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Showing posts from July, 2008

He's on his way...

Yesterday my oldest son left for Nashville. He is off to make a path of his own and create a life that he can enjoy. I've never seen him so excited about going. And the interesting part is that he only has the place to live but no job yet! Crazy?

I thought about Abram when God told him to leave his country and family. He did not give him all of the information. He just said leave. I tried to picture Abram being as excited as Brandon was. I have to think that because he knew God was directing his steps, there was a high level of peace and resolve in going. I know that the Lords hand is upon my son and that he will be all that God has set up for him to be. So I am sad to see him drive away and also excited to see God's plan unfold.

Where is God telling you to go today? Are you excited about it? You may have no idea what the future holds but praise God you know the ONE who holds the future! Trust and obey: there is no better way to enjoy life!

Memories

Sorry I missed yesterday for all of you avid readers! I was up to my neck in furniture and other wonderful things!

The move has been exactly what I had imagined. Memories unpacked, revisited, then shelved away for a building block to the next step up...the next level. You learn much about yourself when you move. Your patience is tested, your character and your emotional makeup.

I am happy to report that I have transported and kept in tact all of the life giving memories that have brought me this far. Today I begin to stand upon this new foundation and begin new memories.

If God is for us...

I love those moments in life when I find myself in the right place at the right time for the right reason. Everything seems to come together and it feels as if life was just set up for my benefit. As Moses was trying to prepare the children of Israel to get into the right place at the right time, it was important to him that they had God with them. How often are we more concerned with being in the right group or getting the right notoriety and have no regard for God in the mix. When Moses was confused he talked to the Lord. You can read about one example of that in Exodus 33. He would go into the Tent of Meeting and a cloud of God's glory would come down and hover over the entrance. All of the people watched and bow in reverence. When he came out of those private instruction sessions,he was visibly changed. When we have God walking with us, we will be changed too. Things will start to work together for a positive outcome. The favor of God will be upon us.

So today, don't worry…

One Room at a time, Sweet Jesus!

I told you yesterday of my moving strategy. Most folks would rent a truck, maybe some "movers" and load everything into the truck, drive it to the new home and unload it all. I usually takes a day. But not "cup of joe"! No he is drawing this one day idea out into a plethora of sequential days! Why, you say?

I take a personal inventory each and every time I move. An inventory of my personality, my character and my stuff. I think about what I learned in the place I am moving from. I think about the memories tied to the things at that place. So as I begin in my first room (its the kitchen) I began placing the pots and pans and glasses and dishes into the boxes. Today I am thinking about my men's group that gathered in this house for the last year and a half. These glasses were filled with coffee and the plates had tasty treats on them. We talk about our dreams and then we put plans together to move towards them. Great times. I placed my plastic football shaped snac…

The Box Room

It seems that every year and a half something happens that provides me a wonderful opportunity to organizes...I have to move. This will be the 4th time I have moved in the last three years. I could be bitter. I could start murmering about how life just keeps messing with me. You see it's not really fun taking everything you own and transporting it to another place just to set it all out again. And for how long this time?

This move started with a different tone. I went to a local dollar store to get some boxes. You'd think I just brought a huge lottery check to the worker there. She greeted me excitedly and then took me to what has got to be called their "box room". Shopping carts filled with boxes! Was this packing heaven? She was so happy that I was taking these boxes from here. I was doing her a favor. And she was blessing me as well. You see, I can stil carry four dishes down my arm and a tray of glassware. It's a skill I picked up as a waited years ago. But bo…

Apple Store

Today I was going to do my daughter a favor. I got up early and went to the Apple Store to upgrade her phone. She wants the 8G 3G Iphone. Two hours I waited only to find out she could not upgrade. I had not done my homework and the last 120 minutes are gone from my life forever. But I was doing a nice thing. Funny how sometimes nice things turn out differently than you expected.

I learned something that day. Research, due diligence, homework: whatever you call it, you need to learn how to do it all the time. It's a lifestyle choice. Never make a decision without thinking about it. The bible says "consider the cost". I had done some of the homework but had overlooked one essential part. It was not the right time for this to happen...she could not upgrade...yet. I also learned that the Apple company has a very sharp marketing person. They only send a few phones in each day...you have to wait for them in a line of people(gives the appearance that EVERYONE wants one) and the…

If you can't stand the heat...

move out of Tulsa! It was over 100 degrees yesterday and my daily walk with the dog turned into an outdoor sauna experience. It was hard to breath when you were just standing still! You may have heard people say "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen". I believe that it was Harry Truman that gets the credit for that one. In other words, don't persist with a task if the pressure of it is too much for you. The implication being that, if you can't cope, you should leave the work to someone who can.

