Tag Archives: God

Being Busy

Being busy can make you feel productive. It can also go too far and take away the down time that we all so desperately need to charge our batteries.

God knew that. It’s one reason He told us to take a day off and rest awhile. Sometimes, though, things come up. Things unplanned that make that day of rest a day of work.

You know something though? It’s for our benefit that we’re supposed to take a time out–not God’s. As much as we try sometimes, we still end up being busy and not getting that necessary time off.

We bought a new house a month and a half ago. It’s been a long time of working twelve-hour days between the house and my daily job. Some of those days have necessarily had to be Sundays. And today was one of them. But what I have steadily come to realize is that there is plenty of room in this walk with Jesus for experiencing His grace in my daily life.  Even when–justified or not–I don’t take the time out that He says is so necessary.

What am I trying to say?  It certainly isn’t His will that I don’t follow a commandment He gave and end up being busy.  But when it happens and I acknowledge it before Him, He’s always faithful to forgive me.  Absolutely nothing can separate me–or you–form His love!  And that’s something to take the time to experience!

Just some thoughts as I wrap up my Sunday…..

Aging Well

Aging well is something that can be hard to do.  When it comes to physical activity, the world is your oyster when you’re in your twenties. Then you find that the older you get, your body takes longer to do what it used to do so quickly.  And it takes longer to recover.

We just bought a new house (new to us anyway) and this weekend was the “Big Move”.  Needless to say, I am very thankful for friends and family!  We had some good help but we were all feeling it by the end of the day Saturday.   As a result, I have noticed a couple of things about aging well that I’d like to quickly share with you.

Because of these recent events, it is in the forefront of my mind that I feel physical exertion more now that I’m older (a very young 46).  Just as significant, I have found that it takes longer for my body to recover from it as well.

The most important observation I have made regarding this concept of aging well would be this:  Aging well is totally a mind game.  I truly mean what I said earlier.  I am a young 46 years old.  How many people consider themselves old at that age?  More than you would think.  How many limit themselves and what they can still do with their lives by what they tell themselves on a daily basis?

It’s a spiritual law that God addresses in the Bible.  There are many scriptures about the power of our thoughts and the words we choose to say.

Think about it.  And change what needs to change in your own life so that you can live as God would have you live.  Healthy and vibrant and free!

Talk to you next time, my friend.

The Immigrant

Have you ever heard the story of the immigrant who came to the New World?  Way back in the horse-and-buggy days, an immigrant decided enough was enough.  No more of this oppressive life he had been experiencing.  He was going to the New World!  There was just enough money in his possession to buy a boat ticket for a passenger liner with a little left over to begin his new life.  He didn’t have a cabin, so he just slept on the open deck every night.  For food, all he had available to bring was crackers, which he rationed out to two per meal.

The immigrant was thankful he was journeying away from oppression and on to freedom.  Even so, he couldn’t help but notice something as each day passed.  As he sat eating his crackers, he watched the other passengers walk into the dining hall and help themselves to all kinds of delicious food.  He longed for the opportunity to do that himself.  All he could do, though, was look down at the crackers he was eating and try not to think about how hungry he felt.

Day after day passed and finally the big boat arrived in the New World.  As he sat on the deck waiting for the boat to dock, a young girl approached him and asked him a question.  “I’ve been watching you every day since we got on the boat.  Why do you sit out here and eat crackers?”  He looked up at her and said, “Well, I couldn’t afford to buy any food inside the dining hall.  All I was able to bring with me to eat were these crackers.”  Her response shocked and angered him.  “Mister,” she said, “every ticket for this boat includes a free meal from the dining hall every day–morning, noon and night.  You could have had anything you wanted to eat in there.”  And she turned around and walked away.

This immigrant was entitled to all the food he wanted for the whole boat ride.  Because he didn’t know any better, however, he missed out on all of it.

Don’t let that be you!

Whether you believe it or not, God has an amazing life in store for you that He wants to give you.  But that life is only available through His Son and what you choose to do with His sacrifice for you.  You’ve been with me long enough to know what I’m talking about here.  There is such an amazing life awaiting you!  It’s got its challenges, sure, but it’s so worth it–especially when you consider eternity and where you’ll be living it.

You don’t have to be eating crackers!  If you do nothing about this, you will reach the end of your life and find out that a huge buffet was yours for the taking and you chose to ignore it.  The biggest difference between you and the immigrant is this:  When you see that reality, it will be too late for you to do anything about it.  Your choice has been made.  And it’s forever.

So once again….choose wisely!

