“Reed” This
 

Paul Reed, Associate Pastor and Minister of Music, shares weekly thoughts and inspiration.

 
 
 

Little Things Matter

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Little Things Matter

 

Last night as I was driving home, I came to a light that was red, so I pulled up to the line and stopped. Even though I’d been driving for about twenty minutes it wasn’t until then that I noticed smoke coming up through the sides of the hood of my truck. I quickly looked to the temperature gauge on my display and saw that the needle was past hot. I immediately began to pray, “Lord, please let me just make it home.” I was about two to three miles away and thought once I began to move and airflow was restored, my temperature should come down some. The light turned green and I was moving once again, only the temperature stayed pegged as high as it could go. I knew that driving while the engine was that hot was not the smartest thing to do, but I had to get home. Stopping on the side of the road would do me no good. Thankfully, I pulled into my driveway and came to a stop. I quickly turned off the motor and began to thank the Lord for getting me home. I opened the hood and looked into the engine compartment knowing what the problem was. You see, a few days before, I got out of the truck and heard a hissing noise. I also smelled hot engine coolant. I opened the hood and found that a small hose underneath the intake manifold was leaking coolant out onto the top of the motor. The clamp was no longer in place at the end and had moved, or been moved, down about two inches from where it should have been. So, this morning, I knew I needed to get that clamp back in place and refill my radiator before I could drive my truck again. That hose placement was almost impossible to get to, of course, and that clamp would not cooperate at all. I worked for almost an hour trying to move it back into place, but it wouldn’t budge. I decided to just fill up the radiator and the reservoir with water, go in and take a shower, then try to make it to the mechanic.

 

It’s always little things that cause trouble. That clamp only has a diameter of half an inch, but because of the pressure on that hose and it not being in the right place, it was useless, and my engine was about to burn up. Little things seem to be insignificant, but they are still very important. Moses struck the rock instead of just speaking to it, and he was kept from going into the promised land (Numbers 20:7-11). King David should have been with his men in battle, but he chose to stay home. While looking out from his rooftop, he saw a woman bathing and wanted her. Instead of looking away, he called for her and committed adultery (2 Samuel 11). Little things, little compromises, can be or lead to sin. “Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15) What may seem small and insignificant, can grow into something that can destroy. Moses thought instead of just speaking to the rock like God had told him, he could strike it in his anger and that would be okay. But that “little” disobedience cost him the joy of leading the children of Israel into the promised land. David, thought it would be okay to stay home that Spring, thought it was okay to look a little too long at the woman bathing, and it caused him to commit adultery, murder, and cost him the life of his child and great shame. Little things matter. Praying may seem like a little thing, but it is vitally important. Reading God’s Word every day may seem like a little thing, but it is vitally important. Spending time with God every day may seem like a little thing, but it is vitally important. Satan loves to deceive us into neglecting little things that are actually big things. He convinces us that they are insignificant, but we should know better and should listen to the Holy Spirit instead. When we have those little things in our lives, we are much more in tune with the Holy Spirit and what He is saying, so we are less likely to commit sin. And then we are ready to do the bigger things He wants us to do.

 

I made it to the mechanic. Turns out the end of the hose had ruptured and moving the clamp wouldn’t have fixed the problem. He let the engine cool down for about an hour so he wouldn’t burn his hands, cut off the bad end of the hose and removed the old clamp, then reconnected the hose with the slack that remained and used a new clamp in the right place to hold it tight. He once again refilled the radiator and told me to start it up. The truck started and it ran for about a minute or so with no leaks. Praise the Lord it was fixed and has run fine the rest of the day.

 

That little hose and clamp in the right place and working properly keeps my entire engine and truck running. Without them it would not run well or for very long. We all need to make sure the little things in our spiritual lives are in the right place so we can be working properly for the Lord.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

 



