Archive for September, 2008

Get Close to God!

Posted: September 18, 2008 in Uncategorized

How well do you know your Creator?  You may know about him, but do you really know him?

 

 Are you aware that he wants you to know him and that he loves and cherishes you as a Father does his own child?

 

 God speaks to us in many different ways.  We just need to learn how to tune in to his voice.

 

 These posts chronicle what I’ve been learning while reading the Bible, books from authors like Andrew Murray, Tozer, and Oswald Chambers, being involved with a community of believers, and talking and walking with the Lord in my everyday life, through all the good and difficult things he and I experience… together.

 If following your own dreams has left you feeling hungry and thirsty for meaning and purpose, then join me on my quest to pursue God, who freely gives an unlimited supply of bread from heaven and rivers of living water to quench and satisfy your soul.

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Have you heard Topher?

Posted: September 13, 2008 in Topher Teague

 

Stephanie’s husband, Chris, is known as Topher in the music world.  Well, maybe not widely known yet, but he has gotten a great start with his song Losing Ground on the DVD Somebody’s Daughter, now available from Music for the Soul.  Topher met Steve Siler, a songwriter and producer at a writer’s workshop back in February.  Steve has had over 400 of his songs recorded by artists such as Point of Grace, Avalon, Sandi Patty, Kenny Loggins, Smokey Robinson, and others.  He “just happened” to be the teacher for the group that Topher was in.  Steve had been looking for someone to add to his Somebody’s Daughter project that could help reach the younger audience and he said when he heard Chris’ song Losing ground (that he wrote four years ago,) he thought “Wow, Lord! This is the song that I need and it sounds good, too!”

 

Sharon, Stephanie, and Topher’s mom, Sherrye, are going with him to the event in Orlando where he’ll perform Losing Ground.  Clay Crosse and Scott Krippayne, who are also on the DVD, Somebody’s Daughter, will perform as well. 

 

We’re all pretty excited about how the Lord is using Chris in this ministry!

Love is an orange

Posted: September 8, 2008 in Metaphorically Speaking...

Fourth in the series Metaphorically Speaking. 

I am truly blessed.  The Lord picked out a wife for me 29 years ago that has been easy to love.  But like all good things that get taken for granted, I have occasionally been guilty of letting her familiarity make me contemptible.  I hope I never lose her to make me realize just how low my well would run dry. 

Guys, let’s not take our wives for granted.  We need to remind ourselves how much they do for us and how much they mean to us.  And let them know how we feel.  Good marriages take work; they don’t just happen and they periodically need “tune-ups.”

Practice the Triple-A treatment:
Attention
Appreciation
Affection

Sharon, Happy Anniversary!  I will cherish our love forever.

I wrote the following article about 20 years ago for myself as much as anybody. 

 

Is the feeling gone?

True love is made, not born, and it doesn’t come easy.  But it’s well worth the effort and its achievement is more precious than anything the world has to offer.

Don’t wait until you feel like loving to start showing it.  Feelings result from loving actions.  If we invested as much time, energy, and creativity into the relationship with our spouse and children as we do in our professional careers we would have great marriages and happy families.  And our loving feelings would continue to grow stronger.

Real love, like anything worthwhile, requires commitment.  A commitment to build an intimate relationship.  It begins with communicating deep personal feelings and really listening to each other.  It continues with an attitude of giving and not just receiving.  And it’s protected by a mutual bond of trust that includes fidelity to your one and only.  Time alone together is a must.  Rediscover the fun you use to have with each other.  Laugh and cry together.  When was the last time the two of you went out on a date?  It’s not too late to rekindle the fires of romance.  Do the things you did back then-hug and hold each other often and say those magic words-“I love you.”  Don’t stop courting just because you’re married.  Work as hard at keeping your mate as you did at trying to get your mate.  Just like an old house, your marriage can be fixed up and even improved upon to be made better than ever.

Love is a verb.  Exercise it.  Practice it.  Pray for it.  Tap into the ultimate source of love-God himself.  King Solomon said that a threefold cord is not easily broken.  God is that third cord that helps to hold and keep you together.  After all, marriage was his idea.  To love is his commandment-a happy marriage is the reward.

Finally, feelings are like orange juice.  You have to squeeze the orange to enjoy the fruit of your labor-those loving feelings.

Are you a chameleon?

Posted: September 1, 2008 in Metaphorically Speaking...

Third in the series Metaphorically Speaking. 

One of the most amazing creatures that God came up with is the chameleon.  He designed these lizards with a special lining of skin cells wired directly to their brains to enable them to quickly flash from their usually dull shade of brown or green to an assortment of other colors, including blue, yellow, or pink.

