24 Nov

It’s time to move on.

Have you been wronged, deceived, betrayed or let down by family and friends?

King David can relate. While he accomplished much in his life and was the most beloved king of all, he had more than his fair share of disappointment, discouragement and despair. The frown on his face was often brought about by the actions of those closest to him.

We get a glimpse of one of his best life lessons when he poured his heart into Psalm 37.

He learned to quit giving the naysayers, wrongdoers, wicked, betrayers, deceivers, connivers and crooks the time of day. Quite frankly, he learned to move on.

He shares that when we do, the so called “sticks in the mud” will begin to fade away and become a distant memory when we decide to delight in the Lord and trust in him.

As we focus on the desires God has placed in our hearts, rather than dwell on the past offenses, we are free to move ahead and regain our joy for living.

The key is to commit everything, every single aspect of our lives, to him. When we trust him, he will help us. We can go it alone or we can invite him into the challenges by asking for his assistance.

That’s right, the creator of the universe, because he delights in every detail of our lives, is standing by to lend a hand, pitch in and direct our steps. Wow! We simply need to be still and wait patiently for him to act.

It sounds easy but waiting on the Lord is hard when you are prone to take matters into your own hands. The temptation is to get impatient, upset and even angry about the timing and the circumstances.

Have no fear, the Lord is near! No need to be upset. In due time, the wrongdoers will be marginalized. Put your hope in the Lord and continue to travel steadily along his path.

Focus on what God is doing not what they have done! Living the great adventure need not be hindered by a false start or a party pooper.

You might stumble, you might stub your toe and even make a few ill advised decisions, but you will not fall. You will not fail. He simply delights too much in your love for him to let you come up short.

Don’t worry about the wrongdoers. Let them go. Release them into their cesspool of demise.

As for you, look ahead and take hold of the ride of a lifetime that you are living. Come what may, you are on your way to better things! It’s time to move on!

(Inspired by Psalm 37)

11 Nov

THE CHARMING CUNNING CONNIVER

BEWARE OF THE CHARMING CUNNING CONNIVER

Cunning: having or showing skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit or evasion.

Conniver: to cooperate secretly; especially to conspire.

Do you know a charming cunning conniver?

BEWARE: Cowardly connivers aren’t always easy to discern. They are masters of deception. Don’t let their friendly smiles and righteous facade fool you!

The opposite of conniving is being honest and straightforward.

Conniving usually occurs in secret.

Conniving is considered dishonest and cowardly.

King David was fully aware of the state of the human heart and mind.

He provided a warning of his own!

If you are a charming, cunning conniver, heads up, you are running out of time. Your time is up. What you have done in the dark will be revealed by the light. Life has a way of making wrongs right in the end.

“O God, listen to my complaint. Protect my life from my enemies’ threats. Hide me from the plots of this evil mob, from this gang of wrongdoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent, attacking suddenly and fearlessly. They encourage each other to do evil and plan how to set their traps in secret. “Who will ever notice?” they ask. As they plot their crimes, they say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning. But God himself will shoot them with his arrows, suddenly striking them down. Their own tongues will ruin them, and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. – Psalm 64:1-8 NLT

07 Nov

LIFE TIP

Accept the reality that life is hard. Expect to be offended, disappointed, delayed, interrupted, cheated, betrayed, misunderstood, hurt, broke, burdened, frustrated, bothered, angered, confused, abused, used, unappreciated, discredited, unrecognized, blamed, accused and lied about.

Then remember, being alive is better than the alternative, there are some things worse than dying and we should all do our best not to contribute to the life we have come to expect.

30 Oct

SWEET!

“Oh what joy to live and operate within your sweet spot, that life-giving place of fulfillment found only in the discovery of your true calling. You owe it to yourself and the world to reside there. Satisfaction is guaranteed!”

“Give me happiness, O Lord, for I give myself to you.” Psalm 86:4

-RaySanders.com

27 Oct

Warriors of Love

It is fair to say David’s soldiers were very dangerous men.

David’s elite mighty men are profiled in 1 Chronicles 11.

The traits of his warriors are notable in chapter 12.

These were no doubt dangerous men.

How dangerous are we?

We have a Divine commander. We are among his troops. What traits would be noted among us?

Would we be considered as dangerous as David’s men?

Note the traits of David’s warriors, especially in Ch 12!

