Staying on track

English: Jogging with dog at Carcavelos Beach ...

Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”

But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.”

Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.”

Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied. – Joshua 24:19-22

There are times when I am very strong and focused on a goal such as healthy living. I am eating fruit and veggies, exercising, and doing whatever I can at the moment to be healthy. Then there are other times. I may have had a challenging day and all my focus goes down the tube and I want something that I perceive will satisfy my needs … usually having to do with ice cream and pizza.

The Israelites had a passion, just like we do, to worship and serve God. There are times when we have it all together and can be focused on the goal. Then there are other times. Our humanness takes over when life gets challenging and we lose our focal point of the way we were going. Somehow we get off-track in following God by going after distractions of the world.

God knows our weakness. Our creator has provided a way to get back on track and continue the journey. His name is Jesus.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for helping me get back on track when I journey down my own road. Your way is always better. Amen

Faith Tip: What road are you on today and who are you following? Do you need to be refocused? God will help you … just ask.

Are You Going in the Right Direction?

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Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. – Joshua 1:8

Why isn’t this working? I was trying to get my GPS to begin our journey from the correct location, but couldn’t change the wrong information showing. I pushed one button, and then another, and another with no change. This was supposed to be an easy way to travel. I wasn’t experiencing that at the moment. Okay, if all else fails, take out the manual and see if it can help. I flipped through the pages to find that being parked in the garage, the satellites may have a difficult time connecting to the receiver. So I backed out of the garage and a few moments later, the correct location appeared.

Our Christian life can be like that at times. We think we know how it should work. We feel we are doing the right things, but not getting to the place in life we desire. We work hard, give to help others, volunteer and more, yet our journey seems to have potholes in the road. Although we understand that life is not perfectly smooth because we are Christians, we get a sense that the direction we are heading is not right. We want to be sure. So if all else fails, we take out the manual … God’s Word. Like the manual for the GPS, it would have been a lot easier to take out the manual first.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your Word that gives us direction. I pray that I can delve into the Bible daily and experience your direction for my life. Amen

Faith Tip: Pull out the manual and begin to seek God’s direction for you.

The Power of Relationship

Moses holding up his arms during the battle, a...

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The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. – Exodus 17:8-13

This past weekend, I spent some quality time with God’s people. It was a pilgrimage. Together we journeyed in discovering more about God. What did we discover? God’s great love for us expressed through each other. We found out that we needed one another not only through the weekend, but perhaps more after the weekend.

Gathering together in God’s name is a call. We were never meant to travel life alone. Yes, we have the Holy Spirit inside of us and I praise God for that, but there is another element needed in those God puts in our life. Sometimes the relationship is life-long and sometime just for a season, but they are both crucial for our spiritual makeup.

The power of God’s love and grace is dynamic when people that follow Jesus gather together. It must be experienced for it can never be fully described in words. I encourage you to make plans to get together with some friends and family who know what this means, and be ready to show others who don’t know the great bond they are missing.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the relationships you have brought into my life, especially my relationship with you. I pray that I demonstrate the power of your love to those I come in contact with today. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider the people God has placed in your life. How do they uphold you? What part do you play in supporting another?

New adventures

Travel

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The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

She had never driven a long way from home before. She was nervous. Determination to reach her destination gave her the fortitude needed to embark on the journey. Although the weather switched from sunny to rainy, the map was confusing at times, and the stays at hotels along the way were welcome when exhaustion overcame her, she made it. God had given her all she needed to answer his call for her to go.

It doesn’t matter if your name is Moses, Joshua, Peter or Paul, doing something that is out of our box is scary. Discouragement can be felt if the road we travel on is not going as we expect. Keeping the focus of God is imperative to making the journey. Believe his promise that he will never leave you nor forsake you. He goes before you, so there is no reason to be afraid. Stand strong and encouraged.

Prayer: Jesus, I thank you for the new adventures you call me to do in your name. My knees stop shaking when I focus on you and your call and trusting it. I pray that I listen carefully to your voice and follow obediently. Amen

Faith Tip: Is God calling you to do something new today? What is your response?

Where are you sitting?

star trek bridge

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“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:14-15

Watching the old Star Trek shows and movies, the ones with Captain Kirk, had one continual prop that stayed through all the Star Trek transitions—the captain’s chair. The person in command of the ship sat in that chair. Everyone had the understanding that obedience was given to the person in charge.

Most of us believe that we serve God only, but do we? We may be surprised by the amount of time we find ourselves sitting on the throne of our lives rather than God. If we think about our day yesterday, we can consider how much of it was in obedience and service to God. What about today?

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I pray that I allow you to reign in my life always. Amen

Faith Tip: Think about what and why you do things today.

Always remember

Stone Pile

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These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever. – Joshua 4:7

I am at the age where I frequently forget things. The doctors say that it is possible that I have “chemo brain” and that it may last a couple of years. I plan on using this excuse for a long stretch…say another 30-40 years. Well, we’ll try anyway.

It’s important to remember things. There are days in our lives that call for remembering both the good and the bad. We want to relive and be thankful for the good times, but can we be thankful for the bad times? If you can see how God worked through those times and carried you through them, then you can be thankful. It is through the challenges that we grow and become stronger in our faith. It’s important to remember what God has done so that we can be forever grateful and trusting.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for the good and bad times in my life for I have seen you at work through them. I pray that I continually look to you to follow in your steps of grace. Amen

Faith Tip: Altars and other symbols of God’s work are mentioned throughout the Bible. Think of an important moment in your life where God presence was evident. Make a symbol to help you, and those who come after you, remember and learn of God’s faithfulness.