Removed

 

God comforts us in many ways. One way that I am comforted and encouraged is through words and music. Sometimes when I awaken in the morning, I become aware of the fact that a song of praise is already being played on my mind’s "radio." Throughout any given day, this same thing happens. I will suddenly realize that a melody or set of words has been running through my thoughts. Today has been no exception.

The tune and lyrics to "Shadowfeet" by Brooke Fraser have been repeating themselves over and over in my mental broadcast:

When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I’ll be found in You

Has your very "world" seemed to have fallen out from under you before? It has for me. Did I find myself still standing through God’s strength?  Yes.

At the end of time as we know it, will I still be found to be a child of God, held in existance by nothing except His great power and compassion toward me, a sinner? 

Yes.

When difficult days come, we can trust that God will not leave us. We will forever be found….

in Him.

 

 

The Greatness of Our God

 

  Let my teaching fall like rain
       and my words descend like dew,
       like showers on new grass,
       like abundant rain on tender plants.

  I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
       Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

  He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
       and all his ways are just.
       A faithful God who does no wrong,
       upright and just is he.

Deuteronomy 32:2-4

 

 

 

Cover Up

 

Sin. You don’t hear that word very often. I’ve heard one explanation for it: sin is anything you think, do or say that displeases God. I have displeased God many, many times.

The natural tendency for us might be to hide when we know we have fallen short of what God would want us to do. When we fail in a certain area, trying to ignore the problem only gives it a larger place in our minds. If we struggle with asking forgiveness, the longer we wait, the longer we seem to suffer. We can’t get away from it; it takes a prominent place in our hearts and declares ownership. The deed is signed, "Guilt."

What can be done? Must we live with the heaviness that sin brings? Thankfully, no. When Jesus died on the cross to pay our penalty for sin, it was finished. We need only to ask forgiveness with a sincere heart and it is granted. Supernaturally, the sin is atoned for and we are forgiven. Our minds and hearts are free once more to be at peace.

Is there something weighing you down today? Something you are sorry for? Don’t let it take up precious room in your life. Talk to God about it.

He’s ready to forgive.

Psalm 32:5

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
       and did not cover up my iniquity.
       I said, "I will confess
       my transgressions to the LORD "—
       and you forgave
       the guilt of my sin.
       Selah

 

 

 

Search the Heart

 

It was a beautiful time of day. Instead of going to work where I usually do, I was scheduled to go for training in a community I rarely visit. As I crossed a long bridge over a large lake, the sun was just beginning to rise over the water.  When I arrived at my destination, the sun was up. The view of the lake from the parking lot was vivid. I thought of stopping to take some photos, but I decided to go on inside; I didn’t want to be late.

As it turned out, I was a little early. I took the opportunity to step to a back exit on the second story of the building. The sunlight was bright, illuminating the trees and grass between me and the lake. This time, I took some pictures.

Last night, I chose to read a passage from the book of Jeremiah before I went to sleep:

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds."

I want to be like that tree. I want the "leaves" of my life to be green and productive. I want to "yield fruit" for God, yet my heart is easily distracted to things of lesser importance. Through his love I am brought back, time and again to realign my heart toward God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fruit of Your Labor

 

 

Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
       who walk in his ways.

You will eat the fruit of your labor;
       blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Psalm 128:1,2

What are the ways of God? Ways of integrity? Merciful ways? Ways of honesty, compassion and love? If we live our lives committed to remaining close to Him, what will be the result? We will be surrounded with the fruits of our commitment: we will have been shown mercy and given it to others; we will have known God’s truth and shown truth to those around us; we will have felt His compassion and chosen to look compassionately on others in need; we will have known His love and have been empowered to give that same love to another.

Blessed are all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anxiety

Comfort zone. Have you heard that term before? It’s a metaphorical place of existance where you probably do not feel threatened by unknown possibilities. Surroundings are familiar; you’re comfortable there. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

Most of us choose the comfort zone to reside in on a consistant basis. I am no exception. But what about those times when we are thrust into an area outside our comfort zone for some reason? It can be very threatening, very unfamiliar and very uncomfortable. Recently, I’ve found myself in that strange, outer region, squirming to get out.

