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Braking Points

Pausing in the midst of Life to ponder, pray and find footing to continue.

Month

February 2014

Overcoming Obstacles on the Downhill Slope

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9, 10 NIV)

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We use the story of the Little Engine That Could to encourage children, but frankly now that I am in my GOLDEN years (ever wonder who coined that description) I could use a shot of “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can” pretty much every day. In fact some days several shots would be helpful. So what, if use phrases like “over the hill” to describe life after retirement. That is simply not true…the downhill slide is fraught with obstacles that must be overcome.

Lets consider just a few

Texting…a good friend of mine texts elaborately uses full words and syntax representative of the proper use of English grammar. WHY? Not because she wouldn’t like to use the catchy little acronyms like “U”, “R”, OMG, AITR, LOL, LMAO, but because when her daughter’s dog had to be euthanized she texted, “Thinking about you, LOL” thinking LOL stood for Lots of Love. Who has time to learn the 28 pages, I kid you not, look them up, 28 pages of texting shorthand acronyms? I use the ones I am sure of when appropriate or at least I hope they are appropriate..and if they are not, WELL, too bad. I am old you know and my fingers are clumsy.

Exercise…Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Aerobics…so many choices and they look so easy and fun on TV. I do know many folks my age and older who do several classes a week and then bike, hike, swim or whatever. When I am in my northern home, we do three classes a week to tone, stretch and get our heart rate up, but other than walking we have not entered into any organized exercise plan here in the southern house…oh, and our walking is not exactly organized…more meandering than power strides. So knowing the importance of doing more than getting off the couch to go to the bathroom or get something out of the refrigerator, we do make an effort to park at a distance from the entrance to the store, use stairs instead of elevators, as well as intentionally stretching and moving our muscles two to three times a day. Exercising the body during our final years doesn’t necessarily extend life, but it does make living them easier.

The Television Remote…I cannot believe that many buttons are needed to turn it on, change channels, and adjust the volume….enough said on that issue.

I am sure there are many other examples of the daily challenges of living both physical and mental, but I also find myself challenged by the charge we find in Galatians 6:9-10. So tempting is it to retreat from the spiritual growth and action needed to meet the challenges found in these verses. So tempting to let the younger Christians with their boundless energy take the reins of ministry, and yet, God’s word compels me to consider the damage to self and others if I curl up and let other Christians grow, pray, study, meditate, and do GOOD.

Younger Christians may have the energy, but Older Christians usually have more time, experience, and often more resources available for doing good. SO, Do not grow weary of living the Christian life, that’s where all the fun and excitement of Christianity lies. Read Scripture and Act on what you read.

There simply is no faster way to die than to STOP! Christianity is not a spectator sport no matter how tempting that may be.

So like the little engine go into this day that God has made with these words, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” with Christ I CAN!

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WHAT IF GOD WERE ONE OF US?

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While in Tulsa recently I saw a church sign that read,” What if God were one of us?” Since then I have rolled that around in my mind? Of course God is in all believers, but by Jesus own words He is also in the weakest, the sickest, the loneliest…the least of us and am I not both filled with His Spirit, but also among the least at times. The following verses emerged from my thought cycle. Readers, I hope they are meaningful to you.

What if God were One of us?

Fragile flesh, brittle bones, she sits and watches all alone
She searches faces as they pass, seeking solace in a glance
Once a beauty, once a lass, a wife, a mother inclined to dance
Now tired and weary to the bones, she waits in silence for the phone.

What if God were One of us? Would we see or feel His touch?
If He were alone or in disgrace, would I recognize His face.
Would I reach out to touch if Christ, my Lord, were one of us?
Lord Jesus, let me see, help me believe Your presence in the least of these.

Different somehow from the rest, he seeks to pass every test,
Every gauntlet thrown his way, yet falling short, a castaway
Last one chosen, taunts, and jeers, turning quickly to hide his tears
Wondering, Wandering, He did his best yet bitter roots fill his chest.

What if God were One of us? Would we see or feel His touch?
If He were alone or in disgrace, would I recognize His face.
Would I reach out to touch if Christ, my Lord, were one of us?
Lord Jesus, let me see, help me believe Your presence in the least of these.

Human refuge, scattered about, needing comfort without a doubt
Prisoners whether behind bars or not, seeking freedom or perhaps not
Aged relics, hungry hearts, defenseless child, raging masses running wild
Masking heartache, anger, fear, Where is one to dry their tears?

What if God were One of us? Lonely face on the outbound bus?
Hands that comfort a crying child or lift the fallen from the aisle?
Eyes that see beyond masks of man, Ears that hear what only God can?
What if we were called in a rush to be the Christ among us?

What if God were One of us? Would I reach out and touch?
Would I trust and believe that He lives inside of me?
In the mirror would I see that I am one of the least of these,
Who needs a touch from the God who is One of us?

What if God were one of us?

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For Those Who Need it Most

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If I am full of love the temptation is to share that love with others who are lovable, loving and who expess kindness to others. Loving the lovable is not wrong or evil, but it is incomplete. It isn’t unChristlike, but it is also not fully Christlike.

To love like Jesus means recognizing as God did that it is the sick who need a physician, it is the enemy of the Cross who most needs the Cross, and it is the unkind who most need kindness.

My prayer today is that I can express Love and Kindness to ALL. It is the least I can do and I cannot do it without the Holy Spirit within, but with Christ’s help I can. If it gets hard, I will remind myself that while I was buried in sin, Christ died for me. Christ died for all! And the ones who reject that idea need to be loved the most.

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