Tag Archives: decisions

Why Will You Die?

Another milestone in the zipper club (heart bypass) journal was the completion of my first week of cardiac rehab. Also another  reality check on the lack of care for myself over the last several years of life. Following my decision to stop smoking on May 26th, 1997 (with the prompting of the Holy Spirit after a year of salvation) I traded my addiction to tobacco for an addiction to all things tasty. Gradually I blossomed into the well-rounded person I am today both spiritually and figuratively.

The criticism and judgement of sometimes well-meaning people (sometimes not) served me well in the department of discouragement and depression. The added pressure added extra weight. However, before anyone thinks I blame others for my blessed figure status, the answer is no. I’m the one who lost her will power. And so today as I read Ezekiel 18, I remembered my week at cardiac rehab. The struggles that I had as I pushed through each piece of equipment and so did not enjoy it. As I tried to clean up the mess I had created over the past 21 years.

Ezekiel 8:31

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

I believe Israel had gotten on God’s last nerve. They’d sinned, worshiped idols and used their children as sacrifices. What a mess they’d gotten themselves into because they’d gotten their eyes off the Lord and put them onto the things around them. I won’t throw any stones in that department either.

But the end result of a life without God, is always death. And no matter what I try to do in life without God as the central focus, it will surely die, because I am His, and He is mine and He expects to be a part of my life.

So how do I make sure that’s the case when living everyday life and making decisions that can change my future? And how many times have I gotten on God’s last nerve by not listening to Him.

The Word tells me.

CAST IT

Cast away from you, all your transgressions.

Easier said than done, right? Well, yes and no. We know that nothing is impossible for God! But we must first allow Him to have it. For me and my transgressions… there were many. The overeating and desire for food replaced an addition that had begun when I was a child. I smoked my first cigarette at 13 years of age. I had been addicted a very, very long time. But when God got involved the desire for that substance was replaced with a desire to be better for Him. But the cigarettes had also come with a stigma of non-acceptance by the world, both saved and unsaved people alike. So it wasn’t hard to not desire it. But everyone loved food!  It was acceptable.

But the weight gain was not.

Add to that the fact that God had called me into ministry work and I was now standing before people every week, I became very weak emotionally.

I allowed the pressure of that judgment, whether real or not to get the best of me and I ate all the more because it made me feel better.

So what did I need to cast off?

Addiction. Self-Condemnation. Irresponsibility.

If Jesus had cast my sins as far as the east is from the west, I needed to cast my transgression to Him so He could take care of them. Because when I threw them down, they never failed to land out of arms reach and I would pick them up again 

Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

CREATE IT

…and make you a new heart and a new spirit:

So how do I do that?

I have to change somethings about my life. Beginning with my mindset. Your brain tells your heart when to beat.

In the course of the day, your heart will beat somewhere around 100,000 times and over a calendar year might beat up to 35 million times. Over the course of a lifetime then, your brain and your heart have to work together to engineer 3 billion heartbeats.

However there’s something in the heart called automaticity.

Meaning that the heart, even if it’s disconnected from the brain, will continue to beat at a set rate.

For me that shows that there’s a thought controlled side of the heart and a God controlled side of the heart. Praise God! He knows when to kick His side in.

But when it comes to decision making He leaves that to me for the most part. So I need to create within myself a new heart and spirit. Basically new desires and passions that align with God.

I can only do that if I focus on godly things casting those things that are unhealthy to Christ so that He can help me get them out of my life.

COMMIT IT

…for why will ye die,

Commitment was something that Israel didn’t have. They’d make and break promises as fast as the ink would dry on the paper.

I’m not any different. I yo yo diet, and I yo yo commit to the promises that I make God that “I’ll do better.”

We take commitment too lightly. Forgetting that God doesn’t take it lightly. Over time, God allowed many of His chosen people to be killed because they couldn’t keep their commitment to live for Him.

When I quit smoking, I partially did so because I believed God was going to allow me to die a dreadful death because of the effect of smoking. He warned me to quit… and so I did.

The transgression of poor health was not so easy for me to commit to overcome. I allowed emotions and lack of self-respect to play the major role in controlling my diet. Scroll forward to May of 2018, three heart attacks, open heart surgery and now cardia rehab and I am beginning to think I should have listened sooner.

Duh. I’m a Slow learner. Israel and I have a lot in common. Most of all, and Hallelujah, we have God’s grace in common.

