Sticking my Neck Out…..

I’ve got to let go and launch out if I’m going to be a person of faith.

Have you heard the old saying, “Turtles only make progress when they stick their necks out?” Well, it’s true about me, too. 

    Have you ever watched a circus trapeze artist? The Trapeze artist is a hundred feet high in the air, they swing out on one bar, and the other one’s coming out the other way for them to grab. But those things are spaced apart so that they have to let go of this one before they can grab onto that one, and kind of leap for it. And when they leap for it, there is a point in the trapeze act, that that person is suspended a hundred feet above the ground, holding on to thin air, for a split second. For the moment that they let go of this one, and before they actually are able to grab the other one, they’re sailing there, a hundred feet above the ground, holding onto nothing. 

    That scares me just to think about it.  But, it’s a good mental image of what it means to live by faith. God wants to work in my life, but I have to let go of the past before Ican grab hold of the future. I’ve got to let go of security in order to grab opportunity. 

    This is very important, because the most difficult part of taking the risk is the letting go of the old. I want to hold on to the old job, until the new job is secure. I want to make sure that everything’s set up in my new home, before I move out of the old home.

What am I talking about?  I’m talking about throwing away the crutches – throwing away the crutches that I’ve been using. I’ve got to let go and launch out – and that’s difficult.

In most decisions, there is a point of no return, where I have to face my fear.

Trusting God is paramount!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Quit Praying

    Don’t pray about it. Don’t think about it. Don’t talk about it. Take action! Move against the fear – Do the thing you fear the most. 

    You notice when the Israelites were at the Red Sea , God didn’t take them around the Red Sea , He didn’t build a bridge over the Red Sea , He took them through it. And they could have stood on the sidelines for the rest of their lives, saying, “We believe God’s going to save us.” But it wasn’t until they stepped into the water that it started happening. 

  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march! – Exodus 14:15 LB

    Now let’s just get real personal. What is my personal Red Sea ? What is it that scares me to death, that frightens me? What is it that’s got me worried? It seems an impossible barrier? It looks unpredictable? It  seems overwhelming? That’s my Red Sea . 

    What is God saying to me today? He’s saying, “Quit running and face the issue. Face it in faith. Move against your fear. Do the thing you fear the most.” 

    God told Moses, “Quit praying and get the people moving!”  What is it I need to stop praying about and start doing? I say, “I’ll get around to it one of these days.” But I  know, that “one of these days” is none of these days. 

    I say, “One of these days, I’m really going to get serious for God. And really put Him number one in every area of my life.” When am I going to do it?  I have to move against the fear that says, “You’ll be a fanatic.  It won’t work. You’ll regret it.”   One of these days I’m going to develop my talents that God’s given me and I’m going to go after the dream I know He’s put in my heart.”  Why not now?  Move against your fear. 

Quit praying – Start acting.

I am going for it. I’ll never want to turn back again.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

It is not a lack of faith ….

    I need to figure out why I’m doing what I’m doing and what the risk is involved in it.

I need to find out what the costs are – What it’s going to cost in time – What it’s going to cost in money – What it’s going to cost in reputation and emotional energy.

    Once Jesus was talking to a crowd and He was telling them that if they were going to become one of  His followers they needed to count the cost before they took that step of faith.

        He says, if  I’m going to build a building, I better go out and plan a budget first – and evaluate the cost. If I’m going to go to war, I’d better figure out what the strength of my army is compared to the strength of the enemy’s. If I’m going to step out on faith and believe in Jesus Christ for my deliverance from bondage, I need to evaluate, count the cost, analyze the risk. It is not a lack of faith to evaluate; it is an encouragement to faith.

     Every decision has a price tag and I’d better know what the price is before I take the risk.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

TRUE LOVE Is………

Sam Levenson wrote, “It is natural to love them that love us, but it is supernatural to love them that hate us. Love at first sight is easy to understand. It’s when two people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes a miracle.”

True love is supernatural, because God is the One who gives true love to us.

And we in turn can give true love to others, including our spouse.

Someone has said, “A song is not a song until you sing it. A bell is not a bell until you ring it. And love is not love, until you give it away.”

I can only give what I have received. And if I want to give true love, I must first receive it from God through Jesus Christ.

Oh God, fill my heart with love today.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR GOD’S MERCY

 AND HIS DIVINE GRACE!

God’s call to every believer is to leave our anger, jealousy, seething bitterness, and hurts, and move into His promises. Whatever the situation, each one of us has a personal responsibility to answer God’s call and to move forward.

It is always tempting to blame others for our choices! We can blame our spouse, our friends, our parents, our children, our jobs, and our circumstances, but blaming can not be a substitute for obedience, performance or achievements.

In Discipleship Journal, Don McCullough wrote:  John Killinger tells about the manager of a minor league baseball team who was so disgusted with his center fielder’s performance that he ordered him to the dugout and assumed the position himself. The first ball that came into center field took a bad hop and hit the manager in the mouth. The next one was a high fly ball, which he lost in the glare of the sun—until it bounced off his forehead. The third was a hard line drive that he charged with outstretched arms; unfortunately, it flew between his hands and smacked his eye. Furious, he ran back to the dugout, grabbed the center fielder by the uniform, and shouted. ‘You idiot! You’ve got center field so messed up that even I can’t do a thing with it!

 We must die to the past before we can look to the future.

All of us have to die to something. It may be our hurts, our fears, our anger, our regrets, or whatever is stopping us from moving forward in obedience. But, Oh what a joy it is to watch those who have chosen to die to the past and live in the power of God’s present blessing and future hope.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Oral Surgeon…..Yuk!

Several months ago I wrote a blog about my visit to the oral surgeon. It was entitled, “I Think I Was Lied to Today”.

Today was different! This time two teeth had to be surgically removed. First there was Nitros Oxide (laughing gas), then some topical numbing. So far so good. Then the dreaded needle with the novocaine. Just a little conversation and then the pliers.

One of them was real stubborn so out came the drill. I hate the sound of the drill! Then the pliers and just that quick they were out.

One stitch and $550.00 (now that’s painful) and out the door.

This time was very different from the last visit but I guess that’s because this time Sandy was the patient and I watched.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

I Love You!

The teacher in an adult-education creative-writing class told the students to write “I love you” in 25 words or less, without using the words “I love you.” She gave her students 15 minutes.

A woman in the class spent about ten minutes looking at the ceiling and wriggling in her seat. The last five minutes she wrote frantically and later read  the results:

“Why, I’ve seen lots worse hairdos than that, honey.”

“These cookies are hardly burned at all.”

“Cuddle up-I’ll get your feet warm.”

I am becoming a serious student of saying “I Love You!”

In the Bonds of Calvary,

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