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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Even Toed Ungulate Mammal

While my family and I drove an hour from our house to a popular farm, we made a pact to purchase fresh cider, donuts and produce, and then leave. Our motto is “Get in, get out.” We got out of there so fast we still had sugar on our faces from the donuts!

The next day my daughter approached me with the question “How do you hide an even-toed ungulate mammal, more commonly known as a giraffe?”

I looked puzzled at my daughter, who has a lifelong dream of one day being able to pet a giraffe, and I asked “What?”

She burst into tears and stated “The farm we went to had giraffes back in the field that the public could go and pet!”

I was speechless, yet mustered up the courage to declare, “There is no way we missed that.”
She rebutted quickly, “Ya way, we did!”

That night in bed I pondered “how did we miss out on the chance of seeing those giraffes?” They weren’t hiding, but we were not looking. We had missed the signs that the giraffes were there. I failed to mention that right as we were checking out, there was a section in the gift shop dedicated to all sorts of merchandise with giraffes on it. We bought a sweatshirt. Did one of us slow down and question why were they selling giraffe merchandise?

Jesus is just like those giraffes. He is out in the open and available for us all. Do you slow down and see Him? Do you look at the signs?

“When Jesus saw His ministry drawing huge crowds, He climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to Him, the committed, climbed with Him. Arriving at a quiet place, He sat down and taught His climbing companions.” Matthew 5:1-2 (MSG) Jesus often directed the people to sit down in a quiet place. Do you sit down in a quiet place to learn? If not, this is a New Year, make it a priority.

Just as the even-toed ungulate mammal is believed to be spotted easily, so is our Lord Jesus Christ. Both, when spotted, are a blessing!

PRAYER: Jesus, help me to see You. Forgive me for I am having trouble sitting down and being quiet.

BIBLE VERSE: “And He directed the people to sit down on the grass.” (Matthew 14:19a NIV) Pin It Pin It

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Epic

“The last Harry Potter movie was epic,” my 16-year-old daughter blurted out. Almost daily I hear someone saying the word “epic.” I have noticed young people like using the word “epic” quite often. Daily we have stuff to deal with and sometimes we may even say our moments are bigger than big, so we refer to it as “epic.”

Elijah had an epic encounter with the Lord. He followed God’s very detailed orders to deal with Ahab and his false prophets and it was successful. The result was that Ahab’s wife Jezebel did not like what Elijah did so her anger rose up with vengeance. It scared Elijah, so he ran for his life, saying “”I have had enough, LORD, take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

Isn’t this exactly what is going on today in our world? Things seem hopeless. The mind tricks people in to believing things are so bad that they want to die. Suicide rates with our teens are rising in great numbers. Why? Because the lie going through their mind is “There’s no way to resolve this.”

In an “epic” moment, we need an “epic” hero. Elijah’s all knowing hero, God, rescues him in a gentle, loving way. God starts by letting Elijah rest and fills him with food. Quickly, Elijah gains tremendous strength and is able to do something not many of us could do. He travels by foot 40 days and 40 nights. Wow!

Are you amazed at what God can do for you? We can be empty, out of strength and filled with worry yet God steps in and creates an “epic” ending to a situation. Our “epic” hero.

Get up and eat! I can give you strength! –GOD

QUOTE: Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles Spurgeon (Maybe when I am lacking strength, it’s because I am not lacking worries.)

BIBLE VERSE: “The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night” (1 Kings 19:7-9 NIV).