Steer Clear of Things That Trip You Up

The number one lesson I learned while being on a cane recently, is to steer clear of things that trip you up. Things like uneven pavement and uneven grass. Simple, right? Because of this, I know better than to go out to retrieve our newspaper in the morning. It would not be a wise decision. Therefore, that is one more job added to Pilot’s to-do list. (While he was away for the weekend, our sweet neighbor graciously delivered the paper, and mail, to our front door for me.)

Thinking about this led me to consider the things in our lives we should steer clear of which trip us up spiritually. We each have spiritual weaknesses whether we choose to admit them or not. Like my weakness of the inability to walk on the lawn right now, there are places, situations, and activities we need to avoid. I could ignore my instability and chance a fall to get what I want, the newspaper, but that would not be wise.

Just as I admitted my weakness and reached out for help, we need to be honest with God and ourselves about the areas where we struggle. Those areas we need to steer clear of. We aren’t telling God anything he doesn’t already know. If we feel we have no areas of weakness, perhaps we need to ask the Holy Spirit to point out those areas of temptation we deny exist.

Our temptation may be an attitude issue we consider not that big a deal. But is. Anger, pride, arrogance, criticism, idolatry, jealousy, gossip…the list is long. Each one separates us from growing in the Fruit of the Spirit.

Thankfully, my leg is to the point I can walk short distances around the house without my cane. Yay, God. Because my leg is not one hundred percent, though, I still need to be mindful to steer clear of things that could potentially trip me up. Things which might lead to another fall. Things like venturing out on uneven grass.

I’m thinking none of us will be one hundred percent in our spiritual strength until we stand before Jesus in heaven. We can pretend we’re strong enough to dance with those temptations we know tug at our weak areas, or we can admit them, steer clear, and ask God to strengthen us to overcome them.

It really is up to us.

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So take a fresh grip on life and brace your trembling limbs. Don’t wander away from the path but forge steadily onward. On the right path the limping foot recovers strength and does not collapse. Hebrews 12:12-13 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Guest Post – I Am The Rich Young Ruler

Today’s guest post, I Am the Rich Young Ruler, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am The Rich Young Ruler

For those of you who know me, every part of the “rich young ruler” title is a lie! First, I am not rich. I will however, gladly give you some of my debt. Second, I am not young. I proudly proclaim to everyone that I am a grandfather 4 times over so no matter how young I appear, I am not young. Third, I am not a ruler. The closest I have gotten to a ruler is the straight edge we used in school. The one thing I can brag about is my ruler. In Canada a ruler is 30 units long unlike the American ruler which is only 12 units. Still, after all this I must admit that I am The Rich Young Ruler.

I have no problems asking Jesus what I must do.

I ask for direction and guidance. I ask if I am on the right track. I ask how I can better represent Him. I ask how to be a better husband, father, grandfather, son, pastor… I ask for inspiration in my writing. I ask for protection. I ask and I ask and I ask, what must I do to be/have all these things?

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Matthew 19:16 (NIV)

I have given up many things as a follower of Christ.             

I am sure there are many more things I will need to give up over the years I have left to live (remember I am not young anymore). I lack perfection but I do not lack the desire to obey the commandments of God. I would even go as far as to say I am totally committed to the requirements that Jesus gave in response to the man’s question.

“‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 19:18-19 (NIV)

I’m a pretty good guy.

I would say that even though I have wanted to kill a few people, I have had teenage boy thoughts about women (see Matthew 5:28), I have taken a few things that weren’t mine, I have lied, on occasion I have been a little less than honouring to my parents and while I have to admit I don’t always love my neighbour, hence the wanting to kill a few people, I’m still a pretty good guy.

I am not sure that I would go as far as The Rich Young Ruler and say “All these I have kept,”… “What do I still lack?” Matthew 19:20 (NIV), but I would be tempted to say I am living a pretty good life and ask Jesus “what do I still lack?” I hope Jesus wouldn’t answer with, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21 (NIV)

I have somethings in my life I want to keep.

