Whose footprints do you see?

“God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.” Psalm 145:14

imageAre you a quitter? I’ve quit a few times…a job I found myself to be poorly suited to the expectations, a job that got too tough, and a job to move out of state. And then there was the time I almost quit my marriage. Divorce papers on the kitchen table…plans to move on. But God gave me a hand and a fresh start through a caring Christian therapist and answered prayers.

Often we don’t see God’s hand helping us during the rough times in our lives. It’s when we can turn around and look back at where we’ve been and where we are today we know only God could have performed the miracles that turned things around.

One of my favorite poems is Footsteps in the Sand. Sometime ago another version came out with only one set of footprints–the one in which Jesus is carrying you when you are too weak to walk at all. Oh, what a sore back he must have.

Lord, give us strength to walk on our own and the faith to know we aren’t doing it alone. Amen.

 

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My life is like my iPad …

“Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-nourishment words.” Isaiah 55:2

imageWe know Isaiah isn’t referring to food. However, to live a good life, it’s important to recognize how God designed our bodies to need daily maintenance of the body, mind, and soul. I relate it to the needs of my iPad. If I fail to recharge it every night, it will fail me the next morning. When I eat junk food instead of God food (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat), my body gets sluggish or I become borderline diabetic or my BMI goes up.

I occasionally receive a notices to update applications on my iPad. When I do this, bugs are eliminated and programs are made more productive. My mind needs refreshed daily, and I do this by meditating, writing, and seeking activities to get me out of my comfort zone.

By the end of each day, the screen on my iPad is smudged and cloudy with my fingerprints, and I must use a cloth to wipe it clean. Similarly, I ask God to remove the smudges of my actions and deeds and daily wipe them clean.

Lord, help us desire to nourish our bodies, minds, and souls to live our finest. Amen

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I haven’t broken any rules…

“I haven’t detoured around your commands, I haven’t forgotten a single one.” Deuteronomy 26:13

imageIf you read more of this chapter in Deuteronomy, you will discover how detailed the commands passed down from God through Moses to the Israelites. In response to them (in “The Message” Bible) the people were to confess what they hadn’t done: “eaten from the sacred share while mouring…removed any of it while ritually unclean…used it in funeral feasts…” and other specific things.

In some ways the commands of God remind me of a homeowner’s association with hundred of rules and regulations, such as “thou shalt have no clothesline” or any change of the outside appearance of the home must be approved by the “rules and regulation police.”

I’m not knocking rules and regulations, as it protects the value of a neighborhood. In the same way, the commands of God to the Israelites protected them and gave them a sense of direction.

Dear God, I am grateful for the second round of commands that came through your Son, Jesus, and gave us a new direction for eternal life. Amen.

 

 

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Just be happy …

“I’m just happy with little as with much, with much as with little.” Philippians 4:11

imageFor a couple of summers we lived in our 26-foot motor home (with no slides) and got along beautifully with a portable screen room and the amenities of the RV park. I could cook, eat my meal, and wash dishes in a space of about twelve square feet. In fifteen minutes I could have the whole rig cleaned. Life was simple and left time for fun.

I have a generous-size home in Sun City, Arizona. When we have guests, I appreciate the extra bedrooms and bath, plus the Arizona room and the screen patio room. Yet, most of the time we use only a small portion of the home. We are very content with what we have.

Apostle Paul claimed to be happy with his circumstances even while ministering from a damp, dreary jail cell. He exclaimed: “I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.” (Vs. 12) It was a God thing–the One he graciously served gave him all he needed.

Dear God, help us appreciate what we have and what we don’t have. Amen.

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Arbitrage…

Ill-gotten gain gets you nowhere; an honest life is immortal. Proverbs 10:2

imageI’m a Richard Gere fan and recently watched the 2012 movie Arbitrage, acclaimed to be one of his best films. Gere played the role of a huge hedge-fund trader who had made some bad business deals and faced losing his business and massive fortune. In an attempt to save face and the reputation of his family, he took risks and caused a lot of drama.

Solomon, the writer of Proverbs, warned that ill-gotten gains would not get you anywhere. You may be able to hide your sinful ways from the public, but you’ll never hide them from God. Should  the writers of the movie Arbitrage had adheared to “Honesty is the best policy,” the two-hour movie would have been a twenty-minute bomb in the box office.

Help us, Lord, to live a life of integrity. Amen.

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