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A normal night?

December 25, 2013 Leave a comment

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Image courtesy of foter.com

Stars twinkled in the twilight sky as the wind softly blew back the shepherd’s hair. The night was calm and so were the sheep. They grazed and softly chewed on the green grass. This was the good grass. Each of the shepherds sat there looking upon their flock with heavy eyes as sleep beckoned to take them for a while. It was another night just like all the others, or so they thought.

Suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere, came a bright light. It scared the flock as they jumped back and scattered. The shepherds fell back and out of their half sleep supposing that possibly this was a dream, but it wasn’t.

The bright light was everywhere around them. It seemed that darkness had disappeared and daylight had suddenly appeared. From within the bright light a figure appeared. The figure was the form of a strong man; a man of war. Terrible and strong he looked and authority was clothed upon him. A deep voice came from the figure and the shepherds shook with fear.

It was an angel from God and he began to speak. He told the shepherds to not be afraid that he had come to share good news. A baby would be born in the city of David, Bethlehem. And that baby is the Christ. As a sign, the baby would be wrapped in tightly wrapped cloth and would be laying in the feeding trough of a barn.

Instantly, there was an army of angels with the one and they were singing the most beautiful songs the shepherd’s had ever heard. The songs praised and magnified God.

Then as quick as everything appeared, it disappeared. Light went back to darkness. The wind softly blew and the sheep continued grazing. The shepherds rubbed their eyes as they adjusted back to the night sky.

One of the shepherds turned to the others and said “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this happen which the Lord has made known to us.”

They hurried and made provisions for their sheep and headed toward the city of Bethlehem.

As they walked up toward the barn, they saw a lady and a man near a feeding trough. Inside the feeding trough was a new born baby, wrapped in tight cloth.

The Shepherds knew in their heart that this was it. They looked upon the child in awe. This wasn’t a normal baby. This wasn’t just another night. They were looking at the messiah.

This Christmas, let something happen that maybe has never happened to you before. Listen to the voices of the angels as they proclaim the King. Listen to the pulling in your heart as you are drawn to Him. If you listen and heed the promise of heaven, you may find yourself at the exact same place the shepherds did.

At the feet of Jesus.

Fire

December 21, 2013 Leave a comment

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Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

Burning and tingling sensations feel our inner heart. Our ears hear the winds of the spirit as it encompasses around us. Where we once felt loneliness and despair, we feel peace. Where confusion once enveloped our every thought, we have understanding. So is it when the fire of God envelopes us and burns within our soul. So it is with His spirit.

Words

December 3, 2013 Leave a comment

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Image from http://mmrmultitasker.blogspot.com/

Words. We say them every day. We read them in every book. We hear them when we speak to one another.

When we pick up a dictionary, it is full of them. We use them for good. We use them for bad. We use them to teach. We use them to scold. We use words every day. It is how we communicate to each other.

Jesus used them to talk to the disciples. He used them to teach the people. He told stories that people could remember with lessons they would never forget. Jesus used words to explain the gift of salvation in such simple terms, that children understood every word.

When Jesus left this earth, he left the gift of words with the disciples. They used words to teach other disciples and to teach new followers. They often spoke words and they often wrote words. They used words to spread Jesus’ message to others.

Thousands of years later, here we are. We use words when we text each other. We use words when we send emails. We use words when we pick up the phone and make a call. We use words every day of our life.

I’ve had the privedge to understand that my calling is to use words like the disciples did, like His followers did, like Jesus did. I count it an honor and a duty. I know I’m unworthy and there are others that can do it better than I. But His words let me know it’s what I must do.

What words have been spoken to you that have echoed through the valleys of time? What words ring in your ears calling you to a purpose greater than your own? Open your ears and open your eyes. Let the words be written on the walls of your heart. Hear His words and you’ll find your purpose.

Bird in a Cage

October 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Blackbird singing... on the roof

It’s one of the saddest things you could ever imagine. Sitting in a cage, bouncing from sitting point to sitting point, the little bird looks for a way out. Time is passed by cleaning his wings, eating some bird food, or whistling a tune. But in his heart, he longs to soar. He longs to fly above the trees and look at the earth beneath. He was made to do that. He was made to fly from tree to tree. He was made to watch the sun come up and sing as the light peaks through the leaves. He was made to soar, but he sits in a cage and sleeps.

What is your cage? What is holding you back from soaring? You were designed with a purpose. You were given a talent that the world is waiting to see. Sometimes we overcommit ourselves to others around us and their expectations. Sometimes, we need to step back and realize that we have to first do what we need to do. Does than mean saying no? Sometimes it does. We need to say yes to the burning in our heart. Why should we do this? Because we are sitting on a perch and sleeping when we should be soaring.

Are you going to sit there on your perch or are you going to spread your wings and fly out of your cage?

Perspective

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In this rare image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn’s rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Space. It’s what we see when we go outside at night and look up. We see all these white sparkles in the sky and we have learned to call them stars. We gaze at them and think about how beautiful they are. Then we go back inside and watch TV. Nothing negative, that’s just what we do.