I am not rich, young or a ruler. I don’t have much money, energy or power. So if Jesus told me to go sell everything I have it wouldn’t be that big a deal. I would have trouble parting with a few of the things that have personal meaning and bring back memories but I don’t see them as stumbling blocks in my relationship with Him. My desire to keep them is not a desire to hold them in higher regard than my saviour. I don’t see them as being in the way of my eternal life.

I have somethings I need to give up.

I may not have much money, energy or power, but I do have things that get in the way of me totally surrendering to God. Like The Rich Young Ruler there are things that I can do that are pleasing to God, things that align with His commands. Like The Rich Young Ruler there are things that take importance over God, things that I rely on instead of Him. These are the things I must give up. These are the things that give me security and a sense of power and position when who I am, what I do and in what I trust should all be defined by God.

I am The Rich Young Ruler, I find comfort in what I can do and what I have. Please don’t ask me to give it all up and trust God.

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Matthew 19:22 (NIV)

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Art of Friendship-Book Review

In her book, The Art of Friendship: Creating and Keeping Relationships that Matter, Kim Wier uses 1 Corinthians 13 to show how the love chapter relates to our friendships as much as it does to our marriages. Among many things I appreciated in this book is Kim pointing out what we want in friendships is what we need to be willing to give. Simple, but not always practiced.

After Kim mentions traits we need to develop for genuine lasting friendships, she spends time going into depth, asking penetrating questions to make us really stop and consider how we’re doing with our relationships. Some of those questions showed me I haven’t spent enough time evaluating certain areas of my friendships to make them the best they can possibly be.

If you desire to deepen your friendships beyond the superficial, if you desire to be a friend in every aspect of that word, then my recommendation is pick up a copy of The Art of Friendship. Don’t rush through it. Spend time in the book, answer the questions, dig deep into any new thoughts Lisa presents, and see what happens with your relationships.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

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A Long Time to Wait

Forty years. A long time to wait. That’s how long Moses spent in preparation for the great mission God had in store for him.

A long time to wait but in the wait, God wasn’t inactive. During Moses’ time of herding his father-in-law’s sheep in Midian, God prepared him for his future role of leading God’s people through the wilderness to the Promised Land.

At just the right time, when Moses displayed characteristics of a man God could use, God called him.

Moses wasn’t the only person who spent years in preparation before stepping into the mighty work God had for them. Jesus spent thirty years before beginning his earthly ministry. Joseph and David spent decades in preparation before God said their time was right.

Perhaps we’re in a time of God’s preparation and really don’t like or understand it. We wonder what the hold-up is. We wonder why God delays. It’s been a long time to wait, and we wonder if God forgot about us. We thought we heard him correctly when he placed a dream on our heart, but now we aren’t sure.

So we wait.

And in the wait God prepares us. He gives us lessons to learn. Situations to overcome. Attitudes to adjust.

Hopefully, when God says it’s time to head into the role he created us, we’ll look back on the long time of wait and be grateful. Perhaps we’ll look back and realize without the lessons learned during our preparatory wait, we wouldn’t have the skills and abilities needed for the task ahead.

It is difficult walking through a long time of wait. However, at just the right time God will say, “Come now. It’s time to set out.” It won’t be one moment too early. Nor will it be one moment too late.

Any lessons you are learning or have learned during long times of wait?

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After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai…I have seen the cruel suffering of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groans, and I have come down to set them free. Come now; I will send you to Egypt. Acts 7:30, 34 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry-My Prayer For You in 2020

Welcome to Pause for Poetry, featuring a poem, Godly Advice, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

My Prayer For You In 2020

 

My prayer for you this new year

Is that God will pour on you

An anointing of His Spirit

Over all you say and do.

 

May His love flow through your actions.

May His joy show on your face.

May others feel His presence…

It’s called Amazing Grace.

 

May each new day be special

Filled with blessings from above.

May you feast upon His goodness…

Then with others share His love.

 

Frances Gregory Pasch

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at http://www.francesgregorypasch.com.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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