Contrary to popular belief, recent studies have uncovered that chameleons change their color to stick out, not to blend in.  The research has demonstrated that males use the bright colors to intimidate other males when fighting or to make an impression on females.  This actually makes them vulnerable to birds, which can also see the color contrast.  The natural color of the chameleon makes the best camouflage.

Another cool feature God gifted them with is eyes that rotate 360 degrees.  Not only that, but each eye can look and focus in different directions!  Talk about having eyes in the back of your head!  That would come in handy, wouldn’t it?

Looking at these pictures made me realize how we Christians sometimes behave like chameleons.  We can also change our “colors” to match the social conditions we encounter.  Our colors are presented by our countenance, demeanor, body language, expressions, and how we act or talk.  We can shine one way in front of our non-Christian co-workers and friends and another when in church or with our families.

It’s also easier to do what’s natural and camouflage ourselves to blend in with the crowd instead of standing up for what is right, especially when we’re outnumbered.  We don’t want our Christian colors to shine and make us vulnerable to attack or ridicule.

Lord,

Help us to come out of our camouflage and start displaying our proper colors.  Let your promise of protection calm our fears concerning those who might harm us.  Let us not be ashamed but feel proud and blessed to be your children.  May we remember to keep one eye focused on Christ while using our other eye to navigate our way in the world.  Shine through us to attract more people into your kingdom.

Amen.

 

I will not be shaken

Posted: September 1, 2008 in Metaphorically Speaking...

Second in the series Metaphorically Speaking

I am always with You.  You hold me by my right hand. (Psalm 73:23)

 

I have set the Lord always before me.  Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

 

Have you ever wondered how David did it?  How he could “fear no evil” and “lie down and sleep in peace” in the midst of danger?  If anyone had reason to fear it was David: facing lions, Goliath, King Saul, and many enemies, all out to kill him.  We know he was afraid enough to cry out to God but he didn’t remain in fear.  Unlike many of us who worry and fret until the problem goes away, David said “I fear no evil” while he was still walking through the valley of the shadow of death.  “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear” (Psalm 27:3).  When the Philistines had captured him he said “In God I trust.  I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11).

What was David’s secret?  How could he trust the Lord to that extent?  Look at the picture above.  He knew his God was always close by.  All he had to do was reach up and take his hand, seek refuge under his wings, or abide in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1,4).

When I was around 12 years old I had a paper route, and the worst part of the job was collecting the money.  If my customers didn’t pay then I didn’t get paid because that’s how it worked back then.  Some people wouldn’t answer their door, and others were quite rude and wouldn’t pay me a dime.  This went on until my dad found out about it.  Just having him by my side as we walked up to their doors washed away all my fear and anxiety.  They could not get rid of Dad as easily.  He wasn’t leaving until we got the money!

You’ve probably experienced the same kind of protection with your dad, older brother, sister, or bigger friend.  Well, that’s what David had with the Lord.  Guess what? So can you and I!

We all know about God.  Most of us even know that he is nearby.  But how many of us really know him?  You can be close to people in an elevator but not say a word to each other.  You can’t trust someone you don’t know.

David gave us some clues to his secret.  Look at the second verse to the right of the picture.  “I have set the Lord always before me.”  David pursued God.  “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek” (Psalm 27:8).  “Oh, God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You” (Psalm 63:1).  Yes, David knew God was close but he had to reach for him, to connect with him.  It’s like stretching out your arms in a pitch black room, not knowing where anything is until you touch something.

So, how could David walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil?  Because of what he said next: “for You are with me.”

First in the series Metaphorically Speaking

 

Hello, everyone!                                                                     March 16, 2008

 

I hope my Tennessee friends got up early enough on Saturday morning to see (and possibly play in) the snow before it went away.  Sharon and I were reminded of the fun we used to have with the kids (and dogs) as we pushed or pulled the sled (no hills in our yard) and made snowmen.  Since our kids now have families of their own, we had to do it without them and built a snowman on our deck.  We realized that we could still have fun on our own as we played in the snow and later played cards (inside!) and even danced with the DDR game, although we didn’t remember snowman building or dancing being this hard many years earlier!  Even Candy, our 12 year old golden retriever, didn’t catch snow balls as enthusiastically as she used to.

 

Sharon pointed out to me how our daffodils were stubbornly poking up through the snow so I grabbed my camera and snapped this close-up.  Later that night as I was looking at this picture I had just put on for the wallpaper on my computer, it hit me-what a beautiful image of perseverance the daffodils were illustrating for me.  The snow represents the difficulties and hardships we face that weigh us down.  I knew there had to be a verse about this and sure enough, I found it.  2 Corinthians 4:17:

 

     “Our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

 

Later that day I checked out the daffodils again.  By this time the snow was gone and the same God that loves us preserved the glory he gave these flowers and it outweighed the storm.

 

May you experience His peace and glory within your struggles.