The problem is, I think God may have wanted me to be in that "outer region" for a purpose. If that is actually true, then I must give my anxious thoughts and doubts to Him in prayer and quiet meditation. Personally, being outside of the comfort zone and having to recognize the need for change can be a painful process. I would almost rather run for the door than stay and work through the problem. Does that sound familiar?

God is not surprised by my emotions. Disappointments, doubts and fears that I may have hidden successfully from myself remain in His full view. I Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Whether I find myself in the comfort zone or beyond its boundaries, God is with me, either way.

He cares for me.

 

 

 

I Will Not Conceal

Do you ever have conversations with yourself? I do. Whether it’s "normal" or not, it just seems to be how my mind works sometimes.  This even happens occasionally—if I know I am going somewhere and will see a certain person, I think of what I might say when I see them, etc…

Today I was having such a conversation with myself.  I was thinking about being somewhere and using a certain skill/talent that I have. It is very minimal. Very. I was thinking about telling someone that I just barely could do this particular thing. Next, I went on to think about another skill/talent that I have. I was realizing how I could not say the same thing about that one, because I had been using that skill for many years. I thought something like, "That would be concealing what God has given me."  I surprised myself with my own statement. Do I actually do that, anyway? Do I keep hidden the things that God has blessed me with?

If I do, is it because of fear? Fear of failure? Fear of rejection? Is it because of doubt? 

My prayer is that I would use the gifts and abilities that God has given me for His glory, not denying their presence in my life. This is an area that needs some reflective consideration on my part.

What about you? Are you concealing something precious that God has given you?

 

 

 

 

Restore Us

There are advertisements for it; products line the shelves beckoning our attention to it’s possibility. Book covers and magazine articles taunt us with the idea.

What is it?

Restoration.

"Can This Marriage Be Restored?"  "Restore youthful appearance in as little as six weeks."  "Hair Structure Restored in Minutes!"   "Restore Your Home Today."  Why are so many people interested in restoration?

There are many areas in my life that I would like to see changed–some in a brand new, never thought of way and others….well, it would be just fine to have things, "just like they used to be."  But can I bring about that change?

While there are numerous aspects of my day to day living that are within my control—like keeping my kitchen clean or eating healthy foods—there are spiritual matters that only God can change. If I see that my heart has grown cold, it is God that I must speak with about restoring it’s love and warmth. If my attitude has become indifferent, it is God who has the power to heal. He has the power to change—to restore.

 

 

 

 

 

Things Above

 

I read an advertisement in an old magazine yesterday. It was for an investment company. Instead of encouraging the thought of saving money, it spoke of using funds wisely in our lives for the things most important to us. Interjected into the text was a comment about how, at the end of our lives, we would not remember when we gained interest on our money. There would be other memories so much more important then.

So what will be important? For me, I think the areas of my life that were aligned with God’s purpose will be cherished. Did I love with God’s love? Who did I love? Did I point the way to life with Him? Who joined me on the journey? If each of these questions became the title of chapters in the book of my life, the stories within them would be the precious moments dear to my heart.

Colossians 3:2 says, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."  It is a gift from God to see the experiences of my life illumined by the soft, revealing glow of their eternal significance.

 

 

Burdens

 

Where I work, if there is something that needs to be moved that is too heavy for me to carry, all I have to do is push a little red button on the wall. When I push it, a voice on the intercom will answer me:  "Yes?" 

It’s simple. I just explain that I am in need of assistance to lift whatever it is. Soon, someone appears in my area, ready to take care of the need. This is the order of things; when I need help, there are those in place to give it.

When the burdens we seem to carry are too much for us, do we have a little red button to push? Wouldn’t it be great if every time there was an illness, an argument, or a job loss we could just step over to the button, knowing things would be taken care of momentarily?

Reality tells us that there is no red button. Actually, it’s much better than that. If we just call out for help from God, He hears us without the aid of a communication system. No matter what weight we are to carry at the time, He is with us. He has the strength to hold our concerns.

Psalm 68:19 says, "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."

