Got skills?

school of lifeAt every point in your life you have a certain set of skills to deal with life’s challenges. We learn from education, family, friends and experience. This learning process accompanies us for a lifetime. Some are better students of life than others, but everyone learns.

Moses certainly had some serious skills. He was educated as a prince in the most advanced culture of his time. Eventually his reactions to life’s circumstances exiled him from Egypt, and he became a simple shepherd. Talk about a wide life experience.

Maybe the story should have ended there. Maybe Moses should have been left in peace to tend his sheep and raise his family. Is the simple life too much to ask?

Then God shows up… and in typical Creator-of-the-Universe fashion, he makes you an offer you can’t refuse.

When Moses returned to Egypt to liberate the Hebrew nation, his skills probably came in handy. He certainly knew his way around the Pharaoh’s kingdom. Pharaoh was his adopted brother after all. Still, this was not even close to being enough to get the job done.

In order to liberate his fellow Hebrews, Moses had to enter into an entirely different realm of complete trust and dependence on God.

Are you at that moment? Where all your knowledge, experience and skills are suddenly limited?

I’ve been there, many times. And I’ve discovered a secret – I am always at that point. I just don’t see it clearly sometimes. Instead, I rely on my skills, strength and experience to get me around.

True freedom from bondage comes only from trust in God.

When we trust him completely, all the forces of heaven conspire in our favor. Miracles occur and even death passes over us. Obstacles as wide as the sea are pushed aside by God’s mighty hand. It can be scary and it takes time, but God’s work is unmistakable.

In all things, trust God today.

God's creation

Image source: Brocken Inaglory,  licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. (I cropped the image and added the text.)
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Trust Him Today

Why is it that we lose sight of our faith precisely when we need it most?

Jesus said, “Be not afraid” and we tremble in fear.
He said, “I am the bread of life” and we look everywhere else to feed our hungry souls.

What is keeping you from being at peace? Why don’t you do something about it TODAY?

It’s not about emotions…. it’s about making decisions and taking a stand.

Grab your faith with both hands and hold on tight.
Then beat down and kick out the things that are holding you down or holding you back.

Trust Him. He will fight the fight for you.

Patience

How patient do I have to be? I have been praying for some things for a very long time it seems.

So I ask God, “How patient do I have to be?”

And He answers, “How patient am I with you?”

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

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photo credit: Ocean City NJ Sunrise 7-9-10 by David Saddler

You can amaze Him

Jesus is never shocked by your sin.

He already took care of that on the cross.

But he never stops marveling at your faith.

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Photo credit: Gerardofeganhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/29310420@N02/5440796379/in/photolist-9hMvd8-dhuUeN-9UQFGH-9vucmK-9xUY8T-9xUY4t-9xXWEd-9xUY3K-9xUY9X-9xUY78-9xXWwW-9xUY58-9xUYgg-9xUY3B-9xXWwC-9xUYhx-9xXWAW-9xUY6a-9xUYan-9xUYhc-9xUY8r-9xUYbe-9xXWN7-9y51Ub-9y23Ei-7SfkTD-8ijZqi-cbk3GY-aUBvpP-9y51Tu-9y23BB-9y51LY-9y51NQ-9xV5c8-9xV5gc-9xY3JW-9xV5eP-9xY3MA-9xV5dz-9xV5dP-9xY3N9-9xY3Hu-9xY3Kf-9xV5d6-bob2uG-9xUY9t-9hvc8z-dACDGa-7DNi2v-9Bxb3E-8UTeix

I reject these people

I reject the disrespectful. I reject the liar and the hypocrite. I reject the thief, the corrupt and the ungrateful. I reject the vain. I reject the traitor. I reject the violent, the impatient, the arrogant and the selfish.

I do not accept these persons. And when I see this behavior in the ones I love it drives me crazy. But what happens when I observe myself in these roles that fill me with disgust?

Jesus accepts everyone. Can I obey his invitation to follow him in these cases?

No. I can’t. I try to, but the moment always arrives where my “This Can Not Be” is much stronger than the limited mercy that comes from my heart. And when I reach my limit my desire to condemn approaches a desire to kill. On one hand, my reaction is just because it is against the things that cause much harm.

For God, the rejection is infinitely more intense because God is pure goodness.

But the Father says, “Justly for the most repulsive things in you, I send my Son.”

And Jesus says, “Justly for the ugliest things in all, I give my life.”

And the Spirit says, “Justly for the darkest things in you, I call you to the Son.”

When I understand this, it’s not like all of the sudden I can completely accept all the evil that I see in myself and the world. But I can begin to be humble.

And I can honor God with a river of praise for the perfection of his mighty love in Jesus Christ.

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Photo credit: jubileelewishttp://www.flickr.com/photos/77601953@N03/9306904421/

Brilliant ideas

“The truth is, I love you, but your brilliant project is not what interests me. I am interested in your heart. I am interested in true humility. For how long are you going to ignore me? How many times are you going to put on the mask of service when your true motive is ambition? If you worship power, glory or money… I am not interested at all.”

How many times has God spoken to me like this? Many.

The Christian is not someone with brilliant ideas. Or someone who works constantly. The Christian faith is for the weak and the broken. Because in our brokenness we recognize the importance of reconciling with God. In our weakness we know that we need a Savior.

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photo credit: Don & Tonya Christner
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52334279@N00/2905187757/in/photolist-5qHR76-5qHReF-5qHRmM-6noXA7-6Cdfre-72p7xv-74ihng-7jdQgc-7jdQgK-7jHB1w-bpnJTP-dxjcZK-dHKQQ1-efQBd4-dDXZoE-bkj585-byeKpL-byf8jd-byftb7-byf8nf-bM9PUn-bM9Qra-byfsDw-byfsgN-bM9AaV-bM9PBg-bM9EiX-bMa9X4-bMab7g-bMacUp-8mQpQr-8x1w1d-8x1wkN-dWWbjF-aqTfq3-7Hecx6-b3aRLn-8To9XM-bCCgRD-bpHkHu-bpHkEA-bpHkxG-bCCgYg-bpHkJN-bCCh5z-bpHkDj-dCBVrM-bM9Qax-bMaa5t-byeTpf-byf6Ko

Why I am a Christian

I am not a Christian because I am good.

I am a Christian because I am loved.

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photo credit: kelsey_lovefusionphoto
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35228369@N02/5611737162/in/photolist-9xTBX1-7LxWL5-7LxWJh-7LxWKs-7LxWJS-artUrA-81vuAr-7LFGLX-8Tnawa-8Wmf17-byJNQb-bbgqqi-bqDUcW-dZXC8N-8TnE3x-8TnHyr-8TntGt-8TqmxQ-8TqsZU-8Tqv71-7CL8U7-8Tqm7o-e63Q3c-9Vabmq-9bVHT9-7HkNe7-7KQkCq-dDaJM3-8Tnnnn-8TnBta-8To6F6-8TrbfQ-8Tqhph-8Tr74L-8Tnkpt-8Trg2Y-8Tntgg-8TqQ1y-8TqNCJ-8Tr111-8TqWgu-8To4ST-8TreHw-8Tqj95-8TqpVb-8TnpyR-8TqCwb-8Tqg4y-8TnRPT-8TqLtW-8TnWZ2