The Terrifying Toad

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 4:13

It’s baby toad season here at my GPS location. Dozens of them have taken over the yard: hopping around when I water the flowers, jumping unexpectedly into the house through an open door. I see them every evening.

The other day, my wife and I stopped by a local nursery to purchase some plants. Right next to the cash register, there was this larger than life concrete toad. Yes, we took him home. “Felix” now lives in the rock garden next to our barbeque area.

Check out the lower left corner. That’s a REAL one!

The only problem is, everytime I come out the back door with something for the grill, he startles me just a bit. Actually, it’s a little creepy–the way he looks at me with those stone cold eyes…

Self-doubt. It can take over your life-yard in a hurry: hopping around when you want to accomplish something, jumping through an open door unexpectedly. It shows up mostly in the evening.

It’s hard to be confident when you’re discouraged, because things you knew for certain five minutes ago disappear behind a smoke screen of timidity. What’s one to do with such feelings? Here are three of my favorite action plans. Yes, I’m an actual satisfied customer who used them all today!

Lower the Stakes

For some reason, when I get down, I act like a high stakes Vegas gambler–going all-in on one roll of the dice. #badidea The truth is, unless you drink poison, a single mistake won’t usually kill you.

We don’t live or die on one success or failure.

Jack Lemon

Break the Circuit

The worst part about self-doubt is the SELF part. Gazing at one’s own navel for a protracted period of time imparts a rather myopic perspective. “It’s not ALL about YOU, cupcake, so stop obsessing.” (That last statement was me talking to myself, but feel free to associate).

I’m just afraid I might have to stop talking about myself for five minutes.

Kinky Friedman

Resign as Manager of the Universe

There’s only one God, and you and I are not Him. Therefore, seeking help from a higher power actually makes sense. After my mom died from a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer, I ended up with her favorite Bible. I found the following scripture, in her own handwriting, inside:

Self-doubt is often just a silly lawn ornament.

https://davidsdailydose.org/2019/07/03/the-terrifying-toad/

Wakey wake, Cupcake

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Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way and me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalm 139:23-24

I used to get annoyed when my laptop kept telling me it needed a software update, or virus scan, or some other preventive maintenance. Ask me later, I clicked on the screen, “Can’t you see I’m busy!?”

But then, one inevitable day, I got a computer virus that wiped out my entire hard drive. Important documents and hundreds of pictures, which I’d failed to back up, vanished in an instant.

Photo by Rafael Guajardo on Pexels.com

Needless to say, I now keep my computer healthy with regular updates and scans.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Socrates

Our wise friend from ancient Greece challenges us to scan our lives for purpose and meaning, or risk losing everything. But King David of ancient Israel has a better idea: ask God to do it.

Search me, O God, and know my heart.

King David

After all, heart surgery is best left to the professional. That’s what God told the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah:

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10

Are you like me, to busy to scan until it’s almost too late? Well, let’s both not be that way anymore. Agreed?

A closing Haiku:

Do not say, “I can’t”

When you really mean, “I won’t”

Wakey wake, cupcake.

Regular David (me)
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https://davidsdailydose.org/2019/06/05/wakey-wake-cupcake/

The Proof is in the Putting

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“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Prov 4:23

Visitors to Union Square in Manhattan, NYC are likely to encounter the street performer, Matthew Silver. Described by one YouTube contributor as, “A guy who runs around NYC in his underwear saying and doing radical things,” Matthew paints himself as a, “cosmic trickster opening up the love portal to show us we are all one.”

While his antics are often punctuated with bizarre behavior and crude humor, meant to call attention to his message, Mr. Silver also speaks with amazing philosophical eloquence. Here is a popular example:

“You’re already doing…you’re always doing what’s in your heart; you can’t get away from your heart.”

Matthew Silver

Another fairly famous guy, who said some pretty amazing things agrees:

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:21)

Thoughts like these beg the question: What are we putting first in our lives?

The proof is in the putting.

What Time is It?

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What Time is It?

“My times are in Your hands;”

Psalm 31:15a

The most accurate clock on earth is the US Atomic Clock in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I have a little clock at home that is connected to it! Using a low frequency wireless transmission, the US Atomic Clock beams it’s super-accurate time signal straight to my clock’s internal receiver. Viola! Daily updates ensure accuracy to the fraction of a second.

However, something happened recently to shake my faith in the “mother of all clocks:” my little “chip off of the old block” started inexplicably losing time. It was barely noticeable at first, but it was happening surely enough. My supposed super clock no longer agreed with the time on my cell phone, or, more importantly, the microwave.

“Uh oh,” I said to no one in particular, “I guess the subscription to the mother clock ran out.” I took the atomic clock junior off the wall and headed straight for the trash can. Yes, all the clocks in my home must say exactly the same thing. Anyway, just as I was about to drop the clock into oblivion, I saw it–the cover to a tiny compartment containing two AA batteries. You guessed it, I promptly replaced the batteries with fresh ones, and the clock once again keeps perfect time. The problem was on my end, not the source.

Hmm… there’s a life application in here somewhere. King David, of ancient Israel, wrote about it in a prayer to God.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10

We know from other texts, that David wrote these words shortly after scandal rocked his kingdom. He had slept with another man’s wife and she was now pregnant. The betrayed husband was one of David’s most loyal military leaders, but the king had him killed to cover up his own sin.

David lost his connection with God. His spiritual batteries ran down and tragedy ensued. He stopped checking in and chose to check out–until he was confronted by the prophet Nathan. He desperately needed to reorient himself to God.

As any good carpenter will tell you, even a few degrees off level is a no go. The fact is, it doesn’t take long to become out of plumb with God. Listen to Amos, the Old Testament prophet:

“This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” “A plumb line,” I replied. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.” Amos 7:7-8

Amos 7:7-8

The world has a battery draining effect on our spiritual senses; losing our fellowship connection with God adversely affects the mind, will, and heart. However, we may not even be aware of this–until God asks, “What time is it?”

So what is the solution? The daily check-in and the weekly recharge! Spend time alone with God at least once a day and observe the sabbath each week to recharge your spiritual batteries.

Staying in sync with God means maintaining a good connection, just like my little clock does with the US Atomic Clock. That is, now that I replaced the batteries.

“In repentance and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust is your strength.”

Isaiah 30:15