How Many Times a Day Do You Rewrite History…?

Two dogs and elderly2

How Many Times a Day Do You Rewrite History…?

Remember when the Israelites asked Aaron to make them an idol in the form of a calf. Despite the amazing faithfulness of God, they wanted to worship something they could physically see. I am stunned that Aaron cooperated but…the Bible clearly says, Aaron fired their gold and formed the calf-god.

When confronted by Moses, Aaron said, “Moses, you know these wicked people…they asked me to make them an idol and I threw their gold into the fire and out popped a calf!”

Right there…Aaron rewrote history. He told a little truth and a lot of lie and rewrote history. Was the truth to make him feel better about his lie or was it to make the lie easier for Moses to believe?

We all have that same playbook. If we aren’t careful, we default to it almost daily. Watch yourself. See if that isn’t true. You experience something and you come home and tell the story. Do you spin it to make yourself more innocent in the situation? Do you spin it to cover the fact that your friend’s lifestyle is less corrupt than it really is or…more corrupt?

Worse…if we don’t stay alert, the spin gets larger and the lies get bigger and…we actually begin to believe our own spin. We begin to see life through our spin. Our spin becomes the main way we think.

Can we be honest enough to admit that to spin is to lie? Maybe just a little at first…but it is a lie. Maybe the lies stay small…but they interfere with the kind of honest healthy view of ourselves and others that our God desires for us.

Sometimes, it is a road to narcissism. It can be a road to self-imposed bitterness against anyone who doesn’t fit our agenda. Does a friend not show you enough attention? Is family not attentive enough, sensitive enough, giving enough? Well then, spin it to make them look just a little worse than they are and yourself more mistreated.

Did you take on something you shouldn’t have and now need a reason it went badly so that you don’t bear the brunt of guilt or shame? Perhaps you did not take on the disciplines you should have taken on in relationships, budgeting, health, or career.

Pick one: Have you sat down before God and honestly examined how you handled a marriage or an important relationship that has disintegrated? Are your finances in a potentially disastrous state? Are you overweight and have received yet another warning from your doctor? Frustrated with your inability to take on physical things that you once loved?

Will you now put your own spin on it? Will you blame the circumstances…blame someone else? Will you and I simply not own it by the way we handle the ones we know we have wronged?

Do this with me:

  • Ask God daily for the desire to have open eyes about every bit of spinning you have been doing
  • Ask Him to show you how to go forward being honest with yourself and others…step by step by step

Ultimately, you will develop honest and meaningful relationships with both God and those around you. You know, the very ones He has planned for you to enjoy forever!

Exodus 32:22-24 (ESV) 22  And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. 23  For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24  So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”

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Look Up…Our God is Able!

dogwith watermark

Look Up…Our God is Able! Find Your Peace…Live Life to the Fullest!

 Jimmy Evans: “The ten spies went into the promised land and compared themselves to the giants and said, ‘We are like insects.’

“Joshua and Caleb went into the promised land…came out and said, ‘They will be our prey because our God is able.’ They compared the giants to God! Remember, Jesus said, ‘When you see these things begin to happen…look up!’ Don’t look around…don’t sit in front of the news for hours on end listening to bad news because you will get depressed.”

Which outlook is yours? We are faced with giants daily. Not just in the big world out there, but personally. No sense in me naming the giants. You know what yours are.

You will never be without giants. Stop waiting until you are to find peace…to live! Life is always going to have a mixture of sweetness and challenge. Sometimes the challenges are excruciatingly painful and…long.

But…which outlook is yours?

I get off the track and look at the giants. You likely do, as well. But don’t excuse yourself. Go to your knees again and again. Be intentional about finding your peace…which then enables you to live life to the fullest.

Look to God.

Regain your peace.

No matter the size of your giants…like Joshua and Caleb, remember…look up!

Our God is able!

Isaiah 55:6-9 (NLT) 6  Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. 7  Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. 8  “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV) 14  For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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Jesus already knew what He was going to do. He still does…

Edited in ELEMENTS - TOOK OUT BRANCH

Jesus already knew what He was going to do.

He still does…

When the disciples faced a hungry crowd of 5000 men, which commentaries say would have been anywhere from 15 to 20,000 people (including women and children)…Jesus already knew what He was going to do.

When Lazarus died, Jesus wept…though He already knew what He was going to do.

When He saw the woman at the well, despite tradition that said He should not even speak to her…Jesus already knew what He was going to do.

At the garden of Gethsemane, where He cried out to God in desperation…Jesus already knew what He was going to do.

