Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MORE - A "Tail" of Two Squirrels

"More of you, more of you, I've had it all, but what I need, is more of you. Of things I've had my fill and yet, I hunger still,
Thirsty and dry, Lord hear my cry, for more of you!"

The other day, while I was driving to the office, I noticed a squirrel scampering across the road, it's cheeks bulging with a collection of unknown treasures, no doubt gathered in a nearby yard. I was instantly reminded that God is a God of provision - even for rodent-like creatures with bushy tails! I also considered that, while God's provision was plentiful, that squirrel still had to make an effort and collect that provision. That squirrel was simply doing it's part of the arrangement.

A few miles farther down the road, I noticed a rather slow moving creature, crossing the road in the distance ahead of me. As I came closer, I saw that this creature was another squirrel that was, half carrying and half dragging an entire ear of corn with it's mouth. I could just imagine the delight of this particular squirrel in the treasure it had found. You can imagine it too. I imagined this squirrel thinking, "WOW! Jackpot! Wait till the guys see this!

You and I are a lot like those squirrels in the sense that God provides for our spiritual well being everyday. We have the opportunity to collect that provision, taking it into our lives and our families. However, how many times do we exchange the complete infusion of God into our lives for one spiritual nut? How often do we sit in a church pew and are content with just a slight touch from God when we could have a complete and fresh infilling of his Holy Spirit?

I am not saying that small spiritual truths are insignificant and not beneficial. Indeed, the still small voice of the Holy Spirit is often what we need to hear. I am saying that the more we open ourselves up, the more we seek to collect the riches of God's love, mercies and power, the more God will be in our lives.

So, which squirrel are you? Are you content with a few nuts? Or, do you want the giant ear of corn? The more we want of God, the more we will receive!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fear or Faith?

Today, in my devotions, I was reading in the book of Numbers about the twelve scouts from the tribes of Israel sent to explore the promised land. Of the twelve, only two gave a report filled with faith, while the others told tales that filled the people's hearts with fear.

Caleb and Joshua told Moses that that land was good and that the Israelites, with God's help could take it from it's inhabitants. The other 10 scouts, agreed that the land was good, but stated that the inhabitants of the land were too big, too strong and their cities were too fortified. The people were quick to believe the report of the 10 over the report of the two.

True to form, as soon as the people were up against an obstacle, they wanted to back down. They actually wanted to go back to Egypt. They would have rather returned to a life of slavery than to confront an obstacle.

Many of us are still like that. Rather than obtaining victory over the obstacles in our lives through Christ, we would rather stay right where we are, or worse, regress back into the old habits and thought-patterns that once held us captive. We choose to believe the reports that say, we are not good enough, not knowledgeable enough, not strong enough or not worthy enough to achieve victory. Guess what, we aren't! The Israelites were not all of those things. They would have had God on their side, fighting for them, if they only exercised their faith. We serve the same God and he fights for us and shows his strength in our weakness.

I've always imagined that seeing God part the Red Sea would have been a faith-building experience. Yet the Israelites still cowered every time the going got tough. How many Red Sea experiences have we had and yet we are still tempted to cower at the obstacles that lay before us? God did bring the Nation of Israel into the promised land - a generation later. Don't let a lack of faith cause you to miss out on what God has for you.

What is the primary factor that determines your decisions and belief? Is it fear or faith?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Living It Loud

"Let us not become weary in doing good , for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:9-10 NIV

It was an interesting weekend. I had the opportunity to spend a couple days with some great guys at a convention. While there, in between sessions on Saturday, I was enjoying a large french vanilla latte - foo foo coffee I know. As I was walking along, browsing the various ministry tables, a guy who I recognized from various district ministry functions came up to me and asked me where I purchased my coffee.
When I answered, he asked if they take debit cards - that was a question I didn't know the answer to, so I said, "If they don't, I'll buy you one." I proceeded to follow him to the cafe' during which time an acquaintance of his joined him. While he was standing in line, I heard him ask his friend if he knew me - He did not. They were both giving me a suspicious eye while I waited several yards to the side of the line, ready to make good on my offer if needed. Once I saw that they did take debit cards, I walked away.

Fast-forward to Sunday morning. Within a half mile of our church building while driving to church, our son noticed an elderly woman frantically waving her arms as she struggled to get out of her car which was off of the road in the yard of a business. Within minutes, we had two men from our church at the scene and pulled her car out of the yard and back onto the road.

I drove her car to her church while this dear saint rode with one of the guys that had helped. Confused and scared, she needed our comfort most of all. Her car, being damaged, would no longer safe to drive, so we waited with her at her church for someone to come and unlock the doors for the morning services.

I was proud of our guys from the church for their willingness to help and their servant's heart. I was also amazed at the surprise and shock that the woman had that we would be willing to help a stranger. To us, not helping was unthinkable. To her, us helping seemed strange.

It doesn't matter if people think you're a crazed psychopath who randomly offers to buy someone a cup of coffee, or a stranger who isn't afraid of a little mud on a Sunday morning. Our faith and our God commands us to be ready to serve, especially those who are knit together with us as Christians.

Live your faith loud - words whisper but ACTIONS SCREAM!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

For Whom do I Write?

I did something today that I should have done a long time ago. I removed the sitemeter from my blogs. It was always fascinating to see where readers were from; however, I feared that it was beginning to feed the beginnings of some narcissistic tendencies in my life.

I do not have a desire to write for any one's entertainment. I truly desire to serve the reader by allowing God to use me to enrich lives through the written word.

So, what does all that mean? Simply this. I will no longer know who is reading this blog or where you are from. I will continue to write my thoughts, convictions, feelings, desires and, most importantly, my devotionals for the readers benefit and God's glory.