the good words Diane! Said a prayer this morning that God would provide for you, reveal His greater plan to you, pour His peace and grace in you and do great work through you! Pam and i send our love to you and Jim!

      Reply

  2. Posted by Milton on January 29, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Hey Brother, thanks for the encouraging words. I’ve got plenty of time to do some pondering as I’m here in Holland (no not Texas!) til April 2nd. First of all, I read this blog and Diane’s response and I remember the very deep pondering I experienced whenever Lori, Rach, June and I were getting ready to relocate to Salado from Van Alstyne 2 years ago. I really expected to pay off my house, retire in North Texas, and be hanging out on the back porch in a rocking chair in about 15 years(ok, maybe 25), but God had different plans. I felt sick about leaving a town, friends, and a church that I’d grown to love (Go FBCVA!), but Christ pulled me up out of that perpetual “pondering” state I was in about my family and future and showed me He had the best plan.
    Another thing that got me pondering this week was something I read I believe by Charles Stanley). It stated “No one gets into heaven on the strength of good works and kind behavior. When we stand before God, only our condition will matter. In place of our old, dead “flesh” nature, we want to show Him the living spirit we received when Jesus Christ came into our life”. Wow, what a statement for each believer! I pray my life reflects His living spirit like yours has to me. You’ve been a great encourager and friend. God Bless You and Pam!
    Milton

    Reply

    • Milton,
      Thanks for the good words my brother. So sorry to hear that you are away from home for so long but I know the time will go fast. The statement you quoted from C Stanley is certainly right on and your life absolutely does reflect God’s spirit. You’ve returned my encouragement to you in awesome ways.
      Blessings,
      Randy

      Reply

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