Learning To Drive, All Over Again

If you don't know, I'm in Washington DC right now.  We are dropping my daughter off at a summer dance intensive.  So for the last couple of days, I have been driving in DC.  Everyone I spoke to say, "Don't do it!"  But I had to try.  I have to say, the first day I was terrified.  I hadn't been in DC for 10 minutes when I saw a delivery truck sideswipe a minivan in front of me.  I was honked at, yelled at and screamed at more times than I can remember.

Day 2 - A little less screaming and honking.  I discovered their public bus system and did a lot of walking.

Day 3 - No screaming and honking.  I got from point A to point B without losing my religion.

Day 4 - Lots of screaming and honking.  From me.  LOL!  I was using my horn like a native.  Who knew that thing worked?  But as soon as I started driving like one of them - they forgave all my mistakes.

Proverbs 24:16 For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

I got lost more times than I can remember.  I took one wrong turn and ended up back in DC one time and had to start over.  FYI - you can go about 5 miles in 45 minutes.  But I learned from my mistakes.  

God knows that you can learn.  God knows that you can learn from others.  God knows that you can learn from your mistakes.

But the question is, do you want to learn?

Every new experience in life offers you new insights into yourself and into God's heart.  New mercies, new life, and new hope.  Don't fear driving into a new chapter in your life.  God will provide all the help you need.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, lead me where you want me to go.  AMEN  

I Almost Saw Jesus

My first car was a Chevy Nova.  I loved that car and it ran great.  Except for about once a month, it would start idling rough and cutting out on me.  So, once a month, I would have to take it out on a stretch of road and run it wide open.  After that, I would be good for the next month.

One day as I am driving home the engine started to get a little rough so I decided to give it a good run.  I was on a stretch of road that was unoccupied and I had plenty of room.  So I punched it.  All was well until I saw that stop sign.  The stop sign at the end of a street. I had to go left or right.   I'm going way to fast to stop and way to fast to turn.  I thought the end was near.

I stood on the brakes, moved the car as far to the left as I could, glanced to my left to see if there was any traffic, (God was looking out for me because there was none.) Made a right-hand turn that took all four lanes of the road and landed it.

Well, I never did that again.

While driving home I kept saying to myself, "You idiot!  You would have died."  Then I thought about the conversation that Jesus and I would have upon my arrival.  I could hear Him now, "Really?"  Well, that's what my 16-year-old brain was telling me.

James 4:14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Life is short.  Now that I am 54 I understand that.  Life is precious and shouldn't be handled recklessly.  

Take the time to make valuable friendships in your life.  Then work at keeping them healthy. 
Discover God's purpose and will for your life.  Then do it with all of your heart. 
Enjoy what God has given you.  He is your provider and gave it for your enjoyment. 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, let me learn how to appreicate my life everyday.  AMEN 

Do You Catch God?

A kid once asked me, "If I am to seek God?  What do I do when I catch Him?"

Good question!

No, we don't, "catch" God.  But we do enter His presence which does tell us something important.  We can be out of His presence.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

The scripture is fundamental to you.  God wants to come into your life in an authentic and personal way.  The idea here isn't to sit down to a formal meal in the dining room.  The idea is to sit down in the kitchen.  You know, the same place where your family eats on a regular basis.  

In my house that is at the end of the kitchen.  A small table that seats four.  There we can have a small, intimate dinner.  Talk about the events of the day and anything relevant to our lives.  

When you enter the remarkable presence of God, it is hard for us to comprehend that the Creator of the Heavens and Universe wants to sit down with you and talk about, "life."  But's that's exactly what He wants to do.  

For this to happen you need to:
Stop life for a few minutes.  Ever tried to have a decent conversation while in a rush?  
Acknowledge God for who He is.  He is in heaven and is Your Savior and Sovereign of your life. 
Ask Him into your life.  Ask Him to be involved in every decision, every conversation, everything that you do today. 
Listen.  Stop, quite your soul and listen to what He has to say. 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I want to catch you today.  AMEN  

How Do You Pursue God?

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.

So how do you pursue God?  Think about that question for a moment.  You pursuing Him.  The very thought causes people to twitch.  Some have even told me outright that if they have to pursue God, then He isn't worth pursuing.  WOW!

