Thursday, August 28, 2008

"What's Your Excuse" - Greg Laurie

We have been fooled into thinking that telling a 'white lie' or a 'fancy lie' is okay. We aren't harming anyone, right? How often we think, "I'm not really lying, I am just telling a small story to get out of a circumstance or to avoid conflict."

Integrity and honesty is missing in our society today. Somewhere along the way we have been told it's not okay to voice the Truth. It's easy to use a 'fancy lie' or excuse rather than choose a side- at the risk of offending someone's stance on politicial or social matters. We need to stand up and be bold about telling the truth with discernment.

Take an opportunity to listen to the message from Matthew 22. From the Knowing God Series, Pastor Greg Laurie shares how lying pulls us further away from God and breaks our relationship with Him.

Come watch this funny and convicting message! It's under 29 minutes. Take time to listen from God's word.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Let the Redeemed Say So" by Max Lucado

"Let the Redeemed Say So"
Exerpt from Walking with the Savior - by Max Lucado

"You have begun to live the new life,
in which you are made new and are
becoming like the One who made you."
Colossians 3:10

"I wonder if Jesus doesn't muster up a slight smile as he sees his lost sheep come straggling into the fold-- the beaten, broken, dirty sheep who stands at the door looking up at the Shepherd asking, "Can I come in? I don't deserve it, but is there room in your kingdom for one more?" The Shepherd looks down at the sheep and says, "Come in, this is your home."

Salvation is the process that's done, that's secure, that no one can take away from you. Sanctification is the lifelong process of being changed from one degree of glory to the next, growing in Christ, putting away the old, taking on the new.

The Psalmist David would tell us that those who have been redeemed will say so! If we're not saying so, perhaps it's because we've forgotten what it is like to be redeemed. Let the redeemed of the earth say so!"


Boy, Max Lucado has a gift with words! He is masterful in explaining the richness of Christ waiting and welcoming us into His home. You may be thinking, "I am not ready to talk to Jesus until I clean up my life." Because of Jesus' unconditional, immeasurable love- He accepts you as you are and wants you to trust in Him. It's time to find your way back home!


(Try this weeks Fun Trivia! It seems easy, but I suggest you checking it out in your bible first.)

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Monday, August 25, 2008

FUN TRIVIA - Poll Results

How Many Pairs of Animals did Moses Bring on the Ark?

64% - None
28% - 1,200 Pairs of Animals
7% - 12,000 Pairs of Animals
0% - 24 Pairs of Animals

The correct answer is 'None'. If you re-read the question you will realize it wasn't Moses that brought the animals on the Ark, it was Noah.

Looking at the answers, most of you caught the trick question!

Have a Happy Monday!


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.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts - Made Fresh Daily

I love Krispy Kreme Donuts!

My two weaknesses for desserts are fresh baked cookies and fresh, fluffy, chewy, delicious Krispy Kreme donuts. Not the sprinkles or the jelly-filled kinds. Just give me the basic glazed or chocolate glazed donut and I will be in junk food heaven!

There is a gas station by me that delivers fresh, Krispy Kreme donuts every morning. It's a treat whenever I can stop in and grab me a donut (or two). I haven't gone for a while because I am in a wedding and it's creeping up very fast. I need to make sure the tuxedo fits!

In this day and age of processed, frozen foods, it's nice to have something made fresh daily.

Today, in God's word, I was reading Exodus 16. This is when God's people are in the wilderness outside of Egypt and before entering the Promise Land. They were in the Wilderness of Sin for weeks.

The Bible says that all the men of the congregation were yelling at Moses and Aaron saying, and I paraphrase, "We miss our savory pot roasts, our loaves of bread. You say you are saving us from the armies of Egypt, but you are starving us to death! Are you bringing us out here to die?"

Well, God hears their grumbling and tells Moses, vs.4-5 "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.

On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily."

Moses says to the people, "You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD."

God instructed them to only take as much mana, flakey-bread, as needed and leave the rest. Well, as usual, greed and lack of faith kicks in and some of them start to stock up on the mana, because they wanted to save some for the next day. In vs. 20, it says, "However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them."

