…But There Are “Defining Moments”

There are no “magic bullets” but there are defining moments in life.

A strong foundation for living a good life is in walking one foot in front of the other in the same basic direction.  I say same “basic” direction because wisdom dictates course adjustments at times.

However, even in the course adjustments we make, they – more often than not – need to be subtle and in the same direction.  Over correcting error is a common human fault.  Most often this results in compounding the error rather than correcting it.

But back to the main point…

The bible story of David and Goliath demonstrates a defining moment for he, Goliath, Israel, and the Philistines.  His one moment affected many people for many years to come.  So, it’s true….there are defining moments in our lives.

But, it’s also true that this particular story of a heroic defining moment (where God is the hero, btw) is build on the back of several other “defining moments.”

If we lead our lives with the attitude that no one specific decision or action makes that much of a difference, we can become apathetic and life looses that exciting edge.  Our days become a “trudging forward” mindlessly climbing mountains and slogging through swamps.

Therefore, having an attitude of consistency and perseverance in the littlest things is the foundation.  However, within our “life march” our eyes best serve us as they look for opportunities that are “defining moments.” Sometimes they will string together.  Other times those defining moments will seem to be decades apart <although they aren’t really>.

Live life consistently and persistently.  But also, enjoy the journey with anticipation and courage as to what giants you may have the opportunity to conquer.  They will surely arise.




Magic Bullet

Aaah…the elusive “magic bullet.”  How we all, to one degree or another, believe in it…wish for it…look for it…pay for it…pray for it and yet…

…can’t seem to ever grab hold of it.  Maybe it’s because it just moves too fast.  Afterall…it is a bullet!  Or, maybe…

It’s because it doesn’t exist (except where dreams flourish).

The truth is…

Just like it takes multitudinous (still not sure that’s a word)  grains of sand to make a beach, success is produced by a family of good decisions and actions.

It’s about growth.  It’s about the process.  It’s NOT about THE MAGIC BULLET that solves all one’s problems, or produces the desired results with just the right one, two, or three big actions and decisions.

I know this is very similar to my last post.  That’s because I think it’s important (very important) for me to repeat…and hear myself.

Revival doesn’t come as a result of one event…regardless of how great and anointed it is.  Faith doesn’t develop from one act of trust.  Reaping an abundant harvest isn’t produced by scattering a few seeds on the ground…even if each of the seeds are of the highest quality.

Commit to the long haul!  That’s where greatness is born!

One more thought:  This also means there is not one word, one message, one prayer prayed that will change your life.  Those things may begin setting you in the right direction, but a changed life is the result of many words (consistently applied), many messages (consistently applied), many prayers (consistently prayed) that will change one’s life.

What does consistent mean?  It means multitudinous (there that word is again) steps in the same (at least general) direction.  It does not mean that you experience no missteps.  So, again…commit to the long haul!  That’s where greatness is born!


Secret of Satisfaction

How do I recapture the satisfaction of my childhood?  That’s a question that many adults, today, at least “feel” even if they don’t vocalize those words.  Satisfaction is attainable.  Here’s one of the secrets:

The “Beach of Satisfaction” is made up of multitudinous grains of little decisions.  <is multitudinous a real word?>
Anyway…”satisfactions” that come from big events and big decisions are by-in-large short lived.

The satisfaction that’s long lasting is the build up of lots and lots and lots <did I mention, lots?> of the little positive, healthy decisions.  Choices that -in themselves- are hardly noticeable.

I do a great number of wedding ceremonies, and one of the common phrases of advise that I put forth to the couple standing in front of me is, “It’s the little things that are the big things.”   Little things like SAYING, “I Love You! on a frequent basis.  Little things like touching without smothering.  The human touch conveys (like magic) what’s in the heart.

I remember one time walking down the isle of the dairy section at Hy Vee and mentioning offhandedly to my wife that the chocolate milk look good.  A couple of days later I opened the refrigerator door to get something.  There it was.  Sitting on the top shelf.  A half gallon of chocolate milk.  That was a “little thing” that made a HUGE impact on me.  I felt deeply cared for by Karen.

Conversely, it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.  Little negative choices also build upon themselves.  Unfortunately, the little fleshy or neglectful decisions don’t amount to a beach of satisfaction but an ever increasing barrier and weight of regret.

Remember:  The most important things you will do today are the several tinsy positive acts that seem like nothing in themselves.  As you let this truth guide your life from day to day, you’ll discover a beach has been born.  A resting place of satisfaction that gives a whole new attitude of confidence and contentment in the heat of the day.

Ask the Lord to show you the important little things that could eventually produce a beach of satisfaction and pleasure in your life.

What “little things” do you believe are important.
Let us know by leaving your comment.



God’s Love Meter Is Stuck On “Too Much”

If you look at all the stories of God’s goodness, love, restoration, giving, grace…you name it…you will come to the same conclusion as the headline, “God’s Love Meter Is Stuck On “Too Much”!

At least it would seem that way.  It’s ridiculous…outrageous…outlandish…out(something).  Not that I’m complaining.  Far be it from me to complain about something so awe inspiring.  But…some folks do.  Well…not out loud so’s you can hear them. Look at the story of the prodigal son as one example.

The rebellious son in the story didn’t want to wait for the “old man” to die to get his inheritance.  He wanted it, and he wanted it now.  He then squandered it on a raucous life style.  Not being too stupid, he “came to his senses” when he was out of money and in a pig pen stealing their fare just to fill the hole in his stomach.  (Can I hear a big yuuuuuuuuuuuuuk!!!!!??)

