Life isn’t a game but Alabama football is.

If you know anything about my family you know, there is only one sport as far as we are concerned. Seriously, I didn’t even realize the World Series was going on and I hate to admit it but, I missed last years too. The last time I watch a World Series was when the Royals was in it and well, of course, it was only because the Royals was in it.

I mean it is football season for goodness sakes, why is anyone playing baseball? But if you know my family you know it isn’t just any football team that we love. No, we only focus on one team, a team that has been supported by the Miller family for generations. The only football team that we pull for is the University of Alabama. My husband was born and raised there, and in Alabama, there is really only 2 teams and the love for them does not co-exist in one household, you are either a fan of Auburn or Alabama and to love one is to hate the other. It has been said that there is no greater rival between 2 teams than Alabama and Auburn.  So, needless to say, this Kansas born girl, knew that I too would have to love Alabama football when I married into this family. Our children were raised to love the team too! When they were little we would ask them “What does the dog say?” and they would bark like a dog. Then we would ask “What the cat say? and they would meow like a cat. Then we would ask “What does the elephant say” and they would yell “Roll Tide!” We have continued this tradition with the grands as well.

When the boys lived at home, they would sit around the television, with their dad each weekend,  watching the game. Following the game, my husband would pick up the phone and call his dad, where they would debate about the game, play by play. They would discuss how each player could have been played better. This was a bonding moment for Jeff and his father. Two years ago when Jeff’s dad passed away that all changed. Since our boys don’t live at home anymore, they have continued the tradition, although they may not be watching with dad in the same room we know they are sitting around a TV somewhere watching the game, and after the game, the phone will ring and now, Jeff the patriarch of the family, gives the advice and together they debate the games.

So, with the boys out of the house, I have now had to become Jeff’s game watching partner. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind it. But honestly, I never really have understood it all. I mean I get the basic’s, There is a ball, and some guys on the field and they run back and forth on the field and when they get the ball in their end zone they get some points, I get that. Although I do have to say when Jeff and I started dating, I played a little trick on him, He told me that he played football at his High School. So I asked, all innocently and with a twinkle in my eye “Does your team make a lot of home runs? ”  Jeff, looked at me shocked, unsure if I was serious or not and replied “Yeah”.  I am certain he walked away wondering ” What he had gotten himself into?” Well, I have come a long way since then. I know a little more now. So with the boys gone, I am have learned I kind of enjoy watching the sportscasters during the week discussing the stats for the games. See I am no longer the snack hostess for the big game day, as I was so many years when the boys were home and they had their game day. No, now I have moved into a full-fledged spectator and Jeff has learned to make his own cheese dip.

Another thing that I have realized that I enjoy is listening to the Nick Saban when he is interviewed by the press. See, Alabama being undefeated is No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches polls, and most recently was ranked No.2 in the college football rankings. In an interview last week on ESPN, he told the press, “I could care less about the poll,” Saban added “You won’t see me waste any time watching TV or who is 1 and who is 2. It doesn’t really matter. What really matters is how you play the rest of the season.”

 Those comments got me thinking………..Wouldn’t it be nice, if all the people who claim to follow Christ felt the same way?   What if they gave up worrying about the opinions of others. All too often as a follower of Christ but an inhabitant of this world, we get way to caught up in worrying about what other people think.
See, what I like about Nick is that he isn’t looking around him to see what the other coaches are trying to do so he can copy them and he doesn’t want his players listening to the comments about how good the team is. He recently compared the positive comments that the press was saying about the team, to rat poison.  See, Nick wants his team to stay focused on what is ahead, he knows this season isn’t over yet and if they get distracted they may miss something they need to do to defeat the next team. I believe what Saban wants from his team is for them to play 100% every game. You know, one of the things that I love about the tradition of Alabama football is they want to be the best and they expect the team to give 150% for the whole 90 or so minutes of that game every week. They expect the best and if they don’t get it, you won’t be playing on that team. What if we had that kind of commitment to God, What if we gave Him our all. What if we quit worrying about what everyone else is doing, saying and expecting of us and we just focused on His word and His will? See cause the truth is if we aren’t giving Him 150% then the truth is we really aren’t playing on God’s Team. The Bible tells us that “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other….. ” Matt 6:24 And you know what verse 25 says, .”…do not worry….”. So how about we stop worrying about what others think, and we just live for God. Let’s give Him our all with what little time we have left in this game we call life because in the end it really isn’t a game so we need to get it right now and following Jesus is the only right way to live.
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Christ Our Sure Ground On Sinking Sand

