Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just a Glimpse....
I heard a phrase a few years ago that has really stuck with me.  It says that "we need to have eternal eyes", basically it means that we should live our lives with a view of heaven in mind.  The trouble is that we tend to get "earthbound" in our thinking.  So much all around us can be distracting, even some things that are really good things.  God has given us so much in this life for our enjoyment, but it must be kept in balance with the reality that as a Christian, this world is not our home.  It would be so much easier to keep our focus if we could get....

Just a Glimpse

Just a glimpse of Glory Lord
I’m longing now to see
More and more I find myself
Homesick to be free
From the bondage of this world
And the struggles all around
For I am not at home here
My soul yearns for higher ground
I’m a citizen of a Heaven
And I surely realize
That this life is just a journey
Always looking for the prize
But so many things seduce us here
Lord help me to release
All the things that hold me here
That I may know real peace
Because at times I feel too much at home
In this place that’s not my home
When I’m really just a pilgrim here
And my journey is not done
So just a glimpse of Glory Lord
Will help me on my way
May my affections be on things above
Until that glorious day
When the curtain will be lifted
And not a glimpse but fully shown
We’ll be at home in Glory then
And know as we are known

Col 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

I have often said, and I firmly believe, that if we could ever once get a clear view of the eternal, it would totally transform our thoughts and our actions.  I wonder why God doesn’t give us that ability.  But then where would be the faith in that?  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

With Veterans Day just past, this poem came to mind.  Freedom is probably one of my favorite words in the English language because it carries such depth of meaning.  My heart felt gratitude is stirred every time I see one of our countries finest in uniform.  I always try to make it a point to let them know that I appreciate their service.  But real freedom goes so much deeper than that.  Real freedom is something that only Christ can make available to us.  Unfortunately there are so many Christians that never learn to experience this freedom to its fullest, because of the choices they make.  I can't imagine anything more precious or valuable.  More than my gratitude for our service men and women, I am so grateful for my freedom from the penalty of sin.  I am grateful that I can have the freedom from the power of sin, as I yield daily to the Holy Spirit.  And I am most grateful that one day I will have freedom from the very presence of sin!  I can't think of anything we are more in need of than real, true, lasting....

If I be lifted up
I will draw all men to me
Jesus speaking of his death
The truth that sets us free
Real freedom is in Christ
Free to love and to serve
Free to be different
If you’ve got the nerve
Free to escape
The bondage of sin
Free to have victory
Over the old man within
Free to avoid
The scars and the shame
Freedom to call
On the power in His name
“Give me freedom or give me death”
One man once bravely said
We make the choice between the two
By the path we choose to tread

John 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
I Cor. 6:12  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

When I was young, I wanted “freedom” more than I wanted just about any other thing.  Freedom to “do my own thing”, to make my own rules.  I thought, as I’m sure many do (especially in the teenage years), that having that sort of freedom was the key to happiness.  But the older I get and the more I grow in grace, the more I understand that real freedom, that produces genuine happiness and joy, is in yielding “my own thing” in order to do “His thing”.  There is a freedom in the will of God that cannot be understood or experienced any other way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Battle ...
The book of Proverbs is probably my favorite in the OT because of it's variety of practical advise, and because it is so rich with nuggets of wisdom.  One of the passages that stands out to me most, and that I often reflect on is in the 23rd chapter and verse 7 where it says that... "as a man thinks in his heart, so is he"..... Interesting that it doesn't say "as he thinks in his mind".  Although every thought begins in the mind, it is the thoughts that we allow to sink into our hearts that determine the type of person that we become.  The good news is that we get to choose those thoughts.  Parents will often tell their children, "you can be anything you set your mind to"!  And that is so true, but that isn't just for children.  If you don't like where you are in life, change your mind...you will be amazed at what can happen when the right thoughts (infused with the truth of the Word) work their way into your heart!  The devil knows this is true and tries to use it against us.  That is why God has given us all of the equipment we need to face...

The Battle
There is a battle raging
A war for all of time
So fierce the attack of the enemy
It’s the battle for the mind
Deception and delusion
Are the weapons of his choice
And a dulling of our hearing
So that we don’t hear the voice
Of the One who is Commander
The Captain of the Host
The only One who knows what’s best
The One who loves us most
The opposition questions
Has God really said
Or is that really the interpretation
When in the Book we’ve read
He lays the traps to snare us
To destroy us if he can
And he makes no real distinction
Whether woman child or man
But the thing that still amazes
Is our foolishness and pride
For we often go into battle
With our armour laid aside
And wonder why we falter
When temptation comes along
Though we’ve been given everything we need
To stand firm resolved and strong
So take note my friend and understand
This battle won’t be done
Until one day we stand in Heaven
And the final victory is won

Eph. 6:11-17   Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Here in these 6 verses the Apostle Paul gives us a way to connect the principle of Proverbs 23:7 to the practical of everyday living.  This is an amazing passage to me, not just because of the truth it conveys, but the fact that we as believers so often do not take full advantage of it.  Our Captain has provided for us every protection and weapon that we need to be victorious overcomers in the spiritual warfare that we face every day.  Yet, all too often I find myself going into my day without one or all of these firmly applied.  What about you?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cowboy Kind of Man...
This poem still makes me smile every time I re-visit it.  It is one that is a little more fun than it is deep, but there is some real meaning if you look and listen closely.  All of us had dreams of what and who we wanted to be when we were kids.  Unfortunately, too often we forget how to dream as we get older.  Maybe our childhood dreams were totally unrealistic, but that energy and imagination is the stuff that can push us to doing great things for the Lord and for those we love.  For me, I just wanted to be a .....

Cowboy Kind of Man 
I dreamed of bein' a cowboy 
When I was just a child
But I grew up where the concrete grows
And not the west when it was wild
John Wayne and Gary Cooper
And Jimmy Stewert these
Were the kinds of men I hoped someday
that I'd grow up to be
men of courage and of honor
and a style that was all there own
Men not afraid to stand for right
even when they stood alone
But I'm all grown now and I wear wingtips
Instead of cowboy boots
And I carry around a ball point pen
Instead of a gun that shoots
But I think cowboy is an attitude
A way of lookin' at things
A certain way of dealin' with
Whatever this life brings
So maybe I don't ride a horse
Or rope or throw or brand
But it's deep inside not the work you do
That makes a cowboy kind of  a man

 I Cor. 13:11  "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

It’s one thing to “put away childish things”, it is quite another to let your dreams of childhood die entirely.  I believe we need those childhood dreams to keep us young at heart and keep us striving to be the very best we can be.  Do you dream of doing great things? Do you dream of making a difference? Be a person that honors God.... and never stop dreaming!