Awaiting The Storm

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Today is February 12, 2019 and a snow storm is barreling down on us from the south west. It is expected to hit our area about 11am with up to 18 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain. To be honest, most everyone is pretty fed up with this kind of weather. We are all itching for that first warm blast of Spring to sweep over the area. But instead, we are awaiting the storm.

In years gone by, February has been a month when sap buckets were hung, my favorite trout streams began their early melt and I started my garden indoors. Numerous seed trays went in my south facing windows, and I drew up plans for how to set up my garden. Best of all, my motorcycle could be taken out for a few early runs on nice days. This year, however, it’s been very different. We have had one snow storm, and freezing rain storm, after another. Local schools have used up their allotment of snow days, and snowplow drivers are not only piling up snow, but also piling up overtime hours, and cash in their bank accounts.

The truth is, the storm itself is not such a big deal. This is the Northeast, and we all know that snow storms in winter is just part of life. However, waiting for it’s arrival is what causes all the problem. People begin to panic as the weather reports pour in, and speculation of how bad it “could be” fills the air. The possibility of what might happen, as reported by over-eager meteorologists, sets the stage. It drives people to buy extra supplies, up grade their snow blowers, buy extra gas, and even purchase expensive generators they don’t need, just in case. Then the snow comes and it is not nearly as bad a predicted. Everyone breaths a sigh of relief as another “snowmagedon” has been avoided, and life returns to normal.

The point in all of this is quite simple. Anticipation of an approaching storm, and the fear of what “might” happen, that it evokes within us, is usually worse than the actual storm itself. Beyond that, how we react to what “might be”, is a storm all it’s own. When our anxious thoughts of something control us emotionally ahead of time, we bring a storm upon ourselves, long before the real storm actually gets there. This means we take a double hit, and the enemy of our soul just loves it. We are actually helping him with the torment of our own life! This is because the first storm is imaginary, it’s a mind storm. We create and live through that one, all by ourselves. The second storm is the real deal, and we all face that one, and go through it to the end, one step at a time.

Every mind storm holds us prisoner. We end up living in the grip of imagined possibilities that have no real substance. Every real storm holds our attention. We do what must be done to get through it successfully. The mind storm is in our emotions and thoughts, and it serves to paralyze and torment us. The real storm is fact, and it always serves to mobilize us to action. The mind storm is a trap that emotionally exhausts us, makes us weak, and robs us of our peace. The real storm is truth to be faced head on, and if we do, it makes us better and stronger.

Ask yourself a question right now. “Why do you spend so much time, and emotional energy, on mind storms, when each one is of your own making?” If you will honestly answer that question, you are on your way to being liberated to a brand new way of living. This is a life where fear and worry give way to the joy of living every day to the fullest. It’s a life that looks forward to all the adventures yet to come. In this life, a spirit of doubt and worry gives way to a pioneering spirit. It looks into the future with great anticipation, for what might be, and has immense satisfaction for what has already been!

What kind of life do you want to live? Are you happy with the one you have? If you need to change, now is the time to do it! Years ago I decided to live on truth’s raw edge, and let go of everything of my imagined future that had the power to hold me captive. Present reality became my truth, and I refused to be weighed down by the emotional baggage of what “might be”. I walked in renewed faith, out of the prison cell of what could happen, in order to grab hold of the freedom of what was happening. That simple act of personal and emotional realignment, was a moment of total liberation. It changed my world. I became the man I always knew I was meant to be, and my life was never the same.

Let me encourage you today to await the storm that is coming, and be in anticipation of it’s benefit in your life, not in fear of what damage it might bring. Get hold of your emotions and refuse to let something that is not even here, rule your life. Remember, all the victories you have gotten in the past ARE your reality. Let these be the truth you grab hold of for what is still on the way. The victories AND the failures have prepared you for every battle yet to come. By celebrating both, you will discover how to overcome. Relax, and be a pioneer rather than a prisoner. Learn to wait for, and face your storms when they finally arrive. Don’t worry even for a moment, before hand. You will be surprised at how quickly you can embrace the truth of your storm, and how much you will grow in the process. This, my friends, is life the way it was intended to be, and it is glorious!

