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Discipline And The Egg Mcmuffin

For someone who is not used to having time on my hands this can be a problem.  Suddenly I have a lot of time on my hands.  You might think “What is he complaining about?”  I am not complaining but I recognize how different it is.  Nobody is making my schedule like what happens at work.  I’ve often thought about what life would be at retirement.  I think that if I had a young family it would be a wonderful time to spend watching and helping the kids grow up.  That is not the case when you get to my age.  Now you top that off with the virus restrictions that are in place where we can’t go out and eat, or go to the movies, or even visit friends and it feels like we are trapped.  I’ve found that it is easy now to get into horrible time wasting ruts.  Watching one TV show after another and before you know it the whole day is gone.  Feeling frustrated that the whole day has been wasted and what did I get done?  Have you ever noticed how much your spirit is uplifted when you feel like something got accomplished?  God made us to be productive and there is a certain sense of satisfaction in completing projects.  If you are really organized you might make a list and check the items off as each one gets done! Then you look back on the day and you say “Well I’m glad I got that accomplished today!”

Honda HRN Residential Lawn Mowers

Last Friday I was talking to a friend and I mentioned that I needed to mow the grass.  He said that the only day to do it would be Saturday.  Apparently he looked at the weather forecast and the next few days after Saturday it was going to rain.  My back yard is the harder and bigger one.  Usually after I mow it I call it quits because it really wears me out.  I got done with the back and quit like I normally do.  However after a few minutes I found myself back outside.  I thought to myself “I could get the front yard done too, it won’t be that bad.”  So I powered up the lawn mower and there I went.  With each little accomplishment I told myself how nice it will be to get this yard all mowed before it rains.  Instead of concentrating on how tired I was, I pictured being done with the project and how good I would feel about it.  Sure enough I finished the front yard and the whole job was complete.  The next day it poured rain and I sat there watching the rain feeling so good about getting the job done!  What a difference it would have been if I had put it off.  I would have been kicking myself for not getting off of my butt while I had dry weather!

Radio.com

The meaning of discipline that I want to promote today is having the fortitude to stay on the right path to accomplish what you desire.  Many people associate discipline in another of the words meanings as in “I need to discipline my kids.”  This is not the meaning of the word that we are talking about.  We can have self discipline in our lives.  That comes about when we have a desire and don’t stray from the path until our desire turns into reality.  I was watching the Jim Rome show a couple of weeks ago and he was talking about discipline and his personal experience.  He mentioned how he was set to do everything right the other day which related to his eating.  He would start his day with a granola bar and had his schedule of good food planned from there.  When he got to the office somebody had bought him an Egg Mcmuffin and had it on his desk.  Jim mentioned how there was plenty of grease and exaggerated saying that it was burning a hole in the paper wrapping and his desk.  Suddenly Rome was in a dilemma.  What was he going to do?  “What would you do?”, he asked his audience.  “I’ll tell you what I did”, he went on. “I hoovered up that Egg Mcmuffin!”.  Now he was tempted to just give up on the day.  He had blown it and was strongly desiring to make a McDonald’s run and crush another Mcmuffin or two.  On the other hand he was tempted to follow his Mcmuffin with something on hand like a Snickers bar that they always had plenty of in the office.  “What’s the use?, this day is shot”, he would tell himself.  Then he remembered one of his favorite motivational speakers and dialed him in on his computer.  The effect was that Rome was talked off of the cliff and back into the discipline that would make him satisfied!  He overcame his desires and said no to the temptation and he started feeling good about himself again!

McMuffin - Wikipedia

Snickers Bar Stock Pictures, Royalty-free Photos & Images - Getty ...

In Matthew chapter 4 we can read about Jesus getting tempted in the wilderness.  To set the stage though we have to start with the end of chapter 3 when Jesus was baptized.  Now we may wonder why Jesus had to be baptized? After all he was the son of the living God.  The answer may be that it set an example for the rest of us.  At any rate it was a major high point as when he came out of the water the heavens opened up and a dove came down and landed on him.  Then a voice from heaven proclaimed “This is my son of whom I am well pleased!”  After this glorious high Jesus fasted for 40 days.  He was then led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted.  Why would the spirit lead him into temptation?  Jesus was at his weakest point and surely didn’t need this.  The answer might be that he was again setting an example for us.  What should we do when we are tempted?  You can read the details in chapter 4 but the summary is that each time Jesus was tempted he resisted the temptation by quoting scripture.  You see Satan quoted scripture too, but he only quoted partial scripture.  Satan tried to take advantage of Jesus weakened condition but Jesus knew that Satan’s power was only for this earth and would never satisfy.

Jesus And Temptation Stock Photos & Jesus And Temptation Stock ...

So how do we learn to resist what we shouldn’t do?  The answer seems to be in self discipline.  How do we get that self discipline to do the things we should do and resist what we shouldn’t?   When we put the spirit first in our lives he helps us discern what we should and shouldn’t do! Like Rome sought help from another source we can seek the Holy Spirit’s advice.  Developing that discipline to follow the Lord’s voice will lead us to the long term results of health and happiness.  When speaking of health it is not exclusively our physical health.  Yes our physical health is important, but of more importance is our spiritual health.  Yes, you will be tempted and sometimes you will fail.  Failure though is never final.  We can and should always get back on the path of truth and light.  I remember when I was first learning to ride a bike. I was very young and my mom was helping me.  I could go for a few pedals before I lost balance and teetered.  Mom was right there running along keeping the bike straight.  Slowly I went a little further and a little further.  At long last I had control of the bike better and my slip ups were fewer and fewer.  That success is like what God offers when we stay on his bike with the discipline to keep going and never quit!

Teach your child how to ride a bike really quickly! - YouTube

Digging For Gold

Every year around this time millions of people are suffering from allergies.  Until just now I couldn’t tell you what a commercial I have been seeing numerous times on TV was about.  All I keep seeing in my head is a dog they show that apparently got sent in for grooming.  Well as they say a picture paints a thousand words.  The dog has half his hair cut and the other half just like it was.  The announcer comes in and says “You wouldn’t accept an incomplete job from anyone else so why accept it with your allergy pills?  I’m not going to condemn or condone the product but as a former Advertising major I am going to rate the commercial very good!  It is short and to the point with a picture showing their point in a very obvious way.  Now the fact that I didn’t remember the product name or what the product was supposed to help me with should be troubling and I could argue that their commercial is incomplete.  Perhaps I am digging a little here to help them complete what they started.  Maybe if they showed someone after the dog with itchy eyes and other symptoms suffering from their allergies and the product that can help them I would have remembered.  Like it is I have that incomplete job in my head of the dog, but not a strong product identification for a problem.  Pictures surely speak louder than words.

