Friday, October 28, 2016

Fun with Family

Fun with Family

Larry and I recently drove down to Florida for a few weeks visit.  We spent one week with our two daughters and their families, and the next week with our son and his family.  Of course, a stay in  Kissimmee (next to Orlando) is never complete without visits to Walt Disney's pride and joy -- Disney World.  Here are some shots from our days in the parks:

              Adventures with Pirates of the Caribbean - "Arrgg!"

                Fresh and ready for a day of fun

             Ready for baby girl's first magical day in the Kingdom

We are all thankful for good times together and safe travels along the way.  Thank you, Jesus!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Be Aware & Beware!

Be Aware & Beware!
As we walked along the jungle pathway in Animal Kingdom at Disney World, I saw this sign near the Tiger enclosure.  The sign told us to "Be aware" that tigers were nearby.  Another sign (below), told us to "Beware" of the presence of tigers and to stay on the path for safety.

While these signs are meant to add color and interest to a theme-park adventure, there was no real danger to visitors of Animal Kingdom.  Instead, we were able to admire the beautiful Sumerian tigers on display inside their well-fortified enclosure.

The two signs, however, immediately made me think of something far more sinister.  They reminded me of the fearsome beast that prowls the jungle paths of our lives in this world.  Scripture warns us, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith..." 1 Peter 5:8-9.
Although the verse speaks of a "lion," a tiger is every bit as fearsome.  We can easily overlay these two signs across the paths of our lives and consider the warnings.  We should be aware and never forget that "tigers are frequently encountered in the ruins ahead," which translates to, "Satan is frequently encountered on your pathway ahead."  He's there, just waiting to pounce, and he is every bit as fierce and merciless as that tiger pictured above.
The second sign offers a way of safety to the traveler:  " will be very safe by walking on the well-traveled path," which translates to, "You will be very safe by walking on the well-protected path set forth by God in His Word."  God lovingly offers us a path of safety, and if we choose that path, He promises to walk with us along the way.  Now, that's the kind of safety I'm looking for in a jungle teeming with tigers!
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me..." Psalm 23.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lead Me, O Lord

Lead Me, O Lord

As we begin our morning, the path of a new day spreads out before us.  What lies around the corner?  What waits along the sides of our pathway?  Should we plunge ahead, or walk through the jungle of this world more slowly - trusting God to guide our way?

These are questions to consider.  Moses considered these questions as he felt the weight of responsibility God had given him in leading the nation of Israel through the desert.  Can you imagine such a job being thrust upon you?  Neither could Moses.  During this dilemma of what to do and which way to go, Moses asked God, "Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in your sight."

The next request of Moses, however, is the one that really impresses me.  He said, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here" Exodus 33:15.  I love that he said that.  Sometimes, we think we know the best way to do a thing, and we don't bother to ask God if, indeed, it IS the best path we should be taking.

I'm a "planner," and I plan for this and for that, making lists, working on my agenda.  I think my ideas and plans sound good and logical, but if they are not bathed in prayer and done in the will of God, I may be walking down that path without the power of the Holy Spirit's "Okay" on the thing, and I really don't want that.  Sometimes, I come to a jarring stop and realize, this is my plan, not God's.  I apologize to Him for my impulsiveness and pray Moses' prayer -- "O Lord, if You are not in this thing and Your Presence doesn't go before me in it, forgive me and keep me from stepping forth without You in it.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah!"

There -- that's how we should approach our day -- asking God the way to go.  We really don't want to go there if God is not in it.  Two of my favorite verses in God's Word are found in Proverbs.  They are words to live by:  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" 3:5-6.

Photo:  The path in the photo above is in Animal Kingdom at Disney World where my husband and I enjoyed a day of wandering recently.