Tell The World About Jesus…No More Excuses!

Image courtesy of digitalart at
Image courtesy of digitalart at

We were heading to our usual Saturday morning breakfast when we drove by a sign that read, “Christmas (It said, “XMAS,” but I prefer not to spell it that way) Parade Cancelled Today.”  I quickly responded to the sign and said, “That’s exactly why I don’t build floats!  You just never know when your parade is going to be cancelled!”  It was funny at the time and we laughed as we headed onto our exit towards the restaurant.

Some of us actually live our lives that way.  Let me explain. I was in Wal-Mart last Saturday after we had just had a lot of snow the day before.  I was by myself doing some Christmas shopping.  Being alone, I was more aware of others’ conversations because I had no one that I was conversing with myself to distract me.  I saw families shopping together having a lot of fun running up and down the aisles and holding up items from across the department seeking approval from one or the other.  I saw mothers with their grown sons, helping them pick out clothes for a girlfriend or wife.  I heard one little boy let out a growl as his father announced at the entrance of the toy department that they were NOT shopping for him that day!  Sometimes, even if I buy nothing, the shopping experience is worth the trip!

The most intriguing comments were what I heard in line, though.  There were probably three different conversations mentioning that they were not going to do something on Sunday because they were expecting more snow like what we had fall on Friday.  They were cancelling events for weather that had not even come yet!  At least the parade had a rainy day as an excuse to cancel.

As I have mulled this over now for about a week, it hit home when I saw the parade being cancelled.  Many of us live our lives and make our decisions on what we think might happen instead of what is reality.  If I were a float-maker and thought that my parade might be cancelled someday because of rain, I would probably never make another float.  If I decided on Saturday night that since it might snow on Sunday, I should stay home, I might never go to church on half of the winter Sundays.

We often use weather and other possible situations to keep us from doing what we know we should or from doing what we were created to do.  I’m convinced; it’s just part of the human condition.  Admit it…we all love a snow day that excuses us from responsibility and allows us a pajama day if we’d prefer.

However, at this Christmas season, I don’t think there should be any excuse to keep us from inviting others to church or talking about our relationship with Jesus Christ.  This is His time to shine.  Just like the saying goes, Jesus is the REASON for the SEASON.  As Christians, we have the perfect opportunity to share Him with those who don’t have Him in their lives.  Most everybody is open to talking about Christmas!  So what if it rains? Tell someone about Jesus!  If you get snowed in, go ahead…tell someone about Jesus.  If your parade gets cancelled…no worries…tell someone about Jesus!

What is God telling you to do that you’re making up excuses not to do it?  Well God, I’ll do that tomorrow.  I’m kind of busy today.  God, they will think I’m weird if I ask them to come to church.  I don’t think they’ll still be my friend if I tell them about Jesus.  I’m too tired.  My car won’t start.  I have too many other responsibilities…the list is endless. I’m sure you might even have a few to add to my list.  We all have them, do we not?

If we live our lives in the what ifs mode and worry about things that never happen, we will never be able to complete the work God has created us to do.  My prayer is that we will each take time today to seek God’s voice in our lives.  Then when we think we know what He wants from us, I pray that we will push forward no matter what the forecast in our minds might tell us.  A life lived with no regret is a full life.  Just say “NO” to anymore excuses!

Don’t miss out on the season.  You’ve got ten more days…what are you going to do?

Mark 16:15  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

I think this song says it well…click here and see.


Not By Might, Not By Power…But By My Spirit, Says The Lord

Image courtesy of dan at

I remember when I was a new Christian, my children were young.  I bought them praise and worship tapes and they carried them around in their tape recorders blasting music throughout the house.  One song keeps ringing in my head tonight.  The words say, “Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord.”  I have to remind myself that even though I am a very strong person, I am nothing without the strength and guidance from God and The Holy Spirit.  In fact, God has designed us to depend on Him…not on ourselves.

On Friday, Cincinnati got a lot of snow.  Did I say a LOT of snow?  I am not usually afraid to drive in the snow, but this was the first day I had ever driven my new car in the snow.  I’ve had a four-wheel drive SUV in the past and I never feared the weather with that.  But now, I am driving a smaller, more gas-efficient car and was a bit nervous about how it would handle on the slushy streets as I traveled for work.  When I headed home, I said a prayer, hoping to get back all in one piece.

I encountered cars sitting sideways in the road, others spinning their tires without going anywhere, and even a semi stuck on the back roads not able to move up the hill.  I was traveling the back roads because I knew the highway was jammed up with accidents before I left.  Though, my preference is always to go the highway on good weather days.  It gets me there in half the time and is a familiar route.

As I reflect on 2013 and look forward to a new start in 2014, I feel as though, I’ve been traveling the back roads all this year.  Instead of taking the high-speed, easy highway through life, I have been forced to get off the path of familiarity.  I have had to find new routes and sometimes have even had to be pushed out of a slick spot on the road.  There have been times along the path that I even felt cold and alone, in the quietness of my travels to a destination unknown.  Perhaps you can relate.

Don’t we all go through times like that in life?  There are some things in life that we can’t change in our own strength.  We can’t take away the pain that we are suffering.  We can’t always change something one of our loved ones has to go through in their life.  We can’t hold onto a life whose time it is to die.  We can’t heal someone just because we want to, even when we are a doctor.  If we could change these things, I know we all would in a heartbeat.

In reality, God doesn’t expect us to travel these unknown roads alone. He wants us to go with us and be our Guide.  He nudges us to get off the path of normalcy at times so that we can find Him on the back roads.  For it is when we are in situations of the unknown, in fear, or stuck in a rut not able to move forward or backward, that we are most likely to call out to Him to help.  God even gives us snowy days to remind us of our need for Him.  I can hear Him saying, “Trust me.  You may not be able to see where you are going, what you’re traveling on, or how you’re going to get there.  However, stop.  Look around.  My love and grace covers all.  I have enveloped you in My Spirit just like the freshness of the newly fallen snow.  Isn’t it a beautiful thing?”

snow windowWhen I got home after two hours of treacherous driving, Jim was here to greet me.  In fact, he had fixed dinner and handed me a plate as I walked through the door!  I was a bit disheveled from the tenseness of the past two hours traveling only twenty-six miles in total.  What a relief it was to see his face and not have to cook too!  We sat by our big window in the living room to eat.  As I turned around in my safe and comfortable surroundings, I could now see the beauty of the snow outside my window.  It had terrorized me all the way home, but suddenly now, it held me in awe of its beauty.  We turned on the fireplace, turned off the lights and marveled at the quiet and majestic glow of the snow as it lit up our room from the outside.

When we are traveling the back roads of life, we may not see the beauty.  It may be a huge inconvenience and not take us exactly where we thought we were going to go.  It may even be scary and be life-threatening at times.  However, looking back someday, I expect that we, too, will be able to see the beauty in the journey.  With the snow as our reminder, let us not forget…

God is everywhere…

He’s got it covered.

Psalm 9:10 (NIV) Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.