Flonase TV Commercial, 'Most Pills Don't Finish the Job' - iSpot.tv

Lately during this corona virus time I have been reading spiritual books.  I have also been studying the books and I mean really studying them.  Unlike the dog example picture that keeps popping up in my mind, we are breaking down the broken down!  It is amazing how much gold you can find if you just dig for it!  Now this is not a mental thing as much as a spiritual thing.  Let me explain it this way.  We’ve seen smart people mentally who can tell you the answer to almost every question you ask.  However, these people have head knowledge and surface knowledge and I am searching for heart knowledge and hidden knowledge.  The heart knowledge runs so much deeper and can only come from desiring to gain knowledge that will help our spiritual walk.  I’ve heard the saying that with knowledge comes power.  I believe this basic rule and if you don’t consider the leaders around you.  Each one must have expert knowledge of the subject at hand or they wouldn’t be in that position.  In a business setting someone determines the value of the knowledge they possess and pays them accordingly.  It works the same way in the spiritual realm.  God sees that we are trying to dig deeper and possess more of his  spiritual knowledge so he has a helper (The Holy Spirit) who teaches us!  However, we are only going to learn if we are willing to be taught! We must be humble and know that there are many more things we don’t know than what we know.

In 1849 we had a great hunger in America.  It was the hunger to get rich via the Gold Rush!  300,000 people came from the United States and all over the world to find gold.  It is true that some came away very wealthy, but most made just enough to get by or even worse almost lost their lives. They were called 49ers because that was the year they made the trip 1849.  One of the men who saw gold at the end of his rainbow was named Samuel Brannan.  Brannan had heard rumors of gold discovered in San Francisco his home town.  Brannan was a newspaper editor and local merchant.  Quickly Brannon put together a gold prospecting supplies store and  walked the streets of San Francisco with a vial of gold shouting “Gold, Gold, Gold, from the American River!”  He saw the other side of the equation.  He set himself up for riches whether gold was discovered or not.  He knew the human hunger for riches would make him rich!

Miners vs. Merchants: Fortunes Made Through Global Trade

At first if the 49ers were very lucky and early they were able to pick the gold nuggets right off of the ground.  Those nuggets went fast as you can imagine and the others were relegated to panning for gold in the river.  Brannon didn’t have the only business that took advantage of the increased population.  Local Banks, Tailors, and Equipment stores were also very successful during the gold rush years.  Again they used the rush for gold to their advantage by providing for the 49ers services that they thought they needed.

I read a book one time about J. Paul Getty.  In it he stated how he got called when one of his oil wells struck oil  I read of different successes he had in that book but I didn’t realize the whole story.  Getty was married 5 times and had 4 kids each from different women. He actually got rich from his dad who bought land and struck oil on it. Getty inherited 1/3 of the Getty Oil Company but was able to expand it and in 1957 Forbes Magazine named him America’s richest man.  Yet with all of that wealth Getty didn’t like to spend money.  For this reason and many more he was not able to be happy in marriage.  Getty seemed like he had some regrets as he got older.  He stated that “A lasting relationship with a woman is only possible if you are a business failure”, and “I hate to be a failure. I hate and regret the failure of my marriages. I would gladly give all my millions for just one lasting marital success.” 

J. Paul Getty Stock Pictures, Royalty-free Photos & Images - Getty ...

Getty had gold right in front of him but he didn’t realize it.  He sold out to the gold of this world which will never satisfy.  As Christians we need to sell out too, not to this world, but to our spiritual treasures!  Digging deep we can find the spiritual nuggets.  The Holy Spirit will reveal all truths if we are open for it!  Unlike the Gold Rush there is plenty of nuggets for everyone who desires them!   Like the 49ers we need to be hungry.  Our hunger though needs to be directed at the spiritual.  We are a spiritual being who has a soul and lives in a body.  Jesus asked the question “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world but forfeit their soul?”  Mark 8:38.  It helps to get together with a fellow believer in our studies!  Matthew 18:20 tells us that “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  He does this in the form of the Holy Spirit who teaches us all truth!  Unlike the allergy commercial we will now be led to a complete victory.  Our willingness to go way beyond the surface leads us to understanding the complete picture! Are you willing to dig deeper for that gold that will satisfy?  If so your spiritual gold will never be empty and your cup of joy will always be full!

 

 

 

 

 

Following The Spirit

One day in 1970 Mac Davis (singer and song writer) went to the office.  He was recently divorced and because his former wife was ill he had their 5 year old son, named Scotty, with him.  Scotty was a typical kid with one thousand questions and Mac wanted to get some work done.  He wanted to write a song and Scotty was taking his mind off of the task.  Finally Mac decided to give Scotty a pad of paper and a pen.  He told him to draw a picture for daddy.  He drew a picture with two figures and the letters prlfq.  When he asked young Scotty what it spelled Scotty said “mom and dad.”  Mac was not quick to correct his son.  He knew that in time he would learn to spell but the effort was there!  In that moment of smiling at his son an inspiration came to him!

Mac Davis – Song Painter (1970) | Sounds of the Universe

Growing up there were two TV shows that I remember from Sunday morning TV.  One was called “Lamp Unto My Feet” and the other one was “Look Up And Live.”  I don’t remember the content of the shows.  In reading about them I discovered that they had guest stars (famous people) sharing their faith.  What I do remember is the titles.  Each title makes a bold statement.   The first statement was from a book I have been re-reading called “How You Can Be Led By The Spirit Of God”, by Kenneth E. Hagin. In Chapter 1 “The Lamp Of The Lord”, Hagin states that “Children of God can expect to be led by the Spirit of God.”  He quotes Proverbs 20:27 which states that “the spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord.”  Here is what he states in conclusion of this statement.  “God will enlighten us-he will guide us- through our spirit.”  He makes the point that nowhere does it say that the body of man is the lamp of the Lord’, or that  the mentality of man is the light of the Lord.  We must follow God with our spirit because that is how he leads us.

How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God: Kenneth E. Hagin ...

