Category Archives: Direction

“I Just Gotta Eat!”

boy eating

Ah, the simplistic honesty of children. Years ago, when our oldest son was three, we had asked him to pray over the evening meal. He bowed his head and exhaled deeply. Then, with great intensity, he said these exact words: “Dear God, I JUST GOTTA EAT!”

Those words have echoed through my thoughts many times over the years. Seldom in regards to physical food, though. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Yet I find that there are times in my life, like now, when it seems the more spiritual food I eat, the hungrier I get.

To be honest, there have been times when I was spiritually hungry because I skipped a few meals. But this isn’t one of those times. I hope that everyone senses what I do. I truly believe we are on the brink of a very special move of God. Our world is in distress and times are getting darker, but the beautiful, sweet presence of God is moving over the face of the earth to bring comfort and joy to all who will receive it.

I also sense a fresh awakening of God’s people. It seems that so many have been drowsy for too long. Content to live on fast food, spiritually speaking, we have become sluggish and unhealthy. All the while, God has offered us a well-balanced banquet and bids us to come eat.

Partaking of spiritual food parallels the physical. The more spiritual manna we partake of, the healthier and stronger we become. In turn, we find ourselves becoming more energetic and active again. Rather than being couch potatoes, we find ourselves being about the Father’s business all the more. And this increased level of activity, creates more hunger in our hearts.

Obviously, I’m not the only one who is getting hungrier. All across this nation, people are crying out to God for more- more of His presence, more of His power. And God is faithfully answering because He never turns away the hungry.

It is truly my heart’s desire that everyone- those who know God and those who do not, will begin to feel such hunger pains that we more fervently seek our heavenly Father and cry out to Him, “Dear God, I JUST GOTTA EAT.”

Walking Upon Possibilities

soldier

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” Thomas Carlyle, Scottish Historian.

Sitting in a crowded waiting room this past week, I watched a very young girl make her way slowly across the room. Tears pooled in my eyes at the thought that this crippled child would have to use crutches for the rest of her life. But she wasn’t the least bit sad. From the sweet, careless smile which lit her innocent face, it was quite obvious that she didn’t give her legs a second thought.

I was reminded of William Pitt the Elder, a British Politician, who was an extremely influential figure during the French Revolution. What Pitt lacked in physical strength, he more than made up for in determination. The concept of limitation was a foreign one to him.

Though he rarely delegated duty, he had at some point during the war given a direct command to one of his officials. When the man balked at the impossibility of the task, Pitt reprimanded him by pointing to his crutches and confidently declared: “Sir, I walk upon impossibilities!”

There is no question that all of humanity is currently facing difficulty and hardship. The future holds many uncertainties and without God, I believe, little hope. With God, however, there is much hope because with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Whatever you are going through right now, dear reader, remember that we may all lose a few battles, but we will most assuredly win the war. Now is not the time to give in to discouragement; there is too much work to do. It may be difficult, but let us all rise to the challenge.

Marie Currie, French physicist and Nobel Peace Prize winner summarized this well. She said “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that…. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”

It is far too easy to allow circumstances to cripple us. And when they do, we can choose to accept them as insurmountable, henceforth hobbling on emotional crutches. Or we can look them squarely in the face and declare, as Mr. Pitt did, “I walk upon impossibilities!” Let me remind you again, with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37).

Too Heavenly Minded?

stairway

Through the years I have heard a few preachers say that we can be “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.” Modern translation: Radicals need not apply. When I read my bible, however, I find numerous accounts of “radical” servants of the Most High who turned their worlds upside down with their passion for God and His kingdom.

The first sermons of Jesus recorded in scripture were about the kingdom of Heaven. In fact, everything He taught, every miracle He performed, every body He healed, even His death on the cross, were all about the kingdom of Heaven. Who amongst us would ever think Him to be so heavenly minded as to be of no earthly good? And we are supposed to be imitators of Jesus Christ aren’t we?

No, I don’t think it possible to be too heavenly minded. In regard to God’s instructions, scripture commands that you impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
In other words, all the time!

Furthermore, blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. (Psalms 1:2)

Why is he blessed? When a man meditates on God’s word, he acts on God’s word. It is the heavenly minded who does this world the most good –that which lasts for eternity. The more “radical” believers are, the more likely they are to turn this world upside down for the furtherance of God’s kingdom.

So then, can a believer be too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good? Again, I don’t think so. I doubt that is what we should be asking anyway. Perhaps we should be asking the opposite:

Can a person be too earthly minded to be of any heavenly good?

–just a little food for thought.