Christ Our Sure Ground On Sinking Sand

Recently I was visiting my son’s and daughter-in-law’s home and while there, I was able to take the grands (grandchildren) to the park and play. Our youngest is about 19 months old and let me tell you he is one of our greatest prize possession. Perhaps it has to do with the fact he is our only grandson or the fact that he is named after not only his father but his grandfather and his great-great-great-grandfather. We love all our grands but this one is special in his own way just as the others are.

While at the park we ended up playing on one of those giant playsets. You know the kind with 3 or 4 slides, a set of monkey bars, some tunnels to play in and a bridge to walk across, this one even had ladders and a ramp to help the kids get on it. The whole thing was set in a giant pit of this soft rubber stuff, almost like ground up tires, but under it must have been sand because for this little toddler of ours who is already unsure on his feet, made it even tougher for him to walk on this mushy foundation.

So, as you can imagine I was right by his side the whole time. Because of course, he didn’t want Mimi to hold him. No, this little guy thought he could do it all by himself. He wanted to walk on his own, refusing to stay in the safety of Mimi’s arms. I also didn’t want to stray too far away from him because this park was extremely busy. There must have been several hundred people there that day so I didn’t want to get too far away for fear our little guy might disappear in the crowd.

He walked around on the unsteady, mushy ground, wobbling from side to side, as I followed just a step behind, there to catch him just in case he fell. Then he decided he wanted to get on this massive playset and be just like the other kids. Of course, because of the magnitude of this playset, compare to the small size of our little guy, and surrounded by this immense crowd, it was almost as if he couldn’t comprehend what the potential to play here was. So, I lifted him up to put him on the walkway, and guided him across the bridge, staying just a step ahead of him. I now on the ground and he above me, I called for him to take the next step and then another. He, slightly overwhelmed by the massiveness of his surroundings, unsure of just where to begin in this expansive play set. I put my hand between the rails that kept him from falling off the bridge just above me, patting the walkway calling, “Come on, walk toward Mimi”, Then he still unsure of his surrounding, would take a step or two, I would then move ahead again and called for him to take the next step. Time after time until he crossed the bridge and reached the other side.

As I called for our little guy to take step after step, it was as if God whispered in my ear. “See this is what I do for you”.  Suddenly, I saw that like this little guy, we are loved and adored by our Savior. A prized possession of the Creator of the Universe and although we are on this earth of unsure and mushy ground. We have a Protector who watches over us and is always right there in case we fall. The God of the universe who has been in our tomorrow and knows what we need before we even see it, sees the massiveness of the world around us, compared to our small size of this cosmos, He does not leave us alone, but He is our very present help in time of trouble. (Read Psalms 46) He walks beside us and leads us every step of the way if we will only follow Him when He calls.

It doesn’t matter how big the problems we face ours. He is there for us always watching, always guiding us. The question is, do we listen, do we hear His voice in the immense crowds around us. Are we listening to the still small voice calling us saying “Come on, follow me”? When this world just seems like it is too much to take in when we feel like we don’t know which direction to go and what to do next. Do we rely on the one who cares for us more than any other? Do we trust that He can see what we have even yet to comprehend?