But eventually God’s patience runs thin and we get on God’s last nerve. Before that happens, it would be much better to give those transgressions to Jesus. Everyone has them, and their personal to them.  

There’s a 3 step plan for it. Cast. Create. Commit.

God’s final verse in chapter 18 was  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.  

There is life in Christ! And a much better, more rewarding life. Live it! And live it well. 

The God of Order

The chaos of life drives me to seek order. That is so not a familiar spirit in my soul. I am after all the gal who leaps and believes the net will appear. If I’m honest I can tell you that there have been several instances where the net did not appear because perhaps I jumped off the wrong cliff. I didn’t think things through, or perhaps half-heartedly listened to God, desiring to fulfil my own agenda.

But something happened, medically speaking, a few months ago that caused me to get my physical self in order which had an effect on my spiritual self. I decided to give in and see a doctor regarding the pain management of my Fibromyalgia. A diagnosis I was not willing to accept for a very long time, (years) until I was barely walking in the mornings. So short story… the doc prescribed two prescriptions, Cymbalta for the morning and Gabapentin for the night. (Not an endorsement, just a statement of fact.) and my life dramatically changed. I don’t say that for dramatic effect, something inside my brain changed from chaos to order. The pain was managed (to a degree). I want to be honest. I’m not pain free. But the most amazing thing about this experience was a desire for order. That too is a learning process.

This morning I read 1 Chronicles 15:12-15 regarding David’s decision to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to the children of Israel and from the house of Obed Edom where they had left it when God killed Uzza for touching it. (1 Chronicles 13:10)

David speaking to the servants of God:

 12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. 13 For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order. 14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. 15 And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the Lord.

The words “due order,” captured my attention. Getting things out of order cost a man his life. God’s plan to carry the Ark was specific with certain people, placed in certain positions for certain purpose.

Certain People

Much of the time when I have “leaped” and face planted it was because I was leaping off of someone else’s cliff. My impatience for waiting for God to position His person in place would lead me to assume roles that were not mine to assume. Case in point I would volunteer for anything that didn’t get immediately filled because I wanted the job done.

When David was attempting to return the Ark to the City of David, he looked only at the end location, not the journey. It never entered his mind that there was an order to the journey. The Levites, not Uzza were to carry the Ark. The Ark was also be born upon staves, not carried on a cart. God had certain people in place and David’s replacement of those people altered God’s plan.

Certain Positions

When David finally came to himself, and realized it was not about himself, but rather God’s will and way, he looked again at the order of God’s plan for the Ark’s return. He put the Levites in their place of baring the Ark on staves. When we read on through Chapter 15 we discover that his attention to the details were much greater! He appointed singers and musicians and all sorts of numbers of God’s people in the places for which they were chosen to serve. He did not leap and pray the net appeared, he planned. Glory to God I could learn! David’s attention to detail was right down to the robe he wore, and the linen ephod which thoroughly torqued his wife Michal off. He didn’t do it in the way of the people. He did it in the way of the Lord.

Certain Purpose

David’s original plan didn’t allow the people of God to fulfil their purpose. Man’s way is never better than God’s, and will never be completed.

I thought that I could overcome the pain of Fibromyalgia by pressing on in life. But God’s purpose was for me to get to the point where “I” couldn’t go on and had to depend on others. The same thing has happened in my life with this new revelation of order. There is a certain purpose in the order of God’s people. Preachers, Leaders, Teachers, Parishioners, Servants, everyone has a role. Roles are exclusive and appointed.

1 Chronicles 16:22 says “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

We may not understand the process, but there is for certain, certain people in certain positions for certain purpose. Ours is not to ask why… it’s to continue on the journey in proper order and allowing God to bless the end result.

On a side note: Michal, David’s wife wasn’t happy with David’s methods of rejoicing. An attitude that caused her to be barren from that point forward.  A lesson on messing with God’s people. I don’t want to lose the fruit out of my life for complaining about the way God conducts His business with His people.

Will the plan change if I ask God first

Text: 1 Corinthians 2:10

When the Apostle Paul addressed the church of Corinth in this Epistle it was during a time that one could liken to the state of America. Corinth was overflowing with denominational politics and doctrinal differences and they were living in one of the most prosperous cities of that time. They prided themselves on lavish living and tolerance of new ideas… hmmmm, sounds oddly familiar doesn’t it. They were surrounded by multiple pagan religions and their faith was being challenged.

