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Showing posts from October, 2019

Guardrails

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Have you ever allowed words to come out of your mouth that you immediately regretted saying? I have. How do we keep that from happening? We ask the Lord to help us keep our mouths shut when they ought to be and open when the timing is right.

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3)

The words that come from our lips and our social media posts should be edifying to others and glorifying to our God. We have been entrusted with the gospel truth. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide your speech and guard your heart.

Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (2 Timothy 1:14)

Photo from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Rainy Days

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If you think every day is "picture perfect" for me, then you would be sadly mistaken. I'm sure you can say the same thing about many of your days. But while the weather or other circumstances may not go as we hope, we can rest assured that there is not one moment that slips by that God is not aware of in advance and He is there to walk through it with you.

As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16) 

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10)

Photo from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Jesus Take the Wheel

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As you journey through life, realize that sometimes the road is wet and contains dangerous curves. Carrie Underwood made famous the song "Jesus Take the Wheel" and it's because we don't let Him have the wheel in the first place that we find ourselves spiraling out of control.

Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs us to:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

God should never be your co-pilot. He should always be sitting in the driver's seat because He can be trusted wholeheartedly wherever that road may lead. So, lean not on your own understanding and submit to Him. He knows the road because He is The Way (John 14:6). 

Photo from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Standing for Generations

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Something about this scene made me pull over for a photo. I wasn't sure why at the time but the Lord has recently made it clear. And I ask you the same thing that has come to my heart:

When you're gone from this earth, will people remember WHERE you stood, for WHAT you stood, and for WHOM you stood?

God instructs us through the Bible to:

Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. ~1 Corinthian 15:58

Stand firm, and you will win life. ~Luke 21:19

Your sitting down doesn't make a difference. Your laying down doesn't change a thing. May your standing up for Jesus Christ in this life be the legacy that is remembered for generations to come. 

Photo from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Humble Beginnings for a King

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The "King of Rock and Roll" was born in this tiny house in Tupelo, MS. Yes, this is the birthplace of Elvis Presley where he grew up prior to his family packing up for Memphis. These were indeed very humble beginnings for one who would enjoy great popularity and live lavishly in his adult years.

There was One however who was King of kings but demonstrated the greatest of humility by stepping out of His place of honor to be born in a stable and live among mankind -- even giving up His very life for others.

Philippians 2:6-11 tells us about Jesus' life from riches to rags to riches again.

[Jesus] who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him t…

The Narrow Road

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I'll choose the narrow road any day over the broad road.

[Jesus said...] "Broad is the road that leads to destruction... and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." ~Matthew 7:13-14

Some say taking the narrow road is being narrow-minded. And I would respond by saying "Yes it is!"

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 would rather be on the narrow road with a narrow mindset than to lose my way, my life and my salvation. I found Jesus and I am walking that path with Him daily and plan to do so for eternity. Have you? 

Greenbrier Rd
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

First Impressions

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Driving through the town of Bostwick, GA, from one direction you will notice the storefront of a building that is no longer occupied, but driving in from the other direction one will certainly notice that the building is merely an empty three-sided shell.

Too often we are deceived by outward appearances. You may THINK you know something about someone based on their appearance or their actions but you can be completely wrong. We are often cautioned to not judge a book by its cover, and that is wise advice.

As Samuel was asked of God to anoint a new king, he was sure he had seen king potential in several of Jesse's sons but it wasn't until a little boy named David was brought to him that God indicated His choice. We read the following...

"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

So, while you may not have super powers that allow you to examine a person's heart and motives…

One Person Can Make a Difference

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Barn quilts can be viewed on homes, buildings, and of course barns all across the United States. They are obviously not made of fabric, but rather wood, and designed with a number of various geometric shapes.

The concept of barn quilts began with Donna Sue Groves and her wish to honor her mother, Maxine, and her Appalachian heritage by having a painted quilt hung on her barn in Adams County, Ohio.

While barn quilts may seem to have been around for a long time, it was 2001 when the first one was designed and hung for passersby to appreciate. Now there are over 7000 across the U.S. that can be seen on scenic barn quilt routes.

