Who is online?
In total there are 12 users online :: 1 Registered, 0 Hidden and 11 Guests :: 1 Bot

Admin

[ View the whole list ]


Most users ever online was 115 on Wed 03 Jul 2019, 3:20 pm
Latest topics
» ISRAEL VIDEO'S VARIOUS COVERAGES
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 3:16 pm by Admin

» WORLD ISRAEL NEWS
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 2:05 pm by Admin

» Mrs. P's Haven of Refuge Inspirational
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 2:03 pm by Admin

» servant @ TWO LISTENERS
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 12:33 pm by Admin

» BIBLE STUDY on VERSE
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 12:29 pm by Admin

» WORTHY NEWS
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 12:28 pm by Admin

» Daily Disciples
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 12:27 pm by Admin

» The Mark started implants in their hands to replace cash, credit cards
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 11:52 am by Admin

» BIRTH PANGS – Series of Powerful Earthquakes Volcano's Strike Around the Globe
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 9:47 am by Admin

» ENDTIME HEADLINES
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 9:40 am by Admin

» PROPHESY NEWS WATCH
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyToday at 12:07 am by Admin

» Delrifkah: HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY.
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyYesterday at 11:14 pm by Admin

» R.D SOUZA Saved by faith
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyYesterday at 11:13 pm by Admin

» +Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyYesterday at 11:12 pm by Admin

» My Manna
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyYesterday at 11:10 pm by Admin

» GOSPEL FROM ASIA
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyYesterday at 11:09 pm by Admin

» Another Look at Footwashing
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyYesterday at 10:47 pm by Admin

» 12 Proverbs to Start Memorizing Today
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyYesterday at 10:22 pm by Admin

» Rare Footage of President Ronald Reagan Speaking the Gospel
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyYesterday at 9:58 pm by Admin

» PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 EmptyYesterday at 9:56 pm by Admin

Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Page 14 of 17 Previous  1 ... 8 ... 13, 14, 15, 16, 17  Next

Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 04 Apr 2011, 3:17 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com



A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 13 April 4, 2011
Waiting and Wondering

When I began writing this article there are four teams left in the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship (now there are two). Only a few Bracketologist predicted any of these teams would be in the Final Four. A much smaller number predicted all these teams would make it. This year’s tournament has been one surprise after another. Never before has there been a Final Four without a #1 or #2 seeded team. Most of the major powerhouses have been defeated by much smaller and lesser-known schools. Now, we wait to see what happens next.

Following the massive earthquake and Tsunami that struck Japan we have heard of families waiting for a phone call that will tell them if their daughter is dead, alive, injured, or missing. Dramatic video footage and photographs have shocked us as we have watched and listened to seemingly impossible survival stories and heartbreaking losses. As if that were not enough, we then heard the news of possible nuclear explosions and radioactive clouds, thousands without electricity, clean water, and food shortages. So, we wait and wonder what will happen next.

On any given day in doctor’s offices, patient rooms, emergency rooms, and hospital waiting areas families sit hour after hour, day after day, and sometimes week after week waiting for a word of hope or a message of sorrow concerning the future wellbeing of their spouse, their parent, their child, or their friend. The longer the wait the more difficult it becomes. The waiting continues as they wonder what will come next.

Every day as the sun goes down around the world mothers and fathers take another look out the front doors of their homes hoping to see their prodigal coming up the walk. The same thing happens when they wake up in the morning. The pray. They check their phones and computers for missed calls, a voice mail, or a message. They check their mailbox for a handwritten not. Day after day they hold out hope of something that will assure them their child is okay. They wait, they pray, they hope, and they wonder what will happen next.

Businessmen and businesswomen around the globe wake up every day to check the financial news to see what the market did overnight. They do the same throughout the day, and again at the end of the day. People wonder if their investments will holdup and provide them with the kind of retirement they have planned for. Day after day and night after night the news is less than encouraging. We all wait and wonder what will be next.

Someone has correctly said, “The only thing certain about life is that almost everything is uncertain.” The unexpected happens and then something else. We put our trust in the Lord and pray that He will take care of us. We ask for a sign of His goodness and we search the horizon for proof. We know He is good. We know He is working for our best interests. We know He will do what is best. Everyday we are reminded of His blessings. Every night we reflect on His mercies. With every breath we express our gratitude. And we wait and we wonder what will be next.

The Old Testament character, Job, is a wonderful example of a faithful follower of God who experienced life with all its fury. After losing almost everything except his life, his best friends and his spouse suggested he admit his failures and accept his fate. Job refused because he knew that he served a good and gracious God. So, he waited. He suffered. He waited. He asked for vindication and an audience with his Maker. When the conversation concluded, he responded, “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? 
 I put my hand over my mouth. 
I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more.” (Job 40:4,5)

God was not finished.

Job listened. Job responded, “Then Job replied to the LORD: ‘I know that you can do all things; 
no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.’”

“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; 
I will question you, 
and you shall answer Me.’ 
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself 
and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)
What happened next is nothing short of amazing. God refreshed his spirit, restored all he had lost and reassured him that his faith was not futile. At almost every turn when Job thought he knew what would happen next, God did something different. When he was at his lowest and surely thought all hope was gone, God surprised him with His gracious love and showered him with blessings.

I do not know specifically what God has in store for you. But, let me encourage you that when the waiting goes long and tiring and you wonder what will happen next, hold on and keep looking for what God has planned for you. Don’t give up. We miss so many blessings from God because we give up too soon. Hold on to your faith. Believe in His goodness. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself speechless as you hear Him with your own ears and see Him with your own eyes.


Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 28 Mar 2011, 4:59 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com



A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 12 March 28, 2011
A Sign of Your Goodness

Psalm 86:17 reads, “Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.” (NIV)

As you read the entire Psalm you realize that David was under significant stress when he wrote this song. Though we don’t know the exact crisis David is facing, we do know that from his perspective it was very serious. He says the “day of trouble” involved those who hated him (v. 17) and he was apparently near death (v. 13). He asks for help in the beginning (1-7), offers praise in the middle (8-13) and asks for help again at the end of the Psalm (14-13).

You also cannot help but notice David’s sense of belonging to God. He uses the word “Lord” seven times (vv. 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 15) as he speaks to God. On the flip side he refers to himself as “servant” and “the son of your handmaid” (vv. 4, 16).

What stands out most in this Psalm is his request for “a sign of your goodness.” He asks God to answer his prayer in a clear and obvious way to make an impression on his godless enemies. [1]

Those words ring true with us don’t they? When we struggle to make sense of life we want a sign of His goodness. We do not understand what is happening. All we know for sure is that things are going wrong. Bad things are happening. We feel helpless. We feel confused. We want answers. So, like David we ask the Lord for answers to our questions. Specific answers. Clear answers. We pray, “Lord, make it clear.” Sound familiar?

As we witness the suffering of a loved one and the questions outnumber the answers, we may call out to the Lord for a sign of His goodness.

When more seems to be wrong with life than there is good we may ask God to give us a sign of His goodness.

We need something that will remind us of His goodness. We long for evidence that He has not forgotten us or forsaken so we ask for a sign of His Goodness.

It is important to notice that David’s request for “a sign of your goodness” does not indicate that He doubts God’s goodness. He acknowledges that God has “helped him and comforted him.” He knows God’s goodness. He wants his enemies to see His goodness and be shamed by.

There is nothing from this Psalm that proves that God gave David the sign of His goodness. There is also no reason to think that God would not give Him the signs. God is good and wants us to know His goodness.

If you are going through a rough time and feel as if your enemies are about to do you in, keep talking to the Lord. Keep listening for His voice. Trusting Him. Keep remembering that He is good. And keep asking Him to give you a sign of His goodness.

“Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”



Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.

Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 21 Mar 2011, 2:53 pm

A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 11 March 21, 2011
The Life

In the beginning life was good. Life was full. Life was abundant. Though the first couple possessed all they could need or desire, they allowed the Tempter in the garden to convince them that they needed more. They were tempted by the thought that the abundance they possessed was not as good as it could be. Thus, the search for real life began.

The search for life continues. The message from the Tempter is just as strong today as ever.

“Your life will be more meaningful if you surround yourself with enough of the right stuff,” we are told. Your house needs to be a little bigger. Your furniture needs to be nicer and more expensive. Your neighborhood needs to be the most exclusive in the city.

“You will enjoy life more if you gain as much knowledge as possible, fill your walls with framed degrees, and strive to impress people with your intellectual prowess.” So, we read, we study, we fill our heads with worldly knowledge.

