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You Need to Grow a Little More

never be afraid to grow

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, Philippians 1:9 (ESV)

 What is a beach side vacation without a visit to the local ice cream shop?  Well, certainly not as much fun.  So, one evening on my recent vacay, my fellow travelers and I decided to take a trip down the road for some creamy cold goodness.  We were not the only seaside guest that thought ice cream was a perfect way to end the day.  The line snaked back on itself inside the small shop.  It was evident when we entered that the four young men manning the counter were well acquainted with serving so many.  They kept that line moving and before I knew it, I had ice cream in one hand and my debit card in the other.  I paid and moved to the sidewalk to find a table.  Moments later my friend emerged, laughing.  Once everyone had sat down, she related her story.  She had gotten her ice cream and prepared to pay but was unable to see the little screen on the card reader even on tip toes.  The young man on the register held it down for her. With a playful tone and Jamaican accent, he said, “You need to grow a little bit more, miss.” 

We got a giggle out of it.  Later that evening I thought about that statement.  Though my friend is unable to grow taller we are all capable of growing and maturing spiritually.  That is one of the wonderful things about humans.  We continue to grow, mature, and learn throughout our lives. It is the same in our relationship with Jesus.  Whether you are a new Christian or have been for many years, there is plenty of growth ahead of you.  The mysteries of his love and the intricacies of life affords years of learning and understanding.  Never stop searching the Word, never stop asking the Spirit to give you understanding and never be afraid to grow.

Typist for Jesus

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On Angel’s Wings

Parasailing in Destin, FL 2021

“For He Himself is our peace…”  Ephesians 2:14

All the check had been done and redone.  I listened to the captain and the deck hand’s instructions.  I did not know what to expect except that I would be lifted 400 feet into the air over endless ocean.  Yet before I even completed that thought, the boat accelerated, and my friend and I were lifted off the back of the boat.  Legs dangling and a scream caught in my throat, I felt my body soar higher into the sky, the boat becoming small.  Higher and higher we climbed into the blue. Every nerve ending in my body was alive, and my wrist ached from the intense grip I held on the straps.  As the tether unfurled more, I began to wonder if I was about to float off into space.  Finally, we met our maximum altitude, the climb stopped, and we simply hung in the air.  Floating, carefree, gently swaying as if on Angel’s wings. 

              Sometimes, I forget how big God is and how wonderful is his creation.  I get into the mud and mire of my life and I can’t seem to see past the problems, worries and issues.  I forget to lift my face to heaven and seek him.

              Dangling in the air above it all, there was a peaceful silence I have never experienced before.  I could see for miles endless ocean and the sharp line of the horizon.  In those seven to eight minutes, I was reminded that we need to be looking up not down.  And we need to be looking forward.

              I know that your life has many issues right now.  You are facing difficult decisions and uncertainty.  Maybe it is time to step back and look above it all. 

              Typist for Jesus

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High Road

Refrain from anger and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. Psalm 37:8 (ESV)

I have put off writing this because frankly I did not want to tell on myself.  However, I made a promise to be transparent in sharing my experiences.  So here goes, my story of recent road rage.

              I pulled up to the stop sign.  I had just dropped my daughter off at an appointment and now I needed to rush back home and get to a zoom meeting. Unfortunately, a wreck had happened, and the right lane was blocked with police cars.  I was going to have to cross to the furthest lane and merge.  Fortunately, there was a gap in the slow line of cars, so I pulled out.  Just as I was going to join the line, a yellow older car rushed into the lane.  She had come up from the closed lane and cut me off.  I laughed and said “Wow.”  Shaking my head I craned my neck to see if maybe the next car would take pity on me.

              That is when things took a distinct and bizarre turn.  The driver of the yellow car, middle aged with large glasses and long brown hair began mocking me.

              “Wow, oh wow!  WOW! Wow…..”  She accompanied it with unflattering expressions and then punctuated it with a middle finger. And then another.

              I would love to tell you that I continued down the high road, but oh no I did not.

              The screaming, gesturing and less than Christian verbalization ensued.  An officer heard us and blowing his whistle, motioned us on. She pulled forward and I merged behind.  I admit I am surprised at what she did next.  Hitting her brakes and leaning out of the car she continued her verbal assault.  I laid down on my horn and returned likewise.  We are now in the outermost right lane with traffic whizzing by us on the right because we have reduced our speed to approximately 25 miles an hour just a roll really and the screaming has continued.  Both of us are hanging out the windows screaming, gesturing, blowing our horns and close to frothing at the mouth.  Then suddenly she whips her car into the turn lane and slams on the brakes.  I may be blind with anger, but I am not stupid I kept driving.  And while I drove, I was fussing as I headed home.  It took a couple of red lights before I had calmed enough to focus my thoughts.  It was then that I realized how ridiculous I had behaved.  Why had I engaged in this behavior?  I could have driven around her at any minute.  Why had I stayed in the lane behind her?

Because she made me angry. Really angry at her insults toward me.  Angry that though I was the one cut off; she was yelling at me.  Angry that she was going to make me late.  She really got my dander up!

  Anger in of itself is not a sin.  Anger is normal and natural.  It is when we lose our temper and control.  As disciples of Jesus, we have been called to love one another and live peaceably.  We cannot do this if we are allowing ourselves to lose control and lash out.  Maintaining control and our tempers make it easier to forgive and live in peace with one another.  If we have the Holy Spirit within us, then our actions should show the fruit of his work within us.  Specifically, in this case, peace, patience, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) None of which I displayed.  Often, we may feel justified in losing our temper because we have been hurt or offended.  However, we are instructed to forgive and not yield to anger or seek vengeance.

              I know that it is difficult, especially now, to maintain our tempers and self-control but now more than ever, we need to be exhibiting Christ.  We are a people set apart and how is anyone to see that or desire to accept Jesus if we are no different in our behavior and reactions than the next person.  Let’s not repay evil with evil but find the love of Jesus within us to forgive and maintain self-control.

Typist for Jesus

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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