Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rumble Strips

The state of Texas lines the highways with rumble strips to wake up sleepy drivers and keep them from veering off the road. God gives us rumble strips (warning signs) to keep us on His path. Here's my list:

1. Doing anything else appeals to you more than going to church.
Boing! You've just hit a rumble strip. The vibration rattles your mind. What's wrong with me? Walk, no, run to the house of God. Listen to His Word.

2. You're depressed. No one speaks to you. You feel so tired, so very tired.
If you're dwelling on yourself and what's wrong with you, look up. God is flashing a yellow light. Beware! Beware! It's not all about you.

3. Temptation to speak harsh words comes more frequently. You find yourself laughing at an off-color joke. When was the last time that was a problem? You absolutely hate your boss and dread to go to work. WARNING: When was the last time you prayed?

Resentment and compulsive overeating plague my personal life. God's rumble strip shows up for me when I constantly long to eat sweets. I must check my life. What is wrong? Am I angry with someone? Have I been too busy for a quiet time of meditation? Have I really forgiven my friend or my family?

Fellow Christians, think of your own life. God places rumble strips there for all of us. At first, they distract or aggravate us, but have we allowed them to steer us away from trouble? Do we use the warnings to get us back on God's path?

Rumble strips on our highways and in our lives bear a purpose--to save our lives, but only if we follow their nudging.

Rumble strips steer sinners to saving strength and success.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Are you growing?

This idea originated with a visiting minister at our church last night, but I found it inspiring not only in regards to my Christian walk, but also in my writing. My writing is my career, but the idea could apply whether you're a teacher, a secretary or an engineer. Think about it. Are you growing?

God's ideal is a perfect Christian walk with no sin, no impure thoughts, witnessing and being always sensitive to God's will in our lives.

Perfection

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:14 NIV."

Perfection is the goal, but we will never reach it. Therefore, should we give up and say I'm not the ideal or she/he doesn't live right, should we ignore them? No, of course not.

An oak tree strives for the ideal of being tall with many branches giving shade. When we plant an oak in our yard, the height might well be three foot or less with two scrawny branches. Do we cast it aside because it's not perfect? Of course not. We water it, we nourish it, we pray for sunshine and rain at proper times. The oak starts growing though slower than many other trees planted at the same time, but an oak grows in strength. Life flows through the trunk and branches of an oak at a different pace than through a willow. Yet, we plant and nourish both toward the ideal they can reach.

A new Christian is a tiny sapling. As a more mature Christian, we should help them along, and yet, we also should be growing. If an oak ceases to grow, it ceases to live. Our Christian walk resembles that. We must stay attached to Christ and continue to grow.

God plants new writers in His field for His perfect purpose. In the beginning, we are so inept. We don't know a sequel from a point-of-view character. More mature writers train us, encourage us. Growing hurts. We struggle through rejection and discouragement, through writing and rewiting, but if we don't quit, we grow. Our writing improves, and we push through obstacles we never believed we could. Yet, even the mighty oaks of writing must continue to learn and improve.

Are you growing?
In your walk with Christ and in your writing or other career?
Don't give up.
Poke your head toward the sky and keep striving regardless that you will never reach the goal of perfection until God takes you home. How close can you come?