“I Want to Be My Dad!”

father son

“Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice” – Unknown

October is my favorite month. In fact, I would consider it to be just about perfect, if only we could somehow get rid of Halloween for good. For the record, I dislike this holiday very much.

Nonetheless, my very sweet friend, who does allow her child to go trick-or-treating, shared something with me the other day that blessed me greatly, and I would like to share this with you.

After some deliberation, this adorable little boy decided he wanted to be either a Power Ranger, or Optimus Prime, the Transformer, for Halloween. His parents shopped on the right day, for they were able to get both costumes for the price of one. Understandably, they considered this to be a blessing because they were then prepared for whichever choice the lad finally made.

Later, a family friend asked the little boy, “What do you want to be for Halloween?” His father answered for him. To his parents’ surprise, however, he had changed his mind; he didn’t want to be either a Power Ranger or a Transformer.

“I want to be my dad!” he proudly stated.

This little boy’s father is his super-hero. Normally, this wouldn’t be such an unusual thing, but it is pretty awesome that of all the make-believe characters that this little guy could dress-up as on this night, he wanted to be just like his daddy for real. And that is exactly what he is going to do. Father and Son will dress exactly alike, beard and all, as the little ‘man’ goes out trick-or-treating.

I think this touching little story blessed me so much, not only because of the genuine love and respect this boy has for his father, but also because it reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s exhortation that we be imitators of Christ. And we do this, not out of a sense of duty, but rather because we deeply love and cherish Him, and long to be just like our Heavenly Father.

But whoso keepeth his [Jesus’] word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1 John 2:5-6).

pencil lady

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Old Paths

path

The young man at the thrift store was quite serious when he said, “Oh my, you don’t see many of these anymore.” I had to chuckle. It’s not like I was purchasing an eight track player; it was a telephone, and it wasn’t even a rotary.

I don’t know about you, but technology is moving way too fast for my comfort – or my comprehension. Of course, I do enjoy my laptop, but this is honestly the most technologically advanced piece of equipment I own, and seeing that today’s electronics age even faster than doggie-years, it is pretty much a relic already. As far as cell phones go, I did finally move up to a $20 flip phone for my $15 a month pre-paid plan, but that was only after I dropped my last one on the floor and gave it a concussion. My children actually laughed at that one because it had an antenna –no, I am not kidding.

What can I say? I would rather be a Flintstone than a Jetson.¹

When it comes to my faith, I feel the same way. Clearly the church, as a whole, has elected to trade in their “antiquated” methods of reaching the lost for the flashier, “technologically correct” gizmos and gadgets, but as for me, I’m sticking with the prophet Jeremiah on this one:

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.
(Jeremiah 6:16).

I happen to believe the “old paths” are the best ones, and hold to the old adage, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it.” Besides, I get plenty worn-out trying to figure-out all this new stuff, so I relish the chance to find rest anywhere I can! Speaking of which, it is time for me to go read some Scripture on my iPad. Nah, I’m just kidding; I’m going to go read my Bible from an actual book, like they did in the good-old-days.

Blessings.

¹For those of you who live outside the United States, and have never seen the Flintstones or Jetsons; these were both television cartoons from the 1960’s. The former represented a family living in the primitive Stone Age, and the latter represented a family living in the futuristic Space Age.

pencil lady

⇒Disclaimer: My apologies for the following advertisement, if applicable. I would like this site to be an advertisement-free site, but I have to pay a fee for this. I plan to do so in future, but for now, please know that I have nothing to do with advertisements &/or advertisement selection.

Out of Whack

deafness

My chiropractor informs me that my body is out of alignment, but I prefer the down-home phrase, out of whack, because I have lots of whackadoodle symptoms as a result. By the way, whackadoodle has recently been added to the Oxford dictionary, so I guess I’m not the only one who favors fun and quirky phrases.

Today, as my neck was being attended to, my lower back suddenly screamed PAIN! It is amazing how one part of the body can affect another part, one that is seemingly unrelated. Our bodies are incredibly complex, however, and every part is explicitly interconnected.

For example, my dentist believed a root canal might be in order, but an adjustment of my cranial plates eliminated the severe jaw pain. The nerves in my tooth are alive and well. Similarly, an elderly friend of mine was able to cancel his knee surgery after just one visit with my chiropractor. Turns out, there was nothing wrong with his knee; his pain was merely a symptom of his body being out of whack.