I believe God wants to be our provider and protector but all too often we push Him away wanting to do it our way. We see His ways, that originated out of love and care for us, we see them as more of a hindrance, a penalty or punishment because it isn’t what we want. So instead of seeing the directions that God has provided to protect us, we resist them because we don’t like them. All the while forgetting that He knows what we don’t and we can trust Him.

Thankfully, our little fellow didn’t resist me and turn and run as I called him, but he followed me when I called. I believe God is wanting us to follow Him as well. He has designed a plan called His word and He asks us to follow it because He designed it with us in mind. Everything in it He wrote to protect and provide for us. So, don’t resist it today. Trust that the creator has seen the bigger picture of your life and adores you so much He cared enough to leave this book to guide and direct you. Trust Him! Deny yourself and Follow Him! Because life isn’t a playground, you only get one chance. Do it right and follow Christ, He is waiting for you!

It’s all about the Altitude of our Attitude

It’s all about the Altitude of our Attitude

I was scrolling through my facebook page this week and there was a friend who lives in Colorado she had posted pictures of the heavy cloud cover that was over Fort Collins that day, and the next picture was of what the sky looked like on the mountains above the clouds just minutes later. Below you could see the clouds that covered the city but above the mountain, the sky was clear and beautiful.  Her caption stated “Foggy dreary day in Fort Collins, but if you just pop up above the clouds it’s a beautiful sunny day on the trails!”

This got me thinking…… Isn’t that a lot like our lives? I mean we can be having the worst day ever, everywhere we look everything may be going wrong, we may be having a foggy dreary day, but if we will choose to look up, if we will just choose rise above the circumstances that are around us and keep our eyes on Jesus it doesn’t matter what is happening around us because we will only see a beautiful sunny day.

See are attitude depends on the altitude of our attitude. We have to rise above the things that are going on around us and realize who’s we are. When we elevate our thoughts above the things of this world then we no longer have our thoughts on the things around us, yes it may not change our circumstances but it will change how we react to those circumstances.

One of the definitions of Elevation is “height above a given level” see we can choose to stay down and depressed by focusing on the circumstances and things around us or we can choose to rise above it by going to the next level and realize what God’s word says. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.“For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV

It says in the verse that “the heavens are higher than the earth” and just like my friend who went high on the mountain above the cloud cover of the city below and then could actually turn around and look down at the cloud cover hanging above the city. So is God high above us and He can already see what is yet to come for us so when we trust that He wants the best for us because He loves us.  We need to rise above the discouragement that might come our way when we see things in our life that looks like it is falling apart and realize this may just be a test and He is asking “Do you trust Me?”

It’s been said that everyone has problems, and you are either going through it, coming out of it, or in the middle of it.  Now, sometimes we go through things that we had no control over, like someone passes away suddenly, you get the call from the doctor, a fire takes your home, the crop doesn’t reap the harvest you expected because of the weather, there are endless things that come our way that we have no control over. Then there are also consequences to our choices. We are driving too fast and get a speeding ticket, we choose to spend money on something that wasn’t a necessity and end up not having the money to pay the house or car payment.

Either way, when situations like these happen we can either focus on the devastation of what we see right in front of us or we can choose to elevate ourselves above this situation and trust that God will get us through. Now if we are dealing with a consequence of our bad choices, God expects us to learn our lessons and not repeat the mistakes we make, but either way,  He loves us and has a plan for us.  He will get us through when the doctor calls or life seems to be just falling apart. He cares about us and wants the best for us. When we really realize how much God loves us, that love will set free of the fear and shame that satan wants keeps us bound too.   “We will pop up above the clouds and see a beautiful sunny day on this trail” we call life.

So what level are you living on today?  Will you elevate your attitude to a new altitude?  Or will you choose to stay in the valley? Although the clouds of life may so thick you can’t see your hand in front of your face you don’t have to fear, be discouraged or depressed, because of God loves you and He has a plan for your life  so you can rise above and look over the clouds and see the sunny skies above!

You don’t trust who you don’t know!

In the bible, there is a story about a man named Job. Most of the time when we think about Job we think about the guy who lost everything but his wife. God described Job as a fair and upright man. In fact, in the beginning of this story, there is a conversation between satan and God.

God asks satan “What have you been doing?” and satan replies ” roaming about on the earth”. This reminded me of the Scripture where God warns us to, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

As the story goes on God is telling satan what an amazing guy Job is and says ” Have you considered my servant Job”, Satan tells God that He thinks if God would remove his protection from Job and his family he doesn’t think Job would be such a devoted follower.  It was almost as if satan issued God a challenge. God trusted Job so much, He says, go ahead do whatever you want, you just can’t kill him. Read the book of Job for more details.

 

Job isn’t the only one God trusted, In Numbers, we see God so angry that He comes down in a cloud and calls Miriam and Aaron out of their tent because they were talking bad about Moses.  He informs them that Moses is the one I trust! (Numbers 12:7)  This story reminds me of a friend coming to defend his friend who he sees is being picked on, and I have to say, if you are gonna have a best friend. God is the one to have, I  mean picture it, God is up in heaven listening to Miriam and Aaron complain and gossip about Moses and it makes Him so mad He comes down out of heaven in a cloud and calls these guys out of their tent to basically tell them to leave His friend alone! Because He trusts Moses! 

We all often wonder if we can trust God, but time after time here in the bible we see that God talks about trusting.

Did you ever ask yourself if God can trust you? Can He trust you that if your world falls apart and you lose everything, you will still serve Him like He did Job?  Can He trust you like He did Moses to speak to you face to face and allow you to see His shadow?

Or are you like Simon Peter where God told Him in Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan desires to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, you will strengthen your fellow believers.

I am not much of a farmer, but I know that if someone says, they want to sift me as wheat. That isn’t a good thing. Satan wants to take us out. But Jesus says here He prayed for Simon. Does Jesus have to pray for you, that you won’t fail?

God, has warned us over and over again in the bible, that trouble will come, and satan is after us. So why are we so surprised with trouble comes our way. In John 16:33 He tells us ” These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

He says here “In Me, you will have peace”  and “In the world, you will have tribulation” God wants us to focus on Him because the more we focus on Him the more we will trust Him and the more we trust Him the more He can trust us. God wants to trust us so much that when satan temps us He will know that you will stand against satan,  and you won’t be tempted by his tricks.

You know it is hard to trust someone you don’t know. I mean if you are attending a big event in a giant arena, in a city where you don’t know anyone and you decide to sit down next to a stranger, you aren’t going to ask that stranger to hold your purse or wallet while you go to the bathroom. No! especially if all your money is in it. The bottom line is we don’t trust people we don’t know.

God talks about not knowing someone. In the book of Matthew, He tells us that not everyone that calls Him Lord will enter heaven. There are people who when they stand before Him will say “Didn’t I cast demons out in your name? Didn’t I prophesy in your name? Didn’t I do many wonders in your name?” And God is gonna look at them as say “ I never knew you; depart from Me,” Matt 7:23. 

See in the same way God wants to trust you,  He wants to be your friend because you don’t trust a stranger, So can God trust you today?  Don’t just say you know Him. Don’t just claim to be His friend. If you haven’t been to church in a month if you haven’t read His bible and spend time with Him if you aren’t doing your best to live a life that He would be pleased with?  Because all these things are how we get to know Him.  Oh! no one is perfect, but let’s strive to be a person that God can trust. Because you don’t trust, who you don’t know? So, do you really know God?

 

 

 

 

I Hate Reruns!

I Hate Reruns!

I hate reruns! And I don’t mean just a little bit. There is almost a cold chill that runs down my spine like someone scraping their nails on a chalkboard kind of feeling I get if I have to watch a T.V show or movie more than once. There is also something that just gets under my skin about watching old shows or movies, even though I have never seen them before. I guess I  feel like I am missing out on something. To watch an old show,  I have to purposefully put out of my mind the fact it is an older show and pretend, it is new.

My husband loves old Western’s he doesn’t care if he has seen them before or not. He will watch them again and again. He also does that with old football games. He will watch a game he has already seen and knows the outcome of it. The other day we were watching a “Live” football game and some fans in the stands were holding up a banner that said, “National Champs 1996″ to which my husband turns to me and says ” They need to move on” and I replied to him “Oh! this from a man who watches T.V shows made in 1964” We both laughed but it is true.

I am not really for sure why it bothers me so much. My daughter and I have had this conversation a lot recently, it’s a debate over which is best, binge-watching old seasons of TV shows on Netflix or, watching them live on the network, but having to wait from week to week to see them.
I’ve noticed that a lot of the younger generations, they want to wait for the whole season of the show to be completed and a new one come out on network TV while they sit back and watch all of the old seasons a year/season behind on Netflix or Hulu. I don’t know what that says about all of us and I am sure some psychologist could tell us. But I will tell you what I think, For me, I don’t want to look back.
I don’t like looking back at the past mistakes of my life, see because for too long those past mistakes held me hostage. They held me down by depression, discouragements, and anxiety. For a season of my life, they held me captive in my home as I refused to leave it or even answer the phone because I would replay the mistakes I had made over and over in my mind. My mind lived in a state of reruns of my life.  That season taught me I need to keep our eyes on the prize! No runner will tell you they ever ran a race and won looking backward.
A scripture that has helped me more than anything is Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
All too often when we make a mistake, we focus on those mistakes or we allow what someone said to us to hurt us and we believe it as truth when it is a lie. We replay it over and over again. Or a tragedy happens in our lives and we get stuck there. At times we succumb to the lies and the fear,  they begin to take over and suddenly we are allowing our feelings to control us instead of what God’s word says about us. We forget to claim the promises that He will never leave us or forsake us, we forget that His word says He is working all things together for our good.
This reminds me of a person who is walking down the street in the middle of town, they suddenly fall down and trip then fall into a mud puddle. When that happens you don’t lay there and waller in it. No! you pick yourself back up as quickly as possible and you brush yourself off and keep on going, hoping no one noticed. So why when we fall, get knocked down or make a mistake do we get stuck, playing the reruns in our heads? It is the same as if we are laying there and wallering in the mud puddle.
God never intended for us to let circumstances like that keep us down. That is a trick that satan uses to keep us down.  Nothing makes him happier than if he can control our lives with fear, disappointments, and regrets that keep us wallering in the mud puddle.  The thing is God gives us directions because He knew this was gonna happen. He tells us in Phil 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Did you notice that the scripture above Phil 4:6&7 is placed in the bible right before verses 8 and 9? That is intentional you know. That’s because they go together. God calls us to not be anxious about anything. But take our needs to Him in prayer and then focus on what is good and believe what God’s word says and His peace will be with you. ALMV That stands for the Alesa Lewis Miller Version just in case you didn’t know 🙂 I say that jokingly but also seriously because you see I have walked this life and I have been the person in the puddle and I had to pull myself up out of that puddle and wipe myself off and I am telling you that if I can do it you can too!
I am giving you the secret to when life knocks you down or when your world feels like it is crumbling around you.(and it will)  Think on these things. It is not the time to live by feelings, your feelings will lie to you every time and lead you astray but God’s word does not lie God’s word stands.
So this week, turn off the reruns! Keep your eyes on the prize (God’s Word) and dust yourself off don’t allow satan to play this game with you anymore focus on that is good and the peace of God will be with you!
Minimalist or Selfishness, That is the Question?

Minimalist or Selfishness, That is the Question?

 As I was unloading the dishwasher the other day I looked at the probably 30 or more forks, knives and spoons I have. I recalled the 4 -9×13 casserole dishes up in my cabinet,  and the 5 or so iron skillets I have on my stove, then I recalled some recent conversations I have had over the last several months.
For some people, they seem to think having 4 plates, 4 sets of silverware and 1 skillet and 1 casserole dish for a family of 4 is enough. I have literately known people who think, if they have more then 1 skillet and one pot it is to much. People like that confuse me.
Maybe it is the fact that, I was raised in a ministers home where we had to always be ready for guest, or maybe it was just the generation but when I was growing up, if we were looking for a home, one of the first things my parents looked for was “is there a guest room” and if there wasn’t how could we make room if company came, so we could entertain. I mean we now are living more in a minimalists society where it is cool to live with less and the smaller the house the better. But, that really has me wondering, is less best?
I mean if you limit the amount of plates you have in your cabinet doesn’t that limit the amount of guest you can have over, and if you only have 1 skillet and 1 pot how many people can you really cook for? If you have a tiny house that can only sleep 2 people how do you have family or over night guest over? When we limit ourselves of the ability to entertain others we begin to isolate ourselves.
I don’t see anywhere in the bible where Christ isolated himself from others on a regular basis. His life was centered around community and fellowship. The feeding of the 5,000 for instance. What would of happened if Christ would of said. Oh! That is way to many people, I don’t want be around that many people. Most theologians believe that He lived with Lazarus and his sisters when He wasn’t on the road ministering. Then, remember the time He left his family to go hang out in the temple and teach. The bible even talks about the fact that He was accused of being a drunkard and glutton because He was always hanging out with people who ate and drank. (Matt 11:19)
The bible talks about hospitality in several different places. It reminds us in Hebrew 13:2, Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. It also tells us to “Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” in 1 Peter 4:9.
See to me, all this minimalist stuff portrays its self, as a way to gain control and be happier. Now don’t get me wrong. I think you need to live within your means, but having some extra silverware or pots and pans never broke anyone. But limiting yourself on who you can help and give a meal to is just selfishness. I believe that minimalist stuff is simply a mask in most cases for us to be selfish. Now, I am sure this isn’t the case for everyone one and I understand for some this is an opportunity to live debt free so you can do more for others, Which is great if that is really the case. But for many it is simply a curtain to disguises our selfishness of having to entertain others. For some it is a way to try to conform to what everyone else is doing.
But there is another trick that satan likes to use on those of us who are blessed enough to have a big enough house with more than 4  forks & plates for our family of 4.  Satan has us convinced we are to busy to entertain guests in our home and fellowship with others. Often satan wants to distract us by keeping us busy.  We are all to often so focused on our own survival of working so hard to pay our bills we don’t make time to even consider socializing with others.
There is a saying that says “Isolation Brings Devastation” Doctors confirm that ” When a person experiences too much solitude or feels socially isolated from others, he or she may develop feelings of loneliness, social anxiety, helplessness, or depression, among others.” (goodtherapy.com) Proverbs 18:1 tells us “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;..”
So who’s desire are you seeking today? Are you living a life that reflects Christ’s life? Are you entertaining others in your home?  Who is in your sphere of influence? Have you isolated yourself to a select few or worst yet, none at all?
I hope this week you won’t just continue to do the same old thing you have been doing for years.  I hope you will reach out to those around you that, you normally wouldn’t reach out to. So your life, like Christ’s will reflect a since of community and fellowship. Ask yourself today, Who have I shown Christ love to recently? What have I been willing to sacrifice for others, because Christ sacrificed everything for me. Remember we can sacrifice a little (at least) for others because Christ gave His ALL for us. I sure am glad Christ wasn’t a minimalist with His love or else you or I might not be here today. So let’s show His love to all!
It Just Jumped Out of My Pocket!~

It Just Jumped Out of My Pocket!~

Last week we celebrated my youngest 20th Birthday. It’s time like these that always have me reminiscing.

One of my favorite stories I remember about Chad as a little boy is, the time when we were eating dinner at Pizza Hut in De Soto KS , I don’t think we had lived there very long so Chad could not of been more than 3 or 4 yrs old, The restaurant was fairly empty and so we allowed Chad out of his seat to play one table over, in a children’s section they had available, well within our view. As he played, we looked on. If I remember correctly I think we were entertaining some prospects for our potential church we were preparing to pioneer, so we were hoping everyone would be on their best behavior.

Chad came to the table and requested a quarter for the little ball machine over by the door. Chad has always loved taking the chance of putting some denomination of money in a machine only to see what comes out. He is much like his father in that way, they both love to take chances. I on the other hand, am the play it safe kinda person who likes to know what’s ahead.

Jeff agreed, and gave Chad the quarter since he also loves the idea of the mystery of what will come out of the machine or maybe it was so Chad would leave us alone to visit with our guest, whatever the reason it doesn’t really matter now. Because when Jeff said yes to that simple little quarter he failed to think ahead of the outcome that would come from his decision. Once Chad had the ball in his hand he wanted to bounce it all over the restaurant, in between the tables and booths following the ball all over and the more he bounced it the higher it went. Which doesn’t bode well when you are trying to impress someone. So Jeff  immediately tells Chad ” Put that ball in your pocket and I don’t want to see it out again!” Chad obeyed and carefully squeezed it away in his front pocket of his little jeans then went back to playing in the children section, it was only a few minutes later we suddenly saw the ball fly through the air  over the table where we were sitting with our guests. The whole table turned to look at Chad,when he looked up at us with a straight face and eyes as wide as saucers and said,

“It just jumped out of my pocket!”. The table roared in laughter!

To this day Chad loves what we call at our house “bouncy balls” we will never be able to look at one again and not think of that story.

All that got me thinking………

Jeff and Chad rarely ever hesitate to take a chance to put a quarter in a machine so they can see what surprise will come out. It must be the anticipation of what is to come.  I admire their since of adventure. I guess that is one reason why it is so easy for them to step out in faith.

The bible says that,  Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Heb 11:1) Jeff and Chad don’t hesitate to put a quarter in one of those machines, in fact they look forward to it. They look forward to it because they believe something good will come out of it.

Shouldn’t we have that same kind of faith in God? I mean His word promises us so much, if we say we believe in Him, why wouldn’t we believe what He says? One of those things God tells us in His word is that He is working all things together for our good. (Rom 8:28)

Now that doesn’t mean we may always like His decision, or we can use Him like a vending machine. If we think at any time, we can just pray hard enough or if we work hard enough to do everything to please Him then we will get what we want, we will be sadly mistaken.

What Christ does for us is simply from the pure grace that we receive from Him. We don’t have to work or earn our salvation or anything else we pray for. God is our Heavenly Father who loves us with an every lasting love. (Jer 31:3)We don’t have to earn His unconditional love.  But it should be because of that unconditional love that He shows to us, that we out of our pure gratification for that unconditional love,  in return does what His word tells us.

It is because of that trust  for Him, that we can accept that if we ask Him for something and it doesn’t happen the way we want or expect, we can trust Him that it is for our own good. Not because He is some mean Judge in heaven sitting behind his desk with a gavel ready to hit us over the head with it when we miss up.

We have to remember when things don’t happen the way we expect or plan, it isn’t a punishment for what we “didn’t do” or because we weren’t “good enough” more then likely it is for our own protection. Now don’t get me wrong there is consequences to our actions as we learned about in my previous story “Where there is a will there is a way”

What are you hoping for today? As easy as it is to believe if we put a quarter in a machine something is going to come out. It is with that same faith we can stand on the promises of God and believe that whatever He says will come true. Because true faith doesn’t “just jump out of your pocket” but it has to be put into action by our trust in Him.