So, brilliant as he was, he decided that he needed to make his way back home.  Maybe his father would let him work as a servant.  To make a long story short….it was no deal.  The father refused to hire his wayward son (who lost a bunch of cold hard cash mind you).  Instead, he restored him completely to the family and threw him a huge, undeserved, un asked for, extravagant party!

Ya gotta be kidding.  A father’s love is one thing.  But this “love meter” is stuck on too much!

And when the older son (the good son, the respectful son, the honest son, the thrifty son) complained, Ol’ dad responded, “You’ve been with me the whole time.  You could have asked for anything you wanted!”

Or, do you remember the parable (the stories that teach us about Jesus and the Father’s character) about the boss that hired people throughout the day.  At the end of the day he paid the ones that had worked for one hour the same as those who’d worked for 8 hours.   <Generosity…stuck…on…too…much!>

Here’s the reality.  It’s much too much to fully comprehend.  But, His love meter is stuck on “too much” with you, too.  Which are you?  The end of the day worker or the all day worker?  Are you the renegade son, or the good son?

According to John 17:23 (and Jesus is the one making the request of His Abba Father), “Show them that you love them JUST LIKE you love me.”

How much does he love you?  TOO MUCH!!!

If and when you begin believing that, how will it affect your relationship with Him and with those around you?

I’d love to hear your comments!


How to Find Fast Acting Faith

Two of the most powerful words in effectively marketing a product are, “Fast Acting.”  Everything today is about speed and more speed.  Relief and quicker relief.  Go the the local supermarket pharmacy department and see how many of the labels use the words, “Fast Acting.”   As a matter of fact…if you are still reading this article, you are not in the average.

The average “web based reader” is on the move.  They will give you 10 seconds to make your point and prove your observations are worth any more “seconds” of their valuable time…or they “bounce” outta here to “surf on.”

We are a speed, convenience, quick relief culture.  In and of themselves, that’s not all bad.

  • Speed has its advantages
  • Convenience has its virtues
  • Quick relief has its values

But not in the same sentence with faith.

Instead of Biblical Christianity influencing culture, culture has re-shaped issues of Christianity.

Our culture evangelizes the notion that faster is better.  Even nature proclaims the opposite at many turns.  In fact much of the natural world around you demonstrates that faster is weaker.

The word faith can be either a verb or a noun. Both are required, feed, and define each other.

  • Faith is an action (Verb)
  • Faith is a spiritual lifestyle (Noun)

Unfortunately, we’ve come to allow our actions and lifestyles to be fashioned and molded on the potters wheel of our media marketing.  We’ve decided our verb faith is only true if it gets fast results, otherwise there is something wrong with us or how we are trying to “do the verb.”  And, our lifestyles have fallen prey to bigger, better, sound byte, pat answer, no sweat, no inconvenience, high entertainment value noun faith.

The critical problem: We’re riding an out-of-control train careening at break neck speed along the fragile track of life.

It’s not a vehicle of God’s design and we have to slow this bad boy down in some determined, relentless ways, or our spiritual lives will be splattered all over the mountainside.   Here’s the rub:  It will take courage….relentless courage.

As John Ortburg said, “For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted, rushed, and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it.  We will just skim our lives instead of really living them.”

We must ruthlessly work to eliminate hurry from our lives!


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What’s Your Default Setting?

By default, babies have a “Mama” or “Dada” setting when “the train jumps the tracks” in their little worlds.  What’s your default setting when life sucks?

My default is, “Abba.” (Daddy).  Abba is the familiar form of “Father” in the Hebrew language.  In fact, “Abba” is what you will most often hear as children address their fathers in many Jewish families, today…especially in Israel.

My default is, “Abba” when the “heat is on”…and it often is… because Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation…” (John 16:33).  The Apostle Peter said, “My friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through as if something strange is happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12)

My default is, “Abba” when I’m tempted to think that if I could just find the right answer, I could solve my current perplexity.

My default is, “Abba” when the serpant sizzles in my brain, “You’re just a loser.  This is never going to get any better!”

My default is, “Abba” because that is the same as saying, “No matter what…I trust you!”

My default is, “Abba” when everything reasonable mocks me as I make my way toward the goal of faith through the valley of patience.

In fact, My default setting is, “Abba” in good times and bad.  I don’t waste so much time thinking (worrying) when stuff hits the fan; because I have a default setting.

Like the helpless infant whose eyes are fixed, in dependence, on its strong, loving, capable parent, my eyes are fixed on my “Abba.”

A few years back, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Do everything you can and I’ll do everything you can’t.”  At the time, I thought my side of the equation held the highest percentage…then He’d pick up the final few that were impossible for me.”  Then one day I discovered (and still am discovering) that I can only do justice to about 2% of any issue or project.

Maybe it’s just me…but I think we struggle with that simple thought more than just about anything else in our faith walk.  It’s just too good to be true….that He honestly…truly…for reals…I mean for really reals….wants us to realize He is more than willing and capable of handling the weight!  In fact everybody would be better off – not to mention ourselves – if we’d make a lifestyle of defaulting to, “Abba.” After all isn’t that an image that best pictures what we are called to do…TRUST?

Maybe another way to put it would be, “Get over yourself.”

Another observation I am becoming increasingly convinced of is that, with many, “faith” has become something other than faith and more resembles “works of the law.”

Here’s today’s challenge.  Just for today, default to “Abba…I trust You!”

If you agree, comment.  If you have an a good example from your own experiences, please share!