Wait

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Wait

 

This is a rewrite of an article I wrote on May 20, 1997. In reading through some of my old articles, I was drawn to share it. Hope you enjoy.

 

Before I was old enough to go to school, I had a baby-sitter that would come to our house and watch me until my mother got home from her teaching job. Her name was Gussie, and she was a small, older woman who was very kind and I loved having her around. One day I was ready to go outside and play. Gussie always went out with me and we had a fun time. This day, however, Gussie was still folding some clothes and told me to go on out to the carport and she would be out in a minute. I went on out and was playing, but it was taking Gussie too long. I went to the door to tell her to hurry, but when I reached for the door, there was the biggest, black spider I had ever seen right on the handle. I was trapped outside and only Gussie could save me. I started yelling for her, but she would not come. It was taking her forever to finish those clothes. I decided I was going to have to take action myself. I looked around and there was the mop, drying after Gussie had mopped the kitchen floor. I picked up the mop and thought I would hit the door handle and knock the spider off. Now, only being 4 years old, my aim was not that accurate. I swung the mop, but instead of hitting the handle, I hit the glass on the top part of the door. The glass broke and came crashing down, making an extremely loud noise. It scared me so bad I started crying. Gussie, hearing the crash, finally came to my aid.

 

We all get tired of waiting. We even get tired of waiting on God to do something. We ask Him for something or to help or give us an answer and many times we have to wait. We may even get tired of waiting and try to handle a situation on our own. When that happens, something always goes wrong because we didn’t wait on God’s timing. It’s not easy to wait, but sometimes that’s what God wants us to do. As we wait patiently, knowing that God hears our prayers, we trust in Him and know that His timing is always perfect. We may not want to wait, but we must have faith that He will answer our prayers. He always answers and always provides.

 

I don’t remember what happened when my parents found out about the broken glass. If I had just waited a little longer, I wouldn’t have broken the glass and wouldn’t have gotten in trouble. If you have asked God something and have not received an answer, remember, “Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.” Proverbs 20:22b

 

“I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; He saved me from all my troubles.” Psalm 34:4, 6

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022



Looking Out My Back Door…Again

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Looking Out My Back Door … Again

 

Have you heard enough about me looking out the back door of my office? Well, I have to share something else. For the past several days, I’ve noticed some small birds that seem to be feeding just outside the glass doors of my office. You’d have to put two side by side to be as big as my fist. The top feathers are medium brown in color with lighter, more tan colored feathers on the breast. There is a small white line above each eye and their beaks are slender, and almost as long as their head. I wanted to know what kind of bird they are and decided to search online, but found that there are a multitude of little brown birds in the world. Correctly identifying these little guys is almost impossible. They seem too big to be a sparrow, and their beaks are the wrong shape to be a finch. The best I can tell, they are a type of wren. It’s very difficult to determine. It’s so easy to recognize a cardinal, a blue jay, a blue bird, or a robin. But there are so many different types of little brown birds from the pictures I found on the internet, that determining exactly what these are is not something I can accomplish. Plus, when I try to get a good look at them, they don’t always stick around very long, especially when I walk towards the door.

 

The very first time I saw them and watched them foraging, I thought of how God was feeding them and taking care of them. I may not know the exact species of bird they are, but God does. He made them. And I’m sure He knows how many feathers are on each of their little bodies as He knows how many hairs are upon my head. I thought about the Scripture where it tells of how God the Father feeds the birds. In Matthew 6, Jesus is still teaching His sermon on the mount that began in chapter five. He begins to teach that we are not to worry about what we need for everyday life. When you come to verse 25 and 26 of chapter 6, He says, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?” So many people worry about these things every day. I dare say some of us might worry too, at times. But we shouldn’t. All it takes is for us to stop and look out and see some birds. If we let Him, the Spirit will remind us of this passage. Then we can be comforted with His word and His promise that He will take care of all our needs.

 

I look out now as I’m writing this and there is another one of God’s precious creations. No bright colors, but simply beautiful shades of brown. This little bird doesn’t look worried or anxious. It is simply looking around on the ground, in and out between the blades of grass, until it finds something to eat. Then it quickly darts its head forward, snatches the morsel in its beak, and continues searching for more. We can learn from this little bird. It is living its life as its Creator intended. We can live our lives the way our Creator intended for us, and simply trust Him as we obey His word, follow His leading, and watch Him provide all our needs.

