Thursday, October 20, 2011

#0. Where We're Headed

LIKE A TSUNAMI WAVE, this age of data, distractions, and dead ends is consuming the minds of todays teens and young adults. Neither human minds nor hard drives can warehouse, let alone use, all of it.

Our journey can be on a vast salt-water ocean or amid rocky rapids of information. It is crucial to our survival of spirit and soul that we have the right tools and know how to use them.

The following posts, cover seven topics that include tools for Fine Tuning the Powerhouse in My Shoes.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#1. Almost Exploding

ROARING ALMOST TO THE POINT OF EXPLODING, the two dragsters are staging at the starting line. The sticky surface of the massive tires grips the pavement for the blast off. Even before the tree of starting lights begin their countdown for the racers; the adrenalin of the spectators is kicking in. Their emotions are screaming, “Do it! Lets Go! Dont wait! How is this going to turn out?”

The pit crew of each racer is yelling at their respective driver, “Go baby! Go baby!” getting louder with each repetition. Each can visualize his team’s name on the large gleaming trophy and their names in the Guinness Book of Records for the entire world to see.

Most of us want to win; be the victor; wear the gold medal. We would also like to do it without injury or wasted efforts. In these pages we will think of ourselves as a powerhouse – a powerhouse in my shoes, that needs some fine tuning.

Now in stark contrast to all the noise and emotion of our drag strip is a maintenance crew chief with all the quiet and focus of someone defusing a bomb. Without distraction, he opens his laptop computer for the umpteenth time and line-by-line checks all the parameters of this race day. He checks again the correct entry hes made of the tire sizes, shock absorber settings, complex engine settings, and a truckload of other variables.

The well-seasoned crew chief has two timing concepts with which to deal. The first is the timing of all the individual parts of the dragster. Are the parts all synchronized with each other, as the engine roars up to launch potential? Will the engine give the driver optimum performance? If the timing of the parts relative to each other is not correct, then the time to the goal will not be acceptable. Hence, no trophy.
The chiefs laptop is another example of timing; synchronization (sync). His laptop is an orchestra of parts that must all be in sync - in time with each other. If not, the computer will get no closer to its goal than the dragster. We can see many examples around us of trophies won by elapsed time. But closer inspection shows the trophy was really won by the teamwork; the part-to-part timing; the person-to-person timing; synchronizing; of the task at hand.

The contrast in purpose of TIME and TIMING should be clear and remembered. It will crop up later in these pages as we learn how to fine-tune the powerhouse in my shoes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#2. Time Roots

This is a good place to take a closer look at the roots of time and control.

God created time in Genesis 1:14 when He put the sun and moon in the heavens. The sun tells us what time of day it is. The moon gives us clues to what day of the month it is. The stars, plants, and animals help us with the time of the year. Neat huh? We have been given free clocks that are perfect for our day, month, and year measurement of time.

We teach children at a very early age about the things of nature and that God created them. But as they get older, we forget to teach them two other basic truths about God’s creation.

  1. All His created things are interlocked into each other’s existence. (Synchronized, you might say.) The sidebar story for this chapter gives a good example.
  2. The second is that God STILL controls what He has created. We can see a couple examples of that.
A long time ago God’s army was about to loose a battle because they were running out of time – it was getting dark too soon. Well, Joshua 10:13 says God stopped the sun a whole day and the battle was won.

One more example: Answering the prayer of just one man, God backed the sun up 12 degrees (40 minutes) in time, recorded in Isaiah 38:8. My mind can not fathom how He could have done these things but He did. This tells us several critical things:
  1. God is so interested in you and I gaining the victory, He will override His laws of nature.
  2. To answer the prayer of even just one person like you or me, God will do whatever it takes.
  3. God is ALWAYS in control of every bit of His creation.

Monday, October 17, 2011

#3. Killing Bears - Selah

Besides killing a bear, a lion, and a giant, David was also a musician who played well enough to soothe King Saul. In the Bible, the Book of Psalms is a book of songs. In his songs, quite often David included small “hold-its” or pauses. You see them each time you read the word “Selah”. Bible scholars all agree that Selah also means to pause or wait just a bit. It is used as something like a musical pause.

Time and timing seem to be woven into the whole fabric of our existence.

Many believe Selah also means to “pause and reflect” or “pause and retaste”; what came before. This would be like smacking your lips after having eaten a tasty morsel. I believe it is fitting and consistent with scripture to assume God wants us to “taste again” His printed words of truth. We should ask ourselves, “What have I just read? What is the deeper meaning of the words I’ve just heard preached?”

