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Friday, October 14, 2011

From a Crack In The Sidewalk

Landing in a crack in the sidewalk

Nestled between two concrete walls

Thirsty for some water

To help me grow strong and tall.

Waiting, rather lonely

Wondering when it will arrive,

The wet of rain I've longed for

To make my rise up towards the sky.

Above, the sun is beating down

Feet trample over me

No one sees this little seed

Just waiting for it's need.

One day the sky grew black.

The clouds poured forth their tears

I was there to catch them,

After waiting for what seemed years.

Something began to happen

My insides started to change

The shell that kept me safe

Started feeling strange.

It could no longer hold me.

I was busting out.

I grasped for something to hold on to.

And found a hole in the sidewalks grout.

My roots grew deep beyond the concrete,

And once they were secure

My dream began to happen.

Skyward I began to soar.

It was a slow process.

Nothing much to see.

Until the day of blooming,

That's when they noticed me.

Everyone that passed by

Marveled at the sight

Of this flower in the sidewalk crack

Proudly blooming bright.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Through the Fire

What do you think about when you think of fire?...all consuming, spreading, intense heat, melting, crackling, powerful, destruction, desolation, light? These are just a few words that come to mind.

Today I'm going to write on the subject of fire, specifically...How to walk through the fire...Come out ON fire...Without getting burned!

Based on the Story in the Old Testament from Daniel 3...Shadrack, Mishack and Abednigo in the fiery furnace. These 3 characters give us a practical example of going through the fire. I've created an acronym to help us to remember some steps we need to take when our situations resemble walking through the raging fires of life's circumstances.

F- Fan the flames of faith - Hebrews 11:1 tells us that Faith is being SURE of what we hope for and CERTAIN of what we do not see. We need to be sure and certain that our God is greater and will handle all circumstances in our lives. Faith is the fuel that takes us through the fire so that we can count it pure joy when we face trials of all kinds. Because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance...blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, that God has promised to those who love him. ( James1:2-3...12) Shadrack, Mishack and Abednigo believed that no matter what happened to them God would see them through. Faith is like walking blindfolded but knowing exactly where you're going. Incredible things happen when we hold firm to our faith! Some ways we can fan the flames of faith are by prayer, following Jesus example, recounting Gods greatness in the past, learning and obeying God's commands, seeking Gods will, and staying close to Him in all we do.

I - Internalize Gods word.- Meditate on Gods word, make it part of you. Believe Him. (Jeremiah 15:16)(Psalm 119) In Luke 4 - The temptation of Jesus gives us an example of the power Gods Word holds...Jesus comes back at satan's temptations with the words, "It is written" every time, and every time satan is stopped. We need to know what Gods Word says so that we can always have an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. ( 1 Peter 3:15) Knowing and believing in our hearts Gods promises and to claim the power we have in the Holy Spirit we need to make His Word part of us. Evil is halted by God's Word, we are strengthened by God's Word and people are won over by God's word. Making God's word a part of us is like our cooling system in the midst of the intense heat of the fire.

R - Resist temptation. - Shadrack, Mishack, and Abednigo could've given in to King Nebuchadenezzar's command to bow down to his man created idol. They stood firm in their faith even to death and God in His fiathfulness rescued them. Their faith brought the King to know and believe the One true God! Don't give in, The devil prowls around like a roaring lion just waiting to devour (Peter) and roams to and fro among the earth(Job 1) trying to tempt us away from our calling. He uses threats, deception and self condemnation rooted in fear. Keep eyes fixed on God and heart stayed on Him. Use Gods word. Put on the armor of God. (Ephesians 6) Know and believe the promises of God and look to past examples of His greatness. Jesus left us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us turn satan's fiery arrows away from us and uses them to clear a way out for us, so that we can resist the temptations that seek to burn us up.

E- Emerge VICTORIUOS. This is my favorite part! We are more than conquerors in Christ.(Romans 8:37) We will do the greater things.(John 14:12) In ALL things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28) God has already won the battle over sin and death through His Son Jesus Christ. All who believe on Him shall not perish.(John 3:16) We are on a mission with an eternal purpose. Keeping this in mind can give us a new perspective when we face our own fiery furnaces in life.

Let us live in this truth! Jesus says I am the light of the world(The everlasting flame!)...we are to follow Him and magnify his light by coming through the trials of fire ON fire for Him! Amen