“You will experience the fullness of life if you push your way to the top of your profession.” Power. Control. Influence. Those are the things that make life worth living. Be strong. Be large and in charge.

“You’ve got to be the best if you are going to find meaning for your life.” Second is not good enough. You must be better than all the competition. Win regardless of the cost. Being number one is all that matters.

Jesus came offering hope for a new way of living. He offered a life of freedom and peace. He shared a message of life, a full life, the abundant life. His message involves surrender to the Good Shepherd.

“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:10, The Message) The Amplified Bible makes it even clearer. “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”



Jesus’ formula for the full life is quite different from what the world suggests.

“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’

He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.’” (Mark 9:35-38, New International Version, ©2011)

When you compare the two routes to the full life it is easy to see why it is a struggle. The world invites us to give in to our desires and promises we will win. The Lord calls us to a life of following the Shepherd and assures us that the victory is in His hands.

As it was in the beginning we have freedom to decide. The abundant life is within our reach. It’s your choice.


Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 14 Mar 2011, 6:28 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com



A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 11 March 14, 2011
Father, Lead Me

“Search me, O God, and know my heart,

test me and know my anxious thoughts,

See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting. “

(Psalm 139:23-24)



Father, do I really want You to search me?

When You search me, I know You know my heart. I know that You see everything that is in my heart. You see all the offensive ways that are in me. You see the ugliness. You see the pride. You see the jealousy. You see the selfishness. You see the pettiness. You see the hurt. You see the sadness. You see all the offensive ways that are in me.

Father, when You test me there are times that my thoughts become anxious thoughts because I know You know my heart, and I know that I will surely fail the test. My thoughts are not always what they should be. I simply pray this prayer: “God, give me the desire to desire what you want me to desire.” (Richard Rohr) But, Father You know that I do not always desire what You want me to desire.

Father, I don’t have to see if there is any offensive way in me. I already know there is. When You see the offensive way(s) in me it must break Your heart. You know my heart better than I do, but I know enough. I know enough to condemn me. Somehow You still love me. You have loved me all along. You have known me and loved me even before I was formed. Your love amazes me.

Father, You want better things for me than I want for myself. You want better things for Your people than I want for them. You have poured out Your love on me and You have demonstrated Your love for me, and yet my ways are so offensive to You. Thank You for loving me.

Father, because I know that You know all the things that are in my heart…all my anxious thoughts and all my offensive ways…there are times when I want to stop You from searching me. There are times, I want to hide from You. I want to stop the search. I want to stop the testing. Yet, I cannot. As painful and as frightening as it for You to search me and test me, I cannot love without it. Your searching and Your testing is what saves me. It is through Your searching and testing that I am cleansed and saved. It is through failing the tests and seeing my own offensive ways that I am drawn to You, drawn to surrender to You, and drawn to accept Your amazing love.

Father, You search me and test me and know my anxious and offensive ways, and still You love me. Thank You. Lead me. Lead, me, Father, in your way everlasting.

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 07 Mar 2011, 1:12 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com



A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 10 March 7, 2011
What God Is Doing Right Now

Every now and then I get restless. I would not call it full-blown discontentment, because in many ways I am very much at peace with who I am, where I am, and how I am. My restless state is not likely to cause me to quit my job, and I would not call it a way-beyond-mid-life-crisis. I’m not going to dye my hair, leave my shirt collar unbuttoned down to my navel or start wearing gold chains and rings. Nor do I get the itch to pack a few things and head off to the high country to become a modern day Jeremiah Johnson.

What I mean by restless is that I start feeling like my office needs to be rearranged. I get the urge to turn the desk in another direction. I start wondering what the view would be like if my chair was in a different location in my study. I think about moving the sofa against the other wall. Apparently this has nothing to do with celebrating another birthday as I have experienced these restless feeling off and on most of my life, and the urge can come in the middle of the summer as easy as early spring.

For me, restlessness brings a strong sense of dissatisfaction with my stuff. My gadgets are not quite as shiny as they once were, they do not seem to work quite like I want them to (or as fast they once did), and my clothes start to feel weird. When I visit the office supply store I find myself lingering in the pens and pencils aisle. “Surely today I’ll find the perfect pen.” This usually is accompanied by a strong sensation that something needs to change, though I’m never quite sure what that something is. Then, the Lord shows me what needs to change and He shows me how to get beyond the stretch of restlessness.

He began by speaking to me last week through the folks from Heartlight.org whey they posted this Quote of the Day by John Piper, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” When I read that I thought how interesting it was for me to read that particular quote on that particular day.

Later that same morning, two doves landed on my windowsill. They cooed and fluttered there as if to remind me that God is in control and I can find peace in Him.

The grass in my front yard is turning green again. The green grass reminds me that perhaps it is natural to go though a season of transition. Grass grows. Grass dies. Grass returns. I interpret that to mean that it’s okay to rearrange the furniture in my office.

Jonquils and Daffodils are blooming. Every year (usually on my birthday or the week of my birthday) these small blossoms of new life appear to reassure me that as sure as day follows night, spring follows winter, and life follows death.

Not far from the window sill where the two doves rested were a couple of Mocking birds, then a male and a female Cardinal, later a small blue bird, and finally several other sparrows came to gather the leftovers. As they sang their songs I could imagine a chorus from a heavenly choir filling the sky with this hymn of praise.

“Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory

in the heavens.

Through the praise of children and infants

you have established a stronghold against your enemies,

to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,

the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which you have set in place,

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

human beings that you care for them?

You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels

and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.

You made them rulers over the works of your hands;

you put everything under their[g] feet:

all flocks and herds,

and the animals of the wild,

the birds in the sky,

and the fish in the sea,

all that swim the paths of the seas.

LORD, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8, NIV)

If those messengers from the Lord were not to gently transport me to a healthier way of thinking, in that moment of peace and tranquility I remembered these words from Jesus.



"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, (Emphasis mine) and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:25-34, The Message)
Whenever that restless feeling comes along I am always thankful for God’s gentle nudges that help me regain a more spiritual outlook. You see, the something that needed to change was me. My focus needed to move back to Him and His work. My thoughts needed to be raised from things below to “things above.”

Chances are that if you were around me during one of these restless episodes of my life you would not notice any dramatic change (a rearranged office does not qualify as a dramatic change). However, if you could get inside my head or wander around in the contents of my heart, you would see that, for right now, I am more grateful. I am more at peace. I am more in tune with His Spirit. And, I have a much healthier focus on the right now of my world and what God is doing right now.

For today, for right now, the restlessness has passed. I’m content with the view out my window. Tomorrow? Who knows? If there is a tomorrow, I may move my desk back where it was.

Enjoy what God is doing right now.

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 28 Feb 2011, 12:59 pm


A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 09 February 28, 2011
Too Much; Too Many; Too Little

We say…

Lord, we get tired because there’s too much.

Too much stress.

Too much stress over money.

Too much stress over balancing, or trying to balance accounts.

Too much stress over things that we cannot change.

Too much stress due to talking about having a simpler life.

Too much discontent.

Too much time wasted on trivial and useless endeavors.

Too much stuff.

Too much stuff happening.



Lord, we get worn out because there is too many.

Too many people going through hard times.

Too many petty arguments and discussions.

Too many distractions.

Too many things.

Too many things we want.

Too many things we want to do.

Too many things we don’t want to do.

Too many people asking for help and demanding our time.

Too many comparisons.

Too many un-cried tears.



Lord, we get burned out because there is too little.

Too little time spent in physical activity.

Too little time spent with friends.

Too little time spend with our families.

Too little time spent in meditation and reflection.

Too little time spent in laughter.

Too little time spent reading quality writings.

Too little time spent reading Your word.

Too little time spent with You.

He says…

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)
Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 21 Feb 2011, 11:45 am

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com


A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 08 February 21, 2011
Missing God

The seventh and eighth chapters of John consist almost entirely of discussions between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day. Actually, the word discussion may not be the right word to describe what goes on in those two chapters. Accusation. Criticism. Skepticism. Condemnation. These are more accurate descriptions.

Time after time the Pharisees and religious elite throw tough questions at Jesus. Time after time Jesus tosses them right back at them. They set traps for Him. He recognizes the traps and steps around them. Leaving the questioners more perplexed (and angry) than before.

Jesus wants them to drop their defenses and recognize Him for who He really is. Not only do they refuse to acknowledge Him as God’s Son, they intensify their plot to kill Him.

