Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Slug's Pace

We have had backyard visitors for two months. First there were two hen wood ducks that used our nest boxes, and then about three weeks ago a hen mallard brought ten ducklings into the pond. Poor Sadie has been restricted to her inner pen so she can’t bother the ducks. Golden retrievers do not like to share their pond. The hen and her brood left for three days so I fired up the lawn mower and now the back yard looks pretty good. The morning after I mowed, the yard had several mallards strolling around eating duck delicacy, slugs. With all the wet weather and the grass a foot tall the slugs had prospered. They consumed a row of young lettuce and some of the green beans. The mallards are providing good organic slug control on these slow moving pests.

Slugs aren’t the prettiest creature God made. They move very slow but always seem to get where the food is. We have some trophy sized and a few that are spotted like a leopard. It’s too bad they don’t eat dandelions. About all they are good for is duck food.

We are sometimes just like the slow old slug;not wanting to get involved in much but our little own world. We crawl along in life munching on everything in our path but not giving anything back. You know, playing it safe. God had a different idea when He formed us. He made us for relationships! It seems easier to crawl under a rock and forget about anyone, but that makes discipleship sort of difficult. God calls us out of our comfort zone into an exciting service for Him. When we use the gifts and talents He gave us, we can change the world one person at a time.

If you would rather be a slug than a disciple look out for the ducks!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Living a Full Life

Many people live to a ripe old age but never experience a full life. Several years ago we worked in a building where a guy had a coffee cup that said, “Life sucks and then you die”. That inscription really fit the man’s view of life. A life without dreams, a lack of any eternal hope, and a life without Jesus. Most people go through life in a survival mode not knowing a ransom has already been paid for them. Even many Christians don’t live the full life that Jesus offered. They believe in the whispers they hear from Satan about how bad they are. “You will never amount to anything” repeats in their mind until they believe it.

Jenny Meyer, age thirty four, went home into the loving arms of Jesus last week after battling cancer for several years. Jenny lived life to the fullest. She was small in stature but huge in heart. Most people would have given up, but not Jenny. She was an encourager to anyone who knew her. Jenny had two priorities that guided her life; God and family. She knew Jesus personally as her Savior and was a great witness for Him. Her hope was for everyone to know Jesus as a personal friend and Savior.

Jenny knew each day was a gift and celebrated it with friends and family. She loved the beauty God had created in north Idaho and often wrote about His glory on her blog. We will miss her smile and the love she radiated to others. I think Jenny’s cup would say something like Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

What does our cup say?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Peace And Tranquility

I spent three days last week bear hunting with two friends from Indiana. It was an honor to be with these guys and enjoy God’s great outdoors. We walked a few miles and sat for hours watching green clear cuts but the bears won. That’s hunting. White tail deer were abundant and we got a peek at some nice bucks. The elusive elk even allowed us to stop and glass them as they stood like royalty. We saw several cow moose and enjoyed seeing a new born calf following mom up a road. As we observed all this wildlife one would have thought the world was at peace as many of these animals accepted us at close range. But I knew different as we sat on a hill overlooking a recent clear cut where a buck strolled through slowly to bed down in the cool heavy timber. Some where in these woods a lion was killing a deer, a bear eating a newborn, a coyote chasing a rabbit, and a hawk diving for a squirrel. The world was not at peace; war was raging.

Nature knows a war is happening. Why is it that animals know this better than we do. They have a better sense of this deceit and destruction that has raged since creation. If they didn’t, they would not survive.

We have become too comfortable. Our country and most of the world has abandoned God. People think they don’t need Him anymore. Mankind does not recognize the spiritual battle going on for the hearts and minds of people. What is really sad, many churches deny the chaos and have adopted a lukewarm attitude. Better to play it safe than upset anyone. Jesus confronted Satan head on. The Apostles warned us not to be complacent to Satan and that his goal is to deceive mankind. Peter said He goes around devouring like a lion. If you have ever watched a show on how a pride of lions eat their prey you should have an idea how Satan works. Total Consumption!

Author John Eldredge states, “You have an enemy. He is trying to steal your freedom, kill your heart, and destroy your life.”

Here is what Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus is the only way to true peace. He has defeated Satan with his resurrection and through Him we can too. Just don’t forget, we are in a war. The outcome has permanent consequences of where we will spend eternity.