 

 

No One Comes

It has been an unusual day. Personally, my thoughts have been reflective and withdrawn for several hours now. When troubling things come my way, a part of me retreats into a place where it seems my spirit is quiet as I am seeking to make sense of it all.

The three year anniversary of our teenage son’s death is in a couple of weeks. Recently, my husband was shopping in a nearby grocery store. A young man spoke to him there. He had not seen him for several years. It was an old friend of our son’s from church in middle school days. He’d grown into a fine looking adult. As they talked, he related to my husband that he had attended our son’s funeral. He also told him that he had just become a father; his baby had just been born.

While I was out today, my husband went to the cemetery to visit our son’s grave. As he was walking away, he noticed a grave nearby. As he walked over and looked, it was our son’s friend who had been laid to rest at only twenty one years of age. A picture of him and his baby was on the grave. We were not aware that he had died. Later today, we found out that he had been killed in a motorcycle accident–three days after the birth of his child. My husband had been one of the last people to talk to him.

When my heart is filled with whys and ifs, there is really only one thing that I can do–talk to God about it.

Each of us will come to the end of our time on this earth. The only thing that will matter then is if we knew Jesus as our Savior. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Do you know where you will spend eternity?

 

 

Listen to Him

 

 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."

 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.)

 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him." When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.

 

 

Live By Faith

 

 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Romans 1:16,17

 

 

 

In Everything

"What good is obedience, anyway?"  We may all have questioned obedience in our lives, weighing the alternatives, considering our next move. Whatever our thoughts have been in the past, the time to obey God in our lives is now. We can all begin again.

When I was a very little girl growing up in a single alcoholic parent household, I had a lot of things to consider. Personal choices had to be made in my little mind about what was right and wrong.  I remember specifically deciding one day that it would be best for me to run away and leave home. I was an only child.  I was probably about 5 years old. Things had gotten to the point where I felt that I could not handle living at home anymore. Somewhere in my short memory I had seen or heard of someone leaving home and packing everything they owned in a tied up handkerchief, tying it to a stick, propping it on their shoulder and heading out–so that’s what I did.  With my tied cloth and stick, I walked to the road.  I lived two lots from the city’s main street—not the safest place for a 5 year old to begin a new life on their own.  As I stood on the sidewalk, I was faced with a choice. I thought, "Mom always told me not to go this way, " as I looked down the street.  As I looked the other direction, I thought, "Mom always told me not to go this way, either."  Under the weight of possible disobedience, I decided that I could go nowhere without directly disobeying the rules. Feeling defeated, I walked back to the house and back to my problems, yet away from dangers I could never have imagined at that age. God protected me.

The Bible gives us many examples of the wisdom of obedience. II Chronicles tells us of King Hezekiah: "In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple, and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered." (II Chronicles 31:21)

Sometimes, as an adult, things have seemed hard to endure.  The thought of "packing the handkerchief and grabbing the stick" in a given situation has looked, for brief moments, like a good choice. On second thought, it may have been that God’s word had told me "not to go this way," and "do not go that way." Wisdom called for me to obey.

Am I seeking God in everything that I do? Am I working wholeheartedly? In everything that I undertake in serving God, am I obeying His commands? 

Do I really have an obedient heart?

 

 

 

Shield

 

What do we need shields for? We have windshields on cars and motorcycles, we have sunscreen to shield us from harmful rays; ancient warriors carried metal shields into battle; science fiction programs tell of energy shields that protect spaceships from the onslaught of the enemy.

In every case, shields are to keep us separated from harm. Even the wind blowing into our faces while driving a car would be harmful and dangerous. A shield is an important thing to have.

A baby could not clothe himself in warm coverings in preparation for a trip out into the cold of winter. A parent would likely dress him appropriately. Care would be taken to shield him from bitter winds and temperatures.

God is our shield. Like an infant, we are helpless on our own to clothe ourselves with the protection we need from the enemy. It is through His power and strength we are shielded.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;  —Psalm 84:11a

 

 

Jesus

I began my day with a trip to the hospital. Don’t be concerned–it was just a planned diagnostic test. Because of the element of pain involved, however, I was to be sedated for the procedure. Waiting in the holding area, surrounded by my personal privacy curtain on both sides, I waited for my cue to become part of the day’s events. Hints of fear would almost plant themselves in my mind, yet I know that God was comforting me.

