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Archive for July, 2011

I had a good friend and walking partner who used to put rocks in a backpack because I walked so much slower than her and she wanted a better workout. Unfortunately, most of us walk around with our backpack of life burdened with rocks that slow us down on our journey.

Our disappointments, expectations, failures, and even our quest for some elusive success can drive us to a place of being overwhelmed and overworked. Eventually we can end up completely done and exhausted.  For some it’s a matter of thinking they have to do it all and be it all to everyone or fix everything.  For others, it’s a feeling of emotionally empty and dry because they have not taken time to fill up or because they don’t understand that others will never live up to their expectations.

Every time we fail to look at and let go of the past (which is anything behind this moment), we add a rock to our backpack.   A rock of bitterness or unforgiveness, a rock of selfishness, a rock of compulsive behavior, a rock of constant activity to avoid pain, etc.

God never intended for us to be bent over with the burdens of life.  He has given us an open invitation to let go and move in freedom.  Matthew 11:28, 29:  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. ( I will ease and relieve and refresh your soul). Take My yoke on you and learn of Me. I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief, refreshment, recreation, and blessed quest for your souls.”  The scripture goes on to say that His way is wholesome, useful and good, comfortable and pleasant.

Once again, doesn’t mean that life is always easy.   Only that as we come to Him and learn His ways, we will not be overcome by the circumstances.  He moves us from anxiousness, confusion, and exhaustion to sweet, refreshing, quiet rest.

All we have to do is come!

 

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Wasn’t much of a rock and roller back in the late 60’s but who wouldn’t recognize the Stones hit, I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.

Dads and moms, women and men alike, want to be satisfied.  We all want a full, abundant life.  Yet even though America is full of opportunity, freedom,  and blessing, we often find ourselves longing for more than we currently have.

When we find ourselves in a place where we are unsatisfied with any part of our life, perhaps we should take Proverbs 11:25 to heart.  “The liberal person shall be enriched, and he who waters shall himself be watered.”

With every promise comes a responsibility.  This one is clear.  You won’t have the promise of an enriched,  abundant, thirst quenching life if you aren’t living a life of liberality.

All to often we live asking or expecting things from others. What would happen if we stopped that pattern and began to ask ourselves what we can give in any situation?

What if in our marriages we stopped expecting our spouse to meet our need, and asked ourselves what we could do to bless them?  What could happen if instead of being tight-fisted with our finances, we looked for places or people we could bless?  What would life look like if we lived looking for a way to meet others hunger and thirst for a better life instead of worrying about our own?

An open heart results in an open hand.  An open hand has given away what it holds dear and has room to receive more of what God offers.

What can you do to today to open up your heart?  What is in your hand that you can offer to someone else with a generous attitude?

Live Liberally!

 

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I love that my daddy taught me to appreciate America. This was one of his favorite songs and to this day when I hear it I get tears in my eyes.

We have a lot of flaws for sure but the gift of freedom is one we shouldn’t ignore. The beauty of this country is in our freedom to choose.  We get to choose and have freedom to speak, worship or not worship, how to vote, and so on.

On one hand, I’m excited to see a younger generation who cares about our country.   On the other, I’m wondering why so many don’t know our history or even follow modern day events.

This weekend is a great time to talk to your kids about the beauty and blessing of freedom.  It’s a teaching moment about the responsibility that comes with that freedom.

God is the author of freedom.   He has given us liberty.  Galatians 5:13 tells us that we have “been called unto liberty.”

Freedom and liberty is God’s design but there is a warning that goes along with it.  (My paraphrase) Don’t use your freedom as an incentive to indulge yourself or do the wrong things. Use it to show love and serve one another.

It’s in the loving and serving of one another that freedom survives.  We have the right to choose and what we do with that choice effects everyone that comes after.  Our personal choices play a part in everything that comes after that decision.  They are important.

That is the message to reflect on and teach our kids.  If we understand the gift of freedom and the responsibility of freedom we will continue to have freedom in our land.  We will also grow in our relationship with God.

Let FREEDOM Ring!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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