Unexpected

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Unexpected

 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to play my trombone in a brass quintet for the July 4th Parade on Sea Island. This was the first time for me to play in this particular parade, so I arrived a little early to make sure I was where I needed to be and ready to play. As all the participants were gathering to get into position, I noticed two other music groups were in the parade. I didn’t hear them during the parade, as there was some distance between the three music groups, but I did enjoy hearing a pipe and drum band, and a drum corps as they were warming up. Another first for me was playing my horn while riding on the back of a flatbed truck. I had played on the back of a truck while it was sitting still, but never while moving. Thankfully, there were sides that came up about a foot so I didn’t have to worry about my chair sliding off. We waited a good while before everyone was in order, fortunately in some shade, and then we were off. As we neared the area where the parade formally started, I noticed people along the sides of the route using water guns to spray those who were in the parade. I didn’t expect that. As I made comment on this I was told they usually didn’t spray the musicians. Well, we made it to the starting point and began to play. I enjoyed playing with the group and as long as I kept my foot on my music stand, it stayed put and everything was working well. I could hear the people around us and see them a little in my peripheral, but my focus was mainly on the music. As we neared the end, we were playing a piece I had not played before. Then, I realized I had the solo. I started playing it and it was going well when all of a sudden, I felt cold water hitting my back and shoulder and then some shot directly into my right ear. I’d been hit! Thankfully, I kept playing and didn’t miss a note of the solo and finished the song. I didn’t mind the cool water so much as I was hot, but the shot into my ear hurt some and is still bothering me a bit. I can hear fine, but I have a dull ache every so often.

 

The question that comes to my mind is why? Why did someone think it was a good idea to spray people with water as they went by in a parade? And why did other people join in and think it was a good idea as well? I’ve never been to any other parade where this is done, or even thought that it would be something to do at a parade. That entire water guns at a parade experience was unexpected.

 

Unexpected things happen all around us. We flip a switch and a light does not come on. We turn a faucet and the water doesn’t run. We turn the ignition key and the motor doesn’t start. All of these are unexpected. You go on vacation and run into someone from your hometown. A friend you haven’t heard from in years calls you. You finish eating at a restaurant and learn that someone else has paid for your meal. Unexpected things happen all around us. There is one thing that will be unexpected for some, but we know it’s coming. Paul writes about it in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; “Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, ‘Everything is peaceful and secure,’ then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape. But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.” We don’t know when it will happen so that time will be unexpected, but we know Jesus is coming soon. We need to be ready by knowing Jesus as our Savior and Lord so we can meet Him in the sky when He comes. And we need to be telling others about Jesus so they can know Him, too, and not be caught unexpectedly.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

 



JOY

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Joy

 

This past Sunday evening we had the wonderful privilege and joy of having our granddaughter come stay with us for several hours. It is beyond words to express the wonderful feelings we have when she says, “Hi, Poppa!” and “Hi, BeeBee!” in that beautiful little voice. We had fun playing on the floor with her and even more fun when we tried to get up off the floor. We have a swing out front that was one we had purchased when her father was just a toddler. It is a two-seater where the children can face one another as they swing. We had to go out, of course, and swing some. As we were swinging, she quickly pointed to the other seat and said that was her friend’s side. I agreed and said that friend was coming over in a little bit. That, of course, brought a big smile. We went back inside to cool off and wait for her friend. When he came and they played inside for a bit, she decided it was time by saying, “Swing!” So, we headed back outside, I got each of them in their seat and I pushed them in the swing. Right then, the most wonderful expression of joy came over her face as she looked at her friend and said, “We’re swinging! … Together!”

 

That look was so precious. It was a look of pure joy and contentment. She was finally getting to swing with her friend in that swing. We had been looking forward to them getting to swing together in it and thought they might really enjoy it, but I had not anticipated seeing such a great expression. It brought so much joy to our hearts to see her so happy.

 

I saw that same expression in many faces earlier on that Sunday morning. When we met together to worship our God in our new building, the look of joy and happiness was on everyone’s faces. And it wasn’t just the look of being in a new building. It went much deeper than that. It was the look of joy in seeing how the Father had answered years and years of prayer. It was the look of being overwhelmed with the blessings God has given. A lot of prayers, a lot of work, and a lot of patience, but God has answered and blessed by allowing us to have and use His beautiful facility.

 

These times are definitely very special in our church’s life. And I’m sure those expressions will continue for a while as we continue to meet for worship, Bible study, and fellowship in the new building and at our new location. But as I thought about it, these expressions of joy should always be on our faces. We have the joy of the Lord within us all the time and people should see it all the time. I know I struggle at times with letting the worries and concerns of this life weigh me down and cause my face to show sadness and despair. But I should not let that happen. I need to remember Whose I am. I need to remember Who I have and what I have. I need to remember I’m swinging together with my Best Friend and to let that joy override anything this world brings my way. I can remember “The joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10)

 

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

 



Boxes

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Boxes

 

We’ve been seeing and using a lot of boxes here lately. It is finally time to begin moving into our new location. We’ve seen many boxes that were packed well over a year ago that are just coming out of storage. We’ve purchased new boxes and have been taping the bottoms, filling them up, taping the tops, and labeling them so we know what is in them and where they need to be put. For me, there are still many more boxes that I need to fill with music, books, audio cables, desk stuff, and other things that I haven’t had the time to pack.