We appreciate that fact that God is with us.  That He is omnipresent and that He will never abandon us.  But what are you doing to be in His presence?

Think of it this way.  If there is someone that you really, really want to meet in person you will do all you can to make that happen.  But if there is someone you would rather keep your distance from, then again, you will do all you can to make that happen.  In other words, the relationship depends on you.

So, first of all, do you want to be in the presence of God?  It's a yes or no answer.  I know many would like to qualify that statement.  But in reality either you do or don't.

Then what are you doing to be in His presence?

John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Do you worship God?  Do you desire to be in His presence?  Is there an aching in your heart to experience His love and peace in your life?  Does the very idea of worshipping Him bring you joy?  Are you willing to submit your body, soul, and spirit to Him?  

Are you willing to pursue God? 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I want to pursue you today will all my heart.  AMEN  

Say AMEN

I remember praying at a altar in church.  I so desperatly wanted to experience the presence of God, but I didn't know how to even connect to Him.  I was 15 or 16 years old.  Discipleship was a practice that was handed down from generation to generation.  The older taught the younger by example.  You watched, you listened and then you tried.

So there I am at this altar and nothing is happening.  I am frustrated beyond belief.  Then a feel a gentle hand touch my shoulder and someone being to pray for me.  All of a sudden it was as if a ocean wave swept over me.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.  I knew that God was there.  I had never been so aware of His presence in my life.

It changed everything.

How do you pursue God?

Proverbs 8:17  I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
There is a time that you will have to seek God.  Don't wait until there is a crisis in your life.  Begin to develop a relationship now.  When you need Him in that sudden moment, then you don't have to guess whether or not God is even listening to you.

Prayer connects you to God.  But what is prayer?  Talking to God.  At the end of each of these blogs is a one sentence prayer.  Now I have never intended these prayers to be the only prayer that you need in the day.  They are their to encourage you to pray and to focus on one thing.

Today's prayer will be PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to speak to You today.  (But don't say AMEN, not yet anyway.)

Talk to God right now and let Him know what you are thinking.  Tell Him what your greatest desires and needs are.  Tell Him what your greatest fears and weaknesses are.  Tell Him how much you love Him and how much you want Him to lead your life.  Then after you are finished, say  - AMEN

Oh, Grow Up!

This phrase was commonly used when I was an adolescent and young adult.  Not only did my parents tell me this, frequently, and with good reason.  But even my friends and acquaintances would chirp the, "Oh, grow up!" to each other.

It's meaning is relatively easy to comprehend.  "Quit being such a kid and starting acting/thinking like an adult."  Today I hear some people say that they have a hard time, "adulting" meaning they don't like the responsibility of being an adult.  I get it.  Now before you assume that I'm about to go on a rant about millennials, young people, or "I remember in the good ol' days" stuff - I'm not.  You're safe.

In fact, let me help you out a little.  I'm 54 years old.  I left home and started college at 16, married by 21 and was employed in my career choice by 22.  That was kind of average.  Today is a different story.  You probably need to choose your career path by middle school.  Plan on getting a masters degree and will struggle to "get out on your own" by age 25.  15-year-olds are having to act like their 25, but 25-year-olds sometimes act like their 15.  That's normal.

Let’s bottom line it.  The process of maturing is starting sooner and ending later.

But then again, you might understand this a little better than you think.

When did you ask Jesus into your life?  I mean, for real - you meant it - you sincerely repented of your sins and your desire to live your life for Him every day.

The process of growing up in our relationship with God is a process.  I've seen some people grow by leaps and bounds in a short period of time.  But for most people, it has been a marathon process for them.  Discovering more about their relationship with Jesus every day isn't as easy as taking a class or reading a book.  It is something to be pursued and experienced.

Your faith pursues, and you experience His presence in your life.

But how do you pursue?

John 15:7  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Most people read the part about asking whatever and getting it.  Not so fast.  First, you must abide, wait, upon God. (More about that later) then you must allow His Words to be incorporated into your heart.  To the point, read the Bible.  

Many people read the Bible to find what they want.  You don't get it.  You read the Bible to let its words tell you what you need.  That's when our prayers are answered.  That's when we begin to experience a transformed life.  That's when we discover the presence and power of God.  

So today, what are you going to read from the Bible? 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, speak to me through your Word today.  AMEN