 

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

 

 



Don’t Leave Me

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Don’t Leave Me

 

“Do you want to stay and play with me?”, she asks. “Yes, I do, but I have to go to work.”, I respond. We had the wonderful opportunity of having our granddaughter stay with us overnight. She is always such a joy to have around. She was so talkative and happy that morning, and we had fun playing with some blocks. She enjoys using one as a camera and was taking Debbie and my picture with it. She then let me take a picture of her and her BeeBee, which is the name she calls Debbie. We then went outside to swing until I had to get to work. But it was so difficult to have to leave. It reminds me so much of when my boys were younger and I had to tell them the same thing, “Yes, I want to just stay home and play with you, but I have to go to work.”

 

As parents, we’ve all had to do this with our children at some point, even if you are a stay-at-home parent. There are times that we are not able to stay with our children because of work or other obligations. “Don’t leave me” is a cry we have all heard as well, as children are sometimes afraid we won’t come back. But we reassure them that it will only be for a little while. There’s a sadness that comes from that separation. We enjoy being together with our family. And I’m sure we can all remember the feelings we had when we were children ourselves.

 

Jesus knew His disciples were going to feel this separation anxiety when He left them for the cross. But just like we never leave our children alone, Jesus told them they would have someone with them all the time. He says in John 14:16-17a, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit.” What a wonderful gift! Even though Jesus had to leave the earth and would no longer be with them in person, they would not be left alone. They would have the Holy Spirit indwelling them. And this same promise is for every believer, every disciple, which, of course, includes us today. God Almighty is always with us and will never leave us. What a wonderful Father! Plus, Jesus also promises to return. In John 14:1-3 He says to His disciples, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.” Our wonderful Savior and Lord has promised all of us that He will come back and take us with Him to be with Him for all eternity. We have this hope because of His promise. And He always keeps His promises. And until that time, we have God in the form of the Holy Spirit living within us, so we are never alone. Jesus reminds them of this again in John 16.

 

Many mornings I’ve had to go through the difficulty of leaving for work with my children waving goodbye. Thankfully, I have always been able to return home to be with them. I know that is not always the case for some. But we all have this hope, that if we train up our children in the way of the Lord, they can become followers of Jesus and always have the indwelling Spirit within them, too. Then, when everything is ready, Jesus will come and get all of us to be with Him where no one will ever have to leave.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

 



Wait and See

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Wait and See

 

I remember when I was a little boy with great excitement going to ask my mother about my birthday present or a Christmas present, usually wanting to know what it was and trying to figure it out. No matter how I phrased my question; “Is it this?”, “Is it that?”, “Can I play with it outside?”, “Is it something I can hold?”, “Is it something that I can throw?”; she always answered, “Wait and see.” That would drive me crazy sometimes because of my anticipation. I needed to know and couldn’t wait. As I got older, I would ask her questions about life and what might happen or how things may work out. The same reply would come, “Wait and see.” The older I got, the more I realized how much wisdom was in those three words. Now that she has passed from this life, I think about this phrase, and others like it that she would frequently say, and I quickly hear her voice say them in my mind.

 

Many people are very concerned about this hurricane that seems to be heading our way. There are a lot of questions that are being asked and some are frantically searching for someone to give them a definitive answer. The difficulty with that is nobody really knows. There are so many different paths and scenarios with this storm that no one can predict exactly when and where it will hit or what it will bring. With any of these storms, we don’t know exactly what will happen until it happens. We can be wise and prepare for it. But ultimately, we simply have to wait and see.

 

Waiting is never easy. I don’t know anyone who likes to wait. Waiting requires patience. And patience requires faith. I may not know what will happen tomorrow, but God knows, and I have faith in Him. And since my faith is in Him, I can be patient and wait because I know He has everything under control. I may want something sooner, but it will be in His timing that things come into being or things are revealed, and that will be exactly when it needs to happen. Because God is in control and I am in His hands, and my faith is in Him, I can be patient and wait and see.