A Crutch

“It’s a crutch.  Your faith is a crutch you use because you’re emotionally weak.”  There are some who believe this about anyone who has faith in any belief system that’s not “rooted in science”.  But why do they say that?

There is so much emphasis right now on equality.  When it comes to a belief system, many say they approach this the same way:  “Believe whatever you want to believe, man.  It’s alright with me.”  But it really isn’t.  Not when they find out what the Bible says.

Sure, we all have the right to believe whatever we want to believe–about anything–but that doesn’t mean that we’re right about it.  Many years ago, most people believed that the earth was flat.  Were they right about that?  Was that considered a crutch?

So what am I getting at?

My uncle on my Mom’s side of the family isn’t expected to live out the next 24 hours.  What happens to him when he dies?  It’s a question we all must face.  And many run from that question because they’re scared of what the answer might be.  But force yourself to face that question for just a moment…..

Let me mention a foundational point that Jesus Christ taught.  Anyone who genuinely accepts Jesus into their heart as Lord and Savior and lives out the rest of their life with that realization has an eternal home with God in Heaven.  That person is known as a Christian.  When that Christian dies,  his spirit enters into Heaven, just as Jesus said it would.  A promise.  From the God of Heaven to every human being on Earth. So why not believe that?  It’s too good to be true?  We don’t want to be accountable for our sin?  The list of excuses is many.

My Dad died in a highway accident four years ago.  He loved Jesus with all of his heart.  I know I’ll see him again (and my uncle).  Jesus promised me that in the Bible.  That is living hope!  Why not believe that?  Is that a crutch?

Bottom line, a person is going to believe what a person wants to believe.  If someone believes that faith in God and His Word is a crutch, so be it.  No one can change what someone else believes.  But what will change a belief?  A willingness to see what a person has been previously unwilling to see.  Personal revelation of something  (like the Earth isn’t flat after all).

I would leave you with this example.  Let’s assume for a moment that I am a Christian and you are not.  If you are right and I am wrong–there is no God; the Bible isn’t true; there is no life after death–than you’ve gained nothing and I’ve gained nothing.  When we die, we die.  End of story.  But if I am right and you are wrong, I’ve gained everything and you’ve lost everything.

You couldn’t be gambling with any higher stakes than that.  Is it worth it?  As we are told in Deuteronomy 30:19, we have the ability to choose life and death, blessings and curses.

Choose wisely, my friend!

Turning A Corner

Turning a corner.  Ever been waiting for that to happen?  A figure of speech, yes, but a very important one when you’ve been waiting a long time for something to happen.

If you’ve been walking with me a while, you know that our destination has been someplace very definite.  These past couple of weeks have been very interesting ones in that regard.  I can definitely say that I have been turning a corner!

I am closer than ever to being able to finally tell you the story behind our destination.  And you’re not going to want to miss this!  I know I have been dropping hints here and there.  But that still hasn’t really given you anything substantial to know what it is that I am talking about here.  What I can tell you right now is that any frustration you might feel about that will be well worth it in the end!  Very soon, I will be able to tell you this fantastic tale.

God’s plan for our lives is so much better than anything we could ever ask for or imagine (His Word tells us that in Jeremiah 29:11 and Ephesians 3:20).  It is when nothing appears to be happening and life seems like it’s just a monotonous day-to-day existence that it is the hardest to remember that truth.  But don’t forget this important fact:  When you do finally turn that corner, it makes what you’re going through in the waiting process totally worth enduring!

And there’s also something else to keep in mind.  God’s plan is also about strategy.  Don’t forget that we have a very real enemy who is also watching to see what God’s plan is.  His intention is to interfere with that plan as fast as he can.  Thankfully, God knows this and accounts for it.  Thus, His strategy is far more a significant factor than we’ve ever thought it was.

So when God’s plan begins to unfold and take shape in your life, be ready!  Quite often it comes as something that doesn’t make much logical sense to do.  Don’t over-think it.  Act.  Act on it now while everyone around you–including your enemy–is still wondering what you’re doing.  You act that fast, you’ll find that you are in possession of your Dream before anyone else even realizes what’s happened.

I can hardly wait to tell you why I know what I’m talking about here!  Make sure you’ve got your snowshoes with you, my friend.  They are a part of this more than you know.

When The Lion Roars

We’ve all heard it before.  There’s no way anyone or anything can ignore it when a lion roars.  An attention-getter for sure.

But when we hear that lion roar, what are we actually hearing?  Now, you’re probably wondering what it is that I’m really asking here.  Hang on for a minute and I believe you’ll see it.

