Showing posts with the label Release

You drowning?

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. (Havelock Ellis) At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:16-17) What do you hold onto what actually weighs you down? A drowning man seeks to be free of all that adds weight to his body - shoes, jacket, shirt, and even pocket change! Why? It will drag him down - creating extra 'drag' on his body. Learning what creates 'drag' in our lives versus what liberates us to move freely is sometimes quite a challenge. We hold onto what God says we should give up and then wonder why we don't seem to have the 'capacity' to take on what he wants to give us next.  I know this seems simplistic, but when God deals with something in our lives, he is asking us to give it over to him. Does this mean it will never s

Just a little longer...

I wonder how many times we try to go it alone in life, kind of like some of us are doing right now, only to find ourselves in a worse muddle at the end? If you are like me (and I kind of think some of you might just be), you may try things on "your own" for a period of time, simply because you think you've "got everything under control". Then when the edges begin to fray a bit and life becomes a little more challenging than you expected, you begin to get a little worried, but you still hold onto control just a little longer. Why? The "fraying" is just a little annoyance at this point - you will deal with it. You don't feel the impact of a total "unraveling" quite yet - so you plunge ahead on your own. When do we finally take notice of how much "unraveling" has occurred in your life because you have been trying to do it alone? When the full-size blanket is the size of a washcloth? Love God, all you saints; God takes care

You wanna be free?

Have you seen someone so 'plastic' that you wonder what is still real about them? They have such an obsession with their appearance that they enhance that, reduce something else, go through that lift or tuck, pulling tighter and tighter, until what once was recognizable as that person is something quite different from the original! You might say they are a little 'two-faced'. Two-faced is just another way of saying someone is "fake". What you see isn't the real-deal. The tendency of these individuals is to act one way when they are with certain people and then a totally different way when with others. Their set of values can fluctuate based on the circumstance or opportunity. They lack consistency and are always changing depending on the whim of the moment. In time, they are harder and harder to 'recognize' because they are so inconsistent! I hate the two-faced, but I love your clear-cut revelation. (Psalm 119:113) I know a great many of us have th

More than bending over backwards

I think we shall always be among those who don't approve of what we say, what we do, the way we dress, or what we take joy in discovering. The world is full of people who think they know best, not really knowing much more on the subject than we do, but they think they do. There also all of those in this world who find fault in what we do, but all the while they are secretly admitting they want to do the same thing, or probably are! One day, Jesus and his disciples are walking to their next destination. They find themselves in the midst of a field of grain. Hungry from their journey, they reach out to take some of the grain as a little snack to get them through. What they do is forbidden - not because this was not their field to harvest, but because it was the Sabbath. To the Jew, this was a day of rest - commanded by God many years prior to be kept holy; a day when men cease from work and pay attention to God. A day in which there was absolutely NO flexibility for these Jewish '

Don't steam in it any longer!

"Count yourself lucky." We use this phrase, "I am so lucky", often without realizing what it means to be "lucky". It means that we are "favored" - to find a special space or focus of attention where all is going well. We should count ourselves as specifically favored by God - an object of his special focus! Being the special object of his favor should produce within each of us a sense of awe - tremendous wonder at how the God of the universe could have favor on us. His care for each of us begins with a specific action of his love - he forgives us - giving us a fresh start. The slate has been wiped clean! How many times do we say, "I wish I could get a fresh start"? Well, we can as many times as we need that 'fresh start' - God's footstool is the place of fresh starts. Fresh starts are characterized by being able to leave all the mess of our past exactly where it is and moving on beyond that place of 'messiness'. No

Exchange is possible

And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel; they wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!  God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn—Zion! God in full view! (Psalm 84:5-7 MSG) The psalmist declares that "happy" is the one in whom God "takes up residence" - the one that gives him right placement in their lives. As I read this passage again today, I asked myself the one question I like to ask myself from time to time: "Is my life marked by the footsteps and hand prints of God?" If God "passes through" my life on a frequent basis, my life should be marked well by his "tracks". If I spend time following him, the only footsteps that should be seen are his! If I find my hand securely in his, the only hand prints that should be molding my life are his - they are the ones that should be making the greatest and most lasti

Boxed in?

There are definitely times when we need to just tell someone how "boxed in" we are feeling at the moment.  It could be pressures from work piling up uncontrollably around us, or the bills of a few unexpected expenses which are now coming due, but regardless of the cause of the "boxed in" feelings, there is not much joy in them.  In fact, they are probably eliciting some fear, that little bit of anxiety mixed with frustration, and can even be creating undue physical pressures within our bodies which we now have to "manage", as well.  The scriptures are filled with examples of people feeling "boxed in", ranging from an entire nation of Israelites standing before the Red Sea with a vast amount of enemy forces closing in on them in hot pursuit, to the feelings of being alone and abandoned in a foreign country as a couple of widowed foreigners. Regardless of the cause, our sense of being "boxed in" can be overwhelming to us on occasion - el worrying on that again?

Instead of worry, we are to pray.  Instead of gloom and doom, we are to praise.  Instead of hatred, we are to walk in love.  In the Bible, there are a whole lot of "instead of" statements.  Sometimes we see them as don't do this, but do this; put off this, put on that; or don't go that way, but follow this path.  Regardless, of the wording, the intent is the same - we are NOT to pursue some course of action and we are to embrace readily another.  I don't think these words are in scripture for pleasant reading - they are instruction which will save us tons of regret if we will just heed them.  Today's "instead of" instruction is that of worry.  It is not "don't worry, be happy", but rather "don't worry, pray".  Too many times, we think if we will just pursue this or that which promises happiness, all our worries will just melt away.  Okay, I gotta ask . . . how's that working for you? Don’t fret or worry. Instead of w

Affecting or Infecting?

If you have ever struggled with a little negativity in your own life - such as just not being able to see the forest for the trees - you probably will get what I am going to talk about today.  Life choices are based on what we evaluate to be either "negative" or "positive" for our lives.  We try to avoid the negative and move toward what we consider to be positive.  The time it takes to avoid one and move toward another is really what gives us the most problems, isn't it?  One of the things we have to keep in mind is the "ease" at which the negative stuff comes into our lives.  It is like this ever-present gift that just keeps on giving!  On the other hand, the positive stuff takes a little longer, might seem a little hard to get our hands around, and sometimes even seems to evade us! Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not