 

You can’t move without boxes. They are essential. Some things can simply be picked up and carried, but there are millions of little things that need to be put into a box so it can be carried and moved more efficiently. Whoever invented the cardboard box was a genius, along with the person who invented tape. Of course, after working with them so much after a few days, you sort of never want to see them again.

 

Being able to put several things into one box is very convenient. These things can be similar items or a variety of different items that are from the same area. Once inside the box and it’s closed, as long as there are no mishaps, everything stays together no matter where it is moved. Not only can a box keep many things in one place, it can also protect those items, keeping things from being scratched or broken. When boxes are all the same size, they are easily stacked to be moved by a hand truck and/or stored. When you have a bunch of them, it’s like playing blocks when you were a child. How high can we stack them before they fall? Will it work okay if I put the little one on the bottom? How can we make them all fit into this truck?

 

Keeping things together in a box is good for moving. But once you’ve moved it, it’s time to open it up and get everything out. The reason I haven’t packed some things is because I am still using them. Those items will be the last to be packed in a box but the first to be brought out because I need them almost on a daily basis. I can’t keep those things boxed up and just stored. They are too important in my daily and weekly activities. Much like those things, my walk with Christ cannot be put in a box and left there. Being a Christian and my church life is not something that is just in a certain box of my life. It is who I am and what I am. Too many times Christians will compartmentalize their lives in ways where their relationship with God is put in a box and only brought out once a week on Sunday morning. A person may can do that with a job, but not with one’s relationship with Jesus. As a Christian, your relationship with Jesus is what everything else fits into because being a Christian is who you are. Being a Christian should determine how you act, how you talk, what you do, what you don’t do, how you treat others, how you respond to life around you, and basically everything in your life. That cannot be put into a box, and yet many try to do just that.

 

Boxes are good for a lot of things, but never for someone to put God in. We should always want to have God shine out in our lives so others will see Who is making the difference in our lives. “Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

 

 



Stand Still

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Stand Still

 

The other night after supper, I needed to do some work on a project down in my wood shop. So, I headed down and began working on making a little deeper cut into some boards. I left the door open so the dust could get out and help me breathe a little better as well as give me a little more space as the long boards I was working on needed to extend a little further off the table saw. The cutting went smoothly, and I began sanding. By the time I had finished sanding, it was almost dark. I decided to go ahead and begin staining some of the other boards with the project. I had been staining for at least thirty minutes and as I was nearing the last one to work on, I saw something moving over to my left. I quickly looked to see what I thought was the rear end of a very big rat climbing up some wood just outside the door. But, as it came up to the ridge along the top of the lattice wall, I realized it was just a small possum. It was about a foot in length, not counting the tail. It proceeded to get comfortable lying in that nook and then turned its head to look at me. Being neighborly I began talking to it, “So, you’re the one that makes those scratching noises underneath our bathroom.” It didn’t respond, of course, but just kept looking at me. I tried to scare it off by making loud noises, imitating a cat or a dog, and even stomping my foot. It simply remained motionless. I finished with the last board I was working on and closed up the can of stain. Now, the possum was just outside the door and only about four to five feet from my head once I stepped out of the shop. I didn’t know what it might do when I went out. I certainly didn’t want it to jump or fall down on me, so I decided to try to scare it away by throwing things at it. I picked up some small wood scraps that were lying around and began. The ceiling is a little low and the angle was tough, but I was able to get close to it. I even hit it four or five times, but it still wouldn’t move. I decided to leave it be. I turned my phone light on and told it to just stay put while I came out. Thankfully, it just kept looking at me as I locked up and walked away.

 

I enjoy seeing wildlife. Possums aren’t necessarily too pretty to look at, but they are interesting. They aren’t dangerous, but just like any wild animal, they could bite you if you get too close. They are one of God’s beautiful creatures and in some way serve a purpose for His glory. One thing they are known for is when they get really scared, they act like they’re dead as a defense mechanism. This is where we get the phrase “playing possum”. The one I encountered never played dead, it just didn’t move. Even when it got hit with the small pieces of wood, it stood still.

