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Chicken Run

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Jonah1:3

The sudden swell of shock was quickly replaced with concern as my friend entered her garage.  She is trying her hand at chicken farming.  Well, on a small scale, she has eight little chicks.  Two of which are smaller than the others.  Because chickens are not very forgiving and never pass up the chance to peck and bully another, my friend has separated these two from the flock.  They may be little but every ounce of them is feisty.  The smaller chick’s cage was empty and as my friend looked around the garage something caught her eye.  She turned to see two little yellow streaks dart by.  She turned to scoop them up however, they did exactly what chickens do best.  They ran. Tiny little feet propelled them toward the other chickens.  Peeping and flapping, they alerted their counterparts.  Now all the other chickens were in an uproar. Flapping, peeping, and trampling one another the caged birds began to stampede too.  The closed garage reverberated with panicked peeps and flapping wings. 

            By this time my friend had ceased trying to catch them and instead watched for a few minutes as the two little ones ran laps around the other cage while the occupants ran from corner to corner following the outlaws.  Every time the little chicks attempted to round the cage their feet flew up and they skidded a few inches on their feathered butts.  Yet, each time they would regain balance and continued running.  Lap after lap, these little chicks gave it everything they had.  They had no idea where they were going or how to get there they just ran as fast as those little drumsticks could go while the peanut gallery cheered them on.

            It is the chicken’s first instinct to run and they do it very well.  It is also a common reaction for human beings.  It is also man’s first instinct is to run from God.  That may seem strange, but it is true.  People run for many reasons. They are often scared of God and afraid of what he may ask them to do or give up. For me, I went through a period when I tried to ignore God.  I happily professed my belief in God, but I never really wanted to get too close.  I was afraid that he would ask me to do something or give up something or someone.  I just did not believe I could do that willingly.

            People run away in different ways.  They, like me, may choose to keep their distance.  Others may freeze up and choose to live with small or respectable sins, believing that their sins really aren’t bad enough to be saved from.  And still other may indulge in false piety by devoting themselves to the technical issues of Christian living so that they do not have to face a personal relationship with God.  How they try to run, much like the chickens, they just end up going nowhere.   

            Fortunately, God is compassionate to those that run out of fear or the false belief they are better off without him.   We see this in the Bible several times.  Probably the most well know is Jonah.  He did not want anything to do with Nineveh and ran as far as he could.  Jonah was not alone, the prodigal son ran, Moses headed for the desert and even Peter after the Garden of Gethsemane skulked around in the shadows.  Peter “followed him at a distance” (Matthew 26:58) Peter did not want anyone to know he was one of Jesus’ disciples and when the servant girl pointed him out, he was adamant he was not a friend of Jesus.

            God wants to have a relationship with you through his son Jesus.  He understands your fears and doubts.  He is waiting for you to stop running and turn to him. Like the prodigal son, our Father is waiting for us.  He is only a prayer away and he can hear you just like he heard Jonah underwater in the belly of a whale. And he will forgive you and love you just like he did Peter. 

Stop running to nowhere and turn to Jesus.

Typist for Jesus

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Sometimes, Life Gets in the Way

And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

But Jesus said unto him, follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. Matthew 8:21-22

            I have not written in a couple weeks.  I have been busy at work and life.  There has been overtime, bills, doctor’s appointments, yards needing mowing, flower beds needing weeding, weddings, grocery shopping and well, it is exhausting just listing it all.  Everyday my “To Do” list had, write a Seed, and everyday it was left unfinished with several other items. 

            I was lying in bed thinking of what I should write this week in between all the clutter that kept filling my brain.  It was in the middle of the flurry of disjointed thoughts I remembered the verse, “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” 

            On initial thought, this verse seems rather callus and uncaring of Jesus.  However, on deeper reflection, it has nothing to do with funerals or family abandonment.  Rather is about making a commitment to Jesus and choosing to follow Him in all circumstances.  Whether the bills are due, or the yard has grown up to obscure the house, seeking the Lord is priority.  Jesus knows these things must be done and are important, but nothing is more important than your relationship with Him.

            Today on my “To Do”, I placed the Mustard Seed at the top.  Time in prayer, Bible reading and touching the lives of those around you are your first concern.  There will be plenty of time for the rest once you have fed your spirit and been filled with His peace. In fact, you will be able to complete more efficiently everything you need to do. 

            Just like this disciple, we find ourselves focused on the things in life that need to be done.  In essence this disciple was saying “Lord let me go home and get everything I need to do done and then I will follow you and do what you want of me.”    There will always been an inexhaustible list of things that need to be addressed but there may not always be the opportunity to answer His call.

