Tag: vision

When to turn your lights on

This analogy is a little similar to the frog in boiling water – see what you think.

If we go out to drive at night, we rarely miss turning our lights on.  It’s pretty obvious that we can’t see without them.

But if we’ve been driving during the day and dusk begins, we all have a different point when we feel our lights should be turned on.  We may be able to see fine but other drivers may not be able to see us.  Sometimes it is a matter of our eyes adjusting slowly and we don’t realize it is getting dark.  At some point we either realize that it is getting hard to see or someone flashes their lights at us.

I had a car once that the lights came on automatically at a certain darkness.  I was driving down a road with shade trees and the lights were going on and off going between the shadows and sun.  Very annoying.  I gave that car to my daughter and when she went for her driver’s test she didn’t know how to turn the lights on because they were automatic.  The testing person wasn’t amused and nearly flunked her because she argued with him.

We live in a dark world – some say it is getting darker, some say that it has always been this dark.  Those of us who have been Christians our whole life may not be able to “see” the day getting darker and may not feel the need to shine our light.  Adults who come in out of the dark seem to be more sensitive to the dark/light and are usually quick to turn their light on.

Are we numb to the darkness?  Are our eyes desensitized and we are driving dangerously?  Have we forgotten to turn our lights on and we need someone to flash their high beams at us?  Are we driving past people standing out in the dark and we don’t see them because we our lights are off?  Last but not least – are we driving on a road with so many street lights that we don’t feel the need to shine our own?

Maybe we should have automatic lights that come on whenever we drive into darkness.  Or maybe that defeats the whole purpose of who we are.

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

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Here comes that dreamer

I am amazed in business how people with vision are judged.  Big or small, young or old, anyone who sets out with a vision is judged by friends and enemies alike.  Christians are no better – we may coat the language in “loving” terms and mention discernment and wisdom but ultimately we are judging and declaring failure over others.

Why?  Jealousy, anger, bitterness are definitely major roles.  Feeling left out of the call may be a part.  Not grasping the vision can lead to it as well.

How many times have you heard, “He will never make it.  He doesn’t have what it takes” or “He has no training” or “She is too young and flighty” or “They will never keep that together since dad left”.  Sometimes we are right with our judgment but does that make it right to judge in the first place?  Why is it our concern?  Why don’t we wish them the best instead of tearing them down?

It is tough to make it in business.  Most of us work hard to just get by each day.  Few of us become wealthy tycoons.

We all have callings.  We all have failures and short comings.  Let’s not make another one by casting doubt and failure on a brother or sister.

Genesis 37:19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”

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Somewhere over the rainbow . . .

Are you dreaming or are you looking at God’s vision for your life?  There is a big difference.  You may dream of winning the lottery but God may have a real plan for you to be financially wealthy.  You may dream of having a large family but God may have a vision of you parenting thousands.  With God nothing is impossible.  Allow Him to lay out his plans on you and dream in his vision, not in yours.  Allow Him to put your troubles behind you and allow Him to focus your eyes on what is really ahead instead of a false dream.  Dream big but dream His BIG!

Earthly dream:

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true…

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops, that’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?

Godly dream:

Genesis 15:5

He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
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We see what we want to see

A friend of mine is a master deer hunter with a bow.   He often kills 20 to 30 deer a season all on little patches of trees in densely populated areas.  (The licenses are to thin the deer because they are a nuisance.  He eats what he kills). Whenever I travel with him (whether he is driving or not) he sees deer.  Even when it is nearly dark out, he sees deer!  We will be traveling down the highway and he says “3 deer”.  I look but rarely see them.    The last time we were together I said “How do you do that, I never see them!”

He replied, “it’s like you and hawks.  You always see hawks and I never do.  You have an eye for hawks and I have an eye for deer.”

