Bible · Contact Tom · Jesus · Leadership · motivation · religion

Just how tired are you??

The Lord gives strength to the weary. Isaiah 40:29

In the previous verse Isaiah writes: The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

The starting point for us must be to know who God is. In a world of uncertainty, the statement that God is everlasting is a great encouragement. I know that my life on earth will end one day but so what? God is everlasting and he has promised that I will live on beyond death. Only an everlasting God can promise that.

Athletes understand weariness. I remember once being invited to watch an elite hurdler train. He was doing a drill. He said to me “I am absolutely exhausted but we are trying to see how may more times I can compete the drill within XX seconds”. It made me exhausted just to watch.

Isaiah says that God “will not grow tired or weary” – imagine that! And it gets better (verse 29) “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak”.

The next time you are exhausted – in the middle of an impossible repeated drill or other demanding task, just remember the God who never grows weary and is the source of your strength.

The chapter ends with another great promise:” those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”.

I am not sure that runners (and race-walkers) can take this verse literally – as a promise that they will never grow weary! What we can be sure of is that the eternal God will be with you when you are! Stuart Weir

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BUYING FRIENDS 

Have you ever been involved in a situation that you knew was a set up? In other words, someone you know is doing something nice for you but you know there are strings attached. You know they expect something in return. Because of that, the phrase “I owe you one” has always bothered me.

 

Taken at its best, the phrase is simply a way of expressing appreciation. But at its worst, the statement reeks of motive.  As followers of Jesus, we need to respond when we see others in need. If we give, we need to give with a pure heart, expecting nothing in return.

 

Too often we can be guilty of giving in order to get. We do something nice to gain a friendship or to garner favors. We keep mental records of who owes us a favor. We give compliments in order to receive them. There are unspoken expectations.

 

This week, let’s examine our motives. Are we using words or works to impress or gain favor, expecting future payback?  Are we priming someone else for a need we might have in the future?  We are probably all guilty of this at times.

 

“People look at the outward appearances, but the Lord looks at he heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7

Bible · Jesus · Leadership · motivation · purpose · religion

Where is your hope?

Command those who are rich in this world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God who so richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17


Paul says that if you are rich there are twin dangers – you might become arrogant and you might put your hope in wealth. When a well-known person dies you can read what their estate was worth – it somehow defines the person’s worth and value. The one who dies owning the most toys wins. The essence of the temptation is that I think that I am self-sufficient. Because I have money I can solve my own problems and don’t need God.

If Paul’s statement that money is uncertain was true in his day, it is 100 times more so in ours with fluctuating currency rates and stock market crashes. In the western world, no one will ever admit to being rich – in reality on a global level we are all rich beyond most of the world’s imagination.

What Paul says about riches could also be applied to sporting ability – which can lead us to be arrogant (“look at me, I have just set a new record”) or to feel self-sufficient. But we all know that sporting success is just as uncertain as money.

The answer to the problems raised in the first half of the verse comes in the second half. We are to hope in God. In contrast to money or sporting success God is unchanging and worthy of our trust.

Working out in practice how to put our trust in God rather than material wealth and achievements is not easy.

Stuart Weir. 

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KICKING THE CAT!

Have you heard the phrase ‘kicking the cat?’ It usually refers to taking out our frustrations on the nearest target. A man comes home from work and unloads his stress on the family pet who just happens to be in the way. 

 

Who, or what, is your cat?  To my shame, my ‘cat’ tends to be the one I love most, my wife. Over the years, whether it is from dealing with deadlines, difficult situations, jet lag or just plain exhaustion, when the pressures build she has been there for me. Rather than taking time to gain a godly perspective and appreciating her, there have been times I’ve taken out my frustration on her. Although I don’t literally kick her, I can be impatient, sarcastic, irritable or overbearing.

 

Unfortunately, I’m not the only man who has this tendency. Although I cannot speak for women and how they handle stress, many of the men I encounter tend to take out their anger or frustration on those closest to them. This is harmful and wrong.

 

 What works for me is to take time to decompress before engaging with my wife. It helps to unload my frustrations on Jesus and gain His perspective on the situation.“Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

 

When I fail to do this and take out my anxieties on my wife, I need to ask for forgiveness and talk it out. 

 

A verse comes to mind: “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26

Deal with sin now; don’t let it fester. One way for us to keep short accounts is to pray with our spouses daily. I am miserable at this. It isn’t easy, especially with a constantly changing schedule and frequent travel. So I am not mentioning this to make anyone feel guilty, but rather to share what has worked in our marriage.

 

Who is your cat?

Bible · Contact Tom · Jesus · Leadership · motivation · purpose · religion

CHECKERS OR CHESS?

If you have children, you have likely spent some time playing board games. Even though electronic games seem to be taking over board games, they still have their place. Two of the most popular board games are checkers and chess. 

Although I have not played a lot of chess, I have enjoyed the occasional game of checkers. The game gives the opportunity to plan strategy without taking a great amount of time.
A few years back, a good friend challenged me with the following analogy using Checkers and Chess. These two games have different rules and different strategies but both are played on the same board. He said that life with Jesus is the same way. We can either use the strategy of Checkers – jump you, king me – or the strategy of Chess – think two to three moves ahead and always protect the king. This made sense to me!
The world system tells us life is a game of checkers – jump over others to make ourselves king. The Word of God challenges me to think through each decision in relationship to my soul and to others while always thinking about the King.
How might this thought change the way we approach life this week?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18(ESV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Bible · Leadership · motivation · purpose

HOW TO KEEP STANDING WHEN TIMES ARE TOUGH!

Keep standing when the wind is at your face, and the rain is pelting your skin. 


When the climb seems endless and your footing feels unsecured. 

When the heat is unbearable and you thirst. 

When the waters are rising and you can’t find the rock to stand on. 

When the days seem uncertain and long. 

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17. 

“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” Deut 7:9. 

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” Psalm 28:7. Keep standing. He is with you.


Julie Kinzer