The Fine Print

I’ve missed my morning walks this week.  I was scheduled to go, but the few days it wasn’t raining I slept right through the alarms a few times.  Unfortunately one of those days I left my accountability partner waiting outside for me.  That was the 3rd or 4th time in the past few weeks that I’ve done that.  Grrrrr!  I hate standing people up.  Thankfully she has known me for almost 20 years and knows that’s not normal for me.  She never called to wake me up and yell at me for making her drive all the way to my house only to have to turn around without walking.  Instead, she extended concern recognizing that if I wasn’t awake that I needed to sleep.  She put my needs above her own interests.  No condemnation.  No ridicule.  No sarcastic attitude.  Just sincere love and support.  I am grateful for friendships like that. I’ve heard people say; well actually I’ve said it in the past as well; that you can only have a few friends during your lifetime.  That’s just sad!  How horrible is it to not have people around you to care about, and who care about you?  Yes, there are always going to be those closest to you and that’s a smaller list, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to have many more people in your life that you share a bond with.  Granted, some you will see more often or talk to regularly.  As I’m writing this faces of those I dearly love are crossing my mind.  Although I’m not engaged in their daily life they...

Misguided and Confused

We are privy to a tremendous amount of knowledge at all times.  If I need a recipe, I can look it up online.  If I need to know how to make a bench I can look it up online.  Everything from deciphering the tax code (as if that’s possible) to watching a video of singing pets – it’s all there waiting to be found.  Our lives revolve around information gathering and sharing regardless of how irrelevant that information may be.  The only difference between our society and that of the Athenians is electricity and keyboards.  Well, there is also private bathrooms that I’m personally a huge fan of! Paul is right in the middle of this post-crucifixion utopia.  Everything was up for debate and all viewpoints and religions were openly accepted in support of being civilized.  They even made sure that every base was covered by erecting a monument “to an unknown god”, because after all you never do know 100% ,right? While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to...

Can I Get a Witness?

No matter where he went, Paul sought out people to share the good news of Jesus with. He did not limit himself to the synagogues, but he also went to the marketplaces to speak to those that happened to be there. Even in Athens, an epicenter of learning and discussion, he went to the places where people met at leisure. He initiated discussions; he was not ranting on a soapbox or lecturing others. This is a great model for spreading the good news in this day and age as well. It does not have to be a confrontation, it is actually better if it is not one. Striking up conversations and gently leading to discussions about God and the path of Jesus lends itself to not shutting the other person down. We should be willing to listen more than we talk, too. In my experience, if you pay attention and show interest and compassion, others will start asking your opinions and what you believe, and why, without having to be aggressive in your approach. I know that prior to becoming a Christian, anyone approaching me with the ‘patented evangelical aggressive approach’ would cause me to look for the nearest escape route. Even now I occasionally get subjected to this and now I find I am embarrassed at the hammering style of beating Jesus into the hearts and minds of others. It rarely works, and even when it seems to be working, the victim is usually just saying whatever they have to in order to be left alone until they can di di mau. Been there, done that. Sharing our...

Oreo Filling

Unless you’re the cream filling of an Oreo, being in the middle is not pleasant.  Comfortable or not, we will all find ourselves planted firmly between opposing sides at some point.  Typically we gravitate toward one side; aligning ourselves with the party that is closest to our own fundamental viewpoint.  Every once in a while, you can see both sides of the argument and see the wisdom in not engaging in the conflict.  And then the irony strikes … by not engaging directly you get to play mediator.  The horrible truth of being a mediator is that the only way to be effective is if both parties choose to bend.  In a world of immediate gratification and persuasive entitlement, compromise is suffering the same death as chivalry and sacrifice. Why has our self-worth become intertwined with how many times we are proven right?  How many arguments are spurred on over the desire to have the other person admit that they were wrong?  The pursuit of peace has been replaced with the pursuit of happiness.  We have bought into the ideals of society that unless we prove ourselves right we will be presumed guilty, or at the very least less than.  This is one more misdirection crafted by the enemy with a desire to move us into selfishness, and unfortunately it is working. To say it bluntly, the need to be vindicated and proven right is a form of self idolatry.  Yes, it’s a natural desire of our flesh to be found blameless.  Yes, it isn’t fair to be falsely accused.  I would even go as far as to say...

Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song

First of all, Cristy and I wish to extend our apologies to everyone for the missed days of this challenge. No excuses, but the reason is that we just have had too much on our plates trying to get a new endeavor off the ground, and in so doing, there were just not enough hours in the day to get it all done, as well as do this and fit sleep into the schedule. For the past few weeks, we have averaged between 3 and 5 hours per night, with Cristy pulling an all-niter a few nights ago. Yeah, I know, she must have some of those ‘new mom hormones’ still in her system or something, ‘cause she made me feel completely weak that I just could not hang. If you have missed days of the challenge too, it’s okay! We covered in Sunday school this morning that there are going to be times when the world will make it hard to stay on top of our daily devotions, the key is to pick back up where you left off when you once again have the time. Necque. We have the desire to write these entries; it is not just a commitment that we have made, although it is that as well. In writing these, we gain insight into ourselves and each other as well. And more importantly, these build our relationships with God. So, Paul and Silas get publicly flogged (a punishment which they, as Roman citizens, were not supposed to be subject to without a trial) and thrown into a Roman prison to be held for trial....

The Choice

I’m sure you have noticed that we have missed a few days in our devotions.  We have spent time with God each day, but with an increasingly busy schedule we haven’t stopped long enough to write a devotion.  This 40 Day Challenge is as much for us as it is for anyone else.  If we miss even one day, that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel that it’s just too hard or too little time to spend with God.  Time with Him is the one thing that we should fight for, and sacrifice whatever we need to in order to get that time. “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.” Acts 13:26 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39 A promise has been given to us.  A sacrifice has been made for us.  So what are we willing to do in response?  Do we need someone else to prompt us every time we seek God, or are we willing to take responsibility for our own choices?  Time is used in the way we choose.  Regardless of busy schedules (believe me, I get it!) there must still be a choice made about the time we spend with God.  Every good deed under the sun is completely worthless if it’s not God led. Did you like this? Share...