The Gulf Coast of Texas can produce fog so thick you can drink it! While watching a high school football game, I was standing at the bottom of the stands and couldn't see the field. The only reason I knew there was a game was hearing the eerie sounds of whistles and shoulder pads clashing against helmets. People have always wanted a way to see through the fog. From 1887 on, they were studying radio waves and how they made it possible to guide fast moving boats and planes. It would help in war, it would help in bad weather and it would help at night.
A friend confessed that she seemed to be in a "fog" all day. On her way to the airport to pick up her husband (a trip she has made for 10 years), she missed her turn and got lost! Then, after finishing her shopping at a familiar shopping center, she forgot where she parked her car and spent several extra minutes searching for it! We've all had days like that, so don't laugh.
Sometimes there is a fog around our lives as confusing as the mist that causes accidents, blocks our vision and causes us to lose our way. Now, the high end cars come with their own radar to tell you when an accident is going to happen and how to avoid it! We need that kind of radar built into our hearts. Beloved, hard times happen when we are not sure how to respond to difficult situations. Perhaps these guidelines can help:
1.Remember that God is our only Beacon. Follow Him.
2.Don't follow false signals when they pop up. Stay focused.
3.Keep following God when the course changes. He knows where you should be going.
4.When you get where you are going, give the credit to God.
"Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord." Isaiah 2:5
GospeLines Prayer:Father, remove the fog from my eyes that I may see You clearly; give me Your vision so that I will not stumble in the darkness, and let Your Light direct my path day and night.
People in our world are hungry. Starvation has taken the lives of too many in Malawi, Africa. During the crisis of 2002 and again in 2005, men were seen gathering dirt to eat! They said it filled their stomachs so that they would not feel as hungry. The reports from there tell of families who watched their children die from malnutrition, and mothers preparing porridge from corn husks, which is usually fed to the animals. But things have improved and those who had little a few years ago rejoice that they can now feed those who have nothing.
Emilie Chawala said, “Happy, happy, happy… I am very happy now; I can even look after two orphans. I have enough food and I am ready to take in more orphans.”
There are hungry people everywhere. Perhaps not for food to fill their stomachs, but for bread of a different kind. "Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35) It occurred to me today that when people experience spiritual hunger, they will look for a way to fill that emptiness until they find something which satisfies. Rather than have them eat the "dirt" of the world, why not share the bread of life with them?
Beloved, when people are hungry they are receptive to someone who cares. Someone like you.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, teach me to live in such a way that those who hunger will want to be filled with the bread of life. And forbid that I will hear on Judgment Day, "I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat." Amen and amen.
Alan spoke of his fear of being alone in quiet, tearful tones. Surrounded by people all day, nevertheless, the separation he felt had become overwhelming. He needed to know about the One who will never leave you alone! It was a heaven-sent opportunity to share my rich faith with him, and describe a life without fear and loneliness. It's a life shared with Jesus as an ever-present Companion, and one in which you cherish those moments apart from the crowd so that you can have one-on-One time with your Creator.
I was searching for the source of a beautiful poem I heard on a Chevrolet commercial entitled "Nobody Knows It But Me." Arguably, it was written by a professional commercial writer, Patrick O'Leary. However, Mark Weise said that 29 years ago on his 30th day alone on the Appalachian Trail, he hadn't seen a soul for three days. "I was in awe of the beauty, but feeling pretty lonely, so I wrote these words in my journal":
There's a place that I go to When I want to roam, And nobody knows it but me.
There's no trail that leads there And I go there alone And nobody knows it but me.
It's far, far away At the edge of nowhere It's far past the moon and the sea.
And whenever I get there I know that I'm home And nobody knows it but me.
(Mark said he turned the poem in as an assignment for a freshman comprehension class and it got published in the school newspaper.)
Beloved, There is nothing like being alone... WITH GOD! A marvelous perk of the Christian life is that we are never truly alone at all. Wherever we are, we are at home with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The lyrics of Rogers and Hammerstein are more descriptive of my walk with Christ.