I was talking to my friend Kevin the other day about his experiences in the Navy.  Kevin was on a big ship with about 400 other soldiers.  When it got dark at sea it was pitch black.  You could not see your hand in front of you.  They had a drill that they did with a large group.  Each one had to line up behind the team leader.  The team leader had a laser light that let him lead the way.  The others put their hand on the collar of the man in front of them.  Slowly they marched to each ones berth and dropped them off one by one.  The Navy tried to build trust in your fellow teammates.  Everything in the Navy was based on trusting your teammate.  All of the men were trained in every situation.  They were trained to be firemen because if a fire started they couldn’t call the fire department. As they went through each thing that they were trained in they accumulated points which could lead to promotion.  The Navy teaches teamwork and depending on others, but God wants us to depend on him.  If one of those soldiers lost their grip with the person in front of him all of the ones he was leading would be stranded in the darkness.  It reminds me of the parable Jesus taught about the blind leading the blind.  Matthew 15:14 states “Disregard them! They are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

Have you ever had a lamp that was not working?  You might make sure the bulb is tight and fiddle around with the wires.  Suddenly you notice that the plug has come out of the electric outlet.  When we plugged it in the light worked!  It is the same way with God.  He is waiting to light our path, but it is up to us to get and stay connected.  If our spirit isn’t in connection to God our light will not work.  Instead of walking in the light we start walking in darkness.  We depend on our emotions and what we think with our finite minds.  We depend on someone other than God who will ultimately lead us into darkness.  As I was writing this an appropriate children’s song came over the TV in the other room.  We are all probably familiar with it.  It is called “This Little Light of Mine.” The lyrics go “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”  How do we let it shine for the world to see?  We have it plugged in to the power source that makes it all possible!

When we seek after the spirit God is very pleased.  He is our Heavenly Father and like our good earthly father he is delighted in steps of learning that we make!  He realizes that we will fail, but he also see’s effort and potential!  He see’s the big picture in our spiritual growth and he is anxious to help us shine our light!  We are all uniquely made and he cherishes the wonderful differences each of us possess.  All he asks is for us to trust him and walk in the spirit where he can put a lamp under our feet!

When Mac Davis finished his song he let Bobby Goldsboro sing it and make the hit that it became.  One thing he didn’t let Bobby do though was change the name of the son.  He kept it Scotty because that was personal.  He loved Scotty and Scotty was the reason the song was written.  He delighted in watching Scotty grow just like your Heavenly Father delights in your willingness to learn and grow through his spirit!

Vinyl Album - The Peter Pan Rangers - Watching Scotty Grow - Peter ...

Watching Scotty Grow

Written by Mac Davis

Lyrics
There he sits with a pen and a yellow pad,
he’s a handsome lad, that’s my boy.
P-r-l-f-q, spells mom and dad.
Well, that ain’t too bad, ’cause that’s my boy.

You can have your T.V. and your night clubs.
You can have your drive in picture shows.
I’ll sit here and drink a beer and listen to the radio,
bidin’ my time and watchin’ Scotty grow.

Makin’ castles out of building blocks,
and a cardboard box, that’s my boy.
Mickey Mouse says it’s thirteen o’clock.
Well, that’s quite a shock, but that’s my boy.

In four short years I’ve grown from rags to riches.
What I did before that, I don’t know?
Let it rain on my windowpane, I got my own rainbow.
And we’re sittin’ here shinin’, watchin’ Scotty grow.

Up on daddy’s shoulders and off to bed,
old sleepyhead, that’s my boy.
Gotta have a drink of water and a story read,
and a teddy bear named Fred, that’s my boy.

What’s that you say, momma, come on and keep your feet warm.
Well, save a place, I’ll be in in a minute or so.
I think I’ll stay right here and say a little pray’r before I go.
Me and God are watchin’ Scotty grow.

Playing For The Prize

“When you pass the ball three things can happen and two of them are bad!”  The quote was attributed to either Woody Hayes or Darrel Royal, both great college coaches of the day.  That philosophy was also a key ingredient in the philosophy of the great Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers.  In 1967 Lombardi was trying to take the Packers to their fifth championship under his command.  However,  the Packers were in trouble.  Not only were they frozen stiff but they had just went down in the score.  There was only 4 minutes and 50 seconds left and they had the ball on their own 32 yard line.  They were down 17-14 and the obstacles seemed enormous.  The field was frozen and they might have been better off on ice skates.  The wind chill during the game was 48 degrees below zero.  Before the game Vince Lombardi, the Packers coach talked to Chuck Mercein, his big fullback.  “This is exactly the game I brought you here for”, he told Chuck.  “Now go out there and do what I know you can.

Vincent Lombardi - IMDb

Lombardi had already faced trouble earlier in the season.  In a game in the middle of the season both of his starting running backs had been hurt.  Elijah Pitts and Jim Grabowski were out and Lombardi knew that he needed help to implement his plan to victory.  He was trying to keep his eyes on the Apostle Paul’s comment in I Corinthians that he used to motivate his team before the playoffs started.  Paul stated that many people run the race but only one wins.  Run in a way that you will win.  In order for Lombardi to win the race he needed to sign a running back to help carry the load!

Chuck Mercein was a big fullback who played for the Giants.  That is until he was unceremoniously cut.  Chuck was selected in the 1965 draft as the Giants second pick.  He had a great career at Yale University.  He wondered why the Giants would choose him in the second round after using their first round pick on another fullback named Tucker Fredrickson?   The owner told him that they were going to move Tucker to halfback and Chuck would play fullback.  That answer satisfied Chuck.  However, the message must not have been communicated to the coach because Coach Allie Sherman had Tucker playing and Chuck on the bench.  Chuck mentioned later that he didn’t think that Sherman liked him from the start because he went to Yale.  Yale had a very good year but was not normally associated as a breeding ground for NFL talent.

Chuck Mercein - Wikipedia

Chuck was not a flashy runner.  In football terms you could call him a grinder.  He was more apt to try to run over someone than around him.  He was a slow straight line power runner who could also catch balls out of the backfield.  He was not a breakaway threat but could get a dependable three or four yards.  In 1965 Chuck didn’t play much.  He was also nursing an injured groin and that didn’t help the situation.  However, in 1966 Chuck got a real chance with the Giants to show what he could do.  Tucker got hurt and Chuck was the lead back.  He stepped up and led the team in rushing even though he missed the last two games because he was injured.

Amazon.com: 1966 Philadelphia # 130 New York Giants Chuck Mercein ...

In 1967 he came to camp ready to compete for the starting job but found that the decision had already been made and he would be a backup.  It didn’t sit well with Chuck when Sherman told him  he was putting him on waivers because someone got hurt and he needed to sign a linebacker.   Chuck was told not to worry though because they would call him back.  The Giants figured that nobody would claim Chuck because of his contract situation and he could easily be called back.  In the meantime Chuck played semi-pro ball to stay in shape.  When he finally got the Giants call he found that they wanted to bring him back as a kicker.  Chuck was a kicker for his Yale team in college, but he hadn’t kicked in a couple of years, and he wanted to play fullback, where he thought his skills could be best used.  However he came back as a kicker and on his second attempt he missed an extra point.  After the game he was waived and found himself out of football.  He remembered his coach in the College All Star Game and called him.  It was Otto Graham, who was coaching the Washington Redskins.  Otto wanted to sign Chuck but he had a roster problem.  He wanted him to wait until he got it cleared up.

While he was waiting Chuck got a call from the Giants owner.  Vince Lombardi had called and wanted to know if Chuck was still available and would he take his call?  Chuck happily told him he hadn’t signed yet and Lombardi called soon after.  He wanted Chuck to come to Green Bay.  He had just lost two running backs and felt that Chuck could come and help them win another championship!  Chuck told his wife “we are heading to Green Bay!”  So that is how Chuck Mercein ended up back in Wisconsin.  Chuck had lived in Wisconsin early in life and knew of the weather he was getting into.  Yet he also knew he was needed and wanted!  Chuck was a perfect fit for Lombardi’s plan.  Lombardi valued determination and grit over talent.  He saw that Chuck was a hard nosed player who would give him all that he had.  To Lombardi that was much better than a super talented player that didn’t give his all.

Bart Starr, the Quarterback didn’t say much when the team formed their huddle.  Later when asked about it he said that he looked into the eyes of Forrest Gregg and Jerry Kramer and saw their determination.  All he said then was “Let’s Go!”   It was with great resolve that the Packers left that huddle.  For much of the second half they had been sliding on the icy field.  They could not keep their footing.  Chuck picked up a key first down on a seven yard sweep.  He was pushed out of bounds by the Packers sideline and he heard Coach Lombardi yell “Atta boy Chuck!”  He felt an amazing amount of confidence fill his body!  Donny Anderson and Boyd Dowler were key players in the drive but Tom Laundry the coach of the Dallas Cowboys mentioned one play that really hurt them.  The ball was on the Dallas 30 and Chuck let  Bart Starr know that he had been open in the left flat.  Bart put that wisdom into his thinking and when he couldn’t find his primary receiver on the next play he dumped the ball to Chuck.  The toss was a little behind him but Chuck gathered himself with sturdy feet and outstretched arms and brought the ball in.  Sure enough there wasn’t a Cowboy in proximity as methodically through the ice Chuck moved with determination and strength.  Trudging sturdily  all the way down to the 11 yard line, he was finally  pushed out of bounds.

Chuck Mercein I

There was one minute and eleven seconds left and the Packers odds of scoring the go ahead touchdown were looking good!  The next play made it look even better as Chuck broke through the pack and plowed his way to the three yard line!  From there they got to the one yard line, but for the next two plays the backs couldn’t get their footing and were stopped short.  The ball was on the 1/2 yard line but there were only 16 seconds left when the Packers used their final time out.  Starr made a quick visit to Lombardi and made his case.  “Our backs cannot get their footing but I can push off and get in”, Starr stated.  In typical Lombardi fashion he said “Well run it then and let’s get out of here!”
Starr came back to the huddle and called Chuck’s play.  Chuck knew that he was going to score.  To Chuck’s surprise as he was charging in to get the hand off Starr never turned around.  Starr took the snap and pushed forward behind a slight hole the line had made and landed in the end zone.  Meanwhile Chuck was charging and couldn’t stop.  There was a rule at the time that a ball carrier could not be pushed into the end zone.  Chuck’s arms went straight up in the air.  “It wasn’t a touchdown signal”,  Chuck related later.  “It was showing the referee that I wasn’t helping by pushing him in!”  Chuck gained 34 of the 68 yards on that drive.  Without him the Packers would not have won.  Yet when the winning moment occurred it was Chuck who made sure in that split second that the victory stood!

Bart's QB sneak behind Jerry

Chuck Mercein was not the most talented player in the league.  What he did have though was something far more important than talent.  He was determined to be the best he could possibly be.  He was willing to work for that goal.  Just like Lombardi looked for desire and maximum effort, so does God!  He looks at our hearts and asks of us this question.  Are you giving me all that you have?  When we learn to give him everything, God finds a time that he will use us!  Like Chuck we might seem ignored when the credit is handed out, but in the end God knows who did their job and will reward us fully!  Unlike Chuck’s end zone picture we will be raising our hands not in following the law, but in praise to the one who made it all possible!

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.”

1 Corinthians 9:24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Ability

I remember the excited voice of our softball coach.  It was at the beginning of the year and he had just turned in our roster to the city organizers. “I put Kip on there and he is really good!   He fields everything at third base and he has great power!” He later explained that Kip couldn’t come every week but he is on the roster for when he could.  It turned out that we played the whole season and Kip never showed up.  I thought of this story from my past because of my favorite football team the Detroit Lions.  This year they drafted one of the best running backs in the college ranks!  There were some people that didn’t like the pick.  “Why should we draft another running back when we have one with enormous talent already?”  The answer seems to be very clear.  The talented running back that they have is undependable.  In 32 games that they have played with him on the team he has been able to play only 18 of them.  Injuries have taken their toll on him and the team has decided to not totally depend on him to show up every game.

Lions' Kerryon Johnson had an outstanding night against the ...

Have you ever wished you had certain abilities other people seem to have?  “I wish I could speak in front of people like that person can”, you might say..  “I wish I could have the gift of prophesy or the gift of healing”, others might think.  There are many gifts that we can have that put the spotlight on us, but is that what it is all about?  Be careful when you see a ministry that is centered around one person.  We have seen at times that where it should be less of me and more of him in reality it is more of them and less of him.  It is also a common thing for us to see someone get healed in a famous persons ministry and feel like that we have to go there to get our healing.  We forget that God loves us just as much as them and he can heal us by our own faith!

So what should we pray for in abilities?  I can tell you that we shouldn’t pray for anything that would make us proud.  Throughout the Bible God despises the proud.  It is with pride that they reject his son as their savior.  Proverbs 16:18-20 states these things about the proud.

18. Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall.
19. It is better to be humble and stay poor than to be one of the arrogant and get a share of the loot.
20. Pay attention to what you are taught, and you will be successful, trust in the Lord and you will be happy

We can conclude that God loves it when we are the opposite of proud.  When we give him the glory instead of keeping it for ourselves.  After all he is the reason we live and breath!  It is God who makes anything we are or ever will be possible!

Have you ever considered how God continuously uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things?  The Bible is full of these examples!  How about David fighting Goliath and winning?  This is what David said to Goliath in Samuel 17…”David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.”  David was not relying on his own power, but the power of God!

FreeBibleimages :: Moses and the Red Sea :: God opens a path ...

God had to work with Moses to get him to do what he asked.  Moses had the opposite problem of being proud.  Moses had the problem of not thinking highly of himself.  When God asked Moses to lead his people out of Egypt Moses had five excuses.
1. I’m not good enough
2. I don’t have all of the answers
3. People won’t believe me
4. I’m a terrible public speaker
5. I’m not qualified

Moses had the same fears and doubts that we have today.  These fears and doubts hold many of us back from doing God’s will.  Like Moses we argue with God and make excuses for why we won’t do what he asks.  We get the idea that someone else has more abilities, and can speak eloquently, or have all of the answers.  Why would he call me when somebody out there has all of these wonderful gifts that people think so highly of?
The answer is that God wants to use you, an ordinary person, to do extraordinary things through him!  So what is the ability that God cherishes the most?  It’s the same ability that the Detroit Lions cherish in a running back.  It’s the same ability that you and I can have that Kip didn’t.  The writer of the article made this quote. “The best ability is availability”  If we are available we are in a position to hear God’s voice.  If we hear God’s voice we are in a position to do what he wants!  So being available is the ability we should strive for and is the best ability to have!

 

 

 

 

Getting The Trash Out

THE-CROSS-AND-THE-SWITCHBLADE-BY-REV-DAVID-WILKERSON-PAPERBACK-GREEN

David Wilkerson and the team helping him were in a bind.  They needed to buy a house for the  vision God gave David..  It would be a house that people in New York City could enter and feel loved.  It would also be a house where they could kick their habit of drugs and come to know Jesus.  It was a big dream that grew as David listened to God’s voice to help free the Gangs in New York City from drugs, hatred, and violence.  Now the dream was about to be fulfilled.  Yet with each step forward there was an added burden.  You see each house they looked at was more expensive and they had less money in their account. Yet they had faith that God would let them know what to do, and he would provide the finances.  In the end they bought this beautiful large mansion of a house that had a foundation as solid as a rock, and enough room to house an army,  even though the house needed repairs and was a mess. Going to work on it was much harder than you would think because a hermit had occupied the house illegally for years.  Besides dealing with getting the electrical work up to code and repairing damages within, they had to deal with the hermits damage.  His was not in the form of structural  damage as much as it was trying to clean up all of the accumulated garbage the hermit had brought in.

When David and his team walked through the house the first time they noticed the enormous amount of junk.  It was piled up in every room until they could barely walk through the place.  The house was totally useless for the good work they were planning to do due to this accumulation.  The junk ranged from old pictures, to cardboard boxes, to things the neighbors threw out and he claimed.  The hermit would take a shopping cart out each day and accumulate this junk and dump it in the house.  Because of the ill repair and all of the junk the seller gave David and his team a special deal.  Now that they had the house how were they going to clean it up and transform it into a clean and efficient home for the needs of it’s future occupants?

Fresh Air Interviews: Randy Frost and Gail Steketee On Hoarders ...

Finally an idea came to David’s wife Gwen!  Why don’t we have the churches send their youth groups over for a work party?  That was exactly what they ended up doing.  On a Saturday morning the youth started to arrive.  There was a feeling of optimism in their voices as they told David to show them the trash and they would make quick work of it.  Unfortunately when David let them in the house it was like letting the air out of their balloons.  However, they were persistent and started by making a path through the house.  They continued to pull out item by item and carried each one to the roadside.  After several hours of work the group of teens had all of the junk out of the house, and into the front yard. From there David had the city on alert and they sent three trucks over to haul it away.  Finally the house looked amazing!  With all of the junk gone, they discovered that there were rooms they did not know had existed!

PRISON-TO-PRAISE-Spiritual-Power-Through-Praise-Paperback-Merlin-R-Carothers

So now I turn your attention to another book I have been re-reading during this coronavirus time.  This one is called Prison to Praise and there was a similar story in it.  You see Merlin Carothers was in the army.  Merlin was an energetic guy who wanted to be where the action was. When he got delayed from actually being in the war action he was bored and developed a way to get very rich.  He was always good at gambling and won money that way.  Of course his winnings weren’t actually money it was army script.  That is a currency used inside the army community but not good anywhere else.  Merlin also sold things like cigarettes on the black market.  That was a dangerous place on the other side of town that he could get top dollar, but the threat of physical harm was such that it was very unsafe.  Merlin carried a revolver and as he put it “he had one hand on the revolver and the other on his bag of currency.”  Still there was a problem. When he left the army he would only be able to keep the money the army owed him in monthly pay.   How was he going to convert that bag of script into something negotiable outside the army and get it out of there?  His answer came when he noticed that one of the platoon leaders was getting script converted for his whole base.  The guy had a card for each soldier and each card could be used to convert a limited amount of script into money orders.  Merlin made an under the table deal with the platoon leader.  He would pay him 5 dollars for each card the leader could give him.  Suddenly he was in business and he converted all of his script money into money orders.

When Merlin left the army he was carrying his bag full of money orders. Once again as they were they were worthless to him.  What he needed was a plan and he found one. One by one he sent his money orders to a Post Office box in New York.  Before he knew it the money started trickling back to him!  One day he went to his grandparents house to visit.  Instantly he knew that he was in the wrong place that morning.  They were getting ready to go to church and asked him to come with them.  “I would love to”, he replied, “but I have a friend who is going to pick me up in a few minutes.”  When he got free he called every friend that he knew.  Unfortunately his friends were all busy that morning, and he felt forced to go to church with them.  While at the service, he heard a voice that told him, “This is your last chance to get right with God.”  It was so powerful that he knew it was God and he answered, “yes Lord.”  He felt so clean from his salvation experience that he seemed like a different person.  Now he had a purpose in his life, and a peace inside his whole being!

That next morning there was an uneasiness that came over him.  He knew what the problem was.  It was the money he had accumulated illegally.  It was like a cancer inside of him.  He had to get rid of it, but how?  He had a lot of money orders he hadn’t cashed yet so he took them and started flushing piles of $100 money orders down the toilet.  With each flush he felt floods of joy come over him!  The money was a different story.  He called the post office but they said that he didn’t get them illegally, so he was fine within the law.  He contacted the army, and they mentioned a guilt fund that they had.  With that solution, Merlin was free of all of the burden he was carrying.  He later became a Chaplain in the Army helping countless young soldiers to have a faith in the Lord for all of their needs!

Foundation of Praise - Spreading the Word of God

So how do these two examples that seem totally different, yet similar, help us in our lives today? Why do we feel that we can’t possibly get as close to God as these guys, who he used so powerfully?  Could it be that we have garbage in our lives that needs to be flushed out?  What if you had garbage in your house that ended up making a horrible smell?  Would you get it out of there as quickly as possible?, or would you ignore the aroma?  The answer is obvious right? Yet we tend to ignore the little things in our lives that get in the way of our walk with God.  God will not compete for our attention.  We can’t have our minds on the TV, or our phones, or the worries of life all of the time and expect God to speak to us.  He speaks with a still small voice that we need to be tuned in with to hear.  When David and his team bought that house it was not ready to be used.  In the same way we are not ready to be used until we have put God in his rightful place as Lord and Savior of our lives.  We wouldn’t think of inviting a guest to visit us if we had a house that was a mess, and the repulsive smell of garbage everywhere.  We wouldn’t think of wanting to listen to what our friend is trying to say to us with the TV blaring, and our phone constantly causing interruptions.  Now you may think it was foolish for Merlin to send all of his money away, and flush his money orders down the toilet.  However,  we should ask ourselves this question “What is more important, being right with God with joy everlasting?, or  accumulating garbage that will block the conversation?  Can God come into your heart and talk to you, or is your hearts door blocked with garbage?

Please pray this prayer with me.  Lord take the garbage out of my life and let me feel your presence.  Give me a desire to hear your voice and bring to my attention anything in my life not pleasing to you.

In Jesus Name
Amen

 

 

Wait A Minute Fear!

Suddenly without warning a dog was running at me barking as he came.  His owner was calling his name but to no avail.  The dog seemed determined to get to me.  I guess years ago I wouldn’t know what to do but at my age I’m more experienced.  Instead of putting fear in me the dog put more of an annoyance.  I’ve heard that a charging dog can be defused by not doing anything. The most natural thing to do would be to attack him before he attacked you.  The other natural thing to do would be to run.  Either way is not the advice of experts.  Attacking the dog brings on a fight and you might get hurt by a mean and energized dog.  Running let’s the dog know you fear him and he most likely will chase you down like a scared rabbit.  The thing to do they say and what I did was to stop in my tracks and not look the dog in the eye.  This leads to hopefully a non confrontational feeling for the dog and he most likely will sniff your leg and be more likely to listen to his masters pleading.

angry dog with bared teeth

I can think of situations in my life where I was truly scared, fearful, and anxious.  One situation that really frightened me along with millions of other people was the financial crises of 2008.  I was very fearful of my financial future and spent a lot of time troubled and scared.   It got so bad that it was on my mind all of the time.  The fear of losing everything that I had was so powerful that it completely swallowed me in it.  What could I do about it?  Who could I talk to to help me cope with this powerful fear that I was feeling?Image result for 2008 stock market crash photo

Franklin Roosevelt made a statement concerning the times at hand during the Great Depression.  Millions of people were out of work and things looked as bleak as they ever had.  Roosevelt knew though that even in bad times that we could compound our problem.  He mad the statement that “The only thing to fear was fear itself.”   What did he mean by that?  He knew that when people are fearful the natural thing to do is nothing.  It’s like the saying of burying your head in the sand.  There are times that doing nothing is the right thing to do but it should not be an automatic response.  It should actually be one of many options.  Roosevelt stated that our main problem was getting people back to work.  By being fearful people that could offer jobs would become paralyzed about the future and not want to expand their business.  Likewise people would become dependent on the government and not dream for a brighter future.  He offered help from the government but it was a temporary fix until our non fearing attitude could turn the ship around.

If you are living in fear it is time to turn your ship around.  The first thing that you should realize is that God loves you and wants the best for you.  I was listening to a radio show and somebody called in and was telling how she had been always fearful.  When questioned why she stated that she feared what people thought about her.  She said that this condition went on for years until she discovered in the Bible that fear is not from God.  When she realized all of the trouble that God went through to make a path for us to get to heaven she discovered that he had her back.  Instead of fearing the future and anything going on now her faith increased.  She became at total peace with who she was and who controlled her future.  Her call that day was a call for victory and a testimony for anyone listening who was in the grasp of fear.

We all go through fearful times.  Some of us are fearful all of the time.  This is not good for our health or our future.  Don’t get me wrong fear is a natural thing.  Some things we should be fearful of.  However living in fear is never good.  When I was living in fear I took some action.  I made a decision of what I was going to do.  It wasn’t a popular view with the so called experts but in my case it was the right thing in my heart.  It’s amazing that when you make a stand whatever it is you are back in control of the situation.  There is something very powerful in standing up to the fear that is within you and controlling it.  That decision was made by my heart and what I felt was the right thing.  I prayed with my pastor about the situation but he did not really understand because he was not in the midst of it.  At the end of the day it was up to me and what I felt God would have me do.

So I ask you today if you are living in fear to stand up to it.  Do not be paralyzed by fear.  Consider your options and pray to God for guidance.  If you listen to that still small voice within you he will direct your ways.  Take action on what you feel.  It is not good enough to think about solutions and then not implement them.  Take control of your life knowing that the God of the Universe only wants what is good for you.  “Peace I give to you”, Jesus said.

So the dog that was charging at me got to my ankle and like I figured he started sniffing my leg.  He was not out to hurt me like I could have feared.  However if I made the wrong move it could have propelled him into vicious actions.  His Master was finally able to get his attention but as I started walking again I heard him calling out his dogs name in a loud and hurried tone.  The dog was right back on my heals and I stopped immediately.  Finally the Master got the dogs attention for good.  There was no fear on my part, just the annoyance of something trying to take the joy of life away from me.

Isolated on blue background angry annoyed man frowns look at camera holding smart phone having problems with wi-fi no wireless connection, need repair broken phone, unpleasant message received concept

Delivering Kindness

They say no news is good news.  The same can be said about the mail at times “No mail is good mail.”  How many times have we walked to the mailbox only to find bills?  Common sense tells us that we can’t blame the mail person who delivered our mail.  In fact isn’t it good that we received our bill and know that we owe it?  Wouldn’t it be a bad thing if we came home on a blustery winters day only to discover that our power had been cut off?  The people that deliver the mail are like the offensive linemen in football.  We take the job that they are doing for granted.  The times we pay attention to the mail service is when we are expecting something.  When we feel that a delivery is slow that is when we question the functionality of the mail service.  Otherwise we expect to get our mail promptly whether it is a bill or a check or something in between.

Assorted pieces of mail on a plain background

When I was a kid people always looked forward to seeing the mail truck come by.  We had quite a few older people in our neighborhood and the sound of the mail truck could be uplifting to them.  Back then people actually wrote letters to each other.  We didn’t  have Email usage to instantaneously talk.  Calling someone on the phone when they were out of our area code could get pretty expensive.  Even though it was slower people wrote and received letters.  These letters along with other mail items broke up the boredom for a lot of families in my neighborhood.  When the mail truck passed you would see people going out to their mail boxes.  It was almost like they were patiently waiting for the mail to add excitement to their day.

Everyone had a mail box in our neighborhood and they also had a garbage can.  The garbage cans back then were not the big dumpster type we get today.  They were aluminum little silver cans that would fit maybe 2 or 3 bags of garbage.  We had a dog back then and he along with all of the other dogs hated the garbage man.  The garbage man would actually get out of his truck and pick up your little can and dump it in his truck.  We weren’t required to put the can by the road either.  The garbage man would walk right up to our house and get the can.  Of course the dogs caged up in their pens thought that the garbage man was stealing good stuff.  Our dog would give his angriest low voiced bark to express his displeasure as the garbage man did his work.

The mail person was virtually ignored by the dogs in the neighborhood.  Very rarely did they have to get out of their truck.  The dogs just accepted them as passing traffic every day.  Unlike the garbage person mail deliverers are usually giving us something.  I have found that as a whole the mail people are some of the most friendly people I have met.  Although we usually don’t get to know them completely they seem to always be happy and in a good mood.  If we happen to be out there when they arrive they are always open to conversation.  They realize that they have a job to do but don’t take for granted the people that they are serving.

Mail Truck

I have a friend who had a very unusual experience with his mail carrier.  Unlike most mail carriers his was always grumpy.  He didn’t go out of his way to be of service either.  If there was just a little snow blocking his mailbox or if a car was parked somewhere close to my friends box his mail didn’t get delivered.  This is very unusual behavior for the mail service.  Although it may be inconvenient they know how important the mail is and have compassion on people who haven’t shoveled the latest blizzard completely.  It was frustrating to my friend whose mailman’s grumpiness and unwillingness to make the effort delayed his mail.  He tried to be nice but it got to the point where he concluded the mailman didn’t like him and didn’t treat him right.

One morning on a cold snowy day my friend heard a loud motor sound on the street in front of his house.  He looked out the window and saw the mail truck.  The truck wasn’t moving like normal.   It was stuck and no matter how hard the driver was pushing on the gas pedal he could not free it.  My friend looked out the window.  I’m sure the thought went through his head that “it serves him right for treating me badly all of the time.”  After watching the mail truck struggle for about five minutes my friend said a prayer.  “Lord, send someone to help  the mailman get unstuck.”  As he waited for someone to arrive he had a strong thought.  He knew that it was the Lord talking to him.  “You go help him!”  But Lord, you know how bad he has treated me and you know I’m comfortable here and don’t want to get cold.  “YOU GO HELP HIM!”  Reluctantly my friend put his coat and boots on and headed out.  It was a struggle but he was able to free the mail truck from the snow.

From that time on my friend and the mailman had a good relationship.  His mail was delivered on time through all of the obstacles.  Not only that but he had a smile on his face when he saw my friend.  The mailman got comfortable with my friend and told him something that none of the other customers knew.  “About three months ago my wife passed away.,” he stated.  “Since then it has been hard for me to carry on.”  “I’m in my seventies and I wonder why I am still doing this job, but I know I have to.”

It’s easy to judge someone by their actions but seldom do we try to get to the heart of the matter.  My friend reluctantly helped his mailman and with that kindness he found the key to understanding him.  Unlike my friend, most of us will never know why people do what they do.  What we need to realize is that God loves everyone, whether they are treating us good or bad.  He asks us to deliver love to them and be kind and compassionate  He wants us to love them as they are.  After all that God has done for us is that too much to ask?

 

 

 

You Are Right But You May Be Wrong

A couple of weeks ago I was delivering some mail to another department in another building.  I tried to open a door to the office but it was locked.  I heard voices in the office so I knocked on the door.  When nobody came I knocked a little louder.  Suddenly someone from the office came out another door and in a mean tone told me that they don’t use that door.  After making me feel like a complete idiot she walked away only to turn around and ask what I wanted.  I handed her the envelope and before I could get away she called “this isn’t ours”.  I have to admit I was very upset at the way she treated me.  I guess she figured that I was wrong so she could make me feel small.  The fact is I was wrong on two counts.  I knocked on the wrong door and I was in the wrong place with the mail.  A person who I have befriended from other visits to the building heard the whole exchange.  Little did I know that she would report the incident to the employees supervisor.

Image result for photo knocking on a door

The reason that I told this story is to make a point.  I am sure that many of you have faced the same type of circumstances.  Maybe you felt belittled because someone raised their voice or got upset at you.  Maybe like me you were wrong.  Or you may have even been in the other persons shoes.  Maybe somebody annoyed you in some way because they were completely wrong about something.  Maybe it upset you that someone could act or think the way they do or totally disagree with you.  Maybe you could easily prove your point on GOOGLE which is how people try to settle arguments in today’s world.

I remember growing up there were two kids named Pat and Lloyd that had constant arguments.  Look out if they saw each other because they would start right in.  It didn’t matter what the topic was.  If Lloyd was for something Pat was against it and vice versa.  With voices raised they tried to make their points as to why the other one was wrong.  It was kind of comical listening to them.  Their encounters  were entertaining and funny but nobody really won.  They were always a continuing series that picked right back up the next time both were together.  Through all of those arguments I never heard one of them say to the other “you are right.”  To them admitting they were wrong would be giving power to their opponent.  In their minds it would be admitting defeat and neither wanted to do that.  At the time Lloyd and Pat were just kids.  Unfortunately these endless attempts to always be right divide us adults today.

Image result for picture of 2 boys arguing

Many times someone will make a mistake in driving.  I have made the mistake of turning wrongly onto a one way street.  We have a lot of one way streets downtown and if you are unfamiliar with them it could be easy to do.  Did the other cars plow into me?  No, I realized right away my error and quickly righted myself.  I’m sure that someone could have enlarged my situation and laid on their horn for all to realize what I did.  Fortunately they just gave me a chance to turn around.

Image result for cartoon of driving the wrong way

I remember years ago there were guys that would take the Gospel into their own hands.  They would pick a spot on campus and start preaching to all who would listen.  Their message though was not a message of love.  It was always quoting verses in the Bible and telling everyone in no uncertain terms that they were doomed to Hell if they didn’t come to God.  Of course the students would be on the defensive and would come out firing questions to their accuser.  It turned into an argument that nobody would win and created bad feelings all around.

Image result for campus preacher photo

Maybe these examples of bringing on arguments and hurt could be turned around.  Perhaps kindness, compassion, and a caring voice could have helped my situation. What if that lady sweetly said to me with a smile “I’m sorry, we didn’t come to the door. Actually we don’t use this door anymore.  How can I help you?”  Instead of being happy that I was in the wrong place what if she stated with compassion “Oh I hate to have you walk all the way up to the fourth floor but this is actually for another department.”  I would have said with a smile “Oh dear, I must have got my departments goofed up.  No problem, thank you for your help!”  It wouldn’t have taken much of an effort to be nice and compassionate which helps everyone feel better about the situation!

Years ago I was attending a church where a drifter came in and started disruption.  He showed no compassion as in a Sunday School class he stated that people were not healed because they lacked faith.  Of course he had Bible verses to prove his point.  His attitude and accusing comments touched a nerve with the pastors wife.  She was suffering from serious breathing problems and had been praying fervently along with the rest of the church for her healing.  After a couple of weeks the drifter left and never came back.  He stayed just enough to cause discourse.  On a side note it was discovered a long time later that the parsonage was spewing poisonous air which was causing the pastors wife to be sick all of the time.  Once that problem was solved so was her sickness.

Many of us even as Christians are spewing bad air.  We are making others literally sick with our attitudes.  Many times we can justify it by stating that we were right.  I have learned that being right is very overrated.  There is an old saying that states “You can draw more flies with sugar than with vinegar.”  Be kind and compassionate.  Think about how you would feel if you were walking in the other persons shoes.  Look for the good in people and show love always even if they are totally wrong.  If you do that you will find that not only will they be happier but you will be too!

If you're wrong in the way you're right, you're wrong even if you're right. - James MacDonald

 

 

Let’s Hear It For The Noise!

There are sounds in life that most of us just love!  The sound of a soft rain, the sound of a baby laughing, the sound of a beautiful song, and the sound of someone telling you that you just won the lottery.  OK I just threw in the last one.  It surely would be a pleasing sound and yet probably is a sound relegated to our dreams.  We cannot limit the wonderful sounds of life to a short list.  They come at us from everywhere and make little things better if we take time to listen.

I have been paying closer attention to sounds as I take my walks.  I’ve noticed that when I focus on my hearing I hear the wonderful sounds of nature.  I’ve been hearing the birds in all of their different voices.  I’ve been hearing the sound of voices in normal conversation.  I’ve heard the sound of the wind and the sound of the cars going by.  All of the sounds of life that are mostly taken for granted have been on my mind lately.  It is truly a blessing to be in this world and enjoy the sounds of life.

What If Someone Walks Away from Restoration?

Through this journey into listening closely I have come to certain conclusions.  For instance most people do not really pay attention to the sounds of life.  In fact I am most people because very rarely have I truly appreciated them.  I think the reason most of us don’t is that we take them for granted.  We tune them out and concentrate on our problems at hand.  Our mind is on things that we think are important at the time.  We may be worrying about some situation we have no control over.  All of these things keeps us from thinking about the sounds of life around us.  We treat the sounds like white noise which means it is background stuff we hear but don’t listen to it.  We are so busy fiddling with our phones that we ignore the beauty of the sounds of life.

I find this white noise phenomena interesting.  I am one of those people who like a little noise when I sleep.  Usually it is a TV but some people cannot sleep without a fan being on.  It is just the noise in the background.  Even when not paying attention it can be nice to have the TV on in the background.  Maybe that kind of thing trains us to ignore certain sounds.  Even now at work if someone turns off the copy machine it gets deathly quiet.  I don’t like that quietness.  It feels kind of eerie to me.

Years ago Neil Diamond wrote a song called “It’s A Beautiful Noise” which describes how I feel when rediscovering the sounds of life.  It came unexpectedly as Neil was with his 2 little daughters and he had promised one of his future band members that he would write a song.  The song was to convince the guitarist to work with Neil.  As they were in a New York Apartment on the 4th floor a Puerto Rican parade went by on the street below.  With the windows opened they heard the beautiful music full of rhythm and joy.  One of his daughters said “What a beautiful Noise.”   Suddenly Neil knew what the song would be and the words flowed.

What a beautiful noise
Comin’ up from the street
Got a beautiful sound
It’s got a beautiful beat

It’s a beautiful noise
Goin’ on everywhere
Like the clickety-clack
Of a train on a track
It’s got a rhythm to spare

It’s a beautiful noise
And it’s sound that I love
And it’s fit me as well
As a hand in a glove
Yes it does, yes it does

What a beautiful noise
Comin’ up from the park
It’s the song of the kids
And it plays until dark

It’s the song of the cars
On their furious flights
But there’s even romance
In the way that they dance
To beat of the lights

It’s a beautiful noise
And it’s a sound that I love
And it makes me feel good
Like a hand in a glove
Yes it does, yes it does
What a beautiful noise

It’s a beautiful noise
Made of joy an of strife
Like a symphony played
By a passing parade
It’s the music of life

What a beautiful noise
Comin’ up to my room
And it’s beggin’ for me
Just to give it a tune

As you can see some of the sounds he writes about are not necessarily pleasing to the ear.  I was talking to a fellow worker about an unpleasant sound we were hearing.  Actually it was more about me complaining.  I think it was the sound of a weed whacker or a lawn mower.  The message that they mentioned back to me was something I hadn’t thought of.  “I like the noise” it was stated.  “It is the sound of life and people living.”  It is in contrast to the term I mentioned earlier “deathly silence.”  So I’ve concluded from this rediscovery of my listening that the sounds of life are a beautiful thing.  Of course the sounds that we always loved are beautiful, but also the unpleasant sounds say something.  They say that I am alive and a part of life.  I am in the game, much like when I saw my first baseball game and the sounds of the fans, the crack of the bats, and the pop of the gloves was so pleasing to my ears!
Baseball Player, Shortstop, Infield, Sport, Playing
We live in a world of noise and it is easy to turn off some of the noise around us.  Invariably we treat it like white noise. It is also easy to turn off God’s voice when he is trying to talk to us.  It may be a thought that we have to do something that gets ignored.  Many times we have a feeling that we should help someone or reach out to someone.  If that feeling gets any kind of root many times we dismiss it as not being practicable, convenient, or timely.  It’s true that God usually does not talk to us through our ears.  More often than not it is through our heart.  When we follow through with what he is telling us we start seeing lives getting changed.  When we don’t it is like the white noise we so often ignore.  When we ignore that sound we are missing so much.  Listen to the sounds of your heart.  It is like my rediscovery with listening with my ears.  It truly is a beautiful noise!

Image result for helping hand photo

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