Roy’s Blog: “Your Life Picture”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/27/roys-blog-your-life-picture/

James 4:14 “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

The other day I had to re-hang a picture where the nails had worked loose. It was amazing looking at all the changes in our family. Our kids were small, not grown and with grown children of their own as now. Our hair was different. The styles were different from clothes to glasses. Thinking back we remembered how different the times were back then.

We have a box full of other pictures taken at different times over the years. Most of them, I can’t even remember where we were at the time or why I took that particular picture. At the time it must have meant something. But memories are fleeting, time is fleeting. Our time here passes so fast. One moment we are welcoming our children into the world and the next they are grown, having children (and grandchildren) of their own. Make the most of the time you are given on this earth.

Our lives are like a thunderstorm that soon passes by. Life is God’s picture frame. How we live our lives in the short time we have, makes up the picture. Do you want that picture to be one of chaos and uncertainty, of selfishness and pride, or one of peace, joy, hope, and sure foundation. It’s up to you.

Roy’s Blog: ” Run To Win”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/roys-blog-run-to-win/

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”

It’s hard not to get caught up in all the bad news. Since March it’s been one thing after another, from news of the pandemic, the locusts in Africa, to the riots. Now for July, coming up, we have the Sahara dust sweeping our way. It’s at the Texas coast. This comes to us from 5000 miles away. Like we don’t have enough to deal with already.

I know it is hard to believe, but I used to run track in my younger years (a long time ago). I learned some important lessons while training for the races.

  1. Get as light as you possibly can. Nothing in your pockets, clothes as light as possible. This translates in life as: Get rid of the extra things in your life that drag you down. That drag you back to your old life.
  2. Remember, this is a race. It has a finish line. When you are running long distances don’t get distracted by things along the way. Same in life: Don’t let life here distract you from your goal. Remember this is a race.
  3. Keep your eyes on the prize, not the pain. Don’t look at the road ahead and how much more you have to run. Look at the goal, the prize at the end, and run each step as if you were stepping over the winning line. There is rest ahead. There is joy ahead. Your prize awaits. Run your race!

Roy’s Blog: “Transformed By Faith”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/25/roys-blog-transformed-by-faith/

Hebrews 10:36 “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.”

The Lord’s promises are expressions of His love and care for us. Through them, He accomplishes His will and plans for our lives. His unconditional promises are unchangeable, and there’s nothing we can do to hinder them.

An example of His unconditional promises is: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

However, the fulfillment of His conditional promises depends on our responses and behaviors based on our faith in Him. Faith in Him and His promises transforms our lives. Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there’, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

But, you might say, “How do I attain such a faith? Or I just can’t believe in these things.” You learn to have faith by studying the Bible. Read about the things God has promised and how He has kept those promises. He told Noah to build an ark, warn all the people He was going to destroy the earth. He kept that promise. He promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. Promise kept. He promised to send a Savior. Promise kept.

You can be assured he will keep His promise of coming back as King of kings and Lord of lords and you need to be ready. If you have doubts–read your Bible of all these promises that have been fulfilled and have faith.

Faith in His promises can transform your life!

Roy’s Blog: “One Thing”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/24/roys-blog-one-thing/

Luke 18:18 “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

This young ruler was an amazing guy. Jesus said, “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery; Do not murder; Do not steal; Do not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.” The rich young ruler said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”

Jesus said to him, “One thing you still lack…” What was that one thing? He lacked a relationship with God. Jesus said for him to sell or give away all that he had and follow Him. Be willing to leave everything behind and follow Me. The rich young ruler wasn’t willing to do that because he was very rich.

His wealth and family position did not satisfy. He knew something was missing. He was like a ship tossed about at sea without a compass, lost. But when he found the thing he needed, he wasn’t willing to let go of the things of this world.

I see that today in the faces of multitudes of people. They are searching for purpose in life. They try to find purpose by transforming everything around them. Better house, nicer car, bigger boat. They are making the same mistakes the generations before them made. Focusing on themselves and the world around them never reveals their life purpose.

You must begin with God. The Bible says, “It is God who directs the lives of His creatures; everyone’s life is in His power.” Job 12:10

You were made by God and for God. Until you understand that, life will never make sense.

Roy’s Blog: “The Answer”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/roys-blog-the-answer/

Mark 10:47-48 “When he heard that is was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!'”

Jericho was a city about 15 miles northeast of Jerusalem. It had many who were blind and infirm because Jericho had a flourishing spring fed oasis with many palm trees, rich fertile land that generated plenty of food and wealth. It was a strategic crossroads used by merchants, armies, and pilgrims.

