Freedom’s Exhilaration

You don’t need a new year to make a change. You only need a new day.

We live in a broken world filled with broken people. Be honest. We are broken as well. As hard as we try, it appears becoming more like Jesus is an uphill battle.

Spoiler alert!!! It is! Jesus is God. We are not. He is perfect. We are not, which means we will fail.

And because we fear what failure brings, we live in the status quo of life. We stay the same, which means staying in the same place! Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sameness.

I once read, “Failures are part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn. If you don’t learn, you’ll never change.”

This as well as our walk with Christ are pictured here. This gentlemen is experiencing the thrill of climbing an overhanging rock face.

Notice, though, what’s around his waist? It’s a harness attached to a rope, running through carabiners, firmly attached to rock.

He is attempting to feel the exhilaration of climbing this rock face. And yet, he has a safety net. Does this mean he wants to miss a hand hold? No! It’s going to hurt to hit the rock, but…he will live to try again!

Jesus wants us to taste the same exhilaration of exploring who He is and what He can do in and through us. Will we make mistakes? Most likely, but we are tethered to a rock – Him. And hopefully, we’ll learn not to make that same mistake again.

In a fallen world, failure is part of the game. Yet, so is growth.

Each day is a new day to choose to experience freedom’s exhilaration regardless of yesterday’s failures. Choose to grow. Jesus has you firmly in His hands.

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Big Picture

It’s the individual brush strokes that add up to the final masterpiece.

Outside my back window, I can see huge earth movers racing around moving tons and tons of dirt. Where? I don’t have a clue, but the surveyors did.

It was they who put up sticks with various colored flags all over this 200 acre property to let the drivers know where to take and where to put the dirt.

To the untrained eye, it looks like organized chaos. But to the person who drew up the plans, it is a symphony of action.

Each bulldozer, each earth mover, and each water truck is doing exactly what they need to do to get the land ready for new homes, parks and trails that will fill in the brush strokes of the master planned community.

God sees and knows the big picture and laid out the various colored flags. He has given each body part, whether it be a person or a gathering of Jesus believers, a brush stroke to paint in His big picture.

You may not see the importance of your brush stroke. But He does. So, don’t discount what He has you doing, no matter how small it may seem to you or look in other people’s eyes!

Now more than ever, it’s time to trust in the Father’s Big Picture with each individual brush stroke He makes. As you do, you be fulfilled even in a world that leaves others empty.

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Stretched Faith

Each day, you have three choices: go backward, stay the same or go forward.

You should have seen the bruise on the back of my left thigh. It was the size of a deep purple softball!

I was training the only way I knew how to get my body into shape to enter a program I believed Jesus wanted me to be in. This way of training, however, is what caused the deep bruise to surface.

I did a little research and then signed up for a course that taught me a new way of training. Would it work? I didn’t know. I had never trained this way before.

I had a choice. I could keep doing what was comfortable and continue to hurt myself; or, I could trust and rely on their expertise and promises. I took the latter option and made it into the program.

Yes, change is uncomfortable. Yet, who is asking you to change? The expert trainer – the Spirit of Truth. He will guide you into the truth, which once it changes you, brings greater freedom and a stronger faith to face life’s daily struggles.

The Spirit has a proven track record as a trainer. He will make your life better, though not easier as you live in days where those who love Jesus are having their faith challenged.

The Spirit wants to stretch and make your faith stronger. You now have a choice. Go backward. Stay the same. Go forward. It’s not easy, but going forward is the best choice.

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Hidden in Plain Sight

Some things can only be seen when Jesus lets us see them.

I worked at a summer camp where the campers played a game called “Hide and Seek.” They got points every time they “found” a staff member who was hiding somewhere on the premises.

They never found a certain member who hid in plain sight. This guy dressed up as a homeless person playing a guitar right in front of the general store.

This guy would take a sip from a bottle that appeared to be filled with beer whenever a camper came to the store. There was no way a Christian staff member would drink beer, especially at camp, right? Yet, the bottle was filled with sparkling apple cider!

They couldn’t “see” what was sitting right before their eyes.

Elisha’s servant had the same problem. All he could see was a huge army ready to imprison Elisha. What he couldn’t see was a wall of angels protecting them. It took the Lord to open the servant’s eyes to see what was in plain sight.

And so do you and me. We need the Spirit to open our eyes to see through the deception of the western culture of emotions, feelings, desires and individual truths based decisions and lifestyles.

If you want to stay out of the enemy’s prison, you must ask the Spirit to open your eyes to see what is in plain sight – Jesus and the truths He’ll give you to stay out of them.

Allow the Spirit to open your eyes to see what is in plain sight.

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Connected

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep – Romans 12:15.

This verse is hidden inside a section of scripture on how believers are to be connected through thick and thin.

Think about this for a second, though. What does it imply? You are connected with other Jesus believers!

Our world is so easy to bash the “church” for not being there, but are you there for them? There is an old saying, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Connectivity is a two-way street.

The word church has been abused and misused. It simply is a group of people moving toward Jesus together. This group can be as small as two and as big as one can be transparent with others so they will know when you’re hurting or rejoicing.

Walking this journey on planet earth is not an easy one. There are highs and there are lows. And both are greatly enhanced if we have others to share both.

Don’t let past hurts or run ins with the church keep you from being there for others in a way they can be there for you.

I sure do appreciate those who wish to stay connected with me. I love the out of the blue texts, “How are you doing?” Or, “I was just praying for you.”

How about you? Take the time to invest in others! Stay connected.

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