This is the day that the Lord has made...

This is the day that the Lord has made...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Where is the love?

When was the last time you sat down to examine your motives and goals in life?  How long has it been since you took inventory on your purpose for life?  Have you ever taken the time to uncover your purpose for life?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

In order to find your purpose, it helps to understand that you were created with intention by the loving God of the universe- that you were not a mistake- that you were made in his image- and you are perfect as you are!  For everything God has created, he did so in love, with intention and purpose.

Second, we must return that love back to our Heavenly Father so that we might tap into and understand His purpose for our creation.  The key is love.

We were created in love, for love, to be loved, to give love, to share love and live from love- which is at the center of our purpose for life!  If you were an airplane builder and you built and designed planes out of love, you would create the most elegant, efficient, safe and functional plane you could because of your love for planes.  If on the other hand you built planes solely to make money, your product could be less than exceptional, good enough to pass tests, not quite as safe as it could be, all because of the missing ingredient of love.

Where is the love in your life?  Think about it, pray about it, meditate on it.  Find the love of Christ in your heart and put it to work in you life. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Place of Refuge

This world, the one we live in now, is a tough, mean, sometimes nasty, forever stressful place to live.  Between economic woes, worldwide terrorist threats and problems as close to home as a diagnosis of cancer or the loss of job, it is easy to see why worry and fear make residence in our minds.  On a daily basis, we are confronted with obstacles that, in the moment, seem insurmountable.  For many people this daily stress of life is overwhelming.  Overwhelming to the point that we develop in our minds new and creative strategies to cope with what I like to call "the stuff of life."

Many of these self-preserving strategies are born out of necessity rather than as well thought out actions or plans.  For some, eating is a successful strategy.  In fact, I would say that as a whole, the majority of the population of the US has been digging their graves with their mouths as an attempt to handle the stress of life.  Others have found escape through the art of mind altering with alcohol, drugs and other abusive substances. Even at the opposite end of the spectrum are those who are engaged in extreme exercise, which by the way, can be just as harmful as drug abuse or over-eating.

"I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  Jesus -  John 16:33

The stress of the world can, and will, change you as a man or woman.  It can change your thought processes, your attitude and, definitely, your outlook on life.  It is for this reason that we cannot rely solely on ourselves to develop appropriate and healthy coping mechanisms.  Jesus tells us in this scripture verse that he knows the world is a tough place.  He knows we are going to struggle.  And, notice, he doesn't say that he will take the hardships, struggles, turmoils and stress away.  No, he tells us that the one place to find refuge, to find true peace in this world, is in him for he is the only one that has overcome this world!

"Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; also trust in me."   Jesus - John 14:1

In studying scripture daily you can find help in handling the turmoils and tragedies of this life.  We are given direction and leadership on where to turn in trying times.  Jesus lays out the path for us to follow, however, the challenge is for us to take the first step, and then the second and so forth.  Step one is laid out perfectly here in John 14: trust in God and also in Jesus.  When we put our faith in God, and Jesus, we now open the door to supernatural coping mechanisms that provide comfort, peace and, in some cases, solutions that our minuscule earthly minds cannot fathom.

Let today be a supernatural demonstration of your faith in God, and Jesus, and watch how your heart and mind can be changed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Smoke and Mirrors

It's Sunday morning, May 22nd, and I'm still here.  Last week I saw a billboard that made me cringe.  I'm sure most of the population in the US heard grumblings of Mr. Camping's prediction of the end of the world.  I, personally, shrugged it off and said a prayer for the troubled man for I know that no man of this world will be able to predict it's end for that is only for our loving God to know.

My heart goes out to all of his followers who have been duped into believing that our faith is a fraud because of one man's inexcusable actions. For those of us who have a relationship with Christ, we know the truth of the matter: God loves us so much that he took his one and only son and sacrificed him for us.

Jesus is the truth, the light and the way.  Hold him in esteem, keep him in your heart and focus your mind on his ways and gimmicks such as Mr. Camping's appear as what they really are: smoke and mirrors.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

His Love Is Amazing

I find it truly amazing how the Lord supplies every need when we put our faith and dependence on Him.  I have had a frustrating couple of weeks, maybe more, and have been spending more time in prayer and meditation than writing, so I apologize to anyone who may be reading and wondering why I have not been posting.

I truly believe it is an inborn, human condition kind-of-thing to create self-doubt and pity in the midst of life when it appears things are "not going your way."  I also believe that this is one of the primary reasons we need Jesus in our life, to help us overcome the human condition, for we are merely spiritual beings having a human experience.

