Hopefully this post will be the first of many on Facebook. I hope this will be a blessing in your life.
We’re half-hearted creatures fooling with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy if offered to us. We’re too easily pleased.- C.S. Lewis
While riding back from our ski trip, I got that tweet. Most of the time I just kind of glance to see what it says but this time was different. It really made me think about all that we had discussed during our devotions. Just to recap for those who weren’t able to make it on the trip, we talked about sin and joy. With sin we learned three things sin does in your life. Sin kills relationships, sin blurs our vision, and sin destroys our purpose. Then we learned how God’s joy does the complete opposite. God wants to give us joy, so that we can live the best life possible.
Many times it is hard to see what navigates us between choosing our sin and choosing God’s joy. However with this quote by C.S. Lewis, God opened my eyes to where our compass finds its bearings between these two points. Pleasure is what we use for our north. You see once you find north, then you can navigate towards any direction. So what we find the most pleasing becomes what we use to guide us in either direction. The biggest problem with using our pleasure as north is that it is not True North. It is Magnetic North, which is north based on the magnetic pull of the earth. So you can see by using the pull of this world to guides us, we commonly end up at our own pleasure and sin. However thanks to a loving and merciful God who left us with a guide, we can find real joy and true pleasure.
John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: it is for your own good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. God sent Jesus to make his joy available to us, and Jesus left his spirit with us to guide us to God’s joy. The Holy Spirit is True North. When we rely on the Holy Spirit as our cardinal direction, then we find true joy. We find God’s joy because the Holy Spirit purpose is the same as ours, to glorify God. In living out our purpose, we find infinite joy and true pleasure.
Which north is guiding your life?
I am going to admit to something that will probably make me sound weird, but here goes. Sometimes I like to go to the mall, and just people watch. I find it so interesting how people interact with each other, and also with sales people. My favorite place is to sit near one of those kiosks that sells hand lotion or some other product that requires you to become a human test subject before you can fully appreciate it. Watching people come up with ways to avoid trying these products is so amazing. Some examples are trying to avoid eye contact, using the people in front of them as human shields, and my all time favorite the fake phone call.
Another reason that I enjoy people watching is that God always seems to teach me something or show me something about myself through others. It happened to me the other day. I was walking around with my caramel white mocha from the bucks, don’t judge me. I came up on a group of Asian guys going down the same escalator. The thing that stuck out to me was that one of the men was carrying a camera with him, I promise I am not making this up. I was thinking how stereotypical can you be man, you are Asian and you have a camera with you at the mall. So as I got mad at myself for thinking so stereotypically about the situation and Asian men. A thought hit me, and I have been thinking about it ever since.
Does the world stereotype Christians as people who believe in and live their life like Jesus Christ. And if that were true, is that a bad thing?
Think about whether you think that is really true this week. Read one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John), and look at how Jesus was living his life. Read and think about who Jesus was investing his life into, and the people that were drawn to Jesus.
Tune in next week for my thoughts and please feel free to post comments about what God is teaching you.
Earlier this week I was on Facebook…your favorite website in all the land…and I saw a status update by a former high school teacher of mine. Mr. Timmons was one of my all-time favorite teachers. His A&P class was definitely not accomplished with ease, but I appreciated his pushing us to strive for excellence by not watering down our class with quizzes and homework. Our grades were achieved by studying, lab exercises and test grades. No hand outs, no extra points, nada. I went to a public school and even though I knew he was the bees knees in the world of teachers, I did not realize how rooted in his faith that he is/was. I’ve since learned that from his Facebook updates. Yay for Facebook!
Moving right along…I read his status and it said this:
“Did you realize the fuzz on a tennis ball makes it stay on the racket strings a little longer thereby allowing the player to better direct its path? I think the Holy Bible should be the fuzz on the tennis ball of life. We should stay in God’s Word longer and use it to direct our path when the challenges of life threaten to break our serve. May God bless your devotional time with Him tomorrow.”