Eugene Peterson’s captures the drama when in chapter 8, verses 23-24, “Jesus said, ‘You're tied down to the mundane; I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I'm living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You're at a dead end. If you won't believe I am who I say I am, you're at the dead end of sins. You're missing God in your lives.’” (The Message)

Two times in the paragraph he uses the phrase “missing God”: “I told you that you were missing God in all this.” And “You're missing God in your lives.” Because they are missing God, Jesus’ predicts their future: “You're at a dead end.” He continues with, “you're at the dead end of sins.” Experts in law and religion rarely like to hear those kinds of things.

I must admit there is a part of me that wants to pass my own judgment on those people. However, about the time I am ready to pronounce my judgment must confess that that Jesus’ words often apply to me as much to me as they do to the people from the text. It is true of me for the same reason it was true of them. Jesus said, “You’re tied down to the mundane.” “You live in terms of what you see and touch.”

He’s talking to me. I’m tied down to the mundane. I live in terms of what I can see and touch. I find too many instances when my infatuation with the mundane has caused me to “miss God.” Let me give a few examples.

All those times I’ve been concerned with being “at church” whenever the doors are open, only to realize I missed God in my attempt to look holy.

All those conversations I have had with people about the weather, the economy, sports, and pursuit of the trivial, while I allowed the opportunity to talk with them about what God has been doing in my life and He wants to do in theirs.

All those days and nights I’ve worked hard to finish a sermon or an article, while people I love needed a few minutes of my time.

All those times I’ve taken walks or runs in the great outdoors when I was more focused on how quickly I could finish than I was on the reminders of His love that the Creator had placed along the path.

All those days when I have worked extra hard to look like I was really busy doing important things while the really important things (relationships, time with God, helping a neighbor) were neglected.

All those times I have been more intent on proving my point in an argument, or make my point, or destroy someone else’s point, when I could have been making a point out of how much God loves us both…regardless of who wins the argument.

That’s how I am. You may not have the same problem. I hope you don’t. But, just in case you might slip up once in a while and miss God as you rush through your busy day to accomplishing the really important things, let me offer a few suggestions.

Remember, people (your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends,) are more important than things (jobs, promotions, awards, schedules, programs, projects).

Realize that if you have had the tendency of allowing yourself to be “tied down to the mundane,” you do not have to continue on that path. You can do better. God can help you.

Recognize that God is in everything you do, He is everywhere you go, He is always with you.

May this be a day when you do not miss God.


Tom


A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Tue 15 Feb 2011, 2:47 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 07 February 14, 2011
Come With Me
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:30-31, NIV)
Let me ask you to read those two verses again before going any further in this article. In fact, you have my permission to read those verses and disregard the rest of this article. Pay special attention to the last sentence. Read it out loud.
Apparently, you chose to continue reading. Since you did, let me ask: Did you see the invitation from the Son of God? “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Would getting away by yourself with Jesus appeal to you? Would you accept the invitation…if you didn’t have so much to get done today? Here’s how Eugene Peterson writes it:
"Come off by yourselves; let's take a break and get a little rest." For there was constant coming and going. They didn't even have time to eat. (The Message)
“There was constant coming and going.” Sound like your family? Get up early. Get ready for work. Get the kids ready for school. Kiss your husband good-by as he rushes out the door. Get the kids to school. Rush to work. Work hard all day. Call your husband and ask him to pick up the kids so you can go to the gym. Rush through your workout. Pick up dinner on the way home. Feed the kids. Help them with homework. Get them to bed. Plop down on the sofa with your husband while half watching the late news. You both share some of what you did during the day. You kiss each other good night. Just before you drift off to sleep you pray, “Lord, I’m so tired. Please let me get a good night’s sleep.” The next thing you hear is the alarm reminding you that it’s time to start it all over again.
Maybe your situation is different. You wake up in the morning to a quiet house. There is no one there but you. You are alone. You are almost always alone. Alone. But busy. You have things to do. You have bills to pay. You have phone calls to make. You have several errands to run. You have a boss to please. You find yourself rushed and weary and worn-out at the end of every day. As you lay down you pray, “Lord, thank you for helping me get through the day and to accomplish everything on my list.” Then, you ask yourself, “Did I eat dinner?”
It’s just the two of you. But, you are considering expanding your family. So, you’re both working hard to get ahead and stay ahead, and build the nest egg. In the process of making it all happen you find that you are feeling pressure to do more and spending fewer and fewer evenings at home together. When you put your head on your pillow you pray a silent prayer, “Lord, protect our marriage. Please don’t let us drift apart.”
Take a deep breath and read those words again. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Take another deep breath. Read those words again. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Breath again. Close your eyes and say the words. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Take another deep breath.
Don’t allow guilt to spoil the moment. Sure you are busy. We all are. Maybe you are too busy to eat, or to rest, or to be quiet, or to spend much time alone with the Lord. That’s why Jesus said what He did to His disciples, and to us. He knew we are prone to get overcommitted and stressed-out.
Take another deep breath and read those words again: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Feel that? That’s what it feels like to take just a moment to answer the call to be alone with the Lord, just for a moment.
There’s a good chance that you other things to do, so take another deep breath and take these words with you as you go through your day: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you as you go through your day with Jesus.
Tom
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Tue 08 Feb 2011, 12:56 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 06 February 7, 2011
More Than A Dry Time
What do you do when you do all the things suggested in last week’s article (A Dry Time) and nothing changes? You still feel numb, bored, and unmotivated. You still come away from a time of worship, either corporate or private, disappointed and wondering, “What was that all about?”
You read your Bible. You’ve listen to Christian music everyday while you drive to work. You’ve not missed an assembly, a small group or Bible Class in longer than you can remember. Yet, something is still not right. There may be something deeper, something more than a dry time.
Tom Thompson, writing for the American Association of Christian Counselors refers to a myth that applies to this situation, “Christians simply need to spend more time in the Word, church and prayer.” The Christian community may be guilty of perpetuating this myth by raising questions “about a person’s level of faith or their ability to trust in the Lord.” Unfortunately the message received by the person is often, “If I were only more spiritual, I’d be free from my pain, sickness or addictions.” Thomson goes on to say that there are times when very devoted Christians “need additional tools in order to get unstuck and continue to grow in their spirituality, their relationships and their personal life. Some have been freed by the ‘one-step’ process but most of us require additional resources, support and time to work from the inside out.”[1]
So, what are you to do when you find you are struggling with something more than a dry time? I offer these suggestions:
Be honest with yourself. It is important to consider that personal sin may be at the root of the issue. Quoting Thompson again: “Again and again, Jesus points out our need to confess and face our sinfulness. Denial is clearly not a biblical option. Scripture tells us, ‘If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.’ (I John 1:8). And, ‘He who conceals his hatred has lying lips’ (Prov. 10:18). Religious efforts done by rote without facing our weaknesses become empty rules, lacking ‘any value in restraining sensual indulgence’. (Col. 2:23). The good news is that we are safe in the love and grace of God. We can own our badness and not fear condemnation” (Rom. 7:9-10).”[2]
Visit your doctor. Physical health may play a part in it issue. When was your last physical exam? Have a check-up. If there is a medical problem, heed the doctor’s advice. Take the medicine. Change your diet. Start and exercise program. If the exam shows that you are in good health the positive news might be enough to boost your spirits and relieve your anxiety.
Talk to someone. Many churches provide counseling services free of charge. Find out if counseling is available. Call for an appointment. With a minimal amount of research you can find a qualified Christian counselor in your community for a reasonable fee. Fortunately, many insurances companies cover all or part of the fees. If necessary, either of these resources can help you find addition assistance should that be necessary or perhaps direct you to a Christ-centered 12-Step recovery program. The point is, talking helps. Counseling is not a bad thing. (Find A Counselor)
Sometimes we go through dry times. When in a dry time, there are some fairly simple things to do. But sometimes it is more than a dry time. The tried and true methods may fail. You may be experiencing a level of depression or an issue related to your physical heath. Remember this: Help is available. You are not alone. God has not deserted you. There are things you can do. Pay attention to the signs and respond in a healthy manner.

