John 4:1-3
The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

The Journey is as Important as the Destination

Here is a scripture that we often read right over and don’t really think about as being significant. There are events that happen in life that cause us to go from destination to destination. Often, especially as men, we become only focused upon the destination and not the journey. As Christians our ultimate destination is heaven and eternal life in Christ Jesus. If that is all that we see then we will miss the importance of the journey that takes us there.
In John 4 it as Jesus is traveling to the destination of Galilee that He passes through Samaria and encounters the woman at the well. That encounter was a life changing moment for this woman and for her entire town. Most all of the miracles and works that Jesus did were while He was on His way from one place to another. It is important for us to not only focus on our destination, but to be open to the Holy Spirit’s work and movement through us as we journey to our destination. The journey is where we grow in experience and exercise of where we are going too. Divine providence often accompanies upon our journeys and it is important that we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit when He brings people into our lives that may just seem an inconvenience and annoyance to us. The Lord has just brought to mind a story I recently read that illustrates this very thing. I believe it is His purpose today to share this with you.

HAIRBRUSH EXPERIENCE OF BETH MOORE AT THE AIRPORT

For those of you who do not know Beth Moore, she is an outstanding Bible teacher, writer of Bible studies, and is a married mother of two daughters.

This is one of her experiences:

April 20, 2005, at the Airport in Knoxville, waiting to board the plane. I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I’d had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say this because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least
of which is your ego.
I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy, gray hair
hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old man. I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I’d just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered that he was dead. So this man in the airport… An impersonator maybe? Was a camera on somewhere? There I sat; trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served up on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while, my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him. Let’s admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern,and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man.
I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall.I’ve learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing.I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my
spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind. ‘Oh, no, God, please,no.’ I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, ‘Don’t make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I’ll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don’t make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!’ There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, ‘Please don’t make me witness to this man. Not now. I’ll do it on the plane.’Then I heard it….’I don’t want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair.’
The words were so clear, my heart leap into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No-brainier. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, ‘God,as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I’m on this Lord. I’m your girl! You’ve never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am going to witness to this man.’
Again as clearly as I’ve ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. ‘That is not what I said,Beth. I don’t want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair.’
I looked up at God and quipped, ‘I don’t have a hairbrush. It’s in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?’ God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God’s word: ‘I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works.’ (2 Timothy 3:17)
I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story, my pulse quickens and I feel those same butterflies. I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, ‘Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?’
He looked back at me and said, ‘What did you say?’
‘May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?’ To which he responded in volume ten, ‘Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you’re going to have to talk louder than that’
At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, ‘SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?’ At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Long Locks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, ‘If you really want to.’
Are you kidding? Of course I didn’t want to. But God didn’t seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, ‘Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don’t have a hairbrush.’
‘I have one in my bag,’ he responded.
I went around to the back of that wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger’s old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man’s hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don’t do many things well, but must admit I’ve had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I’d done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands,remembering to take my time not to pull. A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man’s hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair. I know this soun ds so strange, but I’ve never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I – for that few minutes – felt a portion of the very
love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while.
The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God’s. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant’s. I slipped the brush back in the bag and went around the chair to face him. I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knee and said,’Sir, do you know my Jesus?’
He said, ‘Yes, I do’
Well, that figures, I thought.
He explained, ‘I’ve known Him since I married my bride. She
wouldn’t marry me until I got to know the Savior.’ He said, ‘You see, the problem is, I haven’t seen my bride in months. I’ve had open-heart surgery, and she’s been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride.’
Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we’re completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand,was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I’ll never forget it.
Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I’d acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft.
I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, ‘That old man’s sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?’
I said, ‘Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!’
And we got to share.
I learned something about God that day. He knows if you’re exhausted,you’re hungry, you’re serving in the wrong place or it is time to move on but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you’re hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you’re sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need!
I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one had I missed along the way … all because I didn’t want people to think I was strange. God didn’t send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me.
John 1:14 ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father,full of grace and truth’
Life shouldn’t be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly shouting,’Wow! What a ride! Thank You, Lord!’

Blessins,
#Kent

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Neglect

May 28, 2014

Neglect

Ephesians 5:21
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Does your mind every wander back over the years of your life and you wonder, in retrospect, what you might have done differently to make them even, better, more productive and more loving.
It occurs to me that I will never regret not yelling or being angry with my wife more, but I may well regret the time and attention I neglected to give her. I’ll never regret the times I spent playing with my kids or grandkids and the special memories they created, but I may well regret all of the times I was to busy or involved to take the time with them. Neglect is often something we are not even aware of when it is happening. Usually we have sufficient other priorities to justify it when it is taking place.
In life the most beautiful and productive gardens are those that are constantly tended with a loving hand. Hours are spent watering, fertilizing, planting, pruning, pulling weeds, spraying for insects and all the things that make for a beautiful garden. Will you and I regret that we didn’t spend more time in our gardens nurturing the human relationships that God has allowed in our lives? Will we even remember, what it was, that was so important that we didn’t make the time for those most important in our lives?
Perhaps our gardens aren’t so pretty today, because they have been neglected. Our time and our love can do wonders to restore life and relationship if it comes from our heart. People are no doubt the most important thing on God’s heart. If I am becoming more like Him they should be more important to my heart as well. Especially the ones God has given me responsibility for or accountability too.
Maybe today is a good day to go out and work in the gardens of relationship.