Walk on through the wind Walk on through the rain Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown Walk on, walk on With hope in your heart And you'll never walk alone You'll never walk alone.
GospeLines Prayer:Awesome God, whether I travel the highways of the city, the streets of suburbia, or the byways of the desert places... YOU ARE WITH ME! I am directed and protected by Your rod and your staff; therefore, "I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me."
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, former CEO of Auburn Hills, Michigan based Chrysler Group, once said that his company used a three-part strategy to get out of financial trouble (Chrysler’s strategy gets strong results; Detroit Free Press; June 10, 2005).Dr. Zetsche described his “three-get” strategy as: Get over it; Get a plan; and, Get it on.
He further described the strategies as: getting over a defeatist attitude stuck in the past and changing your focus to the future; getting a sound strategy for the future; and, executing the plan – getting it on.
The church today is in somewhat of the same condition as the American auto industry.We’re under relentless attach from forces bent on taking away our “market share.”Many people don’t believe we have the right product - They don’t think the Bible’s answers are for today or that the message is relevant (poor quality).They also think the price of Christianity is too high.Christianity demands submission to Christ and obedience to His Word.
How would Dr. Zetsche’s strategy apply?
Step 1: Get over it.The Bible says, “Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.” (1st Timothy 6:20) “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2nd Timothy 2:19) “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)
Step 2: Get a plan.Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:37-40)“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)
Step 3: Get it on.“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1st Corinthians 9:24)“For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity].” (Philippians - Amplified Bible)
Dr. Zetsche’s plan was for an auto company.However, if we apply God’s version of that plan to our lives, we (as individuals) and the church around the world will see a tremendous turnaround.
“…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but byMe.”
Have you ever wondered how it would feel to be free of the rat race?If you live in a big city like Houston, TX, you probably dream of that time when you will settle down into some type of relaxed lifestyle, no more debts, no house payments, no overbearing bosses and no TRAFFIC!I recently faced the decision of moving from the 'burbs to the boonies, where there IS less traffic, very little stress, no huge house notes, etc., etc.
You might think that removing the bondage of city life would cure many ills.But like any life-changing event, it takes some adjustment.The decision to move in with an 81 year old family member to provide 24 hour care seemed uncomplicated at first.Diabetes and loss of sight had made it impossible for her to live alone.
But how do you put everything from a house with 2,000 square feet into a house of 1,300 square feet that already has all the furniture it can hold?Do the math, it just doesn't fit!My twenty year old son reminds me daily, and LOUDLY, that he doesn't like it here!"We are too far from my friends... there's nothing to do here... I drive an hour and a half to get to school."Sometimes bondage can be better than a stress-free lifestyle. At least we knew what to expect in the city, and bondage or not, we were in our comfort zone back there.
I feel like Moses being screamed at by the Israelites for taking them out of Egypt."What have you done to us?Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us out in the desert to die?It would have been better if we had remained slaves under the Egyptians than to die in the desert like this!Are you crazy?"(A rough paraphrase of Exodus 14:11-12)
One thing I have learned through this situation is that wherever I live, life's pressures are going to exist.Changing the geography won't change the heart.Beloved, wherever we are, that's where we are... you and I will be the same person inside regardless of where we live or work.That is, unless we embrace the greater truth that God doesn't change!He is the same whether I am in the burbs or the boonies.His great love is unchanging.In fact, He is always more ready to provide blessings than I am prepared to receive them no matter where I live.
Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid.Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."(Exodus 14:13-14)
If you are frustrated because of a recent change in your circumstances, hold on to the truth that God will fight for you!Sometimes we need to find that quiet corner and be still to know that He is still the awesome God that He always has been!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, teach me that my circumstances do not need to dictatemy walk with You; deliver me from belly aching every time I feel sorry for myself because things aren't the way they used to be.I delight in You, omnipotent, omniscient, unchanging Lord of my life.Hallelujah!