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Showing posts from 2016

Look Ahead

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Horseracing is not my cup of tea except when it comes to the Triple Crown.Winning three races over a five week period is a phenomenal feat.Secretariat, one of the greatest race horses in American history completed the three-peat in what is considered the best performance in the twentieth century, winning the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths.Something caught my eye in footage of the race. Each horse had a hood with plastic cups shading their eyes.These are called racing blinkers. According to Wikipedia, “many racehorse trainers believe the blinkers keep horses focused on what is in front, encouraging them to pay attention to the race rather than other distractions, such as crowds. Additionally, blinkers are commonly seen on driving horses, to keep them from being distracted or spooked, especially on crowded city streets.”Winning a race is attainable if focused on the goal.Horses looking to the left or right get left behind.

Proverbs 4:25-27

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyel…

Why Is He Not Walking?

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His muscles are strong.His nerves are intact and his bones are sturdy.He has shoes.He knows how to crawl.What’s the matter with him?Why isn’t he walking yet?Both my boys walked at 12 months.We could not wait for them to take those first steps.What was the hold up?Well, maybe crawling in a sandbox is not the best place to rise up and walk.In this picture, Zachary is 6 months old so maybe that is a tad young.Even though he could kick pretty well, his strength was not all it needed to be.He certainly had not conquered the maneuver of balancing himself while standing.The process of learning to walk has stages.Some skip a few others go through each stage quickly and some take the time.The developmental milestone of walking is different for each child.The question is not “Why aren’t you walking” but what can I do to assist you in achieving your goal?
Hebrews 5:12-14
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of …

Can You Hear Me?

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What does it take for us to hear God’s voice?Are we prepared to listen?He speaks through His word, through the preacher and through mature saints.The friends and acquaintances we choose may play a role in the vehicle God uses? God is preparing a word for us.Here are my sister-in-laws’ thoughts on the matter. God sends people into our lives for many reasons, and in many cases, it is in response to a need we have — whether it’s now, or yet to come. No relationship happens in the Kingdom of God by circumstance or without reason, whether it’s to provide friendship, help us through a season of difficulty, provide wisdom or inspire us to stand strong in our faith when we feel weak and unsure.
Throughout Scripture we are instructed to choose our friends wisely, because with godly friends comes godly wisdom — just when we need it most.

Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (NIV)

Proverbs 12:26a, “The godly give good advic…

HEART!!!

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It’s the heart.  It’s not the strong arm or the accuracy of a 65% pass completion rate.  It’s not the ability to view the field and read the defense.  It’s not that Tony Romo holds the Dallas Cowboys team record of the most games with a least 300 passing yards or his 100 million dollar contract. My problem with Romo dawned on me this morning, one day after the Thanksgiving game.  The difference between Dax Prescott and Tony Romo is not the stats, their passing mechanics or athletic ability.  It’s all about heart. Colossians 3:23-24 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for[a] you serve the Lord Christ.
Absent heart felt effort, our work lives, family relationships, friendships, worship and ministry are ineffective, unenthusiastic and seldom rewarding.  The successes we seek are fleeting and seldom commiserate with the time and work invested.  We find ourselves mailing in our cont…

Give Thanks!

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Death and disease claimed almost half the inhabitants of Plymouth, Massachusetts.Entire families had been lost that first winter.They had settled half a world away from relatives and country.There would be no one coming to the rescue. Yet, in the midst of devastation they God provided a ram in the bush.Native American Indians shared their knowledge of using dried fish remains as fertilizer.The Pilgrim’s crop flourished allowing food supplies to support them through another harsh winter.Despite devastation behind them and the unknown looming ahead, they invited the original Americans to join them in a Harvest Celebration.One wonders, why give thanks and praise after having lost so much and no guarantee of future success?

1 Thessalonians 5:18

18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Last year, maybe you lost a family member, or suffered through a job layoff, a friendship became strained or your financial circumstances took a nose dive.The list of h…

Picky Eatters

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Picky eaters are the bane of a parent’s existence.  Nothing suits their fancy.  Their list of acceptable foods rarely rises above five.  Macaroni and cheese generally makes the list but then the kind of cheese used might be unacceptable. My name is Linda and I was a picky eater.  I spent hours at the dinner table refusing to clean my plate.  No way was I going to consume Brussels sprout or slimy okra.  My mother prepared healthy, well balanced meals but that was beside the point.  I decided what would enter my mouth.  Maybe that’s why I was such a scrawny, anemic kid.  I should have eaten what was served. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Picky listeners must be the bane of a Pastor’s existence.  The sermon does not meet their needs.  The Old Testament is off limits because it is too…

