Archive for June, 2011

Noise

June 30th, 2011

Over the last several years when I have talked with Jason  he has talked about the busyness and noise in his life. Until the last 6 months I really hadn’t understood what that really meant.  Life can be so overwhelming when you are just busy.  You spend your work day running from one meeting to the next, with a phone attached to your ear, wondering when you are actually going to do your ‘work’.  Once your work day ends, you go home to children who want your attention and then of course a wife who needs your attention after a long day of no interaction with adults.   Then once the day ends you struggle to turn your brain off from thinking of the next day, some days I feel like the Grinch (in your grinchiest voice now)  all the “Noise, Noise, Noise!” 

I have confidence this is why God instructs us to stop and recognize Him.

Psalm 46:10

New International Version (NIV)

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

We are told to stop and think of God, to know of His power, His grace, His love, and His mercy because that is what knowing that He is God is all about.  That is why we have to find a way to be quiet for a few minutes and turn off the noise.  For me this morning, it is as I sit here and write this blog but I have to find a way .  Find a way today to turn off the noise off life and Be still, and know that He is God.

Written on our hearts?

June 29th, 2011

When Jason asked if I would mind being a guest blogger for a day, I thought to myself, “Hold on there one second!  In life there are providers and there are consumers.  He’s clearly providing the biblical insight, and I’m clearly consuming it.”

But when I thought about that for a little bit more I realized it was a reaction to one of the challenges I have, which is of course to study the bible daily. …  Oops, did I give it away?  Well, there you have it.  Except for the word Jason puts out, I actually don’t delve into the bible everyday.  I go to sunday school and church, I say grace, I pray with the kids before they go to bed and I even help out during VBS.  But whether because of laziness or I’m full on busy, I just don’t do it.

And you know what the worst part is?  A lot of times it feels like I’m just going through the motions.  …  Go figure!

Yet, somehow, Christ is still there.  I know this because when I do find the time, the rewards are as great as they ever were.  And I also realize that my passion for what is pure and good hasn’t diminished at all.  It’s like nothing has changed at all in my relationship with Christ since the good ol’ days.

Now I’m definitely not trying to say what I do is ok because God’s pretty clear on what he expects.  But what I am trying to say is God has done something amazing in me and it hasn’t changed no matter what I do.

And of course you only have to look to his word to understand why.

It used to be like this:

Deuteronomy 6:8 You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. 6:9 Inscribe them on the door frames of your houses and gates.

As if we could forget.

But now it’s like this:

Jeremiah 31:33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,”says theLord. “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their God and they will be my people.

As if we could do nothing less.

Judge and Juror

June 28th, 2011

Yesterday I had the opportunity to serve as a Juror.  This was my first such experience and it was quite interesting to observe the proceedings.  I couldn’t help but think of God and judgement day.  The judge sat there with the prosecutor, defense attorney, and defendent all making motions and such but ultimately the judge had the final say.  After 2 hours of sitting and waiting the Judge announced that all cases had been dismissed, or settled, our services were not needed. When watching these actions I couldn’t help but think of the parallel, God dismissing the charges because of Jesus’ sacrifice, showing mercy but also standing ready to convict  those who never turned to him.

Hebrews 9:26-28

New International Version (NIV)

26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

and

2 Peter 3:6-8

New International Version (NIV)

6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.  8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 

So, I spent the dreaded 2 hours on jury duty yesterday, got my $35 and went home but through that experience I was able to be reminded of Christ’s sacrifice for me, to bring me and all who follow Him salvation.  Have a blessed day!

Make a difference

June 27th, 2011

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this passage from one of Max Lucado’s books from the early nineties. This passage has always been quite inspiring to me. As a manner of fact when I was on college, I had this printed on the inside of the Daytimer so I could be inspired each day. I hope you find some motivation from it today.

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… . I will get up. It’s OK to fail… . I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

From Shaped by God (original title: On the Anvil)
Copyright (Tyndale House, 1985, 2002) Max Lucado

Driving Lessons

June 24th, 2011

Last night I took my oldest son out for his first real driving lesson. So off we went to the Battlefield so that we could tackle several kinds of roads with limited traffic. Phew, I couldn’t believe how tense and nervous I was in the passenger seat. He was doing a fantastic job for his first real driving experience, but dad on the other hand….

So, I spent some time trying to figure out where my anxieties were coming from. I mean, this wasn’t the ‘send him off for the first time’ type of experience or the ‘driving on a crowded road’ type of experience. I think this had to do with control, or the lack of control. It is an interesting experience as a parent to continue to loosen the hold of control and allow your children to go on their own way. It’s really quite a painful experience – in so many ways!

But I think this goes further then the control of the parent, this was really turning over control, and I think that is a problem that we all deal with. In this case, maybe it was justified, I mean this is a case of an experienced driver turning over control to an inexperienced driver, allowing the inexperienced driver to drive the vehicle directly into a tree or something. But in our lives, we want to keep control, when we are more then likely the inexperienced driver. The experience of the Holy Spirit sits beside us ready to guide us, if we allow control to move over to it. So here is a simple lesson for a Friday.

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

New International Version (NIV)

That’s correct give it over to Him, allow him to worry for you and there is a great deal of peace waiting for you!

That’s a pretty good bit of driving advice, and a great conclusion from the first of many driving lessons.