• September 20, 2017 /  Uncategorized

    One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13

    If you’ve got some years under your belt,
    you have some stuff behind you.
    The more years…, the more stuff.
    Technically, I have almost 56 years of stuff built up in my
    “look behind” closet
    and a bunch of that stuff is not pretty, not pretty at all.

    Paul taught us some valuable lessons in the book of Philippians
    about backward living and rearview mirror driving.
    The just of his instruction was…don’t.

    Having said that, we can all agree that our past times don’t simply disappear because we’ve walked a few steps away from them.
    Many of us live with haunting memories, grave injustice,
    or deep regrets hidden in yesterdays closet.
    Each luring us to open the door for one more peek.

    Although we are never to go digging in our old dried up wells
    for trash from the past there are times when God will bring something to our remembrance.
    If He does, then we can be sure, it is for a good reason
    and with a better end in mind.

    Contrary to the enemies assault on our minds
    to relive unpleasant and even unbearable memories
    which ultimately bring feelings of
    guilt, shame, depression, and condemnation….
    God’s whisper in our ear to revisit something in our past
    is to ultimately bring release, freedom, restoration, and deliverance.

    There are three reasons that I have found that God will tell me to return to my “look behind” closet. Let’s take a peek.

    1. God wants me to go to the next level of forgiveness.

    If God opens the door to past hurts and bids me enter in
    it can be because He desires me to again look
    my previous situation directly in the eye
    and then examine my heart to see if I am up-to-date with forgiveness.
    Much of my past hurts, like yours, are the crummy stuff
    people have done to us along the way.
    Mean, unjust, unfair, unthinkable, unexpected stuff
    that screwed us up or screwed us over.

    We can walk in levels of forgiveness,
    pleasing in the sight of our Lord,
    and as time rolls on He can reveal to us
    a deeper level of forgiveness that He is requiring.

    It can’t hurt to seek the Lord when past hurts repeatedly come up
    and ask God, “Is there something more I need to forgive here?”

    2.  God wants me to repent.

    If the door to previous life stuff is cracked open by God
    maybe there is something inside that He wants us to repent of.
    Maybe we weren’t in the correct frame of mind
    back when we first went through it
    and we simply weren’t ready to be shown.
    But today we are in a new place and God wants to take us back
    with a fresh perspective so that we can repent of our sin in the matter
    and get washed clean and fresh to go forward.

    It can’t hurt to seek the Lord when past hurts repeatedly come up
    and ask God, “Is there something here I need to repent of?”

    3. God wants to teach me something.

    Sometimes God helps us look backward for a minute
    so that He can teach us something
    that we couldn’t learn any another way.
    Experience is a wonderful counselor.
    God may pull back the curtain on some old stuff
    to make way from some new better stuff.
    Could be He wants to enlighten us with
    a better approach next time,
    a smarter way in the future,
    or a more reasonable response down the road.
    Gleaning from past happenings can propel us
    into a future where we do it better the next time around.

    It can’t hurt to seek the Lord when past hurts repeatedly come up
    and ask God, “Is there something here You are trying to teach me?”

    So…if doors to your past have been reopening lately
    take a few minutes to ask those three questions.
    Bear in mind that the enemy does not want you
    to forgive, repent, or do it better next time.
    That’s not his plan for any of the doors that God may reopen.

    But When God initiates the open doors to your past
    He will go in with you, look around, and lead you into
    forgiveness,
    or repentance,
    or smarts for the next time.

    Then with a smile, He will close the door
    and you two will walk away together hand in hand
    more intimate than ever before for having shared
    the contents of that “look behind” door.

  • September 11, 2017 /  Uncategorized

     


    We have all been thinking a lot about hurricanes lately with the huge storms Harvey and Irma hitting land in America causing major destruction and devastation in so many places.
    Hurricanes tend to be big, bad and ugly… natural disasters that none of us want to see again anytime soon.

