Where Do You Live?

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. – Revelation 21:23

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Where do you live?

My wife and I have lived in 27 houses (16 cities, seven states, and three countries) in our 40+ years of marriage, but in June of last year we returned to Pennsylvania to be closer to our children and grandchildren. When I am not traveling (which is frequent), I work from home and we feel extremely blessed to be settled (we hope!). Life is good. Having family close is wonderful. Central PA is a beautiful place, but I still have to tell you … I don’t want to live here forever.

You see, I have a couple of addresses and I actually prefer my other “place.” It is lit by the presence of the Divine and though I have not yet permanently moved there, I try to live as if I have.

2019 is off and running. Do you like where you live? Maybe it is time to add a new, more eternal address to your list. Make the “move” now, in your heart and mind, and the future move that awaits will only be a simple change of address.

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. – C. S. Lewis

Choices

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” – Genesis 2:16-17

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Life is full of choices: some conscious … some not. We have all had to make some difficult ones and we have even had others made for us. When others make choices (good or bad), we can be negatively (or positively) impacted by their decisions.

Choices, by nature, imply options. These options (and their outcomes) can often seem equal, requiring wisdom and discernment to dictate our actions. There are, however, also those moments in life when the options are clearly separated by the distinct presence of darkness or light (right versus wrong) and one must choose between God’s desires and his or her own personal passion.

Today you will have one (or many) choices to make. Choose wisely … choose God.

You are doomed to make choices. This is life’s greatest paradox. – Wayne Dyer

Go Ahead and Scream

God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. Yet I am not destroyed by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face. – Job 23:16-17

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Have you ever said, “Honest to God”? This phrase is often used to express the veracity of a claim or opinion and of all the characteristics of faith that God desires in one of His followers, perhaps honesty is foremost.

Job’s life was a wreck and yet his life was all he had left. His family … his riches … his health … all had disappeared and the only consolation that remained (in the presence of a discouraging wife and critical friends) was a God who seemed distant and unresponsive. Job may have appeared insolent in his remarks, some might even say sacrilegious, but at least he was honest.

When difficult times arise there will be those who say you should remain calm and silent. We who serve the risen Savior are even expected to enter into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings and to endure unto the end whatever test or trial comes our way. Yet, to be honest, we remain human flesh until we are glorified and sometimes what we are asked to bear is beyond our comprehension and understanding. In such cases, be assured that God is neither offended nor surprised if you scream.

Whatever Job was, he was honest to God.

He that loseth his honesty hath nothing else to lose. – John Lyly

The Lesson of Uncertainty

But where can wisdom be found, and where is understanding located? – Job 28:12

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Have you ever needed some answers and struggled to find them? While I have certainly had moments in my life when answers eluded me, I had not experienced a long sustained period of uncertainty until 2011.

My wife and I had just made an unexpected return to the U.S. after leaving overseas service and questions dominated our thinking. What should we do? Why are we here? What does God want? The lack of answers to these questions became so … very … tiring.

Yet, a supreme truth always rose to the surface of my conscious mind. It really is all about Him and not me.life is an object lesson. His pain and suffering are the canvas upon which God painted a revelation of His transcendent wisdom and glory. Is that enough for me? It better be. It must be. There is nothing else. Perhaps the greatest lesson of uncertainty is that it’s not about us.

There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing. – Robert Burns

Last Words

If only I had someone to hear my case! Here is my signature; let the Almighty answer me. Let my Opponent compose His indictment. – Job 31:35

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Last words are important, aren’t they? I think so … for two reasons: because of what you say and to whom you say it.

What do you think will be your last words? The person who faces execution is usually asked if they have any. Since the time and moment of death is fixed, such a person would have an opportunity to consider what they wanted to say; however, most of us will never know which words will be our last. On the other hand, what do we know?

Whatever our last words will be, we know Who will be listening. God, Himself. Oh, if we could just realize this truth at every moment! In every instance! God listens. He hears … and He responds with wisdom, grace, love, and justice. Lord, may all my words (including my last words) be pleasing to You.

No Comment – Last words on the gravestone of Edward Paul Abbey (anarchist)

Uncommon Sense

Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding. It is impossible for God to do wrong, and for the Almighty to act unjustly. – Job 34:10

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Don’t you wish that common sense was … well … more “common?” When we were in our teens, my brother would say things like, “David, you are smart, but you just have no common sense.” I like to think I had more than he did, but at that age neither one of us was Ben Franklin!

Wisdom, another word for common sense, can come with age and while I believe I have more than I used to, accumulated years is no guarantee that I will grow wiser. There are plenty of gray-haired “knot-heads” walking around. In fact, many of them (like pigeons) seem to dwell near some of our most enduring national monuments (D.C.).

What is the best indicator that you possess some common sense? Look to Elihu above. A person’s understanding is more than common, in fact it is supernatural, if: a) he/she believes in God and b) he/she believes that God is righteous and just. Knowing God may not be the only sign of wisdom, but it is a good beginning. Nothing else really makes sense.

Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one. – E. B. White

Priceless

Be careful that no one lures you with riches; do not let a large ransom lead you astray. Can your wealth or all your physical exertion keep you from distress? – Job 36:18-19

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Even though I have, at times, wanted more money for my work, it was only the primary motivation in the choice of a job once … my first position out of college. It has certainly never been a determining factor in following Christ, yet … to be transparent … I must admit that the attraction of a better salary has, at times, been a temptation.

The love of money is, in fact, the root of all kinds of evil. It is able to lead a man of God to remain silent when he needs to speak and it is also able to make the same man compromise to the detriment of biblical and spiritual conviction. God’s servant, if he or she wishes to remain a truly principled leader, must answer this question, “What is my price?”, and then come to only one answer …

“I’m priceless.”

Money often costs too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson