You Look Just Like…

Celebrities-that-Look-Alike-Kris-Humphries-and-Taylor-LautnerHave you ever been mistaken for someone else? They say that everyone has a twin but I could not verify the validity of that saying. But does everyone have a doppelganger? There is only so much genetic diversity to go around,” said Michael Sheehan, an assistant professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University.

A new baby is born and someone is bound to say, “Doesn’t he look just like his Uncle Elmer?” Or you go to a family reunion and you prepare yourself for, “You look just like your Aunt Mable!” My family tells me that my grandson, Brice, looks, and acts just like me. [I am not sure if that is a criticism or a compliment!]

I found an interesting verse of Scripture, Acts 4:13 that says, “Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

I am not sure all that this verse implies but I do know that you become like the people you “hang” with. Proverbs 13:20″ He who walks with the wise will become wise…” So as Christ-follower, we must ask ourselves, “Does my behavior, attitude, and actions reflect that I have been with Jesus?

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Who Is In Control?

Surrender: to yield (something) to the possession or power of another
Control: to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command

Let’s be honest; most of us like to be in control. We stress out when things seem out of our control. Growing up with two brothers, control was a big issue, whether it was who would ride “shotgun” in the car or would we watch cartoons or American Bandstand. It feels nice to call the shots, drive the car, hold the mic, dominate the remote, and plan out a detour-free itinerary for our lives.

Control becomes a major issue when we refuse to surrender control of our lives to God.  I’m like, “Hey God, I know you created the world, and exist outside of time, and are unquestionably wiser than anyone could imagine, but I just want to give you a heads up. You’re going the wrong way!”

Jesus prayed, “Your will be done,” right before His crucifixion; and our hearts, words, and lives should continue His prayer.

We cannot micromanage God, but we can trust Him. We can yield to His guidance, knowing He only leads us in the right direction.

We all get to choose. The options are confidence in our own partial understanding or surrender to the one who holds the map.

What Did You Say?

You can’t control much of what happens to you in life. You can’t control who your parents are, where you were born, and a variety of things that have a significant influence on your life.

But you can choose how you react to what life throws your way. We have all heard people say, “They make me so bad!” Technically that is not correct. People may do things to you, lie about you or even cheat you but you have the choice how you will respond. The choice is always yours. Proverbs 29:11 (GW) says, “A fool expresses all his emotions but a wise person controls them.”

When we are mistreated, the proper reaction isn’t to blow up or clam up. Instead of responding in anger, God has a better solution. “A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.” Proverbs 15:1

Here is the bottom line: Trust God to settle the score. After all, He has more and better resources to do that than you do.

Knocked Down but Not Knocked Out

I am sure that all of us can remember a favorite toy we received at Christmas. To be honest I probably had several “favorites” but the one toy that I remember most was a sock-em-bounce-back clown. No matter how hard or which direction you hit it, it would always bounce back.

I may be stretching the analogy a bit but Christians should be able to “bounce back” when struck by life’s “punches.” “For the righteous falls seven times and rises again…Provergs 24:16 I read recently a definition of success that I rather like. “Success is falling down seven times but getting back up eight times.”

The secret of “bouncing back” for that toy and Christ-followers is the balance. Something at the center that brings us back to where we should be. Jesus Christ is our anchor that brings us back to center.

“We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.” 

The John Wayne Syndrome

“John Wayne.” Just the mention of his name brings a mental image of a man’s man. He is the epitome of the rugged individual; courageous, strong, and never asking for help from anyone, no matter the odds. The concept of the ‘stand alone’ rugged individual is highly regarded in today’s culture.

To ask for help is often seen as a sign of weakness or a lack of self-confidence. I do not remember the “Duke” (or Dirty Harry) ever asking for help from anyone! That makes for a great movie but in reality, we DO need each other.

The Bible refers to Christ-followers as the Body. The Body (both physically and spiritually) is made up of many members which are dependent on each other. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Sharing the load or asking someone for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of good judgment.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. (ECCLESIASTES 4:10)

One Sunday as they drove home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, there’s something about the preacher’s message this morning that I don’t understand.” The mother said, “Oh? What is it?” The little girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. He said God is so big that He could hold the world in His hand. Is that true?” 

The mother replied, “Yes, that’s true, honey.” “But Mommy, he also said that God comes to live inside of us when we believe in Jesus as our Savior. Is that true, too?” Again, the mother assured the little girl that what the pastor had said was true. With a puzzled look on her face the little girl then asked, “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?

If God is on the inside of us, He will show through to the outside! If the fire of Christ is burning on the inside of us, then that fire will spread to the outside and to those around us.

365 Prayers

Several years ago, I found a book that had a unique, but Biblical,  approach on praying. In every area of life there are people who shape our world. These people have a great deal of influence in their fields: political, science, music, entertainment, medicine, finance, sports, education, etc. These are people who wield power. 

The book is based on 1 Timothy 2:1-2 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”  The book gives you 365 people to pray for each day of the year. Each page includes a brief biography and suggestions how to pray for that person. 

Throughout the Bible we see how God used heathen rulers to accomplish His will. In most cases they were not even aware they were being used by God. The Lord can control a king’s mind as easily as he controls a river. He can direct it as he pleases. Proverbs 21:1 (ICB) 

You do not need a book to tell you who to pray for. Listen to the news. Read a news paper. Allow the Holy Spirit to direct you. But pray!