Motorcycle Chopper Honda Bicycle Bike Honda Rebel

As Slow as a Honda 360

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I rode motorcycles for decades when I was younger. I owned my fair share of motorcycles; Hondas, a Chopper, a Suzuki, and so forth. When I first started riding, I had a Honda 360 cc, a small, low-power cycle. In those days, I didn’t appreciate the value of power, that is, until I rode with a friend that had a Honda 750 cc.

The first time we rode together, we started on back roads. They had lots of turns, so I could mostly keep up with him. Then we got on an Interstate, and he passed me like I’d parked my bike. He became a dot on the horizon while I coaxed my cycle to gain enough speed not to be run over. When it comes to cycles, acceleration, and speed are essential commodities.

As I was reading my Bible today, I came to Psalms 124. When I read verse seven, my memory returned to my Honda 360. Here are verses seven and eight.

7 We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped! 8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 124:7-8

A “fowler” is a person that sets traps to capture birds. During Biblical times, birds were trapped to be eaten or sold as food. Pity the poor bird that happens to walk under the snare of a fowler. But we have good news! Jesus, maker of heaven and earth, will break the snare that captures us if we ask. Like a good motorcycle, Jesus can get us out of a trap in a New York minute. Praise God!

Believers can be compared to birds captured by fowlers. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Even when we are listening to the Holy Spirit within us, we still find times when we wander into a place that seems safe, only to discover it is a trap of the enemy. The enemy thinks that he’s got us, but he’s trapped someone that belongs to Jesus. His glee will be short-lived because we have the Holy Spirit’s power.

Today’s passage of Scripture tells us God’s promise and bolsters our faith. Our help is in the name of the Lord. He breaks the snare and sets us free. God will leave that enemy so far behind it will look like he’s riding a Honda 360 cc!

Image by Ralphs_Fotos from Pixabay

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P.S. God desires a full banquet. From what I understand, He is holding off His judgment so that many will be blessed with reconciliation, regeneration, and resurrection (Mark 10:45). We are invited. Every person that has ever lived is invited into God’s kingdom. If they accept God’s invitation, put on their banqueting clothes (i.e. the white linen of salvation given by grace through faith in Jesus), and come, then they are welcome. We, as ambassadors of Jesus, go out into the highways and byways of this world to deliver God’s invitation.

Those that accept God’s invitation are brought into the Church, the Bride of Christ, to prepare them, to get them dressed for the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6-9). We see this in Christ’s parable of the Great Banquet, found in Luke 14:23 (NIV), “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full…” I pray that I find you there when we enter Christ’s banquet!

a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears

If you have ever listened to a classic rock playlist or radio station, you have probably heard the song “We Are Family,” sung by Sly & the Family Stone. It’s a catchy toon. For believers, we are family. The old saying, you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family is true about the Church. “The church is a family, the “household of God” (1 Timothy 3:15)

Now you may have had bad experiences with your natural family and some in the Church. Here’s the difference. You only have your natural family for a short while. Don’t love them to get love; love them to be love to them. As for your spiritual brothers and sisters, you have them for eternity, so do as God’s Word declares: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10)

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Have a great day!

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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 NLT

Oh how often we want to know the mysteries of God. When we are crushed, we cry out to God, “Why?” When our lives seem to be unraveling, we cry out to God, “Why?” When doors of opportunities for good deeds are shut, we cry out to God, “Why?” But God seldom tells us why. In these times, what God desires is trust. In our darkest hour, we should remember Psalms 16:8 KJV, “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

When confronted with events that make no sense to you, don’t allow doubt to come into your life. Don’t be moved by circumstances. Trust in Jesus, the only one that can mediate your condition to our God whose activities cannot be understood.

Photo by Ana Municio on Unsplash

a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears

In the 1957 TV show, “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” there is a funny exchange of words between Lucy and the actress, Tallulah Bankhead:

Lucy Ricardo : Are you asking me to leave?
Tallulah Bankhead : ‘Throwing you out’ would be more appropriate.
Lucy Ricardo : Let me tell you something, Tallulah Bankhead, I’ve been thrown out of better places than this!
Tallulah Bankhead : You have never BEEN in better places than this!

The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour

When we experience an embarrassing or stressful circumstance, our nature tries first to justify our actions, but then our emotions kick in, which makes us relive that event over and over and over. We run scenarios in our heads to take the same set of circumstances and produce a better outcome. This state can become crippling, but that’s not God’s plan for you.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalms 43:5 NIV

If you find yourself reliving an embarrassing or stressful event, give that circumstance to Jesus. Remember, it is because of God’s will that you are alive. “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears

This morning I was reading in the book of Mark, chapter eleven. This chapter begins with the first-hand account of Jesus making His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. I had to stop and write this “note” when I came to these two verses.

As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it.

Mark 11:5-6 NLT

This verse may be surprising to us because we no longer have a society in which everyone participates. It is impossible to impose a civil society “from the top down” – this approach is called oppression. Only when a society has a unifying “good” can they experience peace and prosperity.

