Tag Archives: Christian walk

Lessons from Brio

51Q5LV7ahpLMy mother-in-law was Swedish and she lived her roots in her baking, nick-knacks, Christmas and even color schemes. Blue and yellow were her favorite colors! Even her pens came from Sweden, but one of our children was blessed every Christmas and birthday with Brio, the Swedish made wooden train track.

As I played on the floor with my grandson, putting together the track (or I should say, embellishing my son’s creation!) I realized how many lessons are in these little wooden pieces!

  1. They’re made of wood and they don’t bend! How often am I like that track, forcing MY way instead of being mold-able in the Master’s hand?
  2. Some are bent, and if you put all bent pieces together, you get a circle that goes nowhere. That’s a great picture of my life when I’m going my own way.
  3. Some are straight, but without the bends, my track will not be complete. God wants to take me on HIS path. It may include twists in a direction I don’t want to go!
  4. Connecting the pieces is not always easy! I need to get from one track to the next but the pieces don’t always fit! God’s plan includes pieces or people of all shapes and sizes! We’re not all straight pieces! It’s often that unusually shaped piece that is necessary to complete the course!

  As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried:
he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. Psalm 18:30

Brio will break if it is pressed or pushed upon too hard. Then the piece may become unusable. That is not God’s plan for our lives! What is He doing right now in your life which may hurt or be uncomfortable or make no sense? Maybe you need to sit back and let Him plan the direction He wants to take your “track.” Believe me, His plan will be perfect and so much better than any we could come up with! Only God sees the beginning AND the end!

Are You Doing It?

 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 34

As I read two different devotions today, they were remarkably opposite of one another. The verses above were part of the daily devotional called “Days of Praise” which I’ve sometimes quoted. Today’s reading was called “Godly Pursuit.” As I read the verses above, I did a personal check on each one:

  • Do I “keep my tongue from evil?’ OUCH!
  • Do I keep my “lips from speaking guile (deceit)?” YIKES!
  • Do I walk away from evil, or do I allow it to come right into my living room on that flat-screen?
  • Do I do good, going out of my way to do it?
  • Am I seeking peace, or am I stirring things up, even in my home, because I want things to go my way?
  • Am I pursuing (fervently running after it, chasing it, hunting for it as though my life depended on it) peace—dying to self to allow the peace of God to rule my life?

Henry M. Morris III goes on in the devotional to say,

“So many today appear to desire the approval of the world’s philosophy or its adherents, attempting to compromise the clear messages of the Word of God with the views and lifestyles of the wicked.”

The opposite path was sadly expressed in Jeremiah 44:16-19:

“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?”

How sad! But the question for us is, “Will we only be faithful to God when things are going well—when we are prospering?”

God gives us so many promises but that doesn’t mean that the Christian life will be problem-free and full of prosperity. Why?

Because rough waters make the best teachers!

Are you discouraged—tired of watching your godless neighbors prosper in all they do? The psalmist sums the whole picture up nicely for us in Psalm 73 (it might be good to read the whole psalm!)

Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end (v 17).

So, if you’ve fallen off the “Godly Pursuit Trail” today, take heart! You’re not alone. Seek the Lord’s help and even the help of others to get back on the horse and ride! You will never regret making wise choices.

 

Don’t Forget the Milk!


I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:

for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

1 Corinthians 3:2

Milk and meat—Paul uses these two food groups to describe different levels of Biblical learning: milk represents the baby steps and meat, the larger lessons which require bigger leaps of faith.

So, what are the milk steps of faith?  Well, obviously, the Christian life begins with the step of salvation, and although it is the first step, it is by no means a small one!  Salvation takes a giant leap away from the world and puts the believer into a whole new world—God’s world!  Yes, this is my Father’s world, but the world system is certainly the devil’s domain!  Salvation puts us on a lifelong path with our Savior, Jesus Christ. But what are the other baby milk steps?  So glad you asked!

Baptism is the next milk-step, and it isn’t for babies!  🙂 Baptism is a beautiful picture of salvation.  When a pastor meets a person of faith in the waters of baptism, that person stands before the congregation demonstrating what Christ did for him on the cross: Jesus died, was buried, and then arose from the dead, hence the need of water!

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:

that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,

even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:4

Does a person need to be baptized in order to go to heaven?  I hope not, or Jesus lied to the thief on the cross!  You don’t have to be baptized for salvation, just for obedience! …  it’s God’s way, and His way is always best.

Church membership—it’s not a man-made invention; it is God’s plan as well.  Today, the trend is to throw out traditional “organized religion,” and I can understand why as I listen to some of the stories of what goes on in some churches.  However, as the old saying goes: You don’t throw out the basket of apples because of a few rotten ones!  Why be a member of a local, Bible-preaching church? There are lots of reasons: commitment, fellowship, accountability, obedience, but most of all—the love of Jesus Christ.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;

but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

Why would believers want to yoke up with God’s children?  Well, they aren’t perfect, but as another saying goes: If you ever find a perfect church, don’t join it or it won’t be perfect anymore! You don’t have to join a church … but it’s God’s way, and His way is always best.

“Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow!”  Milk.  Reading God’s Word is milk.  Talking to God in prayer is milk. They are both basic building blocks to having a successful Christian walk.  So often we try EVERYTHING under the sun to get close to God or to get answers to our problems except the one thing that really works: READ your Bible!!! Get your two best friends—a pen and paper—and dig in to the Bible!  Oh, it’s good stuff!  It’s the stuff heroes are made of.  And talking to God should be as natural as breathing.  The other day, I was putting away dishes and I almost dropped a glass.  The first words from my mouth were, “Thank you, God.”  Does He guide my hands even when drying dishes?  Well, if He sees the sparrow fall, I’d say, “Yes,” and “Praise the Lord!”

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?

and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  Matthew 10:29

You don’t have to read your Bible or pray … but it’s God’s way of communicating with you, and His way is always best.

Don’t forget the milk.  Heaven forbid that a Christian be lactose intolerant!!! A baby Christian is never born that way, but week after week of neglecting the milk can create this horrific situation!  Obedience … you don’t have to be obedient, but it’s God’s way, and His way is always best!

  Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

as in obeying the voice of the LORD?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

1 Samuel 15:22

Beach Bodies

ID-100224331It’s pretty hard to sit at the beach and not notice people.  It’s probably the only time when I wish I had my husband’s bad eyesight. He takes off his glasses and only sees blurred images.  For the most part, I avert my eyes.  (This is also the reason we head for the ocean in September or October.  The smaller crowd is definitely different–mostly oldies, like us!)  But one incident caught my attention, probably because it reminded me of me–a person tugging on his trousers to cover his rather expanded girth!

I’m sure there are a few people on the face of this earth who are one hundred percent satisfied with their bodies.  For me, it’s always the same desire–if only I was ten pounds less, even though the doctor would most likely suggest more!

So, we come to the beach, a bit embarrassed about our pudginess, wishing we would have taken off a few extra pounds.  But the other side of the coin is this: Nobody knows me, so who cares! 🙂  Do I really want to do all that effort and sacrifice of losing weight just for just one week out of the year!

By now, some of you are screaming at my faulty reasoning. Goodie!

And so, we apply it spiritually:  What is it in my life that I never resolve and yet feel “uncomfortable” about when “exposed?”  What is it that I ignore or refuse to face?  What part of my life do I excuse or make excuses for, and yet down deep I realize that my thinking, my reasoning, is faulty? God has even sent convicting messages my way through people, circumstances and His Word, but I won’t “pick up the phone.”

Sadly, some of us will not change our eating habits, or add a simple morning walk to our routine, until our bodies begin to react to our carelessness: high blood pressure or cholesterol, etc.  (Yes, children, I’m listening as I’m writing!) But how much more heartbreaking when we will not change our eating habits of the Word, or walk with the Lord, until tragedy strikes our lives: a wayward child, who is simply magnifying our own faults, or a ruined relationship–simply because we would not forgive–we would not yield.

Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Break me, melt me,
Mold me, fill me,
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me
.

What a wonderful prayer!  I hope that you will take a moment to think through what I’ve said and act upon it.  Reading posts is wonderful, but acting upon them is life changing!

And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

1 John 3:19,20

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The Power of Consistency

baked pastry
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Ah, is there anything more delicious than a spoonful of rich, creamy, smooth-as-silk chocolate pudding?  Well, perhaps it’s a chunk of velvety  melt-in-you-mouth chocolate fudge.  Rich, creamy, smooth, velvety – these are all adjectives describing the consistency of pudding or fudge, and the consistency can make or break our enjoyment of the treat.  This truth was brought home to me last month when I tried to make fudge for our son who is away at college. I goofed the recipe, and although it tasted delicious, the grainy consistency spoiled the effect.

          What can consistency do for you? Where are you consistent, and where is your inconsistency spoiling your effect on others – mainly, your family?  Consistency – always behaving or happening in a similar way – brings results.  I consistently water my plants and they grow.  I consistently “water” my soul with God’s Word and I grow. I consistently brush my teeth and my teeth stay healthy.  I consistently refresh my spirit every time the doors of the church are open, and I stay healthy spiritually.  It’s the law!

          Unfortunately, the adverse is also true: I don’t water my plants, they wilt.  I don’t read my Bible consistently: I wither.  I don’t brush: my teeth rot; I am inconsistent in church attendance, and my life gets clogged with all the fruit of the unholy spirit!  AND, my example sends a different message to my children than the one I am speaking.

          Oh, the power of consistency!  God spoke of Abraham’s consistency: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD,” (Gen. 18:19) He knew he could count on Abraham to teach his children and his household to “keep the way of the LORD.”  The question is: can God count on me…or you?

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor 15: 58

          As I watch my Bible Club students recite this club verse with motions every week, I wonder, will they get it?  Will they remain consistent and steadfast – ALWAYS abounding?  Or will they forget and go their own way, ruining their lives with wrong choices and inconsistencies; and, will they find themselves living with the consequences of inconsistency?   It’s not hard to understand.  Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said it best: “Do right though the stars fall!”