Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A War Story

"to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."Luke 1:79 NIV

I have a funny story to tell. A couple of nights ago, we had to pick up our older son at the local Civil War Reenactment. It was just at dusk so it was kind of hard to see. We were driving slowly down this old dirt path with our head lights on and the lights of the muskets and cannons going off were in front of us. Well, we are driving--trying to locate our son in the darkening landscape--and mind you, people are looking at us, yet no one is stopping us. We get about 3/4 the way through this huge field when we come upon this covered wagon. The driver of the covered wagon jumps down and comes to my window and tells me to cut the lights and get off the field--there's a battle going on! So, I cut the lights and am trying to get off the field by driving in the dark without lights, on a path I wasn't at all familiar with--when this cannon ball exploded in the path in front of us! Goodness! That came out of nowhere! Long story short, we finally made it to the other side--only to be confronted by good meaning people asking us, "Didn't you know that you were driving through a Civil War night battle? And didn't you know that there was some live ammo being used? Do you know that you are lucky that you didn't get hurt?"

And I had to tell them--and truthfully so-that I was clueless. Yes, I knew I was entering the Civil War settlement, but no, I didn't know that I wasn't suppose to driving through it--I didn't even know there was an actual battle going on--I truly thought it was just for demonstration--to give people a good time. They should of had a sign up, or people manning the road or a rope, something! And I didn't know that live ammo was being used--I thought is was something like fireworks. And yes, I am glad that we weren't hurt.

Well, after recovering from being be fumbled--I had to laugh. I thought, God is so funny! Here I was, just driving along, war is all about us, and I am clueless to the seriousness of the environment around me. I had no fear. Until I was told I should and then I was finding myself being a little like Peter when he was walking on the water. I was thinking of all the could have happened but through the grace of Jesus, we were fine.

Is this something that you have ever experienced? Are you living it now? Our lives are a battlefield--constantly. We have all sources of ammo flying--some as big as cannon balls and some as small of musket shells. But it affects us all the same. Those are the times that we need to have our arsenal full of God's words to kill the enemy. To save the land--your life.

You need to be totally aware of where your path is going or where you are on it. There is no room for complacity--for being caught off guard. For that is when you will be attached the greatest. Why? Because that is when you are the weakest--no matter how long you have been a Christian. Being grounded in the Word, having accountability partners and being in communion with your Heavenly Father is the best way to have this happened.

Start today!

Monday, April 16, 2012


"Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work." Colossians 3:22-24 MSG

The other day, a young man came and asked for prayer. He wanted prayer for his attitude with his dad. He is the only son in his family so when his dad is gone a lot, he ends up doing the "man stuff" around the house. But then, when his dad does come home, he feels like his dad doesn't appreciate all that he has done because instead of complimenting him on what is done, the dad says things such as: "You need to do this," or "Have you done that?" So this son is becoming resentful and disheartened.

Do you relate to this young man? Do you have someone in your life that you strive to please and at times, it seems that this person will never be pleased? That no matter what you would do, it is never good enough? Do you find yourself feeling resentful?

The reason that I love these verses is that it releases you from the burden of people pleasing. I have a tendency to fall into that trap and believe me, it is a trap. Sure we want to to our best for those we love. Yes, as Christians, we should do our best for those that we work for. But what we must be careful of is not to get so wrapped up in the need to please that person, that it steals the joy of us doing for that person. Does that make sense? Simply put--people are people right? No matter how much we love them or don't love them. No matter if they are a stranger to us or our best friend--they are people And people will not always respond to what we do, the way we need or want or think them should.

Does that make them "bad" people? No. It just needs to be recognize that this is a fact. Have you ever thought that maybe you also have hurt or discouraged someone because of the way you have reacted to them? Does this make you a "bad" person? Of course not. It just means that this is one of those facts of life that we must know is just going to be and you have to rise above.

That is why we need to go the next level and not do it for necessarily for the person that is standing in front of you, but offer it up to God. You see, God is the same yesterday, today or tomorrow. He is not swayed by emotions, circumstances or a "bad day". He will treat you with the wisdom of someone that is secure and above His circumstances.

Because in the end, isn't that Who we need to please anyway?

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." Philippians 1:27 NIV

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Rocky Situation

"Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone that people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honored. And now you are living stones that are being used to build a spiritual house. You are also a group of holy priests, and with the help of Jesus Christ you will offer sacrifices that please God." 1 Peter 2:4-5 CEV

I don't know if any of you are gardeners or just like to build things with your hands. But I do. I've built these rock walls around my flower beds. Well, you know, you can't just use any old rock. No, you get this big pile of rocks and then you shift through them, picking out just the right rock for that particular spot. This is how the wall stays strong and solid and beautiful. I have to admit, there have been times that--in my searching for the "perfect" rock--I have overlooked or rejected the rock that I really needed to have in that spot it was created for. And then I have to go and try to find it again.

So, when I read this verse, I think of those times. I think of when I thought that I had found the perfect rock for that spot in the wall and in my mind's eye, my wall was going to be so beautiful. But in reality, when I stepped back to check the affect and progress of my work, the rock that I thought was perfect, was the wrong rock for where I had placed it. And of course, it is never the rock on top, the easy one to get to. No, it usually is a foundation rock that I have to tear down a section, take out the wrong rock, find the rock that I had first rejected and use it. And guess what? Yup! Once I rebuilt that section of the wall and stepped back, the wall was now beautiful and perfect.

How about you? Do you realize that you have a very valuable role in this thing call life. Our God has created each and every one of us for a purpose and He needs all of us to make His life plan come true.

Your God is the Master rock wall builder. He lovingly has created each one of us as individuals. Individual in our personalities and our gifts. Yes, He created us to be individuals yet at the same time, needing each other to build a strong wall. Can you imagine how strong a wall would be with only one rock? Can one rock keep the dirt and water in and the weeds out? Can one rock keep the plants protected by keeping the dogs out? No.God needs us and we need our God. Always. Every second of every day.

If you have ever rejected Him--turn back. Was it because you didn't understand something that He did, or because you got mad at Him or because He didn't respond to a situation like you thought He should? Release it! Seriously--just turn around and ask for forgiveness. Be humble and truthful enough to admit that you have rejected the wrong rock--the wrong person. You NEED Him in your life. You may think that your rock wall is beautiful and perfect, but your spirit knows differently.

It takes only a moment to fix a lifetime!

I patiently waited, LORD,
for you to hear my prayer.
You listened and pulled me
from a lonely pit
full of mud and mire.
You let me stand on a rock
with my feet firm,
and you gave me a new song,
a song of praise to you.
Many will see this,
and they will honor
and trust
you, the LORD God.
Psalm 40:1-3 CEV