6/1/17

onus

Remember wanting to be older?  The big kids always got to do the fun stuff.  They could go swimming without supervision.  They could stay up later and watch the cool shows.  They could drive cars and go out on dates.  They had freedom from parental oppression that squelched every desire a kid had.  My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Stiller, always said there are two sides to every coin, every story, and everything comes with a catch.  I let that bit of pertinent info right on out of the other ear, until I got my driver's license and her words came back to me with the other thing she used to say - with freedom comes responsibility.  I could drive, but I had to follow a ton of rules to be able to do so.  My Dad had his little bit as well:  When you are old enough to leave home you can do whatever you want.  And I did eventually gain my freedom.  I also gained rent, electric, water, and telephone bills, insurance bills, etc.  Somehow, the reality of being grown up was a drag compared to the dreams of that eleven year old kid.

And so it is with everything in life.  We have a desire, a dream.  And in the concoction of all the possibilities, it is so easy to forget the responsibilities that come with realizing those dreams.  As an adult I have wrestled with all of it; the dreaming, the work, the maintenance, the responsibility.  Sometimes the dream was a lot more fun than all the work it took to realize it, and I wonder if it was really worth it.  I have prayed, worked, and served with an eye glued to the grass on the other side of the fence.  I have asked God unceasingly to bless me.  I have asked God to draw me closer to Him, to His will - His idea of me.  In those seasons when nothing was easy, when I had to work hard, when I was desperate for change, for progress, I was much more sensitive to all the little blessings we take for granted - health, employment, family, community, etc.  God's blessings in abundance is amazing to discover.  When they're new, its enthralling, overwhelming, humbling.

But when you're blessed with health, occupation, family, and all that fills our lives with goodness, over a long period of time we forget the reality of before.  There is an onus to blessing.  When we reach the point of not needing... fill-in-the-blank... we lapse into our childhood again.  We have everything we need, our lives are so full, yet we cannot see it any longer.  Gratitude beats a retreat, and behind it goes empathy, and finally humility.  Then it gets downright dangerous.  We forget the Giver of all that we enjoy. 

Its one thing to lose your gratitude.  Its a whole other animal to forget the One whose idea we are to begin with, and to begin thinking we made it all happen on our own.  Without even realizing it, we quietly divorce ourselves from living according to His purpose.  Continuing in this selfish behavior, its not until later we learn the real victim in this divorce are the children:  peace and contentment.  Hopefully that's enough to help us change course.  If we do not, we begin a destructive cycle of trying to fill the void of receding time with God with things that may not necessarily be bad, but were never meant to fill that spot.  Lying to ourselves ensues, and eventually, if something does not shake us back into our senses, we find ourselves desiring to fill our bellies with the husks meant for the pigs.  

Americans have lived in a perpetual state of blessing for decades.  Like ancient Israel, we have begun to think we did it all with our science, our ingenuity, our grit, our intellect.  We have forgotten that honoring God caused the immense blessings we have experienced.  The last 30 years serious signs have manifested in our society and our government.  What a circus.  And close to half of us don't even realize how ridiculous we are becoming.  What we are seeing happen to our culture and our government is a result of what is taking place in our homes, and in our individual selves.  Its all linked and it all begins with the individual.

If you're reading this and its hitting home, the next logical question is, "What can we do?"

1.  Take an account of yourself, your relationships, what occupies your time and money.  Judge yourself.  We have to begin by being brutally honest with ourselves using God's Word, the Bible, as the Standard.  Acknowledge the ingratitude, the selfishness, the rebellion.

2.  Confess it to God for forgiveness and to a brother or sister for healing.

3.  Turn and do what you did when you were desperate for the blessing.

4.  Don't forget God.

If you're a Christ follower and have not experienced this, you will at some point, to some degree.  Just keep in mind with blessing comes great responsibility.  Enjoy the green grass under your feet, not on the other side of the fence.  If something seems better, look for the catch.  Pursue the truth in all perspectives - that's the two sides to every coin thing. And lastly, you're never old enough to leave God (home). 

"The straight and narrow path he showed me turned into a thousand winding roads.  My footsteps carry me away, but in my mind I'm always going home."  -Joe Diffie

4/18/17

words

Arrows.  Spears.  Missiles hurled with the express purpose of changing another's mind.  They don't just want you to think differently, they want you to hurt for thinking or believing what you do. 

