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Power Outage

25 Oct

Humorous stories about computer use abound:PowerSource

  • Someone who held a document up to the computer screen, thinking the monitor would somehow scan and fax it.
  • Someone using their CD-ROM drive as a cup holder.
  • Someone frustrated when unable to find the “any” key (as in “strike any key”).
  • Someone picking up the mouse, pointing it at the computer screen and clicking it, as if it were a remote control.

But the story (could it be true?) of the woman who experienced trouble with WordPerfect tops it all. The woman, talking to a service rep in a long conversation, apparently forgot that even a computer needs power in a power outage. He reportedly advised her to pack up her computer and ship it back because, given her cluelessness, she’d never understand anything about a computer anyway!

Unfortunately, power outages don’t give us warnings. They just happen at the most inopportune times.

I stayed at my son’s house in July while our home was being tented for termites, and my son and his family were on vacation. We joked that “Hotel Wilson” was nicer than any hotel we knew, with so many amenities.

Wanting to save them some money, I decided to plug in a floor fan instead of running the air conditioner. Right after I plugged in the fan, the fuse blew.

“Oh, no! No power!”

It turned out the power went out in the entire housing complex right at that very moment. I told people I did it with my little fan.

Because I was dead in the water for most of the things I wanted to do that required electricity, I sat down to write a blog post with paper and pen.

I thought back to times I’ve tried to do things in my own power. The results aren’t usually as dramatic as blowing a fuse, but they can be just as life altering. Someone asked me recently, “Do you have any regrets at this point in life?”

Some of my biggest regrets are the times – far too many to count – I did things in my own power, my own flesh, instead of relying on the power of God.

I believe these are some of Christians’ works that will burn up (poof) at the Bema Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). (Note: Our works do not determine our salvation in Christ; they are our service to Him – Ephesians 2:9-10.) Burned up will be not only things done for the wrong motives or for our own glory, but also those works done in the power of the flesh– in other words, when we are plugged into our own power and not the power of God.

What does plugging into our own power look like?

1. Self-Centeredness. It tries to please self, not God, even though we may say we’re living for the Lord. (Galatians 1:10; Ephesians 5:8-10).

2. Foolishness. When we depend on our own wisdom, we often make foolish choices. We don’t have Spirit-led discernment (1 Corinthians 2:14).

3. Bondage. The power of the flesh leaves us enslaved to and serving ourselves.  Galatians 5:1 says, “… with freedom did Christ set us free.” Why do we run back to living in the flesh; it will only reap “corruption” (Galatians 6:8).

4. Weariness. We get overly tired when we are operating in our own power (vs. the strength we get in Christ, Philippians 4:13). (It’s like an unplugged laptop that drains the battery until the power is gone. How much better to plug into God’s unfailing power plant!)

5. Faithlessness. This is self-trust rather than trusting in God. In Matthew 13:58, Jesus did not do many miracles of power because of the people’s lack of faith.

6. Self-sufficiency. We think we can do everything through sheer willpower, but our sufficiency is truly in God (2 Corinthians 3:5).

7. Carnality. We have carnal appetites and responses; we act more like spoiled children than mature Christian adults (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

8. Temporary fruit. Yes, we can accomplish many things, but lasting fruit comes when we trust and rest in (abide in) Christ (John 15:4-5, 8).

9. Weakened relationships. Our love, forgiveness and other godly responses often fail; we need a resource outside ourselves (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a; Romans 5:5; John 13:34-35).

Although we may think we are achieving great things in our own power, we are only fooling ourselves. As Stephen L Pogue says, “Trying to live the Christian life on your own efforts is as futile as trying to get around town by pushing your car.”

Paul says, “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3). It’s just plain foolish to trust in our own power, but how often it’s our fall-back position. We need to remember to plug in to the power source that will never fail – God in us through the Holy Spirit. When we are plugged into His inexhaustible resources, we will be dynamic, vigorous, and effective.

Jesus said we would receive God’s power (John 16:7; Acts 1:8). Later, Paul said, “I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe in Him” and “Your strength must come from the mighty power of God in you”(Ephesians 1:19; 6:10 TLB). This is Jesus’ resurrection power alive in us (Galatians 2:20).

Remember: If we are not plugged in to the right power source, we can expect power outages.

How about you? Are you plugging into your own power, or the all-powerful creator God?

 – Dawn

 

 

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Pray for Rain!

21 Aug

Our friend, Rhonda Rhea, always amazes us with her creative humor. On Facebook a few weeks ago, Rhonda wrote about the tough weather.

“Looking at the temps and humidity, and calculating today’s ‘Hair Index’ … partly frizzy with a chance of a ponytail.”

With all the high temperatures this summer, weather forecasters and meteorologists have received some complaints. Reminds me (Dawn) of this joke:

A man who found a cell phone walked over to a weather forecaster and said, “Sir, I think this is yours.”

“Why do you think so,” asked the forecaster.

