What’s on Your Bulletin Board? -Colossians 4:6

Recently I stopped at my favorite trucking line to pick up some shelves. I never knew why this truck yard was so different. Everyone is so friendly. Everything is clean. Every ONE is clean and neat. The drivers arrive early. They all wear uniforms and look like truck drivers looked in the black and white movies I used to watch with my grandparents. Often when I arrive they are having a cookout or potluck lunch. I have been so impressed with this company that I even spoke to a manager and asked how I could work there. (Sadly it required a long internship at this location, which is nearly 60 miles from my home. While it isn’t the right fit for me, it is certainly an impressive company. )

Why are they so different? What makes them so special, so excellent, so friendly? Well the other day I glanced to the right and saw their bulletin board. “What’s on your board”, has a lot to say about who you are and what you value. What you “have on your board” often says more about “you”, than the written words actually posted on the there.

Look closely, if you can and see what special messages are scattered around this board. I was not a bit surprised, and I was very encouraged, but it got me wondering; what’s on “my board”? What “message” am I “putting out there” for the world to see. What does “what I say…and do”, say about me?

What’s on your board?

Colossians 4:6

PS: …they didn’t misspell “SEFL”…that is there initials.

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Ministers of Reconciliation….Luke 11:2-4 (2 Samuel 3)

My friend shared this image on Facebook today. I have never seen it before. I am not sure where it is from.

Recently I gave been reading in Samuel (as part of a tremendous BSF Men’s Bible Study-“Shameless-Plug”). Last night our lesson was from 2 Samuel 3. Ir read like a vicious, cut-throat “who-dunnit” filled with political intrigue, self-promotion, and ruthless ambition. It is hard to keep up with the cast of characters but Abner is one character who is driven by his emotions (mostly anger, revenge, and lust for power). The image above shows what often happens to such men. Abner was soon killed by another angry man seeking revenge and power.

In this story David, although far from perfect, is continually willing to forgive and “overlook” wrongs suffered by the hands (or tongues) of his enemies. He even brings justice and executes appropriate legal punishment on those who seek to harm and kill his enemies, in order to curry his favor. David goes so far as to write a song, outlining his chief enemies more noble attributes and requires all citizens to “sing it”.

Yes there is a stark difference between David and the “norm” among the men if his culture. In spite of his many and repeated shortcomings, it is this difference that allow God to continually bless, forgive, and use David. Like His God and now our Savior Jesus Christ, David becomes a minister of reconciliation, willing to set aside his own vendettas to see God’s righteous plan advance; often ahead of his (David’s agenda). That my friend is the secret to the Christian life and walk.

We see it echoed in The Lord’s Prayer, our Saviour’s “simple essay”, on How to Live Daily for God (The Christian Walk for Dummies, if you will). He says in his prayer, “help us forgive (overlook wrong done by others) as You forgive us (overlook the wrongs we have committed). So simple, yet so hard to do. And remember this was a model of DAILY prayer. Our Saviour adds in this prayer, “hallowed be Your name” and ” may You get all the glory here that You receive it in Heaven”.

Not perfectly, but I believe daily, David lived wrestling with himself, and his own personal ambitions and lusts, to be “God’s Man”; an agent of reconciliation. When God’s agenda becomes our agenda good things lie ahead for us. When our agendas leads us…well…refer to the picture above.

What does it mean when this verse pops into your mind? -Isaiah 26:3

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

I was about to nod off and it was as if someone shouted this verse in my ear. The pastor’s message had hit me right between the eyes. “We are all going to go through storms”, he said. “Its not whether…but when. In fact I have learned in life that thou are either going into a storm, coming out of as storm, or are in a storm”. I smiled as I nodded my head in agreement with his assessment.

The past two years have been a little rocky for me. The weather has been rough at times but I couldn’t even say we have been in a storm. Storms are terrifying. We always look at the weather and compare it to weather we have safely come through before. We brace ourselves thinking, “I got this!”, but storms are a whole different matter. When you see cows flying around and roofs being torn from houses then you know thou are in a storm.

So many of my friends are going through storms. It scares me because they are really good and godly people. Like the pastor I don’t believe being one of God’s children gives you “storm-immunity”, in fact we know Jesus sent them “into” that storm. Our God uses storms. I think He does it because we tend to ignore Him in fair weather and He is passionately unwilling to allow us to be enamored by lesser things and live without Him.

So, he brings storms and comes to us on the water…the very thing that we are afraid of. He does the impossible, “treads on our greatest fears”, and the turns to us and says, “don’t be afraid…I am here.” We, so overcome by our fears, don’t recognize Him and scream, “it’s a ghost”. It would be funny if it weren’t so predictable and pathetic. We read of this happening on the Gennessaret Sea, to the disciples. I think it happens to me daily.

Our pastor closed with this thought, “If you worry about the past, you feel stressed. If you worry about the future, you experience anxiety. If you focus on the present, you have peace. I like that….now if only I can practice that…without screaming, “Its a ghost!”

All day long I meditated on these things. I identified and confessed my greatest fears. I talked with my family about the sermon, but inside I still fear the coming storms. As I laid down to sleep the Isaiah passage “came to me”. I think Someone was whispering Amen to a very good sermon. I closed my eyes and went to sleep. I’m trying to learn to trust Him.