Mr. Timmons was definiltey The Fuzz when it came to teachers! I don’t know if he read that in a devotional or formulated that in his wise mind. Either way, I liked it and thought I’d share.
May your day be filled with The Fuzz! I hope you find yourself spending a little more time in prayer, a little more time in God’s Word and a little more time striving to be like Jesus in this broken world. The more time we spend with God, the less time we spend doing the things that draw us away from Him.
Happy Thursday. Hope to see you on Sunday!
So we have had some crazy storms lately! These storms have caused many of you to lose power and have taken down a lot of trees! During the day last week I went home for lunch only to find a tree had fallen in my back yard. It wasn’t a very big tree, but it did some serious damage to my fence. I was very blessed that it didn’t hit my house or do some worse damage! As I looked at the tree, I wondered why it fell. It looked ok to me until I checked out the roots. For such a large tree, it had a very small and weak root system. Then I remembered that despite the recent storms, we had been battling a long drought for years. This tree had been weakened over time and strong winds were able to just push it right over.
This got me thinking of a piece of scripture. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.”
In the scripture we find that Jesus tells us that He is the “living water.” We are to root ourselves in Christ in order to stay strong throughout life’s storms. My prayer for all of us that we reach deep into Christ through a life of prayer, study, service and fellowship so we can form a strong root system. Then we can not only weather the storms, but we can produce the fruit of the Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
The next time you see a fallen tree check out the root system. Let it serve as a reminder that we all need to make sure we are deeply rooted in our faith in Jesus.
Have your parents ever asked you to clean out your closet? Have they ever made you participate in an annual “Spring cleaning” event? Have you ever heard the term, “out with the old, in with the new?”
Each year my dad would make me help him clean out the garage in the Spring. He would get all excited about all of the unnecessary things he was going to throw out and the garage would be neat and clean. There was one problem. We never got rid of anything! He would make me pull everything out and set out in the driveway and then he would think about each piece and say, ” I can’t get rid of that!” Then we would put it all back in the garage until next Spring.
I am scarred by that annual tradition! To this day, I dread having to go through my stuff and get rid of unnecessary things. Unfortunately, it is a necessary part of life and I need to do it. It is especially necessary this year! Anise has turned 5 and she has out grown her toys and most of her clothes. I really need to go through her stuff so we can donate the unused items. Yes, I will make her help me, but I vow to actually get rid of some things! I will remind her that in order to get new things we must get rid of the old.
This whole prospect of Spring cleaning got me thinking. It is the last week of lent and Easter is almost here. While I need to do some physical cleaning, I also am in need of some spiritual cleaning as well! Psalm 51:2 says, “Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Lent is a time of reflection and in this last week I will do my best to think about my relationship with God. I will spend some time thinking about my sinful ways, confessing them to God and figuring out ways to push them out of my life. In order for me to put more of God in my life, I have to get rid of my old sinful ways. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Whether or not you are doing some physical Spring cleaning this year, I want to encourage to do some spiritual cleaning as well. Remember God’s promise of forgiveness through Jesus. Confess your sins to God and ask Him to create in you a clean heart.
Out with the old, in with the new!
I love Spring! The weather gets warm and I look forward to enjoying the outdoors. The great thing about Spring is that it reminds me about the renewal of life. New leaves are forming on the trees, flowers are blooming and grass is growing. It seems like everything is awakening from the dead of winter. This leads me to think about God and His ability to renew all of us. Jesus came to create in us a new heart and to give us a new life. No longer are we weighted down by the guilt of sin and death holds no power over us. Each day we can begin with a new and clean slate as we find forgiveness in Jesus and we can rely on His promise that even in death we will be made new as we spend eternity in heaven. This Spring I hope that all of us take a moment to pause and look at the new life coming forth in God’s creation. Take this opportunity to also reflect on the new life we can find in Jesus each day.
I do love Spring, but did I mention that the pollen is making my head feel like it could explode! No worries! I have some good medicine. Now get outside, when the rain stops, and enjoy Spring!
Did I mention we have a NEW website! If you are reading this you are on it, so I guess you know that! We hope you like it!