Cleanup Crew

It’s a man-made problem that man cannot solve.
It all started in the garden with Adam and Eve. They messed up big time. Where did they turn? Themselves. End result? They created an even bigger mess.
The Scriptures are full of such examples. When we choose to solve life our way, we leave messes behind – some bigger than others. And, when we try to cleanup those messes our way, we only make a messy situation messier.
Why? Because we are still handling the situation our way all over again, just differently!
The sooner we turn to Jesus, who is the Way to handle life because He is Life, for answers, the sooner the messes can be turned into fertilizer for rose bushes. End result? Beautiful aromatic roses.
Search the Scriptures, not social media. Seek Jesus, not the experts. Stink or sweetness, it’s your choice.

Stay Refreshed

“God does not give us everything we want, but He does lead us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
On the one hand, Jesus forgave all our sins on the cross. On the other hand, we are to ask forgiveness for our sins. How can all be forgiven; and yet, we are to constantly ask for it be true at the same time?
Think of muddy feet. If you have bathed and are wearing clean clothes, you don’t need to take a shower or change clothes when you return home.
As you go about your day wearing sandals, though, your feet can become pretty grimy depending on where you walked. Upon returning home, if you want that fresh feeling to return, you only have to wash your feet.
If you’ve ever worn sandals, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You’re clean; and yet, you feel uncomfortable at the same time.
Jesus bathes those who put their faith in Him as Lord. We are forgiven at the cross, period. But, can we feel estranged or like something is just not right? Yes.
When you start to feel this way, simply ask the Spirit to show you if there is sin in your life that needs to be washed away/forgiven. Why? Sin causes us to be separated from Him, the source of freshness.
Don’t start down a guilt trip. Simply acknowledge (confess) what the Spirit shows you, ask forgiveness, and whala, the mud is gone. The refreshed feeling returns.
Be sensitive to that grimy feeling. Let Jesus wash it away! Stay refreshed.

Embrace Change

I went on a walk today and change broke out.
Wow, a lot can happen in a month and a change in my prayer walk direction.
A tiny one room home, a single-wide trailer and an entire row of chicken coops have been replaced with a storage lot. The cattle roping training center is gone and been replaced with weeds. And now this pictured section of road, which was once dirt, is now paved. The barking dogs are still present, though!
As I was walking, Jesus brought to mind a story He told about storms. The point of the story was they bring change. And some are quite messy!
Rain turns dry soil into mud, which can be tracked everywhere. Winds scatter leaves all over the yard that now have to be raked up, which takes time away from doing fun activities.
In the midst of this change, Jesus says the person who uses them to be changed themselves (hears and applies His words) will be left standing tall and strong.
It doesn’t matter whether or not we like change or agree with what is causing it. We have a choice. We can either embrace and use it to become more like Jesus or fight against it and stay who we are.
Just as walking on a paved road is easier on the ankles, so will a changed life through lovingly obeying Jesus make living life easier. So, choose to embrace change.

The Silent Bell

Focus on the moment. God already has the next one.
I was reading why some of the most physically and mentally equipped US Navy Seal recruits ring the bell, a signal that they quit.
One of the reasons was that they failed to stay in the moment. They didn’t take it one movement of each exercise at a time. They started thinking about all the pain they would have to endure…down the road.
If only they had stayed focused on the task at hand. Then, once that task was over, then and only then, should they focus on the next one. The one who finishes, captures the moment rather than endures it.
Jesus’ words rang out as I read this. Roughly paraphrased, “Focus on now. Let tomorrow’s troubles wait.”
By staying with Him in the moment, we can make the right choice to follow Him in that moment.
And, He’s got all our moments, well into eternity, in His hands. But, He’s only asking us to focus on loving Him in this moment.
With all the confusing, controversial and sometimes conflicting information being thrown at you, stay focused on what you control – your choice in the moment. Let tomorrow’s choices wait until tomorrow.
Choose to do what Jesus says to do in this moment; and, the bell remains silent.

When God Steps Back

“A man who walks with God always gets to his destination.” Henrietta C. Mears.
I was sitting in service Sunday morning, when between songs, the Lord spoke. Quite loudly, as a matter of fact.
“Come near to Me, and I will come near to you.” I knew it was the Lord as it was straight from James 4:8.
Then I sensed the Spirit saying, “What if God took a step back, would you take a step toward Him?” It’s a way of saying, “Do you trust Me? If so, take a step toward Me.”
What’s interesting is that the James context is all about humbling yourself to let Him change your life.
God takes a step back so we can see our need of letting Him change our lives. The only way to describe it, though, is being numb. You neither feel good nor bad. You just are.
God is still with you!! He’s like a daddy, however, with His arms stretched out waiting for you to walk towards Him.
If this is you today, take whatever step He’s asking of you. Then the feeling of being tight with Him will return.