 

That made me think about a verse in scripture. When the Israelites were facing the Red Sea and Pharoah’s army was coming behind them, they were full of fear and cried out to Moses thinking they would die. Exodus 14:13-14 says, “But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.’” We get worked up about a lot of things in life. We become fearful and worry about what might happen or how things might work. As Christians, we need to stand still and stand firm in our faith. No matter what is going on around us, we are still God’s children, and He will fight for us and see us through. Even when things are being thrown at us right and left and Satan is hurling fiery arrows at us (Eph. 6:16) intending on hurting us, God is with us and fighting for us. We don’t need to be afraid. We don’t need to worry. We need to stand still in the Lord and remain calm. God will take care of us and take care of all the turmoil around us.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

 



Throw It Off

Throw It Off

 

Yesterday afternoon, Cameron and I had the opportunity to play a little disc golf. We are playing in a tournament this Saturday down in St. Augustine and we both wanted to get a little practice in. As we were walking, Cameron nearly stepped on a glass lizard. Many people will mistakenly call these beautiful creatures a snake, but they are actually legless lizards. This one was a little over two feet in length and was quickly making its way through the grass. I decided to try and catch it, but was having difficulty catching up to it. I gave up and was walking away when Cameron noticed it had reached some pavement. It seemed to be having difficulty moving across that surface and I thought I now had a chance to grab it. It started moving again, trying to get away from me, but did not have success. I was able to grab the end of it and held it up. I decided to put it down on the other side of the pavement so it would not be in danger of being too exposed. Just before I reached the other side, it dropped to the ground and I was left holding just the last few inches of its tail. I had forgotten that as a lizard, it could throw off its tail to get away from danger, and that is exactly what it did. I should have grabbed it more in the middle to avoid that from happening. But, it left basically unharmed and it will grow another tail and regain its full length soon enough.

 

My holding onto the tail of that glass lizard was hindering it from its freedom and getting to where it wanted to go. Its’ natural instinct was to throw off its tail that I was holding so it could be free. That reminds me of a verse. Hebrews 12:1-2a says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” The writer of Hebrews encourages us to not let sin and the things of this world hold us down and keep us from living our lives for Jesus. Those things get in the way of our relationship with God and only hinder us from the true joy in life which is serving our Savior. Jesus is our greatest example of faithfully serving the Lord without sin and the things of the world weighing us down. The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:7-9a, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.” Our goal in life is not to try and gain everything this world has to offer or simply seek pleasure for ourselves. All that the world has to offer, and all that sin has to offer is “garbage” and we must cast it aside. Then we can focus on Jesus and serve Him without anything tripping us or holding us back.

 

Let the Holy Spirit search your heart and inspect your life. If there is anything that is keeping you from the Lord, anything that is weighing you down, anything that is entangling your feet, throw it off. Get rid of the sin in your life and the worries of this world and fix your eyes on Jesus.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

 

 



Frustration

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Frustration

 

Peacefully I’m lying asleep in bed, receiving good rest for my body, and suddenly I am thrown awake by a coughing fit. No cold, nothing caught in my throat, just coughing away because of a small tickle. There are very few things more annoying than having a small tickle in my throat that makes me cough. Seemingly, the fit ends and I lie back down. Right before I fall back asleep, the tickle returns and I am coughing again. Maybe I need a drink of water because my throat has gotten dry, so I get up and take one, but it doesn’t always help. I cough and hack and simply cannot get rid of that small tickling spot on one side of the back of my throat that I feel. What is it? I’ve tried to look in a mirror to see what it is, but I never find anything. This seems to happen a lot, and not only when I’m trying to sleep. Sometimes it happens when I’m singing and leading in worship. I have to stop, turn my mic off, cough, and then try to resume. It’s even more aggravating when the tickle comes during a service. At other times, my coughing can get rather loud, not only annoying me but also those around me. I can even feel it right now as I am writing this while drinking coffee to suppress the irritation. Yet, it remains, even with the occasional cough.

 

Little irritations can cause a lot of frustration. I’ve never been one who is happy when things don’t work as they should. My mother would remind me of when I was a child and how upset I would get when things weren’t just right with my toys. If the car track wouldn’t stay together correctly, I couldn’t keep playing with it. It irritated me so much that I’d simply put it all back up and try to play with something else. I’d like to say that my dealing with frustration has gotten better, but I know I still have room for improvement.

