Thursday, May 30, 2013

Who Are You Feeding?

(photo courtesy of

We feed our children.
We feed the birds that frequent our birdfeeders.
We feed the homeless through soup kitchens and outreach ministries.
We feed our minds. (Remember this: garbage in – garbage out!)

But, do we feed our doubts?

Our pastor tells us that when we feed our faith, we’ll starve our doubts to death.

Yes, we can feed our faith, but sometimes we’re too busy feeding our doubts.

This reminds me of the old Indian story about two wolves. I’ll paraphrase:
An old Indian chief taught his grandson, telling him of two wolves that fight for his soul. One is mean and greedy; the other is kind and gracious.  When the boy asked which would win, the grandfather wisely told him, “The one you feed the most.”

So, how do we feed our doubts?

We feed our doubts by rehearsing our fears over and over again, allowing them to paralyze us. We feed our doubts by worrying and complaining, by watching movies, videos and televisions shows that paint immorality, corruption, and sin in general, as acceptable, numbing our brains. We feed our doubts by reading that same type of material. We feed our doubts by hanging around people of little or no faith, people who applaud the things our God abhors.

One of our favorite ways to feed doubts and fears is through negative self-talk, which becomes so commonplace we fail to see it. Too often, we beat ourselves down with critical and condemning thoughts and wallowing in guilt and shame until we convince ourselves we’re worthless. We reinforce the lies of the enemy, the great deceiver, the one who hates us for nothing we’ve done, but simply because God loves us. Before long, we doubt that we’re loveable, then eventually, the doubt becomes the false-truth we believe about ourselves.

What a subtle enemy. What a patient enemy.

We become what we believe we are. Our god becomes small and helpless, even pathetic, as we believe one lie after another, feeding our doubts their favorite junk food.

But, remember the other wolf.

We can also feed our faith. By reading and studying God’s Word, our faith grows. When we praise God, when we refuse to gossip or curse, when we pray and think on the good things (Philippians 4:8) our faith gets stronger. We also feed our faith by hanging around faith-filled people who search out the Bible for every treasure hidden there for them.

Which plate will you fill today?

“…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things.”
~Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hidden Treasures?

(video courtesy of

“I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”
~Isaiah 45:3 (NIV)

Since I have precious little of your time, today I’ll be brief with my words and ask you to watch the video inserted above and answer this question: Are the treasures He’s hidden for you (not from you) not worth risking your life to find?

“Fear not….”
Found 63 times in the King James Version of the Bible

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
~II Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
~Matthew 16:25 (NIV)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Your Move

(photo courtesy of
 Often, we find ourselves at a place of decisions that point to eternity. Those places of decision don’t occur just once in a lifetime, but we’re unlikely to know when our last opportunity shows up.

I touch relatively few hearts and minds in light of all the lives being lived at this moment. But, every adult I encounter has betrayed God at one time or another, perhaps even on a daily basis.

In the place of decision-making, we can identify with Judas, who betrayed Jesus then went out and hung himself; he was unable to forgive himself and unable to believe that God could forgive him as well.

But, we can also identify with Peter, who denied Jesus three times (that we know of) yet submitted himself to God and received forgiveness for what he’d done and went on to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in a glorious manner, denying himself for Christ’s sake.

One of my favorite scripture choruses declares, “It’s Your kindness that leads us to repentance, O Lord….” It derives it’s message from Romans 2:4 (probably the NIV). Looking at the Amplified Version, we read more clearly, what the author says. “…are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)?”

Too many times I’ve beat myself up over my own bad decisions, choices I’ve made which glorified sin and turned my back on the God Who loves me unconditionally. Too many times I’ve watched others go through the same thing, sometimes refusing to admit they’re wallowing in guilt and shame; running from God and His antidote for the sickness that destroys them.

The whole point of the gospel is to reveal the Savior that came to take our guilt and shame and the punishment for our sins, so that we could live life abundantly and in harmony with Him, forever. Jesus died in our place so that we could have eternal life with Him. His love is beyond our comprehension. He IS love.

The darkness that envelops us comes from the enemy, and from within our own hearts.

God is still kind to you. He’s still leading you to Himself. He does not condemn you. He still trusts you to choose eternal freedom through Christ Jesus. He has not forgotten you.

It’s your move.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Completely Going With the Holiday - Happy Mothers Day

The hardest thing a mother goes through, short of watching her child die – is to watch them hurt, and that is particularly agonizing if we blame ourselves for their tears or anger.

As mothers our hearts are connected to our children’s hearts in a way that creates such vulnerability that the things we do for our children’s sake sometimes surprise us. We can be stronger than we ever imagined or we can be sillier than expected, some mothers even lie or commit crimes, somehow thinking it’s for their child’s sake. We can be fiercely protective, yet we can be humbled and taught so much at our child’s hand. The path of our lives becomes as crazy as the path across a Chinese Checkers board.

If there’s a mother out there that hasn’t cried over her children she is surely an anomaly. We cry good tears, sad tears and tears of disbelief. There are times when we hide our tears and times we simply cannot.

Most children have the amazing talents to both make their mothers proud and embarrassed, sometimes within minutes of each other. They can make us laugh, they can hurt us, they make us want to shout from the rooftops, “That’s my child!” and they teach us to pray like nothing else – because nothing else quite matters like our children do.

Our children redefine the word “joy” like nothing else. They give answers to the questions of the meaning of life, but prompt so many more questions.

I have friends who have never had children. I have friend who have lost their children. I have friends who are frustrated with their children. There are women out there who think they should never have had children; each with their own private thoughts that I will never know; their heartaches – and their victories.

God completes us all in His own personal way whether we become parents or not. But without Him, we will never be complete.

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” - Colossians 2:6-10 (KJV)

“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:10-12 (NIV)