Saturday, September 27, 2008

Truth...

Question for the day...

'What is truth?'

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Finding The Forest...

‘You can’t see the forest for the trees’, is a favorite saying to someone who is so immersed in something that they cannot see the big picture.

Have you ever been guilty of that?

I mean, seriously, have you ever been so wrapped up in the smallest of details only to miss out on the biggest of pictures? Sure you have. We all have.

Check out Luke 24:13-24.

Here, we find two people, so engrossed in their tasks, that they completely miss out on the greatest ‘thing’ to ever come their way. Totally preoccupied in heavy conversation about ‘the things which had happened’ (vs 14) …which in this case was the events that surrounded the actual crucifixion of Christ …these two missed the fact that Jesus Himself, after having risen from the dead, was actually walking toward them. Even in conversation with Him, they still didn’t recognize Him.

Name a few times that you, have missed out on something much bigger, by focusing on the smaller details.

Can you think of a few times that you were able to ‘see past the forest and actually see the trees?’ How did that make you feel?

Lots of people miss seeing God because they are so focused on finding Him. They memorize lots of Scriptures, go to church all the time, and pray all the time. Are these things bad? No! They are essential disciplines for you to grow. But don’t get so focused on what you’re doing that you miss out on the PURPOSE for doing it…which is drawing closer to God.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mandatory Evacuations...

Three years ago, Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita, literally brought about death and destruction to such a huge part of the Gulf Coast Region. New Orleans, will never, ever be the same city it was prior the what the locals still call, ‘The Storm’. Between the flood waters, the storm surges, and the breaks in the levies, the city of New Orleans was left with a front row seat to one of the greatest natural disasters in history.

Now, three years later, another hurricane takes dead aim at the exact location on the coast that Katrina & Rita ravaged. But, this time, between the local, state and federal officials, they realized the potential of what Hurricane Gustov could do. So in order to be more prepared, a Mandatory Evacuation was issued for New Orleans and surrounding parishes. Amazingly, almost 1.9 million heeded the order, and left the region. It was almost a 100% evacuation.

Why? Why this time, and not three years ago.

What would make this massive amount of people leave their homes and belongings behind with just a simple order?

It’s simple, lessons were learned with the earlier hurricanes, and the people who live in those regions didn’t want to relive it again.

Wise thinking.

So here is the deep question of the day: If we can learn from such things as hurricanes, why can’t we learn from day-to-day problems that consistently haunt our lives?

Let’s look at James 4:3-10.

In this passage, James makes it perfectly clear that ‘whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.’ (verse 4) We fall into the traps that the world set for us, yet, we don’t learn from our mistakes.

James give us a ‘how to’ process to learn from our daily mistakes and to live a closer walk with Christ.

In verses 7-10, James lays out 10 things, imperatives, that we must do in order to not continually fall into the trap that the world sets.

Submission to God
Resistance of the devil
Drawing near to God
Cleansing of the hands
Purifying the heart
Lamentation
Mourning
Weeping
Turning
Humbling

Let’s learn from our past. Let’s don’t let life’s hurricane’s that’s brought destruction in our lives, have an opportunity to repeat itself.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Stuff

Over on the side bar, I've added two new gadgets. One, allow YOU to sign up to FOLLOW ME, and this blog. This is my personal invitation to you to SIGN UP and be an official follower of 'I Espresso'd Myself'. Where you are a regular reader, or just stop by every now and then, SIGN UP.

The other addition, is my TWITTER. You can follow me on a more regular basis by going to my TWITTER. I'll be updating it regularly throughout the day via text.

Thanks for being a regular guest. Stop by anytime, and have a cup on me!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

An HGTV Moment...

Denise is an HGTV junkie. No matter what time, day or night I come into the living room, playing on the TV...lo and behold it's HGTV! I guarantee she has redesigned our house 9427 times...not counting today! :)

Now on this network, we find shows like: Color Splash, Design On A Dime, Divine Design, Decorating Cents, 181 Total Shows in all, just on this ONE NETWORK! 181 shows totally designed to give us, the homeowner, a blank canvas if you will to imagine the possibilities of how our own homes could look.