God never intended to give them day old food. He was giving them the very best, fresh, flakey bread each morning. It was a bad idea for them to horde the food. They had very little faith in God's provision and they were willing to settle for the stale stuff, instead of the fresh food God lovingly provided for them each morning.

Now, I can't totally fault them- what if the land was full of glazed Krispy Kreme donuts? Seriously, would you like a warm, fresh donut each morning or a donut that has been sitting out for a day? You know my choice!

God is saying to you, every morning break open the bread of life(the Bible) and let me feed you with my goodness. Discover what God wants to give you each morning in order for you to get through your day. Digest the verses He has shown you so you can have strength to walk through your daily wilderness of life.

Allow God to "rain bread from heaven for you" each morning!
"The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23(NASB)

P.S. To the dessert lovers: Did you notice that desserts spelled backwards is "stressed"? This has just confirmed that whenever we are stressed, we need to eat more desserts! (Or stressed from the pounds we gain from eating desserts.)

Have a great day in the Lord!


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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Plan A or Plan B: Understanding Grace


3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

This passage is not for a discussion about predestination vs. free-will. Today it's to show how intimate and loving God truly is. This majestic, all-powerful God thought you up before the creation of the world. God's plan A: He loved you so much that He breathed life in to you. He found you important and special and wanted to have a relationship with you... God created you holy and blameless. God adopted you into His family.

God wants to talk to you and share His love and wisdom with you. He wants us to love Him back and share our thoughts with Him. In plan A: God wanted us to be a part of His family and wanted us to fellowship with Him.


1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,

5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Our plan B: Because of our sinful nature, we have chosen the things of the world. Craving lust, greed, selfishness, envy, hatred, and lying. We have chosen everything God is not. That is what has caused a wedge in our relationship with God.

The good news? God knew many of us would fall into the junk, the filth of this earth. He knew many of us would turn our backs on Him, even though He created us for the sole purpose of perfect fellowship with Him. God, being patient and loving- gave us a second chance. He has given us a special gift called Grace. Grace is not earned, it can only be given. He is saying to you if you pin all your trust in Christ, and believe He died on the cross to rid that wedge(sin) between us and God, then God will raise us up out of our dark, filthy place and bring us back home to Him. God always has plan A for our lives. It's a matter of us accepting His gift of grace, love, and eternal life with Him.

God loves you!


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Friday, August 15, 2008

Are You Eating Leftovers?

I remember as a boy, our family always had leftovers for dinner. My mom would make enough spaghetti and meatballs to last 2 - 3 days. We'd have pork chops a couple times a week for dinner too. I didn't like it when we had steak for dinner. I dreaded eating steak! At age 8, steak was too tough and chewy, and it would take forever to eat. I remember my dad making a deal with my brother and I, he would say, "When you finish your food you can go back outside to play." Man, it felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table chewing a mouth full of rubber bands. It wouldn't breakdown quick enough for me to swallow so I could run outside and play. (I remember on a couple of occasions, just a couple, I would quietly excuse myself from the dinner table showing my plate was cleaned off. After I would get approval from my dad I would run outside. Around the corner of the apartment, away from windows, I would put my head up against the brick wall and spit out my mouthful of chewy, rubber-band like steak on to the ground- and off I went to play with my friends.)

Later in life, I learned that my mom and dad struggled financially when we were kids and bought food on special and in bulks to stretch the dollar. (Now I feel horrible for wasting my food, when my parents worked so hard to feed us kids. I was very wasteful.)

I have come to appreciate the luxury of a good steak. I prefer steak over chicken -and- steak over shrimp any day!

Back to leftovers. Here's the thing, I don't care if you have the most modern microwave, the latest convection, convention, or what ever oven. Leftovers, especially meat, never tastes as good the second time around. Meat loses it's tenderness. When you re-heat it, the meat loses it's juices and the outer part becomes tough and dry. It becomes second-rate.

How many days do you go without opening the Word of God? You don't investigate passages. You don't dig up the good stuff- the meat from the Word. As Christians, we've become too busy or too lazy to have quiet time with God. Instead, we have convinced ourselves that listening to the message at the pulpit is enough for you to stay "spiritually full".

I have bad news- you are spiritually starving yourselves if you are only digesting the "meat" once a week. No one could survive, or function correctly if they only ate one meal a week. You would become sluggish, delusional, weak... and eventually die.

