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Showing posts from August, 2011

SHAKY ANSWERS

This spring our church had a yard sale to raise money for VBS. As item after item began to accumulate before the big day I thought I might just rummage through some of the stuff and see if I might find a presale special. It wasn’t long until I came across a familiar item that I had as a child, the Magic 8-Ball. In case you aren’t familiar with this iconic toy, allow me to refresh your memory. The ball itself looks like a large black 8-ball used in billiards, except that this ball is larger and is filled with a dark liquid that gives cover to its contents: A small three-dimensional triangle has phrases on each surface such as “Signs Point to Yes,” “Don’t Count on It,” “You May Rely on It”, “Yes,” or “Definitely.” You’re to hold the 8-ball in your hands while asking a question, shake it and then wait in breathless anticipation for the answer to appear. Of course, if you were like me and the answer wasn’t one you liked, you would shake the ball again until a better answer appeared.

Many C…

24

Fox Television produced the longest-running espionage-themed TV drama called 24. It stared Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, working with a highly functional Counter Terrorist Unit, whose sole job was to protect America from terrorism plots. Each episode followed Bauer along with officials in the U.S. government tracking and intercepting the evil-doers behind the events of the day, often simultaneously. Each weekly episode takes place over the course of one hour, depicting events as they happen, in real time. To emphasize the real-world flow of events, a clock is prominently displayed on-screen during the show, and there is a regular use of a split screens, a technique used to depict multiple scenes occurring at the same time.

Today your clock is running down the 24 hours that God provided for you to live life to its fullest. In real time that's 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. Sometimes we get so busy and distracted we miss the fact that each rising, sun brings new opportunities and…

LIFE PRAISE

Hallelujah! Praise God from heaven, praise him from the mountaintops; praise him, all you his angels, praise him, all you his warriors, praise him, sun and moon, praise him, you morning stars; praise him, high heaven, praise him, heavenly rain clouds; praise, oh let them praise the name of God — he spoke the word, and there they were! He set them in place from all time to eternity; He gave his orders, and that's it! (Psalm 148:1-6 THE MESSAGE)

The dictionary defines praise as the “act of expressing approval, admiration, commendation or laudation.” For Christ-followers, praising God is an act of honoring and worshiping, of lifting Him up above all others and glorifying His name. Praise brings us closer to God as it awakens us spiritually and serves as a connection between the Lord and us.

The Bible talks about different ways that people praise and worship the Lord. People sing, dance, clap their hands, play instruments and raise their hands as ways to show reverence to God in an act …

AT EASE

The words of Jesus in Matthew 6 are so potent. They are challenging, confronting, and convicting to my soul. They are full of instruction always pointing to areas of correction.

Recently while reading Jesus’ words in The Message, the following lines jumped out at me starting at verse 25b: “There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”

Those words literally stopped my reading. Time and again I’m anything but “careless in the care of God.” Could it be that you are too? Jesus lived at ease in His Father’s care. He told the disciples to feed the masses when there was almost no food. He slept peacefully in the boat during a violent storm. He never allowed circumstances to alter His trust in God!

Therefore, I confess anew:

I want to live in God’s constant c…

SCRIPTED

When I watch movies I’m always trying to figure out what is coming next. My wife is not a fan. I am amazed by the techniques that scriptwriters infuse into the story. They throw in symbolism, clues and teasers throughout the course of a movie that give you a deeper glimpse, but at the same time are so subtle, you often have to see the film again before you catch everything.

Every word a writer puts down on paper has purpose. There is no word or event or thought that is not carefully crafted. The writer goes to tremendous lengths to make sure everything is interwoven and perfect before he moves on. What if I was a scriptwriter? What if my life, my story was being taken down with each step I took? Each word and action captured and presented. I know this; I would be a lot more cautious and thoughtful about what I said or did.

It is to this point that our lives should be as thoughtful as scriptwriters making their movies. In every step, I should be running with purpose. In every step, I sho…