Monday, August 31, 2015

The Either/Or Game

The Either/Or Game
Have you ever played the either/or game? It’s a simple game composed of asking questions such as: Which flavor ice cream do you prefer, chocolate or vanilla? Would you rather go on a vacation to the mountains or the ocean? Which team do you like, the Dodgers or the Giants? It’s fun to play because you learn something about the people you’re playing with and often there is a lot of discussion about the choices and why one of the choices is so obviously the better choice. 

Jesus posed a similar kind of “either/or” scenario to the crowds, but it was not intended to be a game or looked upon as merely lively banter. He wasn’t asking what kind of dessert they preferred- figs or dates? He said, “…he who is not with me is against me.”  This either/or statement had (and still has) an eternal answer. Your response to this statement reveals where and how you will spend eternity. It is without a doubt the most important choice you will ever make. You are either with Jesus or against Jesus. There is no middle ground. There isn’t a third choice. Which will it be?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015



My tennis bag is really heavy. I’m ready for runny noses, dry skin, headaches, blazing sun, and sore muscles.  I carry extra racquets, socks, underwear (it’s true), three sets of sunglasses, Band-Aids, knee and wrist braces, lipstick, a can of balls, and two kinds of mosquito repellant. I stockpile stuff to be prepared and to feel confident when I go out to play.

I didn’t realize that collecting all this stuff was an attempt to control life on the courts so that nothing bad could or would happen. But something bad did happen. I broke a tendon running for a ball. At that point, there wasn’t anything I could pull out of my bag for help. What I needed was faith that God would be with me, and He was. I needed His strength and calming ways, which was there in a heartbeat.

It’s good to be prepared, but preparing spiritually is key.  I’ve learned that stockpiling faith experiences to pull out in times of crisis sustain me way more than anything I could physically pull out of a bag.

Build up your faith like it is a bank account. It’ll pay off when a crisis comes your way.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Spiritual Housekeeping

Spiritual Housekeeping

Occasionally when I clean house I get totally disgusted with how much stuff I have. It seems to creep up without me noticing until it’s chokingly out of control. Excess baggage eventually takes me to a breaking point where I start throwing and giving things away so the house becomes manageable again.

The last time this happened, I realized that the bare bones essentials needed in life are: air, water, protection from the elements, and food. These four things take care of our physical selves, but my next line of thinking was: what are the bare bones essentials for our spiritual selves? I came up with these four things:

Bible Study
And Fellowship

Through prayer, our wills soften and bend into conformity with His will.
Through worship our emotions fall into line and are tamed.
Through the study of God’s word, our minds are renewed.
Fellowship reminds us that we are not alone in this journey.

This spiritual refocusing was refreshing! It was like cleaning the closet of my soul; removing the nonessentials.

How’s the spiritual clutter in your life? Consider not just in your physical living space but perhaps more importantly, in your “soulish” space.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Printer Wisdom

Printer Wisdom

I was printing a document this morning and opted to do the printing on both sides, using pages with pre-punched holes. I had many opportunities to mess this up such as:

1) Putting the paper into the printer the wrong way,
2) Peeking too soon to see if the back was done,
3) Nudging the paper to try and make it feed faster causing it to then jam,

4) Typing in the wrong page numbers thereby printing the wrong pages in the wrong order,

5) Printing way too many of the wrong pages before finding the STOP button,

6) Running out of paper because of all the mistakes resulting in a trip to the store,

7) When the paper would get hung up and would buckle, I’d help it along which REALLY messed things up! When I kept my hands off, it fixed itself… that’s where God came onto the scene.

Every time I would peek, nudge, not pay attention, or interfere, my project got off track. When I’d focus, letting it work itself out and take my hands off of it, things went swimmingly well!

God whispered to me, “There’s a lesson here.”

Do you hear it?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Praying It Through

Praying It Through


I can’t quite come to grips with Your overwhelming magnitude and how very small I am in comparison to You.

Because of the size and power discrepancy between us, You can’t possibly be interested in my trivial wants and needs. You have so many other people, places, and events that consume Your time.

Who am I that You should consider my life?

I feel so insignificant when I see Your work on such a grand scale.

“…what is man that You are mindful of him?”

And then I remember the lost lamb and the dying sparrow.

I recall the wine at the wedding.

You know the number of hairs on my head and where the lost coin was to be found.

Consider the lilies.

You are the God of details- the universe’s undulations and my own.

God, You are ever present. You are in everything.

Forgive me for making you so very small.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your father’s will…Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31