Too often we sign up for things that we probably had no right to be involved in. There are good ideas and there are God ideas. A lifestyle that acknowledges the Lord will pray about how to spend time, money and talent. All we have to do is ask the Lord about the opportunities before we agree to participate. By taking the time to distinguish between the good and the God, you will assure yourself good success. It will never be too hot for you and no one will ev…

Where is YOUR source?

It's hard to watch the news lately. Everyone talks about how bad life is and no one is offering any hope. Oil prices keep rising, our economy is unbalanced and if you let it, life can get the best of you.

I began to think of all of those times in my life when I "freaked" out about something that changed or something I lost. If I lost a job I would wonder what in the world am I going to do now? When my car broke down I would think how am I ever going to get it fixed? Those things could still happen today but I have grown up a bit. The truth is I have realized not to trust in my job or the things that I have acquired. My trust is in the Lord. He is my source. So losing a job just gets me ready to get another one. My hope, my protection and my provision come from Him. He is in control of all of this.

So as we launch into another week ask yourself this question: "Who is my source?" When we put our faith in God we are unshaken when others are rattled. We are at peace …

Perfect Peace

You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

The idea of "perfect peace" often seems unattainable. Yet we are told that when our mind stays on the Lord He will keep us in that place of complete peace. Where the mind stays determines the climate in a mans days.

Dr. Frank Laubach learned to be aware of the Lord by disciplining himself to think about God at least once every minute. He called it a "game of minutes". I like that idea. We need to check in often with the Lord and make certain that He has a place of prominence in our lives. An airline pilot "keeps on the beam" by making contact with the tower every hour.

How often are you thinking about God? Don't let your mind stray. Let your mind stay upon Him today!

Do You Believe in Healing?

Can a person that is sick be made well in an instant? Why do some people get healed right away while others do not? Last night we finished a Health & Healing class at our church. It was led by a friend of mine named Joe Nelson. You can listen to some of his thoughts by using the mp3's in the upper left hand corner on this blog. It was a five week look at how God designed us to live and eat and remain in the best physical condition possible.

What I have noticed about people today is that most do not approach God for healing with any enthusiasm or belief that they will actually be healed. Oh yes, we stand in the lines at healing seminars and we pray a prayer or two but our lifestyle never changes to reflect a person healed when we are done. Mr. Nelson pointed out to our class that when Jesus healed, he told those to go and sin no more...to change what they were doing. Doing the same things and expecting different result is one of the definitions of insanity. What is clear in ever…

Color My World

Many years ago a group named Chicago recorded a song called Color My World. It started out like it was going to be an instrumental piano solo. I think it was popular when I was in my senior year of high school. Oh, the memories!

I thought about "color" yesterday as I began my house search. I've got to find a home within the next few weeks and I went into many of them yesterday. Some of them that I walked into appealed to me in a big way. They were just like others with the same floor plans. But they were different...what was it?...I got it...they had color on the walls! So many of the houses had the usual light beige or off white throughout the house. But there were those with rich greens and warm browns and deep reds, even a mustard yellow that was awesome! I naturally gravitated towards color. I need my world "colored"!

Thank God that He placed a variety of colors in our day. The landscape we walk upon each day is filled with vibrant color. If you feel today th…

Dump Sites

Last year when the ice storms hit the Midwest, our town was devastated by its impact. After the ice was gone it was time to look at the trees that had been broken and knocked down. The broken limbs were on individual lots, city parks and giant fields. They were everywhere. The clean up plan was put into place and all of those pieces were gathered up and taken to predetermined dump sites. I remember one of the because it was right of a main road of transportation. It was there that they would use a wood chipper and reduce the wood to mulch that could be hauled away. But the main thing I remember is how that dump site smelled! Piles of debris and mulch and leaves sitting in the rain, sun and rain again as they awaited their destination. Dump sites.

I thought about the way we gather debris and start dumping them by the places we travel. Often we create the storm that breaks up lives and hearts. Other times the devastation comes from the outside. But the fractures pieces are condensed to w…

Settle Down

Yesterday some guy walked up to the house I am in and gave me some papers. The short version of what they said is that this house I am leasing is being foreclosed on and I have to get out. Now I knew that the owners who I was leasing from were having difficulty and that it was going this direction but still I was not fully prepared. I was sick to my stomach. I could feel worry coming over me. Where am I going to live now? What should I do? When should I do it? I was experiecing several unsettling emotions.

