Can you imagine setting off on a trip to Florida only to end up at the Grand Canyon? While this seems far-fetched to our GPS dependent travel of today, spiritually, we can easily stray off course. Instead of pursuing our destination of the high calling of heaven, we end up at Mount Trashmore. (Yes, this is a real place in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a lovely park built on top of a garbage dump.)

Whether occurring in calm waters or during an especially hectic season of life, drifting is deceptive since we may not realize we have left the path.  We forget what God has said and done, we want signs of His goodness, and we gradually become insensitive to sin. Our hearts get calloused as the eternal things of God have less influence over our course, and the things of the world pull us into their current.

In fact, the influence of this world is so strong that the writer of Hebrews cautions us, “We must pay closer attention to what we have heard so we do not drift away from it.” How can we keep from drifting? Again, turning to the book of Hebrews, I found several instructions which I formulated into a prescription to help safeguard us from drifting.


As we Hide His Word in our hearts, it allows us press on to maturity (6:1) not partaking merely of milk but of solid food. This prevents us from “getting carried away by strange teachings” (13:9). My paraphrase of this verse is – Feed yourself from God’s word. Don’t get spoon-fed from You Tube, K-Love or Right Now media.

We Abide by being diligent to enter His rest (4:11), fixing our eyes on Jesus (12:2), and continually drawing near to his throne of grace (4:16). These principles are contrary to the world’s demands to keep striving, consult others for their expert opinions, measure yourself against those around you, and fill your minds with more and more knowledge.

Sing. Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name (13:15).

Cling.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful. (10:23) We let this hope, sure and steadfast, anchor us to the course God has set before us, (6:20) and by his grace, we persevere to the end.

Spot It-Got It!

caterpillar  Dietrich Bonhoeffer eloquently wrote, “Nothing that we despise in other men is inherently absent from ourselves. We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or don’t do, and more in light of what they suffer.”

My friend Jane simply states, “You spot it, you got it!” If we notice a fault or sin in someone else, quite possibly we experience a similar struggle. When we examine ourselves, we discover that we all have within us something we criticize in others. When we are irritated by another’s behavior, we may have a similar habit, even if we have diligently attempted to eradicate that behavior in our lives. By contrast, we may fear becoming like the person we criticize.

Again, Bonhoeffer observed, “Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as ourselves.”

So whenever we spot it, whatever “it” may be, instead of being quick to judge or criticize another, let us take the opportunity to examine ourselves and extend grace.


Clear and Simple


Sometimes I read something in the Bible, and I end up with more questions than after I started. I encountered one of those difficult passages in 1 Peter 3:19
He also went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison.

Who is the “he”? What did he proclaim? And when?
Who are the spirits?
What is the prison?

I spent quite a bit of time cross-referencing, doing word studies, and eventually coming to what I thought was a sound Biblical interpretation for these verses. I know the Lord wants us to be diligent students of His word, but a disconnect exists if I keep seeking knowledge while failing to follow the clear and simple instructions. For example, as I continued to read, 1 Peter 4:10 jumped out, “Be hospitable without complaining.” That verse is easy to understand but much harder to do!

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. When I spend time with someone will they better experience Christ if I can explain a verse or if I offer a place of peace and welcome?

Lord, let me not become encumbered by trying to discern the meaning of unclear scriptures while failing to heed the clearly understood ones.

Disney Doctrine

Castle Pic

I confess I get caught up into the doctrine of Disney. Some of its principal tenants include
magic moments, dreams come true, your prince will come, follow your heart, and they lived happily ever after. When my heart is captivated by these ideas, I lose sight of the truth that when I entered into covenant with Jesus, I agreed to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Him.

As a result of buying into the Disney doctrine, I become disillusioned as a me-centered attitude permeates my life. I become dissatisfied with my house, my husband, and I want to follow my heart away from anything that is hard or messy. I choose the short-term thrill ride over treasure in heaven.

When I keep the gospel and doctrine of the cross in the forefront of my mind, I am better able to lay down my agenda and entrust myself to God. I am able to persevere when my dreams are not coming true and life is far from magical. My dreams will blow away like fairy dust, but God’s glory is eternal.

He will wipe away every tear from our eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying or pain. Revelation 21:4. In Jesus, we live happily ever after, forever and ever.

P.S I want to credit our pastor, Shawn Franco, who mentioned this idea in a sermon, which caused me to consider the prevalence of Disney doctrine in our thinking.