So, What Do You Have?

Every one of us can be caught in a shortfall mentality. When we have undisciplined thoughts, we can free-wheel into the squalor of despair. 

The ancient story of Moses, his beginning and bargaining with God, speaks directly to, and parallels, our wallowing. In particular, the passage captured in the writings of Exodus 4:1-5 is my focus.

With a lifetime of coming up short, Moses has an encounter with God. He is eighty years old by this time. All he has left in the world is a shepherd’s staff, and God asks for that. The very last thing that Moses could lean on is asked for, “What is that in your hand?” (Vs. 2)

What captured my thoughts are not all the things that Moses didn’t have. Moses’ life had been virtually stripped bare. But, the question addressed the one thing he did have left, his shepherd’s staff.

We can commiserate all day over the things that we don’t have, the opportunities we should have received, how we came up short, the unfair, the slanted away-from-us world.  

But God asked Moses, ‘what do you have?”

This encounter with God kept Moses, who wanted to go down the ‘woe is me’ trail, focused on what he had, not what he didn’t.

Author, songwriter, performer, and completely blind Ken Madema captured this moment in a stellar 8:46 sec performance. (Link below)

The story of Moses, in its entirety, is a fantastic account of how God involved himself with the Jewish nation. So much so that some want to disregard it with regards to historical accuracy.

The Jewish nation, however, was meticulous with regards to their writings. The fabrication factor just isn’t there. It was written and preserved just as it happened. The Jewish nation regarded Moses as their greatest prophet. They had good reason.

Back to the point, the greatest prophet before he entered the palace to stand before the Pharaoh had to be there entirely in the strength that God provided.

So today, right at this moment, “What do you have in your hands?” What is the last thing you are leaning on for your identity, your worth, and your significance?

I wonder what miracle would happen if you were to give it to God?

https://ca.video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=crmas&ei=UTF-8&p=ken+madema+moses#id=1&vid=ed7ddb39fd5a7e8a84fd55e74631721f&action=click

The next 24 – Trajectory

“The next 24 hours is going to happen.”

I sat down to reflect and enter into my journal (I use Mel Robbins, 5-Second Journal as my template), and the thought dawned on me.

I am not sovereign, I can only control a few of the details coming my way, but I can decide how to face these next moments. I make my plans, but in reality, they are often subject to the flow of my day.

Trajectory, however, is in my control.

The trajectory is the point of the triangle, the ‘how’ I will look forward, the piece of the pie that I will consider, the attitude that I will choose, the angle of vision that I will allow myself to entertain.

The next 24 hours will happen. I get to decide the how.

Trajectory
You choose how you see

Joseph Series: Think Outside The …

The circumstances you find yourself in

The pain that is in your heart

The broken relationship that you can’t fix

The disease that will not quit

The home that has been broken and shattered

 

The great plans you have for your year

The retirement that for which you can hardly wait

The new House

The new Car

The new Job

 

The new sweetheart you have on the side

The plans of discarding all that is right and true

The one night stand

Think

Think outside the box that you find yourself in.

Joseph had to. He had to look for more than childhood dreams. They just weren’t working out how he had envisioned them. The prison box that he was held captive in did not house the dream that was in his heart.

All he had left were hopes and dreams, and you know? They were probably too small.

What box, what pressure cooker are you living in? Perhaps, the very thing creating all the pressure is forming you, for the better, the best.

Think.

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You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!

Personal Care

So, I read a story today about a guy when he was young, who, almost cavalierly, asked God to fill his life with the power of the Holy Spirit. He accounts that God immediately answered and he felt God’s power. His life went on to be amazing. The events of his life took a positive graph position, up and to the right, and, looking at his life today, that appears to be exactly what happened.

That is not what happened to me. Oh, when I was young, I felt God amazingly fill me, but my life went anywhere but up and to the right. This reading today was an emotional GPS moment of truth versus feelings for me.

I would like to be able to tell the story of success and accomplishment, according to my version of those things, according to the way that story I read today worked, but that is not my story. Rather my story is one of a very Blue Collar, slug it out, and figure it out type of life. The two books I have written, Blue Collar Theology and Path Out – Eliminate the Swirl, tell some of these accounts.

My point?

Does God show favouritism? Do some get the “Blessed or Easy Way,” while others of us get to clean up the mess? Sometimes it seems so. But, it is not so!

God carefully, amazingly, intimately, and personally cares for you. He is working a plan that supports and includes you, even if it isn’t immediately obvious.

He wants to connect with you in such an incredible and purposeful way. All you need to do is what I did: Acknowledge him in all your ways, (this includes your emotions at the moment) Proverbs 3:5&6, and choose truth over feelings.

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
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

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You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!

Thumbprint

Life can get extremely stressful. We can struggle with agendas, time restraints, expectations, shortfalls, and so much more.

It is so easy to get caught in the swirl of the immediate, the tyranny of the urgent, and the ‘have to’ of the moment. After all, everyone expects it now.

It’s true; things have to get done, budgets need to balance, deadlines have to be met, commitments need to be kept. Stack onto this loss, failure and missed moments and you have a volcano ready to blow! And that is just the workplace.

Now come home to what feels like a litany of expectations and family commitment. At times, it can be just overwhelming. It can be hard to hold or regain equilibrium.

This locomotion of this multi-car freight train seems impossible to control.

How do you stop this menace?

Years ago now, I managed to locate my house from a flight as we flew over our city. I measured it with my thumb as I looked out the window. My thumb covered my entire property. I said to myself, “I am spending my whole life working for something that I can cover with my thumb?”

Perspective.

How do I wrestle my life back into perspective? How do I regain balance and margin?

I guess I have to ask myself the hard, revealing and penetrating questions.

What am I really working for?

What, rather who, matters?

I want to spend my life for who and for what is most important.

How about we do that together?

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You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!

Molehills and Mountains

Growing up in my culture I heard the idiom fairly often; “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.”

I guess I had life bigger than my perspective, and obviously, quite a bit of it, either that or it became my parent’s easy answer from their proverbial grab bag.

During a great ‘God’ conversation with a good friend, it occurred to me this week that Jesus was trying to get us to look with perspective by using his teaching of a mustard seed and a mountain. (Matthew 17:20)

I haven’t yet seen a physical mountain move in my 56 years. I am also not aware of an account of it happening since Jesus walked and taught here. So, what was Jesus trying to get across? Was he just using a metaphor?

I think this particular teaching was all about perspective. He wanted us to catch his thoughts and his reference point.

In a day of sandals and dust, mountains were about the biggest things around. Conversely, mustered seeds were about the smallest.

When you have a minuscule amount of faith, huge things can happen.

But, our faith can’t be in faith alone. It’s not about what we can muster, and it’s not about us; we are not the subjects of its focus. It also is not about our faith coming up against this massive mountain because it is minuscule in comparison and it just wouldn’t matter.

Rather this teaching is where our faith gets placed. What is your faith trajectory? It has to be about our faith in God, who from his perspective could have the earth as the size of a mustard seed; from his universal vantage he doesn’t even see mountains as obstacles. These ‘obstacles,’ just don’t exist in his context.

So isn’t it about time that you make your mountain a molehill?

Mountains move when we see from God’s perspective.

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You Don’t Have To Live; You get To!