Monday, July 23, 2012

Make Yourself Big

My good friend Kristina is a wildlife tech.  She surveys forests on unbeaten paths, looking for endangered birds and searching for any indication that a bear has been in the area.
 
Of course, she’s asked frequently if she’s ever seen a bear.
And what’s the best thing to do about it if a person ever does see a bear.

Her best advice is: “Make yourself big.”
Pull your parka or shirt to full arms’ length above your head and stand your ground.
Don’t make eye contact.
And, whatever you do, don’t run!

If you’re like me, the irony of it all makes this advice seem almost foolish. 

Kind of like the command:  
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Don’t run.
Pretend you’re not weaker than he is.
Hide the fact you’re shaking in your boots.
And wait for him to be intimidated by you.

If you run into a bear, this is the best advice. 
For some reason, he’ll be afraid of you.

When it comes to resisting the devil, it’s the same thing:  Make yourself big.
Tap into the bigness of the One who is in you, who is greater than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

When temptation comes. . .
To anger.  Blatant sin.  Over-indulgence. 
Gossip.  Doubt.
The world. The flesh. And the devil . . .

Resist.

Don’t flee.  Don’t retreat.

“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” (Eph. 6:10)

I’m no match for a bear.
But, for some reason, if he thought I was big and scary, he’d run.


You and I are no match for the devil and his temptations.
But if we stand our ground, we can watch him run.

Simply by being “big.”

By communicating (to our own heart first!) that the strength of a big God is on our side.

I may never come face-to-face with a bear.
But daily I'm confronted with temptations that loom just as large.

The advice (the command) is the same: “Make yourself big.” 

Rise up bigger in the strength of the Lord, and in the power of his might.

“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Throughout All Generations

My grandmother is in a nursing home in West Virginia.  Just the other day, we enjoyed looking at pictures together of past generations--ones she once knew and ones I never met.


Shortly after that, I went to Gettysburg with my brother and his family.  A hush lingers over that place.  The memory of past generations who gave their lives for ours.


Washington D.C. swarms with monuments.  Memorials commemorating several generations--many individual lives lived and that left a legacy.


On Thursday, I'll be attending the funeral of my Pastor who lived to be 92 and was still preaching God's Word just a few months ago.  From him, I learned that every generation has a story to tell of the faithfulness of God.  A God who has been leaned on over and over again throughout all generations.

Generations.
Changes.
Dreams realized.
Hopes dashed.

Lives lived. 
Legacies.
Generations left behind to walk in the footsteps of the ones who went before.

The only constant throughout all generations has been our God.

Sometimes acknowledged.
Often ignored.
Praised.
Scorned.
Believed in.
Rejected.

Yet still the same "yesterday, today, and forever."

Yesterday, generations we never knew, knew Him.
Today, many in our generation lean on Him.
Forever, every generation that knew Him and leaned on Him will praise Him together before His throne.

All that links countless generations is our God.

He has been leaned on over and over again, yet never crushed.

Yesterday.
Today.
And Forever.

Will we teach the next generation to lean as well?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mountains and Worms


Cruising at an altitude of 35,000 feet.
Mountains are right outside my window.
The cascade range stretches for miles.

And I'm awed at the power of God.

I'm awed at the numerous ways He shows His power.

Mountains.
Worms.

Nothing is too difficult, and nothing too small.


King Herod didn't think so.

Power hungry, he locked Peter in prison.
Assigned 16 men.
Arranged a public execution for the following day.
And sat back content.
Nothing could stand in his way.

"But prayer. . ."

Prayer was made without ceasing by the church to God for Peter.

And while they were praying (and Peter was sleeping!), God's power moved onto the scene.

Peter's chains fell off.
The soldiers slept.
Gates opened on their own.
And prayer was answered.

Peter was released. . . by the power of God.

Unable to do a thing to the One truly responsible for Peter's escape, Herod killed the soldiers.

His power had been wounded.  Not to mention his pride.

Sometime later, his pride found room again.
He gave a speech; others called him a god.

And the All-powerful God ended his pride with worms.

Herod's power couldn't even withstand a tiny worm.

Mountains.
Worms.

Nothing is too difficult and nothing too small.


(Click here to listen to "Mary of Jerusalem and Rhoda")

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Liberty

Soldiers fought.  Our fight.
Fathers died.  We live.
Death their lot.  Our might.
Freedoms tried.  We give.

Under God.  Are we?
This our hymn.  Our hymn.
Others mock.  Can we?
Live for Him.  For Him.

Our God reigns.  But sin. . .
Shore to shore.  But He. . .
Washed our stains.  We win.
More and more, we see. . .

Though they gave their all
(Oh, that more might see!),
One Man's death was All.
HIS brought liberty.