When the nurse came to inform me that it was time to take my trip to see the doctor, she pushed my bed on wheels toward the testing room. I could not wear my glasses or contacs, so I could only see just a few feet around me clearly. As we traveled out of the ward, something like a message board was on the wall near the exit. There on the board, I saw it—blocked letters of maroon and white, perhaps on a large bookmark. It simply read, "JESUS".  I remember nothing else clearly of it’s surroundings. My eye had been drawn to His Name. I think I smiled to myself as the very Name of Jesus ministered to calm my heart. I could not consciously describe what happened in that moment, yet seeing His Name spoke so much. It was a reminder of His powerful, sovereign existance.  It was a reminder meant for me and surely others as it was placed there on the wall; a gentle comfort as many roll past with their IV’s in tow.

The Name of Jesus is above every name. Jesus Christ is Lord.

 

 

 

Glory

 

I did some research on the word, "glory."  Suppose we take that word out of the scripture below and place these words there instead:

1) abundance

a) riches

b) splendor

c) dignity

d) reputation

The heavens are telling of the abundance of God; they are telling of the riches of God; they are telling of the splendor of God; they are telling of the dignity of God; they are telling of the reputation of God; Truly, they are.

I’m not a Biblical scholar, but in reading about the original word  כבוד   I found a wealth of meaning. Take a moment and look at the sunset today, then ask yourself this question: How is God declaring His glory to me right now?

 

 

 

 

 

Your Refuge

 We have a 17 year old beagle named Elfie. Since we adopted him as a lost dog at the age of 2, he has been our faithful companion all these years.

Elfie was already housebroken when we adopted him. Every day we take him on walks in the neighborhood. Even though he is blind in one eye as a result of a treacherous bout with glaucoma, deaf, and somewhat arthritic, he wags his tail and trots along with a light hearted pace, happy to be with his family.

Occasionally, Elfie’s loose fitting collar will slip off as I tug onto the leash while we are on our outing. What do you suppose he does when that happens? I think the most common answer would be that he bolts for freedom to the next yard or runs out to the street. Although I don’t remember ever trying to teach Elfie to do this, he freezes, right where he is. He waits till I put the collar back on him, where he is under my guidance and protection before he moves.

It happened again, just the other day. The sudden stillness on his part is striking. He does not want to go anywhere unprotected. He has come to trust the leash leading to my hand as his connection to safety.

Am I looking for God’s guidance as I walk in my daily life? If something tugs a little too hard and I feel that I have lost my focus on things from His perspective, do I stop immediately and wait to sense His guidance? Anything less might find me roaming aimlessly or venturing onto a dangerous road.

The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 33:27, "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."   The next time my collar falls off, I think I had better just stand still.

 

 

 

 

Higher

 

Do you remember getting hurt as a young child? Maybe a skinned knee or scraped elbow? As soon as the realization of the pain set in, the first cries were probably accompanied by efforts to get to the big people. You knew who they were; they were the ones in charge—the ones who could fix things and make them better. The big people had names; names like Momma and Daddy or Gramma or Uncle Bob. You really didn’t understand how they knew all that they did, but you trusted yourself to their care. Somehow, it would be alright. Just get to the big people fast. No time to lose.

Did these important loved ones ever try to explain the properties of iodine or the significance of antibiotic creams to you at that age? Did they have long conversations with you about how x-ray machines work to find a broken bone or why it was really necessary to take iron supplement drops because you were anemic?

No. There was no need. You couldn’t possibly understand the why or the how of the remedy. A loving hug, accompanied by the appropriate care was all that mattered. You rested in their knowlege. Things were going to be fine.

There are so many things in life that we just don’t understand. Sometimes, but not always, there is pain involved. Often, there is confusion.  There is only one thing to do in order to really get the help that we need. We have to find the One who is in charge–only He can truly fix things and make them better.  We must trust ourselves to His care. When life gets difficult, we’ve no time to lose. We need to look to God fast.

