Be Careful Where You’re Headed

Jan and I love to take advantage of every chance we get to hike in different places and countries.
On the island of Moorea, there is a famous hiked called the 3 Coconuts Trail. It’s 4 miles up and back with an elevation gain of a little over 1,100 feet. The guide books call it strenuous, but it’s pretty normal for us.
Our anticipation was high. We were going to an exotic place to hike in a rain forest type of atmosphere where the scenic views from the top would be nothing but spectacular.
Rain was forecasted for the day we were to hike. Needless to say, we got drenched not once, but twice. Yet, since it was a warm rain and we were already sweating from the humity, the amount of rain was no problem. The coming view would be worth it all.
This heavy rains, though, caused the trails at times to turn into literal rivers! And, as the trail was laced with tree and plant roots, we ended up slipping and sliding along the way quite a few times. But, oh the view would be worth it.
Yet the view wasn’t! This is what we found when we reached the top – a sign! No spectacular view, just a sign telling us that three coconut trees used to be here and now the forest had overgrown the area to the point that you couldn’t even see the ocean.
What a great illustration of reaching and working hard to reach goals that have no lasting or eternal value. Paul said that he always pressed on toward the goal of becoming more like Jesus – a goal that will last forever while giving benefits now.
Where are you headed? Hope it’s worth it in the end!

Time to Trust

You’re in good hands!
Jesus tells us to listen to and follow Him. This takes trust as there will be many times when what He’s asking us to do feels wrong and/or cuts against the grain of our current thinking. Yet, increasing trust is the mark of a healthy Jesus disciple.
What I find most interesting about Jesus’ statement, though, is the context in which it is made. He goes onto to say that He gives us eternal life and security by being firmly in the grasp of two sets of hands – His and the Father’s. Another way of putting this is that we’re putting our very hearts into the hands of God.
Now, we’ve all learned from living on this planet that this can be a scary thing. There have been times when we’ve given our hearts to someone or something where we’ve been hurt. Our trust has been broken and/or abused. The reality of this world is that we’ll never escape this life without having our hearts broken a time or two.
Yet, there are two Persons who’ve never hurt us and deserve our trust – Jesus and the Father. In fact, as we learn to trust them, we’ll realize that our very personhood, let alone our heart, is protected by them. And for this to happen we must let our self-made walls come down or trust.
It’s time to realize Jesus already has your heart in His hands anyway. It’s time to trust that the Father has your best interest in mind when He asks you to go down a certain path.
Therefore, it’s time to take a step of trust in what you know they have been saying to you. Today is that time to trust.

The Delusion of Control

Maturity is not the one with the most knowledge, but the one whose life has been changed the most by what they know.
“Physical suffering exposes the delusion of personal autonomy and self-sufficiency. If we had the kind of control that we fall into thinking we have, none of us would ever go through anything difficult. None of us would choose to be sick or to experience physical pain. None of us likes our lives being put on hold.
“Physical suffering does force us to face the reality that our lives are in the hands of another. It reminds us that we are small and dependent, that whatever little bits of power and control we have can be taken away in an instant. Independence is a delusion that is quickly exposed by suffering.”
Some suffering is self-inflicted while still other hardships are brought on by living in a fallen world. And yet, the Spirit tells us that He uses both to expose the delusion that we are in control and fully independent, so we can choose to let Him change our lives.
Have a healthy Jesus faith. Let Him change your life.

Time for a Fresh Start

Dying to self brings life.
A long-time friend wrote, “As you run from God, while you believe that you are getting away with something, you are being given leave to do as you please. The longer and farther you run, your imagination will be allowed to keep expressing itself till you have deceived yourself from acknowledging the presence and reality of the Creator. Turn back.”
Running from God has a name, The Jonah Syndrome. Jonah heard God’s voice and literally started running from God to the point he had to die (swallowed by a big fish) and then be resurrected (spit out by same fish) to turn around.
If you’re running from Jesus, don’t you think it’s time to stop in order to experience all that living in God’s presence brings? The Alpha and Omega and the Author and Finisher of your faith is the only One who can bring you what you think running from Him will achieve – peace and purpose.
Jesus’ death made us right with the Father to give us peace. Jesus’ death took away all condemnation while we walk with Him in pursuit of our God-given purpose. And, Jesus’ life keeps us experiencing both on a daily basis.
Jesus offers you a fresh start each and every moment of the day. I encourage you to take Him up on His offer right now. It’s much more pleasant than being thrown overboard to get your attention.

Jesus Birth in a Math Equation

Your answer to a simple math problem speaks volumes about your belief system.
It was a public discussion on the results of taking God/Higher Power out of the American public school system. Does everyone believe 1+1=2 anymore?
During the discussion someone said, “We should teach morality in our schools.” I then said, “Whose morality?” They were stumped until they that realized that not everyone believes 1+1=2 anymore.
“1+1=2 is a statement about reality. Among other things, it’s a denial of eastern mysticism where ‘all is one.’ For if ‘all is one’ were true, then 1+1=2 wouldn’t be true. Everything would equal 1.”
Think about that for a second. What kind of reaction would you get from the cashier if you gave them $1 for two pounds of apples at a $1/pound? They’d ask for more money; and, if you’d leave without paying that extra buck, you’d soon be handcuffed sitting in the back of a police car for stealing.
1+1 does = 2.This concept of absolute truth and real meaning to words (e.g. love) and symbols (e.g. numbers) comes from Scripture.
John 1:1 states that Jesus is the logos, or logic, behind the world in which we live. And, the reality of His birth was written in words using symbols that had absolute meaning long before Jesus was actually born.
In Matthew 2, the magi came to Jerusalem because the numbers of Daniel 9 added up and asked where the king was to be born because words in Micah 5 had a specific meaning.
Jesus came to fulfill the absolute meaning of the words in Scripture right down to every stroke of the pen and breathing mark on the page.
And because that’s true, make sure Jesus is your Higher Power, not your feelings or opinions. 1+1=2. Choose to believe that His words can change your life for the better today, tomorrow and well into eternity! It’s as simple as 1+1=2.