Archive for December, 2014

What does it mean? – “Follow Me.”

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

“Follow Me.”

It’s the invitation of eternity. I believe Jesus wants to end our striving, seeking, and searching. I believe He wants us to accept His invitation—that’s obvious.

Last time I argued that the path is about more than Avoiding The Mud. Following the path is active—it must be something more than removing the bad stuff.

Last weekend I got a hint as I watched some close friends at a party. I realized God surrounds us with Unlimited quantities of the things we need most.

Grace, love, hope, forgiveness—they’re everywhere, and they’re gifts. You can’t buy them or strategically seek them. But if you give them away, generously and with no strings attached, they wash back over you like waves from an endless ocean.

I wonder if the way to follow the path is to serve others by giving away these things God has given to you.

What if following the path is all about service, and following Jesus means giving away love, grace, forgiveness, hope, courage, mercy, light, justice, and the other gifts God planted in your heart?

What if choosing to give those gifts is really the way to follow the path and avoid the mud? What if you don’t have to focus on the mud at all?

Don’t mistake this model for “easy.” Simple doesn’t mean simplistic. Following this path involves hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

However, here’s a hard truth—walking in the mud ain’t all that easy, either.

“Follow Me.”

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

How To Avoid The Mud

Monday, December 8th, 2014

“Follow Me.”

Early Christians were called Followers of The Way. It’s easy to visualize following Jesus in terms of the metaphor of a path.
path1
Sadly, that path is frequently mischaracterized in ways Jesus never intended. Right versus wrong, good versus evil, moral versus immoral, the underlying message is often one of coercion and threat—you’d better get on the path and stay there or God’s gonna zap you!

I don’t see any of that in Jesus’ life. His words are all about invitation and opportunity. He points to a path that offers penetrating light in a world of otherwise all-encompassing darkness.

Jesus says, “Follow Me. Let’s walk together on this path of light, on an incredible adventure of love and hope.”

The thing is, even though the path is well-marked, it’s pretty narrow and surrounded by muck. On our own, we tend to wander. We seek shortcuts, perhaps to validate our comforts or rights or political perspectives, and we end up in darkness with mud on our boots.

Human guides focus a lot on avoiding the mud. Our rules and laws are mostly aimed at punishing those who step in the mud. We seem to believe not-doing bad stuff will get us on the path.

But following Jesus is more—much more—than the absence of negatives.

Jesus didn’t come just to show us how to stay out of the mud. He came to guide us on the path.

“Follow Me.”

I think there’s something unique about Jesus’ invitation—more about that tomorrow.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Don’t Make Mountains out of Molehills

Friday, December 5th, 2014

“All the days of the despondent are miserable–but a cheerful heart has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15

There is a class of little annoyances such as we make for ourselves by a complaining, or an overly fastidious temperament. There are some who make such a fuss about trifles, tormenting themselves, and worrying others by a perpetual fault-finding and discontent–as every trifling irritation is magnified to a mountain–that all pleasure is spoiled by their presence!

It is a good rule in little things, as well as great things, that “what can’t be cured–should be endured”–and endured cheerfully!

I am not advocating slovenly and careless endurance of little vexations which may be remedied–let them be set right by all means, and the more quietly as well as quickly, the better. But I have observed people who were most ludicrously discomposed by trifles which neither they nor anyone else could remedy, and which should have been overlooked with a smile, if noticed at all.

There are many overly finicky people in the world, who groan over such trifling irritations. It is really ludicrous to hear the gravity with which some people will allude to the fact of the road being dusty, even alleging that as a reason for not going a walk; others are as much afraid of a shower; others of too much sunshine; some are terrified at the idea of being over-heated.

There is no end to these idle fancies and fears! If you laugh at these miserable people–then they think you are unfeeling. If you sympathize with them–then they multiply and increase their petty annoyances!

Let us all beware of making much of little irritations. Let us learn to laugh at them, remembering how very annoying such complaints are to others, as well as bothersome to ourselves.

A cheerful person who refuses to notice trifles or be aggravated by them–soon ceases to feel them! While to those who seem to find a perverse pleasure in dwelling on, and being daunted by them–these little discomforts will actually become real cares, and will eat out half the comfort of their lives!

(Henrietta Wilson, “Little Things” 1852)

How Quiet Is Your Life during Christmas?

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Psalm 23:2b: “He leads me beside quiet waters.”

“December is already here,” Ann said. I need to decorate the house, mail the Christmas cards, and make cookies.” She stopped for a moment to catch her breath. She placed a hand on her forehead and said, “I haven’t bought a single Christmas present yet.”

I continued to listen to her as she enumerated her endless list of Christmas tasks. I finally stopped her and asked, “So when will you rest?”

“Rest? Are you kidding? With Christmas almost here?”

I assured her I was not kidding.

Ann stared at me as if I were speaking a foreign language.

With an open Bible, I pointed to Psalm 23:2b and read out loud, “He leads me beside quiet waters.” After a pause, I asked, “What will you do when the Lord wants to lead you beside quiet waters? Will you listen and spend time with him?”

She remained silent.

“You never mentioned the birthday of King Jesus. Will you take time to celebrate the birth of Jesus?”

With her head hung low, she said, “I almost forgot the reason we celebrate Christmas.”

What about you? Are you caught in the Christmas frenzy? Will you allow the Lord to lead you beside quiet waters?

Dear God, please help me remember to celebrate the birth of King Jesus. Amen.

Application: When will you allow God to lead you beside quiet waters this week?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com