In the mid 1800's the Comanche, tired of the white man's encroachment and disrespect, expressed their frustration by raining brutally destructive arrows, lances, and war clubs at their antagonists, mostly defenseless frontier farm families.  They raped, plundered, tortured, and took captive the young farm children.  They hoped that, since the peaceful talks with the whites were not effective, that their bloody and fearful raids upon the settlers would get the message across that the natives did not want them there.  And it worked for a while, until the Texas Rangers figured out how to fight and defeat them.  50 years of guerilla warfare ended with the natives being herded like cattle and made to 'walk the white path.'

The seeds of their surrender were sewn in 1834 when a little known band of Comanche took captive a little girl named Cynthia Parker, whom they raised as one of their own.  She married a chief and had 3 children by him, one of which was Quana, who became a very wily and wise chief.  When he was a young brave of 14, the "blue coats" attacked his village and stole away his mother and little sister, Prairie Flower.  Because of this an intense hatred burned inside the young brave, and he took many scalps from the white man.  Quana's band was one of the last to be captured by U.S. Troops.  Just before, he sought the will of the Great Spirit and it was confirmed to him that he should fight no more.  Many warriors of his and of other bands were angry at Quana, the mighty warrior, for just giving up.  He packed away his deadly missiles, and never again used them to destroy.  He took up a new kind of weapon that helped to settle his people and make peace, rather than discord.  He began to build bridges instead of burning them - with his words.  For the remaining 30 some years of Quana's life, he advocated for his people, even though it was very hard, and became most beloved of both his native people and his Americans, which he considered himself to be.

Words are merely non-material objects we use.  We can hurl them at each other to damage like arrows and spears, or we can rub them on each other like sav on a wound to heal.  Mostly we hurl them.  We do so out of fear, out of ignorance, to defend our position, our 'territory.'  We always think we know, and that we know who the enemy is.  Republicans, Democrats, Christians, Muslims, White privilege, Black Lives Matter.  We worship our politics above our principles, by a large degree, or religious-ize them.  Deep in our hearts we know what really matters, and we know Who put that knowledge there.  But we only acknowledge Him on the surface, if at all. 

We speak the truth, but we forget the admonishment to do so "in love," which is always quite different than merely speaking the truth.  Quana, young as he was and even brimming with hatred, understood the enemy was to not see the truth - that the white man's ways would prevail.  He somehow had the understanding that survival, and to thrive beyond it, was what mattered.  He knew the white man would never listen to their words, if not spoken in peace, in love.  And so he submitted himself to that which he abhorred, for the sake of harmony.  He created such an impression that the very U.S. soldier who fought him and finally captured him became his strongest advocate to the U.S. government.  Quana's people adjusted better than any other of the bands of native Americans at the end of the 1800's because he was willing to trade his missiles of destruction for tools of building up. 

We have had 8 years of a President many consider an enemy of the American People, and now we have the opposite, who is viewed the same way by the others.  We have forgotten what matters.  survival, and thriving beyond that.  We have forgotten the enemy is to be blind to the truth of this, and not each other.  Can we lay down our arrows, our lances, our war clubs - our words of defiance against each other and simply be silent?  Can we stop and decide, in wisdom, that the only words we will use will be sav to heal each other?  Can we pick the words of building tools, and put things back together we have destroyed.  Can we acknowledge the Great Spirit, The God and Creator of us all in our hearts, words, AND deeds?  The answer to this question will decide the fate of the free world.

Be careful, when you are firing your words at someone, when you think you have won a battle, and you take a young mind captive, that you are not sewing the seeds of your own destruction. 

1/20/17

inaugurate

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to induct into an office with suitable ceremonies
  3. 2a :  to dedicate ceremoniously :  observe formally the beginning of <inaugurate a new school>b :  to bring about the beginning of


Going through news and social feeds this morning, a few thoughts emerged in front the rest.  At the head of them is a very grim and (hopefully) disturbing one.  When I was a kid growing up in church, I remember hearing preachers talk about heretical things, dangerous things, that scared me to the core, and one of those things was the possibility of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  I was taught this is a sin to which the blood of Jesus cannot be applied, i.e.,
N O    F O R G I V E N E S S. 
Heavy, ain't it?  No possibility of returning to a point of growth and process in God's idea of you.  No hope of Heaven.  No Divine protection.  No fellowship with the blessed saints of God. 
AND, NO IDEA YOU'RE EVEN IN THAT SPOT, NO CONCERN ABOUT IT!!! 