Today, I want to challenge you to see things from a different perspective. I’m going to challenge you to stop what you’re doing. Really, actually stop and pause. Now look at the above picture. That is a picture taken from a satellite that is 900 million, not thousand, miles away. Again, that’s 900 “million” miles away. This little spacecraft was launched in October 1997 and has been flying around taking various snapshots of our solar system. Many images have been taken from space, but there’s something special about this one.

The main object in the image is Saturn. You can see how big the planet is and how large the rings are that surround the planet. It’s absolutely beautiful. The spacecraft was orbiting the planet and taking some shots. Now, what I really want you to see is the little blue dot to the right of the center of the screen. I hope you were smiling when the picture was taken, because you’re in it. That’s earth from 900 million miles away. That little blue dot is our BIG planet.

I want us to stop and think about something here. Our solar system has nine planets. Earth is number three. Saturn is number six. Saturn is not even at the end of our solar system! There’s three more planets to go (if you count the planet pluto). Now think about this. Our galaxy is called the Milky Way. It holds our solar system with thousands of other solar systems. In fact, if you shrunk everything down to a size that we can fathom, it would go like this: Our solar system, with the nine planets, would be the size of a basketball; and our galaxy, the Milky Way, would be the size of earth.

Did you get that? Our galaxy is HUGE. It’s estimated that we have more than 200 billion Suns in our galaxy alone. Scientists have found more than 500 solar systems in our galaxy so far. That’s solar systems like ours. That’s only the ones they have found and that’s just nearby (if you can count that as nearby). In fact, scientists say that there may be tens of billions of solar systems in just our galaxy, maybe around 100 billion. This is just in our galaxy.

Now, are you ready for the next part? We know we have our solar system (our sun and nine planets). We know we have our galaxy, which is named the Milky Way, that has our solar system and most likely billions of other solar systems. Now guess how many galaxies there are in the universe as a whole?? A supercomputer tried to help us guess. It estimated around 500 billion galaxies. That’s billion with a B.

Now, from this we’re supposed to say that everything that happened was accidental. It just happened and we’re all here by chance. We formed from another animal and I guess we’ll form into something else down the road. Well I’m sorry, but the facts about our universe tell me otherwise.

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…”

Is This It?

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Photo credit: departing(YYZ) / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

As we work toward our dream sometimes a strange thing happens. We wait for the heavens to open and angels to come down and circle us to proclaim that we have arrived. Well, It doesn’t exactly work that way.

I haven’t fullfilled my dream as of yet, but i’m working my way there. In fact, I’ve had a moment or two where I actually asked “Is this it?”. It’s not that I wasn’t excited or getting fulfillment from what I was doing. I just had built everything up so much in my head that when I actually started acting on all of those thoughts in my head, I was a litle dissapointed when the earth didn’t stop because I was trying.

As I’m going forward I’m learning a lot of valuable lessons.

First – “I’m not there yet but I’ll get there”.

Second – As quoted by Thomas Edison “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”.

Third – “Sometimes I will feel like giving up but all I need to do is take a short break and rest my mind. Then I’ll feel like going on again”.

Fourth – “Procrastination is a very real thing and can trap you into an endless cycle of doing nothing. Stop and decide that you’ll do something toward your dream every day”.

Fifth – “Don’t get discouraged. If you think about something every day. If you just can’t seem to shake it no matter what happens. If after facing adversity, you still know your supposed to follow this dream, then quit worrying about it and follow it already”.

What’s keeping you from your dream? Are you going to give in and quit or do something about it?

We Need Adventure

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Photo credit: GORE-TEX® Products / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

I’m piggybacking on a post that Max Lucado, my favorite author, wrote for today. It is posted on his site at http://maxlucado.com/audio/daily-audio/gods-adventure/.

His topic brought up adventure. That word is a cool word. According to the dictionary, here are the top three definitions of adventure:

1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.

Now I ask you this question:

Is your life an adventure?

Are you pursuing life at its fullest or are you sitting in a lawn chair sipping some tea? Are you climbing life’s challenging mountains or are you sitting in the valley just taking in the view? Are you fulfilling your dreams or giving in to mediocrity?

We were made for adventure. It’s how we’re wired. When we were children we had to know what was over that hill. We had to know what would happen if we pushed that button. We just had to know.

Somewhere along the line someone with “reality” has veered us off course saying that we need to grow up and let go of our childish dreams. Today, I say the opposite. We should fulfill our dreams.

Jesus told us “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (Mark 10:15). I believe he was giving us permission to seek out why He created us; why we were put here on earth.

I may not know you and you may not know me, but today I’m going to give you something. Permission. I proclaim this day that you have permission to chase your dream. You have permission to ask why you were created and to seek out the adventure of what you are to do with your life. You have permission to step out by faith onto a new, perhaps unknown, path to seek your purpose for being alive.

Strap your backpack on and get the walking stick ready. The path is now in front of you. It’s time to start walking.

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