There was a note on my computer monitor which read, "Please take out the trash." Easy enough, I thought, forgetting that we were out of town last week and missed the regular garbage day. How do we accumulate so much garbage in such a short time?
Life is like that, too. We accumulate stuff, some good and some not so good. Most of it is emotional trash which we could do without. But instead of kicking it to the curb like yesterday's garbage, we carry it with us and act as though it is a treasure. LET THAT GARBAGE GO! Relieve yourself of the old burdens you need not carry around. We serve a Lord who delights in dealing with our problems so that we don't have to be bothered with them. His purpose is to release us to a life of service and joy by lifting the load from our shoulders. Relinquish the heavy trash you have carried around and allow our great God the privilege of being your source of strength. Amen and amen.
"The lamp of a good person keeps on shining; the lamp of an evil person soon goes out.Too much pride causes trouble.Be sensible and take advice.Money wrongly gotten will disappear bit by bit; money earned little by little will grow and grow."(Proverbs 13:9-11 - Contemporary English Version)
The Mackinac Bridge, located off of I-75 between St. Ignace on the north and Mackinaw City on the south, connects those two peninsulas of Michigan at the Straits of Mackinac.
Completed in 1957, it is now the third largest suspension bridge in the world at five miles long.Forty-two thousand miles of wire were used in each main cable; tension of each cable is 16,000 tons and the bridge’s total weight is 1,024,500 tons.Unfortunately, several workers fell to their death while the bridge was under construction.
One massive undertaking is planned starting in 2008 through its completion – to strip all coats of paint down to the raw metal and to reapply primer and surface paint. Layers and layers of paint are on that bridge – some places have chipped and others have rusted away.
Listening to the ongoing projects in the story, it reminded me of the importance of maintaining our own health – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The story highlighted the fact that it will take years to get the many layers of paint off the bridge to expose the naked metal.
If we’re honest with ourselves and God, we too, have many layers to strip away to get to the truth of who we are and whose we are.Often, we don’t choose to do that; we continue to pile on more and more paint.As a result, others don’t really know us and we often don’t recognize ourselves.
We may think we’re protecting ourselves or that we’re being considerate of others, but it’s far from the truth.Very few of us have pristine pasts.
Some ‘think’ they are the master of disguise and pride is the primary conduit of deception.“I’m too proud to tell you the truth.Really, it’s my business anyway.I don’t love and respect myself enough to reveal myself to you.Better to throw you crumbs… and pretend that all is well.”As the adage goes, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”
We’ve hidden so many parts of ourselves beneath the layers.And, it takes more each time… more booze, more drugs, more sex, more food, or whatever the addiction is to ease the pain.It’s a very slow death that doesn’t particularly go down easy.Satan may convince you it’s a rosy picture, but we know better, don’t we?
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I’m on my knees asking You to dissolve the bondage I have to whatever sin.Strip me clean of my various disguises and equip me to bare my truth.Remove the various layers wherein I’ve hidden the real me.Help me to shine Your light and to escape the darkness.
It isn’t a pretty picture, Lord, but I want to live in truth as found in 1st John 2:7-9 (Amplified Bible):
"Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message which you have heard [the doctrine of salvation through Christ].Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true (is realized) in Him and in you, because the darkness (moral blindness) is clearing away and the true Light (the revelation of God in Christ) is already shining."
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, August 19, 2009
"Living Up To Par"
A local radio station host calls himself “The Golf Doctor.” This morning he told about his daughter’s attempt to make the LPGA tour. There were 33 contestants and only 4 slots open. The best four would make the tour.
She played a spectacular round except for the fourth hole where her tee shot went into the deep rough and she ended the hole with a triple bogey. They waited the rest of the day to see who would make the cut. She and several others scored 75 and played another round to see who would be the alternates. At days’ end she was the second alternate.
“I was devastated,” the golf doctor lamented. To which his daughter, Amy, replied, “Get over it Dad. It isn’t the end of the world. Life goes on!” Spoken just like a loving father and a resilient daughter.
When we dwell on our losses, the inevitable result is despair and disappointment. The next time you become frustrated because you didn’t live up to your expectations, think about this... will you allow that one thing to so upset you that it will overpower the good work God is trying to do in you at that moment? Determine now that there is nothing that can happen to you that will alter your course, no matter how difficult it might be. Life goes on.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, there are times that my life is not up to par and I find myself hitting out of the rough a lot. When I fail to keep my eye on the ball, stand beside me and whisper a reminder that the tournament of life is long and will not be won or lost by how I perform on one hole. Amen and amen.
That question has been asked of families, sports teams, parliaments, legislatures and entire countries.It has also been asked about churches... Christian churches.
What does it mean for Christian churches to "get along?" Don't all Christians accept Jesus as the Messiah - both fully God and fully man?Don't we all believe that He (Jesus) is our only way to the Father - our only means of salvation - salvation by grace and not by works?Maybe... maybe not...maybe "get along" only means to tolerate each other publically but to privately disdain the other for having "different" beliefs.
There is no need to debate; Jesus told us very clearly what it means to "get along" with our fellow man.He told us of the good Samaritan.Some walked by on the other side... looking down their noses at the unfortunate fellow.But, the Samaritan stopped and helped.He helped simply because he saw someone in need - without any concern for their "differences."
Lord God, what could we accomplish if we'd stop acting like the Pharisees who thought more highly of themselves that they should?What if we placed our emphasis on Your grace and less on our understanding?What if we made Christ the center of our lives and of our worship and placed man's rules and traditions a distant second?
GospeLines Prayer:Father, help us to be good and faithful servants.Help us to be less mindful of ourselves and more mindful of You.Help us to be good Samaritans and "get along" in Jesus name...
Be made new in the attitude of your minds and have the same attitude, purpose and humble mind that was in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 2:4-7)
Is it some rite of passage for teenagers that they expect a car when they reach sixteen or seventeen years of age? With careful negotiation and clever parenting, we have put off the inevitable until now, but Jon is a senior in high school, and it’s time. Besides, that’s what dad’s do. Thankfully, the rage for guys at his school is not the newest and most expensive vehicle, but a big old ugly truck with potential. Hence, I searched the ads until I found it… "1985 Chevy Blazer, good work truck, 305 V8, $3500 or OBO."
When I called the owner I had to ask about "OBO." It means "Or Best Offer." We met with him, checked out the truck, and gave him our best offer, which was less than the value he had placed on his truck. Tomorrow we learn if it was higher than the offer of the other person who wants it as much as we do. This will be a long night for Jon and me.
When you and I were conceived in the mind of God, He looked across eternity and determined our value. With precious love and resolute intent He made His best offer. Our souls cost Him His only Son. Sometimes I want to say to God, "You made a mistake! I’m not worth that much." Surely He couldn’t have known that I would fail Him as often as I have. How could He have paid so much for someone like me? I often marvel at His incredible passion for His children, so deep and complete that He has never forsaken me.
I could have paid what the guy was asking for his truck but I didn’t. I made what I thought was a fair offer and now I stand a chance of losing the deal. God could have paid less for us than He did, but He didn’t want to take the risk of losing us. So He paid it all, everything He had. What a noble price to pay for sinful humanity!
GospeLines Prayer:O King of kings, You could have paid a high cash price for me, because you are the owner of everything. Your riches are beyond my comprehension! But in Your wisdom, You offered something money cannot buy. I will never be able to repay the debt I owe for your ultimate sacrifice. Thank You, Father, for giving Jesus as a bounty for my sins. I love you. Amen and amen.