This fundamental truth, to be learned early on, is that waiting long or short periods has very profound purposes. Waiting on God is far from just sitting on one’s hands and shifting the brain out of gear. David gives us the simple process in Psalms 37:7:

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

To rest, wait patiently, and fret not requires that we acknowledge that someone has the power and authority to control our circumstances. Further, that we acknowledge that someone knows and cares about our needs. Well, there is, and He does. Have you remembered the previous topic teaching us that God cares and controls?

Read thatRest in the Lord…’ verse again andSelahon the wordsRest”, “wait patiently”, andfret not.That verse is a perfect one for placing over the kitchen sink, on the refrigerator, above your desk, inside your toolbox, or near your speedometer.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

#4. Little by Little

Here we are still working on timing i.e. God’s timing.

There is a sweet wonderful truth about waiting on God that surrounds three little words. The words are “little and little”. These are the equivalent of our “little by little.”

By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. Exodus 23:30

And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. Deuteronomy 7:22

These verses are used to describe the slow, orderly timetable God uses. This was just the right timing for the Israelites to capture their idolatrous enemies and to seize the land that God had promised them. God could have snapped his fingers and all of the enemy nations would have instantly been dead. Some of the reasons why He did not are ones we need to internalize, and maybe even apply to our own lives.

  1. One reason why He did not is in the word Selah, which we have just learned about. After each and every battle God wanted the people to stop and reflect (Selah) on how God had delivered the enemy into their hands. He also wanted Israel to reflect on what happens to people who worship idols.
  2. The verses refer to the wild beasts that would flourish uncontrollably upon the countless corpses that Israel could not have buried fast enough.
  3. Because God purposely did not destroy all the enemy nations all at once, fields would still be planted and tilled. The cattle would also be maintained also. Can you see the result is that God is blessing us mightily by having others begin the work we are to continue?

He shows us step-by-step, little and little, that He hears and wants to answer our every prayer to be victorious in His name. And He wants us to savor and share every morsel of His blessings with others.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

#5. Wait Some Time or Die

Push. Push. Push! I gotta get it done! No time to waste. Someone else will get there before I do.” We hear these statements, sometimes from our own lips, don’t we?

On the other hand God tells us, “Cool it.” He even puts a definiteHold it!” on our workweek. God created all of His creation in six days and then made definite plans for the seventh day the Sabbath dayHe designated it a holy day. Like Gods example, the animals and we are to rest on the seventh day according to Exodus 20:8-11.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

God told His nation to keep one certain day of every week special; to keep it holy. Holy means ‘set apart for God.’ Now don’t draw the wrong conclusion when you read – ‘not do any work.’ It is not a goof-off day. It is a day for special schooling within the family. Lesson #1 in the passage is the first word “Remember.” Teach your loved ones that this day is to be set apart for God.

The following lessons of the passage begin with Creation showing God’s power. We sometimes call it God’s omnipotence (power). Then succeeding lessons taught on this special day of the week emphasize His Authority. We see this in the passage with the words, ‘He blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.’

Guess what? When we often remember God’s power and authority… we can easily (patiently) rest, wait, and fret not, in our challenges through the week.

If you think the passage was just a suggestion from God and not a command, read Numbers 15:32-36:

And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Our military Commander is adamant about loving and protecting us. All He expects in return is our allegiance and obedience. A spin-off of this is that our minds, hearts, and lives become the fine-tuned powerhouse we desire them to be.

So far we have seen in these posts that:
  1. We have God to thank for the gift of time.
  2. He further demonstrates that what He creates, He continues to control – stop or back up.
  3. His written word explains His reasons for moving ahead slowly – little by little.

Friday, October 14, 2011

#6. God's Fast Forward

You and I make ample use of the fast forward buttons on most of our technology toys. Well, how about God? But does God ever use fast-forward?

The answer is a resounding “YES”. You will be excited to know He uses it to show us our future in no uncertain terms. On the one hand, He fast-forwards to show us our future if we have led selfish lives with no desire to please and follow Him.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2nd Tim 3:1-7.

How ugly a future it is. Especially when it all can be avoided.

But on the other hand, He shows us our positive future if we have honored Him with our lives and our talents. The attributes are listed as a result of the Spirit of God being allowed to work in us:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal. 5:22,3.

Moving fast forward, in the company of others, with no clear goal in mind is called a stampede. A stampede is an animal action and not for humans. Our manner of living should be to slow down enough to recognize we have a conductor; a shepherdour Lord and Master. And that He has given us a precious gift of communicating with Him.

Communicating daily with Him by reading His word gets us in sync with His magnificent plans for us. The greatest future we can have is the one that we step by step, little and little, watch for and rejoice in God’s plan and provision in each of our lives. But it is even MORE fun when we share God’s goodness with others around us.