The King’s Laundry

Years ago in the ancient earth, there lived a magnificent King. His might, power and love were unmatched by any other who ever did or ever would live. His kingdom was filled with such beauty and glory that no mortal words could adequately describe it. His castle walls were built of luminescent gold blocks, and powerful shafts of golden light rose from the ground to support the roofs of buildings that were made from brilliant, flawless diamonds. The majesty of all he had made could be seen over all the earth, and its reflection filled the night sky with movement, life and light.

Into this wondrous land, the King made and placed the crowning glory of his creation. His love brought forth men, women and children to enjoy all He had done. They wore spotless white cloths, and were told by the King that a day would come when He would be married, and He would give them all an invitation to join Him in His castle for the wedding. There was only requirement. They could only enter through His gate if their clothing was unsoiled, unstained, spotless and brilliant white.

To help them stay in this pure condition, the King sent His son to open a laundry. The people could freely bring their soiled clothes, any time, and the son would use his own special formula to return the clothes to their spotless condition. Some of the people made regular visits to the laundry, and these lived with joy and excitement. They were ready whenever the Kings should call the guests for His wedding. Some tried to wash their own clothes, thinking they were too busy to go to the laundry, and what they did would be good enough to get them into the wedding feast. Others felt they did not need to wash their clothes at all. They decided they would just live as they wished, and figure things out the best they could, if that call should ever come.

Late one evening, as the sun neared the horizon for the first time ever, the King sent out His swiftest messengers on horseback. They went throughout the Kingdom blowing golden trumpets and shouting, “Now is the time to come. The Kings wedding feast is ready! The castle doors are open, and all has been made ready for His Bride. You are all invited to come as His beloved guests, and enter into the joy, the laughter, the blessing, the feasting and the loving pleasure of your King. Look, the night is coming, and the King never intended for you to be in it.“

As night approached, the people streamed towards the Castle. Millions of them came from every valley and mountain, forest, village and town. They came with great expectation and wonder, knowing what was about to take place. They also came with a growing sense of fear and foreboding, as they saw and felt the thick darkness drawing near, and heard the screeching, growling and sinister snarls of the night beasts that came with it. The stench of death was in their breath and they were hungry for a terrible feast of their own.

Up to the castle grounds all the people ran. Everyone was excited to finally enter the full brilliance of what the King had created. The open castle doors in the distance were just magnificent, and they beaconed everyone to enter into the wedding feast of the King. Shafts of golden light flooded the sky, announcing what was about to take place, and the blast of gold and silver trumpets filled the air with joyous sounds of that great day. As the throng of people approach the castle, large angelic guards with flaming blue swords separated the growing mass into three lines, and this greatly perplexed everyone. There had never been a separation among them before. They had all felt the Kings love exactly the same, but now something had changed as the growing darkness was getting closer and closer.

As they all stood waiting to go in, they began to look at one another. Some were dressed in brilliant white but others realized they needed to take their garments to the Kings laundry to be washed. The spots and stains on their once white garments, stood out in the light that beamed from the castle. These ran off, only to find the King’s laundry was closed, and His son was no longer doing business. Others saw the ragged, dirty condition of their clothing and decided the King would have to take them as they were. He had always been loving, and patient with them, so they said to themselves, “whatever we have on will be good enough”.

The first in line were those who had taken their clothes to the Kings laundry to be washed and mended on a regular basis. They were brilliantly white, and beautifully adorned with metallic gold edging. The angles lifted their swords and allowed these to pass into the great wedding hall. There were shouts of joy, wonder and amazement that echoed back to all who were waiting their turn. This wonderful sound stirred everyone’s anticipation for what they all believed was about to come.

The second group, those who washed their own clothes, rather than taking them to the Kings laundry, were stopped before the open castle doors. They were shocked as the light of the Kings glory illuminated and magnified every spot, stain and wrinkle they had chosen to live with. A great cry of agony rose up as the great angelic guards pointed to the darkness and they were turned away. These realized there would be no entrance for them. They had chosen to live by their own standard, and because of that, they had rejected the King and all  He had asked to do.