Dear friends, I am certain that our spiritual lives, in like manner, can be affected by misalignment. I could offer many examples, but I would rather leave you today with the following thoughts from the book of Proverbs, chapter 3, verses 1-8:

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones

 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.    3 John 1:2

Falling Rock

falling rock

As a child, I passed many an hour in the back of a station wagon, watching for a Native American chief named Falling Rock. My mother told such fanciful tales of the Chief and his many adventures. No wonder his fame had spread so rapidly that signs were posted across the country reminding travelers to keep an eye out for him.

On those long trips, I wanted nothing more than to spot Chief Falling Rock, mostly because he was so legendary and yet so elusive. I hunted for the Bigfoot monster for many years for the same reason. To this day, I haven’t seen either. No surprise there.

I’m not sure what age I was when reality hit; Falling Rock was obviously not an Indian chief. But I am thankful that my mother found creative ways to help me beat the road-trip blues. Heaven knows, imagining the exciting adventures of Chief Falling Rock was a lot more interesting than watching for literal rocks to fall. Back then, I could have written a whole book on the Chief’s exploits, and probably those of his whole tribe.

Childhood imagination is a wonderful thing. But there comes a time when we must all mature –a time when wisdom and understanding are crucial for guidance and protection!

Thankfully, the Lord has graciously erected many guidepost for us in His word.  Consider the following in the book of Proverbs:

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones
Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
 and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
(2:1-11 NIV)

When I Sit in Darkness

sun

Have you ever been driving beneath a blackened sky, then suddenly came to a place where the sun pierced through the clouds so brightly that you could see little else? When I experienced this a few days ago, I was utterly filled with sheer delight. True, driving in that circumstance was a bit more challenging, but my thoughts were immediately turned to Jesus Christ, my soon-coming King!

I know that some of you can relate, and have also felt the exhilaration of watching an incredible brightness obliterate the darkness. Like me, you probably remembered, and  rejoiced at the very sure promise that soon, “… as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:27). Indeed, His coming will be much brighter than anything we could ever imagine. The most glaring sunshine piercing the darkest sky could only pale in comparison.

This is all the more comforting, considering how very dark the world has become –dark with violent crime, terrorism and war, and every manner of evil. We are daily bombarded with reminders of how the darkness is quickly engulfing our world; yet we can patiently endure all if we faithfully hold fast to the words of the prophet, Micah:

Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. (7:7-8)

Amen.

The Write Stuff

pencil

Someone must have torn a few pages out of my calendar, or so it seems, because spring just wrapped-up a few weeks ago and now summer is almost over. Consequently, I’ve been reevaluating all the ‘stuff’ that fills my days. What needs to stay, I’ve asked myself, and what needs to go; what needs to improve?

Writing has been on my mind a lot lately. I      haven’t done much of that all summer and truthfully, I’ve wondered why. After four years of devotional blogging, I figured I just needed a break, but that still, small voice inside my heart kept urging me to keep writing –to share the awesome love of God in a world gone crazy.

My intentions were good, but my discipline was lacking. Time kept flying with breakneck speed, and the pages stayed blank. Then it happened; the desire to write began to burn inside me again. Everywhere I turned there was another sign, another reminder, that writing was part of the ‘stuff’ that I am supposed to fill my days with.

Where do I start? I inquired of the LORD. “What do you want me to write about first?  His answer: to remind you, dear reader, that “Blessed are….” Jesus begins his ‘sermon on the mount’ by encouraging and instructing his listeners:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12).

Amen! I cannot think of a better message for today. May you, dear reader, be blessed, and may you ever be a blessing.

See you next week.

Gone Phishing

hooked

Today, you have logged onto your computer internet and ventured into the World Wide Web. That being the case, you obviously know a little something about cyberspace. There, in that vast metropolis of strangers, lurks the malicious practice of phishing.

If you’re not familiar with that term, phishing is the deceitful practice of cyber criminals, whereby the culprit hijacks your webpage with a pretty convincing look-alike page of their own. The purpose of this deception is to trick you into providing sensitive information that they can steal, such as passwords and credit card information. Once obtained, the cyber criminal can use this information to steal your identity.

Jesus told his disciples that they would be fishers of men, but there were phishers following in their footsteps also. Of course, there were no credit cards or internet in the first century, but there certainly were evil men who tried to rob every gullible believer of their identity in Christ.

Take the Galatians, for example. Paul exhorted, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth…” He also warned the Roman believers against faith phishers (Romans 16:17-18); as did Jesus himself, on many occasions.

Dear reader, may we exert the same diligence as the Bereans, who “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day…” (Acts 17:11). By so doing, we will safeguard our faith, never falling into a web of deception, nor becoming ensnared by those who have gone phishing.