Friday, July 31, 2015

Heads and Feet

Heads and Feet

During a baseball game on TV, the commentator said that where the pitcher’s foot landed would determine where the ball goes. The video footage showed the changes the pitcher had made from one inning to the next, and it was true! One correction and he was back throwing strikes. I found that fascinating!  It reminded me of something a ski instructor told me: “Where your head turns and where you look is where you will go”. Sure enough- if I looked to my right, my skis and body followed. If I looked left, everything followed in that direction.

How does this translate into a spiritual application?

I’ll answer that with some questions: Where are you looking, and where are your feet going today? Are you turning your head toward things that build you up or tear you down? Where are your feet going as you walk out your life today? Are you walking in holiness or walking according to your own flesh? Where you decide to put your feet and where you allow your head to turn today may be of the upmost importance. It may mean the difference between peace and strife, godliness and sorrow.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fire Drill

Fire Drill

I was driving past the middle school, and observed not the usual high intensity, energetic sea of youthful humanity that usually floods the streets by my house. What I saw was order and calm. Students were walking in single file. No one was speaking; no one was throwing backpacks around and no one was running. Quiet order prevailed. Then I heard the pulsating horn beeping it’s rhythmic warning. Ah! Fire drill.

Practicing the drill in calm times hopefully will produce this kind of order when extraordinary events occur.

My mind wandered. Have I practiced my own escape route in times of calm so that when a crisis arises, I’ll know what to do?

As to be expected, “extraordinary events” struck. Instead of panic and chaos, when my spirit became overwhelmed, I thought back to the drill I had practiced in calmer times which consists of this:

Get my Bible.
Go to a quiet place.
Meditate on the Word. 
Talk to God and expect a response.

Crisis averted.

Thank you, middle school for such an outstanding visual that translates so nicely into the spiritual realm.

Do you have a plan? Practice it now so you are prepared!

Monday, July 27, 2015

False Summits

False Summits

Near Mt Shasta is an ancient cinder cone called Black Butte.
One spring I climbed to the top to see what I could see.  
Around and around the volcano I went as I spiraled upwards. After a little more than an hour, I came around a bend and saw what I thought was the top of the mountain. Once I got closer, I realized I wasn’t even a third of the way there!
The next hour of hiking passed with the sun bearing down and the scree more difficult to navigate.
Soon I was sure I was at the top, but it was a second false summit.
I kept on hiking.
3 hours later I arrived at the topmost point of the butte.
The view was stupendous.

So what did I learn? Often I think I’m at the end of a trial or ordeal but God says there’s farther to go with more to learn and more suffering for a little while. I have to keep going staying expectant in prayer.  I must not stop mid climb thinking I’ve arrived or done enough because the view from the true top of the mountain is so worth the climb.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Choose Life!

Choose Life

Everywhere we go there are decisions to be made:

“Paper or plastic?”

“For here or to go?”

“Decaf or regular?” 

Those are usually easy questions to answer but what about super hard ones? Questions that make your brain hurt. What about those questions that are of a moral nature, or of a highly debatable nature? Wouldn’t it be great if someone would just tell you what the answer is to those stumper questions?

In the book of Deuteronomy, God says, “I set before you life and death, blessings or curses.” And then God goes on to tell the Hebrew people- “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…” I love that! A choice that comes with the correct answer!

But how do we choose life? We chose life by adjusting our thinking every day to agree with God and by following the Spirit and allowing Him to move and conform us into His image.

Gloria Copeland says, “…to choose life is to choose God”.

Let’s encourage each other to stay obedient, to revere God, to put His word first today and to allow Him to be God. And then….

Choose life!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Changing it Up

Changing It Up

Our neighbor’s dog had a booming bark. It penetrated walls and barriers. The barking defied earplugs and white noise generators. No pillow placed over my head stopped the sound.

I had spoken to the neighbors three times.  Three times they said they would take care of it but they didn't and I was sure that they wouldn't do anything about it.

I decided that every time I heard the dog bark, I would consider it a call to prayer. Like the minaret calling Muslims to prayer, Rocky the Pit Bull alerted me to praise the name of Jesus.

This was a prime example of the spiritual principle from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18- Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I had a choice. I could allow Rocky to undermine my joy or I could use him as a tool for growth and change.

It worked. I used this call to worship for about four days and kept my joy plus…. the dog is now permanently silent (as in- lives somewhere else)!!!!!

Is there something in your life you can view as a call to prayer? Rather than reacting to it with your same old sense of frustration- try praising God. Will you? Let me know what happens.