Archive - March, 2011

Learn Humbly // Day 18

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only permanent thing in life is change. The Bible reminds us, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV). Change is just a part of life. The winds of change will either make you stronger or knock you down. In marriage the problems and trials will either draw you closer together or destroy your relationship. In your body, illness and injury can destroy your spirit or make you stronger than ever. In your career, a lost opportunity can snuff out your dream or inspire you to fan the flames more vigorously. It all depends on your response.

The Bible offers proven principles you can put into practice that will not only enable you to survive the winds of change, but fill your sails and propel you forward. Paul, a prisoner on a ship headed for Rome, describes a perfect storm of biblical proportions: “Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the ‘northeaster,’ swept down from the island. The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.” (Acts 27:14-15).

When the ship first encountered the hurricane-force winds, the crew tried to fight it. They tried to sail into the storm, perhaps to find the calm center, but soon they realized the futility of their efforts. It’s hard to stop a storm in progress. Change is inevitable, and you can waste a lot of time and energy trying to fight it. If you don’t learn to adapt to life’s unexpected situations and move along with them, your ship will be destroyed. In the midst of life’s worst blows, you can be tempted to cling to the past and romanticize the way things used to be. We all know people who just can’t adapt to change. The wind shifts direction, and they scramble for security. They get stubborn and think back on how much better it used to be in the good ol’ days.

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Learn Humbly // Day 17

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything You gave me.”  — Erma Bombeck

Are you as grateful as I am that a GPS – Global Positioning System – has become available for in-car use? I don’t know how I found my way without one. But a GPS isn’t just for navigating between geographic locations. It represents a great way to consider what God has instilled in us to help us find the road to an abundant life. As we explored yesterday, our individual identity and unique purpose go hand in hand. If we want to know what we’re called to pursue in this life, then we must look at how God created us. We must be willing to activate the GPS that our Creator has installed in us. If we’re going to find our way through the many circumstances and choices of life, we must be willing to use three crucial resources: our Gifts, our Passions, and our Struggles.

God has lavished on us unique abilities, talents and Gifts. In one of his letters to the early church, Paul wrote, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-5). Some gifts are the natural talents with which you’re born, and others are the spiritual gifts that come alive when you commit your life to loving Christ. Paul makes the observation that the distinction really doesn’t matter, because whenever you do something well and it brings honor to God, it’s a spiritual thing. Whether they’re natural talents or spiritual gifts, they’re all from God, and He loves it when you use what He has given you. Some of us are good at speaking, others at singing. Some people are good at accounting, others at designing. Some at leading, others at teaching. Living here in Houston, I’ve learned that barbecuing is definitely a spiritual gift in Texas.

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