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A little 'wheel-time'

Drift happens - little by little - almost without ever noticing just how far off-course you have gone. Isaiah is an Old Testament prophet sent to Israel to encounter them for their "drift" - having become "like the other nations". If you have never really read the entire message of Isaiah, you will have missed special words such as: Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow. If they are red as crimson, they will become like wool. (1:18) Then they will beat their swords into iron plows and their spears into pruning tools. Nation will not take up sword against nation; they will no longer learn how to make war. (2:4) Doom to those who call evil good and good evil, who present darkness as light and light as darkness, who make bitterness sweet and sweetness bitter. (5:20) The list could go on and on, but I would like to focus us on one of the latter chapters of this great book. There we find these words: Still, God, you are our Father. We’re t…
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How "tight" are your thoughts?

Man, we sure have seen some nasty stuff lately, haven't we? Between this virus and the viral protests, rampant natural disasters, and destructive fires, things have gotten pretty hairy. I think it is pretty apparent - we live in a world where people just don't seem to fight fair, and not everything is fair in this life. It becomes very apparent in times when disaster strikes - not just that this "unfairness" existed exist all along, but the fierceness of the competition seems to bring out the worst in mankind at times. True enough, it is a dog-eat-dog world out there! That is not a very pleasant thought to me - dogs eating other dogs - but it definitely paints a graphic picture, does it not? What's more, the world just doesn't fight fair. But...as a believer in Christ, we have a different way of fighting our battles!

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never h…

Delayed, not dead

The Lord is not slow about keeping His promise as some people think. He is waiting for you. The Lord does not want any person to be punished forever. He wants all people to be sorry for their sins and turn from them. (2 Peter 3:9)
I would like us to stop for a moment this morning to think on these words - the Lord is not slow about keeping his promises as some people think. If you promise me something, I am looking out for the fulfillment of that promise. I am eager to see it come to pass - whether it is a promise that is for me, or one for somebody else I care deeply about. If we see a delay in the promise, we might just think God isn't going to bring it to pass, or that he has forgotten us, or even that we might not have heard God right when we stood upon that particular promise. We are like that because we expect the fulfillment to be one way, but God may be coming about it in a totally different way than we expected. 
I think I shared this before, but it bears repeating. There a…

Does this really require me to think?

Does your 'thinker' always work? Mine doesn't! There are lots of times I'd have to admit I might have totally disengaged my 'thinker' and was acting merely on 'feelings'. Thinking is hard enough when we 'have to' do it, but when we don't feel like investing the time or energy into thinking things through, we usually find we get down the road and don't have what we needed for the journey. Some of us shut off that 'thinking' side of our lives on purpose, while others of us abandon 'thinking' almost without even knowing we have done it. There are things we do by 'instinct' now - like putting on our socks or lacing up our shoes. We don't have to really engage our 'thinkers' to get those tasks done. It has become what most refer to as 'muscle memory' - really showing our 'thinkers' don't have to continuously be engaged in order for us to have purposeful action take place!
Good thinking wi…

Stop hating each other

I have to ask - how easy is it for you to hold a grudge? That old adage that time heals all wounds is really not all that relevant if you are really, really good at holding a grudge! In fact, the more you nurse a grudge, the longer it will hang around in your life, impacting not only the relationship you are so unwilling to forgive, but it begins to affect all the other relationships in your life, as well. Hurting someone who has hurt you - it is kind of an innate thing - it is just part of defending one's self, isn't it? Since the beginning of time, we have lashed out against things that hurt us - destroying them if we could, but at least distancing ourselves from them as much as possible. I gotta ask - is that really the best way to deal with people, though?
Do not hurt someone who has hurt you. Do not keep on hating the sons of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)
While we might want to distance ourselves from the lion who prowls t…

Hey, I am having a hard time seeing

The division in our country just amazes me sometimes, but then I need to come back to reality and remember we are humans and humans sometimes don't act so well when we get together in the same sandbox. There will always be those in life we just don't see eye-to-eye with. The very fact we are each individuals, given to our own special talents and unique method of reasoning makes us "individuals". It is much easier being around people who all believe the same way we do, isn't it? There is less friction, everything going a little smoother. I wonder what WE learn in those moments of time when we are with someone who just "grates" at us - who doesn't think exactly as we do, getting a little too close to being 'on the other side' of the issue from us. You know the one I mean - just never seeing things from any other perspective than their own. They "get our goat", don't they? Be truthful! You know they do!

Welcome with open arm…

Your promise me what?

Have you seen the hope of a promise and what influence it has over a person? The "pulling" or "pushing" effect of the promise they hold onto is often the only thing keeping them going, isn't it? If you have ever really taken any kind of look into scriptures, you will see they are filled with promises. Some make immediate sense to us, causing us to just simply latch onto them quickly, while others take a little "getting used to" in order to have any real kind of impact on us. By definition a promise is something which gives hope - it is what we base our expectations on. If we have been given a promise - we hold out for the fulfillment, don't we? Now, in terms of God's promises, they actually serve to "pull us on" when we don't have the energy to make another move ourselves!

With promises like this to pull us on, dear friends, let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s…