Tag Archive | Lord

Roller Coaster Rides

Can you remember your favorite ride at the amusement park or carnival? Mine was the roller coaster. I can remember bubbling with excitement as I’d get into the car and finding it difficult to contain my anticipation as I waited for the other cars to fill so the ride could begin. I could hardly sit still, yet I had to wait until the ride operator made his rounds checking to see everyone had fastened their seat belts. In the meantime, I pictured myself flying at break-neck speeds with the wind blasting in my face. I focused on the fun I’d experience and certainly gave no thought to the seatbelt. Surely I wouldn’t need it.  Seatbelts? They were merely a proactive measure to avoid liability, something you were supposed to do, a necessary evil.

roller coaster maverick_airtime1Finally our cavalcade began to move, slowly at first and then increasing to gain momentum to climb. By the time I reached the top of the steep incline, I had no time to do anything but hold on tight and scream with emotions racing between fear and delight. It was so much fun. Even after experiencing several episodes of these peaks and valleys eventually leading back to the starting point, I lacked appreciation for the protection my seatbelt provided. It never crossed my mind. I took it for granted, yet had it not been securely in place, I’d have been flying through the air, all right, but not with the greatest of ease.

Don’t you sometimes feel like life is like a roller coaster ride? You start out at the bottom, learn a few things, gain momentum then all of a sudden you’re going in a different direction, and it feels like that path is headed down. Change is like that. It hits you smack in the face – sometimes without warning and the cycle is often repeated many times before the ride is over. The ups and downs aren’t much fun, and you begin to ask yourself, “What measures have I put into place to keep me secure as I hang on for dear life?”

If you have made wise choices along the way, especially placing your faith in the Lord, you will have the security and perspective you need to focus on the voyage and not the ups and downs. Reflecting on your selections and making adjustments to compensate for the change will help you to have joy in the journey like I did on the roller coaster ride.

We’ve got today …

Kids-getting-on-school-busThis morning, I watched from my office window as the local school bus stopped to pick up the children to take them to school. I was too far away to see their faces, but I noticed more parents waiting with their children. Instead of making casual conversation with the other adults, they spoke to their kids and crossed the street with them to make sure they got safely on the bus. They lingered as the bus pulled away, perhaps wondering if this was how the parents of the children in Friday’s tragic shootings felt saying goodbyes to their kids. In their case, it was farewell.

We never know what tomorrow will bring, yet too often we humans bank on the fact that we will have a tomorrow and another one after that. Yet we have no guarantee. We often become paranoid and surround ourselves with protective devices or try to think ahead to prompt proactive behaviors. Although looking ahead and trying to remain safe are wise actions, we could easily go overboard. The bottom line is that it is out of our control, but our faith in the Lord must remain strong.

If one thing good is to come out of this sad tragedy, it might be what I saw demonstrated this morning and see on so many Facebook posts. Treasure the people in our lives now. We’ve got today.

One more chance to get it right

On this Election Day 2012, the question in the minds of most of us is who will be the next President, Congressman, Senator or other State and local officials?  Hopefully by this point we’ve studied the issues, made our selections and have already voted or plan to do so before the polls close today. It is important, if not critical.

We’re told that elections are all about hearing the voice of the people and knowing how they think. Our chosen representatives are supposed to listen to our voices and stand up for our choices when they create and enforce legislation. That’s what our forefathers intended, but reality demonstrates something else coming out of Washington these days. Our Pledge of Allegiance states that we are one nation under God. Our currency bears the inscription, “In God we trust,” but neither appears to be evident. What changed?

Perhaps it’s we the people. Have we become so proud that we’ve placed our trust in men’s ideas instead of God’s wisdom? Are we so arrogant that we value prosperity above righteousness? Do we value convenience and comfort above human life?

Are we looking at this election the way God sees it? I’m just saying, our nation is in need of help in so many areas, and He says if we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He will hear from heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land. I’m praying for one more chance to get it right.

What’s a six-letter word for …

What’s a six-letter word for vacation?

Before you think of Europe, Disney, or some other fantastic place to relax and unwind (Whoa … there are 6 letters in unwind.), think again. These may be applicable, but they’re not the right one. I’ll give you a hint. It begins with “C” and few people easily embrace it. Give up? The word is change.

Think about it. Whether you travel to an exotic resort, go to visit family or relax in the comfort of your own home, each vacation you are expected to change. You change location, direction and pace – all because you’re not going to work. And although it may take a day or two to sink in, you feel better all over. Even your face begins to sport a smile because you’ve reinvented who you are. You’re a vacationer.

