“American Idol” starts up again tonight…w00t!!! My favorite shows are the auditions. Some of those huge crowds make it to audition in front of the judges. Sometimes I’m laughing my head off at their antics; sometimes I am just hurting because the person is so bad and thinks he/she is so good (Mama said so); sometimes I’m just blown away by the raw talent.
But, do you see how many people are trying to get an audition?! My gosh, those crowds are huge in every city. Do they realize there will be only 12 that make the show…and, in the end, there will be just one winner? Everyone else…everyone…will be eliminated. Yep. That’s the reality.
It’s not that way with God. If you put your life in his hands, if you put your faith in him…he is going to make you part of his family. Yes! Everyone who does so. All of those people who audition in every city for “American Idol.” Every single one of them have that promise from God. You have that promise from God.
You can be a winner. And, God has the ability to make each one seem like the only one. He’s like the perfect parent who is all things to each of his children while not overlooking any of the others.
You might not be the American idol…but you can be God’s superstar.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3
Miley Cyrus was secretly pregnant and had twins! True? Nahhh. Just your normal run-of-the-mill hollywood gossip. You see that kind of stuff all the time, don’t you. Which actors are dating, who’s engaged, who’s separated, who’s divorced…you can never be sure what’s true and what’s false. Personally, I like the blogs that are honest and call themselves gossip blogs.
Gossip…rumor, hearsay, the buzz…dishing the dirt. Maybe that’s okay for Hollywood, but it’s not okay when it’s your private life. Gossip about you is not okay, and neither is your gossiping.
Gossip is like dumping poison into the water cooler…eventually, it will harm everyone who consumes it.
You see, the problem with gossip is once it leaves your lips, you have no control over it. People you didn’t intend to involve…can become involved. People you didn’t intend to harm…can be harmed.
The Bible says nothing good about gossiping. Gossip breaks down relationships. Rumors and slander undermine caring about others. Gossip has lasting wounds. Once your words are out there, you can’t take them back. Gossip is negative. God wants you to spend your time being positive, building others up, not pulling them down.
Remember the Golden Rule you learned in elementary school? Just stick to that and all will be well.
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. Matthew 7
Does your life ever go like this? Watch this video.
There are those times when you just lose control of your entire life. And, like the car in the video, you go into a slide and skid over the edge. But, it doesn’t stop there…you just keep going, your life turning over and over. Things flying off as you head downhill.
Yet…eventually, the being out-of-control does comes to a stop. This horrific wreck you saw was during a race, but it didn’t go on forever; there was an end to it. That’s true with life’s worst problems. That’s why counselors when talking with people who might be suicidal tell them: There’s always a way out. Always…a solution.
Right now. Walking in from stage left? That’s Jesus. Sometimes he can stop the slide before it happens. Other times he can lighten the blow as your life rolls over and over. But, every time, he can walk over to the wreck and offer you his hand to get out and start healing. And, if you allow him, he’ll continue to walk with you, lead you when things get rough, and show you how to put your life back in order. That’s who he is…that’s what he does.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11
Step on the brake. Slow down. Think about what’s been written here. Maybe you could do a little preventative maintenance on your life. Make wrecks less likely.
“Man, everyone came through, we all gave 110%!” How many times do you hear athletes and others say those words. Of course, that’s impossible. Once you’ve given 100%…there is nothing left to give! There is no “extra” 10%. At the moment you hit 100% of the energy you had, you would fall flat on the court or field. You’re done, spent, finished. Your energy? It’s all gone. Giving a 110% is just an expression we use to say we did all we could do.
Here is something amazing: God can give 110%. Yes. He can give 120%, 150%, 500%! God has infinite power and strength…and love. Think about the love of God. People say: You can’t outlove God. That is so right! Here’s how some kids described it. Jamie, age 8: “God’s love is bigger than 999, 999, 999 gallons of chocolate milk.” Catherine, age 8: “God’s love is bigger than people’s love, dog’s love, and everyone’s love.” Are you getting the picture? If you tried to pour God’s love in a cup, you would fill it and then it would keep overflowing…and never stop.
Think about the person you love more than anyone else in this whole world. Is it your child? Is it your spouse? Your mom or dad? Grandma or Grandpa? Your best friend? God loves you…more than that. Amazing, huh.
Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Psalm 36
Check out this clip. You’ll want to put it on full screen, it’s pretty awesome!
Whoa! Far out! That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? When the wave came back over the surfer, I thought that was it. He was surely going to wipe out. But no! He came out of it and went on. Cool! What would it be like to live the life of a surfer? Work out to stay in shape. Take care of that California look, you know, the blonde hair and THE TAN! Find the money to buy a great board and take care of it. Practice, practice, practice. Always be looking for the next big wave. That would be the big rush…riding that wave! The big one! But, is that all there is to life? Waiting for the next big thing…getting a rush…than working to find the next big thing?
(Jesus speaking) My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10
Jesus never promises to enable you to “surf” through life. When he says his purpose is to give you “a rich and satisfying life,” he’s not referring to your physical needs. He’s talking about that feeling deep inside you. You know the feeling I’m talking about? The one that answers the question: “Is my life worth living?” What Jesus has for you takes this life from dull and downhearted to vital and real in every sense of the word life. There are many people who are financially wealthy, who are physically fit, who have more than they materially need or even want, but who don’t have rich and satisfying lives.
Just watching someone surf is exhilarating! Beautiful and thrilling at the same time. But do you want to surf through your life? Ride the waves of life with the one who can take you to the life worth living.
***Do I get two thumbs up today? I wrote this entry while limiting my use of surfing slang like dude and hang ten. I made no reference to the great surfing movie “The Endless Summer.” And, I refrained from working in any lyrics to “Surfin’ Safari” by the Beach Boys.” Finally, if anyone causes you trouble today, lay some surf talk on the person, like: “Dude! Just relax! You’re gonna blow out your squeaker!” That should do it.
And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9
Driving in my car the other day, I read the bumper sticker on the old truck in front of me. “Life’s a bitch!” it said. I’ve heard that one before, I smirked. But, you know, it’s true. Part of what makes it true is all this choosing you have to do every day. You choose to get up 10 minutes early. You choose to be ticked off because of all the frost on your car windows. You choose to be upset about things in your past that are impossible to change. All these choice every day. Are they the right ones? Should you do something else? Tension and anxiety!
The verse today was written long before Jesus was born, but it was a description of him. He’s a wonderful counselor. Someone to help you make decisions, not make them for you, but to assist you. There are no limits on the size of the decisions. It might be helping you find your keys; it might be deciding where to look for new housing.
As you make decisions today…need some help? Get some assistance. Maybe you could change that bumper sticker to read: Life’s a beach…and really mean it! Sun, fun, and less tension.
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15
If you look on anyone’s facebook page, you find one or more self-portraits. You know, the ones with your mouth and your eyes wide open. Yes! That one! Why do you take those pictures? To save a special moment in time? To show yourself how important you are? Or, is it simpler. You just need to make yourself laugh; you just need to be silly sometimes, have fun. Lighten up your world. When you capture a really crazy moment, not only do you laugh, but you lighten up the world of all your friends, too!
Joy that overflows! Wow! That’s the kind of life Jesus wants for you. He doesn’t want you to be miserable, to have troubles. He wants you to be filled with joy! Joy allows you to take delight in your circumstances. It allows you to feel authentic happiness. Only those who truly know you can fully appreciate the self-portraits you post. Jesus has snapshots in his mind of your fun times. Jesus knows you.
Get your camera out today and take a picture of yourself and post it on facebook! Haha! You just brightened a friend’s day! Now, with your mind’s camera take a picture of your life. Post that one on Jesus’ facebook page.