Won’t you answer His call today.

Typist for Jesus

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Heart Condition

What is the condition of your heart?

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1Samuel 16:7

I was very pleased with my purchases. I had gotten some good deals. Smiling I reached for my receipt. The cashier leaned in, “Your senior discounts on there. Have a good day.” Her eyes smiled above a mask that had a villainous grin with exaggerated teeth. I started to protest but as I glanced at the receipt and saw the additional 10% reduction, I thanked her and left the store.

Firstly, I am not yet a senior. I do however, have quite a bit of gray sprouting about my temples. I have no doubt that this cashier chose that characteristic as her reason for assuming I was a senior citizen.

Thoroughly offended I quickly began to text my friends, giving them a similar narrative as you have just read.

As much as I was offended by the lady’s assumption, there is a relatively easy fix to hide my gray. However, there is no hiding your heart from God. God is not concerned about your grays, you clothing or your car. He is interested in your heart only. What is the condition of your heart? Do you fill it with humility, love and forgiveness or are you hiding something a bit different?

When God looks at us, he does not see the physical. Rather he looks only into our hearts. What is in our hearts influences how we chose to serve the Lord. Is your heart compassionate to others? Is it generous and merciful?

Samuel needed to be reminded that appearances mean nothing. As each of the sons of Jesse passed Samuel, (1 Samuel 16) he like most of us, was only focused on what his eyes could see and not what was hidden beneath. A man or woman’s worth is not in their appearance but in their heart.

My gray hairs may be a product of my advancing age, but what does your heart produce? How much time do you spend grooming your outside verses the inside? Take time this week to look inward and examine your heart. If people when they looked at you, saw only the condition of your heart, what would they see?

Typist for Jesus

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Bubble Trouble

Bubble Trouble

So they complained to Moses by saying, “Give us water to drink!” Exodus 17:2

I was washing up dishes the other evening when I noticed that Bryan was acting strangely.  He was crouched down, eyes wide and tail down.  “What is it boy?”  I asked.  He turned and went to get in his chair.  I did not think too much more about it, until the next morning.  Bryan was taking much longer in the back yard than usual.  I went through the gate and peered around the deck.  Bryan was lapping up something.  Concerned it could be a dead animal or maybe something someone had thrown in the back yard; I began calling him as I walked into the yard.   For some inexplicable reason, he had dug a hole and was lapping up muddy water.  I took him in and to the new water dispenser.  I stuck my finger in the cool water and put it up to his lips.  He licked but would not venture closer.  Finally, after much cajoling he timidly approached the water.  Once he tasted the coolness he began to lap faster and that is when it happened.

“BA-LOOP, BA-LOOP”

Bryan took off like a shot out of the kitchen.  That big bubble had sent him skittering across the tile.  I never thought that an eighty-pound dog would be afraid of air bubbles when I bought a new water dispenser over the weekend.  I know that many of you, like me are laughing at Bryan for being afraid of the bubbles, but we are not that much different.  Very few of us embrace change.  Nor do we like it when God moves us out of comfort zone.  Sometimes, for God to bless us or position us where he needs us, it means that things in our lives must change.  The Israelites prayed for 400 years before God sent Moses to lead the them out of Egypt and to their own land.  However, to get from the land of captivity to the promised land, there had to be some changes.   Just like the Israelites of the Exodus, we too do not want to endure changes or adapt to something new. 

              Poor Bryan is so afraid of the new water dispenser that he prefers to drink muddy water out of the backyard than deal with something new.  How many times have you, so afraid of change, settled for muddy water?  I cannot count the times I have allowed my fear of change, failure or discomfort keep me from blessings or opportunities.  Do not settle for muddy water, instead trust God to lead you, provide for you and strengthen you as you embrace the opportunities that come with change.

Typist for Jesus

One Way, One Truth

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Jesus answered,

 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

I was alone the other day and thought I would stop at a discount store I have passed several times.  I found a couple of things.  While I was waiting on the young lady to check me out, she apologized for my long wait.  I told her it was fine.  I had learned that when you had a moment like that you should take advantage of the moment and relax. 

She nodded in agreement. “Do you meditate?” She asked.

“No.” I replied. “I am a Christian.  I pray.”

“Oh, well it’s all the same anyway.” She said. “I know of couple of Christians.”

“Well, no.” I returned. “Meditation is a focus on the self, whereas prayer is to God.  An offering of praise and thanksgiving.  An interaction in a relationship.”

She shrugged.  “It’s really all the same things. You know, “you do you.” Behind the mask she gave a little laugh of disinterest.

