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Hey Batter, Batter . . .

It is easy to be distracted.  Some of you will begin reading this and not make it to the end because something else catches your attention.  It is as if there is someone yelling “hey batter, batter . . . swing” just to make us miss something.  What if the thing we miss is important?  What if we miss something great because we are paying attention to something that is meant to distract us?  Satan desires to keep us distracted.  He wants us to be blinded to God’s work and God’s blessings.  This has been a strategy since the Garden of Eden.  In Genesis 3 we have the first account of Satan distracting man from the work and blessings of God.

Think of all that Adam and Eve had at their disposal.  In Genesis 2:16, they are told that they can eat from every tree of the garden, except . . .  Yes, we like to focus on the except.  We mull it over in our minds and let it become the focus of our thoughts.  Do you see the strategy?  Let’s go back to chapter 2.  At this point, Adam and Eve seem fine with this exception.  After all, they have every other tree in the garden to eat from.  God’s work and blessings are abundant.  They are completely satisfied with them, but things change in chapter 3.  Here is that deceptive strategy.

The serpent (Satan) begins to distract them with what they cannot have.  That’s right . . . He yells “hey batter, batter” and they swing.  They are so distracted that they forget the abundant work and blessings they are satisfied with in chapter 2.  We don’t know how big the Garden of Eden was, but let’s speculate for a minute.  The Virginia Department of Forestry suggests that a Christmas tree farm can plant about 1,037 trees per acre of land.  So, let’s imagine that the Garden of Eden is only 2 acres.  Now, we will fill that with only 1/3 of the suggested trees.  That leaves us with about 691 trees planted in the Garden.  That means that Adam and Eve have access to 99.997% of the trees.  They are only forbidden from eating 0.003%.  What a significant difference!

It seems illogical to be enticed by that little number, but that is the way Satan works.  There are times you may be distracted by the 0.003%, but don’t swing.  Don’t let Satan make you miss recognizing the abundant work and blessing of God in your life.  Don’t miss out on God’s goodness because you are focusing on what you do not have; you might not have it for a reason.

This post was published in The Monitor of Naples, Texas on 11/24/16.

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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in Genesis, Monitor Articles, Uncategorized


Lifelong Learning

In just a few sort days, summer vacation will be over.  The kids played all summer, some of them worked hard, and others traveled to camps and on vacation.  For the first time in two months, the teenagers will wake up before lunch and children that arose early all summer will find it difficult to wake up for school.  As school starts, we encourage them and help them do their best.  Why do we do this?  Why do we desire our kids to learn and why do we urge them to do their best?  I want to give you two reasons for both students and teacher.  First, learning is a gift from God.  Second, everything we do, we do it for the glory of God.

I know there are some that view learning as torture, but it is a gift.  Even Jesus grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52).  He learned to walk, learned to speak, and learned skills.  In John 7:15, the Jews wondered how it was possible that Jesus could teach the things he did because they thought he was “unlearned.”  Your mind was designed to think and be used for the glory of God.  In Philippians 4:8 we are told to think about things that are worthy.  Thinking implies learning.  It is something we were created to do.  Yes, these thoughts are to be centered on God, but they also include learning about God’s creation, communicating with each other, creative thinking, problem solving skills, and hard work.  Learning is important and we encourage our children to do so, but it should also be an activity that we participate in as adults.  We should all be learning.

Second, whether students or teachers this task is given to us to glorify God.  This was the message of Paul in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  When we teach and when we learn, it is a moment given to us by God to do for his glory.  That means if you teach, teach because you are representing God as you work.  If you are the student, learn and do good work because you are representing God in the process.  He deserves our best; therefore, we give him our best.

I encourage you as students, teachers, and lifelong teacher-students to develop the mind you were given by God and to do so for his glory.  Do your best for his namesake.  It is a gift and a task to which he called you.

This post was published in The Monitor of Naples, Texas on 8/18/16.

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Posted by on August 19, 2016 in Uncategorized