Notice that some bystanders challenged the disciples when it appeared that the disciples were stealing the colt. Israel had a unifying “good.” Their “good” was God and His Scriptures. These tenets were generally taught and accepted by the Israelites. This cohesiveness empowered average Israelites to be invested in the good of their country. America needs this.

We, as Americans, need to return to our “good.” Our “good” is God – “Only God is truly good.” (Mark 10:18) We find our good documented in our “Declaration of Independence.”

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Declaration of Independence

Only when “these self-evident truths” are generally taught and accepted by Americans will we have sufficient cohesiveness to empower average Americans to be invested in the good of our nation.

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robotic lawnmower

I Won’t Become a Lawnmower

As I was praying today, I realized that I often read my Bible like one of those instruction manuals you get when buying a new lawnmower. Too often read my Bible to learn how to forgive or praise God or repent for a sin. God’s Word tells us what to do, and I thank God for that, but the point of God’s Word is to feed us.

If we do a Bible study on feeding on God’s Word, we will find that it’s a “thing.” God wants us to consume His Word as food that changes us. We’ve trained our minds to focus on the pleasure we get from eating, but we know that what we eat changes our bodies. And if we stop eating, we will starve. We should have this mindset about the Bible, God’s Word.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Romans 10:17

I Won’t Become a Lawnmower

Faith is what we feed. And what we eat is “the word of Christ.” I won’t become a lawnmower if I read and study my new mower’s user manual. User manuals teach us, but they don’t make us. Jesus wants to make us, to make you, into a person that carries faith in God into everything you do and say. Jesus is the Father’s beloved Son. Out of Jesus’ unfathomable love, he desires us to continually become more like Him, so the Father is pleased with us.

Our faith will be weak if we skip our meals. Feeding on the word of Christ is something we need to become skilled at doing. When we eat a hamburger or a fresh tomato, we take time to chew our food. We instinctively know that chewing enables us to savor our food and prepares the food to be digested. The same is true with God’s food.

Reading the “Verse of the Day” is good, but we shouldn’t just gulp it down. We should chew it and store it in our memory. Then, we should bring it back throughout our day and chew on it. If we do this, God’s word feeds our faith, changing us.

The Bible is the best instruction manual ever created, but it is so much more. It is our pantry, our refrigerator, our lunchbox. To be who Jesus desires us to be, we need to eat right. Let’s practice savoring God’s word.

Image by Leo_65 from Pixabay

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Between My Ears

As I was praying this morning, I thought, “What should I do when I want more of God in my life?” As this rolled around inside me, I realized it was easier than I thought.

If I eat an apple, I bring it into me, and its substance feeds my body, contributing to my health. If I read the Bible, I am bringing Jesus, the Word of God (John 1:14), into me. God’s Word brings spiritual health to me, giving me more of Him in my life.

“Consuming” God’s Word renews my mind which then transforms me. Or, to quote God’s Word, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ” (Romans 12:2)

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Between My Ears

33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him [Jesus] and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.

 Mark 5:33–34 NLT

Do you have a need so great that your knees buckle from their weight? As I read Mark 5:33–34 today, I was reminded of imperatives. We pray about many things, and these are sincere prayers, but there are also imperative prayers, urgent and crucial prayers. This woman prayed an imperative prayer.

This woman had a crushing weight from her condition, and it compelled her to bow before Jesus and tell Him about her act of faith – prayers come in many ways.

Do you have a need that buckles your knees and compels you to bow before Jesus and ask Him to do the impossible? If so, then I have good news. When we ask Jesus to do what no one can, He often declares, “Your suffering is over.” He does this because He loves us and honors our faith. I find great comfort in Jesus; I pray that you also do.

Photo by Ana Municio on Unsplash

a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

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As we head into warmer temperatures, I’m reminded of the value of shade. On a hot summer day, we seek out a shadow. It may be found under a tree or a beach umbrella or even on the shaded side of a building. When we find it, we know it. We are instantly refreshed.

One of the things about shadows on a hot day is that we have to be in them to be refreshed, it’s not enough to just be near them. God created shade, and He makes His shadow available to His children. Just as a shadow from the sun, we must be in God’s shadow to be refreshed.

The thing about a shadow is that we need to be close to its source to receive the most refreshment. The Holy Spirit inspired the Psalmist to use the characteristic of a shadow as a way to open our hearts and see that in this hot desert of a world, God offers us refreshment, safety, and peace, if we come close to Him. If we live close to Jesus, our Savior, our lives will be in His shadow, in His protection.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalms 91:1

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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears

For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

Notice in this verse that, by placing our faith in Jesus we receive perfect righteousness. Jesus is the actual, perfect righteousness of God. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, it’s like He pulls off a piece of Himself and puts it in you and me. Now, when God the Father looks at us, He truly sees the righteousness of His beloved Son instead of our “Swiss Cheese” righteousness.

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