Saved

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Every time I see the sign, I grimace. Really, slim for life.  No one is slim for life.  How can you guarantee the same body type will remain the same for any length of time?  To be honest, I have not checked out their website or spoken to their representatives.  I do not have to.  They are in business to sell wishful thinking.  It may work for a year or two but given time the body will revert back to what it knows best.  Eventually, good eating habits fall by the wayside, exercise routines sputter and monthly gym dues only benefit the gym.  I know, it’s depressing but there are truths in life that cannot be ignored.  Night follows day, the sun sets in the west, all men die and over time, weight returns.  There is another truth we must all confront.  The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Praise God, there is a remedy.  We can be rescued from eternal death.  We have been given the opportu…

Are You Sinking?

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"It is not our being in the world that ruins us, but out suffering the world to be in us:  just as ships sink, not by being in the water, but by water getting into them!” A.R. Fasusset (1821-1910)
Worldliness is nothing new.  Mankind has been enticed by the things of the world despite there being no internet, social media, pornography, sexual revolution or drug epidemic.  Just because past generations traveled in a wagon to go to town and send a message by telegraph did not exempt them from engaging in sinful thoughts, behaviors or disgraceful speech.  Christians live and function in the midst of a perverse society that continually calls our name.  Some have taken on too many earthly attributes and are drowning in the cesspool of standards set by society.  We are sinking.
John 17:14-17 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You …

False Advertising

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I cannot stand over ripe bananas.  Despite checking for color, firmness and smell, I chose what I hate the most.  The banana peel was a luscious yellow with minimal brown discolorations.  I did not detect any soft spots.  It actually smelled like a banana.  The first two bites were satisfying.  Then a peeled the banana past the midway point and there to my amazement, mushy brown spots.  What a disappointment!  Since I had no plans to bake banana bread, I discarded the defective fruit.  As far as I was concerned I had been duped by false advertising.  The banana covering was a fraud.  It looked good but upon further inspection, it was dented, distasteful and quite damaged.  You cannot even judge a banana by its cover.
Titus 1:16 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
God is not happy with false advertising either.  Those who profess to know Him, claim to be His children and yet when the cover of religio…

The Key

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These keys have been locked inside the car, left in the office, hidden in the laundry basket and shut inside the trunk of my car.Without these keys, I have been stuck at home, stranded on parking lots, delayed for appointments and unable to move forward.I have not been where I should have because I lost my keys, again.At times, we are not where we should be in life because we have lost our key. Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. We have misplaced prayer.Communication with God can unlock the riches available to those who call on His name.Prayer is essential to our Christian walk and should be kept primary in our lives.It should be easy to find and quick to get to in an emergency.The Women’s Lighthouse Ministries recommends six steps to enriching our prayer life. Place:Have a regular place to pray where you can feel in tune with G…

The Dead Tree Lives

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How long ago did this tree fall to the ground?Did it fall during a fierce thunder storm with high winds and driving rain?Maybe, a speeding driver tried to make a sudden stop, jumped the curb and hit the tree.Texas has endured so many years of drought the tree roots may have succumbed to dry rot.Whatever the cause, this tree appeared to be dead waiting to be carted away to the brush recycling center.The owner evidently did not remove the tree.Over time, a new branch sprouted generating green leaves from a tree that was once dead.The homeowner has a new tree, although disfigured it still provides shade and a wonder to passersby.The dead can live again.

John 21:15-19 15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,do you love Me more than these? “He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. “He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me? “He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I l…

What's Missing?

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Wonder what is missing?  For many, life is a puzzle, incomplete and lacking.  Unfortunately, Christians are not exempt from experiencing a time in our lives when it seems as though God is far away and unconcerned.  Churches across the country are anemic and weak due to the overwhelming number of lethargic, joyless members who cannot seem to find the missing link in their spiritual walk.  Ministries struggle to recruit volunteers because so many lack an intimate relationship with God and therefore have no understanding of their gifts and how they fit within the context of their church community.  How can we begin to fill the void?  Acts 17:27-28 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
In chapter 17, the people of Athens were evidently aware that something was amiss in their lives.  The Ap…

Why is Their Grass Green?

