Nomophobia comes from the words, “no-moble-phone phobia”

I laughed.  Really?  Psychology Today has an article about a fear of being without your mobile device?  Here is a link to a blog that touches on the subject (look here).

Seems like we can find just about anything to make us fear today.

What do you fear?   Public speaking?  Death?  Snakes?  Life?  Everything?

I have been reading Jeremiah lately.  Jeremiah is a kid.  He is asked to confront the nation of Israel with a difficult message.  They hated the message God sent through Jeremiah.  They threw him into a well  (Jeremiah 38:6).  I think he was a little afraid.  I think I would be.

Yet, God gives Jeremiah this challenge to be bold.  I love the way the HCSB reads:  “…Do not be intimidated by them or I will cause you to cower before them.”  (Jeremiah 1:17)

If you choose to be intimidated, you will live in fear.

I will not be afraid if I lose my cell phone.
I will not be afraid of those that hate my message from God.
I will not be afraid of enemies or wicked friends.
I will not be afraid to speak what is true.
I will not be afraid of sacrifice.

Lord, I choose to fear You. There my list ends.

One Room Schoolhouse

Are you a one room schoolhouse?

Look around the one room schoolhouse and you will find people that are older than you, more experienced than you.  These are people that teach you in the midst of their learning.  

Occasionally, the teacher will tell one of them to help you with a problem.

Your job is to help them learn by forcing them to teach.  (If they can show you how to do the new math, then they really have a grasp on it.)

Also present are those younger than you.  They are less experienced.

You can see the worry in their eyes when they are challenged.  You remember that look being in your eyes.

You had forgotten how it feels to be so uneducated, so innocent, so ready to learn, so young.  You forgot how it feels until you sat next to them and all of the passion for learning came flowing back into your heart.

When you teach them, you reinforce your learning.  (Before I can communicate how a verb works, I must remember how a verb works.)

There is a reason Jesus sent His disciples out two by two.  Learning about God is most often accompanied by teaching about God.  

It is Paul and Barnabus / David and Jonathan / Moses and Aaron / James and John / Adam and Eve / First Testament and New Testament.

So look around your life.
Are you surrounded by people that are better than you?
Are you surrounded by people that need you?

Jesus, give me a one room classroom life. I want to learn the whole Truth!


Which Ones?

My wife came up to me.  She had this great dress on and two different boots, one on each foot.  She asked a question that I am afraid of answering incorrectly:  “Which ones?”

So I was allowed to help in the choosing process.  Big responsibility.  I chose a pair and my wife put the matching boot on the other foot and went her way (so I suppose I guessed correctly).

Later that morning, Anna came up to me in a nice dress for school.  She asked the question as well, “Which ones?” (It thrills me that she is turning into her mother!)  It took me a couple of seconds. I examined both boots. I asked her to turn the lights up and twirl around so I could see them better. Then my suspicions were confirmed.
She was wearing matching boots…  “Those,” I said, and off she went.

I wonder if people look at my life in the same way?

You expect to see growth, something different, but all you see is the same shoe on a different foot.
Is my life different?
Look at me in the light. Examine my life. Make me dance in front of you.
Will you see a difference?
Where will that difference lead you?

Luke 5 tells the story of Jesus, Peter, and a couple of boats full of fish. At the end of this encounter, Peter looks at Jesus and says, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, oh Lord!” (Matthew 5:8)

When people encountered Jesus, they knew they had a choice.

I want you to look at my life and realize that you have a choice.
Choose religion or choose relationship with God.
Choose fear or choose life.
Choose hate or choose hope.

When you look at me can you tell what I have chosen?
When they look at you can they tell?

Jesus, let every encounter with me remind the world of the new life You give so freely.

Little Pieces

Just two more minutes, please?

My daughter wanted to sleep a little more this morning.  I told her she could stay in bed until I came back.  Two minutes later guess what she asked me.  Just two more minutes, please?

I had to tell her, “no.”  Two minutes is fine, but two minutes, then two minutes, then two minutes, et cetera, will devour your day.

Unless you are a dinosaur or a python, little pieces is the way to devour your meal.
Little pieces can devour other things too.

Little pieces can devour your marriage and friendships.  They can devour your politicians (ask how important a bunch of little emails can be).  They can devour your church.  They can devour your football team (ask the extra points kicker).  They can devour your integrity and your concentration and your calendar and your checkbook and your appetite and your home life.  One little word can defry a whole sentence (see what I did there?).

Little pieces can devour your faith.

Little pieces can also COMPLETE your faith.

As much harm as they can do to our lives, it is the little pieces that can make our lives great.  Has your day ever been changed because of the way one person smiled at you?  Or because of one off-topic, off-hand statement?

I have a challenge for you:  Today, you will be a little piece of someone’s life.  Will that little piece help devour or help complete?

I put together a puzzle long ago.  It was missing one piece.  The puzzle of the New York skyline lay incomplete on my kitchen table for weeks until I found the last piece.  I rejoiced when it was finally done.

What will you complete today?

Jesus, He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6).  Let me be an instrument of Your faithfulness.

Handling Holy

I was on the gondola with a couple from out of town.  We saw a rainbow and they thought it was beautiful.  I, however, began telling them about the many rainbow experiences that we have in our box canyon.  They interrupted my wisdom by saying, “Yes, but we are above the rainbow…”  

I forgot how amazing that is.

I was driving to a friend’s home the other day when an eagle flew out in front of my jeep.  I almost hit it and the first thing that came to my mind was wonder…  I wonder if my insurance covers an accident involving our nation’s symbol for freedom.

I forgot how amazing that is.

My youngest son was crying and we couldn’t make him stop.  My middle son went over and got obnoxious and loud.  Daniel started laughing.

I forgot how amazing that is.

Bears in my backyard.  Snow on the mountains.  Airplanes fly.  Internet.  The Bible is free.  My nephew wants to hold me.  The sun rose this morning.  Education.  Forgiveness.  A newborn baby.

A relationship with Jesus changes the life of a struggling mother, or a husband in prison, or a child with cancer…

I forgot how amazing that is.

I wanted to write today about the danger of becoming so close to the holy that we forget it is holy.  But I don’t think that is the problem.  I do not think we forget – I think we ignore.

I wonder how different life would be if I chose to say “thank You” when something holy came into view.  If I turned off my phone for an hour so I could watch my kids jump.  If I took a day off and listened to the water in the ocean.  If I practiced silence, or thankfulness, or joy, or loving my neighbor…

Some disciples of Jesus were walking to Emmaus when Jesus surprised them (because He was alive and they didn’t thik that was supposed to be able to happen).  The risen Messiah next to them but they were so obsessed with their own fear and pain that they chose to ignore God  (Luke 24:13).  Will they say the same thing of me?

Not today.  Today they will say, “He remembered how amazing that is.”

Jesus, let me handle holy in a whole new way today.  Amen