“On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.”
Psalm 138:3 ESV
On the menu bar above, there is a link to my book of daily devotions, “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”. I was speaking about that book with someone who volunteers at Central Union Mission recently, and I was trying to explain exactly what the book represents to me.
“TODAY IS….”, is a deeply personal work in which my relationship with God grew and flourished, and continues to do so today. I like to think there are things to be found within its pages that can benefit us all, but if nothing else it is my attempt to share those personal moments with God that I experienced as I sought answers from Him to questions about how I should have done things, how I should have lived my life and how He could have saved me a lot of time, trouble and turmoil had I only called upon Him sooner.
While this entry into these “Chronicles” is a slight diversion from the actual “Path to Freedom” that constitutes the overarching purpose for this blog, I pray you will all view what is offered here as being similar to a ‘scenic turnout’ which we have all pulled into on our way to a particular destination. While continuing on our journey would have helped us arrive sooner, the momentary pause enhances the overall experience of the journey itself.
Perhaps an occasional stop in “Scenic Turnouts” to explore the pages of “TODAY IS….A Gift From God” will serve a similar purpose.
Our first ‘turnout’ provides us with a look at a poem I wrote, which is found in the front of the book. I think the poem itself describes the purpose of the book perfectly. I hope you enjoy it.
Today is a gift from God,
A day unlike all the rest;
A brand new opportunity
To bring out our very best.
Today is a wondrous thing;
A day full of life on God’s earth;
A day to invest all our love
To make today something of worth.
Today is a chance to inspire,
To worship, to lead, to teach;
To help others searching for truth,
And to show them how high they can reach.
Tony Casson ©2013
Each day truly is a gift from God, full of opportunities to honor Him, to serve Him, and to glorify Him. Each entry in the book attempts to give God glory by demonstrating how the wisdom of the Holy Bible can be used to live lives that show our love for Him by loving others, helping those who cannot help themselves, and by looking to His Word for guidance in living our lives in the manner that all children of God should strive to live.
Our next ‘turnout’ gives us a view of one of my favorite devotions. For no particular reason, it falls on August 14. While I believe all of us can be found in this particular day’s offering, rest assured that I fall into the category of one who allowed everything to be stolen by Satan. While I pray none of you falls into that particular category as well, rest assured, if you do, it is ok. God knows and He can help.
I hope you enjoy it.
the perfect day to take back what has been stolen from us.
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Romans 16:20a NIV
Every single one of us has had something stolen from us by Satan. No one has escaped except for Christ. We all have given in to temptation and we all have sinned and every time we have sinned, we have allowed Satan to take something else from us.
We have been his willing victims.
He has stolen dignity from some of us. From others, he has stolen decency. He has stolen our faithfulness to our spouses and our faith in God. He has stolen our truthfulness, and he has stolen our integrity. We have let him slip away in the darkness with our morality, and we have let him get away unnoticed with our kindness. He has pocketed our happiness, and smashed the windows to our souls and left the space empty. He has cheated us out of our love for ourselves, leaving us unable to love anyone else. He has conned us out of our certainty, leaving us with our doubts.
When we weren’t looking he walked away with our compassion, and left disdain in its place. While he distracted us with self-indulgence, he swiped our desire to help others and replaced it with selfishness. He has stolen our tolerance while trying to convince us that hostility and impatience were better suited to our personalities.
He has stolen our sight, making it impossible to see the pain of others and he has taught us to lie, cheat, and steal while we have hungrily pursued the education.
More than likely, what Satan has stolen from you is somewhere on this list. If not, it needs to be added, because everyone has lost something. Some of us have lost more than one thing, and perhaps more than a few have lost it all. He will try to prevent you from calculating your exact losses. He will try to cloud your judgment, distract you, or take something else from you. He pretends to be the best friend you ever had, but he is – in reality – the biggest danger you have ever faced. He will suck everything good out of you until there is nothing left but your last breath and then he will take that as well.
But the Good News is that today is not going to be like yesterday. Today we are going to take it all back. God has been waiting for today for a very long time, and He is glad that it is here. We must reach out and ask God to take our hand and tell Him we want everything Satan has stolen from us. Today is the perfect day to take it all back, and God is the Perfect One to help us all get it.
From “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”; Tony Casson; ©2013
Well, I hope you enjoyed our little “scenic turnouts”. Until next time, when we continue taking one of our “Thousand First Steps”, may God bless you all and keep you safe.