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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Seeing Double

About two months ago, you met Oliver and Meow.
 
(still an all time favorite picture)
 
Do these two look familiar?
This is Captain (cat) and Coco (dog). (and my hand)
 
Despite the striking resemblances, it's not the same dog and it's not the same cat.  Yet the confusion is understandable.
 
If I gave Coco to Oliver's owners, they would notice they didn't have their one true dog.  If Meow was left here and Captain was in a stranger's car, it wouldn't take long before it became clear the wrong cat was in the wrong place.
 
In the book of James, we are warned not to be double minded.  Double mindedness connotes a person who compromises, unstable, and "serving two masters."  In other words, not only is it hard to make up one's mind, it also means a decision made may quickly be undone.  "Don't be so wishy-washy Charlie Brown."
 
While I personally acknowledge I sometimes have trouble making a simple decision, seeing where I may compromise principles is much more subtle. Often, I have to pray for discernment to see what is the Truth - God's Truth - and not what the world says is "good, right and edifying." 
 
We live in a culture that does not honor being humble, thinking better of others than ourselves, and not indulging our every whim and desire.  In a world that says, "You deserve it", God says "You deserve better than what you want.  Have you considered what I want for YOU?"  God's ways are better, yet we see what is immediate and easy.
 
Rising above that default mode isn't easy, but it can be done, but usually only with God's help and strength.  And what does that mean?  More unpopular words - submission and humility.
 
Today, seek Truth and God's single minded focus for His great love for you.  "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8)
 

 
 

 
                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Friday, January 8, 2016

Changing More than the Calendar

It wasn't my New Year's Resolution for 2016 to "do difficult things" (because that's my life motto) but this morning I put this little number together, without supervision or help.
It's even weight bearing as it didn't collapse when 20 pound Franklin hopped up and explored it.
And, because this venture went so well, I've decided to make chicken noodle soup.  From scratch.  In the crockpot.  Let's hope it's equally as successful.

It's nearly standard human default to "hate change."  And I'm one that is change-resistant.  Yet I have a friend who LOVES change.  When I whine about a disruption, she says, "Things change all the time." 

Simple words, but so true.  They DO. 

God wants us to change.  He didn't deliver us from sin for us to just stand there, still wallowing in it, or just skirting the edges of it, giving it dirty looks.  God's power is transformative.  He changes us when we are willing to be changed.  We can only conform to His Likeness with Holy Spirit power.

Sound zany?  What's this Holy Spirit talk?  Have you tried to change on your own? Or worse, resisted change, insisting you are just fine the way you are, thank you very much?

It's been my rather challenging experience that if you ask the Lord to show you one thing you need to change, He happily will answer that prayer.  That's the bad, embarrassing news.  Suddenly, you see the ugliness of an attitude or behavior.  But the good news is God can change it.  Often, it is a tough habit to break, but God's strength and resolve sees us through.  Sometimes the changes are seemless, as God heals a past hurt - the pain that was there is just gone.

As 2016 just begins, be open to change.  Run right into it.  Choose to do difficult things.  Just be sure you are hand in hand with Jesus.