Walking

Jer 7:23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people; and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it may be well with you.

Jer 6:16 Thus says Jehovah, Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths where the good way is, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it.

I am not walking well. Physically, I mean. My back issues have cropped up again and I am hobbling at best. Soon I will have surgery again. Twice in two years, almost exactly a year apart is not a good trend! Maybe I can skip August from now on…

Let me clarify that I’m not asking for sympathy, although I do covet prayers. God will see me through.

But thinking about my difficulties in walking with my back and legs led me to think about walking with my heart and my soul. My walk with the Lord. I confess I am sometimes hobbling and stumbling here too.

My prayer is this: “Lord Jesus, help me to walk in the way You have established for me. Let me not deviate from the path of righteousness and holiness and obedience to You. And when I stumble, when my spiritual walk is weak and hobbling along, lift me up and strengthen me in your Spirit as I cry out to You. Unlike the people in the time of Jeremiah, I desire to find and walk the old paths. Restore the beauty, wonder, and peace of a faithful walk with You. Let me bask in the fullness of Your grace. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.”

God bless you today.

Poem:

Sense

I sense in you the supernatural gift

the divine essence

the touch of the Almighty

the breadth of forgiveness

the calm of those who walk with the Lord deep into the night

And arise with a joy magnanimous

beyond this life

11/23/15

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Reflect

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away

Phil 3:8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ

I have been thinking lately.  Reflecting.  Specifically, about the following progression.  No matter how “good” our actions may be from a human perspective, no matter how altruistic our aims – even if carried out on behalf of the church or with Christian intent — if we act solely in our own strength our accomplishments might as well be garbage.

Too strong, too harsh?!

Paul did not think so.  He was in the “Who’s Who” of Judaism in his time.  You can refer to Philippians Chapter Three for his resume.  But Paul’s zeal (Saul at the time) resulted in the death of Christians.  Now, I’m not equating our actions with the murder of innocents.  [Although puported Christians who support abortion would in my mind be similar.  But that’s a topic for another day].  But in one respect we are the same as Paul.

Ask these questions about your actions, as I do the same:

  • Whose glory do I seek?
  • Am I confident that I am acting in God’s will, after a time of prayer?
  • And perhaps most important, have I confessed my sins & asked Almighty God to forgive me, accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior?

It is not an easy thing to lay down sin, especially the persistent kind that we are susceptible to, but it is so incredibly necessary.  It is a challenge to pray without ceasing, especially when the distractions of the world encroach, but it is so incredibly necessary.

I pray that we will see all of our earthbound abilities, talents, accomplishments the way that Paul did.  Filth.  Refuse.  Garbage.  Dung.   Depending on your translation.  But you get the idea.  Absolutely worthless.  Only fitting for the landfill or junkyard.

I am not condemning anyone.  But I hope that you will reflect as well. What are you leaning on?  

Important:  If you are unsure about your salvation, if you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can do so now.  Cry out to Him, admit you are a sinner, ask forgiveness for your sins, and ask Jesus into your heart.  Find peace.




Poem:

Handprints

I see the handprints of God…

It was an innocuous event really.   One that stems directly from our smartphone generation.   The screen of my phone went suddenly dark after having timed out to keep the battery from draining.   I happened to look down at the reflection of the light hitting the the surface of the phone; and what I saw was a bunch of little hand prints.  All the Taps and swipes that come from using a smartphone.  

This got me to thinking.  I thought about little handprints on the back door from our grandchildren, looking out in amazement at the world and leaving the imprint of their little fingers on the glass.   Then I thought about, of all things, our cat.  She has a habit of climbing up on the roof of the car while it’s parked in the driveway and in the course of doing that – leaving little prints all over to mark where she’s been.

Ultimately that led me to think about all the handprints of God in my life.  How behind the scenes and often not visible to the naked eye, God is there.   Working, moving, interceding on my behalf.  And on the various and sundry requests that I lift up to him.  That we all do.  

God is there.  He never left the throne, and He has our best interest at heart.  I encourage you to think about that today.  The little handprints of God.  If you look really hard, or maybe even not that hard, you should be able to see them.  

Traffic

Isaiah 53:6
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Philippians 2:21
For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

Simple question ~ most of us have run a traffic signal, especially trying to beat it before it turns red…but what would be the result if many or most people simply barrelled through the signal at full speed, from every direction, regardless of the color of the light?

The results are predictable.  Chaos, confusion, frustration, rage, wreckage, pain, death.

I find it interesting how compliant people are with traffic signals.  No matter what’s going on in our lives, we typically obey traffic lights.  I have this curious image in my mind of a thief, who after committing burglary then stops at every traffic signal on the way home.  Doesn’t want to draw attention to himself…

Now, don’t misunderstand.  I’m not saying people are perfect angels on the road.  I keep looking on the front grill of my car for a flashing neon sign that reads “Go ahead and pull out in front of me, I’ll just slam on the brakes.”  Haven’t found it yet, but I’m convinced it’s there…

Here’s the point of this.