Blessings,
#kent

On Eagle’s Wings

October 22, 2013

Isaiah 40:27-31
Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

On Eagle’s Wings

Are we to worry in troubled times? Do we think that the Lord does not see our need and our cause is disregarded? If we think that then we don’t know who our God is.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:25–34, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
28″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Our lives can no longer be measured by what we possess, the position that we hold or our social standing. Who possesses us and how much we are His possession is the measure of our lives. The Lord cares for His own. Psalms 37:25 says, “I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” These can be great times of opportunity for the people of God, because it causes us to become focused on what is the most important thing, our relationship with the Father. Suddenly the things of this world that seemed so important yesterday are gone today. That which we placed our confidence and hope in yesterday has vaporized and is no more. Does that mean all hope is lost and the Lord does not care? No, it should mean that now we can turn our attention to Him who has cared so much, but before we were too busy for Him. Suddenly the resources of this world have dried up and we must discover whom our true resource and provision is.
People of God, Know Your God! “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
When young eagles get to a certain age of maturity it is time for them to get out of the security of their nest. Up until this time everything has been comfy and cozy. Their food has been brought to them and they have become complacent that this is the way life will always be. Then one day the parent eagle begins to ruffle the nest, disrupting the smooth soft lining, making it poky and uncomfortable. Then one day they make those little eagles leave that comfortable nest and jump out into nothingness hundreds of feet above the ground. Now to that young eagle what is probably going through their mind is, “My goodness they have raised me up to kill me.” Eventually they take off and fall, flailing their wings as they are falling. Before they hit the ground the parent eagle sweeps under them and bears them back up to the nest. Now you know that has to be an adrenaline filled moment, but it has to happen time and again until these little eagles find their wings. When finally they find their wings they find that, like their parents, they too can fly. They have just come into a new dimension that they had never known before. Before it was only the parents that could do this, now they too can soar up to the heights of heaven and see for miles and miles.
This speaks of us in this hour. God is beginning to toss us out of our comfortable nests. It has to be so as to bring us into the fullness of who we are in Him. We were not created to feed in the barnyard with the other chickens. We were created to rise up on our eagle wings and soar in the heavens. God is the wind beneath your wings and He will bear you up as your faith relies upon Him. Don’t be fearful when you fall. Falling is part of the process of learning to fly, but if you never find your wings eventually you will be allowed to crash.
We have a destiny and it is not life on earth status quo. We have been raised up to not only experience the fullness of salvation, but to be the instruments of His salvation to a creation subjected to vanity, yet in hope. We are the instruments of His salvation in the earth.
Do not become discouraged or dismayed when hard times come upon us. This is a day of opportunity and advancement to the people of God that will press us in to truly know Him. God is not trying to defeat you, but promote you. This is a day when you can truly experience Him as your resource and provision. In order for us to fly we will have to adhere to dynamic kingdom principles that perhaps we have not held too so closely before. It is a place of faith and obedience as we learn His voice and find His provision in our every need.

Blessings,
kent

A Loving Moment

August 14, 2013

A Loving Moment

1 John 3:18
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

How do we show our love? Do you find that in the fast paced society we live in, we are constantly on the move, meeting demands, deadlines and obligations? In today’s society, especially, time is a commodity we seem to have the least of. Everything around us is in competition for the little bit we have. I know from personal experience that this is an area we easily get most out of balance in our lives. Time becomes a day to day scheduling of priorities and often what we put at the top of our list would not be what God would put at the top of His. God tells us in His Word to seek first the Kingdom of God. What is the first thing on your priority list each day and where do you spend that time? While some of us hardly have time for God, others of us are so absorbed with spiritual things we may be failing to really meet the needs of those closest to us for trying to meet the needs of everyone else. Time management is an issue that I wrestle with even as I am writing this and I am sure it is an issue with many of us. It is hard for us to be everything to everybody. While we can tell people and loved ones that we love them, nothing really communicates that like our personal time and attention. We have all seen instances where childcare, TV, electronic games, computers and other modern day conveniences and inventions raise our children. Many of us are guilty of this to varying degrees ourselves.
The point of this is not to condemn us for what we have failed to be or where we have failed to demonstrate our love in action. What we want to do is bring our time and agendas before the Lord and examine them in the light of His purpose and will for us. It is the investments of our time that are the true currency in making a difference in the ones we love. When the Word says we are to love “in deed and truth” isn’t it really talking about “quality giving,” whether it is of our time or our substance? In order to improve the quality of our love, we have to improve the quality of actions and demonstration of what we say with our words. The greatest testimony against Christianity today is that we are not demonstrating what we say with our words. We are all talkie, talkie and no walkie, walkie. As we sincerely begin to seek to move in the Spirit of God, we must constantly be willing to change our thinking, our priorities and our plans. God is not always going to move according to our agenda and schedule. We must learn the flexibility of moving to His. That means we may have let go of what we are doing, at the most inopportune times. If you are a person that likes structure and consistency in your life you will find this tuff. The Lord is shaping and molding our lives to move with the leading of His Spirit and will, not ours. We have to become like the harnessed horse that is willing to submit to the direction of the bit. Our life is all about service and surrender. When Jesus taught His disciples, He didn’t recruit them and send them off to seminary to get a good theological education. He showed and mentored them through day to day, moment to moment life experience how to walk out the love of God in a practical way. We see times Jesus and His disciples desperately needed some rest and space to themselves and how Jesus gave up His needs to meet the needs of others.
Time is a precious commodity and we all have accountability for how we use it. The Word tells us to “redeem the time for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).” Let us make the moments of our lives count as we invest them wisely in the lives of others rather than just the business of life. What is it that we do that will matter a week from now, a year from now, a lifetime from now? It is my prayer that the Lord will give us all a greater wisdom when it comes to how we spend and invest our time. We must remember that it is our time that can both build and make a meaningful relationship or the lack of it, which can destroy it. May our time become a series of loving moments that translate into a lifetime of loving in deed and in truth.

Blessings,
kent

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