Tom


A Norvell Note ©️ Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 31 Jan 2011, 11:22 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com


A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 05 January 31, 2011
A Dry Time
A friend of mine calls them dry times. Dry times are those times in your life, more specifically in your spiritual life when there seems to be a void. A time when all the things you typically do to nourish your soul seem to have stopped working. Some of you understand the dry times very well. You have lived through them. You may be going through one right now. Maybe you have recently come out of such a time. Here are few examples of how a dry time may express itself.
You are going through life pretty much like you always have, but one day things seem different. The sky is not as blue. The breeze is not as cool. The sunshine is not as bright. The snowfall is not as white. Rainbows don’t provide much of a thrill. And very few things seem to give your heart much of a thrill.
You are doing the same things you have always done. Except now you are enjoying it less. Very few things seem to excite you. When you try to describe how you feel you use the word “bored” more than you have in a very long time.
Your job once gave you a reason to get up in the morning. It was challenging. It was rewarding. Now, it is a job. You go. You put in your time. You come home. Nothing has changed. It is the same job. Nothing has gone wrong. You still like the people you work with and you still are paid well for your efforts. But, it just seems to bore you.
You have a great family. You love them. You would die for them. You long to be with them every opportunity you have. When one visit ends you begin planning the next one. When you are together you laugh, you cry, you really enjoy your family. You have a wonderful marriage. Your children are healthy. They are doing well in school. Life is good on the home front. But, something seems to be missing.
You have an amazing spiritual network. You have been on mission trips with some of them. You have taken vacations with some of them. Your children have grown up together. You have attended weddings, funerals, ball games, parties, seminars, workshops, and baptisms together. You look forward to being with them every opportunity you have. But, it seems stale.
Your personal spiritual life seems to be going well. You are doing all the right things. You read you Bible regularly. You pray consistently. You participate in an enriching small group. You occasionally teach a class. You sing on the praise team. You are even thinking about chaperoning a youth trip. You love your church. You love God. You love God’s people. But, you feel empty.
Songs that once moved you tears now seem old and tired. Sermons that should touch your heart do not. Prayers seem shallow and repetitious. When people around you are weeping with compassion you are gazing out the window or checking your phone for messages. There is no place you would rather be than in an assembly worshiping God, but you just don’t feel anything.
It is a dry time.
What do you do? Where do you go when your well is dry? Where do you go when your heart is empty? Where do you go to find joy? Where do you turn to when you to be refreshed? Where do you go when your soul needs to be restored? Where do you go when you need hope?
John (chapter 4) tells a story about woman going through a terribly dry time. In fact, dryness was about all she knew. Her home life, if you call it that, was a complete mess. She was lonely. She was rejected. She was isolated. Perhaps the saddest part of her story was that she had reached the point that she was resolved that this was all that her life would ever be. At one time she longed to have a real relationship, but that was so long ago she could barely remember what it was like. As was her routine when this Samaritan woman needed to refill her water jars she went to same well where she had always gone for water. She made sure she went during the middle of the day so that so that she would not bother anyone, and would not be bothered by anyone.
When Jesus initiated a conversation with her she was reluctant. Almost annoyed. Yet, there was something about Him that caught her attention and took her completely by surprise. He seemed to care about. He had no ulterior motive. He listened to her. He answered her questions. He actually heard her. He knew her even though she had never met him. He talked to her like a real person. He treated her like she mattered. He gave her hope. Her offered her a solution to her dry world. “This water,” Jesus said, “if you will drink it will quench your thirst.” “You’ll never be thirsty again.” “This is living water.”
She drank the water.
She came to the well to fill her jars with water. She left having had her dry and empty spirit refilled and refreshed. As she shared her story others came from their dry world to drink of the living water.
Are you in a dry time? Follow the example of the woman at the well. Spend some time with Jesus. Get alone with Him. Dig into the Word. Go to a place of beauty and soak it in. Be still. Call or visit an old friend. Listen to your favorite music. Take a long walk. Rest. Listen. Play with a child. Serve someone who cannot return the favor.
Drink from the well of living water. After you drink. Share your story. You never know who else might be going through a dry time and God may use you to lead them to the living water.
Tom
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Sat 29 Jan 2011, 10:50 am

A Norvell Note
Vol. 13 No. 47
Sometimes Things Change Slowly
Just as surely as some things can change in an instant, with a single phone
call or with one word, some things take much longer to change.
Changing an attitude can take a long time. If you have been reared in a
culture of prejudice and hatred toward people who are different from you
(ethnically,
racially, religiously, socially), you may have already discovered how
difficult it is to outgrow those feelings of hatred and prejudice. Don't
give up.
Give people a chance. Ignore the color of their skin. Forget about their
accent. Just love them.
If you have been abused, hurt, or taken advantage of to such an extent that
your trust has been damaged and your confidence in people has been weakened,
you are probably aware of the fact that getting beyond that hurt is taking
longer that you ever dreamed it would take. It starts with forgiveness.
Forgiveness
will take time. It will be difficult. It will not make sense sometimes. Stay
with it. It will be worth it.
If you have experienced loss (death, divorce, betrayal) you have already
learned that the healing process takes longer than we expect and much longer
that
we prefer. We want to get beyond our grief immediately, if we have to deal
with it at all. You need to allow yourself to grieve. But grief must do the
work that grief does. Don't stop it. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to cry.
It's normal to feel angry at times. It will get better.
Breaking a habit can be a slow process. I've heard people who have not had
a cigarette in twenty years admit that the still experience the craving as
strong
as ever when the stress level rises, when they get a whiff of someone else's
smoke, or after a good meal. Those addicted to alcohol, food, or pornography
share similar struggles. And if you have ever struggled with the use of bad
language, even though it was years ago, you may still need to control the
urge
to "let if fly" when you are cut off in traffic, encounter an interference
or interruption to your plans, or misplace your keys. Some things change
slowly.
With persistence, a lot of prayer, moving at a little slower pace, and
encouragement from people who love us a lot of progress can be made.
Traditions change slowly (if they can be changed at all). If you know what
I'm talking about there is no need for explanation. If you don't know what
I'm
talking about there is probably no explanation that will make sense. If you
do know what I'm talking about, no explanation is needed. Churches change
slowly.
With patience, lots of understanding, and good listening skills can go along
way toward the growth process.
Relationships that have been damaged cannot always be healed quickly. It
may take a lot of time, a lot of energy, and a lot of understanding.
Relationships
that have been severed may even take a lot longer to restore. But, the
proper care and attention the brokenness can be mended.
Some things change slowly. Some things change in the blink of an eye.
Change is a part of being alive and part of being God's creation. Change can
be frightening.
Change can make us feel that the world around us is shanking and about to
crumble. But remember we are part of "A kingdom that cannot be shaken."
"The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken-that is,
created things-so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us
be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our
'God
is a consuming fire.'" (Hebrews 12:27-29, NIV)
With the assurance that God is always near, always kind, always gracious,
always just, and always loving we can embrace the changes we face with
confidence
and hope.
Tom
A Norvell Note ? Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 24 Jan 2011, 3:48 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

A Norvell Note
Vol. 14 No. 04 January 24, 2011
Just A Taste

The weather forecast was for snow. Children snuggled under the covers and eventually drifted off to sleep to dream of building snowmen, making snow angels, and no school the next day. Parents were tuned in to the list of closed schools running constantly at the bottom of the screen and frequently peeked out the window to see if anything was falling. Daylight revealed only a dusting. There was just enough to give a taste of a real snow.

While having lunch with a group of friends I was offered just a taste of Key Lime Pie. The taste made me want more. I ordered my own slice.

When I pop a bag of popcorn my wife usually says, "I'll have just a taste." Someone else might take a taste and pop another bag of popcorn. SIDE NOTE: The late Smookie Norvell (one of the cats we had years ago) would not settle for just a taste. He always wanted a good serving of popcorn.

Dad placed his daughter in the swing made just for her. He pushed her and she giggled in utter delight. She wanted more. "Don't stop, Daddy!"

It had been a wonderful weekend in a luxurious hotel. The time passed so quickly as we took advantage of all the amenities, made the most of every moment, and enjoyed every conversation. Checkout time came much too soon. We wanted it to last longer.

The whole family had gathered for the holiday celebration. There was an abundance of food, the chatter was pleasant, and the love was overflowing. Someone said, "I wish we could have more times like this."

The group from church had traveled several miles to attend the weekend conference. Everyone came in need of spiritual refreshment. All left satisfied. The worship was spirited and God-focused. The speakers were encouraging and convicting. The fellowship of believers was heart-warming. As we gathered for the last time before departing someone said, "Surely this is just a taste of what Heaven will be!"

Just a taste.

Sometimes it is a song. Sometimes it is an aroma. Sometimes it is a word or a phrase. That's all it takes to send us across the miles and through the years to a time that was or to a time that we hope some day will be. All it takes is a taste and we're back home, in a foreign land, on the beach, standing on the top of a mountain, or in the company of the one we love.