I was told by a pastor: the pastors receive the good stuff. He is only passing along the leftovers on Sundays. You see, he experiences first-hand the tender, juicy, savory meat when he studies the Word. It's the pastor's calling to best translate what God said to him and share it to the congregation. We get the leftovers!

That really stinks! Not only are you get one meal a week, but you are getting leftovers as your meal.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, "Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ.

I gave you milk, not solid food(meat), for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?" (NIV, Amplified)

Paul was talking to the Christians at the church of Corinth. There was division among them; immaturity, jealousy, and tossing of childish words back and forth. Paul is telling them, that even though they are Christians, even though they claim to be followers of Christ, they are just infants in their walk. It's in spiritual meat that you show maturity. The more you study the word of God, the more wisdom you will obtain. Just like my pastor-friend, you too will experience first-hand the tender, juicy, savory meat when you study the Word.

If you have been spiritually starving yourself, you probably feel too sluggish to pray and worship. You most likely lost focus of what's important in your life. You feel too weak to deal with the trials in front of you.

Then it's time to change! Change the starving to fulfilling. Say to God today, "No more leftovers- no more spiritually starving myself. God, my life is hard enough and I need your wisdom and instructions for my life. I promise to take a few moments out of my day to stop and listen to you. My soul is hungry for you. Word of God speak to me!"


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FUN TRIVIA - Poll Results

FUN TRIVIA: Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons?

83% - No. They weren't born from the womb.
50% - Belly buttons are over-rated.
16% - Yes. It would look weird without one.

Thanks for casting your vote.

Stay tuned for more Fun Trivia. . .


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.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Come and Worship - "The Voice of Truth"

"The Voice of Truth" - Casting Crowns
(Second and Third Verses with Chorus)

Come and Worship.

Read these lyrics and believe the voice of Truth.
You have what it takes to defeat your Goliath. God believes in you... will you listen and believe in Him?

Verse 2:
Oh, what I would do to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me time and time again"Boy you'll never win, you'll never win."

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
and the voice of truth says "this is for my glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

But the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don't seem so high
from on top of them looking downI will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
singing over me

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says this is for my glory
Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
I will listen and believe
I will listen and believe the voice of truth
I will listen and believe 'Cause Jesus you are the voice of truth

Can you spare less than 6 minutes?

Find a quiet place for just you and God. Relax, grab a cup of joe(or can of pop), and listen to this powerful message. Allow God to talk to you through worship.


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Monday, August 11, 2008

Facing The Goliaths in Your Life

"3 Weapons to Conquer Your Goliath"

What are you facing right now in life? What Goliaths are leaving you discouraged and maybe defeated?

Is it unemployment, finances, your career or boss? Maybe its your hidden addictions to alcohol, drugs, or pornography?

Let's talk about a simple country boy who took on Goliath and won.

The Bible says in 1 Samuel 17:40-44:
Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.

He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him.

He said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

"Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!" (NIV)

How often do your enemies and addictions taunt you? They make you feel inadequate. How often do you feel like you're defeated. These voices tell you, "I'm not strong enough." "I don't have what it takes."

You feel inadquate... worthless... and weak. These are all lies from the enemy- words from hell itself.

You are given the power of Jesus Christ to conquer all your sins. The bible says, "...we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

Here are the 3 Weapons to Conquer your Goliath:

In verse 45, David responds to the Philistine (Goliath) with these powerful words, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

The first thing David did in the midst of his conflict- he brought God in the middle of it. David said, "... I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty..." We need to stay focused. Don't get side-tracked by the trials in your life. Remember to always involve God in every issue you are facing!

The second thing David did was stay firm. He didn't run away from his conflict. He didn't coward from fear. The bible says, "David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him."

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

The third thing we need to remember is truth. Truth is what sets us free. Truth is how we can win the battles of our conflicts and addictions. Remember those "voices" that made you feel inadequate? Powerless? Even defeated? In the book of Truth, it says in Romans 8: 37-39:  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)

It's time! It's time for you to defeat the Goliaths in your life. David knew something that so many of us forget; He saw his Goliath, but he saw God even more. David knew in human perspective the odds were against him. But, because of David's unwaivering faith in God, he knew the odds were against Goliath in comparison to God's almighty power.