Of course, I could site example after example. But what I hope you see here is, our God feels and our God knows. He weeps for us. He feels with us. All the while He knows His healing is on the way.

Why would He weep about Lazarus when He knew He was going to raise Lazarus to life again? Oh gosh, He deeply loved each one involved. He deeply loves each one of us. He knows the depths of what we are feeling…even when He already knows what He is going to do. He knows our faithlessness…our pain. He so longs for us to be able to trust Him to our very core.

After all…He already knows what He is going to do. You don’t. I don’t. But He does!

Are you riddled with guilt and feel that maybe God can never forgive you? Way back in that garden…He already knew what He was going to do.

Do you have someone you love dearly who is painfully off the tracks? He already knows what He is going to do.

You don’t. But He does.

Seldom is there a quick solution to life’s complex problems. Why?! Quick solutions are usually not thorough solutions. Time and twists and turns are needed to teach us the lessons that will keep us steady…determined to live life with the authenticity and love that God intends.

Are you sick, or have you lost a loved one in an unbearable way? Hang on. Jesus already knows what He is going to do. The path will not likely be easy or simple. We live in a very broken world full of sin and sickness. But Jesus is life. He is wonder and peace. He is comfort and His ways bring hope and purpose…joy when you think there can never be joy.

No matter how senseless what you are going through seems…you can trust Him to walk you through. Draw near to Him and do all you can to trust His hand…

Jesus already knows what He is going to do!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (TLB) 11  For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12  In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13  You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest.

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Why are You Afraid?…

Tree spooky funn with cloud above 2

Why are You Afraid…?!

Seismos. Seismologists study earthquakes…seismographs measure them.

Seismos Defined: Word-forming element meaning “earthquake…a shaking, shock; ” from seiein “to shake,” from PIE root *twei- “to agitate, shake, toss.”

Max Lucado:

“It is the word Matthew uses when remembering the storm on the sea of Galilee. ‘Jesus got into the boat and his followers got in with him and a great storm (seismos) arose on the lake so that the waves covered the boat.’

“Seismos. Obviously, this was no small storm. Matthew used it two other times in his gospel. Once to describe the shaking of the earth at the death of Christ and once to describe the shaking of the at the resurrection of Christ. Here he uses it to describe how Christ can conquer our fears!

“Suddenly, a great storm came upon us. Not all fears come suddenly. Some of them do, of course. But some just seem to come up through the tall grasses like a lion and…pounce on us.

“You would expect to get on a boat with Christ and have things go smoothly…a rainbow arched over the boat…or doves flying close by. But it is as though Matthew is saying, ‘Get on board with Christ and you might get soaked with Christ.’

“It’s not the absence of storms that sets us, as believers apart. It is what we discover in the storm!

“Here is the line you want to underline in Matthew 8: ‘Jesus is sleeping.’ In the midst of this seismos…this storm and the screams of the disciples…Jesus was sleeping! They wake Him up and He lifts His head and asks an honest question, ‘Why are you afraid?’

“Any chance He is asking you the same question?”

To us, this question might seem ludicrous…even comical after the storm calms and we review what happened. We might ask with both humor and a fair amount of exasperation, “Why are we afraid…Why were we afraid???”

“Life comes with fears. Fear serves its purpose. Adrenaline kicks in and we avoid dangerous situations, habits, even relationships. We even have a healthy fear of the Lord. But mismanagement of fear can lead to sin.

“When we treat our fears with drunken binges, or sullen moods or vice-like control…we exclude God and become dominated by fear and allow it to define our lives. This…is what God warns us against.

“More than any other command in Scripture, God warns us, ‘Do not be afraid…do not live in a state of fear.’”

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) 7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

“Fear is always going to knock on your door…always. But you don’t have to answer. Don’t invite it in for dinner and for heaven’s sake don’t invite it in for the night.

“Fear will always fill the world but it does not have to fill your heart. You really can fear less tomorrow than you do today.”

Pastor Lucado tells that, at age 6, after watching Wolfman on television, he truly believed the awful monster hid out in his living room. Night after night he would go in and awaken his dad, who would patiently get out of bed and walk him into the kitchen for a drink of water and lovingly calm his fears. He would look up at his dad while sipping his water and think… “What kind of man is this?!”

“Jesus raised his head up when the disciples cried out in fear and…He calmed the storm. Could it be that Jesus sees our fears like my dad saw mine?

“Could it be that all that stands between you and courage…is a prayer to your heavenly father?”

