Is your life COLORLESS??

Part of your summer activities may include repainting a room in your home, touching up woodwork or painting outdoor furniture. All of these things seem to require our attention at some point. My favorite part of projects like these is walking through the paint store. It’s the application that takes time and skill!

painting

Each year there are newer, brighter colors to capture the attention. It’s pretty wild to think that someone is getting paid to come up with the next knock out color. I have never toured a paint factory, but I can image the smells and the variety of colors being mixed to come up with the next season’s trend.

So how can paint color have spiritual application? We need those few people who are skilled in pigmentation, chemistry and business to provide the paint. It is necessary for us to be able to paint. But the rest of us need to do the painting. It’s similar to our spiritual lives. We are often applauded for researching the scriptures, finding new and exciting truths. But most of us are called to apply truth.

How do we apply truth?
• Understand our calling
• Listen to those who speak truth
• Obedience to the truth
• Encourage those who need some color in their lives.

Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Phil. 1:27
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

Secret lover…

WOW.. A very powerful read in my opinion!

The “perfect companion” vs. THE PERFECT COMPANION

The one who feels lost, alone, and overwhelmed finds an eerie comfort in the arms of alcohol.

Alcohol listens when nobody else has time, soothes bitter realities that nobody can make go away, doesn’t rebuke or interrupt negative thinking and offers immediate comfort. It even alleviates physical pain, stress, and brings sleep or laughter- the most vital elements of human relief.

Alcohol becomes the primary relationship ~ the “perfect companion” always there to meet an immediate need that other relationships fail to do. Immediate family and close friends fall to the background.
This “perfect companion” begins to show up anytime, anywhere. She is without boundaries.

AlcoholParents, spouses, children, siblings, friends are very aware of her presence, she is an Un-welcomed guest. But the one who invited her “perfect companion” to the party believes she is perfectly hidden.

This belief trickles over into all facets of the life of the one who feels lost, alone and overwhelmed.

In order for this “perfect relationship” to continue, hiding becomes the norm. Stories are created to protect the “perfect relationship” and anyone who comes up against these stories is pushed away. In fact, anyone who challenges these stories is seen as the “imperfect companion”.

The ones who are trustworthy and true become the enemies, the spies, the threat to the “perfect relationship”. Reality is flipped upside down and spun for all those involved. Intentions are misunderstood. The definition of love becomes blurry. All feel impacted by the downward spin cycle but nobody can seem to stop it.

This “perfect companion” eventually deadens the VOICE of TRUTH, VOICE of REASON, VOICE of LOVE. The one who feels lost can’t find THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE. She/He has numbed every part of their physical, emotional and spiritual self.- poisoning body, soul and mind. This “perfect companion” has the one who is lost, alone and overwhelmed wrapped up so tightly he/ she is no longer able to feel His touch, Hear His Voice or Hold on to His Truth.

Now the only PERFECT COMPANION is shut out. He will not share space in the souls of His Beloveds.

He is the only one designed to truly meet our most desperate needs. He goes by the very names of “Comforter”, “Deliverer”, “Advocate”, “Friend” “All-Knowing” “The ONE Who sees”, “Healer”, “Redeemer”.

He does not demand to be invited to the party, But if He is, true miracles can happen. Not only water to wine, but wine to LIVING WATER. A Cleansing, refreshing, soul-quenching, life-giving drink of something that doesn’t promise to take away the pain- but promises to be WITHIN the pain. A drink that will not overwhelm but promises to OVERCOME. A PERFECT COMPANIoN that will LEAD the lost to TRUTH and HOPE and the WAY out—Anonymous

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More FEAR!!

Today we continue our discussion about Fear.

Too often fear is a topic we hesitate to discuss.

Maybe we think if we do not talk about fear, the fear will go away.
Maybe we are too proud to admit our fears.
Maybe we are afraid of what the answers to our problems might be.

In some crazy way, we may want to live in the emotions of fear to gain sympathy or care.

The fact is we all experience fear. I have yet to meet a person who does not.

But fear is variable.

One person’s fears may seem so trite to another observer. Why is that? Maybe it’s because circumstances, backgrounds and memories differ. One person’s emotions can run on at a totally different level than a second person’s emotion.  To the one experiencing fear, it can be a real battle.

Fear has the potential to paralyze us once given the opportunity to penetrate our brain and soul. We may begin to see every event and activity thru the lens of a particular fear. It can rob us of our joy and ability to truly live life to its fullest.

There are healthy fears:

Walking down a dark alley
Being in a new unfamiliar setting
Walking in a dangerous location with little margin for error
Watching a close football game

Many times these types of fears subside over time.