1 Chronicles 12:

Experts – v2

Brave – v8, v21, v30 (3x’s)

Experienced – v8

Fierce as lions – v8

Swift as deer – v8

Strong – v15

Able – v21

Highly respected – v30

Aware – v32

Skilled – v33

Armed – v35

Prepared – v35

Single-minded purpose – v38

We aren’t called to be safe. The world needs dangerous men and women who are ready to fight for the better good of mankind and the greater good of the Lord.

No where in scripture do we find a person God used that was called to safety, security or comfort.

The person God uses walks in faith, embraces uncertainty and walks into the darkness knowing the risk as a soldier of the light.

We have grown too soft. We have become too vulnerable. We must encourage one another to be strong in the faith as we seek to be all that we can be without compromise. We have come too far. Too much is at stake. Together we can hold the line and take new ground in the name of love.

23 Oct

Great leaders smell like sheep.

Great leaders smell like sheep.

He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants, God’s own people, Israel. He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.

– Psalm 78:71-72 NLT

What can we learn from King David’s call to leadership?

THE LEADER GOD USES:

1. LEAST LIKELY. He was called from the sheep pen. He smelt like sheep! Few leaders truly walk and live among the people.

2. MOST CARING. He led from the heart. Without love it is impossible to lead well. Power fades. Love endures.

3. WELL EQUIPPED. He was prepared in the praire to serve in the palace. Experience and wisdom come with time. Patience and timing is everything.

What a great example of the leader God calls.

Do you know of such a leader?

Does he smell like sheep?

15 Oct

Moments like these

This photo of the sunset was my last night on the beach for this season.

Notice the star, the moon and the sunset?

It is easy to lose focus on all the good and let the enemy creep in with silly distractions.

Shared experiences are the best! I loved having the love of my life at my side as we took it all in.

How special to have shared moments like these with those you love.

How awesome to share perfect moments with imperfect people.

We must hold the line, love more, extend grace often and realize the potential we all have to lay a rotten egg in the middle of a beautiful sunset.

No one is perfect. Certainly not me. Love is a choice.

I choose to focus on the sunset, not the darkness.

Life is too short. I can reflect on the sunsets that I missed or chase those that are left to be captured.

Worst of all would be to give up on looking for the best in the world and in others.

There are people in this photo. They kept it from being perfect. It would have been nice to have had the sunset all to myself. But life is to be shared and that means things don’t always go exactly the way I want them to go.

I can focus on the people who nudged into the frame of my perfect shot or I can focus on the grandeur that is set before me.

The following passage caught my attention this morning.

I am so grateful to have shared moments like these with those I love.

These are the memories I live for!

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars you set in place, what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority, the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! – Psalm 8:3-9 NLT

13 Oct

Set free!

What is holding you back?

Worry?

Doubt?

Fear?

The past?

Your job?

A bad relationship?

Maybe it is time to recognize you have actually been set free and are being held captive by invisible ropes.

Often times when slaves were set free they were uncertain what to do with their new found freedom.

Many returned to their slave masters for comfort and security. Freedom was simply more than they could imagine or comprehend. Bondage had become a way of life.

Psalms 129:4 tells us that the Lord has cut the ropes on the evil that is holding us back from the freedom he has granted us.

You are free!

The ropes that have held you back have fallen at your sides!

Set your feet to flight! Run like the wind! Discover the world in a whole new way. Explore the joys of freedom.

Don’t hold back! You have been set free!

01 Oct

Lonely Laughter

The words are heavy.

You can feel the weight in them as the future King is asked by the spiritual leader, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you.”

What a penetrating question.

Look around you. Are you surrounded by people but utterly alone?

You were not designed to go it alone. From the beginning it was clear, “It is not good for man to be alone.”

Isolation leads to idleness and idleness leads to idolatry. It is an old fashioned word but basically idolatry is substituting what is real for what is fake. There is no need to accept substitutes. You were built for community.

Even the most introverted introvert longs for human interaction.

People aren’t perfect. They are messy, rude, stupid and down right mean at times, but we need each other.

Perhaps it is time we find each other. Live and let live but live together, walk together, laugh together, cry together and change the world together.

Want a friend? Start by learning to be a friend. Somebody, just like you is waiting out there looking for someone just like you to hang out with and do life with.

Don’t make it harder than it is. Share a coffee, break some bread, go for a walk, take a hike, hit the open road but whatever it is, a shared experience is always better because nobody is meant to laugh alone.

Why is no one with you? Maybe it is because you aren’t with them. Pick up the phone, make the call, send the text and make the first move into friendship.

Let’s put an end to lonely laughter.

(Inspired by 1 Samuel 21:1)