So anyway, I was given a set of CD's to listen to about 2 weeks ago by a patient.  The speaker is John Maxwell who has written probably hundreds of books on leadership and communication.  I took the CD's and put them in my truck and thought I would get to them soon.  Low and behold, a trip to Duluth came up for business so I took advantage of the 31/2 hours of windshield time, and listened to presentation.

What a gift from God!  "But he gives us more grace." James 4:6

Mr Maxwell, thank you for the "swift kick in the pants" which is exactly what I needed.  And thank you, Lord, for putting a stranger in my path who was willing to be a messenger for your, to me.  It reminds me of just how much the Lord loves us and how He is working for us, with us and through us each and every day.  His love is amazing, which makes you and I...amazing.  How quickly we can forget just how amazing we are...because of Him.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I had a great deal of windshield time with a weekend trip to Duluth so I took advantage of that time to listen to some of John Maxwell's stuff on CD.  I have to admit that I have fallen away from the personal growth and development trail so it was good to hear his wisdom and poignant stories.  The whole time listening to him, a quote from one of my mentors was running through my head-"As long as you're green you're growing, as soon as you're ripe you rot."

It seems I maybe have been rotting for a while now, or maybe just not as green as I have been in the past.  Either way, it was obvious to me that I have been stuck where I am in life because I haven't taken the time to get unstuck.  For many people, getting unstuck is a huge challenge because it requires change- either physically, mentally or spiritually- which is usually not comfortable. 

As I was listening to Mr. Maxwell, who is a pastor, I kept getting reminded of the book of James, chapter 3, beginning with the 13 verse: "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  But it you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such wisdom does not come down from Heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you have disorder and every evil practice.  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."

To seek change, to stay green so that I am always growing, I must seek the wisdom of Heaven.  I have spent the last year seeking that wisdom, writing about it, reading about it, wishing I could find it.  And now, you know, I think I am beginning to understand.  Getting unstuck in life isn't only about changing your mind, but more importantly, your heart.

You can have a positive attitude for a short period of time.  You can fake it till you make it until everyone sees through you.  But when you truly change your heart, everyone can see that you are different.  The change necessary to get unstuck in life starts when the mind is made up to change the heart.  If the heart does not change, the life cannot change.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Once again...

Why is it so much easier to bring work home, to think about all that needs to be done at the office than it is to bring Christ into my daily life?  It seems that I can get very, very focused on Jesus at certain times in my life, and, even certain times of the day, yet not everyday.  But if you were to ask me what I was thinking about at nearly any given moment during my waking hours, I would have to respond with some descriptive explanation of work.

I know this is a topic that only I struggle with and I should be happy that my work is my vice and not drugs or alcohol or pornography.  Justification, however, gets me no where because one sin is no more damning than another. 

"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree will be recognized by its fruit."  Matt 12:33

I ask for forgiveness today, Lord, for my lack of strength in keeping you the focus and center of my life.  Forgive me Lord for the dishonesty I have presented to those around me in an attempt to have more time to myself.  I am a selfish man, Lord, and I pray once again to have mercy on me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Work Truck Is Here

Then he said to his disciples, " The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field."

Look around.  Everywhere you look there are people hurting, suffering, lost, wandering in the wilderness of life.  Many put up a good front, a facade, that can fool even those with the most acute spiritual awareness. 

For some, they don't know that they don't know.  What I mean is they have never been introduced to Jesus and the way of life He brings.  Sure, they may have heard about a Heaven, and some might even think that that is where everyone goes when they pass, but they don't have the key that unlocks the gates and have never been shown how to acquire that precious key.  They are lost in the wilderness but don't know they are lost.

For others, they have been burned in some way and have turned away from Jesus.  Maybe they have made mistakes that they feel they cannot be forgiven of, or another man or woman professing to be a Christian hurt them in some way.  For these lost souls, pain prevents them from turning back to Jesus because they believe that is all He and His way have to offer.

And still for some, like where I used to be, they feel that they don't "need" Christ at the center of their lives.  They've got everything under control.  Sure, they know about Jesus, and maybe even go to church and profess to be a believer, but their hearts are empty.

It is up to you and I to reach out in a real, meaningful way and introduce these, and as many others possible, to our Lord, Jesus Christ.  More than our duty, it is put on our hearts by Christ when we accept Him into our lives to share his awesome message of hope and redemption. 

I challenge myself today to find one person, just one, who fits in one of these categories and open my heart to him or her.  The work truck just pulled up, are you going to get on today?