“WITH MY TEEEEEEEEEEEETH!”

We were forced to trust God totally. 2 Corinthians 1:9 TM

Four guys decided to go mountain climbing. In the middle of the climb one fellow slipped over a cliff, dropped about sixty feet and landed with a thud on the ledge below. The other three, hoping to rescue him, yelled, “Joe, are you okay?” He replied, “I’m alive, but I think I broke both my arms.” The three said, “We’ll toss a rope down to you and pull you up.” “Fine,” answered Joe. After dropping one end of the rope they started tugging, working feverishly to pull their wounded friend to safety. When they had him about three-fourths of the way up, they suddenly remembered that he said he’d broken both his arms. “Joe! If you broke both of your arms, how in the world are you hanging on?” Jaw taut, Joe responded, “With my teeeeeeeeeeeeth.” Some days the best we can do is just hang on by the skin of our teeth. Even the strongest and wisest amongst us have times when we don’t have the answers and can’t see the way forward; all we can do is look up and trust God to pull us through-and He does. If you’re in a tight spot today, don’t let go of the rope. If you have to, hang on by your teeth. Some things are just a job for God. Be still. Trust Him and let Him work.

That’s where Paul was when he wrote, “Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get us out of it, we were forced to trust God totally-not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead!” (2Co 1 :9-10 TM).



“WITH MY TEEEEEEEEEEEETH!”

We were forced to trust God totally. 2 Corinthians 1:9 TM

Four guys decided to go mountain climbing. In the middle of the climb one fellow slipped over a cliff, dropped about sixty feet and landed with a thud on the ledge below. The other three, hoping to rescue him, yelled, “Joe, are you okay?” He replied, “I’m alive, but I think I broke both my arms.” The three said, “We’ll toss a rope down to you and pull you up.” “Fine,” answered Joe. After dropping one end of the rope they started tugging, working feverishly to pull their wounded friend to safety. When they had him about three-fourths of the way up, they suddenly remembered that he said he’d broken both his arms. “Joe! If you broke both of your arms, how in the world are you hanging on?” Jaw taut, Joe responded, “With my teeeeeeeeeeeeth.” Some days the best we can do is just hang on by the skin of our teeth. Even the strongest and wisest amongst us have times when we don’t have the answers and can’t see the way forward; all we can do is look up and trust God to pull us through-and He does. If you’re in a tight spot today, don’t let go of the rope. If you have to, hang on by your teeth. Some things are just a job for God. Be still. Trust Him and let Him work.

That’s where Paul was when he wrote, “Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get us out of it, we were forced to trust God totally-not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead!” (2Co 1 :9-10 TM).



YOU MUST LEARN TO DELEGATE

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. – Ecclesiastes 4:9 NIV

Snoopy is lying on top of his famous doghouse, complaining that there’s too much to do. In the final frame of the cartoon, he sighs, “I hate being head beagle!” If you like the privileges of being head beagle but not the responsibilities,

you probably haven’t learned the scriptural art of delegation (Ac 6:1-6). D.L. Moody said, “You can do the work of ten

men, or get ten men to do the work.” So why are we unable (or unwilling) to delegate?

( 1) Fear of losing authority. Some of us would rather look for compliant people to implement our wishes.

(2) Fear of work being done poorly. In some cases you’re right! But often our hang-up is not being willing to allow others to do the work their way.

(3) Fear of work being done better. That’s pride! You should surround yourself with people who have the potential to do an even better job, then your work will outlive you.

(4) Unwillingness to take the necessary time. Task-oriented people just want to get the job done. They’ve little patience when it comes to waiting for others to learn through trial and error and become capable.

(5) Lack of training and positive experience. Nobody ever believed enough in us to delegate stuff to us, so we learned to work as independents. That can be fatal.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “The best leader is the one who has sense to pick good people to do what he or she wants one, and enough self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”



BIG GOALS-SMALL STEPS!

Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings?   -Zechariah 4: 10 TM

Do you feel like there’s a huge gap between your present job and your ultimate career destination? You say, “Yes,

I’d like to be a teacher, but that means I’d have to go back to school and finish my degree. That would take years!” “Sure, I’d love to switch careers, but this job has security; I don’t think I could take the risk.” “It would be fun to try and market my own product, but I don’t know how to get started.” The excuses pile up like dirty dishes in a sink; it feels like it would take too long, cost too much, require too many sacrifices to get from point A to point B. Whether it’s going back to school, starting your own business or entering the ministry, the temptation is to always put it off until another time. Maybe when my wife gets a job, maybe when the kids are grown, maybe when I retire. Maybe, maybe, maybe!

How do you overcome the fear of starting? You reach big goals by taking small steps! While it’s tempting to think that

the amount of time required is too long, those days and years will pass-whether you’re pursuing your goal or not! God

wants you to heed His call, to show up for duty and leave the provisions-including the time, money, open doors, favorable relationships and material resources-to Him. If you do your part, He’ll do His. The Psalmist writes: “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps 84: 11). Just trust God and take the first small step!



THINKING ABOUT HEAVEN (2)

His servants will serve him .. .and they will reign for ever.  Revelation 22:3-5 NIV

 Heaven is pictured in the Bible as a garden, a city, and a home. All 3 require skill, work and maintenance. Is that why we’re told we’ll serve God in heaven? Service is active, not passive. Seems like heaven will involve lasting accomplishment, unhindered by decay and fatigue, enhanced by unlimited resources. The Bible says we’ll reign with Christ, exercising leadership, making important decisions. (See Lk 19:17-19). That means we’ll set goals, devise plans and

share ideas. Actually, our best workdays on earth are just a foretaste of the joy our work will bring us in heaven. Indeed,

our service to Christ now, will determine our position then. Jobs that depend on aspects of our fallen world probably won’t exist-such as dentists (decay), police officers (crime), funeral directors (death), and many others. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be unemployed. What’s an interest or hobby now, may become our main vocation then. Others however may continue with work similar to what they do now, whether it’s gardeners, engineers, builders, artists, animal trainers, teachers, musicians, scientists, crafts people, or hundreds of other vocations. The difference is, we’ll work without the hindrances of toil, pain, corruption and sin (Rev 21:4-5).

Author Victor Hugo spoke of anticipating his work in heaven: “I haven’t given utterance to the thousandth part of what lies within me. When I go to the grave I can say, ‘my day’s work is done.’ But I cannot say, ‘my life is done.’ My work will

recommence the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare. It closes upon the twilight, but it opens

upon dawn.”


THINKING ABOUT HEAVEN (1)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 NIV

Gary Larson captured a common misconception of heaven in one of his Far Side cartoons. In it a man with angel wings and a halo sits on a cloud, doing nothing. A caption reads: “Wish I’d brought a magazine.”

How come we talk so Little about heaven? Why has it fallen off our radar screens? Listen: “[Satan] opened his mouth to blaspheme God … and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven” (Rev 13:6 NIV). Satan slanders 3 things:

(1) God’s person; (2) God’s people; (3) God’s place-heaven. After being evicted from heaven (Isa 14: 12-15), it must be maddening to know we’re now entitled to the beautiful horne he was kicked out of. What better way for him to attack us than to whisper lies about the place Paul tells us to set our minds on? If we believe his lies we’ll set our minds on this life, not the next. And we won’t be motivated to take others with us when we go. C.S. Lewis writes, “The Christians who did the most for this world, were those who thought most of the next. The apostles, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth- precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of any other world, that they have become so ineffective in this one. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in,’ aim at earth and you will get neither.”



THINKING ABOUT HEAVEN (1)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 NIV

Gary Larson captured a common misconception of heaven in one of his Far Side cartoons. In it a man with angel wings and a halo sits on a cloud, doing nothing. A caption reads: “Wish I’d brought a magazine.”

How come we talk so Little about heaven? Why has it fallen off our radar screens? Listen: “[Satan] opened his mouth to blaspheme God … and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven” (Rev 13:6 NIV). Satan slanders 3 things:

(1) God’s person; (2) God’s people; (3) God’s place-heaven. After being evicted from heaven (Isa 14: 12-15), it must be maddening to know we’re now entitled to the beautiful horne he was kicked out of. What better way for him to attack us than to whisper lies about the place Paul tells us to set our minds on? If we believe his lies we’ll set our minds on this life, not the next. And we won’t be motivated to take others with us when we go. C.S. Lewis writes, “The Christians who did the most for this world, were those who thought most of the next. The apostles, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth- precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of any other world, that they have become so ineffective in this one. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in,’ aim at earth and you will get neither.”



