Monday, April 18, 2011

Like Water Off A Duck's Back

God's creative genius never ceases to amaze me. I always enjoy being in the outdoors to hunt or fish and, the older I get, just to observe nature. God speaks to us in this venue. During the frigid winter, one of the most fantastic of the creative wonders to witness is the waterfowl. Ducks and geese are worthy of leading the class of instruction.

It seems that when it gets too cold and nasty for every other creature, these majestic birds appear to relish the rough elements. They were made by God to do so. They secret oils that help to protect them to the degree that the rain and sleet does not affect them at all. You've heard the saying, "Like water off a duck's back." Well...we could all use a bit of that ability.

To be honest, it takes a good deal of character to let somethings roll off our back. The natural response is to, well, ...respond. Recall when the posse came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Their attack of the Saviour brought a response which cost a soldier his ear....for a moment at least. Jesus healed the man and in doing so, was teaching Peter that there are some things that you need to let roll off your back.

Nothing stings like false accusation! Been the T-shirt! Nothing stings like verbal attacks against your own family. Another T-shirt! Each of these touch us to the core causing us to want to respond, to get the truth out, to set these idiots straight! Know the feeling? Most of the time our responses only cause more trouble. God is the one who can bring the proper vindication.

All we can do is stay humble and know that truth will always.....always triumph over falsehoods. Let their comments, their narrow minded words speak for themselves. They become self-labeling billboards of trouble. As for the child of God, we use the 'oil' of the Spirit to prevent their words from penetrating our souls. The environments that would bring others down, cause severe anger, etc....becomes the environment of our success. We were made to triumph over all these things.

Next time the words of hate, of jealousy, of destruction rain down....just don't let it get to you and soon you will be singing a tune in the rain. Just let it roll off! It is what you were made for.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Missions...There and Here

Having recently returned from a missions trip to Guatemala, I am renewed in my passion for helping God's finest creation, mankind, in whatever way I can. My daughter and I spent a week on the mission field serving in various capacities. We certainly had many opportunities for ministry in the traditional sense, but we also spent time with simple humanitarian aid.

Our focus was specifically with the poorest of the poor. We served those who live at the dump in Guatemala City. It touches me deeply to witness the deplorable conditions in which people around exist. It was heart warming to assist in building six new dwellings for folks. While our efforts seemed small among so many, I was reminded of one of God's principles during the process.

One day, while down on my knees digging a whole with a chisel and hammer, I contemplated how little difference this was making in the world condition. It seemed that I was impressed that my job was not to change the world, but to dig that hole that would uphold a 4x4 timber which would support a beam that would support a roof. It all works together. All each of us have to do is, what is right before us and, together, we can change the world.

Guatemala is a beautiful country with beautiful people. They were so sweet and loving to us. The children we served wrap around one's heart in an instant. It makes me want to bring a bunch of them home with me. Speaking of home, we live on a mission field right here. Every day we have the same opportunities the missionaries around the world have. We can serve, share, and witness to lost people. Every soul is worth the same to God!

If you are able to go on a missions trip overseas, I urge you to do so. It will change your life. If you are not able to go to the foreign field, then realize you can make a difference where you are. Missions is both there and here.