Will He explain just how He is working in our lives in that particular area? (iodine) Will He reveal how He is protecting us from harmful situations? (antibiotic) Will He tell us how He came to believe that we needed healing in an area we couldn’t even see yet? (x-ray)

God may not give us the details of His decisions on our behalf. We have limited minds with finite understanding. We must rest in His knowlege.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways…    Isaiah 55:9a

 

 

To a Whisper

What does the word storm bring to mind? Turbulance, chaos, wind, rain, snow? Destruction, confusion, things out of control? Storms are ordinarily out of the ordinary—when they do occur, we want to get through them and get back to "normal."

We experience storms in our lives that are very far removed from physical weather. Illness, divorce, loss of a loved one—-those are some of the very things that send us out into the tallest waves, struggling to keep our "boats" from going under. Job changes, hurtful attitudes of others, discouraging circumstances—they all spell  s-t-o-r-m  when you look closely. So how can we get through such storms and "get back to normal?"

"Normal " as we knew it, may not ever occur again. The storm may have forever changed the landscaping of our lives. Equally as possible, it may be that things will return to order when the wind dies down. Either way, enduring the tempest can be difficult and frightening.

God is Lord over the storm. The winds obey His voice. He is Lord over the challenges we face in our lives, as well. When matters in our lives get confusing and turbulant, we can cry out to God for help. He can calm the storm and protect us from fear and harm.

Psalm 107:29 says, "He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed."

 

 

 

 

 

Watch

It’s your favorite restaurant.There are even fresh flowers on the table. When you go there, you know the food is going to be good. The waiter takes your request. As you chat with your dinner companion, you are looking forward to that steaming plate being placed before you. Expectantly, you find yourself watching the entrance to the kitchen. Surely, in moments, the server will emerge from the double doors carrying something wonderful straight to your table.

No one would request a special dinner at a restaurant and then immediately doubt that it would ever be prepared. Or would they? "Let’s just go; they’re probably too busy for me. I’ll just get a bag of chips at the gas station…"  

How expectant am I for God to answer my prayers? Granted, I may ask for something that I think I need, yet He knows that it would actually harm me. (Have you ever told a waiter that you had a food allergy after you ordered something, only to have the cook come out and tell you that you should make another selection?)

Do I look with anticipation for how God will respond to my petitions? Do I watch the doors of "Heaven" to see when they will open with blessings coming straight for me? Or do I immediately doubt that my prayers could be answered in a wonderful way and just decide to "buy some chips" and try to work things out on my own?

Micah 7:7a says,"But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord;"

 

 

 

 

Night to Night

 

Last night, I was driving home after church. The sun was just beyond the horizon, out of sight. The vibrant mix of color was exploding onto the sky with rich, beautiful hues throughout the clouds. I look at the sunsets a lot; this one was exceptional. Even though I was alone, I think I spoke out loud how beautiful it was. At almost the same instant, the question was in my mind. "Do you like it?" I smiled as I told God that I did. As I traveled the highway, the glorious view before me was so enveloping; it was almost like I could just drive up to Heaven.

There in the car, while looking at such a gorgeous array of colorful shapes, I remembered a verse about day calling to day and night calling to night. God’s majesty and sovereignty are truly proclaimed in the sky above us without words each day.  Every creature blessed with eyes may consider the awesome works of God.

"Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge."  Psalm 19:2

 

Perfect Peace

My tonsils were quite a problem to me as a child. So were my adenoids, those curious little things that contribute on a regular basis to sinus difficulties.  The general concensus at the time was—get them out. I was only about 8 or 9 years old, but I remember it well. I even remember the green dress and matching knee high socks I wore home from the hospital. I have another memory that’s not quite so nice.

As I recall, some time after the surgery, I was brought a drink.  Without considering what would be the result, I began to swallow. It was orange juice.

At a casual, first thought about it, you might not think this would be filed away in my "bad memory" folder. However, that’s where it’s been and that’s where it will stay. Why? Let’s examine orange juice for a moment. Orange juice comes from oranges. Oranges are acidic. Citric acid causes a burning sensation to cuts and scratches… and incisions of the throat that have been sutured!