But through the fabric of each of these shows, lies 2 consistent similarities. Generally speaking, no matter which show you watch, these same 2 elements are always present.

1.) The first, is that these shows bring in a ‘top notch’ designer whose responsibility is to jazz up the current space, whether it’s a bedroom, or a kitchen, or a living room, or whatever. Now sure they have carpenters and such, but the goal is for the designers to give ideas to us at home so that we can attempt to do some of the same things…to give us ideas about transforming our own homes. And throughout the course of the episode, we get to watch this designer totally transform the living space from it’s current status, into something spectacular. Into something that the current homeowners never would have thought possible. After all, who would have ever thought to put a 52" Plasma Flat Screen in the BATHROOM!

2.) The second thing is, at the end of each of these shows, we get to see, The REVEAL!. That’s when the host of the show brings in the homeowner, and they get to see their newly decorated living space for the very first time. The host brings them into the room, with their eyes closed, and then…1,2,3…OPEN YOUR EYES! That’s when we get all those oooh’s and ahhhh’s and all those other sounds!

We’ve all seen this, hundred’s of times.

So basically, we’re glued to a TV channel whose only purpose is to help us, out here in everyday America, get ideas about redecorating our houses.

Let’s look at the house from a Biblical perspective. Throughout Scripture, it’s easy to see God’s specific attention to detail. From Genesis, where God gave Noah SPECIFIC DESIGN DETAILS about the ark…all the way to Revelation, where God showed John the Apostle the specific details of The New Jerusalem, Heaven…our future home, God is not shy about being VERY SPECIFIC in every detail in our lives.

So when it comes to the ‘house’ as seen through God’s eyes, we get an entirely new perspective.

1.) In the Old Testament, God chose the Tabernacle as His dwelling place. In Exodus, beginning in Chapter 26, we begin to see God SPECIFIC DESIGN for this new home. (Check it out for yourselves) And from there all the way into Chapter 40, we see the actual building…the physical work of the design being constructed. We even see the specific clothing that the Priests are supposed to wear when they enter the Tabernacle. Then in Chapter 40, we find, WITHOUT QUESTION, that the Tabernacle is where God will dwell. Chapter 40:34-35

2.) Now, let’s move to the New Testament. Jump on over to John Chapter 1:1. Here we see Jesus, being described at the ‘Word’…the Logos (in Greek). We see that the Word was in the beginning, the Word was WITH God, and more importantly, the Word WAS God. One in the same. And in Verse 14, we get this description a little clearer. Now we see God, ‘out of the house’, and into our very world in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.

3.) So what happened when Christ was crucified? Now Jesus no longer is in physical form on the earth. Let’s go to 1 Corinthians 6:19. This shed a whole new light on the subject. "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own" (1 Cor. 6:19).

Let’s make sure we understand this. In the Old Testament God was in the house. He dwelt in the tabernacle and in the Temple. In the New Testament He was out of the house as God revealed himself through the person of Christ. And now the Bible says we, as Christ-followers, are the house, the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit of God.

Since we are the house, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit of God, our life is all about revealing the d├ęcor of the Designer…the Master Designer. Isn’t it ironic that Jesus grew up as the son of a master carpenter? And that also became his trade up until the age of about 30, when we see His earthly ministry taking place? Just a thought...

So if, our bodies, are the dwelling place…the home of the Holy Spirit, what do others around you see as your life is revealed?

As people tour your life, they are yearning to see what THE Designer has done. When people tour homes, they get ideas. When people tour your life and mine, what kind of ideas do they pick up about marriage, parenting, priorities, dealing with sin, anger...wow, this could really get deep, couldn't it...

When people see God's redemptive show unfold in your life and mine, what do they do? As they walk through our "house," the rooms of our relationships, emotions, and actions/reactions, do they react with "oohs and awes" or tears and sobs.

Just like all those shows on HGTV, a designer as come in, took control of the house, and totally redecorated it. Sometimes, the new gets a little getting used to…because it’s NOT the way we’ve always done it. But at the Reveal, the room speaks for itself.

If you are a Christ-follower, God wants to design a model home out of your life. So don't conceal God's design...reveal it, because the ultimate goal in life is to simply reveal the glory of the Designer.