And if you’re a writer, artist, musician, entrepreneur, or person with an imaginative bent, you’re going to begin to see and feel life differently. While there’s no pressure around you, ideas will begin to spring up that you’ll be able to transform into your creative genre. Problems will begin to resolve and answers will begin to form. Life will be good.

So why resist change? The end results will usually be good if you wait long enough. It often takes time, just like your vacation. Think about some of the adventures you’ve had in the past. Some events did not turn out the way you planned, but you still had a good time and maybe, just maybe, you benefited in unexpected ways. The Lord always works things together for good.

If you’re vacation has passed, I hope you had a great time and experienced some of these change benefits. If you’re still in the planning stages or ready to head out, ENJOY. Look for the opportunities that will unfold before you as you change your lifestyle for the week. When you return, you’ll be ready to embrace a new kind of change.

Where’s hope when you need it?

Today’s headline about former NFL star Junior Seau’s suicide certainly impacts those closest to him: his family and friends, his San Diego Chargers’ team mates and countless fans. Yet, it touches more than those who knew him because it focuses on human need at the very core.

We may never know what circumstances drew Seau to commit this act, and in some respects, the reason is not important. What this tragedy points to is Seau did not know where to find hope and strength to carry on when he needed it the most.

Ironically, it was available 24/7, 365 days a year irrespective of his location or anything else. All he had to do was cry out to Jesus Christ. The Gospel is clear that Jesus died for all sinners and that includes each one of us. Whatever Seau could not cope with was not uncommon to humans, but he needed God to help him.

It does not take long to realize that a house with an ocean view, multiple cars in the garage, or any other material possessions do not bring lasting happiness, nor do they provide any measure of security. In an instant, they can be gone. Yet Jesus never fails. So whether you’re afraid, depressed, discouraged, lonely, tempted or experiencing any other trial, know that Jesus is there and offering you hope. One of my favorite Bible passages says it so much better than I ever could.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38 – 39)

Where’s hope when you need it? That hope is in God, and He’s just waiting to give it to you – free.

A thunderous gift

I awoke this morning to flashes of light and booming claps of thunder. The rain poured down, and my spirits followed with each drop. Later the storm cleared, the sun came out and my spirits rose with the warmth of the day. So what was the difference? My health, my relationships, my finances remained the same, yet the sense of well-being seemed to follow the light.

Perhaps the real issue had to do with my perspective. Subconsciously, I saw the gloomy morning as a hindrance, a force out of my control, preventing me from something – like going outside of my comfort zone. After all, if I went outdoors, I’d be required to carry an umbrella or wear a raincoat. I would not need these items if it were sunny. In other words, I was looking at what I could not do instead of what I could or what benefit this rain would bring.

As a matter of fact, the strawberries I had transplanted had begun to shrivel up for lack of water. The pollen count continued to creep higher because there had been no rain to knock it out of the air. Oh, and there were other things I could do as well. I did have to venture out in the rain, but my car – currently parked inside a garage – would keep me safe and dry, as well as get me to my destination. The more I think about it, this storm was God’s gift.

Sometimes it takes me a while to make lemonade from life’s lemons. I’m glad the Lord is patient to wait for me to see the light.

Is there a GPS for life?

If you’ve ever gotten caught in a strange city during rush hour, you know how easily frustration and that sense of being out of control can quickly overwhelm you.  Your grip tightens on the wheel as you struggle to figure out where you are.  You sense your blood pressure rise as you realize you’re headed in the wrong direction.  You can’t stop.  You can’t change lanes.   You’re stuck.  You can follow the throng, but who knows where those crazy drivers will lead you or if you can get back to familiar territory?  If you can relate, then you know how having a GPS can save the day or relieve your temporary insanity.  It helps you refocus and get back on track.  

The economy, health concerns, relationships and other circumstances often push us into life’s traffic jams and take us down roads we’d not choose on our own. I’ve been there and you have, too, but have you ever thought about the Bible as the Lord’s GPS (God’s Pointer System)?  Not only can it identify my current position, but it also provides exactly what I need (emotionally, physically and spiritually) to get back on course. 

When I lose my way, become confused, or even discouraged about the negatives in life, the Bible offers me His correction, instruction and encouragement. Although it’s critical to spend regular time reading and studying the Scriptures, I think it’s also important to realize this may not always be enough. When life’s traffic gets me in a bind, I need to recognize it and my need to pull out the GPS. Then as I submit to His words, my frustration begins to melt and my grip relaxes.  My blood pressure returns to normal, and I begin to experience His peace.  The circumstances may remain unchanged, but I’ve allowed God to restore control.  Will I always understand what path I’m on? Probably not, but I can trust the one who allowed it. In fact, I tried it again today and it worked!

So the next time you’re stuck in traffic, think about the Lord’s GPS and trust Him to guide you in the paths of righteousness.