“Well, Sir,” said the man, “it says 20 missed calls!” (1)

And then there’s the sign seen on a telephone pole: “Garage sale this Sunday, 7:00 AM until 100 degrees.” (2)

Higher energy use with more air conditioners on full blast is one of the difficulties of the extreme high Texas Droughtweather we’ve experienced in our nation, but one of the toughest consequences of the severe weather patterns is the drought in Texas.

As farmers struggle with the parched planes that look more like a moonscape than fertile soil, and officials deal with their damaged infrastructure,  forecasters predicted that the drought may persist for another year.

Texas_pray for rainTexans need water. It’s that simple. Pastors in churches across the state asked their members to pray for rain.

The controversial August 6th day of prayer and fasting for America, The Response ~ organized by Gov. Rick Perry ~ also included prayers for rain. Certainly, the need for rain is causing thousands to turn to God in prayer, to ask for His mercies … and to send rain to bless the parched land. I even heard secular news announcers asking people to pray for rain for the Texans.

I am reminded of Psalm 63: 1  ~

“Oh God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

And Psalm 143:6 says, “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like parched land.”

David cried out to God when he was in the desert of Judah. David longed for a stream of water to quench his thirst in the scorching desert heat.

Have you ever felt desperate for water? Certainly, the people in Northern Africa thirst for water and are starving for food. Though we in America may get a dehydrated at times, we aren’t normally desperate like those in third world countries (at least, not yet).

Just as your body craves and needs water, your spirit craves and needs the Living Water ~ the presence Water - blueof God flowing in and through you, satisfying your soul and then pouring out in ministry to others. Jesus is the Living Water that brings life to the soul.

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'” (John 7:38), and He told a soul-thirsty woman that He offered water that would cause her to never thirst again (John 4:1-38).

Are you thirsty for Jesus today? “Pray for Rain!” Ask God’s presence to flood your soul.

Spend time with the Lord. Drink Him in ~ in prayer and by reading about Him in the Word of God. Quench your thirst with Living Water.

(1) Adapted from Weather Jokes – “Cell Phone Joke,” http://www.greatcleanjokes.com/1261/cell-phone-joke/

(2) Adapted from “Heat Joke,” http://www.greatcleanjokes.com/1256/heat-joke/

Are You Covered?

30 Jul

Regarding Insurance Protection:

  • Did you hear about the woman who bought a group insurance plan? She thought everything was fine until she discovered she couldn’t collect until the whole group was sick.
  • Needing insurance is like needing a parachute. If it isn’t there the first time, chances are you won’t be needing it again.
  • Life insurance agent to a would-be client: “Don’t let me frighten you into a hasty decision. Sleep on it tonight. If you wake in the morning, give me a call then and let me know.” (1)
  • You know it’s going to be a bad cay when you wake up in a hospital all trussed up, and your insurance agent tells you that your accident policy covers falling off the roof … but not hitting the ground. (2)

InsuranceCoverageCar insurance … home insurance … fire insurance … medical insurance. Many of us are “insurance poor,” with much of our paycheck going out to “insure” our health and well-being.

We are advised to take out sufficient coverage, because we never know when circumstances will change, or when we might need it to face a tragedy. Some years ago, a firestorm broke out in our county, and many homes burned to the ground or were severely damaged. Those with fire insurance rebuilt their homes relatively quickly; those without it are, in many cases, still struggling ~ some living in small trailers.

None of us like to pay insurance premiums, but what we’re buying ~ the potential benefits ~ are peace of mind and the ability to restore most, if not all, of the earthly goods we’ve lost, or the ability to obtain services to possibly restore our health. We’re buying a measure of  “protection” for the misfortunes of life. The benefits of our insurance “coverage” are worth the cost.

But when is the last time you thought about SPIRITUAL insurance? I’m not talking about spiritual assurance here (knowing that we are Christ-followers, based on the Word of God), but rather, the promises of protection and provision in our times of need.  It’s God saying, “I’ve got you covered.”

We see this concept in Psalm 91:3-4. God “covers” us like a bird covers her babies under her feathers ~ MamaHenWithTwoChicksprotecting us. And also, in Deuteronomy 33:12, Moses said of Benjamin (representative of his tribe), “The Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.”

No matter what comes our way, God has the exact “coverage” we need. Spiritual insurance is a word from scripture that we know we can claim when troubles come. We know that God will give us encouragement, help, support, etc., to deal with our struggles and, if necessary, rebuild our lives. We don’t have to live in defeat.

We can’t avoid suffering and troublesome circumstances, but we can know that God will be with us, and out of His presence and promises come everything we need.

Mama Bird Covers with her WingsJust as many people failed to buy fire insurance (or couldn’t afford it) and they now struggle after the firestorm, many put off getting into the Word of God and discovering His plan for “coverage.” It’s far better to store up promises God has for us in the Word before we need them, so they are ready for us in times of trial. The only cost to us is to believe and receive the Word of the Lord. We can live this adventure of life with peace of mind and heart.

How’s your spiritual insurance policy, Friend? Can you quote at least three promises from the scriptures that relate to the protection, provision, and peace of God?

(1) http://www.barricksinsurance.com/insurance_jokes.html

(2) Michael Hodgin, 1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking, #496, p. 194

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