Stretching out behind them, as far as the eye could see, were the multitudes who had openly refused to wash or go to the Kings laundry. These stubbornly and proudly wore their ragged, torn clothes. wherever they went. These garments, which were once white, were now filled with a foul stench, and had never been mended, or cleaned. These all stood like ragged beggars with eyes wide, watching as the darkness washed over them and the golden doors slowly closed. Some lifted their fists in anger at the King, cursing Him for their condition. Others bitterly wept and lamented, knowing it was now too late.

A great mourning rose up in all those who had refused to do what the King asked. Some were in pain, knowing they had missed their chance. Others were just left empty in soul and spirit. As they stood there in broken confusion, the screeching and wailing of the approaching darkness overtook them and swept them all away. When it was over, all that remained was the sound of the Kings wedding feast. As it filled the earth with joy and singing, the brilliance of a new dawn broke on the eastern horizon and the sound of love covered all the earth.

Which group will you be in when the King of Heaven and Earth sends out His call?

 

Biblical Moon

Straight From The Prophets Heart!

When a “supermoon” and a “blood moon” happen at the same time it’s a very rare event. That is called a “super blood moon”, and the next one will be on January 20th and January 21st. It occurs exactly 2 years after President Trumps inaguration. It will be visible in the United States, South America, western Europe and Africa.

In Biblical times, this event is considered to be a clear prophetic sign of God’s direct involvement and intervention in the affairs of a nation. May it be so today as well for the United States and our President.

Christmas Miracle!

Christmas Truce 1914, as seen by the Illustrated London News.

One of the most well documented Christmas miracles ever, occurred during the early part of World War I. Hostilities had entered somewhat of a lull, and leaders from both sides began to reconsider their strategy when a stalemate occurred after the first few battles of the war. In the week leading up to December 25th, 1914, French, German and British soldiers decided to lay down their weapons and honor the Christmas season. They choose to come out of their trenches and exchange seasonal greetings, talk about family and share what life was like in their own villages. In some areas, men from both sides ventured into the war-torn no-man’s land between the lines, to mingle, exchange food and give each other gifts and souvenirs.

During this amazing “Christmas Peace”, there were joint burial ceremonies, and numerous prisoner swaps. Troops reported that meetings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ended with enemies sharing meals together, laughing and singing traditional songs. The men gathered to play cards, and games of football and soccer. These became the most memorable images of newspapers that reported on that God-given truce. What made this so unusual was that the peaceful behavior was not universal. How strange it is to think that the fighting, and violent bloodshed, continued within ear-shot of those who had been over-shadowed by God’s Spirit. These men chose, against all reason, to gather in the midst of hatred and chaos, share food, show kindness and sing Christmas carols to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

On this Christmas morning, as I ponder the significance of the events above, I am struck by the power of human beings to choose what path they will take. We can do great good in the midst of an evil generation, or we can do nothing, and just go with the flow. The power of choice, given to us by God, is always there. We will either be an influence from God to move others in the right direction, or we will be silent, and let emotions, actions and hurtful words take us where we should not go. If God’s Spirit could empower men who were sworn to kill each other, to be at peace, how much more can He do through those of us who are dedicated to loving and serving Him now.

Just like the soldiers of the Christmas Miracle of 1914, we also can show the world what happens when we choose to follow the One who came to save us from our sins. Religion has no answer, and governments do not have a solution. Human effort will never bring about the peace that only God can do through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the reason for the season. Christmas is not just another holiday, or a gathering of family and friends that warms our heart. No! Christmas is so much more. It is the love of the Father poured out to us. It is the over-shadowing of the Holy Spirit, and the birthing of Jesus into a dark, angry world that needs what He brings so desperately.