 I did not press it further, but when I got to the car, I lifted this young woman up in prayer.  Unfortunately, her views are not uncommon.  It is a growing world view.  It is the equaling of spirituality, religions, and Christianity.  It is also the world view of a one world religion and order.  On the surface, the idea of a united world is very appealing except a world united in any thing but Christ Jesus is false.

a world united in any thing but Christ Jesus is false.

                This is a dangerous world view for those that are not saved or not firm in their faith.   The idea that meditation, prayer, and spirituality is all the same, and that each “religion” is essentially the same leads people away from Jesus.  There is only one way to salvation and that is through grace extended to us from God.  God chose to accept Christ as the propitiation of our sins. It is Jesus’ blood that pays the price of our personal sins but only through repentance and acceptance on our part of this payment.  Mediation, yoga, doing good works or promoting peace, is no substitute for the blood of Jesus. Many however will chose to believe that it is.  Churches, pastors, preachers, and others will think that if they bend to this type of thinking it will entice people to come to church.  Jesus never used enticements or empty promises to bring people to him.  Rather he stood on the truth and shared it with all that would listen.  

               You will see more of this “equalizing” not only in the secular world but in churches and “Christian “movements.  Do not be deceived.  If they do not teach Jesus, they are false.  If they do not teach repentance and salvation through acceptance of Jesus, they are false.

 Stand firm in truth.  Do not be conformed.

              Typist for Jesus

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Connection Lost

(Read John 16)

This past year we all have learned that there are many ways to work without being at work.  I have been working from home for almost a year now.  Pretty much if you have an internet connection you can work. 

My daughter had a doctor’s appointment and rather than taking off from work I decided I would take my laptop and continue working.  Due to social distancing, only the patient can go back so I decided to use that time to continue what I had been working on that morning.  The nurse called her back and I flipped up the top to get back to my spreadsheet.  Except there was a problem, my system was not working.  Ah, I needed to get the password from the receptionist.  I went to the desk and asked.  Unfortunately, they do not provide internet access. Without the internet my laptop was now useless and my plans for being productive thwarted.

The Holy Spirit is our connection, through prayer and daily Bible study,

we can strengthen our connection.

            It is the same in our spiritual lives, without a connection to the Father and Son, we too are lost. The Holy Spirit is our connection.  With the Spirit we have discernment, wisdom, comfort, and guidance.  The Holy Spirit is a gift from Jesus.  In the book of John chapter 16, Jesus is preparing his followers for his death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. He knew how his followers may feel lost and unable to continue the work that he started with them.  He also knew that 2,000 years later you and I would need the Spirit to guide us in continuing the work that he has started in each one of us. In Jesus’ physical absence he sent the Holy Spirit as guide and comforter those that believe in him. We have that Spirit available to us, filling us and guiding us in the way that the Lord would have us to go.  Unlike the internet, the Spirit can reach you without a password.  Once you accept Christ Jesus as your savior the connection is made, and you no longer navigate this world alone.

            Use the gift that Jesus has left for you, to draw you nearer to him.  Allow the Spirit to teach and guide you. Through prayer and daily Bible study, strengthen the connection.

Cartoon Typist for Jesus
by Bitmoji

The best is yet to come,

Typist for Jesus

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The Best is Yet to Come

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so, they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”  John 2:1-10 (NIV)

              A friend of mine recently recommended this story to be included in my new book I am currently writing.  As I studied the characters and the circumstances that they were facing, I decided that in our current situation as a people across the globe that maybe this story should be shared now.

 As I read my mind created the scene.  It was fall in the land, that is when the weddings were preformed because there was plenty after the harvest and cooler.  The Jewish wedding feast last for five days and during that time food and wine is plentiful.  In the first verse, it states that it was the third day of the feast, that let’s us know it was serious that the wine had run out because there were two more days of feasting to go.  So that is one reason why Mary came to Jesus, she knew that he could remedy the issue. So Mary asked Jesus. Notice that Mary does not argue with Jesus or presses him, she simply tells the servants to “Do whatever he tells you.” She made her request and then left it with Jesus.

What really interest me in this story is the servants and their unwavering obedience.

Mary walks away and the servants look to Jesus. I think they were waiting on Jesus to tell them to run into town or knock on the neighbor’s door but Jesus told the servants to fill the ceremonial jars with water.  Can you imagine what was going through the minds of these servants?  They begin drawing water out of the well and dump bucket after bucket into the vessels. Finally, six huge stone jars are filled to the brim with water.  Their task complete, once again they turn to Jesus, curious maybe a bit confused, and waited for his next command. 