For three years the followers of Jesus watched, listened, and learned from the Master. At times they were confused and left to wonder what was ahead for them as He spoke of the coming Kingdom. As He prepared to leave them He made them a promise.

11 "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:11-13, New International Version, (c)2010)

After all they had seen as one of Jesus' disciples - the miraculous healings, the dead who were given life, the teaching, the compassion, the courage - He tells them, "You are going to do those things and even greater things. What you have seen and experienced is just a taste of what you will see and do."

Paul made a similar statement to the Ephesian church, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (3:20-21, NIV)

In this life we are given just a taste of what will be one day. Our best days in this life are only a glimpse of what it will be when we are in the presence of the almighty God. When we experience something is this life that we think must be like heaven, it's only a taste of what is to come.

Tom

(Thirty-five years ago this evening my wife and I stood before a gathering of our friends and family committing our lives to one another for as long as we should live. On that evening we both thought, "This is the best day of our lives." Looking back on those thirty-five years we now realize that was just a taste of what was to come. Thank you Kim for thirty-five years. What we have experienced during the last thirty-five years and what we are experiencing now is just a taste of what we will one day experience when we cross the threshold into glory. Happy Anniversary!)

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Jan 2011, 12:02 pm

A Norvell Note
A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

Vol. 14 No. 03 January 17, 2011

God Hasn't Moved To The Mountains

There is an old joke about the guy sharing that his life was bad that when he went off to college his parents moved and never game him their new address.

Ever felt that unloved? Ever wondered if anybody really cared about you? Ever questioned whether anybody anywhere ever gives you and what goes in your life a second thought? Ever felt forgotten, left out, so alone that you wondered if maybe the Lord had returned during the night, gathered His faithful servants, and left without you?
Some will admit that those words describe you and the old joke is not old and is not funny. You do feel alone. You do wonder. You do have questions about whether anyone would notice if you moved away. You do have occasional thoughts about whether God ever thinks about you, whether He remembers your name, you wonder if He ever thinks about you, or if perhaps He has moved away and failed to give you His new address.
David must have entertained those thoughts. Several of his psalms include feelings of loneliness and isolation. In his low days he seems to wonder if God had deserted him.
Even with his times of doubt, David also wrote some of the most comforting and encouraging reminders of God's constant awareness of everything that happens in our world. Psalm 11 is one of those writings.

1 In the Lord I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
"Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.
3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?"

4 The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.
5 The LORD examines the righteous,
but the wicked, those who love violence,
he hates with a passion.
6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.

7 For the LORD is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.
Psalm 11 (New International Version, (c)2010)

Don't miss David's message...God's message? Even though there are times of confusion and frustration and wondering where God is, there are also reasons to be confident and safe, knowing that God is with you. "The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them." (4)

I love the way The Message expresses verse 4, "But God hasn't moved to the mountains; his holy address hasn't changed. He's in charge, as always, his eyes taking everything in, his eyelids unblinking, examining Adam's unruly brood inside and out, not missing a thing."
David concludes the Psalm with this great affirmation for those who walk with God, "For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face." Again, The Message has an interesting slant on the thought, "God's business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, setting us straight. Once we're standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye."
Take comfort, whatever your present circumstance, God hasn't moved to the mountains (unless you live in the mountains, or possibly visiting the mountains). God's address has not changed. He's still here. He's still with you. He's still interested in every breath you take. He's still listening to your voice, hearing your heart, and watching every movement you make. He's still very much alive and well and going about His business of "putting things right."
If your world seems to be going completely our of control, God will make it all right in His time and in His way. His desire is to make things right with you and for you. He sent His Son into the world to make that possible.
God has not moved. In reality, He wants to move is closer to you. What a God we have!

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Tue 11 Jan 2011, 12:22 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com





A Norvell Note

Vol. 14 No. 02 January 10, 2011

Are You Prepared?

The roads are salted. The grocery shelves have been emptied of milk and bread. Movies have been rented. Children, parents and teachers are anxiously anticipating the first flakes of snow and what appears will result in school closings, work delays, and warnings to travel only if absolutely necessary. These are the kinds of things that happen in our part of the world when the National Weather Service issues a winter storm warning.

If predictions come true by the time you are reading this we will possibly be under a two to four inch blanket of snow. Some of you reading this could be digging out from under 6-plus inches of the white stuff. This part of the world will come to a standstill. Conditions are right. Predictors are confident the snow will come. Because of the warnings, we have plenty of food and water and milk and bread and gadgets to entertain us. We are prepared.

When we hear the warnings, if we are wise we will make the appropriate preparations. We don’t want to be caught off guard, or without, or stuck, or miss what is happening. So, we prepare.

In Luke 12, after issuing a series of warnings and encourages those who were listening to make sure they are prepared and prepared for the right things. To illustrate Jesus told a story about a rich man.

16 “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

The man thought he was prepared for anything. He had been a shrewd businessman. He thought he had covered all his bases. Then, he realized his life was over.

When the warnings come, if we are wise, we will prepare appropriately. Not fearfully. Not boastfully. Wise preparation. Prepared for the right things. If it is snow, plan to stay safe and warm and off the roads. If it is a flood, get to high ground. If it is a storm, take shelter. If it is an illness, take the medicine. If is a warning about your life, take it to God. Store up treasures that honor Him. Give your life to God. Be rich toward Him.

What are you preparing for? In a couple of days, maybe less, this winter storm will be history. If the Lord does not return, this life will continue. Are you prepared to live it to His glory? Are you prepared to honor Him and serve Him? When the time comes where the Lord says, “This very night your life will be demanded from you.” Will you be ready? Are you prepared?

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 03 Jan 2011, 1:19 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com



A Norvell Note


Vol. 14 No. 01 January 3, 2011


It's About The Team

If you have been reading these Notes for any length of time you may have noticed that more than a few of the simple pleasures of my life have occurred while on a golf course. The serenity of finishing up a round of golf as the sun sets on an autumn afternoon, the beauty of a freshly mowed fairway next to a gently flowing stream, and the laughter of friends sharing a good story while waiting on the tee box fill a significant space in my memory bank.


Another aspect of the game of golf that has produced more than one good memory and has also taught me valuable lessons about life is playing as a team. Every now and then golfers abandon the individual competition of the sport for a team effort. Sometimes called a Scramble or Best-Ball, the individual accomplishments give way to the success of the team. Instead of trying to shoot a lower score than your playing partners, the object is to work together to shoot the best score as a team. Instead of secretly hoping the guy you are playing with hits his drive into the pond, you cheer for him when he his drive is straight and long. Instead of ridiculing him when he hits a putt like his sister, you help him find the line and see the breaks. Instead of quietly praying he buries gets stuck in a sand trap, you applaud him as he sticks his approach shot close to the pin. It is a team effort. The team is what’s important. The success of the team is what matters. Even if your team goes away empty handed you still feel like a winner because you competed as a team.


Jesus talked quite a lot about teamwork. He never used golf analogies, or baseball stories, or winning one for the Gipper. He did however, talk about sacrifice, surrender, and treating others like you would like them to treat you. His ministry involved Kingdom building, tearing down barriers, and being known for loving each other. He assembled a team made of losers and outcasts. He demonstrated His conviction by enduring the mockery of a trial and dying on a cross for the sins of the world.


His followers continued His teaching as they sold their possessions and pooled their resources. They wrote of considering other’s interests more important than your own, the value of meeting together, forgiving one another, and laying down one’s life for your friends. Through their teachings the Kingdom has grown, faith communities have been established, and through the ages millions of believers have been added to the fellowship.


The Scriptures teach of the fellowship of all believers, the unity of the Spirit, and oneness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. His followers strive to imitate His devotion to one another and to continue to increase His Kingdom.


Since it is the dead of winter there won’t be much team golf for a while (or any golf for that matter), but the opportunity to team up with fellow believers for the purpose of glorifying God, demonstrating His love, and helping others live like Jesus is always in season.


As we begin a new year let me encourage you to give up the quest to be the MVP. Join the team. Encourage the team. Become a team player. Get involved in a local church. Join a small group. Make a commitment to your family. Do it for the team. The team needs you. And, you need the team.


Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2011. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 27 Dec 2010, 3:34 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

A Norvell Note

Vol. 13 No. 51 December 27, 2010

The Last Week

We are down to the last week of the year. What will you do with it?