Go, and equip yourself for battle! Then, run quickly towards the battle line and meet your Goliath. Knowing God will protect you, God will sustain you, and that He loves you!

God's Promise to you: Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)


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Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Facing The Giants" - Don't Give Up On Me


"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 (NASB)

This is one of the most powerful and heart-moving Christian movies I have seen in years!

Please take time to view this 6:01 minute clip. You will get inspired!

Just like the coach believes in his player. God believes in you. God has more confidence in you than you've ever seen in yourself.

If you would like to see additional resources for "Facing The Giants", please go to:

702899: Facing the Giants, DVDFacing the Giants, DVD

By Alex Kendrick / Provident Music Distribution

Created by a church in Georgia to evangelize non-believers and encourage believers, this inspiring story about a losing high school football coach with a new game plan will have your whole town talking about trusting God for the impossible! After six consecutive losing seasons and fear surrounding his life, coach Grant Taylor turns to God in desperation. Taylor and his Shiloh Christian Eagles soon discover how faith plays out on the field and off! Rated PG. Approx. 112 minutes.


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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Close Down The Drive Thru's

I have a wedding I'm going to be in next month. I look at my waist line and it's growing a spare tire... for a semi-truck. It's embarassing to get your measurements and realize just 2 years ago, my waist was 4" smaller and now, the rest of me has bloated out of control!

One of my favorite things to do during lunch is order from the 99 cent menu at what we will call McKing Wendy. (Mc Donald's, Burger King, and Wendy's. Sometimes I order from Taco Bell too. That would come out as McKing Wendy Bell or... Wendy's McTaco Burger? Mmmm the McTaco Burger. Someone is going to steal my idea and make millions... just watch!)

Okay, back on the subject. Myself, along with tens of thousands of Americans enjoy the drive thru. The drive thru is convenient, fast, and the food is very affordable. I am too lazy or too busy to pack a lunch. So, one day I did the math. If I were to pack a lunch: 2 slices of bread, salami or turkey, cheese, condiments, snack chips, and a can of pop. It would cost me approx: $4.00 to make. (without a drink $3.50). If I go thru the Wendy's McTaco Burger drive thru, I will get 2 burgers and fries for only $3.00 / or a burrito and nacho supreme for $2.58. You see, I am an accountant now. I have successfully budgeted and I am saving myself and my family money! (Boy, I am a boarder-line martyr for helping my family by eating fast food instead of brown-bagging it!)

Seriously, you can save money eating off the .99 cent menu. However, drive thru food has so many calories and it's high in fat. Plus, I have a sit-down job. I am over-loading in calories and fat and I am not burning it off during the day. It does not come to a suprise that I have put on some poundage in the past 2 years. They say, "You are what you eat." I believe my body shape is looking more like a deluxe burger. . . or a gooshy burrito??!

The devotional for today is in Mark 12:41-44: "Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and He watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, 'I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on." (NIV)

Where do you throw your change? What kind of giving does God honor? He doesn't care about the amount of giving, He cares about the sacrifice. Many of us will put money in to things that will "fatten us up".

Expensive cars. Pricey Restaurants. Bigger houses.

How about that big, plasma, flat screened, high-definition television?

The point of the matter is, it's okay to have frills and thrills in your lives as long as it's controlled. It's okay to have a burger or a burrito now and then. If I keep on showing up at the drive thru, it will not only expand my waist-line, it will start to have bad effects on my heart.

God is asking us to give to Him sacrifically and generously. Do this and God will "fatten you up" with love, contentment, and happiness.

Food for thought: "Never say you are giving a widow's mite, thinking you are only giving a bit. For a widow's mite is a true example of sacrifice. A widow's mite is giving everything you have." (By me)

Have a great day and I hope this post will put some smiles on your faces!


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Monday, August 4, 2008

A Gentle Voice During Conflict

In Ephesians 4:29-32, God says, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

I want to share a past devotional from Ron Hutchcraft. As humans we can let the stress of the moment take over our attitudes and mouths:

"Measure your treatment of your family by these verses; your treatment of your co-workers, your neighbors, your friends, and the people you encounter in your daily rounds. Here's what it says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up ... And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God..."