 

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.” Psalm 62:5

 

“The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25-26

 

“O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8

 

There is great peace and comfort when we wait in the Lord. He gives us rest. We can lay everything at His feet and trust Him to take care of it all. Then we can sit back in our spirits and watch Him do great things. Wait and see.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

 



Lookin’ Out My Back Door

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Lookin’ Out My Back Door

 

Many of you might remember an old song by Credence Clearwater Revival (CCR) that came out in 1970 with the same title as above. It’s a fun little song with some crazy lyrics. But what made me think of it was looking out my back door. I’m not talking about at my house, though. I’m talking about my office. Most people do not have a back door in their office, but I do. I’ve mentioned it before as I enjoy looking out through it as I think, meditate on God’s Word, or write. The scenery can be very inspirational. As I was looking out my back door late yesterday afternoon, I was given a treat of seeing six deer grazing in the field. There were four doe and two younglings that were enjoying a meal. I’ve seen many deer on the property since we have moved into the building, and even before everything was completed. They are beautiful creatures and seem therapeutic in a way. As I watch them, I am still, thus slowing my heart rate and calming my mind. I can focus on watching their movements and observing their actions and let any frustrations or stress that I’m dealing with simply fade away.

 

I watched them for several minutes and noticed when most of them had their heads down, at least one of the older ones had their head up looking out for danger. This would take place also when the younger ones would be running and jumping around in a playful way. The older ones would alternate which would have their head up, of course, so that all of them were able to eat. Yet they maintained at least one watching for protection. We’ve all seen this with animals if one has ever watched a wildlife show before. It is a safety mechanism. At least one animal will be a lookout while the rest of the group is able to relax and graze with their heads down. Taking turns being a lookout ensures everyone is able to eat. That one is responsible for the safety of the entire group at these times.

 

It made me think about how God watches over us. We can be living our lives, many times with our “heads down” and not paying attention to the dangers that are all around us. Yet, our Good Shepherd is always watching and protecting us. In His own way, maybe through His still, small voice, He alerts us that we need to be ready for an attack. And even though our God is always watching over and watching out for us, we ourselves need to be watchful. Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:8, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” Our enemy is always trying to get to us to harm us. He can’t take us away from God, but he can cause us grief if we aren’t watching and fall to his crafty temptations and distractions. Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 26:41, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” We need to remember that our enemy is out there and trying to harm us in any way he can. But God is with us and can give us strength and help us to stay alert and watch for anything and anyone that may harm us.

 

I noticed throughout the rest of the evening these deer basically stayed in the field until it was dark. They may have wandered out of the field some, but only for a minute or two before returning. They continued diligently watching to stay safe and to stay alive. We would do well to learn from their example, as well as remembering the warnings found in God’s Word.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022



Stuck

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Stuck

 

This past Saturday I and a few others were helping someone move. There wasn’t a lot of big stuff, but a small, enclosed trailer was going to be just right to make it easy to load and haul it in one trip. I made arrangements to borrow a trailer and had made my way to its location early that morning. I knew the trailer was parked in the yard behind a house. As I located the trailer, I began looking at the ground. Now, we have had a lot of rain lately, and my concern was driving my truck through the yard in order to reach the trailer. Then, being able to get back out. I surveyed the ground and even though it was quite wet, the grass was very thick and there were tree roots along the top of the ground in several places that gave me confidence that the ground would hold up. I have to admit, there was a little voice inside me that was not sure, but I still felt that I could make it. So, I decided to take the plunge and headed off the drive into the yard. It was wet, but we were making progress and things were looking good. I had gone about seventy-five feet and slowed my speed just a little bit and that was a mistake. That’s when we began to sink into the ground and were no longer moving forward. I got out and saw that my tires had sunk into the ground several inches. I looked around to try and find anything that I could put underneath the tires to lift and keep them out of the mud. I found some square concrete steppingstones that I wedged behind my rear tires to try and get traction to back out. I was able to back up onto the stones, but they quickly sank into the ground and my tires began to spin on them. I put a few more in front of them to see if I could get enough movement forward to have momentum to get to a little higher ground, but those stones sank into the ground as well and the tires began to spin on them. I tried to reposition the stones but found they had sunk into the ground so far that I was unable to pull them out. I knew then that I couldn’t get out on my own. I was stuck.

 

I called several towing companies before one finally answered their phone. The man was very nice and said he could be there in fifteen minutes. Sure enough, after that time had passed, he pulled up to assess the situation. I was very thankful he didn’t laugh at me or ask me, “What were you thinking?” He just smiled and said, “It happens, especially with how much rain we’ve had lately.” He quickly hooked up the winch cable to my back bumper and pulled me out in less than five minutes. I thanked him and paid him, then headed toward the one we were helping move. We were thirty minutes late, but were able to haul everything in the back of my truck and a couple of mini-vans. We accomplished what we needed to do, with only the extra expenses of paying a tow truck, putting some good-sized ruts in a yard, possibly losing several steppingstones, and having to wash a lot of mud off my truck that afternoon.