Paul was teaching spiritually immature Christians who were apt to go with whatever way the wind blew.

I can understand why it was so hard to stay focused. I have a bit of a problem with that myself in my Attention Deficit Disordered world. The world around is screaming continuously for us to look at it. And it seems, if you take your eyes off of God for a second, Satan has you for a day. There is way too much truth in that statement for me not to feel convicted.

So how does one stay focused in this haphazard world?

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:10

Verse 9 preceding our journaling verse reads:  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

I love the Lord. I can place a period at the end of that sentence with confidence, only because I know that He loves me more, and knows that I am flawed. I believe that God has amazing things in store for me and yet the concept is still hard for me to grasp because I lose focus and do not allow the Spirit to linger in the caverns of my soul.

19th Century Evangelist D.L. Moody has often been credited with the quote: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”

In fact, Moody did not originate that quote. Henry Varley, a British revivalist did. Varley recalled that in 1873 Moody asked him to recount words they had spoken in private conversation a year earlier, just before Moody’s return to the United States. Varley provides this account (as recorded in Paul Gericke’s Crucial Experiences in the Life of D.L. Moody).

***
During the afternoon of the day of conference Mr. Moody asked me to join him in the vestry of the Baptist Church. We were alone, and he recalled the night’s meeting at 0Willow Park and our converse the following morning.

“Do you remember your words?” he said.

I replied, “I well remember our interview, but I do not recall any special utterance.”

“Don’t you remember saying, ‘Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him?’ ”

“Not the actual sentence,” I replied.

“Ah,” said Mr. Moody, “those were the words sent to my soul, through you, from the Living God. As I crossed the wide Atlantic, the boards of the deck of the vessel were engraved with them, and when I reached Chicago, the very paving stones seemed marked with ‘Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him.’ Under the power of those words I have come back to England, and I felt that I must not let more time pass until I let you know how God had used your words to my inmost soul.”

***

Those words also pierce my soul. Although more out of guilt than that of the convictions of D.L. Moody. Those words directed Moody’s ministry and encouraged him into the depths of his soul. Two men committed to Christ in such a way that the Spirit showed them the “deep things of God.”

I have to ask myself, what are the deep things of God that He desires to show me? and my answer is “the future.” There’s a chosen path, and then there are the detours that occur when I get my sights off of him and onto the world. We, like the Corinthians are surrounded by distractions.

A social media post that I read yesterday bothered me all day. It was one posted by a person of entitlement who had “gotten above their raisin” as the old adage goes. They were glad to leave our rural area and get back to what they thought was civilization. My thought this morning is “the civilized world is not our friend.” The educated rhetoric seldom focuses on the cause of Christ, unless of course it prospers their way or makes them appear righteous.

We’ve changed very little, likely worsened since the days of Paul’s address to Corinth. So I asked myself again, “How does one stay focused?” If when I look, read, buy, or do, I allow the Spirit to search the intent of the heart where God dwells, and I ask myself, how does this action or purpose serve God? Will my course of action and direction change from my choice if I allow God to control the outcome? Good question…

But now… those aren’t your shoes!

chick cute shoes 2

1 Samuel 13:14

But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.

The handsome man that stood a head taller than the crowd had made it two years and then there came that fateful day, (a fate he set himself) when he decided he could fill Samuel’s shoes. After all, he’d lead men into battle, what was a worship service compared to that? I totally don’t know if that was Saul’s attitude, but it could have been. I feel a sense of arrogance in him in chapter 13.  When Samuel asked Saul in verse 11 “What hast thou done?”  Saul responded “Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.”

I can tell you one thing, I’m not going to speak in arrogance. I’ve been Saul. I’ve wanted those cute shoes that belonged to some other chick, and yes I thought I could do it myself!  After all, I’d done more complex things. Well let me just tell you; it worked about as well for me as it did for Saul.

Saul said that he “forced” himself to do it. Which meant obviously something, or Someone, (God) was convincing him otherwise. We know when something is not our job, but it’s human nature to think that we can do it better, especially if someone’s not doing it on our timeframe. Hello? Who am I preaching to besides me? Jeepers I’m an impatient person. And I have on more than one occasion, many more times than one, stepped into someone else’s shoes rather than obeying the Spirit of God Who said “wait.”

