Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our next study is...

Windows On Easter by Bill Crowder

Please join us on Wednesday, March 7th as we begin this new study with
The Window of Surprise: Malchus.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Be On The Lookout For Satan

"Be careful!  Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.  Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith.  remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are."  1 Peter 5:8-9

The Devil, he's very sneaky.  You always have to remember this.  He knows when to attack, how to attack and even how to make it look like he's not attacking.

The Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation goes into more detail about 1 Peter 5:8-9.  Here's what it says in the footnotes:

Lions attack sick, young, or straggling animals; they choose victims who are alone or not alert.  Peter warns us to watch out for Satan when we are suffering or being persecuted.  Feeling alone, weak, helpless, and cut off from other believers, so focused on our troubles that we forget to watch for danger, we are especially vulnerable to Satan's attacks.  During times of suffering, seek other Christians for support.  Keep your eyes on Christ and resist the Devil.  Then, says James, "he will flee from you."  (James 4:7)

Attacking a parent of a child with autism can be so easy for Satan.  He knows our weaknesses.  He knows how to plant that tiny little seed, aka doubt, into our heads so we give up.  He knows how powerful our God is and how at any moment of any given time God can heal our children.  Therefore, Satan will do everything in his power to keep us as far away from God's Will as possible.

Here are some examples of how Satan can plant that seed of doubt in our minds, aka lies, that grow and grow and take us further away from God:

1.  My son is not where I thought he would be at this age.  He will never get better.
2.  My child had such a wonderful week than had a huge meltdown this morning.  This will never get easier.
3.  No one knows what I'm going through.
4.  I have no one to talk to who would understand me.
5.  My marriage is failing because of autism.
6.  I am failing as a parent.
7.  My daughter will never talk.
8.  I don't understand why this happened to me?  Why us?
9.  Will my son ever have a friend?
10.  My child will never be able to "catch up" with his peers.

Satan has a way of causing mass confusion in our minds.  Do you know why?  He doesn't want us to hear God speaking to us.  He knows that as long as he has our attention and consumes us with the lies listed above and many more than we are full of worry, doubt, sadness and can't even look up to God.  You see, everything listed above are lies.  They are not true.  Satan knows our weaknesses and where to strike to get us to worry.  One little thought that comes into our head that Satan plants there can us away from God's Will.

What do we do?  How do we, as parents with children with autism, not worry?  Not doubt?  Not constantly think about the future and what it may or may not hold?  We pray.  We take these thoughts that cause worry and give them to God.  We find other Christians that "get autism" and lean on each other and lift each other up and remind each other how powerful God is and He will never, ever leave us.  We read our Bibles.  We remind Satan that he has no control over us and will not ever take control of our lives, our children's lives and the Will that God has for us.  Most importantly, we need to be on the lookout for Satan.  We need to be aware and take notes of when and how he attacks each of us personally.  That way, he can never catch us off guard.

Dear Lord,
We thank yo so much for planting this idea of studying 1 Peter.  It's been a wonderful to hear Peter encourage us all during our times of hardship.  Please help us all have eyes on the lookout for Satan and give us a heart to always lean on each other and always be there for each other.
In Your Name We Pray,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Week's Reading Is....

1 Peter 5: 1-14

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Craving The Storms

Seven years ago I joined an amazing Bible study group that was held weekly at a local church.  I looked forward to Tuesday's when I could see my "group" again and share what God has been placing on my heart.  You see, about a year and a half prior to this group, I had re-dedicated my life to Christ.  In other words, I've always been a Believer just not a really good Follower for Christ.

I'll never forget one Tuesday morning, we just sat down in our little room in the church with our Bibles open ready to share God's word. I can't remember which passage we were discussing, however, I do remember sharing with my friends the fear I was having in regards to Sean's possible diagnosis of autism.  I remember sharing my faith in God and how He will get us all through this.  I remember humbling myself in front of them all in hopes to have some encouragement.  One girl immediately spoke up and shared something that I could not understand at that time.

She said, "I know you are going through a "storm" right now.  Just remember during the storms is when you are closest to God.  He shares with you some incredible blessings during this time.  As crazy as this may sound, when I'm not in a storm or heading into one, I kind of crave the storms."

My response was, "here, take mine.  You can go through this for me."

What I didn't see at that time is what I see now.  My friend was right.  You are closest to God during your storms.  You feel His presence during your struggles more than you do any other time in your life, if you let Him in.

This week's reading reminded of the day my friend told me that she craved the storms.  

"Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world."  1 Peter 4:12-13

In that moment, my friend's faith was so much stronger than mine.  I couldn't see past my own suffering to see the blessings that will come from me getting close to God.  I was "surprised" by my trials instead of being thankful that Christ was beside me to help me through it.  It wasn't the storms themselves that she craved, it was the amazing blessing and closeness that she felt towards God during these times that she craved.

It's important for us to remember what Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12-13.  Let's not be surprised by our sufferings.  Instead, let's seek Christ during these times to help us through them.  Let's always search for that closeness to Christ whether we are in a storm or not.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This Week's Reading Is...

1 Peter 4:12-19