Do You Have Wisdom Like An Owl?

Do You Have Wisdom Like An Owl?

Have you ever heard the saying “wise like an owl?”  The personification of the owl seems to suggest that they have an inherent wisdom that we humans may or may not possess.  The truth is, an owl is no wiser than a crow or hawk or any other large predatory bird and surely not wiser than a human being.  This idiom probably has to do with the way an owl looks very serious and almost seems to be contemplatively listening as it sits silently in the trees.

The good news is that our Lord gives wisdom generously to those who ask.  James 1:5 says If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  If you truly want to be wise, look not to the owl but to the God who created owls!  Do you have wisdom like an owl?

owl

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Are You Tired Of Flying Solo?

Are You Tired Of Flying Solo?

Have you ever been struck with awe as a group of geese fly above you in their clamorous V formation?  Seeing this phenomenon has always been a delight for me for as long as I can remember.  The geese fly this particular way when they migrate south because it helps them to not get exhausted flying such far distances.

Romans 12:3-5 says, For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

The geese function as a team, not as individuals, just as we are supposed to operate.  If the same geese flew south individually they would take much longer to get there and could potentially die because of the stress involved in flying alone.  The function of the V formation is to provide less wind resistance for the group, thus making it easier to fly in tandem.  When the leader of the group gets tired he can fall back to the read of the formation and essentially draft with the others as they all fly as a unit.  This V formation also requires each goose behind the leader to keep the others in its direct line of sight so they are all accountable to one another. If one is suffering or falls back they’re even able to adjust their flight to accommodate the individual in need.

Jesus has called us as believers to live in community.  We are not set apart to become lone rangers but to live in unity with one another, holding each other accountable and sharing in the gifts he has blessed each of us with.  We all aren’t good at the same things but thankfully as a collective we can achieve the purposes of Christ by combining our talents together.  Are you tired of flying solo?

goose

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Butterfly Metamorphosis In Costa Rica

While in Costa Rica at the Peace Waterfalls we decided to visit a butterfly enclosure and talk about being made into a new creation 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Music Used with Permission "Travel Light And Worry Free" by The Eager Seas ©2013 The Eager Seas http://theeagerseas.bandcamp.com/

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Drip Drop Rainy Faith

Sometimes when it rains it pours and it’s hard to keep on being positive.  It’s easy to see our outward situations and lack the faith necessary to keep our heads up.  The good news is that faith, by the very definition, is holding on to what we can’t see.  Scripture says that we walk by faith, not by sight, so even though things may look dreary, cold and rainy we know that better days are coming and can have faith that our heavenly father wants the best for us.  Hebrews 11:1-2  "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for."  2 Corinthians 5:7  "For we walk by faith, not by sight." 

 

 

Step In The River

Will God part the Red Sea for you or do you have to take the initiative and step into the Jordan River by faith?  Joshua chapter 3 deals with the people of Israel under new leadership getting ready to lay claim to the promises of God.

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Are You Lashing Out Like A Cornered Animal?

Are You Lashing Out Like A Cornered Animal?

One of my favorite activities is to study an animal and its ecosystem and try to locate and eventually capture said animal.  Often I will back an animal, like a snake or a rat, into a corner and if I don’t act quickly while trying to capture it I can find myself on the receiving end of angry teeth.  Biologically animals (and humans) are designed with a mechanism that enables them to react with either fight or flight.

When animals are put into a stressful situation that fight or flight mechanism takes over and they either flee or stay and address the aggressor.  I find myself being stressed out all too often and reacting out of a fight or flight mindset more than I would like to admit.  Psalm 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”  Next time you feel that surging of adrenaline that signifies the oncoming reaction to stress and you feel like fighting or fleeing from the situation remember that Jesus overcame the world and as you accept him you take on his righteousness (Romans 3:22).  So tell God about your problem and he won’t let you be shaken.  Are you lashing out like a cornered animal?

CorneredRat

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Can You Adapt When Times Get Tough?

Can you adapt when times get tough?

 

          With the onset of the gloom and cold of winter I often find myself marveling at the adaptations some animals go through just to survive the tough times of the season.   Amphibians are exothermic, or cold blooded, and that means that when the temperatures drop so does their metabolism and activity.  If a frog is so tempted to stay above ground during this time of year it often signifies their certain demise.  There is one species of frog that seems to be the exception to this rule.  The Wood Frog, Rana sylvatica, has the ability to completely freeze and once temperatures are optimal again it can essentially thaw out and resume life as normal.  This is due to the production of glucose in the frog’s body that acts as biological antifreeze.

          We can make a scriptural parallel when we think about how our God has given us the tools we need to survive the harshest of times like it talks about in Ephesians 6:10-20 with the full armor of God as well as in other verses like 1 Corinthians 10:13.  If we look at the latter verse, 1 Corinthians 10:13, we see that God will not allow temptation to overtake us without a way of escape.  In the case of the frog the harshness of winter’s chill will not kill the frog because it can endure the frigid temperatures because God designed it with a biological way out, just like when we are faced with temptations God has given us a spiritual way out through prayer and the reading of His word.  Can you adapt when times get tough like the Wood Frog?

woodfrog

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Snake Handling Preacher

One of the funniest questions that I often hear in regards to my ministry is "you aren't one of those snake handling preachers are you?" How do I even answer that one? The answer is obviously yes I am a snake handling preacher but not like that, well sort of like that, ok exactly like that but not the same. You see I do handle snakes in my ministry, I often find myself handling venomous snakes when I am preaching and I have probably preached more times with reptiles than without, but it's not exactly what you think. The long and the short of it is that I don't bring venomous snakes into churches when I preach but I do often find myself amazed by their beauty and purpose when I am in the field doing the documentary side of my ministry. I believe that ALL things God created are not only good but VERY good and snakes aren't to be excluded from the list of things created that are VERY Good. 

We all have a purpose and God has a plan for each one of us. Did you know that the venom from certain snake species like the Southern Copperhead are actually being used to save lives. Wow! Isn't that amazing! It's not the snakes that are bad, or even their venom, it's simply the context in which the venom is received. Its the same principle with Christians. It's not the Christian that is bad or even the words that are spoken from them that are wrong, it usually is simply the context in which it is received. Venom in the wrong context, delivered in anger and hostility, is received not as life giving but as life taking. That seems to also relate to our presentation of the Gospel sometimes. If it is delivered in the wrong context, out of a place of pride, anger or hostility it will be received as something other than life giving. I'm not saying that we have to water the Gospel down nor am I saying that we sugar coat anything when presenting our case for Christ. I am saying that we should check our motives and understand why we are presenting the Gospel. If we are using scripture to Lord over other people that happen to sin differently than we do, then maybe our context is wrong. If we are putting ourselves on a pedestal and talking down to unbelievers, are we doing it in the spirit of Christ or does that fall somewhere in the selfish ambition category?

I absolutely believe that Jesus loves you, yes you! I believe he wants to come to know you and I believe Jesus wants Christians to imitate and be ambassadors for Christ. I believe that our actions speak a million times louder than our words and that a kind word of encouragement will go a long way further with someone than pointing out the flaws they know they have. My prayer is that the church will stop pointing out the faults of the world, remove the planks from our own eyes, and encourage people to get to know the Jesus of the Bible and not the Jesus created by Christian culture. As a good friend of mine will often say, "we need to stop reading our Bibles as Americans and start reading it as Christians." I believe if we really loved Jesus like we say we do, then we would learn to love others the way Jesus loves us. Thank you Jesus for the grace you offered me as a lost sinner and I pray I can offer the same grace to others and patiently walk with them while they figure out this thing we call the Gospel.