Perhaps this beautiful Christmas day is the day you will lay down your weapons of hurt and fear. Perhaps you will feel God’s presence like those men did in 1914, and boldly step out into the open field of your war-torn life. I believe it’s time to give God a chance, and let Him do the things you think are impossible. He can do more in a second, than you ever dreamed possible in a lifetime. You just need to trust His leading, open up your heart to His will, and step out. If you will, 2019 could be your time to be at peace while others all around you are still at war. Give the best gift of all. Open your heart to God, and let your Christmas miracle come in. Life will never be the same! Merry Christmas!

The Wall We Build

great-wall-of-china-with-cloudsOver the course of human history, man has devised many things to keep out that which might do harm. In early cultures it was a pile of brush around a campsite, or circled wagons in hostile territory. Log forts were raised up to protect soldiers, and stone-walled castles with motes were constructed to keep nobility and peasants safe.  But, the picture above is perhaps the greatest endeavor of all, to protect an entire country. This is the Great Wall of China, which was designed and built to keep out uncivilized, hostile, invading forces.

This amazing feat of engineering is 13,170.7 miles long. It took 2300 years to build using hundreds of millions of slave laborers. The Ming Dynasty was the last to work on it in 1644. It has a height that runs between 24 to 40 feet tall, and is wider enough to drive a truck on. It is made up of hundreds of millions of tons of stone, brick, sand and soil, all of which were transported by hand, to the build site. The stones and brick were all held together by glutenous rice flour. Large sections of this wall are now gone, because many homes, buildings and reservoirs in China were constructed using the material during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Today, 70,000 people a day visit the Great Wall, which is now considered a national treasure, and one of the great wonders of the ancient world.

The thing about any wall, is that it’s purpose for being put in place is usually a very good thing. However, over time, it’s function can be transformed into something entirely different. What I mean is, the Great Wall of China was built to protect the Chinese people, and keep them safe from any outside invasion. But, over time, that same wall became a barrier of isolation that kept the people from healthy interaction with the outside world. Once the attitude of the leaders changed, it no longer served it’s original purpose. Instead of protecting the people from evil, it became a self imposed barrier that held them all captive.

I say this because I see the same thing happen in the lives of many who name the Name of Christ. They start their walk in God with joy and enthusiasm, and in time, learn how important it is to put on the whole armor of God. That armor is an impenetrable barrier against every attack the enemy mounts against them. As they use, and trust that armor, they learn the benefit of keeping it in place. However, after being hurt, wounded, disappointed and disillusioned by the flaws of others, that armor inadvertently takes on a different role within us. In most cases, the wearer does not even recognize that such a transformation of vision has taken place.

Once this unhealthy mental metamorphosis happens, just like what happened with the Great wall of China, people will use and armor of their own making as a barrier to prevent others from ever hurting them again. Rather than using God’s armor for it’s intended purpose of fighting off attacks of the enemy, their own armor is now worn by the wounded, to protect them from being hurt by others. We actually isolate ourselves inside that armor, from the very ones we are supposed to be standing with, helping and in some cases, liberating.

The great tragedy of all this is a powerful truth God spoke to my heart several years ago. He showed me a picture of the Bride dressed in full armor. She was standing outside the Groom’s personal chamber, with an invitation to enter in. When she entered the room, the Groom said “drop your armor”, but because she felt safe within that armor, she just could not do it. Then He said to His Bride, “unless you drop your sword and banner, and remove the gauntlets, I can’t hold your hand. Unless you remove the helmet, you can’t place you head on My chest, and hear My heartbeat. Unless you remove the breast plate, I can’t see your beautiful form. Unless you set your shield aside, we can’t get close to each other. As long as your armor is on, you protect yourself from everyone, including Me. If you wear it in here, there can be no intimacy, no fresh revelation and no birthing will ever take place in your life as I intended.”

When God spoke this to me I was completely undone. In that moment I realized what I, and so many others,  have been doing. Those of us who have been hurt, betrayed, lied to and lied about by fellow Christians, have allowed those things to redirect our concept of the Armor of God. Instead of it protecting us from the fiery darts of the enemy, we use our idea of God’s armor to wall us off, and isolate us from the hurt other believers have caused us. Rather than forgive, release and pray for those who hurt us, we hold on to it, protect and preserve it behind the armor we created. In other words, we are using our image of God’s armor for something that was never His intention.

Who is the biggest looser in all of this?  Well, to begin with, it is God! Any armor we put on that builds a wall between us and other Christians, even those who have hurt us, is also a barrier between us and the Lord. He wants us near Him, with nothing blocking His touch, or His view. “Whatsoever you do to even the least of these My brothers, you have done it unto Me”. The armor you put on between you and others, goes on between you and the Lord as well. Secondly, we also become big loosers in this scenario. Wearing our armor in His inner chamber only serves to keep us from the place of intimacy with God. There will be no vulnerability, no humility, no hearing of His heartbeat or touch of His hand. There will be no revelation of His word and no surrender to His will, if we are not willing to drop our armor in His Presence.

So, let me ask you the day’s big question. What are you wearing when He draws you into His presence? Do you feel the heaviness of a suit of armor? Do you hear the voices of past hurts clanking around behind it, in your moments of quietness with the Lord? If you do, then you will never be able to answer His call to come into the place of His inner chamber. You will forever be left standing and protecting yourself from everything, including him. Let me suggest that you do what the Chinese did. Why don’t you start to dismantle that wall, and use it build something good. Then, when you hear His voice to come, you will gladly shed your armor and enter the place He is longing for you to be.   Come my beloved. He is climbing over your wall.  He is calling!! Now is the time to drop your armor, and enter in.

The Lens We Use

hst-sm4 One of the most amazing, and expensive pieces of equipment in history, is the Hubble space telescope. It cost 1 billion dollars to build and several billion to keep in repair. It was launched into orbit on April 24, 1990, by the space shuttle Discovery, and deployed on April 25 of that same year. The first image it sent back to earth came on May 20, of the star cluster NGC 3532. These brilliant images opened up a whole new frontier in astronomy that was never before possible. However, Hubble has had numerous service missions to correct problems so it can keep sending back such breathtaking pictures.

It’s length is 43.5 feet, about the size of a large school bus . It’s weight at launch was about 24,000 pounds but today it weighs about 27,000 pounds, due to additional parts that have been added to repair it and enhance it’s abilities. It’s maximum diameter is 14 feet. It is in a low earth orbit at an altitude of 340 miles, and inclines at 28.5 degrees to the earth’s equator. It circles the earth every 95 minutes at a speed of 27,000 miles per hour.

It’s primary mirror has a diameter of 94.5 inches, and a weight of 1,825 pounds. It’s secondary mirror’s diameter is 12 inches and weights 27.4 pounds. In order to take images of distant, faint objects, Hubble must remain extremely steady and accurate. The telescope is able to lock onto a target without deviating more than 7/1000th of an arcsecond. That means it can only shift about the width of a human hair when seen at a distance of 1 mile.

The energy source for Hubble is the sun. It has two, 25-foot solar panels that produce about 5,500 watts of power. Energy is stored on board in 6 rechargeable, nickel-hydrogen batteries that are equal to about 22 car batteries. With this system, Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations since its mission began, and astronomers using it’s data have published more than 15,000 scientific papers, making it one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built.

Hubble has traveled around the earth more than 4 billion miles but it has no thrusters to adjust it. To change it’s angle, it uses spinning wheels on board, rather than rocket fuel. It turns at about the speed of a minute hand on a clock, so it takes 15 minutes to turn 90 degrees. It has the pointing accuracy of .007 arcseconds, which means it could find and shine a laser on the center of a dime that is 200 miles away. It also can see astronomical objects with an angular size of 0.05 arcseconds. This is like looking from Washington DC and seeing a pair of fireflies in Tokyo, that are less than 10 feet apart. Hubble has actually peered back into the distant past of the universe, locating objects more than 13.4 billion light-years away from Earth.

