Last evening I was blessed by my stupidity.
My covenant group was meeting and I was responsible for playing the DVD for our study. The DVD would not play on my computer. We went to another room to use a real DVD player, only to receive the same technological rejection.
I studied the DVD, noticed a slight smug, cleaned it thoroughly, only to suffer identical results.
We went back to my office and watched the next DVD in the series. It played perfectly well. Better yet, the lesson we watched spoke directly to my heart about issues which had my bees buzzing last week.
Afterwards, I shared with the men why bees were buzzing in my head and why I was in an extended grumpy mood last week. Building from the lesson we watched the men helped me to discern how to get the bees out of my bonnet.
It was a good night.
This morning, I decided to try the failed DVD again. Before putting it into my computer I looked it over again. The DVD was perfectly clean. Then I noticed the label. I had the wrong disc.
I am grateful that God covers my mistakes.
He turned my stupidity into His blessing.
Romans 8:28 is truth for which I am grateful: “God works all things together for good, for those who love Him.”
Posted in Daily Devotionals | Tagged blessed by stupidity, buzzing bees, DVD, Paul Tripp, Romans 8:28, Stupidity Coverage, Stupidity Insurance | 1 Comment »
Why do parents tell this to their children?
It is a flat out lie, we know the moment the words flow from our lips.
So, why do we tell this lie, in all of it’s various shapes and forms?
Do we want to believe we are invincible, that the human spirit can conquer any challenge, any obstacle, in all creation?
We can’t and we know it.
So why do we constantly repeat the lie?
Christians are equally adept at telling this lie. We simply throw God into the lie and smile that all is well.
There are things which God does not want us to do? Ask Adam and Eve. Take a look at Exodus 20:13-17, these are the “You shall not …” commands.
There are a million and one things which I cannot and will not ever be able to do by willing my mind or by willing God’s mind.
This is Good News!
I no longer have to be Superman or Super-Christian!
I am grateful, God has limited my capabilities.
Posted in Daily Devotionals | Tagged Adam and Eve, Exodus 20:13-17, freedom, Good News, Super-Christian, Superman, The Big Lie, The biggest lie parents tell kids, willing God's mind, willing my mind, You can do anything | Leave a Comment »
After my second year at seminary, I accepted an internship in the midwest. I was 23 years old and single. When I left the seminary I had to rent a U-haul trailer to hold all of my belongings. I was embarrassed that I had so much stuff.
After traveling 1300 miles, with my U-Haul in tow, I finally stopped at a hotel in St. Louis. After a good day’s sleep and an evening out with friends, I came back to the hotel, only to witness my car being stolen.
I stood in front of my car as the thief sped out of the parking lot. “Surely, he will stop for me!” He did not. Luckily, I realized this in the nick of time.
Distraught, I called the St. Louis Police, who did not seemed as vexed over my situation as I. The police told me that most likely I would never see the car, trailer, or my stuff again.
As I went up to my room at the hotel despairing that I had lost all I had, Jesus spoke to me saying, “I thought you were embarrassed with all that stuff and wanted to be done with it. I was just trying to help!”
Jesus was correct. I rejoiced that my prayers had been answered. I went to bed in peace. A new life of saintly austerity was before me.
The police called an hour later. They found the car and the trailer intact. I had all my stuff back. I was vexed, again. My new future was already re-cluttered.
The hardest part about following Jesus is being willing to give up all our stuff. Jesus advises us to count the cost before following Him. Many stay behind because the cost involves letting loose of our stuff.
In Luke 14:33, Jesus says, “You cannot follow me if you are unwilling to leave everything you have behind.”
It is hard to follow Jesus when encumbered with the stuff of the world.
Have you ever seen a U-haul at a cemetery?
People are always looking for Jesus at the cemetery.
Posted in Daily Devotionals | Tagged answered prayer, austerity, belongings, cemetery, encumbered, following Jesus, Luke 14:33, nick of time, Police, St. Louis, stuff, U-Haul | 1 Comment »
A father called his son to him and said, “I have a gift for you. Do you want it?”
The son eagerly acknowledged his desire for the gift. The father opened up his wallet and gave his son a $100 bill. The son grabbed it and said, “Wow! Thanks Dad” before running off with the money.
As the child ran away, the father said, “Wait I have more!” But the child did not hear him and the father was not able to give the child the full gift.
When God blesses us, most of us run-off before receiving the full blessing which God has to give us. We tend to be satisfied with God’s first gift and never claim His whole gift.
In Deuteronomy God tells Moses to move off the mountain in Horeb, which is where God had appeared to Moses in the burning bush and where God had given him the Ten Commandments. Obviously, Horeb was a cherished spot for Moses.