 

I was upset with myself. I had not listened to the little voice of reason that told me the ground was too wet and would be too soft to drive on. Because I didn’t listen, I got myself stuck. I think we all do this from time to time in other areas of our lives. We decide to do something or buy something without listening to the small voice inside that is trying to guide our decisions. We neglect to listen, or just decide to ignore it, and move ahead. It’s only after we have gotten ourselves into trouble that we will acknowledge that we should have listened and followed that voice. God has given us, His children, that wonderful voice of reason to guide us in every aspect of our lives. Jesus tells His disciples and tells us in John 14:16-17, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” The Holy Spirit lives within us. If we will just acknowledge Him and ask for His help, He will help us stay out of trouble and certainly can keep us from hurting ourselves. He is always with us, ready to instruct and guide us in every decision we have to make. And if we will listen and follow, it will always be the best. And God is so good, even when we don’t listen, He still loves us and pulls us out of the mud, back to where we belong. It will cost us because we have disobeyed, but He will restore us and will never leave us.

 

My advice to anyone right now, don’t go driving any vehicle off solid ground until we’ve had a few weeks to dry up around here. And remember, in any decision you need to make, big or small, make sure you ask the Holy Spirit to tell you what you need to do or not do.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

 



Labor Day

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Labor Day

 

All my life I’ve never fully understood Labor Day. As a child, I only knew it to be a national holiday where people didn’t have to work, and I didn’t have to go to school. As I got older, I realized a good number of people still had to work on that day. Another thing I noticed was a lot of people worked around their house if they did have a day off from their jobs. Labor Day seemed to truly be a day of labor, just in a different place. So, I decided to look up the origins of this holiday.

 

Labor Day is understood to have started in 1882 when one of the unions in New York City wanted to celebrate their members. They decided to have a parade on the first Monday in September and have their union members walk in the parade to be recognized and celebrated. They actually had to take a day off from work with no pay to be in this parade. Other unions and other cities liked the idea and began holding their own parades. Over the next decade, with many states adopting it as a holiday, many were promoting the idea of this being a national holiday to celebrate labor and workers. The president and lawmakers in Washington agreed. President Grover Cleveland signed an act to make the first Monday in September a federal holiday, calling it “Labor Day”, and it passed on June 28, 1894. Over the years, the parades of union workers fell to the wayside and it simply continued to be a holiday that gave people a day off, unless you had a job that didn’t recognize it as such. Along the way, it also became the official end of summer, so no more wearing your white summer vacation clothes.

 

A lot of folks like to take trips over the holiday weekend, going to the beach one last time before summer ends. But I usually just stay home. And I usually will try to not labor too much. Maybe a few odds and ends around the house, but nothing major. I like to try and make it a day of rest. Labor Day, as my son put it, should be called “No Labor Day”. Isn’t it supposed to be a day off from work? But in the truest sense of the holiday, it simply is meant to celebrate labor. It celebrates those who work. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have someone labor on a holiday celebrating labor? Yet, it’s the opposite. Because you labor, and laboring is good, then you can have a day off from labor.

 

To labor was what mankind was intended to do. Even in the Garden of Eden God gave Adam the job of taking care of the garden in which he was placed (Genesis 2:15). From then on, everyone was to labor in order to have food or provide for themselves and their families. God Himself set the example for the work week and then gave us instructions for us to continue in it. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, … For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” (Exodus 20:9-11) It is good for us to labor, to work. We should not complain about it or neglect it. We were created to work, to labor and earn a living. But, we are to take days of rest. And not just once a year, but once a week. We need our day of rest. We need time for our bodies to recuperate from our labors. We need time for our minds to rest from thinking about things. We don’t need to labor all the time. We need a day of rest.

 

I hope you had a good Labor Day and did what you needed to do. If you needed to rest, I hope you got rest. If you needed to labor, I hope you were able to accomplish what needed to be done. And may we all be actively working for the Lord in whatever way He has called us. We can also recall the old hymn that says:          “To the work! To the work! We are servants of God,

            Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;

            With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,

            Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.

            Toiling on, toiling on, toiling on, toiling on;

            Let us hope, and trust, let us watch, and pray,

And labor till the Master comes.”