    Now how about the hurricanes in our own personal lives?
    Though not as widespread as these natural disasters our individual hurricanes carry the power to reek havoc in our own little worlds leaving wreckage behind in its trail of devastation.

    How about those?

    The other day I was in the middle of some life stuff.
    As Irma was making her way up to the coast I sensed that a personal hurricane was brewing in my life.

    Conditions were right and I knew it.

    Condition 1. I was already tired and not feeling well,
    living life with several head injuries that put me on the disabled list.

    Condition 2. I hadn’t slept great the night before.

    Condition 3. I was concerned about some kid issues.

    Condition 4. I was trying to maneuver through financial trouble.

    Condition 5. I was feeling lost and purposeless.

    Condition 6. An all day everyday stress at home had elevated into frustration, pain, and heartache yet again.

    Hearing the distant rumble of thunder and feeling the winds of a coming storm brush against my cheeks I turned to the Lord and said, “Conditions are right for a hurricane, aren’t they.”
    They was.

    Now, I have never lived through a natural hurricane.
    The closest I’ve gotten were the updates on the weather channel
    and watching the live streams from Fox News.
    That was close enough for me.
    But these personal storms I could not avoid by changing the channel or closing the newspaper.
    These individual hurricanes have crept into my here and now many times before and I was smelling the winds of change yet once again.

    “What to do, what to do?” I asked myself.
    Could I gather clues from how folks survive a natural hurricane
    and apply it to my own approaching personal one?
    I tried!
    And here is what I discovered.

    1. Pray it away.

    As soon as the forecast came in that there was potential for a hurricane hitting Florida many people took to their knees and cried out to the heavens,
    “Lord, avert this storm…send it back to the sea!”

    There is a scriptural basis for that!
    Many places in the Bible people called out,
    “Lord, deliver me from evil!” Matthew 6
    Jesus Himself in His great suffering said,
    “Lord if this cup could pass!” Matthew 26

    Application for my personal approaching hurricane?
    Pray it away! Ask God to send it in a different direction!
    Ask the Father to spare me and dissolve the storm.
    He did it when He had been sleeping in the boat
    and a huge storm arose.
    His disciples were freaking out and Jesus stopped the storm. Mark 4
    It could happen. So ask.

    2.  Evacuate.

    If the storm is still on track to destroy your house consider leaving and heading to a safer place.
    That’s what millions did. They left.
    They didn’t want to take the chance.
    They counted the cost, left stuff behind and went.

    Application for my personal hurricane?
    Get away from it!
    So many times we get caught up in the drama and the conflict
    that we aren’t thinking straight enough to consider
    “I don’t have to do this anymore.”
    We can avert danger.
    We can save relationships.
    Maybe we need to be the one to lay down the fight.
    Maybe we should decide we don’t have to be right.
    Maybe we should figure out it’s not our circus and we don’t have to play the game.

    That concept is in the Bible too!
    Ever hear, “For lack of wood a fire goes out?” Proverbs 26
    Or, “A wise man fears…and departs.” Proverbs 14
    Get outta the trouble by removing yourself
    physically, mentally or emotionally.
    That’s probably why secular counselors will tell you, “Count to 10.”
    Or “Take a break and come back to the problem later.”
    Not bad advice when a hurricane is beginning to brew in your life.

    3. Hunker Down.

    What happens if the storm doesn’t redirect away from you through prayer?
    Or it’s coming and you can’t escape its path by evacuating?
    Then you calmly face the storm.
    You don’t scream and cry.
    You don’t panic yelling at everyone around you.
    You implement your hurricane survival plan.
    And you whether the storm.

    Application for my personal hurricane?
    Chill out.

    That’s scriptural.
    Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62
    Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. Psalm 125
    God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. Psalm 46

    Now that we have some personal hurricane basics under our belt
    let’s remember we do have options.
    There are 3 listed above.

    Maybe we can’t live hurricane free lives but we can learn what to do when a wild storm is approaching.
    And we can learn to do it well.
    That’s scriptual.