He’s right.  I love hawks.  I see them everywhere.  I’m always telling my family, “there’s a hawk” and they rarely see them.  One one 45 minute drive I saw more than 11 hawks.   I’ve prayed to see them.  I now have one living in my back yard and yesterday he/she came and landed on my picnic table, under a roof, 5 feet from my door!

We see what we want to see.  Glass half empty/half full.  We see the positive or the negative.  We see God’s kingdom or we see a dying planet.  What do you see?  What do you want to see?  Do you want to look up and see God’s plan or do you want to look down and stumble?  It’s your choice.

Exodus 19:3-5

New International Version (NIV)

3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,

In this picture, do you see a dead rail line or living trees?

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Scars can bleed but I’m still alive

It’s the end of another week.  One friend was buried due to suicide.  His family and friends cried, mourned, questioned, and rejoiced over his new home.  One friend turned 18 and got a tattoo on her arm in memory of our son Isaiah (who took his life 10 months ago today).  I went to work today and didn’t realize it was another anniversary until someone reminded me.

I don’t like tattoos.  Ok, I hate them.  I didn’t want our friend to get one.  It wasn’t because of Isaiah’s name on her arm.  It was from fear that she will regret it as she gets older.  I own some clothes that are probably older than 18 years.  She is young but technically she is an adult.

She wrote about it on her blog.  I didn’t copy the whole thing but if you’re interested in reading it, let me know.

She has had a hard time with life.  Her arm is covered with scars from harming herself.  She is past that now and I’m glad.  Part of her strategy with the tattoo was to cover her scars.  I was reminded by her summary of the tattoo process that:

1) Scars can last a life time.  They may not hurt but they can still be visible.

2) Scars can be felt.  They leave ridges and bumps.

3) Sometimes they bleed.

4) Dealing with scars: some will be shocked and alarmed by them.  Others will be casual and unalarmed and will just wipe away the blood.

5) Our emotional scars are just like that.  We have them.  We feel them.  We see them.  Sometimes they bleed.  Will we be shocked or alarmed?  Will we come up with a creative way not to cover them up but to turn them into a new vision?

Here is her excerpts:

My cuts and burns and scars are proof that I felt unbearably bad. With this tattoo, I show my sorrow on my arm in a new way, and I can honor Isaiah in this way. I feel like I don’t need to hurt myself now, as strange as that might sound. I know it’s not that easy, but so far this seems like it’s going to be a great thing for me. 

The only problem with that was that every now and then, he would go over a scar and it would break open and start bleeding. That didn’t phase Joe at all though, so I just pretended (and hoped) that that was normal.

My tattoo deeply resonates with me today because it’s the ten month mark since Isaiah’s death. While this tattoo acknowledges his passing, it more importantly says “I’m still alive.”     Amen to that!  Thanks J.

Isaiah tat

When your purpose ends

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This is one of my all time favorite photos. Imagine that you own a railroad company and you pay to cut out a line through the mountains. You dig out trees, level the earth, lay down track and finally after months or years of work you are ready for a train to run on the line. Everything is fine until one day no one needs your train anymore. What do you do with the miles of track that are there?

Many railroad companies just left the abandoned tracks where they were. Dead tracks. Dead jobs. Dead ends. Failed dreams. It all came to an end. It could be depressing and a bitter disappointment to anyone who lived off the railroad.

But out of the disappointment, beauty can grow. Out of the hardship we thrive and grow again. This tree doesn’t know that it is growing in a dead end. It saw a place to grow and took advantage of it. Turn your dead ends into beauty. Look past the disappointment and look to new vision.

Genesis 15:5
He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

What do you see?

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What do you see?

Volcanoes can be like icebergs. Depending on how you view them, you may only be seeing a small portion of them. The majority of them may be under the clouds.

Are you only seeing the top of your life and not the whole picture? What do you see when you look at yourself? There may me a lot more to you than you see. While you are looking at a small part that is visible, there may be a HUGE part of you that is impacting many people around you.

Jeremiah 24:3
Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”