All those things you planned to do this year? You have less than a week to get them done. All those New Year’s Resolutions you made a year ago? Do you remember them? Did you accomplish them? Any of them? All of them? Lost your list? Will your New Year’s list of Resolutions look the same as it did last year?

But wait. We’re getting ahead of ourselves. We still have a few days left in this year. This year is not over. The ball has not yet dropped in Times Square. What will you do with the time you have left? Let me offer a few suggestions for this last week of the year.

Call that person you’ve been meaning to call. You know the person I am talking about. You’ve been thinking about her all year…maybe even longer. You have been meaning to get in touch with her, but somehow it always gets bumped off your To Do list. Do it this week.

Send that letter. You know the one. The letter you have intended to write to your Mom. The letter you have always said you were going to write to your Dad. The letter you need to write to your son, the letter your daughter has longed to receive. The letter that describes how much you love her, how much he has meant to you, and how much they have taught you. Write the letter this week.

Have the conversation. You know the conversation I am talking about. The conversation with the person you once considered your best friend. The best friend you have not talked with in years. The conversation where you say those words you have wanted to say, but have been unable to say. You know the words. “I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me? I’ve missed you.” Have the conversation this week.

Let go of the junk. You know the junk I’m talking about. The bitterness. The guilt. The shame. The anger. The resentment. The hatred. The hurt. The grudge. Get rid of it. It may require a call. It may require a letter. It may require a conversation. It may require the words, “I forgive you.” It may require the words, “I forgive me.”

One more thing you might consider doing this week. Find a quiet place and read John 17. Especially verse 24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

As you read it think about the fact during the last days and hours of Jesus’ life, He was thinking about you and me, and He was thinking about being with us.

Make the most of this last week of the year.

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Tue 21 Dec 2010, 9:51 pm

Nothing serious. One of those twenty-four hour bugs that pretty well knocked me out. Thanks for the notes and calls. I received as many comments from that short note as I usually receive after a full article. Hmmmm... Thanks again. And, by the way, thanks for reading my Notes.]

A Norvell Note

Vol. 13 No. 50 December 20, 2010

God With Us


All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us." (Matthew 1:22-23, NIV)


Jesus came to be with us. The Message says, "The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood." (John 1:14)


God came to be with us. Isaiah said, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me...he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners." (Isaiah 61:1) Jesus used those same words when He announced the beginning of His ministry (Luke 4:18-19).


He came to be with us. What a thought!

This week family and friends will gather in homes, restaurants, hotels, retreat sites, and churches to be with one another. Beneath all the coming and going, the buying and wrapping, the eating and cleaning, the talking and napping, is the desire to be with people we love. Being with people is perhaps the major reason for the joy of the season.

The flip side to that is that a major reason for sadness and depression during the season is not being able to be with the ones you love. Soldiers, families of soldiers, firemen, police officers, medical professionals, and all those who "keep things running" will miss being with the ones they love. The families of these same people, as well as the families of those who have died will find it hard to sleep and smile because of the emptiness they feel due to the void of not being with those people they love.

We live in an age when we have such amazing technology that enables us to connect with one another. We can Text, email, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, make phone calls, and I understand some people still do handwritten letters. However, nothing compares with actually being with them. Seeing them face-to-face. Looking into their eyes. Touching them. Holding their hand. Putting your arms around them. Sitting with them across a dinner table or in a living room. There is nothing like being with the people you love.

God obviously knew this when He sent His one and only Son to earth to be with us. He knew we needed more than a 140-character tweet to get the full measure of His presence. He knew that an "online chat" was not sufficient. He knew that when we go through the difficulties of life we need Him to be with us. We need Him to be in the same room, in our hearts, in our minds, and in our words. We need Him to be with us. He knew, even before we knew, so He sent Jesus, "Immanuel," to be with us.

As you gather with your loved ones this week don't miss the opportunity to tell them how much it means for them to be with you. Don't ignore how much your presence means to them. And, please remember to thank the God above for coming to earth to be with us.


I hope you feel His presence this week and every week. Merry Christmas. God is with us.


Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Tue 14 Dec 2010, 12:27 am

NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

A Norvell Note
Vol. 13 No. 49 December 13, 2010
How We Live
About this time almost every year I receive a Christmas gift in the mail. It is the same gift every year: A book (or multiple books) and a Starbucks card. It does not get much better than that. I have learned that the book this person sends me is usually one that contains a message that God intends for me to read. Although I have done nothing more than read the words on the jacket cover, I suspect this one is no exception. The book is: The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn't Exist by Craig Groeschel.
I had seed the book advertised and thought the title sounded interesting and that at some point I might want to read it. I plan to dive in as soon as I can. For not the title has me intrigued.
The question that immediately pops into my head is: Do we live as if God exists? Then, I quickly change the question to: Do I live as if God exists? Do I? Do you?
I say I do. I claim to believe in Him. I proudly wear His name and proclaim my allegiance to Him and to His Kingdom. I encourage others to follow Him and trust Him and believe in Him. I cringe when I hear someone deny that He exists. I say all that. But, do I really live like I believe He is?
I read books that encourage my belief, strengthen my faith, and offer suggestions on how I should live. I write articles about Him, what He means to me, and what He can do for you. I preach sermons on what He has done, what is capable of doing, and what He is willing to do if we will only allow Him to have complete control of us. I attend conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures, and meetings all designed to enhance my walk with him. But, do I actually live like I believe that He is who He claims to be?
How many of my decisions are made, based not on the fact that I am a child of the One who created the whole universe, but on the fears that I have over what may happen or what may not happen?
How many days and nights do I spend planning and manipulating my world (or trying to manipulate it), and the world of those close to me, so that I am assured that I am in control of what happens, that I am not caught off guard, and that everything will work out just as I want it to?
How much time do I spend fretting over mistakes I have made, wishing I could un-do what I have done, and trying to "fix" all the things I have messed up?
How often do I find myself holding on to anger, frustration, perhaps even some form of hatred, toward people who have wronged me?
If that is how I live, where is the proof that I believe in God? Where is the faith? Where is the acceptance of His mercy and grace? Where is that grace extended to others? Where do I find my strength?
Several years ago another friend brought this verse (John 5:44) to my attention, "How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?"
Here's the question to wrestle with? Are you living in a way that shows that you believe in the living God?
If you'll excuse me, I have a new book to read.
Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 06 Dec 2010, 11:56 am

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

A Norvell Note

Vol. 13 No. 48 December 6, 2010

Sometimes Some Things Do Not Change
Much of our world is in a constant state of change. However, there are some things that never change.

Sometimes the treatment does not work and the patient does not get better.

Sometimes the prodigal does not come home.

Sometimes the working conditions do not improve.

Sometimes the attitude stays the same.

Sometimes the marriage falls apart.

Sometimes the finances do not improve.

Sometimes the division cannot be mended.

Sometimes the broken heart cannot be healed.

Sometimes the grief does not end.

Sometimes the loneliness does not stop.

Sometimes the disappointment is too great.

Sometimes the person does not forgive you.

Sometimes no matter how hard or how much you pray things do not change.

When Jesus was in the garden He "...fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.'" (Matthew 26:39, NIV)

Paul struggled with some malady he called "a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan," Later he says, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' (2 Co 12:7-10, NIV)

So, what are we to do when things don't change?

When Jesus realized that nothing was going to change he said, "Yet not as I will, but as you will.'" (Matthew 26:39, NIV)

When Paul realized nothing was going to change he wrote, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Co 12:7-10, NIV)

When things do not change. Hang on to God. Surrender to His will. Rely on His strength to get you through.

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 29 Nov 2010, 11:17 am

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

A Norvell Note

Vol. 13 No. 47 November 29, 2010

Sometimes Things Change Slowly

Just as surely as some things can change in an instant, with a single phone call or with one word, some things take much longer to change.

Changing an attitude can take a long time. If you have been reared in a culture of prejudice and hatred toward people who are different from you (ethnically, racially, religiously, socially), you may have already discovered how difficult it is to outgrow those feelings of hatred and prejudice. Don't give up. Give people a chance. Ignore the color of their skin. Forget about their accent. Just love them.

If you have been abused, hurt, or taken advantage of to such an extent that your trust has been damaged and your confidence in people has been weakened, you are probably aware of the fact that getting beyond that hurt is taking longer that you ever dreamed it would take. It starts with forgiveness. Forgiveness will take time. It will be difficult. It will not make sense sometimes. Stay with it. It will be worth it.