Reading various feeds this morning, a creeping realization that our nation, us, we the people, are standing at the threshold of the unredeemable grace of freedom.  Not our government, not the POTUS.  Us.  Stupidly, we believed we were in peril 8 years ago.  Blindly, we elected a man who promised to "save" us without taking the time to find out who he really was.  That mystery is still being revealed, but, obviously, he was a keen disruptor and divider, because we the people have not been this disrupted and divided since 1864.  We have refused to take lessons from history, and allowed aliens to flood in illegally (high on list of reasons nations fail), debt to mount so that our great-great grandchildren will be paying for us (to foreign powers-slave to the lender), we have drawn lines in the sand and stand brother against brother, friend against friend.  We don't even realize we're standing in this spot.  Yet, I'm telling it-we are, and perhaps we have already passed the point of no return.

Here's why:  we have allowed power hungry people to divide us and take away the power from we the people.  And as long as there is no meeting in the middle, there is no possibility of reconciliation.  Its not about that each side thinks its in the right.  Its about an inauguration of integrity to ourselves.  The American way has always been to apply standards equally and blindly.  That has not been our practice as of late.  The lie that we are still a "racist" country has been ground into us, and those who bite on it are the ones who stand to gain from it.  Tell yourself the truth.  Used to be if you worked hard, made a name for yourself, and lifted others up with you, you were deserving of admiration.  Now the ones who pay for everything are infamous, and the takers are vying to run the show.  "You can't legislate morality!" was a mantra trumpeted not long ago.  Strange, because now the same group demands charity legislated. Tell yourself the truth.  America, you have bitten the hand that feeds you-both taxpayers, and worse, God. 

In this trying moment, we cannot forget Who's idea we are, and Who's we really are.  Perhaps, we all need to inaugurate ourselves to Love, and to the Father of Love, once again. 


4/27/16

agape

"Its a great big universe and we're all really puny.  We're just tiny little specs about the size of Mickey Rooney.  It's big and black and inky.  And we are small and dinky.  It's a big universe and you're not!!" -Yakko (Steven Spielberg's Animaniacs) 


Honestly.  How do we forget the vast vacuity of our size and affect in the universe.  The word "insignificant" is too big, even to start.  We exist in an obscure, dusty corner-somewhere in the deep "outback" of the universe.  Currently, it is too big for us to comprehend measuring.  Even with the ability to reason, many still have the unquenchable urge to try and force others to think and behave within the immeasurably smaller box of their kind.  We can observe an amazing artistic design and order in the expansive heavens beyond, yet we are unable to observe (or bridle) the proclivity of the human heart to seek control.  Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, Vlad the Third, Lenin, Pol Pot wasted humanity that would not yield to their thinking.  If all the trouble in all of known history could be boiled down to one thing, it is this:  want of control.

A mystery in history, how the wisdom that has made the United States of America the most popular nation, by far, for migration in the last ...  forever  ...  is being foolishly and systematically tossed upon history's rubbish pile.  People the world over, living under brutal rule of those who wanted to control not just their actions, but their very thought, risked everything to migrate to the U.S.A.  Many left their own children and parents, never to see them again, for a chance to live in a place where they could live free.  They came from every corner of the world, bringing their culture and religion, their medicine and wisdom.  Each one added, unmistakably, to the greatest peaceful and functional collection of humanity since the Roman Empire.  There existed within the borders an agape, a great love, a respectful understanding among Americans, even amidst its greatest and most glaring flaws. Everyone was grateful, everyone was hopeful, everyone WORKED hard because they dreamed dreams, focused on them, and their dreams were achievable. 

Up until the last forty years, dreams were achievable because those in government had the wisdom and insight that motivated a motley crew of colonists to pick a fight with the most powerful nation in the world 240 years ago.  They knew their own dreams, and understood their God-given rights and abilities were to promote an atmosphere in which the people of the world coming to America could attain their dreams.  For all the injustice that has accompanied the forging of the U.S.A., there is magnified multiplicities of prevailing justices, achievements, and righteousness that has resulted.  Up until the last forty years, the leaders of U.S. chose to champion the vast goodness of America while challenging its flaws with grace and grit.  But now we have leaders who choose to turn all their attention and power onto every grievance and flaw.  Instead of loving and exhibiting grace, they feign concern for the smallest, most indolent and slothful among us, championing everything that is patently corrupt and divisive.  The goal of these leaders is no longer the promotion of goodness in all its diverse forms, but it is to use division to crush any other way of thinking, believing, and living.  Selfishness, hate, and chaos -the spirit of the age, the essence of Lucifer-is at the helm in a bid to thrash the people of the world into obedience of this "New" Order.  Its just the same old ugly want of control that has been the scourge of humanity for eons.