Since there were no social or government programs to help people, the blind and infirm commonly staked out a good spot on the main road to Jericho and relied on alms (money or food) from those passing through.

This man, Bartimaeus, was completely at the mercy of those that would feel obliged or compassionate to help support him. There was nothing else he could do. But when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he cried out to Him. He’d heard the stories of how Jesus healed many others. He cried out not for money or food, but he cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him.

Today we are confronted by so many things there is nothing we can do about. But, like Bartimaeus, we can cry out, “Lord have mercy on me.”

He is the answer to our needs.

Roy’s Blog: “Better Pack Your Bag”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/22/roys-blog-better-pack-your-bag/

Ezekiel 37:21 “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land.

Today, record numbers of Jewish people are being drawn back to Israel. Everything that is happening around the world is causing the fulfillment of prophecy. From the election of Donald Trump as a President who supports Israel more than any president since 1948, to the worldwide pandemic and violence, not only in the United States, but around the world. Now we are seeing a huge rise in antisemitism.

The pathway to the Lord’s coming and the tribulation is being paved today in amazing ways. We should be packing our bags spiritually for the journey that lays before us.

Like Ezekiel long age we are being told to pack our bags for a trip–one way–to our heavenly home.

Roy’s Blog: “Stay The Course”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/21/roys-blog-stay-the-course/

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Throughout the Bible, we can observe God at work in people’s lives. Sometimes He acts in dramatic fashion such as when He descended before the children of Israel on Mt. Sinai. Other times He appeared not to act at all; when word was sent to Him that Lazarus was sick, He delayed His coming until after Lazarus died.

After being promised that his descendants would be as numerous as the sands of the sea, Abraham had to wait until he and Sarah were way beyond childbearing years before Sarah conceived.

Many times God’s plan can lead through painful and arduous experiences. Joseph was sold by his own brothers, taken to another country and enslaved. He was thrown in prison for years. All of this before he was elevated to a position of authority in Egypt that eventually allowed him to save his own people from starvation.

The glimpses of God’s handiwork still motivate us today to stay the course. God will work all things out for our good and His glory.

Roy’s Blog: “Waiting”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/roys-blog-waiting/

Proverbs 16:9 “The mind of a man plans his way. But the Lord directs his steps.”

No one likes to wait, whether it’s at a signal light that seems to take forever to change or the train to pass that never seems to end. Waiting on an important call can seem like an eternity. Why does it drive us so crazy?

It’s because delays show us that we are not in control. Someone or something else is calling the shots. Although we can sometimes identify the immediate cause, ultimately the one who controls all our delays is the Lord. He is sovereign over everything in the heavens above and on the earth. Even our time and schedules are in His control.

That means every delay we encounter is waiting for God in one way or another. Learning to wait is learning to walk in obedience to God.

The next time you face an unexpected or unwanted wait, remember that it comes as no surprise to God. It is part of His plan to protect and direct you.

Roy’s Blog: “The Complete Picture”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/19/roys-blog-the-complete-picture/

Psalm 25:1-2 “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust; Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me.”

I don’t always understand why some bad things happen, especially to good people. But I do believe that God always has a purpose for allowing things to happen. My faith is rooted in the biblical principle that says the Lord is sovereign. He is in absolute control of this universe–everything.

When we are in the midst of a trial, like we all see going on around us now, it is hard to resist crying out, “God? Why are you allowing this to happen?”

Sometimes we get the answer and sometimes we don’t. We can be sure of this, nothing happens by accident or coincidence. Nothing takes God by surprise. He has a purpose no matter what we see. We have His promise, “All things work for good [ultimately] to those who love God…” Romans 8:28

He sees the complete picture…the yesterday, the today, and the tomorrow…all at the same time.

Roy’s Blog: “For Such A Time As This”

https://bphowlett.wordpress.com/2020/06/18/roys-blog-for-such-a-time-as-this/

I Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

God knew you would be here at this time in history and He prepared you for such a time as this. He has readied you by virtue of every day of your life to this point. Every Bible study and every worship service was a part of the preparation for this hour we live.

Many are searching for hope in this hour. They are watching you and how you respond to the struggles we are facing in this chaotic time. It’s not easy, but we are His neon sign to the world around us. He gives us the victory!

Now is the time to pray as never before. Now is the time to praise the Lord as never before. Now is the time to manifest that peace, love, and joy only He can give you.

The Lord has prepared you, Dear Saint, for such a time as this.