Needless to say, I probably didn’t get past the first swallow. One bout with pain was enough. At some point during my hospital stay, I was given chocolate milk to drink, with floating, circular ice cubes. That fact has resided in my "pleasant memory" folder all these years….

When a challenge arises in our lives we are tempted to worry. It’s the natural thing to do. When things are not in our control, worry is often the first responder.  In our imperfect world, diffcult things will happen. Adding worry to the situation will only cause greater distress. Worry is "acidic," creeping into our weakest point, stinging and burning relentlessly.

God offers us comfort at those times. Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You."  Trusting God is soothing, like cold chocolate milk with floating ice cubes. The concern may be present and very real. Circumstances in your life may be likened to that of a wound or incision. Satan wants to irritate that wound; God wants it to heal. We have a place to take our troubled thoughts—God is ready and willing to calm every one.

 

 

 

 

This is the Generation

Today, I spent some time studying about the book of Luke in the New Testament. Odd as it may seem, I felt differently about it. I was using the study Bible that I’ve had for probably 13 years. How many times have I turned to Luke during that time? What was different today?

I found myself reading the study materials within the Bible about the history behind the writing, as well as an outline of it.  The words from chapter 19, verse 10, seemed to reverberate in my mind:.."to seek and to save that which was lost."  Of course, it is Jesus who has come to seek.

I want to seek to know Him more. I didn’t choose the timing of my birth; He allowed me to be alive today, in this time. As my faith is deepening, I want to be a part of a generation that seeks Him.

 

 

 

From the Dead

I had heard the song before. Somehow, as I was driving along listening to it once more on the radio, the words just seemed to sink in:

Giver of every breath I breathe
Author of all eternity
Giver of every perfect thing
To You be the glory
Maker of Heaven and of Earth
No one can comprehend Your worth
King over all the universe
To You be the glory

And I am alive because I’m alive in You
It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive
It’s all because the blood of Jesus Christ
That covers me and raised this dead man’s life
It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive

Tears came to my eyes as I was reminded of this truth. Because of Jesus, I may live again after death. Because of Jesus, I may live an abundant life in Him—it’s all because of Jesus I’m alive.

 

(lyrics by Steve Fee)

 

 

 

 

The Path

 

Identify the proper path and stay on it. That’s a pretty straighforward statement. It sounds like a good rule to follow whether you’re on a Boy Scout hiking trip or a military mission overseas. Who would actually want to be on the wrong one? The wisdom is this: be well informed.

If we lack the information needed to make an intelligent choice, the result could be devastating. If we have a clear understanding about where we are headed and how to get there, we are likely to arrive at our appointed destination.

What about our spiritual path in life? We must identify the paths (the day to day choices) of those who are not following God’s leading and commit ourselves to another direction, far from the lure of selfish independance and temptation. We must identify the proper direction every time we are faced with a choice. We are warned about the negative path in the fourteenth chapter of Proverbs. We are told not to set foot on it or walk on it.  We are to avoid it and not travel on it. We are advised to turn from it. That’s very clear.

Can you identify the paths taken by those who have trusted God with their lives? When you do, commit to one endeavor—

staying on it.

 

 

Such Things

This evening, I was privileged to hear a man speak to a group about how God had worked in his life. He told the story of his journey from disbelief in God all the way to where he is today in close fellowship with Him. It was one of those times when I felt such joy over and over again as I listened to the account of the faithfulness of God in the redemption of yet another one of his children.

Something this man spoke about was very significant to me. He explained that the more you are walking in close fellowship with God, the less that Satan knows you. Read that last statement again. It’s not a concept I could recall ever pondering before. He had relayed to us that because of his mindset before he became a Christian, Satan knew him really well and knew how to "get to him."

I like to mentally picture myself walking closer and closer to God, all the while becoming "fuzzy" and out of focus to the enemy and his wiles.  I hope to spend more of my time meditating on God’s presence in my life, thinking on what is praiseworthy and seeking His direction.