Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tools vs. Craftsman

I have 2 tool boxes full of screwdrivers, drill bits, misc. fittings. Also, I have a level, and a really nice drill. Anyone that knows me, I am NOT a master craftsman! I can get by without hurting myself . . . most of the time. Just because we have all the right tools hanging around the house, doesn't necessarily mean we know how to use them.

If our tools sit unused, untouched. . . they are ineffective. It's just like the different gifts and tools God has given us. We go through life filling our schedules with work, meetings, errands, and Oh, don't forget the kid's soccer and baseball practices and games. Not that these are necessarily bad things. We become so busy being busy that we put the tools God has given us on the shelf, so to speak. One day, you may look at your life and say to yourself, "My schedule is full, I network with different people, I am involved in my kid's life. . . then, why do I feel so empty?"

Here's the answer, "You are missing the mark. You are not becoming what God intended for you to be." This is a harsh truth. Don't worry, you're not alone. There are thousands of Christians who feel this exact same way. Unfulfilled. Stressed. Empty. Frustrated. Useless.

Ephesians 2:10 says, "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Think about that! When God, the Master Craftsman, thought you up, He instilled in you special gifts to do good works for His name sake.

Jesus wants you to see yourself through His eyes. When Jesus looks at you, He sees what you yourself may have never seen - A uniquely crafted, handmade creation, designed to make a unique difference on this planet.

This will bend your mind: "God loved you so much that He brought you in to existence. He wanted to breathe life in you so He could fellowship with you. He molded you with tools so you can go and do great things for His name sake.

Maybe it's been a long time since you've heard this: "You are special. You are one of a kind. You are good enough to do great things for God!"

Don't fill your life up with clutter! Go, and use the tools God has given you. In time, you will become God's master craftsman helping and fixing broken lives around you!


Monday, July 28, 2008

He's Always There to Catch You

I remember when my daughter was 6 years old. She wanted to learn how to go across the monkey bars. I remember her frail, little body and small hands that could barely grip the bars. But her confidence was big. In her mind, she was going to cross the whole span of the monkey bars without a problem. I lifted her up and placed her on the first bar. I let go of her, still standing underneath her with my arms close to her waist in case she would fall.

I remember clearly as she went half way across the bars on her own, she started to sway. Her confidence was diminishing and fear started to set in. She said, "Daddy, I'm slipping. I can't do it. Please let me down."

When she was losing her grip and she called out for my rescue, I smiled, and grabbed a hold of her waist and set her down on the ground gently. I said to her, "Good job! Do you want to try again?"

She said, "Yes!", and so she went again.

To gain her confidence and for her to complete her goal, I lifted her up and this time I held her by the waist and carried her as she crossed the monkey bars. Even though she had assistance the second time, she felt like she conquered the monkey bars. Her spirit was different. She knew with her daddy's help she can feel confident, secure. . . and with her daddy's help, she can accomplish her goal.

Psalm 94:17-19: "Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." (NIV)

The dictionary says that "consolation" is the state of being consoled, comforted. The 14th century term means: "a contest held for those who have lost early in a tournament."  Even though you want to give up- even though you have lost the tournament- God wants to pick you up by your waist and carry you through you toughest challenge. He is willing to carry you across the monkey bars of your overwhelming life.

Maybe you are slipping or you've already given up. I have good news for you! Desperation drives us to release our insecurities and cling to Him. Call out to God and He will "console" you. He will comfort you and give you the encouragement you need to face your biggest fears and disappointments.


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Friday, July 25, 2008

Needing Help With Your Baggage

We go through life with baggage- the emotional kind. Maybe you had a father who ignored you or even abused you. How about that mother that was critical of you. You never felt like you did anything good enough. Neglect, poor self-image, isolation, fear.... that's baggage.

Baggage from rotten relationships. Boyfriends forcing you to have sex. Maybe you offered up sex as a way to find love. Low self-esteem, regrets... baggage!

Wives yelling and calling you degrading names. Husbands beating you. Broken spirit, anger, resentment... that's baggage! Drugs and alcohol during what you call the "party days"... more baggage! Pornography, leaving you feeling empty... cheap, dirty... baggage!

You are carrying a lot of pain and the baggage is crippling you. The stress overload is causing you to physically get sick. It's not news to you, there's too many baggages (issues) in your life- and its overwelming!

One of my favorite comments I make to my friends when they are being funny and weird, I say to them, "You have more issues than a Chicago Newstand!" Well, it's time to get rid of all those issues and throw away all that baggage! You can't do it alone and God never intended for you to go at it alone. 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." (NIV)

Give it over to Jesus. The day He spread Him arms on the cross, was the day He took all of the world's sins from past, present, and future. Since He's taken on the whole world's problems- you can have faith that He can handle your problems. = )

Give it over to Him. It's too much to carry on your own. Jesus is asking you to talk with Him, to release your burdens (baggage) to Him, because He cares for you.


All posts are the sole property of the Heart Like Jesus blog. You must obtain permission to use any of the information on this blog.