Matthew 8:23-27 (NKJV) 23  Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24  And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25  Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26  But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27  So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c1FVpVFb8c

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Don’t speak ‘What If?’…But ‘What Is!’ Don’t speak, ‘What if nothing ever changes?’ But… speak, ‘God is faithful!’” Jennifer Rothschild

 

 

“Don’t speak ‘What If?’…But ‘What Is!’ Don’t speak, ‘What if nothing ever changes?’ But… speak, ‘God is faithful!’” Jennifer Rothschild

What a good word. You can take that into every fear and dread you have.

“What if…my husband dies before I do?” You should immediately (intentionally)  remember that God IS faithful and…He has promised to be your husband. I know from experience…He will take care of you. It doesn’t mean you don’t get lonely and even desperate at times.

But… take that loneliness or desperation to God as many times a day as it descends on you. He will fill the loneliness with new thoughts. Sometimes He will bring you a kindness from a friend or stranger, or fresh contentment as you rehearse Who He is!

“What if…I lose my job…my home…my marriage…my financial security…life as I know it?” You know, I have been there and I can tell you that God is faithful! It is terrible to lose all of those things at once. Add to that my car, my identity as I thought it was, my past as I thought it was. The truth as I knew it. My health as I knew it.

I don’t normally review the “list” of my losses when I think of those days. But the truth is…my losses should have crushed me. The truth is…God was (and is) faithful!  He has blessed me beyond measure.

But now…there is “this one new terrifying thing”.  Despite God’s faithfulness to me, I can still feel desperate. I still forget. I still have pockets of days where I am trying frantically to push my head above water before I drown. How foolish when I know God faithful. I have seen His faithfulness…His hand of deliverance. I have experienced His answers to prayer over and over again.

I don’t think the desperation is because I don’t believe Him. I think it is because I have this huge desire to see Him move…change the circumstances…heal. There has been so much confusion, so much pain, so much loss in this particular season. I want so badly to see His miraculous works. But what that honestly means is… I want to see His miraculous works in the way I have them conjured up in my head. A fairy tail ending…soon.

Still…God IS faithful. He sees the beginning, middle and end. I have seen glimpses of changes in the lives of those around me that have been…miraculous. Changes in each of us that would have never happened…had it not been for these particular losses.

God is trustworthy!  You can trust Him. He knows what you need…what I need…what those around me need. I don’t. I want to spare them (and me). He knows to spare us would be wrong. We want to hang on. He knows hanging on will keep us buried. He knows the (often painful) way to help us release our grip.

Then…He knows the way to move each of us forward as changed, healthier, people. We are now finally closer to the place in space He has intended for us during all the years we have hung on to our own (destructive, faithless) version of control…of life.

It is a painful process, for sure…but oh the difference He has made in each of us! Oh the difference He will continue to make as you and I lean into Him…surrender to (stop fighting) His ways…His surgery and His healing touch!

Isaiah 55:6-9 (NLT) 6  Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. 7  Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. 8  “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fight For A God-Drenched Mind…A Meaningful Life…

pretty promised land

Fight For A God-Drenched Mind…A Meaningful Life:

This is hard work to reroute your mind to thoughts of Him when life is painful. It is so much more natural to think about the giants that are in the land!

 But…do the work! Your peace of mind and your hope will return!

 Important thoughts from Max Lucado video. “Glory Days 15 God Drenched Mind”:

 John 14:27 (AMP) 27  Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

Colossians 3:2 (AMP) 2  And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

“When giants are in the land…turn your mind toward God thoughts. Your best thoughts…are God thoughts. Immerse your mind in God thoughts.

“He is above all this mess…the Most High over all the earth.”

Psalm 83:18 (AMP) 18  That they may know that You, Whose name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

Exodus 15:11 (NIV) 11  “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you– majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?

 

Psalm 89:6 (NKJV) 6  For who in the heavens can be compared to the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the LORD?

 

Isaiah 6:3 (NKJV) 3  And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”

 

Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV) 20  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…

Turn a deaf ear to doubters. Ignore the naysayers! Cover your ears! People have a right to say whatever they want and you have a right to ignore them.

“Just because someone sings the blues…you don’t have to listen to their music!

“Caleb didn’t. Remember, he and Joshua were outnumbered 10 to 2 but they still believed in God’s power.”

Joshua 14:8 (NKJV) 8  Nevertheless, my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the LORD my God.

“Caleb deliberately chose to ignore the doubters and turn away. He made a decision to disregard the lethal disbelief of the cynics.