Yes, I know, about time.  I can sense the palpable excitement.

Forgive the comic relief.  But from a spiritual perspective this scenario is being played out.  Think about it.  Millions, perhaps blllions of people are careening through life.  Ignoring or blatantly disregarding the signals that God amply provides.  Consequences be damned.

God’s Word has a plethora (I like saying that word btw as an irrelevant aside) of admonitions against sinful behavior.  We are wholly without excuse.  When we follow our own desires with abject determination, we plow through God’s traffic light.

The results are inevitable.  Chaos, confusion, frustration, rage, wreckage, pain, death.

But while you have breath, there is still time to slam the brakes on your out-of-control life.

Poem:

Inner God Divine?

What god resides in your soul tonight?

Yahweh the King or some cheap delight?

I must press the point with all of my might

What if you died or Christ split the night?

No matter your sins

No wrath shall condemn

If you place your trust

In Him who made us

(from dust)

So, who has the throne

in this life you call home?

while your true home awaits

the decision you make

and failing to choose

seals your soul’s doom

but while you have breath

there’s always room…

If only Heaven were filled tight

which god resides in your soul tonight?

The Mockingbirds

“God is not mocked.”  Gal 6:7

But seemingly He is.

  • The Democratic Party booed God at their national convention in 2012
  • Students at Columbine High (CO) were asked if they believed in God before being shot and killed by a couple of their classmates
  • Athlete Tim Tebow was relentlessly vilified and ridiculed for publicly expressing his faith in Christ

There are just a few examples off the top of my head.  You might think of others as well.

“God is dead.”

So declared Friedrich Nietzsche in the latter part of the 19th Century.  How wrong he was, he quickly ascertained one second after his death.

And those who would pick up Nietzsche’s declaration today are wrong as well.  The more man attempts to stamp out and kill the Christian faith, the more it grows and multiplies.  It’s like a harried man trying to stomp out a fire, only to have three or four pop up in its place.

Let the mockingbirds sing their anthem.  We, whose faith is minimized, marginalized, maligned, and worse – are praying for their souls.


Gal 6:7
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

The Crushing Weight 

Think of the sin on the earth, at this very moment you read these words from six billion souls.

Now consider the collective sin of humanity; past, present, and future.

The weight of the sin on the cross, laid upon our bleeding, suffering Savior, if it had physical weight would have cut the earth in half and still be hurtling through space.

We begin Lent.  May this thought be impressed upon my mind.

Where’s the Fire?

You’re late.

You have a sense of urgency that is compounded by the multiple loud distractions in the back seat, unexpected road construction, and certain aged people that simply shouldn’t be on the road.  It is only by the grace of God that you have kept some sense of sanity and refrained from letting loose a barrage of profanity that would be instantly implanted in the vocabulary of the young minds sitting the car seats behind you.

Deep breath.

But now on the open road – an opportunity to make up some lost time.  Faster than the limit on the signs that whiz by, but within the “grace period” of miles per hour over the speed limit.  At least, that is what you tell yourself.

But of course, the state trooper hidden over the next hill has a different opinion.

“Where’s the fire?!?”

“Well, Officer……”

You feel an impending sense of guilt.  You are overwhelmed by the reality of God’s grace and forgiveness in this life and the promise of Heaven in the next.  Yet, you know inherently that you have failed in the primary task of the great commission to take the gospel to your neighbors, and beyond.  

Deep breath.

This remorse propels you to act.  You desire to make up for lost time.  You must be bold, unashamed.  An overwhelming sense of love for others, compassion for their souls and their eternal destination without Christ causes you to be persistent, even reckless with sharing your faith.  Praise of Jesus is always on your lips.  You know we are living in a “grace period” before the Lord returns and it will be too late.

The world frowns at this overt Christian “proselytizing” and incessant references to Jesus, the Bible, and especially sin and Hell.

“Woah!  Slow down; put on the brakes with this Christian stuff.  After all what’s the rush?  Where’s the fire?”

The fire is closer than you realize.  It is already whipping at your heels.  In the twinkling of an eye, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.  By then it will be too late.  Today is the day of salvation.  Jesus is watching and waiting…

Poem:


I Should Burn


I can already feel

the embers growing

the oxygen blowing

the flames destroying


I can already taste

the choking smoke

the ashen dust

the pillowing soot


I can already see

the fiery pit

forever lit

human torches

in writhing fits


Now I am running

like an antelope from the flames

to the only

firebreak that remains


And I bow before the

Cross of my beloved Lamb

who smothers the flames to death

and applies the healing balm

to restore life again