Thursday, September 29, 2016

“Don’t accumulate possessions; accumulate experiences.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2016-09-06) from his book, Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It's Too Small (Kindle Location 2076). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to to buy the book.)

Mark says, “Are you living your life in a way that is worth telling stories about? The sad reality is that most people spend their lives accumulating the wrong things. Instead of accumulating experiences, they accumulate possessions. And when that’s your objective, you end up possessed by your possessions. You don’t own them; they own you.”

He goes on, “There is a world of difference between making a living and making a life. Life isn’t measured in dollars; it’s measured in moments you can’t put a price tag on. It’s so easy to become a creature of habit, isn’t it? We go through the routine day after day. And before we know it, we’re just going through the motions. Don’t settle for the status quo. For that matter, don’t settle down at all, ever!”

I love life.  I really do.  I love the experience of life.  Life is a gift that God has given to us and how we live it is our gift back to God. 

Mark says, “Seek God. And when you do, don’t be surprised when God does immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine! The day you stop dreaming is the day you start dying. The day you start dreaming is the day you really start living.”  That is where living life really comes from. 

Thanks God for the experiences you have laid out for us today.  Thanks for being there with us.  May we look for what you have laid out for us and then step out to live them.  You are so good and you are so exciting.  Thanks for being my friend.

By the way, a couple weekends back, Margaret and I went to Sequoia National Park.  Wow, what an experience.  Last weekend we went to Disneyland with some of our family.  Now that was fun.

So what are you experiencing?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

“Faith isn’t prudent or imprudent; it’s valiant.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2016-09-06) from his book, Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It's Too Small (Kindle Locations 1988-1989). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to to buy the book.)

Here’s what Mark says leading up to this thought, “For more than forty years, Dr. Glen Reid served as a missionary in the Middle East. Everyone who knew him had the utmost respect for him. So they were surprised by his courageous confession at the age of eighty-two: ‘I have failed throughout my life because I have let fear and prudence be my gods while I avoided trusting God.’ Dr. Reid shared about a moment on the mission field when God prompted him to share the gospel with a tribe of cannibals. Dr. Reid decided not to chase that lion. His excuse was prudence, and it ranks as one of his great regrets. Later in life he recognized prudence for what it really was, his god.”

Mark goes on, “Faith isn’t logical or illogical; it’s theological. Faith isn’t prudent or imprudent; it’s valiant. Noah looked foolish building an ark in the desert. Sarah looked foolish buying maternity clothes at age ninety. David looked foolish attacking Goliath with a slingshot. Benaiah looked foolish chasing a lion. The wise men looked foolish following a star. Peter looked foolish stepping out of the boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. And Jesus looked foolish hanging half-naked on the cross.”

He then says, “But that’s faith. Faith is the willingness to look foolish. And the results speak for themselves. Noah survived the Great Flood. Sarah gave birth to Isaac. David defeated Goliath. Benaiah killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day. The wise men found the Messiah. Peter walked on water. And Jesus rose from the dead. You know why some of us have never killed a giant, chased a lion, or walked on water? We’re afraid of looking foolish. But it’s the fear of looking foolish that is foolish!”

I wonder what would happen in our life if we were willing to look foolish?  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

“Some people roll over and play dead when backed into a corner by bad news.”

A thought by Mark Batterson (2016-09-06) from his book, Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It's Too Small (Kindle Locations 1895-1896). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to to buy the book.)

I hope you’re not like that but I know this as Mark says, “The Enemy comes to steal your joy, kill your dreams, and destroy your life. Jesus came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”

He goes on, “Simply put, we were born on a battlefield between good and evil, and we have to choose sides. I’m not one of those people who see a demon behind every bush. But I also know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. We’re in a dogfight with the devil, and we don’t have to take it sitting down.”

Isaiah 54: 17, “No weapon formed against us will prosper.”  James 4: 7, “If we resist the devil, he will flee from us.”  And Romans 8: 31, “And if God is for us, who can be against us?”

Mark then says, “The Bible says the devil prowls around like a roaring lion. The key word is like. He’s a poser, and his bark is worse than his bite. Refuse to believe his lies or to cower to his intimidation. When he reminds you of your past, remind him of his future! Fight back with words of faith. Fight back with songs of praise.”

Mark tells the story of a friend of his who was going through some painful days in her life so she had gone to Africa with her dad to get away from them.  He said, “On the last day there, they went on a safari and came within two feet of a lion. Separated from it by a chain-link fence, Bonnie playfully said, ‘Hey kitty, kitty!’ That’s when the lion lunged at the fence and let out a roar that still makes her shudder a decade later! ‘My nerves caught fire,’ said Bonnie. ‘It felt like death by electrocution.’ Bonnie learned from her guide that a lion’s roar is meant to communicate dominance— to assert its authority in a territory. And the only thing that will silence a lion’s roar is the roar of a more powerful lion. That’s when Bonnie heard the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit: Bonnie, Satan walks around like a roaring lion looking to devour. But do you see that fence? That fence is the blood of Jesus, the blood of the Lamb. Satan may roar at you, but he cannot touch you. He is the one in a cage. You are the one that’s free. But you have been living your life like you’re the one in the cage and he is the one that’s free.”

I’m reading in my daily time the last chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22 and I’ve found that we win, he doesn’t.

So what is he saying to you that is taking away your joy?