Don’t Forget to Clean the Lint Trap!

Have you ever forgotten to clean the lint catcher thingy in your dryer?

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It’s called a lint trap. It traps the lint into a confined space so it can be easily removed. Hopefully before starting any fires!

It is recommended that the trap be cleaned after every dryer use. Safety first! =-)


The season of Lent is almost here. Ash Wednesday, March 6, marks the beginning of Lent. Over a month later, 40 days later, we arrive at Easter.

Disclaimer: With my background, I have never intentionally observed Lent. It was not something I was taught while growing up. My comments about Lent are based upon my observations and conversations alone. If I get something wrong, I apologize. Please feel free to provide correction in the comments.

Now that I have cleared that up, let me ask a question:

How is a lint trap connected to Lent?

Keep reading and we can make that connection together!

For my purpose here, I will define Lent as I understand it:

Lent: a season of prayer and fasting to grow in relationship with God.

As I stated, Lent is not in my personal history. But I like the idea.

As a follower of Jesus, growing in relationship is my primary goal. God is largely unknown to us, but He wants to reveal Himself to us. The Bible makes this clear that God has provided access to Himself. All we need to do is to accept that gift and press in!

Lent seems like a great way to accomplish this goal!

But there is a trap! No, not a lint trap but a Lent trap! (see the connection?)

Matthew 6 describes people who have fallen into the Lent trap. Here is the first verse:

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

He, Jesus, goes on to talk about prayer and also fasting. This passage contains the Lord’s Prayer as well.

The summary goes like this: when you pray, fast, give money, serve etc., do it for God, not the approval of man. There is no reward for showing off for people. God honors those whose motive is pure.

It seems that some people can observe Lent but for the wrong reasons. They give up meat on Fridays. Perhaps they forego sweets. But why? Just because the church said so?

I want this post to address the heart of the matter. If you observe Lent or not, you can still fall into the Lent trap.

Why you do something can be just as important as what you do.

In case you are wondering, I am going to observe Lent this year. First time for everything!

I have my list of things that I will do or not do. I am ready.

list making

As we embark on the Lent this year, do it for God. He wants a deep and fulfilling relationship with you. And frankly, that is what we need also!

So in the midst of your prayer, fasting, giving, etc., make God the priority. Do your best to avoid the Lent trap!

One last thing before I sign off. If you are curious or wondering what the 40 day journey of Lent looks like, come follow me on mine.

I will be posting every night during Lent. Let us share in God’s goodness together!

God bless you in your endeavors this year!

 

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What should the title be?

Faith. What is it? There are many bible verses about faith but what do we really know about faith?

Feelings. What are they? We all experience them everyday. How do they function? Are they random?

I pose to you this question: Which one, faith or feelings, should influence our decision-making on a day-to-day basis?

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I hope to answer that in the next 70 seconds or so.


Faith. Again, the Bible has an exhausting amount of information about faith. Many of the Old Testament people had faith. Jesus talked about it in the Gospels. The rest of the New Testament also speaks to faith. Pretty important? Yep.

But how does faith influence my daily life? Do I need faith to put on socks? Is faith a requirement to hop in the car and drive to work?

What process do I go through to inject faith into my day?

Let’s talk about feelings for a moment.

How are you today? Personally, I rather dislike that question. It becomes routine to ask and responding to it is superficial. That is a generalization, of course but you get the picture, right?

Our feelings can be all over the place or non-existent. They creep up on us when we are least prepared. Overwhelmed by feelings? Sometimes. Other times, I struggle to display anything at all.

Same response, how do feelings influence my daily life? What if I don’t feel like doing something. Do I just not do it? I feel like today is good. So does feeling that way make that day better than other days?

The whole reason for this post is that this idea of faith vs. feelings has been swimming around in my brain for two weeks now. Time to pull the plug on the pool and see what remains.

Without preamble, here is what I think:

Faith should drive my decisions and feelings will follow.

Jesus talked about what it looks like to be a Christ-follower. And honestly, I cannot recall any parts where he addresses feelings. On a larger scale, the whole Bible speaks more to faith than feelings.

Alright then, faith it is. Simple right? Not always. We are a fallen people and so the body we live in is also fallen. Feelings can be extremely powerful. They are not necessarily bad but they can mislead. Feelings can also be great allies in certain occasions.

God said that greater is He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world.

confidence

See I John 4 for the context of that verse. Whatever you may be facing, ask God to give you faith to make it through. Try not to let your feelings be the rudder of your life. Let God, through faith, direct your path.

That might have been more than 70 seconds so thanks for sticking with it.

God Bless!

 

Anatomy of a Miracle

Miracles. What are they? How can they take place? What can we do to make them?

I think it is safe to say that anybody would welcome a miracle in their life. I mean, why not? Healing? Fixing of relationship? More money? ______________________?

Why do miracles take place? As far as I am concerned, God does a miracle as He sees fit. ONLY God can do it and He does not always explain the circumstances!

But I think we have a part. When following a cake recipe, it is important that you get all the ingredients otherwise the cake won’t turn out right.

cake fail

The difference between my wife and I decorating cakes! Ha!

While I am not baking a cake here, I am listing the ingredients for a miracle.

And for the miracle to take place, to actually happen, all three of these need to be present. Let’s go back to the Jordan river to see the Anatomy of a Miracle.

  1. A miracle consists of an Objective Impossible for you to Obtain. The Israelites had a promise given to them many years prior to this point. Literally, God had told them that He would take them to the Promised Land. They had their eyes set on an objective. We all need something that holds our attention. Call it a goal, desire, objective or whatever; you need to be looking at something ahead of you or you will never move forward. Flip the coin. That objective that you want-it must be impossible for you to get. For a miracle to take place, you first need to be looking at something that you cannot get on your own.  
  2. A miracle consists of an Obstacle Insurmountable for you to Overcome. There was a river in the way. A fast-flowing river that would prevent them from entering the Promised Land. Is there an obstacle in your way? Is it something that you cannot overcome? Good. You are on your way to a miracle. If you have a goal but something is blocking you then I see that you are two-thirds closer to God doing something great in your life. Whether that obstacle is a person, an idea, a negative thought, a physical thing, it must insurmountable for you.
  3. A miracle consists of an Opportunity Included for you to Obey. Yes, the dreaded ‘O’ word. The older I get, I keep coming back to the idea that all I can ever do is obey. That is all God asks of me. Yes, He wants my heart and mind but my obedience is that handing over of those things to Him. Every time I get stuck, I get an opportunity to obey. Standing before the river, the command was to step into the river. When facing an obstacle, do I obey and take the step of faith? For the Israelites, it was a literal step. For me, what is my step of faith? For you, how can you obey God today?

It is my opinion that someone would need all three of these”ingredients” for a miracle.

However, one thing I need to make clear is this: God can and will do miracles in His sovereignty. I can’t force God to do something. This might be debatable but I feel like God will do what He pleases when and how He pleases. That is part of what makes Him God.

Let me end 2018 with a recap:

  • A miracle consists of an Objective Impossible for you to Obtain. 
  • A miracle consists of an Obstacle Insurmountable for you to Overcome.
  • A miracle consists of an Opportunity Included for you to Obey. 

Or, just simply obey God with all your heart. No matter how small or unimportant it may seem, trust what God is telling you.

Who knows, you may be experiencing more miracles in this next year! So go ahead and take that step of faith!

step faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need for a Miracle

Well, the year is almost finished. Christmas is over. 2018 is almost done.

As part of my year-end routine, I think back and reminisce. Inevitably, my thoughts meandered to this blog. If I may assist your remembering, here are links to the previous posts on Joshua, the Israelites, and the crossing of the Jordan river.

  1. 40 years and 97 days!; 2. Crowd or Committed? ; 3. Rivers: obstacles or opportunities? 4. This ark don’t float! 5. Let it go…and not the song from Frozen.

These blogs speak about the Israel nation as they approached the Jordan river. This river marked the border of the Promised Land. They were almost there! And like I said at the end of “40 years and 97 days!”, they needed to prepare for war.

God designed it so that His people would need to fight their way through the land. Living in freedom was going to take work. No, not work, war.

I will try to connect the dots in my head now so this blog might actually make sense to you (and me).

connect the dots

As I recall 2018, there were many hardships and accomplishments. From travels to remodels, lots happened.

But there is more. My relationship with God has room for growth. So while 2018 was good, 2019 will be better.

The Israelites had food to eat. They were surrounded by families. Everything they needed, they had while in Egypt. But they were still in bondage.

Does that feeling ever relate to your life? I have nothing to complain about in my life but I can’t shake the feeling that there is more. Like I am on the verge of entering the Promised land.

So the need for war.

I want more in 2019. That basically means I am signing up for war. As a follower of Christ, I am already in a war. But I want to fight head on, on the front lines.

Perhaps the people of Israel were ready to fight. It seems that, at this point, they were ready. Primed, if you will.

The Jordan river is the only thing left in their way. And it would take a miracle.

miracle

Now, as I look forward to 2019, there are some expectations I have:

  1. 2019 will be better than 2018.
  2. My relationship with God will grow.
  3. I will be in a war.
  4. I need a miracle.

I have one more post for 2018. It will also be the last post about the Israelites and their miracle-working God at the river Jordan.

You might be in need of a miracle. In reality, we all do. God has to do something because life would not be worth living without His touch. The only way to cross over Jordan and into God’s freedom is through a miracle.

Let God make 2019 miraculous!

Don’t know what a miracle looks like?

Please tune in a few days from now to read about the Anatomy of a Miracle.

40 years or 97 days!

August 2 was 40 years ago! Reality says it was actually 97 days. It only seems like 40 years  but so much has happened. In fact, I had to re-read my previous 4 posts to catch myself up with my train of thought!

Click here to go back and catch up yourself. Thank you.

Real quick…the Israelites are on the verge of entering the Promised Land!

They had heard from God.

Jericho had been spied upon.

Joshua relayed God’s orders.

They were ready for that miracle.

They had even consecrated themselves.

Here is verse 5 of Joshua 3, “Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

If I may, I would like to speak of the “amazing things” the Lord can do.


Since my last post in early August, there has been a big change in my life.

I got a new job.

I still work at the Olive Garden part-time.

I still perform weddings.

But now, I get to teach science at a private Christian school!

Since this is twominuteswithtim and not twohourswithtim, I will spare the details.

The Lord did an amazing thing in my life.

The Israelites shuffled through sand for forty years before they got their miracle.

Me? It was only 28 years. God called me into ministry in 1990. You can read about that call here and here.

It just fits. Like that last puzzle piece. This job is a perfect fit for me. I am truly in awe of how God worked this out.

puzzle piece

But it has also been some of the most difficult work that I have ever done.

Listen to verse 10, “This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites.”

Going into the Promised Land meant they were going to war.

Sure, I can say that I am living in the promised land. I can also say that I am at war.

So while God has done so much to lead me here, there is so much more ahead.

Whether you are on the east side of the Jordan waiting to cross over or…

You have entered God’s promise for your life,

There is work to be done. We are at war friends.

More on the war and fighting stuff next time.

For now, just enjoy God’s faithfulness and don’t forget to sharpen your sword.

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