Tag: strength

Stolen Blessings

By: G.J. Fortier

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So, when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4 (NIV)

Are you a thief? No? Okay, but … are you sure?

I’m not here to judge, but don’t think for a second that if I saw you snag a Snickers bar at the convenience store, or I knew for a fact that you were cheating on your taxes, that I wouldn’t say something to you about it! Now, I’m not a snitch, and I’m not going to “anonymously” tattle on you to anyone about your transgressions. Let’s be real, I don’t have to anyway, because the God of the universe(s) knows everything you do anyway, right? But that’s not the kind of thief I’m asking if you are. I’m asking if you’re robbing others of their blessings. Are you the kind of person who doesn’t ask for help? Or worse, will you tell someone who offers to help you “no” because you’re too proud to admit that it would go much easier and smoother for you if you accepted? Maybe you think that when life gives you lemons, it’s your responsibility to suck-it-up and eat them, rind and all, no matter how bad it tastes because you deserve to be punished for … whatever it is that you did at the convenience store when you were 12.

But like I said, we’re not talking about that.


Where is your Strength?

By: G.J. Fortier

“I said to the one standing before me, ‘I am overcome with anguish because of the vision my lord, and I feel very weak. How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe.’

Again, the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. ‘Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed’, he said, ‘Peace! Be strong now, be strong.’”

“When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.’” Daniel 10:16-19 (NIV)

Many years ago, when I was in my twenties, I was at a friend’s apartment playing Dungeons & Dragons—yes, I played D&D when I was younger … and may again considering the state of what’s considered “entertainment” that they’re pumping out over the airwaves these days—with a group of my friends when something very unusual occurred. There came a frantic knock on the door. Outside, the knocker screamed, “Call 911! Call 911! The apartment across the street


Hard Times

By: G.J. Fortier

Take a look around you. What do you see?

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)

It’s undeniable. Almost everywhere you look around the world, it’s easy to spot all of the above.

What about this?

“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars … Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 24:6-7

And this?

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,” Matthew 24:9-13

And what about this?

“Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

And this?

“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name …” Matthew 24:4 (NIV)

And this?

“… but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved …” Matthew 24:13 (NIV)

Sure, there are numerous things that, if we choose to dwell upon them, can take the wind straight out of our sails … if we let them. There are many who might look at what’s happening in the world today as signs of “the end times”, whatever that is. But I say that things like what’s happening around us, or something very similar, have happened throughout history, over and over again. I ask you, within the past 1¼ century, how many wars have been fought around the Earth?

Well, let’s see …


The Little Things

By: G.J. Fortier

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)

Okay, okay, I know that the verse above is in sharp contrast to the title of this article, The little things, because the verses in Psalm 23 are some of the most powerful in the entire Bible.

That’s why I chose them to start this.

With everything that’s going on in the world today, it’s easy to get caught up in the—I hesitate to use the word hysteria … but I can’t think of a more appropriate one, so—hysteria and forget about … you guessed it … the little things. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have. I’ve gotten caught up in the fear and speculation of the end results of the turmoil we’re witnessing … well … everywhere we look. There doesn’t seem to be any way to get away from the bad news, conflict, and violence. But I’m here to remind you that there absolutely is. Are you ready? Here it is: