How You See Is What You Get

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭17-18‬ NLT

We walk through our days with our senses being inundated. Go to a large urban city and the sights, sounds and smells will leave an indelible impression. Living on a farm can have the same impact. And, if you travel to another country, those sensory reminders will always be with you.

I’m reminded how fun it is to teach children (and grandchildren) about the senses. Touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. It’s just as important to teach them about spiritual senses . . . faith, hope, wisdom, love, patience.

As we walk through each day, the impact of our senses, especially our eyes, gives us a unique self perspective. We see things “through our own eyes” and the first thought is “how does this effect me?”

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Nope . . . It’s Not Happening

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV)

I came across this passage several years ago.  Candidly, it did not make my list of the “Top Ten Verses That I Love.”  In fact, I didn’t like reading it at all.  It’s one of those passages of Scripture that walks around in your mind until it works its way down to your heart.

These verses are not really what we want to hear.  

We want to enjoy the blessings . . . not endure the burdens.  

We want fruit on our vines, crops in our field and livestock in our stalls . . . translated . . . we want money in our accounts, businesses growing, vocational recognition, nice cars to drive, a nice home with equity and all of our relationships to be perfectly, harmoniously happy.  We have accepted that these things equate to God’s hand of blessing . . . God being pleased with our performance.  Too often, we adopt a “spiritual Santa” understanding of God . . . if we are on the “nice list”, we get good gifts . . . and if we don’t get good gifts, we must be on the “naughty list”.

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it’s the hardest thing

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. (Luke 15:20 NLT)

Being a dad is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I’ve been at this “father” thing for almost 40 years.  Once I think I have a handle on it, I find that I’ve lost my grip.  When I think I have arrived, I realize I’m still on a journey. 

Pope John XXIII said, “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”

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Let me see . . . Let me feel

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Romans 12:15 ESV

Unity is a delicate and deliberate balance of appreciating and accepting differences and diversity.

We fight against judging others based on past experiences or preconceived expectations.  Our fears keep doors unopened and erect walls of opposition.

Our first response is likely a faulty reaction.

Noted author and Pastor, Charles Swindoll reminds us, “Prejudice is a learned trait. You are not born prejudiced, you are taught it.”

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We’ve Been Here, Before

I remember the date well . . . January 1, 1988. It was New Year’s Day, college football was on television and seat belt requirements became law in our state.

I love my rights. Don’t ever limit my opportunity to speak out, don’t infringe on my 2nd Amendment right, and don’t tell me I must wear a seat belt. A seat belt was uncomfortable and restrictive. It impeded my driving. It did not help my driving improve. In fact, it only was a benefit if I got into a life-threatening accident. I very rarely had a fender-bender, much less a tragic car crash.

And, it was just another move of an oppressive and over-reaching government to control me. I believed and could argue that seat belts were just the first step in a lifetime of limiting my personal freedoms and taking away my rights.

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I Choose . . .

Daryl is a long-time friend.  He is warrior.  A fellow “8”.  He is passionate and purposeful.  He and his wife, Jo have lived a love-story with valleys and mountaintops . . . like all of us.

Daryl recently talked about his life the last few months . . . Daryl’s Story

I listened to this video clip from Waymaker Church’s Easter streamed service.

As you listen to these four short minutes, consider the following:

Perspective . . . Pivot . . . Pursue

All of us live seeing out existence from a chosen perspective.  For some, it is from a viewpoint of “entitlement“, where I am owed something.  For others, it is out of guilt . . . this is what I “deserve”.  And, for some it’s “control” because I determine who I am and who I become.  For me,  I see a life that has a Master Creator Who loves me more than I could ever imagine and gives me the opportunity to do “more than I could ever ask or think” (Eph 3:20 NLT).  I choose how I see things . . . my perspective.

There are times when life doesn’t go as planned.  Relationships become hard.  Work hits every roadblock.  Life starts to drain, damage and destroy all that you have dreamed of.  So many just sit and “pause”, while it may be better for us to “pivot”.  It’s usually not getting “rid” of anything, as much as getting “right” with things.  Alignment is the discipline of accomplishment.  I choose to change directions . . . I pivot.

And, then I charge forward with new perspective . . . I pursue with purpose, passion and a plan.

It begins with which story I’m telling myself . . . I make a choice to choose.

The One and the 1

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 15:7

The physician Luke records a conversation between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day over those who were spiritually lost.  The Pharisees focused on the found . . . Jesus looked for the lost.

The Savior told stories of a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son.  The lost sheep was sought after by the shepherd . . . the lost coin was found in a routine cleaning . . . and the lost son was waited for.

In each parable, there was celebration when the lost was found.

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