The end result for Saul was that he got himself kicked out of leadership. Fired by God! How sad is that? God had a plan, and it was great! In verse 13 Samuel says to Saul “Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.”

But now… not now. You’ve messed that up Saul. Those cute shoes have gotten me into trouble so many times!  You see, I’m a leadership junky!  I love it. I didn’t realize I loved it, I didn’t even start out desiring it. All of a sudden one day I awoke to the fact that people were watching me and following me; and a part of me was scared to death and the other side of me thought, “Wow… that’s pretty cool.” So when I saw something that needed done, I needed to do it. Because that’s what leadership does…. Uh oh.

No they don’t!

Leadership lets those whom God desires to use get used. And sometimes those who He desires to use take their time getting into place, and its leadership’s job to not get their knickers in a knot or their panties in a bunch and take over. Especially when it’s a God appointed position! Cute shoes or no, they’re not yours to wear.

That lesson took Saul and I both a while to learn… I hope it takes you less. I hope that because of this blog today you realized it before you stepped into the cute little pumps or espadrilles that didn’t belong to you. God’s anointed positions are serious business; and anointed positions are not just preaching and teaching. Take heed friend, lest we mess with the plan.

FROM THE STUDY “BUT NOW”

Where Would You Land This Thanksgiving?

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, oil on canvas by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe (1914). public domain
The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, oil on canvas by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe (1914). public domain

Pretty much on a daily basis, at some point, I throw my hands in the air and ask God why my country is governed by idiots? And then I remember that they were elected, and we are the idiots. I’m still at a complete loss of understanding why anyone thinks we’re going in the right direction. Liberal or not, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Mountain or Valley Party (Yes I know there’s not a Valley Party, but there should be, because who better to argue with the Mountain than a Valley) And we know that politics is all about argument not solution. My way or highway. Truth?

And so it was that our nation began on the same principal.

pilgrims

A brief study of the original settlers, and I mean brief, because my attention span is not long enough to study history at length, proves that we’re no better or worse than the day we landed. The Jamestown Settlers and those of Plymouth Rock pre-defined the nation. There were those who sought the world and those that sought God and today we have the same dilemma.

Joshua told Israel in Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

The flesh side of me would like to make this a political rant this morning, but the condition of America doesn’t fall in Washington’s bailiwick. It is we who are accountable for not telling them Who it is we serve. Instead we’ve allowed them to dictate to us that we are in service to them; even though we all know from historical truths that that was never the way government was intended to work.

My study of the contrast of original settlers spurred me on to hang on ever so tight to my Lord and the foundational truths of the Bible. If I am to survive this world on the winning side I must

  • Seek God not wealth, He’ll provide your needs
  • Keep my family together, God gave them to you and you’ll answer to Him for your stand
  • Remember that God gives the increase, He can also cause a decrease
  • Godly cooperation and collaboration is key to the church’s success. There is no I in team.
  • Troubles will come, Stay together regardless
  • Don’t play church, It is not a social club or political party, it’s a relationship with Christ and your ticket to the New World!
  • God’s plan is providential, He opens and closes all doors of potential
  • In all things, thank God, not vessels

As we embark on this Thanksgiving week, whose side are you on? That’s not a political question, it’s a faith question. Are you thankful for the ship or the Savior? Living in America is great but we’ve lived in the land of the free for so long and free will has gotten us into a heap of trouble. We need to spend a little time remembering the foundational truths that allowed the Pilgrims to survive and will help us live successfully in the world today

The morning after… and the Ignorance of Politics

politics

Politics are Satan’s playground. I’m proud to live in a country where we have the right to vote, I wouldn’t want to live in the dictatorship that many live in persecution under, however, my heart grows weary of the antics of the winners and losers. Satan knows just where to attack and who he can use to tear at the core of Christian faith. He knows if he can discourage us and imprison our thoughts with anger that our focus will be off the gospel of Christ. I write to myself this morning for in the midst of the political nonsense I find myself in need of hearing the encouraging words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:11

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

What better tool can he use than the political realm that stirs up the hearts of men and women with passionate pride for their cause and turns brother and against brother, friend against friend? We are so all consumed with the “pride of our cause” and yet the supposed cause, which is our homes, family and freedom is being cast aside so that we can win a battle of politics. Satan wins, and we are ignorant.