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022



Quiet

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Quiet

 

I noticed a car tag the other day that read “BEQUIET”. It was on a fully electric car, and I thought it was only a little bit comical. We probably all heard at one time someone saying, “Be quiet.” Maybe a parent, a teacher, a sibling, a friend, or even a stranger who was so bold to say it to you. We understand the need to be quiet while in certain places such as a classroom or a sanctuary, and while attending events when someone is speaking and you want to hear what is being said. But, there is another quiet. It’s the quiet that surrounds us sometimes.

 

Walking out the doors of the church here on Marsh’s Edge Lane, there is quiet. Yes, you can hear the cicadas because of the heat, birds that may be calling, and the occasional times when the kids are at recess and playing outside at the school through the woods. But what you don’t hear is the heavy traffic and the planes taking off or landing like you would at our old building on Frederica Road. Here, it is quiet, peaceful, and relaxing. Now, there is still a lot going on and a lot of activity around the church, even on weekdays, but there’s still a place to find quiet.

 

Some people long for it to be quiet. Parents of young children love the quiet that comes during naptime. Parents of some teenagers love the quiet that comes when headphones are plugged in. Those who work in the busyness of an office love the quiet when they can shut their office door and put their phones on silence. Yet, others hear the quiet all the time and it is rarely disturbed because they live alone. The quiet may be welcomed, but at times it can be haunting and difficult to endure. That’s when a trip to the grocery store might be needed.

 

The quiet is good. When it is quiet, we can think more clearly. When it is quiet, we can stay more focused on a task. When it is quiet, we can hear things that we might miss when there are noisy distractions. When it is quiet, we can hear the still, small voice of God speaking to us, and we are able to better discern what He is telling us. When I was younger, I remember being told by ministers that I needed to have a quiet time with God each day. It was a time to set aside in my daily schedule to sit down, read from the Bible, and spend time praying. It was to be a quiet time. We all need those times every day. But, I don’t believe we should restrict ourselves to only once a day. I need more quiet time with God than that. In fact, I need quiet time with God all the time. I’m not talking about sitting down by myself in a room all day. I don’t want to be a monk. I’m talking about in the quiet of my heart and being in touch with God all the time. That’s part of what I believe the Apostle Paul is saying in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” We are to always be in a conversation with God. Always listening to Him and being sensitive to His Spirit. We can still be loud in our praise even when we are quiet with the Lord. And even when things are loud and noisy around us, we can be quiet in our spirit while communing with the Lord.

 

We need to be sure to have those quiet times in our daily lives. Our times of devotion, personal Bible study and prayer, alone time with God, or whatever you want to call it is vital to our relationship with Him. Make sure you make that time for the Lord. Then through the rest of your day, even when things are busy and loud, be quiet in your spirit and do as the psalmist writes in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God!”

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

 

 



Crick in My Neck

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Crick in My Neck

 

I am truly enjoying my new office. One of the biggest enjoyments is being able to look outside through the double glass doors. Many have asked why I have them in my office, so I explain that when a new sanctuary, Phase 2, is built, my office will become a hallway to the new building and there will be a new office for me in the music suite that will be included in it. Until then, the doors serve as a big window. However, there are times when people treat it as a hallway now and will simply walk through to get out on that side of the building, but it’s mainly just workers as they are still finishing some final tasks. Most of the time, it is simply my office space with a lot of natural light.

 

My desk is set so that when I am on my computer the glass doors are to my right. I have found that I will turn my head to look out through the glass as I am thinking and typing, much as I am doing right now. For some reason I find that seeing the grass and trees and sky helps me collect my thoughts. I don’t really focus on any one thing, but just gaze into the scenery. After typing several different things through the day such as articles, Bible studies, and devotions, I start to feel a catch in my neck. Realizing this, I will then turn my head all the way to the left and look at an empty wall. The color is very nice, but it doesn’t give me the inspiration that God’s creation does. Yet, it does help relieve the catch on the right side, keeping me from getting a crick in my neck there. 

 

Many things can inspire me in my writing, but I find simply looking out thru the glass doors is very relaxing and helpful. I didn’t realize I was doing that until I noticed I had a catch in my neck after being in this office for a couple of weeks. I thought about moving my desk so that I would just face that way, but then my back would be to the main door and that wouldn’t work. So, I have decided to keep it like it is and just make sure I switch to the left enough times through the day.

