Thursday, September 13, 2007

Costco Parking

Last night Autumn and I went to Costco to "window shop" while our kids were at church. As we approached the typical crowded parking lot, we followed another car in. It was kinda interesting watching the car in front of us. It "felt" like they were eagerly looking for a parking space because they knew I was right behind them. It seemed as if they thought that if they passed up a good spot, it would be lost forever, because I would take it, or wouldn't back up for them so they could take it.

As a result, they picked up a spot that was pretty good, but I can't help but wonder if they didn't take the time to assess the whole parking lot situation. Once I passed the car by, I pulled right in to the second spot, directly in front of the front doors.

Now, I probably wouldn't have thought much of it a year ago....ohh, who am I kidding. I wouldn't of thought much of it a few weeks ago. Let me know if this is as true for you as it is for me, but lately as I have taken a more aggressive and consistent role in seeking Christ, I find him in the most simplest of life's parking the car at Costco.

Yet, this experience got me thinking. It is amazing how quickly we find a "parking spot" among ministries or church activities for the purpose of getting it before the "guy" behind us does. Often times I find that I if I had only taken that little extra time to find God in my actions, I would have seen that He had a perfect spot for me right up front. Instead, he gave it to the person behind me.

The ironic thing about last night, is that I was in no rush, and I was not "looking" for a spot, I simply turned the corner and there it was. I think God works in much the same way. If we just place our focus on Christ and seek him, we will turn the corner and he will have that perfect spot waiting for us, especially when we aren't looking for it.

Let me encourage you, forget about rushing around to find that right spot. Just seek God, and before you know it, he will open up the perfect spot...probably when you least expect it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blog Reader Vs. Blog Writer

I have always wanted to be a great blog writer. Someone who can write paragraphs of deep thought and questions that make others go...."hmm, I hadn't thought of that!" Yet, as I begin to read blogs from various people, many of whom I first heard of through my Pastor's blog, I have come to a revelation... I am a blog reader not a blog writer.

I receive such joy in reading others blogs. Some of the blogs are personal events or about things going on in the author's life; yet, others are from prominant Pastors or ministry leaders who are sharing about great things going on in their ministries or things that God has placed on their hearts....much like a sermon on the computer.

When I first realized that I am a reader vs. a writer I have to admit, I was a bit sad...after all, God was not going to use me as the great blogger of all times. Then I started thinking about something I read in a book by Mark Batterson called "In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day". In the book, Mark talks about how God wants to use the adversity in our lives and turn it into a ministry. He further quotes 2 cor 1:4...

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they
are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

Please don't read into this, I am not trying to change the intent of scripture. However, it did make me think. What I determined was this: God made me a reader, not a writer. God is giving me the hunger to read the blogs that I read. It is God who will then use what I have consumed, and feed it to others through me. I am okay with that!

So let me ask you...Are you a reader or a writer? Which ever you are be proud. God will use you to feed others, one way or another!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Fear like a child...playing it safe!

Recently, my Pastor at New Life CC spoke on fear. Further, he spoke on fearlessness through Christ. Are we allowing the enemy to place fear in our life to "take us out of the game". It reminded me of something that happened a few weeks ago...

We were on vacation at Shaver Lake. My family and I were fishing on my grandfather's Pantoon boat. If you know pantoon boats, the pantoons stick out the front, and act as a "step" from the dock to the boat.

Well, my oldest son (7 years old) insisted that he no longer needed me to lift him on to the boat, but that he could step off the dock on to the boat all by himself. He shared this with me driving to the docks, walking down the dock to the boat, and while standing there waiting for me to put the rest of our stuff on the boat. However, when it came time to actually step on to the boat, everything was rocking...the boat, dock, water, etc. So when Jordan went to step onto the boat, he asked to hold my hand "just in case". He stepped out onto the boat, even with a bit of fear, knowing he was holding my hand.

As I reflected back on that during Pastor Dave's message, it made me think how much my fear is like that of a small child. I pray to the Lord to "Challenge me" and "Help me to face fear" and do something "fearless". Yet, when I look down deep, I can't do it. I like to play it safe.

Pastor Dave asked us, "What has fear kept you from doing that God is calling you to do?" Frankly, I am not sure. I think sometimes I play life to "safe", when I do that I don't hear God asking me to to take those fearful steps. I ponder the thought frequently: "Am I playing it to safe?". When Pastor Dave asked us this question, I thought to myself... "Am I letting fear paralyze me?"

I believe that I am. I like to feel comfortable and know what to expect week to week. Living like this day to day, might be fine...yet, when we live this way we miss out on the great things God has for us, if we don't step out in fear through faith.

However, I am ready to make a change! Let me encourage you to do the same if you struggle like I do. You see, here is what I realized, much like my son reached out to me to hold my hand, the Lord is waiting there for us to reach out our hand to him, and let his strength help us through this fearful step of faith.

My prayer is now, "Lord, as I step out with fear, my faith in you is like a child's hand reaching for his father's for help. I am relying on your strength to lift me safely on to the boat"...

Isn't God Great!