If you’ve been walking with me in my snowshoes for any length of time, you already know two things about me:  One is that I am an adamant follower of Jesus Christ and the other is that I respect your right to believe what you believe.  So even if your belief system differs from mine, I need to lay that foundation real quick for you to see something really good.

We human beings have a very real enemy.  Satan is his name–an archangel whom God banished from Heaven because of his rebellion.  It’s important that you know that Satan couldn’t care less about us humans.  But because he knows how much God loves and values us, he absolutely despises us as a result.   This means then that he is committed to doing everything possible to ruin our lives.  So the Bible tells us that Satan “goes about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

So how is he seeking to devour in your life?  Quite often, it’s whatever you’re hearing that lion roar in your ear at any given moment.  And it could be about anything.  Fear, anger, resentment….you name it, he’ll use it.  The point is, if he can roar loud enough at you with whatever his tool-of-choice might be (a life-threatening disease would be a perfect example), he will succeed in getting your focus on him instead of where it ought to be.  And where is that?

If a person is being honest with himself/herself, something will be very obvious about the human condition and science.  Enough research and study has been made in these arenas to show that there is far more to life as we know it than these three dimensions we live in.  The human spirit is a place of incubation–meaning that we always have something there that we are growing.  Something “faith-based”.  Whether it’s a promise from God (which the Bible is full of) or fear, something is always incubating there.  We were created to always be focused on what God has promised us.  Satan knows that and that’s what that lion roars against!  If he can get your focus off of what God says and onto what he is screaming at you, he wins.

So get focused!  Thankfully, Jesus has made that pretty easy to do.  And once you are, stay focused.  I guarantee you it will pay off in the end.

Resolutions….Do We Have To?

It’s the thing everyone thinks of at one time or another as the new year approaches:  Resolutions.  And, inevitably, everyone has the same thought hit them next:  Will I fail again?  It’s something that we all begin and then fight the thoughts of failure the whole time we’re doing it.  More on that in a minute.

The first of the year is certainly a time of reflection.  But I also believe that reflection needs to be coupled with a good sense of humor–something to help balance out the intensity that can often accompany the realization that something needs to change in your life.  And so, I offer to you some examples of New Year Resolutions that may or may not be the wisest of choices:

  • “Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to switch to a gym where there are far fewer people whose New Year’s resolution was to go to the gym.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to be more selective about my bad decisions.”
  • “New Year’s Resolution:  To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to stop hanging out with people who ask me about my New Year’s resolution.”
  • “Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people.  So overweight people are now average.  Which means you’ve met your New Year’s resolution.”
  • “New Year’s Resolution:  This year I’m going to incorporate ‘I don’t roll that way‘ into at least one conversation a week.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to stop crying at Google commercials.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution was to start smoking.  One day in and I already stopped.”
  • “My New Year’s resolution is to spend less time interacting with people and more time with my phone.  Doing pretty well so far….”

Like I said, not sure how much wisdom there is in those words, but food for thought, right?  I would encourage you not to take yourself too seriously as you pursue a resolution or any other goal you have this year.  And, for what it’s worth to you, my personal experience has shown this to be true:  Put two people pursuing the same goal next to each other–one attempting to do it on his own and the other doing it with God’s help as a follower of Jesus Christ–and you will always find that the person who enlisted the help of God Himself accomplishes much more with much less effort!  So, my friend, save yourself some time and effort and do it right the first time…..

Stepping Into The Unknown

My family and I have never been in the place we are right now.  Uncharted territory!  Exciting.  And unnerving.  It’s uncomfortable for sure.  Stretching us in every way imaginable, it seems.

But where do you think you find God and His help?  Where it’s comfortable and safe?  Or where it’s dangerous and requires faith?  I’ll bet you already know the answer to that.  Me too.  Namely because that is exactly where I have been finding Him the most:  out where it’s dangerous.

Don’t get me wrong.  There are times that you need a reprieve, times when comfort and safety are a necessity for soul-rest.  So obviously, God is in that as well.  But we aren’t to live there.  And that’s where many of us get hung up:  We don’t want to give up that comfort and safety (after all, it feels good to be in a place like that, doesn’t it?).  Out of those two places we can live, where do you think God spends most of His time?

Where it’s dangerous.

Where faith is required on our part.  Why?  We were created in His image; we reflect Him.  So we are never more alive than when we are living out our “dangerous” faith, desperate for Him to show up and just as confident that He will.  And He does!  Every time.  Because when we’re living out in the unknown, we find that this is also where God is.  And then, to our amazement, we find that He has been waiting for us there all along.  Patient.  And so loving.  I believe it pleases Him greatly when we choose to live our lives like that!  Very little in life  is more satisfying than being in that place of desperate faith and watching Him show up!