Even with all the amazing technology on board, something happened to the Hubble telescope that scientists thought would end it’s mission. There was a flaw embedded in one of it’s mirrors that warped it’s field of vision, thus creating blurred images. That flaw rendered it almost useless because it was impossible to clearly focus the main mirror. After weeks of discussion, scientist came up with a solution, and a space shuttle crew was selected to implement it. In essence the telescope was fitted with a corrective lens. It was given a precision eye glass to overcome the issue…… and it worked! This was a simple, but elegant solution, to overcome what could have been a fatal flaw. This gave Hubble a new birth that has changed the scientific world.

Just like the mirror on the Hubble space telescope, things can also get embedded in our emotions and our life, that initially go undetected. Problems can happen to the best of us, that warp our field of vision. Once the damage is done, we will see life, and those around us, from a broken, unhealthy perspective. Sin, harsh words, emotional hurts, and mistakes that are made, get embedded deep within us. These things permanently change our field of vision and how we view everyday life. Once that happens, even the most innocent comment or action of another, will be viewed through that flawed lens, and that changes everything.

Clarity and joy are gone, and life in general takes on a dark tone. We become critical, and swamped by raw emotions, we feel like a victim of uncaring actions, and this translates within us as personal rejection. The end result is always the same. Broken people feel they must guard and protect themselves from abuse, and stay alert as they wait for the next point of rejection to come. If left uncorrected, this becomes a slippery slope that pulls them, and those around them, into a downward spiral of self destruction. Once that cyclic pattern is set in place, it is impossible to get things back into focus so we can see beyond it.

Fortunately, there is a corrective lens for this condition. But, just like the Hubble telescope lens, it will take the intervention of other things to put it in place. First of all we must reject the spirit of rejection that has gripped our life, and we must fight the tendency to think negatively. Focus your mind on the things that are good. Secondly, we must fall back in love with the Lord, and feed upon His word. Nothing brings things into focus like renewing your first love with God. Finally we must be open and honest about the fact that what we are believing is NOT the truth.

Counselors will tell you that emotionally based assumptions are always fueled by the incorrect personal expectations of those who have been wounded. It does not matter if that wound came from their own foolish actions, or the unkind actions of others. Once that lens is in place, it is a set up for yet another arrow of rejection to pierce the heart. That process will continue to cycle around until the issue is faced, the perceived wrong is forgiven, and a choice is made to change what we think. When that happens, just like the Hubble telescope, we will also begin to function in the amazing ways our designer always intended.

As we approach Christmas, perhaps it is time for you to get your life and emotions back into focus. Embrace the life you have, but also recognize that the life you have may not be all that was intended. If there is room for healing, if things have been out of focus, this is the perfect time to get it right. Christmas celebrates the gift of Jesus that God gave to man. He was on a mission to put our corrective lens in place, and He did! Now He wants to heal your heart and emotions, and bring you into clear focus as well. God wants to give you a new birth into a better life through His son, Jesus. My question is, do you want it? The answer you give at this very moment, will determine the life you have, and life eternal that is yet to come.

We celebrate Christmas, because God the Father gave us a gift, which is His Son Jesus. Now, we also have the privilege of celebrating Christmas as He intended. We now can give our best gift, which is ourselves, back to God. Why not have a real Christmas this year? Give your life to Jesus and discover what healing and forgiveness is all about. He will give you the joy you want, the peace you desire, and the life of focus you have always needed. All you have to do is ask, and it’s freely yours. Merry Christmas!!!!!

The Unbalanced Life

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The older I get the more I realize how unbalanced parts of my life have been. What I mean is, from the time I was a small boy, I have never done anything in a half-hearted way. No matter what, I have either been all in, or not in at all. In some seasons of life this has served me well, and at other times it has caused me to jump into catastrophic situations that could have been avoided. Fortunately, the gains have out weighed the losses, but it has not always been a pleasant ride for me or those who go with me. Living an unbalanced life is not the best way to go.

One example that comes to mind was the time I had done research on the stock market and decided to take $5,000 from my teacher’s retirement and invest it on a “call” of December crude oil. I knew the market was going to go up in the cold weather so this was a sure thing in my mind. The stock broker I used over the phone, Ginny, was happy to place my order. The next day she called me to say my $5,000 was now $7,850 as I had made a gain of $3,100 over night, minus her $250 commission. Without thinking, I told her to reinvest it, and began making plans for what I would do with all the money I was about to make.