Mine will likely not be a popular opinion this morning because people would rather argue and cast fingers of blame than take responsibility for the mess this country is in. I cannot say that my lips did not turn a little upward when the republicans took back over the Senate, but only because they are the more conservative of the lot, not because they are sin free. I’m disgusted with Washington as a whole, every party on the ticket. I’m just as frustrated on a local level because somewhere along the line it became politically correct to blame the voters for not wanting to give hierarchy carte blanche with finances and poor decision with no accountability. I won’t park there lest I be ignorant.

The same people who are “so concerned” for our children and nation care not that Hell is on the horizon and Satan laughs all the way to the gates because he has them distracted with politics.  A quick glance through Facebook this morning left me weeping on my keyboard at the children and families hurting because of illnesses and brokenness, and yet the next post would be someone cutting to the core family and friends because they disagreed over politics. I so wanted to get on their post and give them a piece of mind… at least what’s left. But then I decided to read more of Paul’s letter…

2 Corinthian 2:7-8

So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.  Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

Paul spoke of a man who had been disciplined by the church for sin. He asked the church to love him back into the fellowship of God with forgiveness, not continue to beat and berate him to the point of breaking his spirit. I see Christians too often taking a road so high that no one could possibly achieve it so that they can continue to “look down” at the sinner as though they were not one themselves, especially in politics.

Here’s a news flash: God’s not in your party.

God is Holy and just and will hold accountable every decision of every decision maker. He will not allow His name to be taken in vain and the sanctity of the family mocked. And when I say “taken His name in vain” I don’t speak of cursing. I speak of people who use God to further their agenda.

I don’t want to be ignorant of Satan’s devices.  He’ll use me as well as anyone to get someone’s mind off of what matters. Eternity. If your candidate or cause went down, it may or may not be a bad thing. But if a soul goes down into the pits of Hell, and is separated for all eternity from their family and friends. Nothing is worse. Hell is real… but it’s not a playground.

I Settled for a Creek when I could have had the Sea

DSC_0048I’m never any more shocked at the depravity of man than when I look in my own heart. The selfishness and continual desires to feed my own will always amazes me. I wonder why I’m not spiritually satisfied until I realize that I’m too carnal minded to obtain it. I want “stuff”, to be entertained and to certainly not be inconvenienced. I want quick understanding of the Word so that I can get back to the business of the day. Ah… I can put God first and look holy so long as it doesn’t take too long. Yes… this trip has been a reality check for me. Our couple of day get-a-way served to remind me that I can experience that same feeling of rest in the arms of Jesus, from Calhoun County, West Virginia. And the view is every bit as nice.

Isaiah 48:16-17

16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Get Close

Come ye near unto me… You won’t hear God from a distance. He’s not a shouter. There’s a reason that scripture has God speaking in a “still small voice because it is then that you have purposed to hear what He has to say. God is not going to vie for your attention.  Satan will yell and distract from afar, but God will speak as a friend who’s telling you the greatest secret on earth except it’s not a secret.

Get Real

God’s message (although tailored to our soul) is a universal message. He’s not an exclusive God He’s an inclusive God; He wants everyone to come to Him and hear what He as to say. From the beginning of time He’s been the creator of knowledge. Whatever it is that man discovers, God created it… how much better is He! He sends a message through preachers, teachers, friends, even the wind so that we may know what it is He needs us to know, He not only controls the message, He controls the messengers… He’ll make sure it’s delivered, but we have to be in a mindset to receive it.

Get Ready to Go

The plan’s been established and everything is in place for us to profit and receive direction and yet there always seems to be one thing standing in my way; complete obedience.

18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

I could have had an endless sea of goodness from the Lord, but I’m willing to settle for a shallow creek. Oh the water is pretty, cool and good… but how much more God had instore.

Today’s the day!

Or I guess tonight’s the night – that our church will vote on a new Pastor. For nine months we’ve waited… I find that amount of time ironic, perhaps it’s symbolic of a new birth of new ideas and new direction for my beloved Victory Baptist Church. For me personally it’s been a knot in my stomach that I’ve been waiting to untie. I want this chapter of the unknown closed. We’ve had nine months of leadership that was crème de la crème. As the scripture said in Isaiah 49:10

They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

We’ve not thirsted, nor been exhausted; we were led by the sweetest waters of the gospel and guided by the Holy Spirit. But it’s not the same as having a full time, committed man of God to oversee the flock. The visionary of the congregation. One of the wisest men of all times, King Solomon himself said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18.

