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The True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable Life!

July 24, 2007

The opportunities that God gives us to share His love and hope and truth and love are endless. Too often, we miss them. Too often, we ignore them. And then we wonder why things [things of power, miracles or just “God moments” ] don’t happen today like they did in Bible times.

I don’t think we are always available and ready for such incidents. I’m certain there were plenty of folks in “Bible” times who walked around never even knowing that miracles and powerful happenings were taking place. And they didn’t have near the distractions that we embrace in our lives. (i.e., tv, internet, climbing the ladder of success)

I think also we don’t readily recognize the power and movement of God because we don’t always appreciate the everyday workings of the Lord. Instead, we’re more prone to look for the next BIG thing. One day, when we’re all gathered around God’s throne, we might be quite mortified to see how often, and how powerfully God tried to show up in our every day lives … and we were just too busy to take note.

My son was saved in June. Just watching him come to the place where “he said” that he needed Jesus to be his Savior was an incredible life circumstance for me. I know that the day I accepted Jesus as my Savior, my life was transformed. I was changed!

Jack has always been a good boy. (inquisitive, adventurous, mischievous, and somedays a bit lazy — but still a good boy) But I’ve seen something new taking place in him since his salvation. I see “lights coming on” about things of God and his relationship with God. He’s been in church since “before he was born,” but he’s never been a big communicator about “God” things.

The one area of his life that seems to be taking on new meaning is “prayer.” Since his salvation, he is embracing the privilege and the power of prayer. Prayer is something he values. He recognizes it as the “means” to talk to God. And he wants to pray.

Yesterday, while here in Carolina Beach, we went to Lake Park where there are paddle boats you can use on the lake. It just so happens that there are supposed to be alligators in the lake. I admit that I had a little trepidation about paddling around a lake with alligators in it. But I trusted that they surely wouldn’t let that take place if there was real danger. Still, the sign on the dock warned about the alligators and Jack reads very well. He had a little more fear than I did — but I made him go on the boat.

He whined and moaned and groaned the whole time. I was surprised and a bit disappointed since he normally has a very adventurous spirit. (I figured he’d just been spending too much time with his Grandma, who tends to worry about everything)

I tried to encourage him that as soon as we got out of the boat he would be bragging to Grandma and all his friends that he’d paddled around in a lake with alligators, but that didn’t seem to suffice while we were in the boat.

After our hour was up, he was okay — and did indeed brag about the big adventure. I told him that I didn’t want to hear him talking about the boat ride after he had whined so much. But, he talked about it anyway. 🙂

I guess I thought it was all over until last night when we were lying in bed watching television. We were all about to fall asleep when he said, “Mom, how do you get rid of bad thoughts in your head?”

At first, I told him to just think about good thoughts. (that’s what my mother always told me — never questioning the fact that I might not have any good thoughts because my mind was so crowded with bad thoughts). Then he said, “It’s hard to think of good things when all I can think about are bad things.” Hmmm? He read my mind.

I said, “Think about all the fun we had today on the beach … and then the aquarium we visited.”

He said, “All I can think about are those alligators. Mom, how do you get bad thoughts out of your head?”

I said, “I pray.”

Then he said, “Mom, will you help me?”

So immediately went over to his bed and told him what God’s Word says about thinking on “whatsoever things are pure, noble, good, excellent, lovely…” and then we started to pray, asking God to fill his head with these things, and to give him peace so that he could sleep without worrying.” As I was praying, Jack whispered to me, “And Mom, ask God to help my ear feel better too. It’s got water in it.”

So we did. And within three minutes, the boy was sound asleep.

That might not be much to some people, but watching the heart of a child be “stilled” and comforted — is a powerful and miraculous moment for me. You see, I spent many late night hours being afraid and not having any comfort. My mind has too often been too crowded with bad thoughts to experience any good thoughts. And I didn’t have anyone to “help me” pray for peace, comfort or healing.

It’s a miracle for me that God allows me to experience these things. It’s a miracle to me, that I even had a clear enough mind to appreciate what is truly powerful. It’s a miracle to me that I was able to recall the passage that I’ve read over and over for many months now … from Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

I have to step back and wonder and even ask myself sometimes, “Are you really serious about what you say you believe?” And when I answer myself, “YES.” Then I have to wonder why I am so prone to step one inch away from God’s presence … where yes, indeed, that is where all the action is. How can I or anyone else who claims to be a child of God ever get so caught up in the things that are “untrue, wrong, dirty, ugly, disappointing and fearful” — the distractions of this earthly life — that we allow ourselves to miss what’s really going on … THE REAL LIFE!

From Colossians 3 … (The Message)

1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

3-4Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

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