I was giddy with excitement, and even thought about taking an early retirement. I had it all figured out. I would simply sit at my computer, watch my assets grow, and be a day trader on the market. This was the easiest money I had ever made, and I wondered why so many people I knew were not doing it. Naturally my next step was to jump into penny stocks, so I began to research them. I picked a few that seem promising, based on what I knew of the economy, and by using the Scott Trade platform, I built a small portfolio of stocks with about $50 invested. To my great joy, within a few weeks my $50 was turned into over $500.

I am sure you have already figured out that my unbalanced, ignorant enthusiasm soon went into in a radical nose dive. I became obsessed with market conditions, and had to check my stocks all day long. I could hardly keep my mind on teaching, could not sleep, and reading my Bible was almost impossible. Oh, I prayed alright! “Lord, what stock should I pick now?” “Lord, give me the stock symbol for the next big jumper”. I even prayed with Ginny over the phone, so God would give her the wisdom to know what commodity to pick next. Yes, I was a full-blown Christian nut case, dragging God with me, and wanting Him to bless something He had never called me to do.

What was the outcome? My spiritual life went down the toilet, and so did my finances. Down, down, down went the market, and with it my money was gone as well. Ginny and Scott Trade all made their commissions, and I finally pulled out when I had $500 left in my account. When the check came in the mail, I heard the Lord say, “And there is My tithe on the $5000 you pulled from your retirement”. That Sunday I put the Lords tithe in the offering, apologized for wasting what He had trusted me to hold, and fought to move past the urge to give it one more try. What is in my account since that time? I own 40 shares of penny stock worth a grand total of 8 cents! A grim reminder of what can happen when we have an unbalanced approach and go into something God has not intended for our life.

What about you? Where are the places that may be a bit unbalanced in your life? You know what I am talking about. They are the things that rule your decision making, because they always happen. It might be emotionalism that over rules your common sense. It could be work, or time management, relationships or selfish ambition. It might be refusing to serve where you know there is a need, or serving in a place of need, but doing it with a bad attitude. Perhaps it is the endless desire to be recognized, or the need to always be right. Whatever is out of balance in your life, whatever rules your emotions and brings your actions to a place of excess, that thing must be surrendered to God.

The point is, balanced people are healthy because they have learned how to live life with enthusiasm and passion, but they are not blinded to the consequences of the uncontrolled areas still present in them. They have counted the cost of personal decisions, and never sugar-coat the mistakes they have made. These are people who consider honesty an absolute necessity, and they stay focused on what is most important, no matter what distraction or criticism may come. Their life is influenced by what is biblically right and true, rather than the misguided, emotional responses of others. People in this place are on their way to a very fruitful, peace-filled, and godly life.

So the question is, what kind of person are you? What kind of atmosphere do you create when you interact with those around you? Do you unlock divine possibilities, peace and anticipation for the goodness of God? Or, do you unleash apprehension and concern because you bring some answers, but people are always left wondering what kind of mess you will also bring with you? The one living a balanced life deposits nothing but blessing, and the rich presence of God. The unbalanced life deposits a mixed bag of uncertainty, and answers that must be pick out of the confused, emotional rubble that has been left behind.

Evaluate your life on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 means there’s a major problem because people are unsure what you will leave behind. 10 means your are perfectly balance and others know when you come you always leave a blessing. Evaluate each of the following:

1. healthy personal relationships ________

2. good time management ________

3. emotional stability in every situation ________

4. godly character under stress or rejection ________

5. clear spiritual insight of Scripture ________

6. walk in humility when I am falsely accused ________

7. no need for recognition & validation ________

8. the peace of God is on me ________

9. the presence of God comes with me ________

10. people feel safe under my care ________

Put your total score here: _____________ (100 is a mature well balanced life.)

If you dare, go ask 10 people from different backgrounds, who know you, to anonymously and honestly evaluate you using the same chart. How closely their total score reflects yours, will tell you a great deal about how well balanced you actually are.