“This is not permission to be rude or ignore the needs of others. But listen to me…some people don’t want to be helped! They really prefer the wilderness. They traffic in misery. They manufacture unhappiness and have an allergy to joy. They would rather pull you down than let you pull them up.

“Don’t you let them…don’t you let them!

“Don’t loiter with vultures. They eat death and will vomit on anyone who will let them. Sometimes you just have to say, ‘I am not going to listen to your negativity anymore.’ I realize this is difficult because sometimes those vultures are in our own house or in our own office. But God will help you with this. You just gotta draw a line in the sand and say, ‘I am not listening to you anymore. I am listening to God.’ Don’t you let them pull you under.

“Caleb didn’t. He saturated His mind with God. Then he did one more thing. He took on a God-sized thing. Set your mind on a holy cause.

“So…

  • Immerse your mind in God thoughts
  • Ignore the doubters
  • Set your mind on a holy cause

 

“Once you find your mountain, no giant will stop you, no age will disqualify you and no problems will defeat you. After all, you and Caleb have something in common. You have a different spirit. You, my friend, are a Promised Land person.”

God-Drenched Mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwsNuVTF8R8

Posted in Fight the good fight, Meaningful Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Victory | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Impatience/Unbelief: Our Golden Calf…

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Impatience/Unbelief: Our Golden Calf

It seems incredulous to me that while Moses was on the mountain with God, receiving the Ten Commandments…the Israelites were down below pushing Aaron to erect a golden calf. Just as incredulous is that he cooperated!

Yet…we are just like the Israelites.

Think about this with me. God had provided a miraculous escape from Egyptian slavery. Miraculous! Pharaoh willingly allowed the Israelites to leave and instructed the Egyptians to place gold and other precious items in their arms as they left. In part, these were materials to build the tabernacle and the arc of the covenant where the very presence of God would dwell.

Just as He does with us, God knew ahead what His people would need and how quickly they would need it. He provided a head start for escape and then He provided the parting of the Red Sea, their escape and destruction of their enemy. In the desert, He provided a pillar of fire and a cloud for guidance, day and night. He provided sweet manna and doves for food and water from the rocks. They had practical provision and they had the presence and comfort of God, through Moses.

Yet…after all of that, when Moses wasn’t there to bolster them…they used the materials God had provided for His place of worship to erect an idol…a substitute. God and Moses were taking “too long”.

They forgot all God had provided for all of these years…all of their lives! They forgot their history. They ignored the memory of their own rebellion, which put them in this position in the first place.

They became impatient, forgetful of God’s complete provision, and they took matters into their own hands.

The question was asked as I was reading… “What role does a person’s impatience play in idolatry?”

Think about idolatry. It means putting more faith in something other than God, doesn’t it? It means believing less in God and more in something else. It means giving up on God and looking to someone or something else in which to put our confidence.

So, for the Israelites, what role did impatience play in idolatry? Well…after all of God’s faithful provision, in every single moment of their lives…after the grace He displayed for a people who went back to rebellion repeatedly through the years…they forgot. They didn’t rehearse His faithfulness.

Forgetting his faithfulness meant not looking honestly at the full picture. Not looking at the full picture meant becoming impatient. They rehearsed only what they were missing…forgot the bondage of slavery and didn’t draw on God’s faithfulness so that they could then look forward to the land and the life that He had promised.

They allowed themselves to become impatient. It is clear here that impatience is the result of unbelief.

Sadly, in our perverse culture…impatience is often admired. Somehow, we believe it shows we are smarter, stronger…accomplishing more! What a travesty this must be in the sight of our God. What damage it does to our own psyche and faith, as well as those around us.

When you and I look at someone we love who is painfully off the track, we can become impatient. We can begin to feel that things are always going to be this way. We can forget to rehearse God’s faithfulness. In our impatience and forgetfulness, we don’t hang on to (or even notice) the small changes He is making…the tiny victories. The changes are often in us!

In short…we believe more in the power of the circumstances, or that person’s terrible bent toward sin than we do in the faithfulness of God. Often, we rehearse our mistakes…or theirs. We interpret both as fatal.

We have erected our own golden calf and we believe evil is going to win. We believe rebellion is going to win. We fear the hurt…the pain is never going to end.

We have become forgetful and impatient and because of our impatience…

We see the situation as written in stone…

This stone becomes an idol with a name. That name is…

Unbelief…

Hebrews 11:1-2 (MSG) 1  The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. 2  The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.

Please read the whole chapter…

 

Posted in Faith waiting to be rescued, Faithfulness of God, Golden Calf, Impatience, Unbelief, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment