Posted in doing the next thing God asks, Words For The Year

Sharing a Fish Taco

Have you ever thought of a person who had wonderful gifts but kept blowing his reputation by the things he said and did?

There is a song by a gifted songwriter, Branid Carlile who captures this essence in a song she calls “That Wasn’t Me”.  I understand it talks about a alcoholic family member who does something that is inconsistent with the real person they feel they are. “Whatever you see, that wasn’t me”. I would encourage you to listen to it. You can find it on iTunes.

Back to my question. I want to talk about living inconsistently with who we really are. It is a human experience. We want to do one thing and end up doing another.  Remember Paul saying it so well in Romans 7:15 (NLT):

“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”

Maybe Brandi was right. We see our actions going the opposite to our deepest desires. So we tell others don’t see us as we do but see us as we intend to be.  That may well be true. Think about it in your life. What is your experience?

Here is the dilemma.  Consequences of actions. They hurt. We may not even be aware of the results of our actions.  Someone else may have to tell us.

It has been my experience these are the worse kinds of injuries.  We don’t like to intentionally hurt others. But we really don’t like it when our actions have done just that and we were unaware of the impact to others.

Jesus knew this when he told Peter (Mark 14:29 THE MESSAGE) that he would deny being his friend three times in a very short time.  Peter knew deep inside he was a follower of Jesus and he would NEVER betray that friendship.  But Jesus was so right when later that night (Mark 14:66-72), some girls provoked him to refuse being one of the band of brothers. It took a rooster for it to really set in just what he had done.

What to do?

Well, he was in pretty miserable company for most all of the faithful twelve were nowhere to be seen at the Crucifixion other than John.

What do you think Peter felt then?

Seems likely he would want to rewind the tape and get a do-over. Or at least to somehow tell everyone who he really was affiliated to. Instead the story unfolds and you can imagine Peter unable to ever go to Jesus personally and confess. Read Luke 24.12 (THE MESSAGE) The deed was done. There were no do-overs. His world was filled with regret. And his friend was no where to be seen. Not even in the grave. He had done something unthinkable and now unforgivable. At least in his understanding of the moment.

The story unfolds that since they were fisherman, Peter decided to do what he did…go fishing. But it wasn’t a very good night for fishing. Some days you just hang out with the guys.

Mark 16:7 (THE MESSAGE) 

“Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.”

What should they do but go back to fishing in Galilee.  So Peter and the guys fished all night trying to figure out what to do next. Or maybe just sleeping away the weariness of meaninglessness. It was a very hard day to be a disciple – a follower needs someone to follow.  Yes, Jesus told them what He was going to do, but these guys had no experience in this supernatural stuff without Jesus being in the thick of it.  Oh yes, they had gone out two by two and stuff happened, but this was different. They really felt confused in their loneliness. Would Jesus come once again to them after the Resurrection?

Well, after a restless night, sunrise came.  Sure enough, Jesus was there that morning walking on the shore.

John 21 The Message (MSG)

Fishing

21 1-3 After this, Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time at the Tiberias Sea (the Sea of Galilee). This is how he did it: Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the brothers Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter announced, “I’m going fishing.”

3-4 The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night. When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him.

Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?”

They answered, “No.”

He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.”

They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in.

7-9 Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Master!”

When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he threw on some clothes, for he was stripped for work, and dove into the sea. The other disciples came in by boat for they weren’t far from land, a hundred yards or so, pulling along the net full of fish. When they got out of the boat, they saw a fire laid, with fish and bread cooking on it.

10-11 Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” Simon Peter joined them and pulled the net to shore—153 big fish! And even with all those fish, the net didn’t rip.

12 Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” Not one of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master.

13-14 Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead.

So now, you might understand the title of this blog post, Sharing a Fish Taco.  These guys were looking to their Master and He gave like He so often did, He took the fish and bread and gave it to them to eat.  COMMUNION.  I think this was more than just a little food break, a snack.  No, this was a revelation.  All of the disciples present saw Jesus in a fresh way.  They were encouraged once again.  They knew they were disciples of something, SOME ONE so much greater than themselves.  I think Peter discovered a new sense of his calling to be a Fisher of Men.  Renamed from Simon to Peter, the rock, he was learning something about himself as Jesus revealed it.  And here was the clincher. The one-on-one conversation between Jesus and Peter:

John 21 The Message (MSG)

John Do You Love Me?

15 After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”

Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”

17-19 Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I’m telling you the very truth now: When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wished, but when you get old you’ll have to stretch out your hands while someone else dresses you and takes you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to hint at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. And then he commanded, “Follow me.”

This journey would not be a simple one any longer, being a Gafishilean fisherman or a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth following where He would lead.  No, in a few short days, the Holy Spirit would guide Peter into his destiny.  And that would be more amazing than anyone could have imagined.

The turning point for Peter came when Jesus did not reject him for failing but encouraged him to do more than he had ever done.  The question Do you love me three times was not easy, but it was cleansing. Peter was forgiven of his past.  He saw himself from the perspective of his Master finally. What a day.  He would never be the same.

And Jesus gave this commission to him over a fish taco.

 

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Posted in Consider this, doing the next thing God asks, New every morning

Happy New Year!

New Beginnings

01/01/2014

Matthew 6:33 Amplified Bible (AMP) –

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

Pasted from <http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%206:33&version=AMP>

God is speaking to us in so many ways, but on this first day  of a New Year, I just want to sense that He is first. Above everything else.   If I observe, I will see Him, I will hear Him, I will follow Him. I think He wants us to recognize Him first so that everything else falls into proper order. He is God of order and purpose. Genesis 2 tells us that we are given the task of subduing the earth and everything in it. He also tells us that He has a great purpose for each of us. That is enough to set our course, to give us correct motivation.

Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified Bible (AMP) –

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Pasted from <http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2029:11&version=AMP>

Bible Reading today: Genesis 1, 2. Luke 1. The beginning of all human conversation with God. Luke 1 tells us the supernatural story of the prophet John The Baptist and Jesus our Messiah.

 

Posted in Consider this

In the beginning…

in-the-beginningGenesis 1

The Account of Creation
1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

New Beginnings…we need them.

Sometimes in the middle of our world, we realize we need a new start.  A do-0ver. A fresh page.  A clean blackboard.  Things just aren’t going the way we planned them.

GOD started it all…  and proclaimed it was good, very good.  He gave us a beginning.  But we do not always read the instructions so things can get pretty far from the original design.  Sin does that.  A definition of sin is “missing the mark”.  It is pretty accurate because it says so much.  There is intent, effort, aim, direction, goal, perfection and missing.  Sometimes it is just not a bulls eye, but still close.  Sometimes it isn’t even in the vicinity.  But it was an attempt…so choice was involved.

Remember all through 2009 how much choice is involved.

We have been given that…of course, we have been given some guidelines too.  Those of us who know GOD, through the person of Jesus Christ, know His goodness dictates that His coaching is always for our best.  Love is like that.

I am not sure where this blog will go this year, but I pray that whoever finds it will find thoughts that take you closer to Father GOD.  Be blessed in 2009!

Posted in Consider this

CHRISTMAS LOVE . . .

For several years, Author Candy Chand’s true story of a holiday miracle, titled Christmas
Love, has widely traveled the internet. Now, for the first holiday season, it is available as
a single-story, hardback gift book with lovely illustrations. Her story is printed below.

If you’d like a copy of the new gift book, you can order it at stores nationwide, or by
clicking on this link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Love-Candy-Chand/dp/1423602765/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225570853&sr=1-1

Christmas Love

by Candy Chand

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. But
once again, despite my plans, chaos prevailed. I had cut back on nonessential
obligations– extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and yes, even the
all American pastime, overspending. Yet, still, I found myself exhausted, unable to
appreciate the precious family moments, and, of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a
six year old filled with hopes, dreams and laughter. For weeks, he’d been memorizing
songs for his school’s “Winter Pageant.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be
working the night of the production.

Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me
there’d be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to
attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed
happy with the compromise.

So, just as I promised, on the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in 10 minutes
early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw
several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students
were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged
on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as
“Christmas,” I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment — songs
of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. The melodies were fun, cute and
lighthearted, but nowhere to be found was even the hint of an innocent babe, a manger,
or Christ’s sacred gift of hope and joy. So, when my son’s class rose to sing, “Christmas
Love”, I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red
sweaters and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row — center
stage — held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the
class would sing “C is for Christmas,” a child would hold up the letter C. Then, “H
is for Happy,” and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented
the complete message, “Christmas Love.”

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her — a small,
quiet girl in the front row who was holding the letter “M” upside down. She was
entirely unaware, that reversed, her letter “M” appeared as a “W.” Fidgeting from
side to side, she soon moved entirely away from her mark.

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at the little one’s mistake.
But in her innocence, she had no idea they were laughing at her as she stood
tall, proudly holding her “W”.

One can only imagine the difficulty in calming an audience of young, giggling
students. Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter
continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush
came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood — the reason we were there, why we celebrated
the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos there was a purpose for our
festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

CHRIST WAS LOVE.
christ-the-bridge
And, I believe, He still is.

Candy Chand

Candy is an author living in Rancho Murieta, California.  The story,
Christmas Love, is true. You can email Candy at PatCan85@hotmail.com

Posted in Consider this

The giving tree by Shel Silverstein

why-treeOnce there was a giving tree who loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come to play
Swinging from the branches, sleeping in the shade
Laughing all the summer’s hours away.
And so they love,
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

But soon the boy grew older and one day he came and said,
“Can you give me some money, tree, to buy something I’ve found?”
“I have no money,” said the tree, “Just apples, twigs and leaves.”
“But you can take my apples, boy, and sell them in the town.”
And so he did and
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

But soon again the boy came back and he said to the tree,
“I’m now a man and I must have a house that’s all my home.”
“I can’t give you a house” he said, “The forest is my house.”
“But you may cut my branches off and build yourself a home”
And so he did.
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

And time went by and the boy came back with sadness in his eyes.
“My life has turned so cold,” he says, “and I need sunny days.”
“I’ve nothing but my trunk,” he says, “But you can cut it down
And build yourself a boat and sail away.”
And so he did and
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

And after years the boy came back, both of them were old.
“I really cannot help you if you ask for another gift.”
“I’m nothing but an old stump now. I’m sorry but I’ve nothing more to give”
“I do not need very much now, just a quiet place to rest,”
The boy, he whispered, with a weary smile.
“Well”, said the tree, “An old stump is still good for that.”
“Come, boy”, he said, “Sit down, sit down and rest a while.”
And so he did and
Oh, the trees was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

So here is what I think…

Shel had a great insight into the seasons of life and the need for us to gain help from others in each season of our personal growth.  Sometimes we understand our need and sometime we think we don’t really need anyone to help us.  Sometimes we just think it is so much about us and others’ sacrifice really is not a concern.  In fact, sometimes we are blind to what others give up in order to give to us.


The picture above is entitled WHY?  It is a C28 graphic on a t-shirt I have.


In some regard, we cannot understand this at all.  Why would anyone sacrifice for another?


The greatest sacrifice is the one GOD gave when He sent His only Son, Jesus to die on a tree for our salvation.  GOD had to send Jesus into the no man’s land of sacrifice, even forsaking Him in silence as He alone carried our sin to the cross.  There is no greater “giving tree” than the one represented by the Cross of Christ.

In this Thanksgiving season and as we approach Christmas, we can only imagine that incredible sacrifice Jesus gave for us.

Posted in Consider this

Miraculous Signs…

Miraculous Signs…, originally uploaded by orchardrise.

…what GOD has given us in the written word of the Bible is enough evidence to believe…He has said it is so.

…and if He has said it is so, and the evidence is there, then should we boldly reject what GOD our Father has provided for faith?

…it might be said He has given us no excuse for unbelief.

…if a judge says there is enough evidence to convict or acquit, would we be so brazen to reject the court’s statements and chose our own wisdom?

No, we take our culture as truth…but we often reject GOD…how wise is that?