Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Be careful what you tune into!


Galatians 5:7-9
“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for He is the one who called you to freedom. This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!”


We pay attention to what we’re tuned in to.

It’s funny… my mom, who is on the East Coast, emailed me and said she was praying about the earthquakes. My response? 


"What earthquakes ???" 

I apparently missed when that chipper news was being announced. I’ve had a few deadlines to complete some books I was asked to read and review, so I’ve had my head buried in those. As a result, I was clueless about quakes and focused more on how not to come “Unglued” when you hear of such things. (small plug for Lysa Terkeurst's book “Unglued” that I was reviewing ;)

You know how when you’re driving along, listening to that Christian Station on the radio, when suddenly it starts going to that other station where they sing about kickin’ the dog and leaving your spouse?  (Sorry Country Music lovers, I know they’re not ‘ALL’ about that ;)

Any hoo…

do you ever feel like that in life? One minute you’re tuned into a positive station, and before long, another station is competing for your affection. And the further down the road you drive, the louder and clearer that station tunes in. Eventually you’re tempted to just switch completely over to that station, just to avoid the static.

Be careful what you tune into just because it’s loud and clear. (It doesn’t make it good and right.)

Just because the squeaky wheel gets the grease…doesn’t mean the clearer station should have our attention.

There are many messages being shouted at us through the megaphones of life…don’t let the ‘clarity’ persuade you or the pervasiveness.

1 Corinthians 5:6-7
“You’re flip and callous arrogance in these things bothers me. You pass it off as a small thing, but it’s anything but that. Yeast, too, is a “small thing”, but it works its way through a whole batch of bread dough pretty fast.”

What are a few things you have been tuned into lately that may have been a result of driving too far down the road and your connection isn’t as strong? The radio station may not seem life altering, but it’s those other things that can do damage that starts out pretty subtle. The staticky station is a warning sign as you continue to go down that road... keep alert.





Monday, December 8, 2014

Buffet Style Faith


Jeremiah 15:16
"Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts."

My dog Faith wasn’t feeling good this morning and threw up a few times.




When she came back inside, I fed her some dog food. It’s the kind with several different colors and flavors.

Just watching her cracked me up as she picked out the pieces she didn’t like and chucked them out of the bowl and across the floor. Those were probably the pieces that were good for her, she just liked the other ones more.


I was thinking about my Pastor’s Sermon on the book of Jude. He asked us, “Are you a cut and paste type of person? Do you pick and choose?”

We tend to be just like my dog. We take the stuff we don’t like in the bible and chuck it across the floor, and we choose the stuff we like. Possibly the reason we’re sick (like poor Faithy) is because we’re not ingesting those hard things that will bring health to our soul. Of course we prefer grace and forgiveness and love, especially when we’re blowing it. But how about sacrifice and discipline and surrender – THOSE pieces aren’t as ‘yummy’.

Do you have a ‘Buffet Style’ faith, where you carefully pick out only the things that go down easy, and please your palate? Or are you seated at God’s table and eating everything that He has put on your plate, even if it happens to smell like asparagus and might actually have some nutritional value?





Remember, we need all the food groups to live a healthy physical life, just as we need balance to live a healthy spiritual life as well. Some don’t go down as easy, but produce healthy results. Others, like Cotton Candy (is that a food group?!), disappear magically as soon as you ingest it and only end up making you sick if you have a steady diet of it. Plus it will never give you the energy to go the distance. You will just crash and burn from the sugar coma. 

Choose well.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I'm constantly needing a Routine Perspective Check-up

Perspective.

Who doesn’t need a healthy dose of that?!? 

It doesn’t change your reality, yet it pulls you away from the impact it’s having on you. 

It diffuses its effect.
It waters down its potency.

If you’re crammed in that small place, wishing you had more ‘room’ (physically or figuratively speaking)…then I think of my Robbie who just got released from a tiny hospital room after 117 days! That’s 4 months!!!

Day in. 

Day out. 

Her Aortic Stenosis, her pneumonia, her UTI’s, her ventilator and trying to wean her off, her muscles  starting  to atrophy because she wasn’t breathing on her own. Her having to get a new trache, then getting an infection in that area. Yeast infections in her mouth, and heart valve issues. 

She is finally home, sitting on the deck in the sunshine with a great big smile! I don’t know about you, but that gives me perspective. One big helping of it! My ant problem becomes laughable. The car with no air conditioning that makes me cranky…yeah, so what! The broken washing machine that sends me to the Laundromat and ‘inconveniences’ my comfortable little life…get over it.

Perspective.

It’s a gift we receive by taking a look around. It comes freely when we aren’t so introspective, but by observing outside of ourselves. You may need to go looking for it, whether it be found in a Cancer Ward or a Soup Kitchen…but chances are you don’t have to go far. You won’t even need a Passport. It could be next door as your neighbor is carrying a huge load. Something unbearable.

Philippians 4:11-13 says, “Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy, whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”

My brother’s fiancĂ© Robbie, who I mentioned above, has since passed away. She went to her forever home in Heaven on December 20th of last year. (The ache in our hearts still remain.) With all of the difficulties she endured in her earthly body (ones I would never pretend to even come close to fathoming), she did it with such grace and humility. She was a visual reminder to “have no confidence in the flesh” as Philippians 3:4 instructs. I thank God for the privilege of learning from such a selfless soul…lessons I will continue to try and apply in my own human weakness. She was a gift, and with her favorite Christmas Holiday coming up, I will continue to unwrap all of the lessons she has given me since she entered my life. Can’t wait to see you again my sweet sister!  In the blink of an eye!