Saturday, May 22, 2010

Squirrels

There are a lot of squirrels scurrying across the road near my home. The crazy things just dart out in front of a moving vehicle without thinking. I'm sure if I need a brake job, it will be because of the squirrels! I know, sometimes it's safer to keep going then to give your passenger whip lash for the sake of a small squirrel. But trust me, when you've accidentally hit one and heard the big thud and felt the bump through the steering wheel, you'll brake for squirrels too!

I've actually learned a few things from these peculiar little creatures. The main lesson: Don't Turn Back! Most accidents involving squirrels occur because the poor little things run across the road and instead of making it safely to the other side, they get scared and turn around to run back never realizing there's not enough time. It's so sad and foolish on their part. I've seen them on the opposite curb safe from the oncoming vehicle and then for no reason just turn around and run back into the road. They never should have second guessed themselves.

I don't know about you, but I do that a lot in my own life. I second guess my instincts and turn around only to find myself in worse trouble than I started with. When we seek the Lord's will and listen for His voice, we need to commit to following Him and never look back despite the criticism and rejections coming at us. When God says move, we move. When He says stop, we stop. We can trust Him to lead us forward. If He says don't look back, then we better push forward and not look back.

"As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away...But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:16 & 26).

Looking back has consequences. Dwelling on the past instead of moving forward into the future causes us to miss out on what the Lord has in store for us. Philippians 3:13-14 says, "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Don't look back!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Lesson from Super Nintendo...LOL

OK, put on your game hat and travel with me to the time of Super Nintendo! I know that's a strange request, but I need you to remember the days of Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country :) These were my two favorite games to play growing up (well in high school...lol). My favorites mostly because I could actually play the entire game, beat each level, and conquer the final chapter over and over!

Back to the point, in each of these games there are parts where you have to play in the dark. The screen actually goes dark and although you can still hear the music and the sounds of approaching enemies, you can't see anything save for the small light around your character. These used to be the most difficult stages especially in Donkey Kong Country where you had to shoot Donkey Kong from one barrel to the next without actually being able to see where the next barrel was. It was always a relief to get through these sections of the board and find a way back to the fullness of light. Yes it was just a game, but those were some tense moments!

What triggered this trip down memory lane? Well, this morning's quiet time with God. The reading for May 18 from Sarah Young's Jesus Calling speaks of following God completely and trusting Him to lead the way throughout the day. "Do not blindly follow your habitual route, or you will miss what I have prepared for you" (p. 145). When we try and walk our own path, we place blinders on ourselves and allow for no outside interference as we travel. We think we have everything planned out perfectly and we just march ahead not realizing all of the opportunities we are passing by. However, when we allow God to lead, He removes the blinders and opens up a world of service and adventure to us.

It's kind of like the video games described above. When we think we can do it ourselves, we're causing our entire world to be darkened out, save for the little light we have shining in front of us. Sure we can make it through the day, but we're missing out on a lot! When we give our day to the Lord and allow Him to lead, He fills our path with His fullness and light. Everything is lit up and we can see clearly the paths leading to danger and the paths leading to abundant joy! When we allow ourselves to see the world around us as God sees it, we realize our path is vast and the opportunities are numerous. How much greater a journey when He is leading!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

We're not the only ones...

OK, so I'm a huge fan of Diner Dash! It's one of my favorite ways to just chill out and get my mind off of everything going on around me. It's a mind boggling "time management" game that can really drive me crazy. In order to win, you have to get faster and faster at seating guests, serving food, drinks, and keeping everyone super happy. When I go out to restaurants and see how slow the service is, I think to myself, "Obviously this team of servers has not been trained on Diner Dash!" LOL.

I've been stuck on level 10 of the Pharaoh's Feast for I don't know how long. I was so fed up with it that I stopped playing the game altogether. But then today I decided to check out message boards and see if anyone else was or is having the same trouble. Sure enough there were messages across the Internet asking for help followed by posts on just what to do. Within 45 minutes I had finally passed the level!

A lot of times when I'm having computer trouble or need some cheat codes for a video game (lol), I'll go online and check out the message boards on Google, Yahoo! or whatever. There are so many people out there that surely I cannot be the only one having trouble. As of today I have yet to find an answer when searching through the message boards.

There's a life lesson in this, of course :)  Our Father God has given us His message board, the Holy Bible, to flip through whenever we're having trouble, need a pick me up, want to cry, laugh, praise His name, etc. Hundreds of people back in Bible times have experienced the same situations we have. OK, so the setting and time frame is completely different, but more often than not the circumstances, the human emotions, relations, and attitudes are just the same. If we flip through this Holy message board then we're going to find a solution to what's bothering us. Again, I have yet to look through the Word of God and not find the answers!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Watch Out For The Enemy Of Self

It's so easy to get caught up in self when everything around us is practically screaming at us to take care of ourselves first and do all for the glory of self. The Bible, however, plainly tells how to do all to the glory of God and seek His Kingdom first and not ourselves (I Corinthians 10:31, Matthew 6:33). It seems that just when things start moving forward, I trip over my own two feet and fall several steps back. Things are going great and I get too sure of myself. I lose focus and before long the enemy has crept into my thoughts convincing me that I need to change because I'll never be smart enough, thin enough, confident enough, and on and on he goes. This happened recently. (OK, it happens a lot, but it's an ongoing battle I'm determined by the grace of God not to lose!) I was all psyched about getting ready for an upcoming mission trip (another story for another day) and all the sudden things started to fall through. I should've realized the enemy would be on the attack as soon as I said yes to go on the trip, but I was caught off guard and I began to doubt. Thankfully the Lord used the blog of a 21 year old girl serving in Uganda to remind me what going and serving is all about. It was a good "kick int he pants" kind of reminder that got my eyes off of me and back on Christ. Surprisingly enough tonight's devotional reading was about being prepared for the attacks of the enemy. The writer listed three things we need to do to be ready. 1.) We need to know our enemy; read God's Word, learn about the ways of the enemy and be ready to attack. 2.) We need to recognize our own areas of weakness and be in prayer for strength to overcome and move past them. If we fail to recognize these areas the enemy will attack there first and will tear us apart! 3.) We need to know what our weapons are. We are in a spiritual warfare and ordinary weapons are not going to save us. We need the Word of God; we need to put on His armor (Ephesians 6:10-18)! Lord, I'm praying for strength to stand against the attacks of the enemy. I'm praising you for opening my eyes to this battle and pushing me forward through the words of a young girl. Be with each of us as we read and work to carry out these lessons from You. In Jesus Name, Amen