But some fears linger and are not healthy.  They become our “Mind Monsters”.

How do you handle to following?

Fear of rejection?
Fear of the unknown?
Leaving a comfortable place for a new home or location?
The fear of being discovered for who you really are?
Betrayal?
Death?

Why not interact with me about your fears and how you handle them? Becoming vulnerable may just help  someone conquer what they are going through.

As I leave you to ponder your fears, let me also leave you with some hope.

Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

Hebrews 13:6 “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can Man do to me”?

Psalm 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. IN God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me”?

1 Peter 3: 13-14 “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”

Fear!!!

II Timothy 1:7: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Recently I was asked to prepare a Bible study for the group of men.. As I prayed and contemplated what to teach, I realized that a fear had overcome me…a fear of failing to touch the peoples hearts with the Word of God. A second fear was of not being accepted. As I continued to be honest with myself, I realized that this was an issue I had to address in my own life. As a result, that morning the men heard about fear.

Sometimes we keep so busy that we overlook the very things in our lives that are either bring motivation or depression. Most of you reading this blog have been taught that you need to be strong. There can be a difference between being strong and being honest with ourselves. Too often we have lived in the flesh and have forgotten that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind.

My challenge to you today is to take time to meditate on what may be keeping you from being the man or woman God wants you to be. Is it the fear of others? The fear of the unknown? Maybe the fear of failure? Realize that our sovereign God does not want you to live in fear of the situations, but rather in awe of our loving God who is in the midst of our situations.

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BIG fish in a small pond

This email was sent to me by a former high school baseball player I coached…

I was meandering through your list of Linkedin connections the other day and thought to myself, wow, I’m in pretty good company with all these Executives and Presidents and Directors. Do I even belong in such a group? I’m just a simple purchasing manager with a wife, 2 kids and a grandson. I’ve been places, but haven’t traveled the world. I have interesting hobbies but just try to lead a clean life and stay out of trouble.

Then I got thinking about my dad who we lost 5½ years ago, and how I never realized until his visitation that in his own world of Atwood, Indiana, he was the big fish in the little pond but never acted it. With people waiting in line at the funeral home for 2½ hours and standing room only at his funeral the next day, it became clear to me that in his world, he did not need to be an executive, or a president or a director. My dad, whom I’m sure you had met back in the 70’s, struggled though school, but graduated. Had no further education but became a master farmer and carpenter. That is all he knew or ever wanted to do. He had an impact in his world I may never completely comprehend.

His unknown lesson is you don’t have to have a title to be loved and trusted.

WHAT IS YOUR LEGACY? HOW WILL YOU BE REMEMBERED? IS IT ALL ABOUT US…OR HIM?

fish

In the heat of the moment

fire
Exodus Chapter 2:11 Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13He went out the next day, and behold, two Hebrews were fighting with each other; and he said to the offender, “Why are you striking your companion?”…

Have you ever been so mad that you want to punch someone in the face? I know I have. At my age, I now know better than to start a fight! In the verses above Moses was indignant about the unjust happenings around him. He took matters into his own hands. Fire in the heart has a way of making any of us do that.

In Chapter 3 we see another fire.

3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

Moses saw that fire in his eyes can lead to destruction….but the fire God brought did not.
As we grow in our faith, hopefully we still have a fire for injustice and yet a wisdom to do things God’s way.

What a difference one chapter in life can bring!!

Does everyone have a Mezuzah

Mezuzah
masusa
This year Carin and I had to privilege of going to Israel. I will never be able to fit all we learned in the space of a blog but I want to share a few things important to those of Jewish heritage and faith. There is so much symbolism for we who are ‘grafted in’ to the family of God. (Romans 11)

Today I would like to talk about the Mezuzah, a piece of parchment that is contained often in a case, inscribed with specific verses from the Torah. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21)

A mezuzah is affixed to the doorframe in Jewish homes to fulfill the Biblical commandment to inscribe God’s words ‘on the doorposts of your house.’ Some interpret Jewish law to require a mezuzah on every doorway in the home except bathrooms and closets too small to qualify as rooms.

During our visit we saw Mezuzahs everywhere, including outside each hotel room. The parchment is prepared by a qualified scribe who has undergone many years of meticulous training, and the verses are written in black indelible ink with a special quill pen. The parchment is then rolled up and placed inside the case. To follow the scriptures some wear them on their foreheads.
Mizuaha picture

Let’s take a look at the verses that are so precious to our Jewish friends:

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

What are some ways we can keep God’s words in our minds and on our hearts?
How can we remind ourselves and teach our children all Jesus has done for us?