 

We all need inspiration at times in the things we do. Music may inspire you. Reading may inspire you. Seeing someone else’s creativity may inspire you. No matter what we are listening to or looking at for inspiration, as long as we are aware of Who is the greatest inspirer in all of it, we can find what needs to be written, said, or done. When we are trying to accomplish or create something, the Creator is the best place to go. This entire universe and everything in it is His design. It is His creativeness. There is no one that can do better. When we need help, when we need direction, it is always best to look to Him as we seek for guidance and inspiration. It may take some time and it may take some work, but in His time, He will finally give you the inspiration you need. That’s one of the most wonderful things about God. When you seek Him, He can be found. In Jeremiah 29:12-14a He says, “’You will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” The God of the universe loves us so much that He gave us His Son to die for our sins so that we could have a relationship with Him. And He cares for us so much that He will reveal Himself to us when we seek Him. And as He reveals Himself, He reveals His wisdom and His ways to us and for us.

 

My neck is feeling that catch again, so I need to turn to the left. I will still look to the Lord and seek what He wants to share through me no matter which way my head faces. But, if I have to keep looking to my right, a crick in my neck is not so bad.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

 



Driving

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Driving

 

I recently had the opportunity to travel back to my hometown in Arkansas. The purpose was to bury the cremains of my mother next to my father, who had passed thirty-five years ago. The route I chose was straight across the entire breadth of southern Georgia, then across Alabama and Mississippi, almost entirely across the northern part of Louisiana before turning north to skirt just inside of northeast Texas for only a few miles until coming into southwest Arkansas. After a little over an hour inside Arkansas, I came to a stop in the town where I was born and raised, about six miles from the Oklahoma line, and almost a thousand miles from where I had started the day before. That’s a lot of miles and a good bit of time to be behind the wheel of a vehicle. As I looked out through the windshield along the way, I saw familiar places as they passed and was reminded of some things I had forgotten. A few new turns allowed me to see new things and they were added to my many experiences I have had from making this drive multiple times before. Several stops were necessary for food, fuel, rest, and use of the facilities. But the most of two days was consumed with driving – sitting in the driver’s seat, maintaining proper speed, keeping the vehicle between the lines, and watching the miles of scenery go by.

 

I enjoy driving. Even a long trip like this one is very enjoyable to me. I enjoy seeing and admiring God’s creation: the animals, the sky, the trees, the fields, the rolling hills, the rivers and lakes, and even trying to figure out what those farmers are growing. I recognize the corn stalks, but the smaller plants … are those soybeans or cotton? And then seeing the little towns. As I go through them, I wonder about the history, the people, and sometimes ask, “Why would anyone ever want to live here?” Even when I’m not on a long trip, but just driving to the church or the grocery store, I enjoy driving. It can give you a sense of accomplishment that is more than just getting from point A to point B. You’re always moving forward, going somewhere, and getting things that are needed.

 

Driving also gives you a sense of control. As long as you have fuel and the vehicle will run, you can basically go anywhere you want to go and drive and drive to your heart’s content. The only thing that can get in your way are the restrictions of the lines and roads. It’s possible to not let that stop you, but it’s difficult to drive on ground that hasn’t been built up for vehicles. Some of the soil is too soft and cannot support the weight, thus a vehicle simply sinks into the ground and is stuck. Other soil is so hard and uneven that higher speeds are impossible without losing control as the vehicle is bounced all over the place. Other places cannot be driven through because the brush is too thick, the water is too deep, or there simply is a big tree in your way. That’s why it is best to stay on a roadway that has been properly built and maintained for vehicular traffic. The old saying, “Stay between the lines. The lines are your friends.” is definitely good advice.

 

God has placed each of us on our own road. He has laid out a plan for our lives (Eph. 2:10), and it is a good plan. If we stay on the road He has planned for us, we will be able to accomplish great things for Him. We will experience good things in our lives and be blessed. But if we stray outside the lines, disobey the Lord, and decide to go our own way instead, we will struggle, have trouble, and get stuck in great difficulties. “But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and You smooth out the path ahead of them. Lord, we show our trust in You by obeying Your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify Your name.” (Isaiah 26:7-8) God makes the road and paints the lines. He sets the boundaries for our lives to help us and enable us to experience the best life and to live our lives to the fullest. When we obey His commands and follow His ways, the road we travel will bring us joy knowing we are living with the Savior and pleasing Him.

 

The next time you get behind the wheel to drive, think about your spiritual life. Are you driving on the road God has laid out for you? Are you staying between the lines? We all need to be sure to let the Spirit help us as we drive.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

 

 



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