IT’S ABOUT HIM-NOT US!

At the center of all this, Christ rules.  Ephesians 1 :22 TM

Until Copernicus showed up in 1543, we were able to claim, “The universe revolves around us.” And what Copernicus did for the earth, God does for our souls. He points us to His Son and says, “At the center of all this, Christ rules.” At a time when the theme of many preachers is “what God will do for you,” Paul points out that God doesn’t exist to make a big deal out of us; we exist to make a big deal out of Him. Max Lucado writes: “We struggle with this idea because we’ve been demanding our way since infancy. ‘I want a spouse who makes me happy, co-workers who respect me and ask my opinion, weather that suits me, a government that serves me, and a God who gives me everything I want.’ It’s all about me! What if an orchestra followed that approach, each artist clamoring for self- expression? Tubas blasting non-stop; percussionists pounding to get attention, the trumpeter standing on the conductor’s stool tooting his horn. Harmony? Hardly. Happiness? Not at all. Who enjoys confusion, or contributing to a cacophony? What would happen if we each took our place, played our part, followed the score He gave us, and made His song our song? What if there was less ‘here’s what I want’ and more ‘what do you suppose God wants?’ Paul answers, ‘Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [we] are changed into the same image from glory to glory’ (2Co 3: 18). Getting our eyes off ourselves and onto Christ, makes us more like Him. It changes us-and couldn’t we use a change?”



IT’S ABOUT HIM-NOT US!

At the center of all this, Christ rules.  Ephesians 1 :22 TM

Until Copernicus showed up in 1543, we were able to claim, “The universe revolves around us.” And what Copernicus did for the earth, God does for our souls. He points us to His Son and says, “At the center of all this, Christ rules.” At a time when the theme of many preachers is “what God will do for you,” Paul points out that God doesn’t exist to make a big deal out of us; we exist to make a big deal out of Him. Max Lucado writes: “We struggle with this idea because we’ve been demanding our way since infancy. ‘I want a spouse who makes me happy, co-workers who respect me and ask my opinion, weather that suits me, a government that serves me, and a God who gives me everything I want.’ It’s all about me! What if an orchestra followed that approach, each artist clamoring for self- expression? Tubas blasting non-stop; percussionists pounding to get attention, the trumpeter standing on the conductor’s stool tooting his horn. Harmony? Hardly. Happiness? Not at all. Who enjoys confusion, or contributing to a cacophony? What would happen if we each took our place, played our part, followed the score He gave us, and made His song our song? What if there was less ‘here’s what I want’ and more ‘what do you suppose God wants?’ Paul answers, ‘Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [we] are changed into the same image from glory to glory’ (2Co 3: 18). Getting our eyes off ourselves and onto Christ, makes us more like Him. It changes us-and couldn’t we use a change?”


BIDDY CHAMBERS

I served the Lord with great humility. Acts 20: 19 NIV

My Utmost For His Highest is perhaps the world’s best known devotional book. Yet without his wife Gertrude Chambers, the unrecognized driving force behind Oswald Chambers’ writings, we wouldn’t have this book at all. In the Foreword, she tells how the selections came from his various  speaking engagements. Yet she signed only with the initials B.C.

Who was this remarkable woman? Her husband affectionately called her “Biddy,” a term of endearment, Oswald died as a result of complications following surgery in Egypt where he’d been ministering to the British troops. Thousands mourned his death at 43. So well loved was he by those he ministered to that in spite of the fact that he wasn’t part of the military, he was still given a full military burial in the old British cemetery in Cairo.

They were married for just seven years when, at age 34, Biddy became a widow and the single mother of a little girl. Actually, the real story of the man’s fame began at his death. Before she met Oswald, Biddy was a stenographer. She could take shorthand faster than many of us could talk. So she began listening to her husband’s messages and took shorthand notes-hundreds of them-never thinking that one day they’d be transcribed into books and that she would become the publisher of them. The world owes a debt of gratitude to this humble and generally unknown woman whose efforts are still blessing so many. May God give us more people like her; people who believe that great things can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.




 

Leave a Reply