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."  2nd Corinthians 3.17
"Beloved, let us love (agape) one another.  For everyone that loves is born of God and knows God.  He that does not love does not know God."  1st John 4.7&8

12/15/15

Jesus and Me


Christmas time is about reflecting on the gift of new life and restored relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ.  It is also about traditions and revisiting family ties.  As I’m always about looking at things in a different light, I thought of what I could write that would include all these things.  We all know that Jesus was 100% God AND 100% human.  So, I revisited some of my studies to “read between the lines” of scripture in order to discover some ways He might have behaved more… humanly.  This year, I would like to take you all on a small literary journey to a place where the life that Christ lived on this earth and my life intersects:

In my studies on His extraordinary life, I have recognized many similarities.  For instance, just like me, I just bet that Jesus left the door open and was asked by some uh, family member person, “Hey boy!  Were you born in a barn?”  Now on the many, many occasions this happened to me, I could only shrug and go back and shut the door.  Jesus is the only guy I’ve ever heard of that could have answered truthfully the way I always wanted to:  “Why yes, Uncle (family member person), yes, I was, in fact, born in a barn.”

Jesus grew up, probably, helping his step-dad do carpentry work.  I, too, had a step-dad, whom I (helped) do carpentry work. Whilst thinking about this, something became crystal clear.  Who knew that the reason all  these people say Jesus’ name when they get frustrated about something, actually came from Joseph of Nazareth while Jesus was trying to help him.  The way I figure it, screwing up is different than sinning.  I think I know how Jesus might have felt when he sawed the wrong board.  My dad, like Jesus’ dad, used my name in vain a lot in those times.  I figure, the only reason Jesus’ name stuck and mine hasn’t is because, well, He walked on water.  I’ve never walked on water.  But I did talk one of the neighbor kids into trying it out on a huge mud puddle in his new sneakers after I had prayed for him (since my dad was a preacher, my prayers would really take). I’m not quite sure why it didn’t work. But when his mother saw his shoes, she used my name AND Jesus’ name in vain.

One of the more glaring commonalities that young Jesus and I share is a different kind of name.  When I was a kid, I was the only “Aubrey” anyone knew of in my school, neighborhood, or church. I was named after my Grandaddy Crawford. I have often thought it strange that Jesus must have had a Latin American uncle in his family tree… What were our moms thinking???

                Jesus and I both did some crazy stuff.  We both ran away when we were 12.  Only when the cops brought me home I forgot to say that I was being about my father’s business.  I still don’t get why he didn’t get a tanning for that one.  But, the preachers looked at him in amazement when he was talking to them at the temple on that little excursion.  And that is something we definitely have in common.  I had talks with many preachers when I was 12, and from what I’ve seen, the facial expressions for amazement and befuddlement are purt’ near the same.

One more anecdote, and then you may return to your dull and dreary traditional Christmas ideas.  Jesus was a rather easy-going fellow for the most part, unless someone crossed him the wrong way.  He tore into some ol’ boys at church one time with a whip because they were being highly disrespectful.  As a product of the Deep South, I can appreciate that strain of indignation.  I wasn’t at church, but youth camp (which is the same thing if you’re Pentecostal).  I was in the pool house minding my own business when I saw a packet of bubble gum on the bench.  No one was there to claim it, so, as the rule goes, finder’s keeper’s.  It belonged to three boys in my dorm.  Apparently, they had gone in together on this pack and were planning on selling the pieces in chapel, where gum was forbidden.  One of them saw me take it as he was walking out of the john (another bible dude-him and his brother James both had a potty mouth).  He grabbed the other two and they came after me.  When I saw them coming I stood there naked (I hadn’t put my suit on yet).  All I could find to fight with was my belt…  I drove them out of the pool house!!  Just like Jesus!

