Tag Archives: Christian

Eyes on the Finish Line

When you run the hurdles, you don’t look at the hurdles. You look past them, to the finish line. When the gun goes off and you lift your head, you find the tape. You train your eyes on it, never taking your gaze off, and run.

But that is so contrary to what you want to do. Imagine a long line of hurdles. Each one a barrier between you and the end of the race. Each one ready to stop you or trip you. Your inclination is to look at each one as you approach, to make sure you get over, that your leg doesn’t get caught. The problem is, if you look at the hurdles you slow down.

I used to run the hurdles. Everyday we would train. We would do various exercises to train our legs to hover over the hurdle, then snap down once we were over. Over and over again, until we had developed muscle memory. Even today, when I face a baby gate, my legs snap up and over without missing a beat :).

The hardest thing to learn was to focus on the finish line and not the hurdles. All I wanted to do was stare at the hurdle. I was scared I would trip and fall. But when my gaze was on the hurdle in front of me, I slowed down. I missed my steps. My rhythm would be thrown off and I would end up last.

I was sharing this with a friend of mine this past week. She is spiritually tired right now, and focusing on the hurdles in her life. I shared my story, and how I had to learn to focus on the finish line. Everything clicked for her. She was scared that she would not make it over the next hurdle.

We talked, and she realized two things: she needed to focus again on the finish line. And she needed to trust her faith muscles to get her over the hurdles. All those years of learning to trust God would now get her through what she was facing in her life.

I hadn’t thought about the second part, the part where the quiet time we spend everyday with God is training our “faith” muscles so that when hurdles come up in our lives, we automatically know how to respond. It made sense. If I hadn’t trained my legs to know what to do while my eyes were set on the finish line, I would not have been able to get over the hurdles.

Training and focus. Quiet time and Jesus. Both needed to get over the hurdles, whether physical, mental, or spiritual.

How about you? Are you facing some hurdles in your life? Do you need to place you eyes back on the finish line?


Is it Wrong to be Rich?

What do you think? After all, Jesus said blessed are the poor. Right?

But what about people like Abraham, Job, and King David? These men were rich, even famous for how rich they were. However, there is one thing I notice. These men did not follow their riches. They followed God. So is it wrong to be rich? No. But God does have some specific instructions for those who are rich:

“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19 NLT).

Now notice Paul doesn’t say save six months of your salary or save up for that car. He says not to trust in money, but in God (I find it too easy sometimes to trust in a savings account than God). Instead, Paul instructs those who are rich to use their money for good, to do good works, to be generous to those in need, to share with others. I like to call it Wild Abandon Giving (WAG for short).

When you WAG, the Bible says you will experience true life. Think about that for a moment. Isn’t that like God to turn upside down what the world says? Instead of saving and buying what you want, give; give it all away. Do good works. Be generous. WAG! And you will experience true life.

You know, I am rich, so Paul’s words are for me too. I have a roof over my head and food to eat three times a day. My children are receiving an education and I even have Internet so I can blog.

I’ll admit, it can be hard to WAG when the bills come in. But I realized a couple days after Dan lost his job that I did not want fear of the future to stop me from being generous now.

And you know what, God doesn’t want me to stop being generous either. If I WAG (Wild Abandon Giving), He will take care of my needs. So how about you? Are you ready to start WAGGING :)?

The Emotional Christian

I currently finished a book that both reinforced what I have learned the last few years and challenged me to take the next step. I won’t give away the title yet, that’s for next week’s blog. But the topic this book touched on is emotional maturity.

Huh? What? Yeah, I never heard that term before either. But once I started reading this book, I knew what the author was talking about. It is something I have come to learn in my own Christian walk: the need to be honest with both God and ourselves.

More often than not, we as Christians are encouraged to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. We need to live a balanced life. But rarely are we encouraged to take a look at the emotional part of our lives or how to balance it.

I think this is because this is a subject we don’t even realize exists. We are so busy putting our lives in order, exercising and eating right, making sure we have time for our daily devotion, reading to keep mentally fit (you are reading, right?), but we seldom if ever slow down to take stock of where we are at emotionally.

Why is that? After all, we feel everyday. Perhaps it is because of busyness. Or perhaps it is because we have no idea how integrated feelings are in our lives. Perhaps it is because we subconsciously see emotions as a pediment to a stronger Christian walk. After all, mature Christians don’t get angry, depressed, or lonely. That’s too close to sin, right?


We ignore the stirrings inside our hearts. We do not face them. We do not acknowledge them. And in doing so, we are not being truthful with ourselves and with God. God knows how we are feeling. He’s even been there. Jesus was fully human. He wept (look at how he reacted when Lazarus died), he was angry (yep, remember when he cleansed out the temple?), he felt anguish (in the Garden of Gethsemane). Yet I think we think of Jesus being more God than man. A stoic teacher above such base feelings.

Feelings are not a bad thing. After all, God did not make a mistake when he made humans and put feelings inside of them. It’s what we do with them. But we can’t do anything with them if we don’t even acknowledge our feelings in the first place. And many times we are too busy, too scared, or too uncomfortable to take a deeper look at what’s going on inside of us.

Next week I will share the book that prompted such thoughts. So stay tuned!

August 2010 CSFF Blog Tour: Your Favorite, Day 2

After visiting many of the participating blogs during this tour, it would seem both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were a big influence in our love of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I also discovered some other books while perusing other bloggers’ sites. One I had forgotten was Taliesin by Stephen Lawhead (Phyllis Wheeler posted about this book http://christian-fantasy-book-reviews.com/blog). Great rendering of the story of Merlin (or more accurately, his parents).

I also discovered a book by C.S. Lewis that I have not yet read. Curious? Yeah, so am I. The title is Till We Have Faces. If you want to find out more, Becky dropped hints about it within her post http://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/csff-blog-tour-your-favorite-day-1/comment-page-1/#comment-2964

For my regular readers, do any of you have a favorite Christian science fiction or fantasy book? Love to hear from you 🙂