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Why is their grass green?  Our rainfall is the same.  We are suffering through the same drought and water restrictions, but that grass over there looks lush and green.  Mine is brown, dry and crunchy underfoot.  Of course, I cannot remember the last time I watered my grass and I certainly have not added fertilizer in years.  Still, I expect my grass to approximate the color of the grass next door.  In fact I demand the same look but not the same investment.  The grass is greener next door for a reason. Mark 9: 3-8 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.And it happened, as he sowed,thatsomeseedfell by the wayside; and the birds of the air[a]came and devoured it.Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.And someseedfell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.But otherseed fell…

It's Dirty

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Why is my car so dirty?  There appeared to be a film of dirt covering the entire car.  I made plans to run through the car wash the next day.  Suddenly, I remembered my trip to Port Aransas earlier in the week.  I spent the day driving around sand, through sand and parked next to sand.  It had not occurred to me to wash my car when I returned home.  I had been driving a dusty car for days.  I had gotten comfortable getting in and out of my car not noticing the filth.  It was not until the light of the sun hit my car at the right angle, that I was able to see the dirt.  John 13:5-10 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I…

How Do We Overcome?

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What do you do when you are overcome by evil?How do your handle yourself when your rights have been trampled upon?What recourse do you have when justice seems elusive?When must you rise up and be heard?What are the just deserts for our enemies and who will inflict the punishment?Has God given us no recourse?Does He not know of our struggle?What are we to do?The Apostle Paul answers our questions.The strategy to defeat evil has not changed.This plan of action was the basis of Dr. Martin Luther King’s moral argument for non-violent civil disobedience.The goal is not one of victory but to strive earnestly for peace by showing love toward our enemy in word and in deed. Romans 12:14-20
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits .                                    17 Recompense to…

How Long?

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As my birthday month comes to a close, I am amazed yet thankful that I have been blessed to celebrate 50 years of life. Twenty-five years ago my life was riddled with depression, alcoholism, suicidal ideation, anger, rejection, unforgiveness, hopelessness and fear. However, I can truly say that when I look back over the years I see God's fingerprints and grace over my life, even as I simply existed in a dark place. He protected and covered me when I was in an abusive relationship in which the one who professed to love me held a knife to my throat and even when I myself had a plan on how to take my own life and I was at my rock bottom--but God. He began to reveal Himself to me and speak to me through sermons, His Word, and even music reminding me that I was loved, forgiven, worthy and that I had purpose. As I chose to trust him through faith, He took me on a journey that has been life-changing and soul saving. A little over 10 years ago, I prayed my desire to live o…

Unfiltered

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We are back from Singapore.Watching our son on stage in the role of Donkey in the Broadway Musical “Shrek” was an unforgettable experience.Parental pride ruled the day.As luck would have it, we were able to spend some down time at Universal Studios Singapore.Of course, we made our way to the Shrek Experience.I thought the ride was underwhelming.The colors were muted with a dark feel, almost eerie.It seemed joyless unlike the movie.Universal Studios missed the boat on this attraction.Half-way through the ride I realized I had my sunglasses on.Shrek and Lord Farquhar’s vibrant colors became clear.My face alighted with a huge smile when I realized that the hilarious mischief and hijinks had been there all along.With eyes uncovered, I could see the true essence of what the Shrek Experience had to offer.

1 Corinthians 13:12

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Awesome, magnificent, spectacular can …
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Sequels are ubiquitous.  There are blockbuster movies, books and concerts done in series.  In the entertainment business if it was phenomenal the first time around, then expect a sequel.   A few blog post back, I used a web image of a painter using his mouth to paint.  This is a sequel.  Today I am in Athens, Georgia for a wedding and what did I see this weekend?  A young man injured as a child who creates pieces of art.  A donation bucket sat at his feet.  The funds were designated for replenishing paint and supplies.  In the heat of the day, year in and year out this arm less artist can be found on the same corner painting .  

Throughout scripture, God repeats Himself.  Either the lesson was so vital to our understanding it needed to be reiterated or in His divine wisdom He knew we would not comprehend the meaning the first time. God is into sequels.  We really can as the scripture states do all things.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
She may not …

Memorial Day

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John 15:13

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Memorial Day is a time of remembrance of men and women who served honorably in defense of our nation.Some were drafted, some volunteered to do the job they were assigned to the best of their ability.Active duty personnel, departed soldiers and veterans deserve honor and praise for going to battle for those they knew and ones not known.They put their lives at risk for citizens who vote and those that shirk their responsibility, those that take advantage of the educational system available in America and those who refuse to apply themselves, those who have never seen the inside of a prison cell and those who spent the majority of their adult years incarcerated.The list could go on covering the diversity that is America. Their pledge is to protect the entirety of the nation.Each person enlisting in an armed force takes the following oath:

"I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or aff…