Posted by: richardpowell2013 | May 2, 2017

My Life’s Work

Unforsaken

untitledWhen most people talk about what their life’s work is, it usually involves a business they have opened that they have spent years preparing for. Sometimes they will use this phrase after they have written their thesis, or have received some sort of accolade or community award or something. This morning, I was meditating on what my life’s work is, my loved ones and family.

As I stood in the driveway like I do every morning, praying over my family as Tommy walks Eli to the bus stop, I watched my bluebird who lives in my front tree, do his morning driveway cross from one tree to the other. I watched my dog Tyco stand guard under her tree, and count Eli’s feet as they step up the steps to the bus, as she stares down the 3 squirrels that come out each morning to torture here and tempt her to…

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Posted by: richardpowell2013 | February 19, 2017

Unshakeable Faith

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Daniel 1:1-20

Daniel had unshakeable faith. His trust in the Lord sustained him when he was uprooted from his home, taken into captivity, and sent to a foreign country. It strengthened him as he served under several kings and faced many challenges.

Knowing God and trusting Him are the two key elements of deep faith. Daniel, who was part of the Israelite nobility, apparently learned about the Lord from a young age. While he was in captivity, his words and actions demonstrated that he knew the Scriptures and wanted to obey God. When offered a meal that was incompatible with the dietary laws, he took a great risk by requesting other food. In verse 9 of today’s passage, we see that God caused the official to show favor to him. Like Daniel, we are to spend our lives learning and carrying out what pleases our heavenly Father (Col. 1:10).

Not…

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Posted by: richardpowell2013 | December 18, 2016

When God Closes a Door

This blog really spoke to me and I had to share.

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Acts 16:1-15

Have you ever prayed about a situation, felt confident of God’s will, and made your plans, only to discover the door has suddenly slammed shut? Maybe it was relocation to another city, a relationship leading toward marriage, or a job opportunity that seemed so promising. Whatever the situation, the result was confusion, disappointment, and maybe even despair. What was God doing?

Paul and Silas had a similar experience on their second missionary journey. After originally intending to visit previous church plants, they instead decided to move into new territory with the gospel. But the Holy Spirit forbade them from going into Asia (modern-day Turkey). So they went north to Mysia with the intention of heading east to Bithynia. Yet once again the Holy Spirit closed the door.

At that point, they may have wondered why God would prevent them from preaching the gospel. After all, hadn’t Jesus given…

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Posted by: richardpowell2013 | October 30, 2016

God’s Call to Repentance

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Luke 15:11-24

In the parable of the prodigal son, the younger brother asked for his inheritance early so he might live as he chose. Once the father gave him his share, the young man made many unwise choices that led to hunger and destitution. What happened next illustrates the principles of godly repentance.

After squandering all of his money, the wayward son found work feeding pigs, a bottom-of-the-barrel kind of job. One day he came to his senses and recognized his terrible plight. His repentance began with an awareness of his wrong choices and the fact that his bad situation was due to them.

Knowing that his difficulties came from unrighteous behavior, the prodigal grieved over his mistakes and acknowledged his sin (Luke 15:18). He declared he was no longer worthy to be his father’s son. Godly sorrow and confession led the young man to leave that place and go…

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Posted by: richardpowell2013 | September 11, 2016

Tramp for the Lord 

Joanie could scarcely believe her eyes. The woman speeding along the Los Angeles freeway next to her balanced a cup of coffee and a cigarette in one hand and ignored her three children bouncing around in the back seat. At that moment, Joanie longed to quit her job and move to the mountains. She prayed, “Lord, I’m tired of this fast-paced life. Can I get off this merry-go-round?”
Maybe life in the fast lane doesn’t appeal to you anymore either. You’re tired. You need a break. Maybe you’re thinking of buying a nice little cabin with a fireplace, a cat and a rocking chair. Anywhere but here, Lord,<.i> you think. But what does God think?
Following her release from Ravensbruck concentration camp, Corrie ten Boom purchased a house called Schapendunien and turned it into a home for disabled people and ex-prisoners. She thought that was where God wanted her to settle down. But in late 1945, she began to sense that God wanted her to travel to the United States to tell her story. So she crossed the Atlantic and became what she described as a “tramp for the Lord.” It wasn’t until 1977, when she suffered a stroke, that she finally retired to a home in Orange, California. Choosing to follow God’s leading rather than her own comfort level, Corrie ten Boom maintained an itinerant lifestyle of travel for Christ.
You may be facing unbearable pressures in your daily life, pressures you think will get better if you settle down in a peaceful location of your choice. But God showed the Israelites that he chooses our paths. He gave them a visible reminder of his presence to guide them: a cloud by day and a fire by night. When the cloud lifted, they set out; when it stopped, they camped. God’s sign in the sky marked their course and set the pace. By looking up, the Israelites discovered that the Lord ordained the movements of his people; God saying “no” was just as important as God saying “go.” God alone knew the reasons for the journey, the unseen dangers ahead and the ultimate purpose beyond each move.
God ordered the lives of the Israelites. And he’ll order yours if you will let him. If you need to know which way to turn, look up.

