Faith Is Not a Spare Tire it is a Choice

I read a saying that really hit me between the eyes. It went something like this. “Faith isn’t a spare tire, it’s an everyday choice.”

It took me a moment to absorb that thought. I had to ask myself how I looked at my faith in the past. Did I use it as a spare tire, to change when things began to go smooth once again in my life and pull it back out when the waters became troubled?

I have to answer that question as yes, I did. I look back at the things that happened in my life early on and wonder how in the world I have arrived at the place in my life where my faith is no longer a spare tire. It is a choice. That choice is without my faith I would not be able to function. I would be angry not only at life, but God and everyone else around me. The things that have happened in my last the past seven years, could have sent me into the abyss, running on that spare tire.

However, by the grace of God, I learned that my faith was a choice and my choice was to wrap that faith around me like a coat. To know that God knows the big picture, that all things work

together for those who love the Lord and called according to his purpose.

When we look at how a spare tire is supposed to work, we understand that it is only a small tire and will only run for about fifty miles before it blows. When our faith is like that spare tire it too will only work for a short distance before it blows up in our face.  But, if we make our faith a choice, it will sustain us even at our lowest ebb. It will never fail us, and it will give us peace that passes all understanding.

The more I take this journey of life the more I appreciate my spiritual ancestors who made the choice of faith, even though they were human and sinned many times over, their faith never wavered. The more I understand that faith was not a spare tire, it was a choice, it was the thing that drove them to be the best they could be – human failings and all.

As you go through your journey, make faith your choice, not your spare tire. Know that God has the plan, the answers and holds us in his hand.

 

How We Walk With the Broken Speaker Louder Than How We Sit with the Great

This morning as I was scrolling through my Facebook page, I saw something made me stop in my scrolling and not only read it but soak it in.  “How we sit with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.”

That one sentence speaks volumes. It puts in perspective how Christ walked on this earth. He sat with the broken, he walked with them and he healed them. When asked why he did this, he said that the broken was the reason he came to earth.

The great don’t feel they need healing. They think they have all the answers to the questions already. They understand all, know all and they need nothing. Sadly, this is not true. The broken know they are broken, they are looking for healing. They are looking for a better way. They are so broken the only way they have is up.

As children of God, should we not follow that example? Sure, our human nature wants us to be right up there with the great. They can offer us something. The broken can offer us nothing. We need to reverse that way of thinking. The broken can offer us something. They offer us the mindset of Christ. They offer us the ability to be humble, giving, and kind.

The great on the other hand, many times have to idea how to achieve the above much less put them to use in their lives. Would you rather sit with the Great and feed the broken the crumbs that drop from your table as you soak in every word of the great? Or would you rather walk with the broken to find more than crumbs and learn why and how they became broken then show them a greater way of life?

Would you rather sit with the great and never be challenged or would you walk with the broken and find way to help them on a different path.? Sitting with the great is indeed comfortable, however walking with the broken is challenging and rewarding. It teaches us as we help them.

When we are no longer sojourners on this earth, we will not be known for how many greats we sat with, in fact they probably won’t even show up at our service because they will be too busy. We served our usefulness and when we are gone, we will be replaced. The broken on the other hand will be there to pay their respects and honor our lives. They will be the legacy that lives on to shine as a light for others to follow.

Again, I make this statement, “How We Walk with the Broken, Speaks Louder than How We Sit with the Great.”

Think about how you walk with the Broken. Is it healing and helpful or is it condemning and destructive? Would you rather play it safe and Sit with the Great?

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Planting A Seed

In nature a seed is planted so that something might grow. Notice I said might. Just because the seed is planted does not mean that thing will grow. There could be a myriad of reasons. The seed was to young to old, diseased, infertile, etc. However, the one who plants that seed will not know that until the seed is in the ground.

If the farmer was to afraid to plant his seeds in the springtime there would be no food to harvest. If we are too afraid to plant our spiritual seeds there will be no harvest. To add to that there will be spiritual starvation for lack of food.

In Galatians 6 : 9 we are told:

Galatians 6:9 English Standard Version (ESV)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

We are promised that in due season we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

In 2 Corinthians we are told ;

2 Corinthians 9:6 ESV 

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Let us not grow weary of sowing the seeds, for even though not all of them will sprout, some will, and those will be the ones we tenderly care for so that the harvest will be rich.

Be willing to plant a seed, be willing to watch it wither, be willing to watch it grow. That is our mission. Be willing to produce a harvest.

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If You are Not Enough with it- You will Never Be Enough without It

I heard this on a movie I watched for the hundredth time. The movie was called Cool Runnings. The back story is they were the first Bob Sled team from the islands that went to the Winter Olympics.  While they didn’t win a medal that year because the sled broke, and they crashed, they carried the sled across the finish line to finish the race.

In our daily lives, sometimes we think that we are not enough unless we have A,B,C. What we fail to understand is that if we are not enough with A,B, C we will never be enough without it. How many of us say to ourselves, if I only had A, B, C  I would be happy. Or if I had A,B, C I could do this or that. Or if I had A,B or C I would be able to do this or that.

