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Archive for June, 2012

We are starting a new Bible study class this Sunday and I am excited to see what God is going to do.  We have been busy this week preparing the room that will house the new class.  We have painted and cleaned and moved furniture.

One of the downsides to having a church that will celebrate 100 years in a little over a year is that the building is not new.  The lighting in the new class room was original to the building and gave the ambiance of a remote cave at Carlsbad Caverns.

So part of the room renovation involved taking down the old, single bulb light fixtures and putting up new florescent lighting.  On Tuesday, my oldest son and I tackled that project.  But the first thing we learned is that those old 200 watt bulbs put off some heat.  We turned the lights off and then turned the breaker off to the room and got ready to take the old fixtures down.  The fixtures were so hot, we could not touch them.  We had to wait 20 minutes to begin the process.  Once they cooled down, we were able to remove the old fixtures, install the new ones and increase the amount of light in the room by at least 150%.

Yesterday, I ran across this quote from Woodrow Wilson that went along with our experience with the lights.  He said,  “One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat.”  What a great thought!

So often, we try to offer our guidance or wisdom to a person in need and in the process of shedding light on the subject, we also apply heat.  It is all in the way we go about it and our attitude toward the situation.

Think of it in relation to how Jesus followers are often perceived by the world.  The media does not find stories of Mother Teresa’s self-sacrificial, illuminating work nearly as news worthy as a fundamentalist group burning the Korán or torching an abortion clinic.

Don’t get me wrong, physics would tell us that a by-product of producing light is nearly always heat.  But I can tell you that the new florescent lights put off a lot more light than the old ones and half the heat.

We need to focus on being light for a dark world without driving people away because they can’t stand the heat.

Go be light today!

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In some of my reading this morning, I picked up My Utmost For His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.  Today’s reading deals with Philippians 2:12 and the working out of our faith.  But the words that have been ringing in my heart since reading them earlier are these – “exhibit the evidence” of a life of faith.

Exhibit the evidence.  I have to ask myself, does my life always exhibit the evidence of faith?  There is no doubt that all our lives exhibit evidence of something.  Our actions tell the story of our heart.  People see who we really are through what we do and say.

I pray that today, I exhibit the evidence of a life committed to Jesus.

Is that your prayer today?

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Never Alone

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  That is God’s promise to us found in Hebrews 13 verse 5.  Let that sink in.  Never.  Never alone.  Never facing life by yourself.  God will never turn away – God will never walk away – God will never give up on you.

That is not to say we cannot turn away from God.  In fact, when we do turn away from God and choose our own way we find it is most often the starting point of our pain and troubles.  We have it in our nature to try and do it on our own.  It is inherent.  Think about small children as they learn to do things.  I can remember each of my boys saying, “Me do it.”  It is a part of our makeup to want to do things for ourselves – to be independent.

God created us with a desire for independence so there is nothing wrong with that but it causes problems when we begin to think we don’t need God.  The farther we allow our hearts to get from God, the more often we choose paths that lead no where.

But, the good news is that God will never leave us and God never gives up on us.

So regardless of how far you have run or how long you have been away, God is still right there with you.  Peace and grace is only a prayer away.

Be blessed today!

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Have you ever had one of those weeks?  A week full of “one of those days?”  I’m not trying to complain, but that is my story today.  It has been one of those weeks.  I don’t think there has been a day this week in which I even started the things I had planned for the day before 2 PM.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing has blown up in my face, it has just been a constant stream of unexpected events and issues.

But, that is life.  It is something we all experience from time to time.  We stick with it and we do the best we can.

I was reminded of that strategy by a friend from San Antonio yesterday.  We just have to do our best.  We have to be faithful.  As hard as I try to strategically plan out my day so that I accomplish the most possible, life happens and my plan goes out the window.  I look up at the end of the day and it seems I have accomplished nothing.  That sermon that is coming on Sunday hasn’t been touched.  That conversation with the insurance company about the roof replacement has not taken place.  So many things on my To Do list haven’t been done.

But God didn’t create that To Do list, I did.  So the pressure I feel may be more self-inflicted than spirit directed.

God simply asks us to be faithful – to do our best.  It really is that simple.

Now, I don’t believe that is a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.  We still have to truly do our best.  But if we do our best – if we live in the moment and follow the leadership of the spirit as opportunities present themselves, then God takes care of the rest.

So today, if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed – if there is more on your plate for this week than you have week left to complete it – take heart.

Do your best.  And live into the freedom of knowing that God is pleased with you!

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