 

In truth, the Bible says He was a man of no reputation, nothing extraordinary about his background, nothing striking about his appearance, very much like me.  Yet, the thing that made him an extraordinary human being was his love for His Father and his compassion toward humanity.  He led no revolt.  He only taught of a Kingdom of the heart.  He was obedient to the mission of reconciling the crown of His creation (humanity) to Himself and His Father.  The fact that He allowed men to brutally murder him, the only sinless man that could complete this mission, is a testament to the man/God of peace that He is.  May that “strain” of peace filter into each of your spirits, affecting your homes, and drawing you closer to the real Jesus, Immanuel.

GOD WITH US.

4/6/15

jonah

From the medieval times to the early 1900's, the world's naval powers used the term "Jonah" to mean a person upon a sailing vessel that brought upon the crew and vessel they sailed upon interminable bad luck.  When ever there was terrible and consecutive losses, or when the wind ceased to blow rendering a sailing vessel with no forward progress, or when the crew, mostly made of the extremely superstitious, decided there was bad luck upon their vessel, they looked for the person who may have caused their bad luck.  He was labeled simply, "Jonah."

The prophet heard, emphatically, the word of the Lord.  He was to go and preach to the Ninevites, the people in the capital city of the nation that had brutally taken captive his very own country.  It was his job to implicitly and fully obey.  But he had a massive problem with that.  As a young Hebrew, he had observed how the Assyrians dealt with his people.  Jonah had watched as the Assyrians, coming into his country of northern Israel, had brutally raped their women, killed or taken captive their children, and beheaded all the learned young men, stacking their skulls on the borderlines of his country to intimidate its inhabitants into giving up without a fight.  Jonah, being a prophet, must have been one of those learned men who had escaped, somehow, and nursed a vile hatred toward this savage nation.  Upon hearing that his God wanted him to go and preach repentance to the very people who was responsible for the ghastly atrocities he had witnessed, the young man gathered up his belongings and headed out-in the opposite direction! 

The young man of God boarded a ship very discreetly, and hoped, as this vessel was sailing far and away from all the bitter troubles he knew, to be totally shut of the responsibility God had entrusted him with.  After all, why...  what...  how in the world could Elohim ask him to preach to the very people who not only threatened his own life, but had murdered thousands of his very own colleages, decapitating them, and displaying their skulls on the borderlines between their countries???  What kind of God would even make such a demand, having chosen the Hebrews to be His very own people, anyway.  It must have seemed to the young preacher a very absurd and masochistic order.  Shortly after boarding the ship, a mighty storm buffeted them.  Knowing the storm was God's answer to his defiance, Jonah came clean with the crew.  Eventually, they gave into his demands and threw him into the sea in order to appease God.  The ancient story goes that he was rescued by being swallowed by a huge fish.  The fish hauled him back to the Assyrian shore and deposited him, three days later, upon the sand.

We exist in such a time as the man of God, Jonah.  People who have been brought into the kingdom of God through faith in the death and resurrection of Christ are being brutally murdered in the same geographical area as Jonah lived in.  In our own nation, those born and baptized through faith in God through Christ, are being, at best, marginalized, and at worst, verbally and sometimes actually brutalized for their faith.  It is hard for the mind of man to calculate God's brutal love for those who so brutally deal with God's people.  In depth study has brought my knowledge to this startling conclusion:  God's word does not change.  As Jonah was asked not to merely evangelize those Assyrians about him, but to go to the heart of their heathen country, Nineveh, and speak God's word concerning the Assyrians in Nineveh, God asks of those who have been brought into His supernatural kingdom, in our time, the same thing. 

Its the same message that has been preached even before the New Testament.  "Repent, confess, and live the love of the Creator to all you come into contact with."  Why in the world would God have asked Peter, James, and John and many other of His very own disciples and contemporaries to preach God's love to the very people responsible for His own brutal execution, knowing they would kill them for it, too?  Why would Thomas, who is famous for 'doubting,' travel as far as India and be brutally murdered for his faith rather than recant it?  The Roman historian Tacitus asked a semblance of the same question of the Christians around the Roman Empire, that refused to recant and refused to stop meeting together in the name of Jesus of Nazareth by pain of torture and/or death.  St. Augustine, St. Francis of Assissi, and many, many, nameless martyrs throughout the last 2000 years have preached this message to Godless people with their lives being the price of it.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, of the German Confessing Church, was compelled by Christ to continue in God's calling upon his life amid the most appalling human catastrophe wrought by government leadership in the last century.

