emerges over unfamiliar fields
Seemingly unmoving, it rises
It’s Beauty tainted
Always by the familiar
Ushering in the repetition
my heart Cries out
How do i know?
When each thought
Overlapping in an instant
A blur of Hope, wrapped in frustration
i long for what waits
All the while the melody flows
another and again
Searching for what’s already obtained
Still I sit
still yet frantic
Written by: Justin Ludwig
One thing i realized while i was away was how much I take for granted. From waking up next to my wife, not having to wear shower shoes, to being able to decide what I will do with my day….it’s an amazing feeling when you get all those little things back.
Everything is a big deal and so greatly enjoyed and appreciated….then time drones on and we get used to things again and we find ourselves not only not grateful but miserable because of what we don’t have.
My prayer is that we all take stock and recognize all of our blessings. Don’t lose things before you appreciate them.
In Acts 24:25 Paul is presenting his faith to governor Felix. Here Paul presents not only theological truths but practical applications of his faith, such as righteousness and self control. As he is talking, Felix stops him because “ he had become afraid.” Felix sent Paul away telling him that “when it is convenient for him” he would send for Paul again. The message that Paul was preaching was too overwhelming for Felix to tolerate, so he chose to dismiss it until it was convenient for him.
How many times have we turned away from God’s instruction because it was contrary to what we wanted to do? Whether it be stopping a sinful behavior, forgiving a brother or sister or delaying even coming to Christ because that means we would have to give up our right to do what we want when we want in order to follow Him. I have found it true in my life that saying “someday” is another way of saying never. Someday I will stop cursing,….someday I will quit this horrible habit… Someday I will stop living like this and turn to Christ.
The truth is that we are not promised tomorrow, and the truth is that life moves so fast that if we keep saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow”, then we are running the very real risk of losing our only opportunity. In Hebrews 3:13 it instructs us that we must act now” as long as it is called today”. We must not wait until tomorrow to forgive, to tell our families about Christ or accept Christ ourselves because tomorrow may never come.
We must act now, as long as it is called today
“As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” -Acts 24:25
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” -Hebrew 3:13
“Dear Children let us not love in words or speech but with action and truth.” -1 John 3:18
Written by: Justin Ludwig
How many times have our blessings been cheapened because they didn’t turn out exactly as we envisioned it or hoped it would be?
I was riding my bike down to the beach this afternoon. Since I have started with street ministry I have become very mobile, so I decided to go down and enjoy the sunset. About halfway to the beach my bike got a flat tire which stopped me dead in my tracks. At this point I had about 30 minutes until sunset, so there was no way I was going to make it to the beach in time. I happened to be near my brother’s house (which is also the house I grew up in.) I decided I had come this far so I might as well hang out on the roof of his house and make the best of it.
…..the sunset that followed was such an amazing display of beauty. With the dissipating marine layer, the colors were so brilliant, so beautiful….so perfect.
Lost in the beauty of the heavens exploding, for the briefest of moments nothing else mattered. I smiled and praised God…. All of a sudden I started thinking of how much better it would have been if I had made it to the beach.
In the first moment of brilliance I was consumed by beauty…. But as soon as I began to focus on what didn’t go as planned, it suddenly wasn’t as perfect anymore. It was in this moment when Holy Spirit revealed to me the very truth that inspired this writing.
We must stop looking for what we want to happen and be grateful for what God gives us… We must stop envisioning what God’s plan “should be” and then be upset or disappointed because it went a little differently than we thought it should have.
I am not preaching because I feel like the number one offender when it comes to this ungrateful tendency…. We can’t let the enemy’s lies or even our own plans blind us from the amazing blessings that are right in front of us.
Be blessed and love well my friends
It breaks my heart that so many people leave God out of their lives. Whether it be from past pain or from skepticism, the end the result is the same. People become confused wanderers in a dark unfriendly world.
Some are aware of their wandering, others are not. But every single person needs to know the Truth, that they are sincerely loved, by you and more importantly by Jesus.
For so long I was that wanderer, because I simply didn’t know. I never experienced love without judgement or condition….. I didn’t know how much God truly loved me.
Everyday, each one of us has the opportunity to rock someone’s world with the love of God. Someone who may be drowning in their life or who has lost all hope….
Love in action, speak Truth and be the blessing, in Jesus name.
I was recently asked, “How have I and how am I enjoying my salvation?”
Enjoying my salvation involves me being free from beating myself up from my past, from wondering if there is hope or if I am good enough to be loved….
Sometimes I need to remember that
What is salvation to you?
For the longest time I have viewed my worry and stress as a glaring contradiction to my trust in God….
I trust Him, I truly do…. but I have always felt that the fact that I worry and stress was showing me that my faith isn’t as strong as I thought……i am starting to think that this isn’t the case at all.
I was talking with my pastor about this issue and he pointed out something in the form of a question. He asked me, “Are you turning back because of your fear and worry?” I told him, “No, because I know God has something in-store for me…. I just don’t know how to stop worrying because I feel like when I worry I am telling God I don’t trust Him.”
He told me “Justin, the fact that you are not turning back shows that you are trusting God. He draws us deeper and deeper into the water to prepare us for greater and harder things”
In that moment Holy Spirit whispered in my heart, “It is supposed to scary, that’s why you have Me.”…..
It is not important if we are afraid, what’s important is that we don’t turn back…. God will not give us more than we can handle….
In this life He is going to slowly but surely stretch us. It can be scary but if we make the decision to never turn back He will show up for us time and time again.
In the face of fear, choose faith