Monday, October 24, 2011

The Road...
This poem was written as my oldest daughter was moving out of our home.  It is a challenge to myself as well as to all three of my children, who are all now young adults.  I can remember being where they are now, in my late teens and early twenties, and thinking that there was plenty of time to become the man I wanted to be.  But what I didn't fully understand at the time, and what I believe many young people fail to grasp, is that every choice that is made is shaping the future.  In a very real sense we get to decide what the future will look like.  It is simply a destination along....

The Road
The road you're on
Is the path you choose
The way you go
Whether win or lose
It’s the road of life
That takes you there
To your destination
And it's only fair
That you should know
Many years from now
There's no mistake
And no surprise how
You got to that place
Because it's on the way
Along the very road
You are on today
So look ahead
Ten years or more
Along the road you’re on
What lies in store
Do you like what you see
Do your dreams live there
Are you happy with life
In that place where
Your road has led
From the choices you make
What about your children
They too are at stake
It's really quite simple
Not much more to say
Your whole future is determined
By the road you choose today

Eph 5:15-16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

How much of our lives do we live on purpose and how much do we live simply in reaction to what is going on around us?  How much time do we spend really thinking through and praying over the choices we make?  I don't mean the really big ones like who will we marry or what state we will live in etc., but I am talking about the day to day choices...those all too often soft little choices...that mold our character and therefore our lives and futures.  It is true that God is a God of second chances, but there are no "do overs".  As Christians, we must be wise with the time we are given and make the most of our opportunities for the Lord!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Strongholds ...
I was reminded of this poem this past week when my pastor preached a message about strongholds.  I think that most Christians today are really clueless as to just how real the spiritual battle is that is going on around us.  Proverbs says that " a man thinketh in his heart so is he".  From this one small statement in scripture we can understand just how powerful our thoughts truly are.  It may not be the "big" sins that are your struggle, but what about in the area of being critical, or envious, or judgemental?  Where are your thoughts taking you?  Are you giving Satan a chance to build ...

                Every thought’s a soldier
            In the battle for the mind
            And we decide the victor
            By the ones we give our time
            The warfare may be spiritual
            But it’s as real as any war
            Though some may ask the question
            Then what’s the battle for
            The battle is for strongholds
            Whether right or wrong
            The more we run into them
            The more we make them strong
            If we yield our thoughts to Satan
            Then our minds he can control
            And the strongholds will be his
            Though he may not have our soul
            But if Jesus is commander
            Of the thoughts that wage the war
            Then the strongholds will be righteous
            And we’ll be conquerors evermore

          II Cor. 10:4-5   For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The concept of spiritual strongholds is important to understand.  It follows the principle of spiritual warfare.  If the devil can work his way into your life in some small area, he will build a stronghold there and begin the process of enlarging the size of that stronghold until he has your entire life in bondage.  In a war it is important to defend your territory.  Never give Satan an inch or he will take much more than a mile.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lost in the Middle...
I know many people that are going through some really tough stuff these days.  Whether it's the economy or some physical struggle or a relationship that is not going well.   It's just part of living in a fallen world.  This poem was written at a time when I felt like I had to look up to see bottom.  Days on end crying out for answers and for God to just make it stop.  But I can honestly tell you that during that time was some of the most intimate times with my God and some of the greatest spiritual growth of my life.  However at the time I just felt....

Lost In the Middle
Lost in the middle
Of the story of my life
Looking back as much as forward
And too often asking why
Searching for the answers
When no answers can be found
A gentle voice says Trust Me
My grace is all around
The times you thought I’d left you
I was closer than you knew
And the pain I have allowed because
I know what’s best for you
The trials and the struggles
They are only for your good
With each test you have responded
Just as I knew you would
It’s never more than you can handle
And there is a grand design
To make you more like Me my child
Because I love you and you’re mine
You see I’m smoothing out rough edges
For My glory I’m molding you
With a bigger picture in My mind
Someday you’ll see it too
But for now there’s peace in knowing
I’ll always give you what you need
And my grace is all sufficient
Have no fear and rest in Me

1Co 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
2Co 12:9
 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

It has been said that “the trials of life will either make you bitter or make you better”.  The difference is where you put your focus during those times.  God doesn’t test us so that He can see what we are made of, but rather so that we can see what we are made of. 
“You know what you get when you squeeze an orange?.....
you get what’s on the inside!"  It’s just the same with people, when we get squeezed, what comes out is what was on the inside already”

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