 

How are we supposed to deal with frustration? If things or people irritate us to the point of frustration, is that okay, or is it something that we shouldn’t allow to happen? I am reminded of the time in Exodus 32 when God was ready to destroy Israel after they had made a golden calf to be their god even after the Lord had brought them out of slavery in Egypt. His frustration was a righteous anger, of course, so maybe that type of frustration is acceptable. In whatever frustrations we may have, our actions and reactions should exemplify the fruit of the Spirit. Whenever frustration comes, we need to handle it by allowing the Holy Spirit to control our speech and our actions. Galatians 5:22-25 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” So, when we are irritated and that irritation continues until we become frustrated, we don’t want to lash out at others or let our anger get out of control. We need to remember what God’s Word says and submit ourselves under the control of the Holy Spirit. Then, the fruit of the Spirit will be revealed through us, and our actions will be in line with God’s will.

 

We all have to put up with a dry tickle in our throats from time to time. And we all have to put up with other things that irritate us. If we get to a point of frustration, may we all be quick to hear and listen to the Spirit speaking to us and let Him lead us in dealing with that frustration.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

 



Compassion

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Compassion

 

A few days ago, we needed some lightbulbs for the sanctuary, so I walked across the street to the hardware store. As I was returning, I succumbed to the temptation to drop into the convenient store and treat myself to a chocolate covered Payday bar. I know I didn’t need it, but they are really good, and I was getting my exercise by walking across the street. Anyway, as I was waiting to purchase said candy bar, there was a man in front of me purchasing something. I noticed that the young lady that was working there was crying. She seemed to put her hand up to hide behind as she took his money for his purchase and gave him his change. I was already asking the Lord what He wanted me to do. After this man in front of me left, I would be the only one in the store with her. I was thinking it may be an opportunity to minister to her in some way. The man in front of me left and as I approached the counter, she continued to hide her face from me with her hand. I started to ask her if there was something I could help her with when I realized she was talking to someone through an ear device. She never said anything to me and would not make eye contact with me throughout the transaction, but I did overhear her saying she was not able to do something because she didn’t have a key. Another person came into the store, and I felt led go ahead and leave because she had quickly turned away from me after giving me my change. As I left the store and was walking back to the church, my heart hurt for this young lady who evidently was quite upset about something in her life. I prayed for her asking God to help her as I had no idea what she needed, but I knew that He did.

 

This particular day I had a lot of things on my mind that was bumming me out in a way. Some things and some people that had disappointed me along with some struggles in finding direction in planning had caused me to be a little down. As I encountered this young lady and thought about her afterward, I realized my problems are not that bad. Yes, they are important, and I need God’s help in dealing with it all, but they are not life threatening as this lady’s seemed to be. To be honest, she looked a little malnourished and her clothes were a little worn. From the way she was talking and acting, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was having trouble with a place to live or how to get her next meal. I may be jumping to the extreme, but I don’t know, it just seemed to be dire. I was ready to help if I could, but I wasn’t given the opportunity.

 

There are hurting people everywhere. If we will look, they are right in front of us. Are we seeing people through God’s eyes? Are we seeing the hurt and are we ready and willing to help? We may not be able to help in every situation, but we need to have compassion for people and be ready to be used by God if the Spirit so leads. When Jesus walked on this earth, He had compassion. “When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 NLT) And He showed that compassion. “Jesus saw the huge crowd as He stepped from the boat, and He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things.” (Mark 6:34 NLT) And He had compassion not only for the crowds, but for individuals as well, as seen when He came upon a widow whose only son had died. “When the Lord saw her, His heart overflowed with compassion. ‘Don’t cry!’ He said.” (Luke 7:13 NLT) Then He raised her son back to life. If we will be mindful of the Spirit within us, we can show that same compassion for those who are lost and those who are hurting, and we can be Jesus to them.

 

Who is hurting around you? Are you looking upon them with compassion and through the eyes of the Lord? Pray and ask God how you can show compassion to someone who needs His love.

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

 



Facing the Sun

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Facing the Sun

 

This past Sunday morning I was driving down highway 17 on my way to church. I looked over in the median and noticed a lot of yellow flowers. They seemed to just be wildflowers that were only six to eight inches tall with a bloom that was no more than two inches in diameter. What caught my attention is how they were all turned one way, facing the sun. I looked as closely as I could, while keeping my truck in-between the lines, and never saw even one flower facing any other direction. Every single yellow flower bloom that I saw for over a mile was facing the sun. The plants automatically faced what gave them light, warmth, energy, and life. Those plants don’t have eyes or brains, but somehow knew to face the sun in order to receive the most from its life-giving rays.