Here is the mystery:  God loves all people, good, bad, and brutal.  Peter brought us this word in his second book, third chapter, and verse nine:  "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  God wanted the Ninevites to have a chance to know the truth.  God wanted the Romans, the Indians, the Philippians, the Huns, the Egyptians, the Africans, the Ethiopians, the Celts, the Germans, the Iranians, and even the American "welfarians" to have a chance to hear of His Immaculate and Invincible Love, to see it lived out before their very eyes. 
Jonah lived in brutal times.  We live in very desperate times.  God's word is the same.  Jonah sat upon a hill waiting for God to destroy his enemies, after preaching God's word to them.  He was very angry when God did not rain fire down upon them, because, in hearing God's word, they repented.  They confessed.  It was many, many years before Nineveh was undone by the subsequent generations that fell back into the bloody brutality of its history.  But not the generation that Jonah preached to.  Because God gave them, the ugliest, meanest, most detestable people known to Jonah, a chance to hear His word and turn from their sin. 

You, who call yourselves "Christian," ponder this in this Resurrection Season.  Determine in your minds and hearts to be the reason people about you have the best "luck" they could ever imagine:  a relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth, and an opportunity to live forever in eternity as He has dreamed for them.  Let those who cause confession and repentance among their "shipmates" to be henceforth known as "Jonah."

2/22/15

better

We are born in need of a different situation.  Immediately being out of the womb, we lose our warm, secure, comfortable space.  And immediately the loss of those things are replaced, but in a much different way. Though an infant is not conscious of what is taking place, we can see that the period of time in the womb was necessary for the child to prepare for birth, and is also the reason change must take place. We experience a freedom outside the womb that is not even possible inside.  The forces of life have a way of providing an opportunity for preparation, rest, growth, and then they push us out of our comfort zones into some sort of different situation, purposefully a better one.

This picture is also metaphoric of the processes in a life following Christ.  Things always seem manageable where we are.  We can handle "this," "here," and "now."  Perhaps it is not exactly what we want, or are able to do, but it will do currently. 

But there is a nagging.  Something sparks our vision, our dreams.  Its small, insignificant at first.  It comes soliciting when our minds are idle.  We try to ignore it, but it grows in spite of us clutching more tightly to our present securities and comforts.  Annoying, like a pebble that gets caught in your shoe-you take it out to throw it away, but its sparkle catches your attention.  You put it in your pocket and forget about until days, weeks, months, even years later you reach in to your pocket for something else and discover it again.  It's glistening originality beams.  Its the idea of something different; simply, change.

We may or may not perceive it for the better, but that glisten, that sparkle that caught your eye aroused a desire for something better.  But to attain it will mean upsetting all that is currently settled, secure, and comfortable.  Embarking into that something different, something better will definitely mean an indefinite period without the familiar comforts and securities that have, up to now, defined your life.  There is an element of chance, or at least it feels that way.

I believe it is the way God prods us on to that next period of growth and preparedness.  Being one  that is more reluctant to change the more years I collect, I have to be prodded.  Opportunities present themselves, usually, at inopportune moments, and we are brought to the brink.  We must decide to remain in our current situation- "better the devil you know..."  or to take the leap into the unknown- "...than the devil you don't!"  for better or worse.

I could never live through the processes of life without faith in God.  If I believed, as many do, that I came to be perchance, then what would any of it matter?  Simply caring about whether I matter or not is evidence to me that I was, indeed, knit together in my mother's womb for a purpose as the writer of Psalm 139 in the Holy Bible wrote.  As I read this passage and many like it, I understand that I have a general purpose-to glorify and enjoy God.  The specifics of that come to me as I seek to employ the general purpose.  He brings me into opportunity.  If it sparkles- if my heart is quickened by it, if there is promise of something better, I can trust the One Whose Idea I am to help me handle my success or learn from my failure.

Like being born, change will come.  It is inevitable.  Be sure that something different is on its way and there is no stopping it.  The question is will we leap to embrace it with faith in our purpose, or shrink back, even as we are pushed on through out of what is current.  I've heard it said that "life is what you make it."  It may be slow, tough going for a while.  but on the other side you may find that something different is better than you could have imagined.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."  Proverbs 3.5&6