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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Got a life plan?

"Life's Road"...near Birkenfeld, OR
I had an early plan for my life, but I'm here to tell you that it looked a lot different from the one I'm living. For example, if I was doing My plan...   

  • My boys would have had a great deal more familiarity with the Pacific Northwest...and a relationship with their Grandparents--my parents!
  • My dad and mom, sisters and brother--and my life's earliest friendships--wouldn't have been truncated by a 35-year hiatus to the Front Range of Colorado.
  • I'd be a seasoned builder of custom homes with a reputation for creative, innovative inside-outside living designs.
  • Yada, yada, yada, ...and you get the idea.
As a general rule, life just doesn't work our way. Either life gets in our way all by itself --and God permits it--or GOD himself gets in our way to change-up our plans (eg., Jonah 1: 1&2; Acts 9:3&4; Proverbs 16:9).

Today we're marking the 12th year since those horrific events of 9/11/2001. we're all remembering, as confusing as it may be sometimes, that God permitted some of the worst to happen in and around NYC. Lives were lost and other lives were dramatically changed--and let's not to forget the influence those events have had on all Americans as a whole!

Perhaps you're wrestling with something today--maybe even something other than 9/11? It may be that whatever it is, it seems to make no sense? Hmmm. Might you be wrestling with God or against something else he has permitted to impact your life?  

Of course I can't know, but I know there is that for which we can be completely confident, and it's this: HE promises--and has already demonstrated conclusively that our existence, our life, yours and mine in time and space today, right now--is not all there is. He promises his followers he will make-up for the sacrifices, the disappointments and the hurts we experience here, if we will just trust in HIS rewarding plan and faithfulness for our forever future (1Peter 1:3-8).  

So, together, let's swallow hard. Let's challenge ourselves to assume an attitude that says, "Yes, I will trust Him...and with his help I will persevere!" Then, let's watch what God can and will do through our dedicated lives.

"For God is at work in you, both to will and to do for his good pleasure."...and..."I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him--for his safe keeping--until that day." Philippians 2:13 and II Timothy 1:12.

Bless you.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Entangled in a web....of my own making?

I walked into our chicken house and found a poor scared little mouse. At first I thought she was just hanging out in some string dangling in a corner of the feed area. But she didn't run away--and then I realized she couldn't!

A closer look discovered she was painfully hung-up in the string. Yes, in her nest-building effort she had become entangled in the very strings she was trying to drag away to her nest. She was horribly stuck! Check out this video of the situation.

What happened next? As you observed, my best attempts to help her wiggle from her confines didn't work. She was terrified, so I couldn't touch her for fear of being bitten. At the end of the video I had to put my phone down to retrieve some scissors. I'd carefully cut her free....and that worked, but even then it wasn't easy. Probably hours of wriggling had tightened the the strings across and around her little belly and back legs. She was wearing a tiny string girdle. Gradually my persistence to free her and her not so unconfused patience with my help prevailed. She was finally able to slip down, scamper across the floor, and then race out the door into the yard. 

It occurred to me how this little Mousie Incident might offer a valuable instructive lesson. How easily we can become imperiled by the very things we think are in our best interests. (Proverbs 16: 9) What we may initially anticipate as a blessing can sometimes become...a curse. But how does and how can one discern the difference--before it's too late? I think the key is time and wise (informed) perseverance. When or as we become (let's say) "vexed" by our effort to persevere, and fearful of missing out on our dream--one that's intended to be in your very best interests--it's important to be asking some prayerful questions in the counsel of and with the input of some close, caring friends. 

As you know, I'm in the midst of a challenging support-raising effort. God willing its successful outcome will place me in a ministry role on the CSM campus. BUT I have a time-limited window of opportunity to make that happen. That fact alone could emotionally impale me. So far the effort isn't going well, which could make me really fussy. But I'm not going to let it beat me; I will not allow myself to be vexed by the to-this-point-poor-outcome of my best efforts, nor will I allow myself to assume OR DEMAND that the support-raising success HAS TO HAPPEN! (Proverbs 3: 5 & 6) I will trust in the God of the challenge, not in the nature, promises, or outcome of the challenge.

I sincerely appreciate your ongoing prayers on my behalf...and please stay away from "mousie hang-ups!"