So what about you?  Is there something He has been pulling on you to do or pursue and you’ve been too fearful to do anything about it?  Will you choose to step out in faith and trust Him to meet you there?    Watch Him show up for you!

Waiting On God To Move

Waiting.  And waiting some more.  We all hate that part of our lives, don’t we?  I have heard Joyce Meyer say that most of our lives are spent in that “waiting for something” phase and that it’s what we choose to do while we’re waiting that makes all the difference.  If you look at your own life, I imagine you can see that for yourself as well.  Most of our lives are indeed lived in that place of waiting.

But waiting for what?  Circumstances to change?  Something to be provided for you that you don’t have yet?  Examples could go on and on.  But there is certainly a question that we need to ask ourselves:  Is there something we are waiting on that we are actually supposed to do ourselves?  What if you’re waiting for something to change and all the while you actually have the ability to do something about it yourself–you’re just scared to?  Hard words, but what if your path to your Dream is right in front of you and it’s simply a matter of you putting some action to it?  Don’t put it off any longer!

But maybe you’re in a situation like I am, where you’ve done all you know to do to prepare for and attain your Dream, and now you’re playing the waiting game.  In a way, this is a much harder place to be than any other, because you’re now waiting for things that are completely out of your control.  Especially when you know that God has given you this Dream that you’re chomping at the bit to begin doing!

My friend, take courage.  And know that God is right there with you, walking your journey out together with you (or at least He wants to!).  His companionship itself is worth it all, but He has also given us all kinds of promises in His Word for us to lean on and use to get us through these times of waiting that we’re talking about.  Promises like this one from Habakkuk 2:3, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end; it will not deceive or disappoint.  Though it tarry, wait earnestly for it because it will surely come.  It will not be behindhand on its appointed day.”  One more for you:  Psalm 27:14, “Wait, hope for and expect the Lord.  Be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.  Yes, wait for, hope for and expect the Lord.”

Directly from His heart to yours!

Perspective

Faith.

We’ve all got it and we all use it.  Every day.  Now, you may be thinking, “How’s that??”  Well, you exercise faith every day that you drive your car 55 to 65 miles-per-hour towards another vehicle hurtling towards you at the same speed, believing that the other person in that vehicle will stay in their lane and not hit you head-on.  It takes faith to believe that the plane you just got air-born in will stay in the air and not plummet to the ground.  It takes faith to sit in a barber’s chair and believe that the barber with the sharp razor will give you a clean shave and not slit your throat.  Even faith in another human being whom you are counting on to follow through with something you need them to do for you.  That’s faith.

Can you see it?  It’s called “perspective” and it’s a powerful thing.  One definition of perspective is “a mental view or prospect”.  I imagine that you can already see how we limit, set and change such things in our lives.  I hope that you can also see how important it is that we each have the right perspective.  That line can be hard to draw, but what if we could know what the right perspective is on something, even if we don’t agree with it?  The problem is, if we don’t agree about something, our perspectives are already different and we are already prone to having a wrong perspective.

There’s an angle to this issue of perspective, however, that many don’t appreciate or even see:  there can be more than one right or wrong perspective!  Take an accident scene, for example.  Three different people saw the same accident, but all from different perspectives.  What makes them right or wrong?  They all saw the same thing happen.  What determines who’s right and who’s wrong?  They could all be right, correct?  What the police officer does is take all three perspectives of these three witnesses and put them together to see what kind of a complete picture they make.  What each saw happen and how they saw it unfold will play a huge part in piecing together the events of the accident scene.  Are there aspects of these three different perspectives that are similar or different?  And how important are those similarities and differences?  What about the character of the people with those different perspectives?  Any of them prone to lying or exaggerating?  What kind of a mental state were they in:  depressed and down or excited and upbeat?  So you can see how something as “simple” as perspective actually has many layers to it that can get very complex very quickly.

So let’s keep this focused on faith for just one more minute (and consider this as my perspective).  We’re seeing God move through revival in our local churches and community right now.  Our mayor and two judges are a part of this as well as the local high school football team (thirty-five of which accepted Jesus into their hearts and 13 of those got baptized two days later).  I’ve even been told that in all of the cities that this movement has been in, at some point there has been interaction with angels.  So obviously, there is anticipation of that same thing happening here.  Some people will look at that and write it off as emotionalism or some other “ism” that makes them feel justified in their perspective on this.  But that doesn’t make null and void the experience that these people have had with the living God through Jesus Christ.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  A person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with a theory.

Stay tuned!