Today, I have settled down a bit. Nothing has changed. I still have no place to live but rather than letting that "sick" feeling take over, I am going to try and do what Abraham did. Abraham was told about how great he would become and how God was going to use him. He was also told to get up and leave his family and country and go to a place that HE WOULD be shown. An undiclosed location. Now Abe didn't say "I'm not leaving till you show me the city I will live…

18 little stops

18 little stops. It's what I did yesterday. It was family golf tournament day. It all started shortly after lunch and due to an incredible thunderstorm, it did not end till 6:30pm!
I did not win. I played a bit erratic but I noticed that the level of patience in my life has increased. And I haven't even prayed for more! My endurance was better as I hung in and kept playing. I even had par on a few of the last holes! There was a time when I would have stopped trying if I knew I could not win. Life is teaching me to keep playing. I still don't like to lose but when I give it me best, I never do regardless of the final score.
My younger brother will reign as champ. The rain did not hurt him a bit. He played in that storm like that priest in Caddyshack!
How many stops will you make today? Will you play all the way through or quit when the great adversity hits? Why not let your inner champion rise today and keep giving it your best shot? You will reign as champion in the end!

Lake Lure is amazing!

Yesterday I realized something. I realized that the beauty of God's creation cannot be hidden. I awoke early and the skies were cloudy. The sun could not pierce through and kiss the lake. Yet, the awesome glory of where I was came shining through.

I have often said that our days and the circumstances are events cannot control us, we must control them. We cannot afford to be dependent upon the sun to put a smile upon our face. We must not allow our smiles and attitudes to be contingent upon the removal of the gray clouds. There is a line from the movie Shallow Hal that that speaks to the way we perceive what or who is around us. Tony Robbins is the one that says it as he is explaining why we see things as we do. He says, "our mind sees what our heart wants us to feel." Deep isn't it? You have to ponder that one for a while. What it means is that your heart will control not only the blood flow to the body, it directs how you look at your life. That is why the bible tell…

Chimney Rock

Today I hiked up to a point on Chimney Rock NC. The veiw from up there was fabulous! After the hot day of hiking for miles we went out on Lake Lure.
There is nothing more serene and peaceful than a lake at the end of the day.this is the type of PEACE that Jesus was talking about when he asked us to let peace rule our hearts. You could not be angry at anyone or anything with a picture like this in our minds. That IS the peace that goes beyond what we can comprehend.

True Freedom

Today our country celebrates freedom. Freedom is not free. Someone has paid a price for the freedom we enjoy. Don't take it for granted today. Thank God for the freedom you have to talk to Him without fear. To pray anytime you wish. To go to a building a worship the Lord and sing songs to Him without fear of being arrested.

This week we have studied the response and reaction of David in 1st Samuel 30. He has recovered everything that was taken from him and one another victory. He has all of the spoils and everything looks great. But some of the men, those that had grown tired of the pursuit they were on and rested, remained by the supplies while David and the others went to win the battle. When it was all over there was controversy because the men that fought did not think that the men that rested should participate in the spoils of the victory. David used that to teach them all something great.

The men that watched the supplies had just as great a part in the victory as the men tha…

Asking the right questions

David has been through a lot already. What we have witnessed this weal is how a man after God's own heart reaches deep within to find strength and power to survive. He encouraged himself. He talked to God. David was not afraid to ask questions. The key to asking questions is to ask the right ones.

As David loooked out over the ruins of Ziklag, as he faced the wavering loyalty of his own men, he came up with two questions for God. The first one was "should I pursue this troop?". Should I go after these people that kidnapped my family and destroyed our city? David knew that some battles were not his to fight and he wanted some direction from his Lord about this one. What he was really asking is what part am I to play in this battle. He wanted to know his responsibility.

The second question is my personal favorite..."will I win?". Not only did he desire to know his responsibility, he wanted to know the end result! What should I do and what will be the outcome? Gre…

Who are you talking to?

David encouraged himself. He replayed the highlight reel of his victories and picked himself back up again. But once you are back up after the ambush, what then?
The next thing David did was talk to God...he inquired of the Lord. Most of us want to talk when we are going through stuff. We must remember that it is very important who we are talking to. Never share your problem with someone that cannot solve it. David went to God. He didn't go to the phone, he went to the throne!

Don't let the surprise attack send you spinning in the wrong direction. Now that you are encouraged, ask God for some wisdom and counsel. He has all of the answers anyway! So, who are you talking to?

Encourage Yourself

The first thing that David did when everything rose against him was to encourage himself. Think about that for a moment. We usually rely on other people or things to make us feel better. You may need music, chocolate, a sermon by your pastor or a conversation with mom and dad. What if we could learn how to encourage ourselves? Imagine never having to depend upon anyone or anything else to gain strength!
David found strength in the Lord. He encouraged himself.

You may have something happen today or this week that discourages you. It may surprise you and you may even say to yourself, "I didn't see that coming!" When you are ambushed you are not prepared to deal with it and you may not have others around you. Maybe you need to stop relying on that friend, that spouse or that pastor to cheer you up. Encourage yourself in the Lord!