Monthly Archives: November 2011

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Property Brothers…

HGTV’s “Property Brothers” show clients how to achieve their dream home and stay within their budget. Here’s how it works:

Reality check. The brothers take clients to see a house that qualifies as their dream home and then let them know the price. Sticker shock!
• The brothers show them fixer upper homes that are affordable but in desperate need of renovation. The clients are disgusted with the fixer uppers and doubtful any could become their dream home.
• Clients see renovation plans for 2 houses that stay within the budget and then choose the one they want to buy. The renovation brother then takes over and works his magic.
• The end result is an amazing house!

Watching the dilapidated houses become dream homes is inspiring. Walls are torn down; hardwood floors replace smelly, stained carpets; kitchens and bathrooms are transformed; alarming safety issues are fixed, and “wish list” items are installed. Almost makes me want to find a fixer upper myself… oh that’s right—we did! Only we didn’t have the property brothers around to help us finish the job!

Does your life ever feel like the dilapidated house? There are days when I’m so painfully aware of the mistakes and failures of my life that all I see is a broken house no one would want to live in. The property brothers can’t fix it, but Jesus can!

The adventure of life is watching Jesus tear down walls that imprison us, rip out the smelly stains of sin that enslave us, and transform us from the inside out—giving us wings to soar!! The process is sometimes painful and letting Him have control of the renovation can be scary, but He promises that the result is a life of joy on earth and dream homes built just for us in heaven!

We all have a choice to make. We can focus on the renovations that need to happen in our lives, or we can focus on the One who does the renovating. One choice leads to depression, hopelessness and failure. The other leads to joy, hope, freedom and success.

Today I’m going to focus on the loving, faithful, merciful, all-powerful Renovator of my soul. Will you join me?

For we are God’s masterpiece.  He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10  NLT

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National Emergency Broadcasting test…

The National Emergency Broadcasting system test went off with…well, a number of hitches! Some people had to listen to Lady Gaga sing, while others heard only mumbo jumbo (no, they aren’t the same thing), and then there were those who never heard anything at all. Yes, there were glitches but that’s what testing is for! If the Emergency Broadcast Signal was sent out due to a real emergency I imagine most of us would jump to action and get the word to everyone!

My friends, there is a crisis going on right now. Our Lord is sending out daily Emergency Broadcasts but most of us are tuning out. I’m not talking about the national debt, the housing debacle or the unemployment disaster. As serious as these challenges are, they’re bumps in the road compared to a far more deadly crisis. It’s our warped view of God that has led to a crisis of faith and this crisis of faith is at the root of every other crisis we face.

How?

It takes faith to refuse to go into debt and trust God to provide when the funds aren’t there.

It takes faith to stand against the giants; faith in a God who is more powerful than our strongest enemy; faith in a God whose plan is better than ours.

It takes faith to follow His plan, regardless of the cost and inconvenience; faith that trusts in God’s sovereignty even when all seems hopeless.

Faith empowers us to give more than we receive because we trust God will provide.

Faith gives courage to stand up for what is holy and right because we trust in a Holy and Righteous God. (I wish the men who knew about the Penn State coach abusing a little boy would’ve had that kind of faith.)

Faith cultivates a love that befuddles the world because it’s birthed from God’s love; a love that is unconditional and uncompromising.

This may surprise you, but I don’t think the answer to God’s Emergency Broadcast is to strive for more faith. If faith is our goal we will fail. The solution is to seek to know God better every day. Faith is all about trust.

You and I can’t trust someone we don’t know. The more we know God, the more we will trust Him and the more our actions will reflect our faith. The more our actions reflect our faith, the more hope there is for our children and the country we call home.

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Generation LL…Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan made the news again. My heart breaks for this mixed up young woman. She violated her parole and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. The judge made it clear that Lindsay, whose disregard for the law has not gone unnoticed, is on a short leash. If she does not report to the jail at the appointed time she faces 300 days in jail.

Unfortunately, the system isn’t helping her.  Here’s the reality, due to jail over crowding California automatically reduces sentences dramatically. In the end, Lindsay may spend less than a day in jail. I wonder if she was laughing at the judge when she walked out of the courtroom.

The flip side of the issue occurs as well. Innocent people are given harsh sentences while the guilty go free. Every day our children watch as the consequences for bad behavior are swept under the carpet and we wonder why immoral behavior is epidemic.

The term “social justice” adds to the confusion. What started out as a movement to help the helpless has become an umbrella term for anyone who feels disenfranchised for any reason. Social justice is helping a little girl escape a brothel, not ensuring that the poor can buy a soda or go out to eat at a restaurant. My kids don’t get sodas and we rarely go out to eat (fast food or otherwise) because we can’t afford it. Social justice should seek to provide clean water, basic food and opportunity to those who want to rise out of poverty. Soda and fast food are luxuries, not necessities for survival.

How do we teach our kids about justice when every day they see it mocked, abused and watered down? We point them to the Author of Justice. The judge who handed Lindsay Lohan her sentence has limited authority to enforce it. God, however, is not limited in His ability to ensure justice because His unlimited power cannot be thwarted…not even in California! God’s justice is perfect because He is perfect (Holy). His omniscience (all knowing) ensures the innocent are never found guilty. His Mercy and Grace through Jesus ensures the penalty is paid and those who accept His payment are not condemned…only God can execute justice like that!