Editing Your Life

I have a new book coming out soon. Actually, I have two. One is a comedy/adventure and is the third one of the Love From Above Series. The second one (which will actually be out first) is Treachery and the Innocent. I have edited both of these books over and over again in the past few months. I have even asked for editing assistance from others—a friend of mine (an English teacher who is very good at grammar), my son who is getting a PhD in biblical languages (which means he must first know the English language inside-out), and my daughter (an attorney and writer).

After everyone was finished editing, I thought I was finally ready to submit it to Blueink Review, but I was forced to wait because the cover wasn’t yet finished. While waiting, I decided to read it through one final time to make sure it was perfect. I found about 10 additional errors. When the cover still wasn’t finished, my daughter decided to read it through again. So far she’s found 7 mistakes. As they say, “Every editor needs an editor.” That’s because when you write the material, you know it so well that you begin to read in the mistakes or missing words.

While I was thinking about this today, and pondering if it will do any good for me to read the books again, I thought about how often Christians seem to “read in” the sins in our lives. Perhaps it’s the snide or snappy comment that slides from our mouth like honey from a honeycomb, or the judgmental thoughts that plague us like locusts, or the movies we watch that must be justified before we feel right about watching them. All of these are the “read in” sins we commit, sins that have become so natural we fail to recognize their sinfulness.

God is the author of what is right and wrong—not us, not our friends or family, and certainly not the world. God’s Word, and God’s Word alone, should guide our steps.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (1 Timothy 3:16).

 

No More Baggage

When you walk through an airport, you see many people with a lot of baggage. Some have so much they are forced to push it on a cart. Each of those individuals, whether they have so much they use a cart or so little they carry it themselves, have items of clothing and care products that are currently in use. You will never find old clothing that is no longer wearable or empty makeup jars in these bags, because there is no purpose for carrying such items.

My question this morning is, “Why do we weigh down our lives by carrying excess baggage?” For example, why do we burden our daily walk with the weight of bitterness due to a raw deal we endured years ago, or carry hatred for wrong done to us or a loved one, or dwell on unfair treatment by a classmate, family member, or boss? These are all excess baggage. Yes, these past events should have taught us something, but they should not be allowed to be a stumbling block in our lives.

As children of God, we need to learn to turn loose of past injuries before they become weights that hinder our lives, keeping us from being all that God wants us to be. Leave your baggage behind. Don’t let your past regrets, bitterness, or hatred control your life. Live for the future. Let your life be filled with God’s joy and blessing.

Romans 12:12 teaches us to, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Isn’t Pink a Color?

…and it’s still happening today

It's Hard to Drain the Swamp When Yer up to Yer Ears in Alligators!

Pink! Pink! Pink!” he screamed as he sat on the stairs leading to the old church basement. I froze, stuck on the stairs above him as a set of foul words flew from his mouth. This was my introduction to Tony. I had taught Good News Clubs and children’s church for years, but this experience was certainly a first. I stopped and prayed, “Lord, show me how to handle this.” I immediately thought of an experience the minister David Wilkerson shared in one of his books.

While working with inner city youth, David had been threatened by Nicky Cruz—leader of the New York City Mau-Mau gang. David was preaching in Nicky’s neighborhood when he encountered the gang leader. Nicky slapped him, and then threatened to kill him with a knife. David responded by saying, “Yes, you could; and you could cut me into a thousand little pieces and spread me…

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Throw it Away

Beauty and the Beast.jpgI stumbled over those VCR tapes for years, not wanting to throw them away because they brought back such good memories of when my children were young. “They are worthless,” I kept telling myself. “Throw them away.” But this morning I discovered that one of them was currently selling online for anywhere between $900.00 to $10,000.00. Now I’m frantically trying to remember if I finally did throw them away, or if I stored the black garbage bag they called home somewhere up in the attic. (I’ll be checking in a few minutes.)

As I sat there thinking about how funny it was that something I considered of no value others consider of great value, I thought about God’s opinion of man. He considered Adam “very good” before Adam was able to do anything good or bad. He dubbed Adam good because He dubbed Adam good. It was His opinion alone that gave Adam his value.

Today, it is God’s opinion that gives us value. He loves us because He loves us, not because of who we are or what we have accomplished. We are His creation and therefore we are of value. The weak, the strong, the wealthy, the down-trodden, the beautiful, the not so beautiful, the talented, the not so talented—we are all of value to Him because of His love for us.

I thank God that what some people call worthless, He calls of great value—great enough that He gave His life to rescue that “worthless” being from an eternity of separation from Him.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

The Warmth of a Fireplace

I love the atmosphere of a warm fireplace on a cold and snowy night, but I also love working in my garden and walking in the warmth of the sunshine. I often hear people complain about cold weather, after all, it’s not pleasant to freeze your tail off. But consider this, we lived in Florida for several years early in our marriage. Florida never has really cold weather, and the result is the bugs don’t die out like they do in other areas of the country.
Just as God uses the cold weather to assist in keeping insects under control, He uses trials in our lives to keep us under control…meaning humble and dependent upon Him. So today, be thankful for cold weather, and be thankful for the benefits and lessons learned through the trails of life.fireplacethe