In Living Color

Picture of Attic Window Peak in Fall Colors (Courtesy Grandfather Mountain)

Picture of Attic Window Peak in Fall Colors (Courtesy Grandfather Mountain)

“In Living Color” many may remember was an old TV comedy show that was popular in the 1990’s.  Those three words are also used as part of an old cliché when people want to describe someone being present in a situation, “He was right there in living color.”  Something that it also makes me think of is the beauty of the fall season, the colors that are alive during the changing of the leaves.

I think that the beauty of the fall season really brings to light the life that God has in each of us.  The dying of self to the new creation that is a new Christian is one of the most beautiful things that we can see in the life of a child of God.  The fall colors are the symbol of winter coming, the death of the old, so that the new can come with spring.  The life of a person who is dying to the old person can be one of the most beautiful things a Christian will see; the person who is dying to self exemplifies similar characteristics to the trees in fall.  They show the colors of someone who is about to be new when ‘spring’ comes.

As Christians these are the seasons we live for…the seasons of color; because we know that the spring is coming.  We know that someone who is undergoing change is becoming a new creation; the old is passing away to make room for the newness of Christ in their lives.  We should rejoice with the new colors that are displayed in the fall of someone’s life, because we know that the true beauty of God will come shining through.  A few weeks ago I talked about how things were all in how we looked at them, and this is no exception.

The fall colors simply mean that the spring is coming…the beauty of God will work through the lives of those who love him.  Encourage those who are starting to show their fall colors, because they are coming near to showing the newness God offers in the lives of His Children.

Clearing the Path

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” –Proverbs 3:5-6

Few verses in scripture can give us as much insight as these two verses as to what God wants for us in our lives.  We struggle many times to find direction, but I want to break these verses down in a way that will hopefully help us understand that God doesn’t ask us to find the direction…he just asks us to Trust Him.

1 – Trust in the Lord – Yes, it sounds simple, and in fact it is something that we say over and over in our lives as Christians, but do we truly trust him in the way that we need? Are we fully convinced that he will do what we ask him to do?

2 – All Your Heart – When we do trust, do we trust with all our hearts? Are you half-heartedly turning things over to God, or are you allowing yourself to fully give in with all you have?

3 – Lean not on your own Understanding – This is a major thing that I feel we all deal with in some way or another.  We feel the need to explain everything…whether it is the plan God has for us, or how we came to be, we tend to find a need to want everything to be cut and dry.  Science shows us the best example of this in that we have the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory to explain something that we are told in Genesis 1 exactly how it happened. We need to explain it in our terms for us to feel good about it, but sometimes that is the beauty of what God is trying to do is the unknown blessing that we will receive.

4 – In All your ways, Acknowledge Him – In everything you do…do it as unto Christ.  Everything we do, every word we say, every action we undertake should glorify the one who gave us the moment to do it.  If we are reflecting Christ there will be no question where our allegiance lies.

And when we put all of this together we are given a promise that “He will direct your paths.” What better to do than to allow ourselves to Trust God, fully, with all we have? Even if we do not understand the circumstances that surround it, we can trust in his promise. This is fully realized when we begin to acknowledge his hand in our daily actions, our daily speech, in all that we do…and if we can fully trust Him and give him the glory in all we face, even if we do not understand, he will clear the way.  He will make our paths straight…he will remove the roadblocks…he will provide us direction.

Today, I challenge you, let go of the things that are holding you back from giving in to what God is trying to lead you to.  Allow him to clear your path…even if it means that you have to step out of your comfort zone…the blessing far outweighs anything else.

Who or What are you Voting for?

I have heard this question many times over the past couple of weeks, whether in the form of a question, or in the actual answers that some are giving, and it has broken my heart to see some of the things that are being said…Please continue reading before you write me off on this article.

First things first, I encourage everyone to vote. You do have a voice…do not let it be stifled because you feel that your vote will not count. One penny doesn’t equal a lot of money, but when a number of pennies are put together it can grow into a great amount of money…Second, I can think of no better way to state it than I already have in a Facebook post from earlier in the week:

“We are acting no better than the two candidates digging up and bickering about the past that had already happened and worrying about a future that has yet to happen. We have this moment that we can do something about….THIS MOMENT ALONE…and after this moment is gone we have another. At this point I am praying and even more undecided about who I should vote for based on all the talk and am earnestly praying about who to vote for…and I would urge each of you to put down your phones and push away your keyboards and do the same.

Vote with your conscience! Not with the media…not with your friends…vote for yourself and stop all the arguing. We are the UNITED STATES of America, yet right now we seem like the UNTIED States. Show our unity and not our division. We have allowed the media and politics to completely divide and dictate how we feel and how we act. They tell us that there is a problem, but the problem is the lies that are being passed off as truths. Please pray that we will wake up and see what is happening and pray for guidance in this election season. Stop buying into the lies that you have to vote for this or for that…and don’t buy the farce that a vote for a third party is a vote against a major candidate.

Do we even realize that people have lost homes and lives because of flooding? Or is all we care about these two egotistical candidates who are acting like preschool children and playing a game of “I know you are but what am I?”

God, have mercy on us! Pray for unity and pray for revival!!”

You DO have a voice! Let it be heard in November….let HIM be heard in November!

 

Don’t We All?

As I studied this week I came across a verse that has stuck with me and almost haunted my mind over the past few days…that verse is Hebrews 13:1-2.

“Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.” Heb. 13:1-2, HCSB

This left me speechless when thinking of the simple encounters we have each day…and then, as I was focused on what this verse means, came across this short story and felt the need to share it with you today:

“I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work. Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times.”

“I hope he doesn’t ask me for any money,” I thought.

He didn’t.

He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus. After a few minutes he spoke. “That’s a very pretty car,” he said.

He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly blond beard keep more than his face warm.

I said, “Thanks,” and continued wiping off my car.

He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened something inside said, “ask him if he needs any help.” I was sure that he would say “yes” but I held true to the inner voice.

“Do you need any help?” I asked.

He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the three words that shook me.

“Don’t we all?” he said.

I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun.

Don’t we all?

I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that.

You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see.

Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves.

Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum, then said, “Go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help.”

Don’t we all?”

So today I leave you with this…don’t we all need help in some way? Be careful to let brotherly love continue, because when you are entertaining strangers…you might just be entertaining an angel unaware.