Archive for January, 2011

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Divided Loyalties…..

January 13, 2011

Most know that I am a huge football fan.  In a few weeks the Super Bowl will end and we will begin a “depressed” time at my house for the next 6 months or so.  Baseball, Golf, Basketball are all great sports mind you, but football is king!  I have been a Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” fan for years, we have the University of New Mexico Lobo Quarterback at our home often and he has become our “adopted” son, and my daughter is graduating from Texas Tech in May and we have allegiance there.  So who is my team?  With which team do I cast my hat in the “ring” and say….this is my team?  It is a case of divided loyalties.

In the Kingdom of God there can be no question of divided loyalties. Oh the world tries to creep in with its “colors” and Satan attempts to lure us away with all the alumni from Satan’s team.  But in the end we can only have love, loyalty, and devotion to THE ONE.

Paul warns of this “divided allegiance concept” when he said, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:3 (NIV)

What an incredible word for the day.

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Paths, Direction, and Choices….

January 10, 2011

When it comes to a life, there are many ways to live it!  The choices and opportunities are endless.  Amazing examples arise when one begins to analyze how individuals make choices and selections on their path of life.  It brings to mind the Rubik’s Cube.

A Rubik’s Cube can be twisted and turned into over forty-three quintillion (43,252,003,274,489,856,000) configurations in the attempt to line up one solid color on all six sides.  There are a countless number of options.

When a person stops to fathom that God has a specific plan for every single life…simply “mind boggling.”  The “Creator”  has a specific path that He desires we follow.  Many miss the path all together because they do not wait on the Lord’s direction.  Others find themselves on a self-appointed path that is doomed for destruction because they lack patience.  They just can’t wait.  Two of the signposts of true faith are “Slow Down” and “Wait Here!”  Patiently waiting is valuable because the Lord has instruction for us.  While we are waiting, He has our attention.  We are ready for lessons in obedience and open to “right” path.  God makes a promise.  Faith believes it.  Hope anticipates it.  Patience quietly awaits it. 

The Psalmist said, “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

A Powerful Word for the Day.

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Frozen French Fries…

January 6, 2011

Encouragers are hard to find.  When society is assessed, an evaluation done, there are very few individuals handing out praise and strategically encouraging others.  Whether it be in schools, hospitals, or in the private or public sector….encouragers are in short supply.

 

Nothing can stifle someone’s progress more than negativity.  The single most challenging obstacle to a person’s success is a wet blanket of discouragement and negativity.

 

Did you know that McDonald’s teaches its employees that the fastest way to put out a shortening fire is to dump frozen French Fries on it!

 

Nothing can stamp out the fire of desire and aspiration like a “frozen discourager.” It is a killer of dreams and hope for the days ahead.  Let’s all do our part.  Drop someone a note TODAY accentuating the positive.  Tell a waitress what a great job she did or offer a simple word of encouragement in your circle of influence.

 

“May the God that gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other….” Romans 15:5 (NIV)

That is a tremendous word for the day!

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Missing Ingredients….

January 5, 2011

Is your life hectic?  Do you ever feel that you do not have enough days in the week or hours in the day? Man life is crazy, fast paced and challenging.  Often fatigue begins to set in and we get weary and frantic.  There are moments that we “vent” to God and others by saying, “That is the BEST I CAN DO!  I AM DOING ALL I CAN!  THAT IS ALL I HAVE!  I AM SORRY, I HAVE FALLEN SHORT!”  There are those times for all of us that we feel like our lives have a missing ingredient.  Yet in the midst of our struggle, God often brings new and fresh victories from our inadequacies.

Ruth Wakefield is a perfect example of that truth. While making cookies for her hotel guests one evening, Ruth lacked the powdered cocoa called for in the recipe, so she substituted tiny bits of chopped chocolate in its place.  Unexpectedly, the chocolate pieces did not melt in the baking but, rather, held their shape, softening only slightly to a creamy texture.  She served the cookies anyway, naming them Toll House after the inn she owned.

There are those times when each of us must use the ingredients we have, do our best, and trust that God will do the rest.  Paul described the challenge in a simple way in Galatians 6:9. He said,

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Now that is an INCREDIBLE word for today.

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Connected, Related, Linked…

January 4, 2011

We have a large family visiting us this week.  They are long-time friends that we love very dearly.  They have five children between the ages of 12 and 2.  Three boys and two girls.  Our house normally consisting of two or three people really picks up with excitement when they come to visit.  I noticed a whole new phenomenon this past week while observing them.  THEY SHARE EVERYTHING!  It is spooky to see how interrelated their relationships are! I saw three different children eat off of one apple over a two hour block of time.  I noticed that three children shared one bath towel.  When one member gets a virus and is sick….every one of the family shares it! (unfortunately)  Our world is interconnected in many ways.

 

Did you know that the five interlocking Olympic rings that are black, blue, red, white and yellow were designed because these colors appear on every national flag?

 

We are all inter-related in amazing ways.  We find ourselves connected at so many points.  Those “in Christ” and those “in the world” share a common ground of interconnectedness.  We do not share the same hope, God, or future but we are remarkably “physically” connected for a time on this planet!  With that connectedness comes instruction.

 

Paul says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Col. 3:12-15)

 

That is a great word for the day.

 

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Driving a Jeep….

January 3, 2011

I drive a JEEP!  Now many people say they drive Jeep’s but the only real Jeep is the Wrangler.  Not one of those four door types but a plain ole original, real deal, two door, mud-coated wrangler.  Those fancy Grand Cherokee’s, Patriot’s and Liberty’s…man those are not Jeeps.  A Jeep Wrangler is THE JEEP!  Authentic!  There is war history with the Jeep.  They flew “the Jeep” across the world to help win world wars.  The Jeep has gone places no other vehicle’s have gone!  Have you ever noticed how people driving Jeep’s always wave at other jeep drivers?

Did you know the name Jeep is a derivative of the expression “G.P.,” military slang for General Purpose Vehicle?

God never makes “General Purpose” people!  He makes specific makes and specific models for His detailed tasks and His specific purposes.

The Word says (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Now that is a great word for today!

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Dishwashers and Such….

January 3, 2011

Dishwashers and Such….

     

 

Life is full of moments that we “deserve much worse than we actually receive.”  The world twists things around often by insinuating that we get a bum deal or that our “rights” have been trampled.  The truth….we often deserve much worse.

 

I learned the other day that the kitchen dishwasher was invented by the socialite wife of an Illinois politician, not because she was fed up with the ho-hum chore of dirty dishes but because she had had it with careless servants who too frequently broke her expensive china while washing it.

 

Aren’t you glad that God did not really give us what we deserve when we keep breaking things like….His laws, breaking His code of right and wrong, and certainly breaking His covenant with each of us!  Man oh man; we are “breakers!”  But he keeps washing us clean.

 

Listen to this…. (The Word is Incredible)…The Bible says in Psalm 103:10 “….and he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”

 

That is an incredible word for today!