God wanted Moses to leave the mountain because God had promised to give Moses and the Israelites, a land of their own … The Promised Land. As long as Moses remained at Horeb, which he cherished, he would never receive the full gift God had for Him.
The land God promised Moses was “hill country …fertile lowland … by the seacoast” (Deuteronomy 1:6–8). It sounds like prime real estate on the coast of northern California. It was a better place than a spot in Horeb, which was located in the midst of a barren desert.
If Moses had his way, he would have stayed on at Horeb with his cherished memories and God’s people would have remained impoverished immigrants.
When we accept and run with the first portion of God’s blessings, the forgiveness of sins, and do not linger for the next portion of God’s blessings, the gift of the Holy Spirit, we impoverish ourselves.
It is best to hunger for the fulness of God, than to be satisfied with a bread crumb which has fallen from His table.
Posted in Daily Devotionals | Tagged Oswald Chambers, blessings, Deuteronomy 1:6-8, hunger, father, son, gifts, $100, half the gift, satisfied, hunger for God, northern California hill country, coastlands, The Promised Land, gift of the holy spirit, fertile lowland, moses and the israelites | Leave a Comment »
I have always dreamed of having one of those lawns seen in commercials for lawn care products. Wishing for such, never brought forth the dream.
Last fall, after our horrific drought, I fertilized my yard, twice; over-seeded my yard twice; and doubled my water bill watering the yard without ceasing. In March, while winter still had her grip on us, I fertilized again, laying down some extra, just in case. Then came April’s showers, at twice the normal rate.
With all this doubling of nutrients and liquid, I was disappointed when I mowed my yard for the first time last week. The grass was not particularly green, much-less thick and tall. My dream was unfulfilled.
After a week of warm sunshine … well you know the story … the grass was thick and lush.
I remember being at the hardware store last fall, wondering if an investment in fertilizer would pay-off. It did.
I know thousands of Christians who long for a deeper sense of God’s presence with them, yet they never invest in spending time with Him. They languish day by day, limping instead of running, falling instead of flying.
They invest heavily in the world and sparsely in God. Instead of being carried by the grace of God, they bear the burdens of the world.
They reap what they have sown.
“The Lord God will supply and multiply your seed for sowing
and He will increase your harvest.”
2 Corinthians 9:10
Posted in Daily Devotionals | Tagged 2 Corinthians 9:10, dreams, fertilizer, Field of Dreams, God's gifts, grace of god, grass, harvest, investment strategies, lawns, lush and green, rain, sow, sunshine, warm sunshine | 1 Comment »
Give to God what is God’s
Thomas Kempis puts a unique twist on this phrase which is from Jesus.
Kempis’ twist is: “Give to God what is God’s and ascribe to yourself what is yours.” (1)
What do you have that is God’s?
Perhaps, asking the question in the negative is more illustrative and to the point: “What do I have that is not God’s?”
On one hand, everything I have is God’s because it comes from what God has provided me. There is nothing I have which I can truly claim is mine. But I must ask, “Does God really want all the junk in my basement?”
No! God does not need nor does He desire all my junk. What he wants is my heart, your heart.
God wants our first love, if He has that, He has all of us. If He does not have our first love, there is nothing we can give Him of value.
Jesus’ original response to the inquiring and savvy Pharisee who hoped to get Jesus arrested by the Roman guards was: “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.”
Jesus made clear that God neither needed nor desired our worldly stuff.
God wants what He deserves.
God wants the one and only thing we have which is of value to Him.
God wants our grateful and humble hearts, our first love.
Does he have yours? If not, go read Revelation 2:4.
(1) Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1996), 83.
Posted in Daily Devotionals | Tagged Love, Jesus, heart, your heart, your first love, basement junk, Matthew 22:21, Revelation 2:4, give, gifts to God, humble hearts, what God deserves | 1 Comment »
“Do you seek great things for yourself?”
There is a difference between striving for greatness and striving for great things for yourself.
The difference is divined when the heart is examined.
Jesus achieved greatness because He did not seek great things for Himself.
Have you read Philippians 2:6-11?
Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men … He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (1)
People who seek great things for themselves are always promoting themselves.
People who succeed in striving for greatness empty themselves and become servants.
Great things perish.
Greatness is remembered without effort.
(1) The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Philippians 2:6–11.
Posted in Daily Devotionals | Tagged empty yourself, Great Things, Greatness, How to Achieve Greatness, Jeremiah 45:5, Jesus, Philippians 2:6-11, servants | 1 Comment »