If you have experienced loss (death, divorce, betrayal) you have already learned that the healing process takes longer than we expect and much longer that we prefer. We want to get beyond our grief immediately, if we have to deal with it at all. You need to allow yourself to grieve. But grief must do the work that grief does. Don't stop it. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to cry. It's normal to feel angry at times. It will get better.

Breaking a habit can be a slow process. I've heard people who have not had a cigarette in twenty years admit that the still experience the craving as strong as ever when the stress level rises, when they get a whiff of someone else's smoke, or after a good meal. Those addicted to alcohol, food, or pornography share similar struggles. And if you have ever struggled with the use of bad language, even though it was years ago, you may still need to control the urge to "let if fly" when you are cut off in traffic, encounter an interference or interruption to your plans, or misplace your keys. Some things change slowly. With persistence, a lot of prayer, moving at a little slower pace, and encouragement from people who love us a lot of progress can be made.

Traditions change slowly (if they can be changed at all). If you know what I'm talking about there is no need for explanation. If you don't know what I'm talking about there is probably no explanation that will make sense. If you do know what I'm talking about, no explanation is needed. Churches change slowly. With patience, lots of understanding, and good listening skills can go along way toward the growth process.

Relationships that have been damaged cannot always be healed quickly. It may take a lot of time, a lot of energy, and a lot of understanding. Relationships that have been severed may even take a lot longer to restore. But, the proper care and attention the brokenness can be mended.

Some things change slowly. Some things change in the blink of an eye. Change is a part of being alive and part of being God's creation. Change can be frightening. Change can make us feel that the world around us is shanking and about to crumble. But remember we are part of "A kingdom that cannot be shaken."

"The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken-that is, created things-so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'" (Hebrews 12:27-29, NIV)

With the assurance that God is always near, always kind, always gracious, always just, and always loving we can embrace the changes we face with confidence and hope.

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 22 Nov 2010, 2:12 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com


A Norvell Note

Vol. 13 No. 46 November 22, 2010

Things Can Change Quickly

It started out to be a quiet day at the office. A good hot cup of coffee. Light enjoyable conversation with co-workers. Scanning the latest delivery of junk mail. Taking care of the matters at hand. Then, the phone rang.

You know that ring, don't you? You have received a call like that, haven't you?

You have received a call like that the day your friend was in the accident. That was the day that changed the course of the rest of your life. That was the day that causes you to you wake up in the middle of the night hoping you were having a nightmare.

You have received a call like that from your sister telling you that the doctor had just left your mother's room after saying, "There's nothing more we can do." She had been sick and you knew it was serious. But there was always the hope that the treatment would help.

You have received a call like that in the middle of the night informing you that you son was in a coma in an emergency room in another city several hours away. You reason, "This is the sort of thing that happens to other people. It's not supposed to happen to me."

You have received a call like that on September 11, when the person on the other end of the call said, "Turn on your television!"

Or, maybe it was a conversation.

You have had a conversation like that when your daughter said, "Dad, I think I met the man I am going to marry."

You have had a conversation like that when your boyfriend planned a special evening for just the two of you, and at the perfect moment got down on one knee, showed you a ring and said, "Will you marry me?" And you said, "Yes!"

You have had a conversation like that when you stood before the gathering of family and friends and said, "I do."

You have had a conversation like that when your wife came into the room holding a strange looking device and said, "We're going to have a baby!"

You have had a conversation like that when your husband of twenty-one years came home from work early to pack his bags and say, "I'm leaving for a business trip, and when I come back, I'm not coming home."

You have had a conversation when you found yourself in a counselor's office saying, "It just happened. We didn't plan to fall in love."

You have had a conversation like that when your boss called you into her office and said, "We have to make some tough decisions. Your position with the company is being eliminated. I'm sorry."

You have had a conversation when your best friend invites you to lunch to soften the blow of her news, "My husband has taken a new job in another city, in another state, in another time zone, and we have to be there in two weeks."

Things can change quickly, can't they? You know. You have been there. Or, perhaps you are there. You received one of those phone calls over the weekend. You had one of those conversations last night. Within a few seconds, with only a few words, "in the twinkling of an eye" everything changed.

Paul talked about things changing fast in 1 Corinthians 15: 50-54 (NIV), "I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory.'"

James talked about it, "Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (James 4:13-17, NIV),

The letter to the Hebrews includes these words, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8, NIV)

Things can change quickly. Sometimes it is a good change. Sometimes it is a bad change. Regardless, the change comes quickly. Since we live in a world that is filled with moments when things can change so quickly, it is good to remember that we have a God who does not change, a God who is constant, a God who is always true, a God who is always loving and just, and a God who is always absolutely forgiving and always forgives absolutely. In a world where things can change quickly, that is a reason to be thankful.

As you enjoy the traditions, reflect on the memories of those you love, and create new memories take time to remember and be thankful that a God who never changes loves you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 15 Nov 2010, 12:52 pm

A Norvell Note
Vol. 13 No. 45 November 15, 2010
Things Have Changed

There was a day when the preacher wore a suit every Sunday, and at least a coat and tie to the office during the week. There was a time when every church staff member did the same. There were no female staff members.
There was a day when men did not serve the congregation unless they were wearing coats and ties. There was a time when if you had a beard or if your hair was touching the collar of your shirt, you were not allowed to serve in any public capacity.
There was time when ladies were asked not to wear slacks to church. There was a time when it was unheard of for anyone to wear shorts to church for a mid-week service, a Sunday night service, and no one would have ever thought about it on Sunday morning.
There was time when you knew that when the service began you would sing two songs (led by one person), a prayer, two more songs, maybe a Scripture reading (King James Version only), another song and the Lord's Supper and offering, a sermon, an invitation song, a closing song, and a prayer. Almost any church you visited the order was pretty much the same.
When someone made a public response to the invitation they sat alone on the front pew until a somewhat vague statement explaining the purpose for their response was read by one of the elders, a prayer was offered on their behalf.
There was a time when weddings were serious business. The occasion was very formal. The rehearsal was often a stiff and somber event. Vows were traditional and read by the minister. The pronouncement was made, and the couple left the auditorium to the tune of the traditional music.
Things have changed. Have you noticed?
"How formal is the rehearsal dinner?" Asked the preacher. "I've told people to wear church clothes." Answered the bride. When the preacher arrived in his slacks, sweater vest, and sport coat he found most of the wedding party dressed in slacks, jeans, sweatshirts, and sneakers.
After exchanging the pleasantries of, "How's your week? Is school going okay? And I hope you have a good rest of the week." The teenager said to the preacher: "You look cool. You always look cool. You look like...well...a preacher." The preacher was wearing jeans, loafers, and a V-neck sweater.
The young man walked to the podium to lead the opening prayer wearing baggy cargo pants, a tee shirt from the last youth retreat, and flip-flops. He shared a humorous story about what happened to him as he thought about what he should pray, said a very nice prayer, and returned to his seat.
After having been away from college for much of the year the young black man showed up at the mostly white church one Sunday wearing dock-siders, shorts, and a starched pink button-down shirt, and a tie.
The elder stood before the congregation to share prayer request, make announcements and offer a prayer. He wore jeans, boots, had tattoos on both arms, and a ponytail.
Things have changed. Have you noticed?
Is this a good thing? It seems to be. What the old way wrong? Not necessarily. But, maybe we are beginning to understand a little better what Jesus was trying to get us to understand when He said,
"I did one miraculous thing a few months ago, and you're still standing around getting all upset, wondering what I'm up to. Moses prescribed circumcision-originally it came not from Moses but from his ancestors-and so you circumcise a man, dealing with one part of his body, even if it's the Sabbath. You do this in order to preserve one item in the Law of Moses. So why are you upset with me because I made a man's whole body well on the Sabbath? Don't be nitpickers; use your head-and heart!-to discern what is right, to test what is authentically right." (John 7:21-24, The Message)
The New International Version says, "Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly."
The King James Version says, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
Maybe we are beginning to understand that what is in the heart means more than how things, and people, look on the outside. Maybe we are discovering that it's not about one way being right and another way being wrong. Maybe it's about loving people where they are and how they are, and helping them fall in love with Jesus. Maybe it's about treating people like Jesus would treat them.
Things have changed. Have you noticed?

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 08 Nov 2010, 1:11 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com


A Norvell Note
Vol. 13 No. 44 November 8, 2010
Memories, Daydreams, Prayers, and Rejoicing
As part of a recent visit to an area where we once lived (and as is often the case on such trips) I drove through the familiar communities and neighborhoods where we spend most of our time. Because it was a short visit I did not have time to really connect with a lot of people so I did only a brief driving tour. Needless to say it was drive down memory lane. I passed by the house where we once lived. I drove past the schools where our children were educated. I drove past the church where I once preached. I drove past a couple of our favorite restaurants. I passed the hospital where our daughter was born. I stopped at a familiar coffee shop. I got out and looked around at a park. I drove past the tree we always called "The Beautiful Tree." I took a few pictures. As I drove I remembered.
I remembered what it was like to live when we lived there. I remembered the people who have now passed away and I remembered their funerals. I remembered the weddings I had performed and weddings I attended. I remembered the sunsets. I remembered how beautiful the area is in the fall, and in the spring, and in the winter, and even in the summer. I remembered conversations I had with my children, with my wife, with friends. I remembered watching my son play football and basketball. I remembered playing basketball with him in the driveway. I remembered pushing my daughter in her swing and hearing her say, "Push me, Daddy." I remembered the familiar voices on the radio. As I drove I remembered, and I daydreamed.
I daydreamed about what it would be like to walk the neighborhood again. I daydreamed about how nice it was to run through the neighborhood. I daydreamed about running. I daydreamed about what it would be like to live in that community now. I daydreamed about what our lives would be like if we had never left that area. As I drove I remembered, I daydreamed, and I prayed.
I prayed for the widow who lived down that road. I prayed for the couples whose weddings I performed in that building. I prayed for the families I counseled in that office. I prayed for doctors and nurses who ministered to our family in times of sickness. I prayed for other preachers in other churches I had labored with and enjoyed true fellowship with. I prayed for folks who were sad when we left, and I prayed for the folks who were glad when we left (I will not reveal what I prayed). I prayed for the teachers and coaches who influenced our children. I prayed prayers of thanksgiving for the people, for the blessings, for the struggles, for the victories, for the experience that taught me so much, and I thanked God for the tree. I remembered, I daydreamed, I prayed, and I rejoiced.
I rejoiced over what God did in, with, and through us while we were there. I rejoiced over how God ministered to us, with us, and through so many other people. I rejoiced over how God had changed us during those years. I rejoiced over dreams that came through. I rejoiced over some dreams that did not come true. I rejoiced over the fact that God had His arms securely wrapped around us protecting us, His hands gently holding us, and His Spirit constantly leading us. I rejoiced over being able to remember, to daydream, to pray, and to rejoice.
As I drove, I remembered, I daydreamed, I prayed, I rejoiced, I thought of this verse from Joel 2:28 (NIV):
"And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
After I had driven, after I had remembered, after I had daydreamed, after I had prayed, after I had rejoiced, after I thought of this verse from Joel I realized that I am somewhere in the middle of that verse. I am blessed to be able to speak for God on a regular basis. I delighted that I have dreams that have come true and other dreams that will come true. And I am thrilled about the visions that I see that God is already preparing to bring to reality.
Here's a suggestion. Regardless of whether you have a chance to return to your old neighborhood, or if you have lived in the same house, in the same neighborhood, and in the same hometown all your life, take a few minutes to look around. Take delight in your memories. Spend a little time daydreaming about what could have been, would have been, or will be. Say a prayer for your neighbors and friends. And rejoice over what God has done, is doing, and what He will do in you, with you, for you, and through you. Then, enjoy the life you have been given.
I hope you have a nice journey.
Tom
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 01 Nov 2010, 1:59 pm

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com

A Norvell Note

Vol. 13 No. 43 November 1, 2010

A Few Things That I Find Interesting

What follows is a series of thoughts, events, experiences, truths, and perhaps as much as anything rather random ideas that I have collected by watching, listening, observing, and noticing what goes on as we make our way through this thing we call life. Some are difficult for me to comprehend. Some are difficult for me accept. Some could be categorized as paradox (a statement, proposition, or situation that seems to be absurd or contradictory, but in fact is or may be true). Some would be classified as irony (humor based on opposites). Regardless of how you may classify them here are a few things that I find interesting.
I find it interesting how often wisdom comes from the mouth of a child, and foolishness comes from the mouth of an adult.
I find it interesting that two comedians while speaking (or performing) before an audience of thousands can make wise, intelligent, and logical suggestions that if they were followed would make the world a better place; and that we live in a country that gives them the freedom to do so.
I find it interesting, and sad, that a minister is front-page news because he is being charged with multiple accounts of assault against his neighbor.
I find it terribly disappointing that the lead story on the evening news quite often involves an abandoned puppy, or a mistreated cat, while the story of a double murder comes after the third commercial.
I find it increasingly more difficult to tolerate when a politician asks that I believe he is trustworthy, responsible, credible and a person of great integrity by listing negative qualities of his opponent.
I find it interesting in a way that I cannot fully comprehend that one of the most beautiful sections brightly colored fall foliage in our community is located only a few hundred feet from the school for the blind.
I find it interesting that a professional athlete making millions of dollars a year playing a game that requires extreme discipline and intense self-control is arrested for drunken and disorderly conduct at a local bar.
I find it interesting that Jesus said so many things that seem strange, illogical, odd, and almost nonsensical, and that the longer I live the more I realize how true they are. Things like: "You must be born again before you can have life." "Before you can be born again you must die." "To live you must die." "For a seed to grow it must be buried and die." When speaking to religious leaders he said, "You must become like little children, because the kingdom belongs to such as these." "The first will be last; the last will be first." "The rich must be poor." "The strong must become weak." "The Kingdom belongs to those who surrender." "Blessed are the poor in spirit." "Kingdom life is made up a series of simple events such as giving a cup of cold water to someone who is thirsty, sharing a kind word, offering a helping hand, or taking time to listen to the heart of a fellow human."
More than any other thoughts I find it absolutely amazing and completely humbling that the God who created the Universe has invited me to be in relationship with Him.
"Jesus loves me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so."
Tom
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Oct 2010, 9:05 am

A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
- http://www.anorvellnote.com


A Norvell Note
Vol. 13 No. 42 October 25, 2010
Looking For A Familiar Face
I am writing from the waiting area (some call it Starbucks) in the airport while I wait for friends to arrive. The only thing that separates me from the arriving passengers is a clear glass wall. I am sitting only a few feet from the exit of the secure area for arriving flights. Several people have gathered and are looking down the long terminal corridor toward the gates hoping to see a familiar face. As weary travelers pass by my vantage point they too are looking longingly for the face of their spouse, their parents, their children, their friend, or their co-worker who has agreed to meet them and transport them to their home or temporary destination. I, too, am waiting to see the familiar faces of our friends.
There are other times when we long to see a familiar face.
When your child is on stage, on the court, or on the field, they long to see your familiar face in the auditorium, or in the bleachers.
When you start a new job you search the faces of your new co-workers hoping that you see a familiar face.
When you move to a new school you search the faces of your new classmates hoping that you will see a familiar face.
When you walk into a new church you search the faces of the worshippers hoping to see a familiar face.
When you attend your 40th High School Reunion you search the faces of people you know were once classmates hoping to find a face that looks familiar. (The problem then becomes remembering the name of the person you think you recognize.)
When you have a child who has traveled to a far country, you pray for their safe return, and you search the faces of every young man you see hoping to one day see the face of your son.
I wonder if our Father does the same. Do you suppose He looks down upon the assemblies of His children hoping to see our face? Do you suppose He ever looks into the homeless communities hoping to see the familiar faces of His people handing out food, or water, or clothing? Do you suppose He looks down the hall toward the Intensive Care Unit waiting room hoping to see our faces as we sit with a friend, listen to a neighbor, and pray with a wife?
Matthew 25:31-46 strongly suggests that He does.
These words, attributed to Bob Rowland, are as convicting today as they were when I first heard them decades ago.

Listen Christian,
I was hungry
And you formed a humanities club
And discussed my hunger.
Thank you.

I was imprisoned
And you crept off quietly
To your chapel in the cellar
And prayed for my release.

I was naked,
And in your mind
You debated the morality
Of my appearance.

I was sick
And you knelt and thanked God
For your health.

I was homeless
And you preached to me
Of the spiritual shelter
Of the Love of God.

I was lonely
And you left me alone
to pray for me.

You seem so holy;
So close to God.
But I’m still very hungry,
And lonely, and cold…

Will God see your face in these familiar places?

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2010. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 58823
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

A Norvell Note Because We Are Human - Page 14 Empty Re: A Norvell Note Because We Are Human

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 14 of 17 Previous  1 ... 8 ... 13, 14, 15, 16, 17  Next

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum