The Journey Thoughts

December 1, 2016

It was pointed out to me yesterday that one side of my roof line on the
front of my remodeled house is a little wider than the other side.  I wanted
my porch to jut out from the main house with a cross the only thing holding
the roof on the center.  My contractor had to match that up with the old
part of the house, and for this reason, one side is about 3 inches wider
than the other.  I really couldn't see it unless you really had a critical
eye for that sort of thing.  While we were talking about it, he reminded me
that if anyone focused on the difference between the two sides, he said I
should tell them to keep focused on the cross.  The cross is this big wooden
beam that stands out in front of it all.  I wanted to make it a center point
to show the world that a believer lives here.  But what he told me still
sits in my heart, as the Spirit reminds me that all too often we tend to
focus on the little imperfections in each other, instead of focusing on the
cross, focusing on the Christ who lives in us. Scripture tells us: "
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding
us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us.
Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on
Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay
before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the
right hand of God's throne. For consider Him who endured such hostility from
sinners against Himself, so that you won't grow weary and lose heart."
Hebrews 12: 1-3  I know that we must consider Him, but so often we become
weary from all the small things that seem to pile up against us. These
aren't necessarily bad things, but things that sooner or later, take our
focus away from Christ.  If we keep looking for the speck in our brothers
eye, soon we will not be able to see, for the large piece of wood that will
be building in our own eyes will cloud our vision.  If we look at the
imperfections all around us, we will not be able to see the beauty of what
exists already in nature.  If we look for cracks on the path in front of us,
we will miss the direction that we are to be traveling.  You get the point
of the matter.  How often do we, as believers, lose our focus on Jesus, the
source and perfecter of our faith?  How often do we focus on the sins that
so easily ensnare us? But this is a good refresher, to remind us to follow
Jesus.  Every day we get up and look to Jesus the first thing in the
morning, we will come to realize the blessings He has surrounded us with.  I
notice the same thing happens as I sit on the board of our local hospital.
People who complain because a visit did not meet their expectation, will
tell many others.  When there is a good happening, people tend to tell very
few. As a result, the reputation becomes tainted because of word of mouth,
and we believe the word of mouth instead of having the faith to try it
ourselves. The stories become so convoluted that pretty soon no one wants to
use it.  But you see, I know those who work there. I know their heart, and
the diligence that they use to take care of their patients.  We become
victims of our own fears when we let the gossip of others drive our
decisions, or that we let the gossip of others dictate our belief.  But if,
and this is a big IF, we keep our trust, our focus, our faith in our Lord,
He will direct our paths; He will lead us through whatever insults that
overcomes us. He will be our guide as we traverse this world, whether it be
needing to go to the hospital, where we shop, what church we go to, what car
we drive, and yes, even the look of my imperfect roofline, that is held up
by the cross. So watch what you are looking at today, what you are hearing.
Is it the sound of people pointing out the imperfections of life, or is it
the Spirit revealing to you the beauty all around you?

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your grace that overlooks our
imperfections.   Please Lord, help us do the same in each other.  I pray
Father, that Your image is what we see, when we look at each other, and that
Lord, we close our ears to words that tear down instead of build up.  I pray
that You will show us how to be more like You, and less like us.  I pray
also for these:  Cherie, the Barrett's, Josh, Carlee, Eric, Peggy, Rheba,
Ada, Carol's family, Mary, Dillon, Tara, Kristena, Kristen, Marcy, Kenny,
Carolyn, Gene, Terry, Angie, Isabel, Ellen, Virginia, William, Don, Dwight,
Jim, Vanessa, Becky, the Markle Family, the Young family, Travis, Max, Rita,
Pastor Berkey, Nancy, June, JT, Eva, Candace, Meredith, Barbara, Mike S.,
Ramona, Lorne, Ben, Robby, Kathy, Montella, Charlie, Kim, Nada, Shelly and
her mom, Richard and his dad, Pam and her son, Kelly and her son, Julissa,
Abby, Malachi, Corbin, Ryan, Olivia, Jeremiah, Joanna, Tom, Evelyn, Joy,
Ruth, BJ, Ida, Betty, Briggs church, Jackie Ann, Tonia, Todd, Liam, Aiden,
Alan, Fisher, Tuly, Michelle, Trevor, Maria, Choya, Alex, Ken, Sandy,
Andrea, Shannon, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Tyson, Wendy, Joyce, Shelbi, Gus, Lisa,
Alice, David, Phyllis, Devon, Marliana, Cynthia, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary,
Gavin, Shawn, Laurie, Heather, Codi, Ron, Deane, Dan, Pam, Mike, Austin,
Harriet, Fred, Dotty, James, Scott, April, Craig, Hunter, Asher, Lynette,
Patrick, Kathy, Jennifer, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, Ben, Jason, Ashley,
Marc, Macy, Jade, Bob, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Mike, Megan, Matt,
Liz, Matt, Bethany, Jeff, Laura, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Tim, Michele.  Lord,
make our eyes see and our ears hear, only that which You reveal to us, and
help us to overlook all the other, as we seek to listen to You only, as I
ask this in Jesus name.

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