Archives For God

We all know the earth moves, but these rocks defy logic.

The rocks of Racetrack Playa.

These rocks have legs.

They’ve got some get up and go.

How exactly do they get around?

Here’s the low down:

Racetrack Playa is located in Death Valley National Park in California. The Playa is an extremely flat lakebed that is usually dry. The sediment at the surface of this dry lake bed is uniformly fine… silt and clay sized particles. Following an infrequent rain, when these fine sediments get wet, they become very slick. As the rain evaporates and infiltrates… and when a big wind blows in… the rocks go vroom vroom.

Burn rubber!

Rocks on the go… vroom vroom!!

Have you ever seen rocks on the go… landslide, earthquake, Racetrack Playa?

The prophets were messengers… they carried God’s word to an audience, the people, encouraging them to live their lives according to the word.

The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.” 2 Kings 17:13.

They also, at times, predicted the future, including the events related to the coming of Christ.

The kings in charge back in the day were generally a bad lot, leading the people to worship false, pagan gods. The prophets were called to help bring the people back to God from their moral and spiritual decline.

The Career Path Of A Prophet… how did one climb this corporate ladder?

I’ve chosen the quest of Isaiah as an example.

Isaiah began the quest as a scribe in the time of King Uzziah’s throne. Isaiah was commissioned to serve as a prophet by answering to God’s calling with “Here I  am. Send me!” Isaiah responded to a vision of the Lord. Isaiah’s mission was a difficult one… he had to deliver a message: The Lord will destroy you because of your disobedience. The people thought the opposite… that they were, in fact, blessed by God.

Isaiah message from the Lord: help the people see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts.

Isaiah was a rebel with a cause. Hard to imagine that religious people were giving him flack? Think again. Isaiah, like other prophets, was heavily persecuted. He was also considered by some to be a traitor. The people did not want to hear what he had to say. His journey was filled with many trials. He carried God’s message to the people through the reign of 5 kings.

Suffering in the land…

… and while Isaiah brought a warning of judgement, he also brought a message of great hope.

One of my favorite Bible verses is from Isaiah…

“The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

Being a prophet would be a difficult assignment for me. I really like my simple existence of just being a growing believer in Jesus… a father and grandpa (aka Papi)… an aspiring author and Geologist.

Answering to God’s calling… and your quest… it could be quite simple… or like the career path of a prophet.

Answering to God’s calling… what would your answer be?

“Here I am. Send me!” ??

Christian Writers Blog Chain

Genuine Love

January 9, 2012 — 7 Comments

One Lord, one faith, one baptism... there is just 1

Rich Barrett summed it up pretty well. “I’ve never seen anything like it… these people genuinely care for each other… they are concerned about what the next volunteer will find when they walk into this place filled with chaos.”

This is a special place filled with believers who share genuine love for each other… for everyone.

Nearly 5 years ago God brought together a small group who shared a vision… they started from scratch. From that vision God’s glory has reached a new pinnacle in our city.

Yesterday our portable church completed the move into a permanent facility.

What a glorious day it was… what a glorious day it is!

I could just rattle on about it, but why?

What’s it really all about?

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:3-6

It’s real.

It’s about peace, love and unity…

and being in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

That’s pretty much it.

Where will it go from here?

After the flood God said to Noah…

“I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you – the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you – every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and a rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:9-16.

Everybody reads this and knows about the flood… the covenant… and the rainbow. However, buried within these verses, there is goodness that may just help you through the season of winter.

This covenant is mentioned as “a covenant for all generations to come” … it’s “everlasting” … it’s a promise. The rainbow is simply a reminder to God himself… and a reassurance to man.

beauty abounds even in winter!

We’re heading into the heart of winter here in the northern hemisphere. This can be a gloomy time of year for many… short, cold days… no more football… overweight from the holiday cheer… extra bills to pay… the empty memories of Valentine’s past… the list could go on and on…

Just as we have the rainbow as a reminder of God’s covenant, we can also count on the seasons coming and going. This is His assurance for all generations to come… it’s everlasting.

I like the winter season in the same what that I like a rainy day. Rainy days really don’t bring me down. I look at rainy days as an opportunity… an opportunity to do something different. If I spend a rainy Saturday lounging around in my jammies and reading a book, going to the movies or playing a board game with my family… it’s typically been a really good day!

I believe that God created the winter season for much the same reason… a time of reflection… a time to be still… to think… and a time to learn.

This winter season, instead of looking around and seeing darkness…

be still…

look back and reflect…

look around and be thankful…

look ahead and see the bright beaming sunlight…

because even on the darkest, gloomiest day of winter…

there’s still something good going on…

you can count on it…

just like the rainbow!

Talent. We are all exceptionally good at something.

For each of us, it may be something very different from the next person. We all have some sort of talent. I’m not really thinking about our spiritual gifts here… you may remember I wrote about Our Greatest Gift recently. This talent that we’re exceptionally good at… it is most likely completely unrelated to our  spiritual gift.

Practice hones our ability to perfect our talent. Michael Jordan was given the physical ability to excel at basketball… a whole lot of practice and hard work helped him be one of the greatest players ever!

Ok, so you know I have a personal example…

I grew up in Vero Beach, Florida. “Where the tropics begin.” Vero has changed a wee bit through the years. Back in the day Vero was one large orange grove. Of course, there were the intermittent irrigation canals and fruit packing houses. Otherwise, yep, just one big grove… row after row after row of oranges and grapefruit… everywhere the succulent aroma of orange blossoms! It was in the grove that I found one of my talents… I have a real flair for peeling oranges. Everyone knows if you want to eat an orange you have to peel the fruit first. Yes, most anyone can do this… however, there is somewhat of an art to it. I developed a flair for peeling oranges in the grove.

Being really good at it means that sooner or later… other people are going to find out about your talent. Then what? Well, they may just want you to peel their fruit for them, too. Before you know it your aptitude turns legendary… and that’s all she wrote… Katie bar the door… they’ll be coming in droves to your local grove… and therein lies the (potential) problemo!

You may wish not so many people knew you have a way with fruit. Ok, so my example is going to be slightly  ridiculous now because no one will believe me if I say people are knocking on my door asking me to peel their fruit. However, if you’re really good at… say… shucking oysters… you may find yourself parked next to a burlap bag for the entire evening at the fall oyster roast (just sayin’). And back to MJ… yes, he made a fistful of $$ playing a game. Nothing wrong with that, right?

The down side?

The down side for MJ… the oyster shucker… and for me, the fruit man?

You may remember I wrote How God’s Using My Booty To Keep My Ego In Check. God uses my ridiculously underwhelming booty to keep my ego in check. This thought on our talents and the down side is sort of the polar opposite… If talent + practice makes me really good at peeling oranges then I have to keep constant vigil on my ego lest I may become prideful about my ability.

Whatever it is that you’re exceptionally good at, you need to be humble about it. If you’re humble people will admire you for your talent. Humility ends in honor…

“Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 17:12.

The down side of being exceptionally good at your talent? There may not be one… if you stay humble about it.

What is your special talent? Have you experienced God using your talent to help keep you humble?