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My Joy Is Contagious Make Sure You Catch It!

I always tell people that any day above ground is a good day! I hope your day is wonderful and blessed! Feel free to share your thoughts!
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Honk If You're Sinless!



Have you noticed lately how many motorists today seem oblivious to oncoming emergency traffic? Is our culture so desensitized ambulances and fire trucks mean nothing? We don’t even yield for funeral processions anymore, but if there is just a hint of carnage to be seen, our brakes grind to a screeching halt. Oh and camera phones with video recording capabilities, just make the vehicle voyeurism all the worthwhile. The social networking media phenomenon has tricked us into believing we’re credentialed journalists. The flashing lights steadily approaching me were those of a police officer. I prepared for the worst even though my speedometer clearly showed I was driving well under the posted limit. Relief was instantaneous when the state trooper and his flashing lights zoomed by. Even when it’s warranted, being pulled over is never a pleasurable experience. I began to feel for the unlucky driver who will soon learn the error of his or her speeding ways.
No one likes to be the recipient of a traffic ticket. Something about seeing the driver pulled over made think of a passage of scripture I love to read. I literally saw the woman in John 8:1-11. being caught in the very “act” of adultery. Can’t you see her in all her nakedness being brought before that self righteous “religious” mob? What happened to the man she was doing the horizontal bedroom polka with? Doesn’t his absence from the moral majority” remind you of other drivers who never seem to get pulled over when you do? It’s funny to me that all the “religious” leaders knew where the “harlot” in the “hood” lived. Doesn’t it strike you as odd this legalistic horde knew exactly when and where to go? It’s no different with police they know where the sinners (oops I meant speeders) are. Sometimes all they have to do is set a trap like the one described in John’s Gospel.
Like I mentioned getting caught speeding is never a joyful occasion. You sort of feel like that woman in John 8:1-11, vulnerable, ashamed, exposed, and right in front of everybody. In the case of the woman caught in adultery, “getting caught” was life altering. This woman was used as bait and handed over to ONE who was indeed guiltless. As many times as I’ve read this passage of scripture, I am always awe struck by Jesus holding traffic court right in the middle of church. In stark contrast to policeman I’ve run across, notice how tender Jesus is with this woman. Jesus doesn’t condone her behavior nor does He condemn her. After that intimate encounter I would wager she was glad to having been pulled over. Her accuser’s retreated one by one in total defeat. Generally when we see someone being pulled over it causes us to reduce our speed. Maybe it reminds us that we too have been guilty of sin (oops I meant speeding). It would appear other drivers get away unscathed but we sinners (oops I meant speeders) never know when we are going to be caught in the act. Will you stop sinning (oops I meant speeding) voluntarily or do you have to be pulled over? So the next time you see a motorist being pulled over for speeding, HONK IF YOU”RE SINLESS!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's Sandal Season





And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. (Mark 6:8-

Take a look outside! Is the ice cream man serenading your neighborhood with his beguiling music enticing you to run and get your wallet? What about your automobile, is it blanketed in pollen or bird poop? Have you been to the store lately? Are the aisles lined with sun block and tanning lotions? If you answered yes to any of these seasonally occurrences, it could only mean one thing, it’s Sandal Season! Yes, good old Sandal Season when many a manicured toe complements any outfit. Many of us neglect our feet all year. This lack of attention may be in direct relation to our feet being positioned so far away from the rest of our body. We spend loads of cash on our feet when it’s Sandal Season but yet why we are immobile? I’m concerned the “church” has turned into a slipshod triage area keeping vital spiritual personnel from the battlefield. Nail salons make money hand over fist when we participate in Sandal Season. I pose this question why spend so much time and money on the one part of your body that remains stationary? Where are you walking? Many of us wander about aimlessly because we are walking in areas Jesus has not ordered us to go. Look at the life of Jesus and you can find the perfect example of what to do when it’s Sandal Season. You should be putting those sandals to good use in places where people are hungry and hurting. Imagine the grime and crud caked between Jesus’ toes after casting out demons, feeding thousands, and healing those afflicted with leprosy. Can you picture the crusty white build up on the soles of Jesus’ feet walking from town to town for three years with the message of hope?
Don’t you feel just a little selfish spending all that money on your toes to sit in an air conditioned church with comfortable pews on Sunday? How can we profess to be Believers without allowing our own feet to get dirty? Do you know that many of the people who need to hear the Good News are the very people we pass on our way to our respective churches? I know, I know you finally bought a home in the suburbs, you have a fancy job, you carpool, and you play golf. Now all of a sudden you can’t be bothered with “those people.” We’ve been out of the “hood” two minutes and we have the nerve to be indignant. Weren’t you the same person that told Jesus if He blessed you, you’d bless others? What are you doing then sitting down? You can’t walk anywhere if you are too busy sitting. It’s Sandal Season now go walk in all the things God has already ordained for your life.
I believe the first pedicure ever recorded was when the woman with the bad reputation washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. The woman washed Jesus’ feet so He could walk to the cross for you and me. The sandal was considered the humblest article of clothing. Are you humble enough to put your sandals on and walk outside of your comfort zone? Notice Jesus didn’t wait for a particular time of year and neither should we. The time for walking is now! Jesus’ feet got dirty because He was busy walking. We’re so vain getting pedicures just so other people can see how pretty our feet and sandals are. Spiritually speaking of course, I believe that maybe if we paid more attention to our feet, we wouldn’t continue to venture into locations detrimental to the rest of our bodies. It’s probably a good thing the feet are located away from the rest of the body. You can’t walk with your feet tucked under your arms, only with your feet planted on solid ground. Yeah it’s Sandal Season and those sandals you’re wearing were made for walking.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When Heaven Seems Far Away!