Now take a moment to think about this, what if you had been the servant that Jesus told to draw out the water and take to the head of the banquet?  

Now you don’t know Jesus, but you do know that there is nothing but water in that jar and now in the decanter.  However, being an obedient servant, you take the decanter to the head of the banquet.  As this servant walked through the loud hall filled with singing, winding between the couches and guests, I can only imagine what must have been going through the servant’s mind. I have thought about that a lot since studying this passage. Was he or maybe it was a she, the gender is never specified, scared?  I think that I would have been.  Yet, these servants did what was commanded without questioning. 

  I believe that a true servant must relinquish their will and body to their master.  To do that, the servant must choose to trust the master.  That person knew that they had filled the decanter with water but they took it obediently. When the servant got to the table what a sweet relief it must have been when rich, red, fragrant wine filled the cup. 

Often, we are put in situations where we do not know what God has planned next.  God rarely shares his plans or reasons for what he does.  I find that very frustrating.  I believe that God chooses to withhold that information to cultivate trust, faithfulness, and obedience.  The servant carried the vessel of water obediently to the banquet table not knowing what was going to happen until they tipped the clay jar and wine spilled out. Do not become discouraged or scared, instead like the servants, trust the master.  Do not let what is going on around us discourage you and your faith. Continue to be obedient and faithful to Jesus. 

At the end of the passage, we see that the master of the banquet was very pleased that the best wine had been saved for the end of the banquet. “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 

 No matter what is going on in your life and in this world, remember that the best is yet to come.

Typist for Jesus.

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A Bit of the Ole Razzle Dazzle

Do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God many false prophets have gone into the world. I John 4:1

It is now mid-January and most of us have reluctantly packed up the lights and tree.  I decided to leave one item of decoration out because it really was not centrally Christmas but mostly just winter-themed.  Another reason I left it out was that I was pleased with it.  I thought I was very clever in making it.  A simple crate with a scrap of material, greenery, lights, and three birch sticks.  Why was this so “clever” on my part?  Because my birch wood sticks were nothing more than painted paper towel rolls.  By themselves painted and tied with a bit of twine they are not very impressive and it painfully obvious what they are, but once you place all the lights and greenery around them it gives a good illusion. 

At a glance, you see what I want you to see.

Recently, no doubt you have been seeing a bit of razzle dazzle going on in the media.  In the coming days, you will see even more.  There will be times you are confused, outraged, and simply do not know what to believe. It is during these times we need to look to the One who knows all.  He is not shocked or surprised by current events.   James 1:5 reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”   Do not rely on your own understanding but ask the Lord to give you wisdom and discernment.  Prepare yourselves to see beyond illusions and lies.

Beware of the razzle dazzle.

Typist of Jesus

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A Good Cup of Coffee

and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke 24:47

            About six weeks ago, my coffee maker gave up the ghost.  I have been using a percolator on the stove.  Fine coffee but hard to keep warm like a traditional coffee maker.  I decided that with a gift card I had receive for Christmas I would get a new one.  As I stood in the aisle, I was amazed at all the brands and differing degrees of coffee maker.  On one end a simple coffee maker and on the other an expensive machine that did everything including taking commands from Alexa.  Short of doing your taxes, this machine seemed to be able to do anything.  Yet, I could not help but wonder, is it any good at making coffee? I ended up buying the $9.99 coffee maker, I did not need all the other options.  I just wanted a good cup of coffee.

-What does a coffee maker have to do with Jesus?

            Unfortunately, we are the same when searching for a church or what Christianity can offer.  Our requirements for church, Bible studies and the messages coming out of the pulpit is what that it conforms to what we want to hear. Do we like where the church is located, is it convenient to where I live, is the pastor connected in the community?  Does he know all the right people? Does the message make me feel good about myself?  I want to feel good and have my needs met, I do not want to have to examine myself or acknowledge my failings. 

We focus on how to fill the pews but what we need to focus on is how do we fill heaven.

We want a Christianity and a Jesus that conforms to us and how we want to feel.  Being a Christian and a follower of Jesus is not about how you feel.  In fact, there is no feelings in Christianity. True discipleship is about obedience, sacrifice, charity, and compassion.  We do not need, nor should we look for all the bells and whistles.  What makes a great church or ministry is the courage to focus on what is important and needed.  Truth.  Teaching salvation and repentance. These two things are very unpopular in the secular world.  God, through His son made a way of salvation for ALL humankind. However, without true repentance there is no salvation.  Let us not allow ourselves to be caught up in the easy, comfortable, and non-controversial Christianity that is sweeping the globe.  Let us be courageous and share His truth.

            Typist for Jesus