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Archive for the ‘Assurance’ Category

Where’s Waldo?

waldo

“…he [the Lord] be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being;” — Acts 17:27b-28a

There are times God feels distant. But the Bible tells us we live and move in him like a fish lives and moves in water.

John Ortbert in his little book God is Closer Than You Think says God sometimes plays a spiritual version of “Where’s Waldo”. Waldo is on every page but as those books progress he becomes more difficult to find. Why? The author, Martin Handford, never says but when Waldo is found there is joy and a sense of discovery. The experience teaches children to pay attention to detail and to keep seeking because they know his is there somewhere, the author promises that he is!

God never says why he is sometimes hard to feel, either, but I think it is to produce a similar response in his children.

Have you found Waldo on today’s page, yet?

–fritz

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John Ortberg

John Ortberg

“The central promise in the Bible is not ‘I will forgive you,’ although of course that promise is there. It is not the promise of life after death, although we are offered that as well. The most frequent promise in the Bible is ‘I will be with you.'”

– John Ortberg, God is Closer Than You Think pg.16

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scooterclub2

Simon Peter answered [Jesus], “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” — John 6:60

There is a retired mechanic in the area who calls himself the “Honda Doctor”. Anything too old for dealers to fix he will.

One thing, though, he works on his own terms. He doesn’t need you but if you have an old Honda motorcycle you need him. He charges a flat hourly rate plus parts. Do his repairs take too long? Sometimes. Are the parts too expensive? Sometimes. Your only option is to either choose him to fix your bike or not and don’t tick him off.

God is like that in some ways. He works on his own schedule his own way. Does he take too long? Does he cost more than expected? Sometimes. Our only real option is to either choose him or not.

Fortunately for us he is good, loves us dearly, and works all things to our benefit.

The Honda Doctor doesn’t do that.

— fritz.

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SharedCar3Yesterday I had a conversation with our Son about the car. He was incensed we would put our car he drives in the shop without providing another for his use. I tried to explain it was my job to administer our shared resources for the good of all — which means sometimes he has to wait and/or find alternatives to the places he wants to go.

Reasoning did no good, I guess because it combined two words: “Him” and “Wait”.

Today God had a conversation with me about almost the same thing. This world, everyone and everything in it, is a shared resource. It’s his dirt, he must administer those resources according to his wisdom and love — which means sometimes I have to wait and/or find alternatives to get me places I want to go, trusting that what I really need he will provide.

Sharing resources requires patience, a positive attitude, and perseverance.

— fritz

* Get your own dirt. April 27, 2012

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Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo

Difficulties put focus in the wrong place — how I feel, what I didn’t get, what they did to me, why God didn’t meet my expectations! The “I”, “My”, and “Me” focus gets nowhere peacefully.

Psalm 37 gives six(6) action steps to getting out of that swirl and moving on to something better. First on the list is letting go of the burn.1 The second act is deciding to trust God by getting up and doing the right thing.2. Third step:

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” — Psalm 37:4

This one comes with a lovely promise! Who is going to give me what I really want if I don’t? God.

Doing this means several things. It means relinquishing both the control and the result to God. It means putting focus on him and what he wants, and it means being pliable. The word translated here as “Delight” literally means to be soft, pliable, delicate.

What if my heart’s desires are selfish, vengeful, and ungodly? If we are pliable God can change that and mold our hearts to desire what is good.

The ancient philosopher, St. Augustine, living in the first century discovered this very thing and wrote the famous line, “Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.”

Step #3 – Let your heart be pliable in God’s hands.

— fritz
1. Step #1 – Fret not, 02/21/2013
2. Step #2 – Trust and do good, 02/22/2013

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Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes … And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. — Matthew 16:33

Many don’t know this was the second time Jesus fed a multitude — the first was reported two chapters earlier.

So similar are the two that some think they were the same event. Not so, the timeline and details are different. What is the same is the disciples first reaction — “What?!”, they said both times, “Where are we going to get the food?!”

We stand amazed at those forgetful, faithless disciples — ’till we realize we do the same thing. No?

What is our first response to another danger or need? How often are we in disarray even after God just took care of our last crisis?

God can do again what he did before. We didn’t become too old, too sinful, or too anything to prevent God’s grace in Christ.

I’ve been carrying you on my back from the day you were born, And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old … I’ve done it and will keep on doing it, carrying you on my back, saving you.” — Isaiah 45:4 (Message Bible)

— fritz

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“Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy” – 1 Peter 3:15 (Message Bible)

You don’t need to figure everything out or worry when you don’t understand what I am doing. A child only needs to know his dad loves him and will care for him.

There are harsh realities I will handle for you and with you. You don’t need to fear attacks, I am your Daddy, don’t even focus on them because I am defending you. You are not really that hurt. Though the devil is growling and saying you’re defenceless pay him no attention and keep your focus on Me. Don’t be frightened or anxious for there’s nothing he can do but talk — I have all the power and I have already spoken.

Your confidence in Me and My deliverance of you demonstrates My faithfulness to a lost and dying world. Move right on, attacks are nothing more than flies at a picnic.

— June 2, 2007 (Sat)

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