Archives for April 2013

Make Sure You Have the Right “Map”!

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6

 

A young family decided they wanted to go from Houston to San Antonio for a long weekend.  They looked forward to seeing the River Walk.  The children were anxious to see Shamu and the rest of Sea World.

Getting from their home to the Interstate was easy.  They had traveled that highway many times shopping, going to work, and to church.

The route over the next three hours was fairly simple.  They just stayed on the highway, making the customary pit stops.  It’s easy to get off of the Interstate, stop in at the local Buc-ee’s, and get back on the road.

However, when they arrived in San Antonio, they quickly became lost.  The streets were not as familiar as those at home in Houston.  The sights were different.  The roads seem to be going in one direction, and then it seemed as if they were going in the opposite direction.  They pulled their maps out of the glove compartment and the console, but they couldn’t find out where they were, or where they needed to go.  It seems the maps were for Houston.  There were no maps for San Antonio.  They had the wrong maps.

Life can be the same way.  We get comfortable in our surroundings and think we know the way to get around.  We know what we are supposed to do at work or at school.  We know where to go to buy food and clothes.  We even know where we can go to church.  And if we are not careful, even that can just become a habit.

Then when things in life change, we can really get lost.  We have trouble at work, or even lose our job.  Maybe we begin to have family relationship problems.  Perhaps we even get offended with something, or someone, at church.  We pull out all of the “maps” we’ve accumulated in life, and think we can find the right “road” to take to solve our problems.

Although we may think we know the way we are to go, unless we have the right “map”, we will always be lost.  Jesus said that He was “the way, the truth, and the life.” Unless we know God’s Word for our lives, we will never know the way we are to go.  All destinations go through God, the Father. And we can only get there through Jesus.  Don’t find yourself lost on life’s journey.  Make sure you are carrying the right “map” for the trip.

~Charles A. Kalkomey

Be Content in Where You Are!

43a And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had;

Genesis 41:43a

Life today is all about getting to the top.  The salesman wants to be the head of sales.  The CPA wants to have his own business.  We want to drive that luxury car, or that decked out pick-up truck.  No more dining at McDonald’s for us; we strive to eat only at five-star restaurants.  When we speak, we want people to listen; and not just 4 or 5 people, but hundreds of people.  It’s all about the push to get to the top.

While we try to climb that mountain, we are seldom happy or content.  Where we are is not as important as where we are trying to go.  We don’t have the time to look at what’s around us; or who is around us.

Paul said he was content in any circumstance he was in.  Whether he was in prison, being beaten, or shipwrecked, he was content.  Not “content” meaning he was glad for his situation; not “content” in that he didn’t want to improve his situation; but “content” in that he knew that God was with him regardless of what the situation might be.

Joseph was always pushed down when it looked like he was headed for the top.  His coat of many colors got him thrown into a pit, and then sold into slavery.  He had the complete trust of Potiphar, but wound up in prison.  He helped the butler and the baker, but was forgotten about for two years.  When Joseph found favor with Pharaoh, he didn’t make it all the way to the top.  He had to settle for riding “in the second chariot.” 

Joseph was able to go through the problems he faced because he knew that God was with him.  The same was true for Paul.  They both knew that God was always going to be with them, regardless of their circumstances.  And knowing that, God was able to use them where they were. 

So whether you are in the “second chariot” or the “last chariot,” be “content” in knowing that God is with you.  He wants you to prosper; He wants to promote you; He wants you to have everything you are supposed to have.  But He needs to be able to use you where you are at the time.  There is something that only you can do because of where you are.  But if you’re too busy trying to get to the top, you’ll never notice what God has for you, right where you are at that moment.

~Charles A. Kalkomey

 

How Heavy Is Your Bag?

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,  And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21

 Do you ever feel like you are carrying a heavy load on your shoulders?  Have you checked what’s in your “bag?”

A man had two grandsons.  They wanted to go looking for rocks on their grandfather’s land.  So the man did what any grandfather would do – He took them out on Saturday to look for rocks.

As they walked up one hill and down the other, the man would stop every now and then and put a rock or two in his grandsons’ backpacks.  The boys were having fun, talking about school, their friends, how hot it was, what they had done that week, what their grandfather had been doing, etc.

Every now and then, the man would take a rock out of their bags.  Then he would later put another rock in their bags.  The boys didn’t think much about it.  They thought maybe their grandfather had found a better rock.

After a few hours, they headed back to the man’s house.  By the time they arrived, the boys were hot and tired.  Their backpacks had gotten heavy from all the rocks.  Their shoulders hurt.  They quickly dropped their bags on the front porch and went inside to get some water.

As they sat at the kitchen table, resting and drinking their water, they noticed their grandfather was carrying their bags.  He sat them down on the ground, opened them up, and simply emptied all the rocks on the ground.

The boys ran out the door and asked, “Grandpa, why did you dump out our rocks?”  He responded, “Because I wanted to teach you a lesson.  You see, every time you said something negative or not kind, I put a rock in your bags.  When you said something encouraging or positive, I took one out.”

God’s Word says there is death and life in the tongue.  We need to be aware of the words we speak over ourselves, and over others.  We need to be careful about the words we chose to speak.  Our words are to bring truth and encouragement; they are to speak life. 

Jesus said, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30).  Perhaps your tongue is causing you a problem.  How heavy is your bag?