Now, how do you grieve the Holy Spirit? How do you make God cry? Apparently, it's by verbally tearing down someone that He's trying to build. God tells us to have zero tolerance for the kind of talk that damages people. He says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander ... Be kind and compassionate to one another..."

Many times we have no idea of how much damage our careless words are doing; the angry words, the critical words, the harsh words, those sarcastic words, or those backstabbing words. But God knows how deep the wounds of your words are going, and that's why He grieves over them.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that "the tongue has the power of life and death" and in Proverbs 12:18 it says, "reckless words pierce like a sword." I wonder how many times, even in recent weeks, words of yours or mine have sliced right through someone. We've probably forgotten what we said or how we said it. They may never forget it.

But down inside your soul there is that voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit, who, like our daughter with our grandson, knows how damaging our words can be. And the Holy Spirit is trying to whisper, "Gentle. Please be gentle with him. Be gentle with her." That's why the Bible says, "The fruit of the Spirit is ... gentleness" (Galatians 5:23).

Maybe it's time to apologize to the Lord for the times that you've ignored that voice, or maybe you've just drowned it out with your own. Maybe it's time to apologize to someone you've wounded with your harshness. And maybe it's time to say, "Lord, I've done enough damage. I'm really sorry. Please teach me to treat people like You did when You were here. I want to learn how to be gentle."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Father God, forgive me for hurting the ones I love. Please cleanse me of all my anger, resentment and lack of self-control. Fill me with the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.



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Friday, August 1, 2008

The Velcro Friend

One night, I was bored and couldn't sleep. I think it was around 1AM when I turned on the TV and caught this crazy japanese show. The best description is, these are adults dressed up in safety apparel(sometimes just a helmet) and are told to be guinea pigs and do some of the wildest, craziest obstacle coarses.

Well, the one I want to share with you was the "velcro rescue". There was a damsel in distress standing behind a window. The object was for the velcro-ed, jump-suited competitor to swing on a rope across a moat and try to ring a bell that was near the window where the damsel was standing. If the 'hero' could swing across, smashing themselves into the wall, and ring the bell- they win that challenge.

Let me tell you, it was like watching something out of "Looney Tunes". They swing aross the moat and "Splat!" The rope swings back to position, but their body is stuck to the wall. They are velcro-ed to the wall and it takes several people to safely pull them off. There was one competitor who was able to ring the bell before his face became a waffle on the side of the wall.

Well, Jesus is that "velcro friend" who sticks with you through it all.

Do you have that special friend who will stick by your side? You don't really know someone at the core until you have been through hardship with them. Intimacy comes when you really need help from someone you love and respect. I have that friend. He has seen me at my worst and I know some of his darkest secrets as well. We don't see each other any different because of our past pains and issues. That's a true friend- someone who you can bare it all. Your worst days, your darkest moments, all out in the open. . . and your friend loves you and doesn't judge you. He just wants to know how he can help.

God is saying we are like oxen with a big, heavy yoke around our neck. Man, it's painful! It's back breaking! The feelings that run through you are intense and overwhelming. The yoke? Is your sin-filled life. The yoke is all the regrets, all the suffering, all the painful memories of your past. As you try to push through the dirt-filled path of your life, you don't have the strength to keep your head up. You know what's right and good, but you don't have the will to stay the coarse.

I have good news for you! In Matthew 11:28-30 it says, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (NASB)

Here is a short history about farmers and oxens. When they need to break-in a new oxen, they will use a tandem yoke. One yoke for the new oxen and the other for the older, more seasoned ox. It's a long and patient process. At first, the young oxen will fight and resist the yoke. In utter discomfort, it will fight the weight of the yoke. It will buck, it will sway to the right and the left. The young oxen will use up most of its strength fighting. . . until it can't fight no more. Then, an amazing thing happens, the seasoned ox will help lift the oxen up- carrying its load. The astounding ox will keep straight and on coarse for the farmer to effectively plow the land.

Jesus is saying to you, "Give up your yoke. Stop fighting it. Let me help you stay the coarse."

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. FOR MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT."

Jesus is that "velcro-kind of friend". If you have that love relationship with Him, there is nothing the two of you can't handle.

Latch on to Him and allow Him to latch on to you!


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