Perhaps the best song I’ve ever heard in my life was recorded by the incomparable Stevie Wonder. If you ever get a chance to listen to his older musical selections, make sure you check out “Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away.” The simplistic lyrics and gentleness of the acoustic guitar always puts my hazy mind at ease. Be honest, have you ever felt like heaven seemed far away? Most of us are too scared to admit that we’ve wondered where God is especially when it’s darkest in our lives. Have you asked yourself the personal question where have I been? It’s a fair question especially since we know that God will never leave us nor forsake us Hebrews 13:5. So where were you when God was speaking to you about your failed relationships, that new promotion, reconciliation in your family, or healing in your infirmed body? You were probably where I was, out of alignment with Him. I notice that whenever I start to drift away from God, those are the times I want to assert the outlandish claim that somehow He has left me. Have you ever felt detached from heaven even after you’ve done all that God has required of you (giving, fasting, praying)? I have! I’ve even had the audacity to think the clouds were preventing my prayers from penetrating heaven. Any reason I could think of to deflect the blame to another source other than myself would suffice.
I’ve now come to truly know that God is never far away. He is always speaking and He is always near to those who choose to be near Him and hear Him. Those times when I thought God had forsaken me, I only had to evaluate my priorities. You do know that what you put first orders everything else! I haven’t always put God first. When I should’ve been on my knees thanking Him for His grace and mercy I was checking email or sitting in front of the television. When I could’ve been witnessing to the unsaved, I wasn’t readily available. I believe a lot of people have this misconception that they just get saved, die, go to heaven and that’s when heaven begins. I hate to bend your “Holy Halo” but this notion is ridiculous. Think about it! Jesus died so we could have heaven here on earth right now. What I’m saying is He died so we could live not just with Him in heaven but right here where all hell is breaking loose. Sometimes it’s just so murky in my head that I can’t discern God’s quiet voice. It’s noisy due to continued interferences I’ve allowed to compete and eventually take up residence in my spirit. God always hears us. We don’t always hear Him when the cares of this world clog our ears. It’s like trying to talk on a cell phone while driving. You can’t do both simultaneously without some degree of difficulty. One will always suffer because it lacks your complete attention. It’s as simple as the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. Listening on the other hand, requires conscious thought and concentration and it leads to learning. Most people tend to be "hard of listening" rather than "hard of hearing."
When the clamor gets to be unbearable I know I have to get to a quiet place. This means taking myself out of the world for weeks at a time. Its okay to unplug yourself from the chaotic power source called life and simply recharge. God doesn’t scream at the top of His lungs to get our attention. He speaks to us through gentle whispers with a voice as soft as a warm summer breeze. It should make you feel special to know that someone, THE ONE longs to hear you, to be near you 24/7. Heaven longs for us without conditions or prerequisites. Come apart before you come apart! When heaven seems far away maybe this is a signal to you that you need to get away.