Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When Praying For Rain Isn't The Answer

As a boy growing up in rolling plains of west Texas, I regularly drove 20 miles down dusty roads to hunt and fish. The average rainfall in my county was about 18 inches and most of it came in two or three huge gushes. Now I live in the middle of two forests, the Kisatchie and the Sabine, where annual rainfall amounts approach 60 inches. I've always loved these forests, but right now it's as dry as it ever was when I was a boy in Texas.

Getting to a hunting spot only takes me a few minutes now, but I had to pull over and let the truck I followed out the other night get far ahead. I couldn't see or breathe through the dust. So, we've been praying for rain, and this morning it did rain . . . but not enough to even wet the dust. And, for some reason, I thought, "We need more than that. We actually need more than rain." That may sound crazy. How can we need more than rain?

Well, there are times we pray for rain, when rain is not our answer. Sometimes we just need to stop driving so fast down the road, stirring up the dust.

Think of what God said, "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or sent pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chron. 7:13-14)

Sometimes the dust in our lives is simply God trying to get our attention to the sin in our lives. There were those who went to John the Baptist to be baptized who he called a brood of vipers attempting to escape the fire. They were not coming to be baptized as a sign of repentance and change. They were just trying to make sure they had all their religious bases covered.

There was another time when people were looking for spiritual rain, and Peter, preaching, told them "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord," (Acts 3:19) Often, the rain we long for in our life is not the answer, but rather the fruit.

So, where's the dust in your life?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why Are People Still In Jail?

There have been laws against the taking of a life for as long as there have been human beings. Why, then, are there still murderers and manslaughterers in jail? Why has the law not stopped murder? Could it be that no law can stop crime?

That certainly doesn't mean we don't need laws. Think of the anarchy, the chaos, and the fear that would fill a world without laws. There are examples throughout history of societies without government. Today, there is one brewing just south of the Rio Grande in the nation of Mexico. There are daily reports of mass murder there, Mexican citizens and government officials living in fear of the drug lords who live with no regard for the law.

While laws cannot stop crime, they can define acceptable and unacceptable behavior. They are necessary to teach citizens how to behave in society. They restrain us. Without them, any nation would descend into anarchy. Why? How could a law-abiding citizen become a vigilante overnight? The answer is simple.

Even the one who prides himself on keeping all the laws of the land is lawless at heart. At some point he has failed to come to a complete stop, and worse. If he will be honest, he has wanted to assault someone, steal someone's wife, run the stop sign, failed to pay his taxes. So, his heart has betrayed him. It is only the fear of the law that has kept him in line, but it has never really completely transformed who he is.

So, even if we are not in jail, we should be? Who will deliver us from who we really are? "Who will deliver us from this body of death? I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom. 7:24-25)

Monday, October 25, 2010

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Do these words resonate with your soul . . . zebra midge, BWO, copper john, pheasant tail, foam wing, big macs, jujube's, and comparadun? I know, you may think I have lost my mind, but these words . . . they call to me. They reach deep down in my soul and stir a desire in me to stand in the middle of a freezing stream for hours, casting, and re-casting, snacking on trail mix and dried beef, drinking stale water from an old bottle in my vest, moving from swift to slow water, tying and re-tying tiny flies that I cannot see without 3x readers. Oh, may the week after Christmas come quickly.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Can I Be Thankful In All Things, Even Hell

Should I be thankful for Hell? I cannot be thankful for a single soul who finds himself there. I can, however, be thankful that one day, this place created for Satan and his angels will be full of them, and the rest of creation will see them no more.