A Pastor sets the vision, the goals of the congregation for growth of the Kingdom and the longer we were without someone in that position the further away we became from the previous vision. Although we had great temporary leadership, the uncertainty of what the new leadership would bring always made the direction we were going hesitant.

So what now?

Tonight we vote yay or nay to the new man. If you are a person of prayer, please take the time today to lift our congregation up to the Lord for wisdom and unity. This journey has not been without bridges to cross. There has been more than one side, but the river of life clearly flowed between them both. Wow… I guess I’m speaking very metaphorically. A church the size of ours, and as vocal as we are in a small community gets attention; and it’s not always good. People from the outside look for cracks in the armor of God and it doesn’t usually take them long to find it. We’re not a perfect people, we’re a perfectly loved people. We don’t always agree and sometimes things are said that should have never been said. We’re human and most importantly we’re family. I’d challenge anyone to look me in the eye and say they’ve had a perfect relationship with everyone in their life or that you’ve never stood in need for grace.

Am I saying there is a great division among our people? Nope. I don’t know that there’s any division among our people, but I know that if Satan has his way, there can be.

Here’s my prayer request for you:

  1. Pray for direction
  2. Pray for a unified church
  3. Pray for the Pastor candidate and his family

My prayer for you is that you are a part of the body of Christ and are serving in the congregation of the Lord that He has chosen for you. Being an active part of a local church is vital to your spiritual growth. Choose wisely!

How to Keep Your Life in Tune

Yesterday as I sat down to play my fiddle, I heard “ping” and then my “A” string went a little sour, I tightened it and tuned it and a few seconds later, “ping”- it was out even more! As I tuned it again, the “D” string decided it was not getting the attention it desired. “Ping!” again. Are you serious? Then I happened to think about the location of my fiddle, it had been sitting close the gas fire place, which because of the cold temperatures had been kicking on more than usual. The warmth had likely caused the wood to contract and expand allowing my tuning pegs to slip. A little TLC on the “D” string and Old Joe Clark sounded as good as it ever did (insert grin here).

This morning as I awoke and began to ponder the day I began thinking about those slipping pegs. I had moved my fiddle to the other side of the room away from the toasty fire; if only my out of tune life would be so easy to get back into shape. It goes out of tune for the same reason, too close the fire. Troubles and trials seem to travel in groups and one after another I find myself sounding a little sour. It doesn’t take long to hear that “Ping” in life that almost has your string unwound from the peg completely. Something so simple, can push you over the edge.

I’m by no means a seasoned fiddle player, but I knew enough to not get in a panic (although my heart fluttered a little) when I heard the string slip. There was no need to jump to the conclusion that my fiddle playing days were over and I should take up another instrument. That would be the Esau theory of life.

If Esau played the fiddle he would have likely thrown the fiddle away, quit playing music all together. In the story of Esau and Jacob, grandsons to the great Abraham, the friend of God, we find a dose of stupidity for which I can relate. I too have often made decisions in the heat of the moment and then later thought, why on earth did I do that? Esau had been out hunting and was tired and cranky and in a split second decision gave away the blessing of God, the position of authority, his inheritance and privilege as the first born that would have set him up for a sweet life.

Genesis 25:29-32 ~ And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

Jacob is referred to as the deceiver, but I don’t think that title came from this occasion. He later deceived his blind father with the help of his mother (Genesis 27), but in this story Esau was not deceived he sold his birthright to Jacob without quarrel. For a momentary pleasure of a bowl of soup he gave away the blessings of God that would have set him up for life.

How many times have I in the “ping” of the moment made a life altering decision? Too many to count. A new found friend of mine in social media, Sandi Krakowski said the other day that she uses the 7-7-7 theory of decision making. What difference will this decision make in 7 hours, 7 days, 7 months? If Esau had ask himself that question, he’d have gotten his own bowl of soup. But instead he started his life on bad decisions. He later grieved his parents by marrying into the family of Ishmael, another bad decision.

Are you in the midst of a decision? Think it through and use Sandi’s 7-7-7 theory. I used it this week, it works and could save you some serious heartache down the road.

Don’t throw the fiddle away, it makes beautiful music in the Master’s hand. My hand? not so much…