One person can certainly make a difference. Donna Sue Groves began a craze that now seems so familiar... and even expected as you drive through the country. This is just one example of the influence an individual can have on a community, a state and a nation.

You can be just as influential. You don't have to be as creative as Donna Sue... you can just be you. Ma…

Sixty Step and Climbing

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I graduated to the 60's this year. I'm not sure how I got there because it seems like yesterday that I was rock climbing in Illinois, white water canoeing in Arkansas, caving in Kentucky, running in Tennessee and other fond memories of my "youth."

However, I have come to realize that each year that has passed is like another step up in maturity, wisdom, faith and steadfast endurance. Like this picture, I realize that I do not know what is around the corner or even how far those steps will ascend but I do know where they will end... at the throne room of God Almighty in heaven.

The steps seem to be getting closer together yet harder to climb at the same time, but I am smart enough to know that life is a marathon and not a sprint. I feel like there is still so much more to do for Jesus and so much more to contribute to my growing family. Unlike my mother who went to be with Jesus at my present age, I earnestly desire the energy, health and stamina to keep living, serv…

A Back Porch View of Life

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As I looked up upon this picture I started thinking about living life with only a back porch view. Now, if this was your actual back porch then I would have to admit that your view of the world isn't bad at all, but for most of us it would be a bit more bland.

From the front porch of this cabin you see life from a different perspective. The road is just up the hill and thousands of people pass by every day. You don't see that from the back porch where all you see is God's beautiful creation.

The front porch is where you see people in a hurry to move on down the road. Some are just sightseeing without a clue. Some are having a good day and others are having the worst day of their life. The front porch is where you have a chance to give a friendly wave, interact with people, hear their stories and share life.

We are instructed by God to live life with others in fellowship, service and love. You don't do that from the back porch -- you've got to put yourself out front…

The Path of Life, Joy and Pleasure

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While it is quite possible to experience great joy driving a mountain road in Autumn, the feelings are only temporary. However, there is a path that leads to pleasure everlasting. Where is it? The Psalmist knew! He found it in a personal relationship with God.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Contentment

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When driving down Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail you will experience pure nature. Yes, there are a few hiking trails along the road where you will find vehicles parked in every available pull-off. However, it is the trees and flowers and birds and bears that capture my attention in mountain forests once farmed and hunted on by early pioneers.

There are still reminders of those settlers and the homes in which they lived and raised their families. Looking back, I suppose we would call their day-to-day labors and trials difficult at best compared to the luxuries we enjoy today, but I imagine these families were quite content in their mountain paradise.

Contentment is found when one accepts their place in life regardless of their circumstances. This state of mind is most commonly associated with those who have trusted in the Lord for all they have and all they need.

The Apostle Paul is a prime example of a life that endured tremendous hardship yet managed a spirit of contentment. Take n…

Strength and Peace

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Uncontrollable circumstances can often leave you numb as your world spins in directions you never imagined. They leave you feeling weak, helpless, undervalued and worried. All of that is certainly understandable as you try to handle life on our own. But, we were not designed to handle such stress personally and individually. The Psalmist wrote:

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

God provides strength when you are physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually weak. He gives you peace even in the midst of chaos. Jesus told His disciples:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

We associate peace with a sense a calmness like the still waters pictured here, but it's when the waves are crashing in on us that we truly know whether Christ's peace indwells us. True peace comes from what's in…

Reminders and Promises

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Just as the rainbow is a reminder of God's faithfulness and salvation, the blood moon is a reminder to me of His judgement and second coming. I love the verse that follows the one in the picture:

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2:21)

Yes, Jesus is coming again just as surely as He came 2000 years ago. He is patiently waiting for people to turn their hearts to him in repentance and faith. He wants no one to perish or be eternally separated from Him... so He waits.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

So as you observe the occasional blood moon, remember the Lord and His promise to come again. Your eternal security and home in heaven is but a call away... no cell phone required.