What we need to look toward is that we are already enough without A,B or C. We are enough because this world is not our home. We are only pilgrims on a short journey. Our ultimate goal is to understand that we are enough. We are enough because we are heirs to a kingdom that is not of this world. We have riches beyond all comprehension. We are enough because we are children of the Most High. We are enough because his son gave his life that we might live.

We do not have to wonder if we are going to be enough without it because we are enough with the promise that God has given us. We just have to reach out and receive it.

We just need to keep our eye and hope on the finish line no matter how many times we break or fall down. We are more than enough without A,B or C. The prize is not how much we accumulate. The prize is being with our Father forever. The journey is not how much we gather here on earth, the journey is how we look forward to that which transcends gold or silver. We are enough without it and we are enough if we have it.

As we go through our daily lives let us all understand, We are all enough with it, but we will never be enough without it. The it being  God’s grace, Christ’s sacrifice and the understanding of being with them always.

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Turn The Page

As 2018 draws to a close and once again we have a moment to reflect on the year that we will soon see in our rear view mirror, it is time to ask ourselves a question. Are we going to turn the page? Yes, turn the page. You see life is a book of sorts. Each day is a new chapter, a new phase a new beginning. The past is yesterday and the future is tomorrow.

What we have is today and if we don’t turn the page we get stuck in the past which affects our present and future. In fact, if we don’t turn the page we have neither present or future.

Things that happen in our life sometimes can and will create a void – a place where we get stuck because we dread the next page – we become afraid, or  the prospect of turning the page is too painful, due to a loss or an illness.

The question we have to ask is this, How do we know how the story goes if we don’t turn the page. How do we know what is next if we don’t turn the page. The answer is simple we don’t know. We waste time that we could be using to shine by refusing to turn the page.

So, with all things of the past year in mind, all the tragedies, triumphs, successes and not so good successes, do not be afraid to turn the page.

Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero”  Which is translated,   “seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future” in other words, turn the page. You might be surprised.

 

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The Things We Don’t See are Sometimes the Things That are Most Real

Once again, I was watching a mindless movie and heard a line that stuck in my head. This happens to me quite often. This time the sentence was, “The Things We Don’t see are Sometimes the things that are Most Real.”

Think about that for a moment. We don’t see the wind, and yet it is very real, it can be calming, or it can be destructive. It just depends on the other elements of nature that mixes with the wind. We know the wind is real because we see the effects of its destruction during a storm, we feel the effects of its cooling ability on a warm summer day.

We don’t see love, but we do see the effects of our love. We see it when we feed and clothe the homeless, become a caregiver for someone who is ill, grieve when we have a loss. The effects of our love has the ability to be calming or destructive, depending on the elements it is mixed with. It can be healing, uplifting and supportive or it can become destructive and hurtful.

Faith is another intangible thing that we cannot see but is real. We have faith that the sun will come up on the morrow, that our heart will keep beating without assistance, that our vehicles will start when we crank them. We have faith that we will have employment.

We do not see any of those things, but we know they are real. Taking all of these things into account and understanding that even though we don’t see them, we do see and feel the effects of them in our everyday lives.

Without these intangibles, our lives would be a disaster, we would have no hope. Hope is the basis of faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Heb. 11-1.

Our faith in our God, gives us our hope for his heavenly presence. When we have moments of faltering faith remember this, The things we don’t see are sometimes the things that are most real.

Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss those two words are such small words and yet, they are such powerful words. Loss is that thing that happens when we lose something precious to us. Be is a job, a thing or someone. Grief is that thing we do after the loss.

Grief is that lingering ache in our heart, that sadness that fills our soul with pain as we wonder how we will ever get through it. Grief has no time line. While there is a process that process has its own ending.

Grief creates other emotions that some find they cannot deal with. People in their circle cannot understand how those emotions dance around like a mad tap dancer, moving first one way than another. The loved ones just want that person to move on – there is no moving on. There is only moving forward.

Some on you might ask, “How do I move forward? How do I fill the void in my heart and life? ”

First of all there is no filling that void, there will always be a hole. Once that tapestry of your life is ripped it can not be repaired, however, the tapestry can be added to.

When we allow God to be our guide and truly understand that he knows our loss and our grief better than we ever could. When we lean on him for our comfort and strength and know that he holds us in his hands, then and only then can we heal.

In Psalms 147:3  ”  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” God understands, he sent his only son to die for us. He willingly gave him up to a death that no man should ever have to suffer. He was in such grief that he had to turn his back. And yet, he tells us that he will heal us as the brokenhearted and he will bind our wounds.

We are told In Psalms 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” What a beautiful thought, when the entire world leaves us and goes back to their own lives, God is near to us, he saves our crushed spirit. He listens when we repeat our pain over and over again. When we beg to understand the why of it all. He listens. And if we allow it he comforts us and saves us in our darkest hour.

Grief and loss is a natural phenomenon it is a part of life. However, it does not have to consume us nor does it have to destroy us. It does not have to become who we are, just what we do for  a season.