FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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A Million and One Things

A million (at least) and one things called to me today as I was about to pray.

I had guest but they were rising and leaving early, so I felt I should send them off with breakfast.  It’s early.  I’ll just scramble up a couple of eggs, brown some sausage, send them on their way and then pray.

Well, I’d might as well snatch those sheets off the bed and toss them in the laundry while I’m thinking about it.  While they are spinning, I can pray.

Oh!  I forgot; I have an appointment.  I’d better jump in the shower and dress then, if I am running late, I’ll at least be already dressed.

Can you believe what that woman said?  Let me sit down and catch this little snippet of Dr. Phil.  There’s only about 10 more minutes in this episode, then I’ll pray.

Whew, finally!

I sat down on the sofa to journal my prayers.  The sun’s rays poured through the blinds.  Look at that dust!  I’d better grab that Swiffer right now!

Dust.  Seriously?  Dust is going to keep me from praying?  I don’t even like dusting.  As a matter of fact, I hate dusting.  It falls in line right after scrubbing toilets as far as I’m concerned, but I’m going to dust instead of pray?  Really?

No!

Enough already.  I recognize these tricks of Satan!

And so I journaled.

Look at that handwriting.  I hope you never intend to look back at these prayers, and surely you won’t let anyone else see this journal.  Even God might be challenged to read this scribble scrabble.

Are you kidding me, Satan?  You will try anything to distract me, any ploy to disrupt time with God.

THIS WEEK “Be self-controlled, sober-minded, temperate, vigilant, alert.  Your enemy, adversary, great accuser, opponent (and chief distractor) the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” ( 1 Peter 5:8). He finds especially tasty those who love the Lord and who desire to spend time alone in prayer to Him.  Schedule a time to spend alone with God, and meet that appointment just as you would one with your physician’s office or your employer.  My rheumatologist charges you if you miss the appointment.  God will not charge you, but you will miss a great blessing, a gift that He has just for you!


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Who You Gonna Run To?

DISCLAIMER…SPOILER ALERT…EXCUSE…whatever you want to call it.  I am telling you up front, there is yet another Alvin Slaughter song linked to this message.  I don’t know what it is or why it is – maybe I am in my Alvin Slaughter CD Season of Life.  Nevertheless, stop right here, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKhejMWTJPo, listen to the song then come back.

Imagine the following scenarios.

  1. It’s an exciting time in your life. You’ve been working on your advanced college degree, and graduation is just around the corner.  Already you’d begun interviewing for new jobs, and you just snagged one of your dreams.  You begin a new job, graduate and (here’s a bonus) celebrate Christmas – all in a matter of weeks.  You come home to share the good news with your spouse and find a note on the kitchen counter.  It reads, “I don’t think I want to be married anymore, so I’ve moved some things out.  I’ll be in touch.”
  2. You’re tired, but who isn’t these days, so you just keep pushing; things are bound to slow down soon and you’ll get some rest. You get a note in your inbox that you need to telephone your doctor’s office, so you do during your break.  Reception transfers you to the nurse who tells you – over the telephone – that your lab results didn’t look good.  “Actually,” she says, “it looks like you have Cancer.”
  3. Home from the hospital. Alone in bed.  Healing from surgery.  Other people might consider it a bad thing, but this is a good time for you to catch up on your rest, think some things through and craft a new vision and plan for your life – between naps because the Percocet has you drifting in and out of sleep.  The phone rings.  It is the IRS.  They have some questions about your past six tax returns.

Can you imagine?

My question for you, despite whichever scenario you imagined, “What do you do?”

Let’s see.

Scenario 1:  Call a Divorce Attorney?  Phone a girlfriend?  Watch Oprah and Dr. Phil?

Scenario 2:  Get a second opinion?  Google your symptoms?  Start saying your Good-byes?

Scenario 3:  Contact an online loan counselor?  Buy boxes and schedule a moving company?

Perhaps a better question is, Who do you run to?  (Yes, I know it should be To Whom do you run?)

Often we choose from those mentioned above – attorneys, girlfriends, Dr. Phil, Google – or others like them.

John 16:33a (NIV) says, “…In this world you will have trouble…” There is not one of us who cannot testify to the truth of this Scripture. But do you know the truth of the rest of this Scripture? There is encouragement. There is hope. There is a promise. There is a command. There is very present help. We are told to “take heart” because our Lord has “overcome the world.” If we are obedient and look to Him, the source of our help (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV).

Girlfriends are great. I know, I have been blessed with the best. I’ve called a few attorneys and moving companies in my lifetime, and I wish that I had stock in Google. I’ve even watched a couple of episodes of Dr. Phil. But I want the truth of my life to be that when in times of “trouble, pain and fears,” I run to the Lord. Not crawl. Not walk. Not as an afterthought. Not after I have consulted all those other sources.

First. Immediately. Naturally. Readily. Faithfully. Expectantly.

Always.

Lord, I run to you.

Because I didn’t have to imagine those scenarios.