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Archive for February, 2010

Daring Humility

One of the books I am reading right now is titled, Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith, by Shane Hipps.  In this book, Hipps spends a chapter discussing how our perception often shapes our reality.  In fact, if the truth be told, we build our lives around what believe to be true.  And of course, that is how it should be.

But what happens when we realize that some element we have always believed to be true turns out to be false?

Stay with me – I promise I am not out in left field.  But here is what I want us to see today – we should live our lives built on the truth as best we understand it.  But when our understanding of truth becomes an arrogant certainty, we have gone too far.

Hipps uses a great phrase to remind us of where we stand with this issue of holding our ground when it comes to our beliefs:  daring humility.  He says this:

Daring humility is honest enough to admit that we see things in a mirror dimly, and bold enough to live a life of deep conviction anyway.

While we need to admit we do not have all the answers, we need to hold fast to what we believe.

Practice daring humility today!

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On the way to the office today, a song was playing on the radio that has stayed with me.  The song is by Kris Allen titled, Live Like We’re Dying.  Not to be confused with Tim McGraw’s song, Live Like You Are Dying – both songs have much of the same emphasis of making the most of our time on earth.   If you knew you had only 3 days to live, would it change you the way you live right now?

What caught my ear is the chorus of Kris’s song.  The words remind us that we only have 86,400 seconds in each day to turn the world around or to throw it all away.  It’s our choice.  Kris urges us to tell people that we love them and make a difference in the world around us while we have the chance.

The point is this: we should live each day as if we were on the verge of death.

So here is my challenge for you:  What are you going to do, today, with your 86,400 seconds of life God has given you.  Will you be selfish or will you spend some of those seconds showing God’s hope and love – making the world a better place?

Live like you are dying!

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I had a parent tell me this story yesterday and I wanted to relay it to you.  This particular family got some bad news on Monday and they were talking and crying and praying through and sorting out all that this news would mean for them.  In the midst of the discussion, their 10 year old daughter made this observation.

“You know, God made the road and we are just the cars that drive on it.  Sometimes it snows and we slide into the ditch and get stuck.  But if we trust in God and pray, and with the help of God and our family and friends, we can get unstuck.  We are just stuck right now but we will get out.”

Wow – the wisdom of a 10 year old!

Have you slid into a ditch?  Are you stuck?  Reach out to God and to your friends and family.  God is faithful to pull us through!

Be blessed today!

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Yesterday, I was reminded of a vital truth that we all need to remember if we are seeking to follow in the Way.  Western culture is results driven.  You and I, if you live in the US particularly, are products of this culture.

We are not satisfied if we don’t see results from our efforts.  When we commit time and energy to something, we want to know it counted for something.  I always tell those who participate in mission trips that we may never see the fruits of our labor.  But we are not naturally conditioned by our culture to live that way.

Here is the truth for today: God does not expect us to be “successful” but God does expect us to be faithful.

Yesterday, I was leaving a local store after picking up some things for the church.  I followed a lady out who had a big bag of Ole’ Roy dog food in her electric scooter basket.  So I followed her to her car and offered to put her items in the car for her.  After loading her things, I said, “have a nice day,” and she said, “thank you.”  I walked away and she went about her day.

I did not hear an angelic chorus and the lady did not fall to her knees and begin to worship God.  It was just a simple act with no real apparent impact.  But that is the point, God does not expect us to be concerned with results – God just wants us to simply live in service to God and others.

Be faithful today – even in the small things.

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Sometimes I am pretty thick headed – just ask my family.  I am also fairly driven by a type A personality – I need to get things done to have a sense of accomplishment.

Do you have any of these tendencies?

The reason I bring it up today is that God has been teaching me that my times in prayer and reading each day should not be about checking things off the list.

If you have been following my ramblings here in this blog for very long, you may remember that I have been in the book of Romans for a couple of years.  I don’t read it every day, some days I focus my reading in other books of the Bible, but inevitably, my goal is to make it through the book of Romans.

Here is why it is taking me so long – some days, like today, God stops me and says, “don’t leave that verse until you get it.”  Yesterday, I read Romans 11:22-24 (you can read it here).  Today as I sat to pray and read, I opened my Bible back up to Romans with the intention of beginning with verse 25.  I had an overwhelming sense that I should not read today, but rather simply pray.  As I prayed, I kept reflecting back to a phrase in Romans 11:23 from yesterday, “if they do not persist in unbelief.”

We say that we trust God – but do we really?  With everything?  Or do we set out each day to get things done and then ask God to bless our actions?

I still have a tendency to want to control things and make things happen but God wants me to simply rest in this belief and to trust:  God is in control.

God is going to do something amazing today!   Do you believe that – or do you persist in unbelief?

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Living in the Light

When you have three kids, the word schedule becomes an illusive term.  When they were born, the word schedule meant that there were times to feed and times to sleep and times to play.  Now that they are older, those elements still exist, but it is harder to keep them tied to any particular schedule.  In fact, it seems to change from season to season and sport to sport.

We are currently in basketball season.  As such, because of the age of the kids, two of the boys have practice before school.  So that makes for some early mornings.  I normally take the boys to school so that means getting up and getting ready for the day in the dark so as not to wake Kristi.

This morning  I got up and made my way to the boys’ rooms to make sure they were up and getting ready.  Their lights were on and so my eyes adjusted to the brightness of morning.  But as I made my way back through the house to my room, my eyes were having trouble re-adjusting to the dark.  As I walked through our bedroom toward our bathroom I headed to where the door has been for the last seven plus years.  But because my eyes were not adjusted to the dark,  I navigated right into the wall – missed the opening by a foot!

(Kristi, if the thud of my head on the wall woke you, I apologize – but don’t panic, I’m fine.)

I am reminded that living in the light is so much better (and often less painful but not always) than living in the dark.  The contrast between light and dark is a  major theme in the Bible.  In fact, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”  You can read it here.  Jesus came to give us light – to show us how to live.  Without him, we would most likely be running into walls all the time.

Seek to live in the light today!

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