Sunday, August 26, 2012

Father Knows Best

English: Sugar cubes. Español: Terrones de azúcar.English: Sugar cubes. Español: Terrones de azúcar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God; 
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

Psalm 143:10

New International Version (NIV)

         When I was a child of about 3 or 4 years old, my family went out to eat at a restaurant.  There on the table I marveled at a most wonderful discovery.  In a glass container on the table were sparking white cubes of what I discovered to be crystallized sugar.  I made this discovery when out of curiosity I took one of these cubes out and tasted it.  Upon realizing the sweetness of it I popped it into my mouth and ate it.

         My father having seen what I had done warned me not to eat any more of the sugar cubes because they would make me sick.  Yet the temptation was too strong.  I desired the sweetness and popped another cube into my mouth and then another.  My father continued his admonitions not to eat, but whenever he wasn't looking I would eat another.

         I suppose my father could have removed the sugar bowl from my reach or even punished me there on the spot and humiliated me in front of the entire restaurant.  Then again, perhaps he was allowing me to learn my lesson about making bad choices and doing things I've been told not to do.  Not listening to wise counsel can have its consequences.

         Later, after we left the restaurant and got to the car, I began to get a bad feeling in my gut.  All that sugar in one little boy was having its effect.  I suddenly threw up before getting inside the car.  I did not feel well at all.

         "I told you eating those sugar cubes would make you sick," my father said in a gentle tone.

          I realized then that my father told me things for good reason.  Everything we do has a consequence.

...this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome...

1 John 5:3

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Everything I Need

WorriedWorried (Photo credit: p.joran)

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Psalm 23:5

King James Version (KJV)

           Sometimes it can be all too easy to be swallowed up by our daily troubles.  We come under assault and the natural reaction is to flail out blindly with any defense we can muster.  Our blind punches are mostly wasted energies.   Words spoken thoughtlessly can become weapons used against us.  

            Old habits can be difficult to break when I try to free myself from them.  I'm often caught up in that old rat race of worry and fear, doubt and stress.  I need to let it all go and get my priorities straight.  Things always have worked out in the past, but I still seem to forget why that is.  It wasn't much of anything I did on my own.  I always had help.  There are far more important things to dwell upon than my own useless worries.

             I need to get ready or I'll be late for the feast.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’   For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.   But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.   Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:31-34

New International Version (NIV)

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hey God--It's Me Again

English: God called to Adam and said, Where ar...English: God called to Adam and said, Where are you? as in Genesis 3:9: "And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?"; illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible; illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648–1733) and others, and published by P. de Hondt in The Hague; image courtesy Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 4:1

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

      Yes, Lord, it's me again.  Making the same mistakes and some new ones.  When will I learn?   Will I ever learn?   Old habits can be hard to break.  Old weaknesses can be hard to conquer on my own.  I need You, Lord, to get me out of the rut that I find myself in so often.

        You've always been there to pull me up when I fall down.  I've got to stop this silly stumbling before I fall to my death.   When I fall, I should be falling prostrate in humility and worship.   You are God.  I am not.

 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

1 John 1:6-10

New International Version (NIV)

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

How's the Reception Where You Are?

English: Looking west toward a distant storm a...English: Looking west toward a distant storm along about 3 km west of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blessed is the one 
    who does not walk in step with the wicked 
or stand in the way that sinners take 
    or sit in the company of mockers, 
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord
    and who meditates on his law day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2

New International Version (NIV)

        Places like West Texas are not very conducive to listening to the radio for long stretches of driving.

         At one point during my recent trip I decided to try to find something worthwhile to listen to as a break from the collection of CDs that I had brought with me for our cross-country road trip.  I like music while I drive, but sometimes I want to find something to listen to on the radio--something like an informative news program or some helpful Christian programming.

          This time I was in luck.  I found an outstanding Christian program dealing with the topic of the Biblical stance on creation.  I became absorbed in the topic as I drove those vast empty stretches of God's creation.  However, soon I started to get out of range from the station.  Air wave interference made it impossible to listen to the broadcast and I knew my reception would soon be gone.

         I hit the seek button on the radio, but all I could pick up were distant Spanish language stations that I could not understand or Mexican music that was unappealing to me.  I was no longer in the zone of reception of that which I wanted to hear and could only hear things I did not want to hear.

         When we're driving across the country it's often like that.  It can be difficult to stay focused on what we'd like to zero in on and keep with us.  That metaphorical walk through life is different.  We have greater control over what we want to tune our minds onto.   A lot of distractions can entice us to listen to this or look at that and to think of other things that serve us no good.

          Sometimes my mental airwaves become filled with interference.  Perhaps I need to get closer to the broadcast station in order to get better reception.  How about you?   What's keeping your mind from being focused on the most important things?

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh,the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

1 John 2:15-16

New International Version (NIV)

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