Categories
Christian Living

Repurposed

I’ve passed the same dingy white cargo van on my way to work two days in a row now. Emblazoned across the back it says “Locksmith,” but the doors are bungee corded shut.

He can’t fix his own lock?!

But the second day I overtook the van I noticed more details. The word “Locksmith” is faded. And, as I passed him, I noticed the company name and phone number were scraped off.

Maybe this isn’t a locksmith’s ride anymore.

There was a time when I felt like that faded old van. At 18 I entered the ministry as a worship pastor. Later, a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree from a top seminary set me up for a life of fruitful ministry. Over the next 14 years, I served churches in three different states. But at the age of 32 my marriage ended and my God-called career came to a screeching halt.

The sparkling white van that said “minister” across the back now had the name and number scraped off the sides. And to add insult to injury, a tattered bungee cord was the only thing keeping the cargo doors shut. I felt like a complete and utter failure.

But God had a plan (Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 2:10).

The path back to wholeness hasn’t always been rosy, recovery from life trauma seldom is. Yet I stand here today happily remarried and 17 years into a successful career as a public educator.

Perhaps you can relate, kind reader? Your life, at some point, went off the rails—so to speak. But God is faithful.

Do I have a witness?!

“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”

Psalm 37:25 (NIV)

God is the ultimate repurposer. Our “ride” may change, but if we’re still alive it’s not too late. So let’s stay on the anvil my friends!

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.”

Psalm 138:8 (NIV)
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do you have your own “repurposed” story? If so, I’d love to hear it! Because stories matter. Comment here, or write your own post and tell me where to find it.

🙏❤️prayers and love.

Categories
Christian Living Diligence

Confessions of a Reformed Doomscroller

There’s always a lot happening in the world. And, if we’re to believe the media, most of it’s bad. Some call this bent toward negativity in the news the “crisis crisis.” It’s a seemingly endless stream of hyped threats that are supposed to make us afraid–very afraid.

Let’s face it, most of the people clamoring for our attention are not focused on truth telling. Nope, their sights are set on things like ratings and ad revenue, or likes and follows. Why bother with ethical matters–like separating truth from falsehood? Negativity, mixed with equal parts uncertainty, SELLS.

On the other hand, it’s comforting to step out of the 24/7 news cycle and simply believe what Jesus says.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

John 14:1 (NIV)

Christ said these words to comfort his disciples on the very night he was betrayed. And as my friend Jeff King said, in a post that inspired this one (Quote for 7/03/2021), “Jesus is as good as His word.”

A quick plug for Jeff. He’s a Christian guy who has been around the block a time or two and doesn’t mince words while talking about it. His site Jeffrey H. King’s Blog is well written, Christ centered and filled with absorbing thoughts.

Now back to my post. I used to spend a nonsensical amount of time doomscrolling through the latest happenings. But I noticed something. Often, after reading my favorite news feeds—for way longer than I care to admit—I felt an odd sadness. So when it came time to give up something for Lent this year, I decided to quit the “breaking news” business. Guess what? I never went back after Easter. And I don’t miss it!

The Philippians were a persecuted church with plenty to worry about. Yet Paul encouraged them to turn their anxious thoughts into prayers of thanksgiving (Phililippians 4:6). The pay-off, he said, was the peace of God guarding their hearts. A few verses later, he shares what I like to call the “Philippians Filter.”

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Please pardon my hand drawn illustration. I need a graphic artist!

Filtering sure beats doomscrolling any day!

🙏❤️ prayers and love.


Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

Categories
Christian Living resilience

The Young Buck on Baldy Mountain

It is in the quiet of the woods that I hear and feel God’s presence without distraction.

Cori Strathmeyer

The Space Between is a marvelous blog I discovered recently that focuses on experiencing God in the great outdoors. On the site, Cori reflects on faith, family, hiking, yoga and other life pauses.

Her April 3 post, Walking with God, is a true gem that brought back memories of hiking in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico over 30 years ago.

What ignited my vivid recollection was the author’s statement, “Hiking is moving meditation: miles of opportunity for prayer and reflection on scripture.”


I spent the summer of 1988 working at a Christian conference center near Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was an exquisite setting, with huge conifers, cold water creeks and mountains in every direction. There were also dozens of alluring trails in the area. I became a compulsive day hiker.

After several beginner and intermediate treks, this young buck (me) yearned for a challenge. One of my braver hiking buddies suggested a 12.4 mile (out and back) route, in the nearby Pecos Wilderness Area, that was rated difficult. It started at a picturesque creek and ended near the 12,000 foot summit of Baldy Mountain–a 3,000 foot elevation gain.

Piece of cake, right?

Please stay with me, kind reader. I promise to come to a good biblical point.

We started at sun up. It was early July, but at 8,600 feet the temperature was in the upper 30’s. You could see your breath! I shivered under my thin sweatshirt as we meandered up the narrow, winding trail.

Stands of pine and spruce trees towered above us, hiding the view of the valley below. Just when it seemed we’d been swallowed by the forest, a window appeared.

Farther up the mountain, where the trees and the air grew thinner, the trail became steep. There were so many switch backs I lost all sense of direction.

Finally, the top of “Old Baldy” came into view. I took off my backpack, next to a crystal clear lake, and sat down. That’s when it hit: EXHAUSTION. The euphoria of reaching the trail’s end suddenly gave way to wilting fatigue. Despite being 20 years old, and in top physical shape, I could barely move.

I ate the 80’s equivalent of a Power Bar and laid back on my pack. “Dear God,” I prayed, “please help me get down this mountain.”

The view of the summit (taken while sitting on my backside).😊

The next thing I know my buddy kicked the sole of one my boots, “Wake up, Dave. We need to start back.” I’d been asleep for an hour!

Thank God, I was able to stand. My strength had returned! Getting down the mountain turned out to be much easier than getting up it. This provided a fine opportunity for meditation on the move.

Have you ever had an experience that lined up with scripture word for word?

“Even those who are young grow weak; young men can fall exhausted. But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed.” — Isaiah 40:30-31 (GNT)

It’s deceptively easy to walk up a mountain–for real, or metaphorically–only to find yourself exhausted.

Jesus gets it…

“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” — Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Rest, THEN get back on the trail.


https://davidsdailydose.org/2021/04/05/the-young-buck-on-baldy-mountain/