Posted by: richardpowell2013 | August 21, 2016

Exposing False Teachers

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Matthew 7:15-20

New Testament writers warned about false teachings that sounded good but defied truth (2 Tim. 4:3; 1 John 4:1). Believers today must still heed these warnings! Ungodly leaders subtly twist truth with such conviction that unprepared Christians can be charmed by their lies. That’s why the Bible instructs us to evaluate the message of whoever desires to lead us (Matt. 7:20).

False teachers are deceptive. Verse 15 of today’s passage describes them as wolves in sheep’s clothing. They appear to want people to know the “real” truth about God, but their interpretation of Scripture may contain outright lies or a distorted mix of fact and error. Wise believers study God’s Word, so they can detect a “sheepskin” starting to slip. The wolves are further exposed by their personal lives, which won’t be consistent with righteousness (Matt. 7:16). A close study of their decisions, actions, and words will reveal…

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Posted by: richardpowell2013 | August 14, 2016

The Storms of Life

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Genesis 50:15-21

When life gets hard, we tend to get upset and wonder how soon the difficulty will end. But God wants us to focus on Him in times of trouble. As we do, we will discover that He is doing important spiritual work during these “storms.”

Beliefs. The Bible contains what we need to know about our life in Christ. When circumstances are beyond our control, what we really believe will surface. The depth of our faith in God’s character and promises will become evident, as will any doubts or uncertainties we may have. For example, Joseph revealed strong belief when he acknowledged that God intended his hardships for his good (Gen. 50:20). There will be times when we don’t succeed—like Peter, whose fear led to denying Christ (John 18:25-27)—but we should think of trials as opportunities to grow and deepen our faith.

Transformation. As God’s children, we are…

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Posted by: richardpowell2013 | August 2, 2016

Conclusion of “The Rest of the Story”

High Voltage Disciples: A Wife's Perspective

Emma, Sal’s wife, came to the hospital to pick us up and take us back to the hotel after Richard’s second hyperbaric chamber treatment.  She offered to take me shopping after dropping Richard off at the hotel. We needed clothes.  I only brought one change of clothes for each of us because we left Matangi in such a hurry and I had no idea how long we would be gone.  I did laundry in the sink but we still needed more clothes.  It felt good to get out and do something normal like shopping.  Emma took me to a mall in the business district and I shopped.  It was great.

Laundry day in the hotel. View from our hotel room. Laundry day in the hotel.

View from our hotel room View from our hotel room

Friday was day three in Suva which meant two more hours in the chamber.  Richard and I took our first taxi ride to the hospital. Dr. Luke was supposed to…

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Posted by: richardpowell2013 | August 1, 2016

Part 3 of “The Rest of the Story”

High Voltage Disciples: A Wife's Perspective

An hour later we landed in Suva and Richard was transported into another ambulance.  This ambulance had to be 40 years old.  This time there was no room for me in the front so I rode in the back with Ming and Richard.  We got the full ambulance treatment on the way to the hospital; lights were flashing, siren was going, and the driver was weaving in and out of traffic as if he was in a high speed chase.  Equipment was being tossed around in the ambulance as Ming and I held onto whatever we could find to keep from being thrown around.  As we dodged in and out of traffic I began to think that Richard survived the bends only to die in an ambulance wreck.  Richard later told me that he could not distinguish how the driver was doing but he saw the looks on Ming’s and…

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Posted by: richardpowell2013 | August 1, 2016

Part 2 of The Rest of the Story…

High Voltage Disciples: A Wife's Perspective

Before we left Matangi Christine informed me she had made arrangements for us to meet with some doctors from the United States that were just at their resort and had left the day before to go to Taveuni.  She felt Richard would receive better medical care by seeing the US doctors to get a diagnosis before going to the hospital.

The boat ride to Taveuni was without incident once Richard was finally able to get into the boat.  Upon arriving at the dock in Taveuni the new task became getting Richard out of the boat and up the bank to the transport van.  Richard complained of needing to urinate immediately yet he was unable to do so once given the opportunity.  The van ride to the resort where the doctors were staying was rough and seemed like it took forever.  Especially since we had to stop several times for Richard…

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