Focused Forward

Yesterday is over. Today is now.
My mom took my brother and me to see the Dodgers play when we were little. We’d sit either in the outfield seats or the nosebleed section behind home plate. We didn’t care. We were at the game.
I still vividly remember one game in particular. It was the day I broke my front tooth. As we exited the stadium doors, I heard the crowd roar. I turned my head to see what was happening while still walking toward our car.
You can guess what happened. When I turned around, I walked into one of those concrete parking bollards and chipped my tooth. Oh, it sure felt good once it stopped hurting!
Looking backwards while traveling forwards is hazardous to one’s health physically and spiritually.
I recently wasted most of a morning looking backward. I was focusing on something I couldn’t change, let alone do anything about. What a waste of time!
Yesterday is gone. Done. Kaput. By looking backwards, you and I will miss opportunities to love, become like and share Jesus today to our own detriment.
Stay focused on who’s ahead – Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14). Unwrap the package of the moment with Him. It will put an unbroken smile on both of your faces.

Easier Road Sometimes is Harder Road

“No one stares up at the Northern Lights and says, ‘Wow, I’m incredible.’” Pete Grieg
Many of my hikes are taken in places where there can appear to be easier than other paths to take.
Pictured is one of them. The dirt path on the way out was full of ruts I needed to avoid in order to not twist my ankles. So when I got to the point where I needed to turn back home, I noticed this opening in the fence.
Entering that opening would make my return walk shorter and easier. I had a choice to make. I could enter the opening and walk on the easier paved path saving twisted ankles. Or, I could by pass the opening and take the longer more difficult path home.
Obviously, I wanted to take the shorter and easier path until I remembered an important fact. I took the easier route before only to discover there was no such opening at the other end!
My shorter route then became much, much longer as I had to back track to the fence opening; and then, take the longer more difficult route home.
Our walks with Jesus are much like this opening in the fence. Life is not about easy! It’s about loving Him. And sometimes, the longer, more difficult route is best because of what Jesus wants us to experience with Him.
Filter your choices through Jesus. He is the Way/Path to real living in these very uncertain times in which we find ourselves.
If not, hopefully, you’ll learn from your mistakes like I did.

Threat or Threatened

“A battleship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what it was made for.” Anonymous
I’ve played sports all my life; and, I’ve never ever had an opponent do something to me while I sat on the sidelines. Why? I’m not in the game; and thus, am no threat.
Once I stepped onto the field of play, however, I’ve now become a threat. They must make a plan to keep me from defeating them.
Right now, with so many born-again Christians sitting on the sidelines (listening to and following their own “Christianized” dreams and goals), Satan gets a lot of credit for doing nothing!
Real spiritual attack comes from being in the game, which means listening to and following Jesus, not self, every day everywhere.
If this isn’t you, it’s time to repent and be who the Father made you – a secure child of God who experiences His presence and victory as you go about your daily living.
As you do, you’ll fulfill a purpose for being here (Matt. 28) despite the increased spiritual warfare that comes with it.
Be a threat to your enemy, not threatened by him. He’s a loser because he follows himself. You’re a winner because you’re in and follow Jesus.
Our current world needs you to get into the game!

Live the Life Jesus Gave You

If you don’t conquer it today, it will control you tomorrow.
Jesus and the twelve were walking toward Jerusalem. This journey caused great fear in His men. Why? They were heading straight into the center of a storm.
At that time, the Israeli government wanted Jesus dead; and, He knew it. Jesus could play it safe and stay home. Or, He could keep walking into Jerusalem. He chose the latter.
He told His men as they walked, “Hey guys, don’t be afraid. This is the life I came to live! Yes, I am going into the midst of a thunderous storm. And, yes, I know I’m going to die in that storm. But guess what? That’s a good thing as I’m going to rise to life again! I will fulfill the purpose I came to earth to accomplish.”
Just like Jesus, you’re an awesome piece of artwork created with a purpose that, in the Spirit’s power, you’re fully capable of accomplishing (Eph. 2:10).
Playing it safe will not get the job done. Listening to and following Him will – even if that means heading into a storm, like death.
Jesus follower, do you believe that when you leave this planet you’re going to heaven to live with Him forever? If you do, live the life He gave you…today.
Stop listening to the superstar athletes or politicians who tell you to play it safe, stay home.
Keep listening to Jesus. If He says stay home, stay home. This is loving Him. If He says head into the storm, head into the storm. This is also loving Him. Either way, there must be someone who needs to see and hear Him through you wherever you might be.
People are afraid. These people need to see Jesus’ love in the lives of those who follow Him, despite the storms. This is not a safe walk, but one of faith that will be rewarded with life today, tomorrow and eternity.