 

What a beautiful example of what we should do every morning, I thought. These plants were doing exactly what their Creator intended for them to do. God’s creation was praising Him simply by facing the sun for what it gives them – life and nourishment. As the sun rose that morning, these flowers turned to face and look at it. When we wake up each morning our first thought should be to turn and face the Son, our Savior, who gives us life and nourishment. The Son, Jesus, is the one who gives us what we need. Part of our praising Him is acknowledging Him when we first wake up, giving Him our attention, and giving Him our day. Creation does that by facing the sun, the source of life that their Creator has given them. We should do the same and face the Source of life our Creator has given us.

 

What do I do when I first wake up each morning? Are my thoughts on Jesus or on the things I have to do that day? Am I joyfully facing my Savior and anticipating another day with Him, or am I wishing I could just go back to sleep? Do I greet Him with a smiling good morning? Do I greet Him at all or even acknowledge He is there? May we all greet our Savior each morning when we awake. May we all start our day thinking of, speaking with, and looking at Jesus – facing the Son.

 

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim Your unfailing love in the morning, Your faithfulness in the evening.” Psalm 92:1-2 NLT

 

“In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.”

Psalm 5:3 NIV

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

 



High Places

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High Places

 

As I arrived at the church office this morning, I drove into the back parking lot and had to come to a stop. There was a truck partially blocking the drive. The doors on that truck were also open, restricting room to get around it. I was a little perturbed until I noticed just beyond the truck was a ladder that extended all the way to the top of the building with a man standing at the top working under the eave. He may have parked as he did for his own safety from people like me. I carefully eased around the truck and ladder to reach a spot to park. As I got out of my truck and walked toward the door of the building, I looked up to see what the man might be working on. I couldn’t tell, but what I immediately thought was this guy was either brave or crazy. To be standing at the top of a thin aluminum ladder sitting on asphalt that was extended three stories high made me nervous just looking at him, let alone being the one on the ladder. I’ve been on a ladder like that almost that high and didn’t like it, and my ladder was sitting on dirt. I don’t mind heights. I’m perfectly fine standing on a high place like a mountain, a building, or a bridge because I feel safe and secure. But a thin, slim, flexible, aluminum ladder that can easily slide out at the bottom or slide over at the top is not a place I want to be. I’ve climbed a water tower and a fire tower several times and felt fine. But those are stationary. The chance one of those would fall over while I was on it was very small.

 

Some people are afraid of heights. My father was somewhat that way because of an incident that occurred when he was a child. He and his mother were riding a Ferris wheel and were near the top. The bolt on one side had come loose and they were hanging to one side and praying the bolt on the other side would not give. They were yelling down to the workman, but he couldn’t hear them as he was letting other passengers off and on in the other seats. Slowly the wheel turned until finally they were close enough for the workman to hear them and he got them down before their seat gave way. Other people never experienced anything that frightening, yet they still don’t like heights.

 

As I’ve thought about it, it’s not really a fear of heights, it’s more a fear of falling. As humans, we were not made to be able to fly on our own. A bird that falls out of a nest that is high in a tree is perfectly fine to deal with falling because it was designed and made to fly. That bird can spread its wings and gracefully glide through the air and even fly back up to the nest. We humans cannot do that. Yet, many people still enjoy being in a high place. It’s fun to be on the top of a mountain and able to look out over the valley below and see for miles and miles. Or to look out the window of a plane and see a vast area of landscape beneath. I enjoy while driving across the Sydney Lanier Bridge looking out to see the tidal rivers and marsh, the islands, St. Simons Sound, and even the Atlantic Ocean. Even climbing the lighthouse and looking out over the trees and water can give a deeper appreciation for God’s creation as one sees it from above. High places give us a different perspective. We see things that we may see every day, but from a different angle and we have a different view. These different views almost always lead me to praise God. The high places allow me to see things I haven’t seen before, and I can praise God for that part of His creation. I can praise Him for the beauty that my eyes can behold at that time. I can praise Him more because I can understand a little more who He is as He is revealed to me in a new way. My appreciation for His greatness is renewed and strengthened because of His majesty that is around me and below me. I feel closer to Him because He has revealed to me another part of Him.

 

Shaky ladders should probably be avoided. But seek out high places where you can see God’s creation in a new way. Let the different views of His creation lead you to praise Him.

 

“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For You created all things, and they exist because You created what You pleased.” Revelation 4:11 NLT

 

Bro. Paul Reed

 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022