Who Knows Where You Are Going? 
Monday, January 9, 2006, 09:34 AM - Extra Christy
My favorite Uncle wants to get a GPS device for his ride. After you enter your destination, the Global Positioning System uses satellites thousands of miles above the earth to determine where you are. Then this special purpose computer, loaded with maps, plans and displays your route! My Uncle tells me you can put in multiple destinations, choose the scenic or quickest route, and even have it direct you audibly! (Computers have replaced the back seat driver!)

The most intriguing feature of this device is that you can drive off the route the GPS carefully computed for you and not get lost! Since the GPS constantly talks to the orbiting satellites, it soon knows you have strayed from the plan and takes action. First, it updates your position based on where you have wandered. Then the GPS computes a new route to get you to your destination despite that missed turn or side trip. You're saved!

One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28; here it is from my favorite translation, The Jerusalem Bible
We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all who love him, with all those that he has called according to his purpose.
I believe God is constantly turning us. Like a GPS, God nudges us toward his destination. Some days we stay on course; other times we stray. Yet, no matter how far we go away from God's planned route, we are not lost, for God forgives our wandering and calls us back to his Way.

Hoping you get some good directions from the heavens today!

(sent as this week's Extra Christy.)

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Only the Lonely 
Monday, January 9, 2006, 09:34 AM - Extra Christy
I've never really lived alone. The closest I've come is a month 25 years ago when I was at seminary in Kentucky and Bette Lynn was finishing work in Pennsylvania. Now, I'm living with my parents in Ohio while my wife and son are in Pennsylvania until my son finishes high school. But last week my parents left for a three month visit to Florida and I have their house to myself.

I found I don't like a big dark empty silent house. How do single people stand it I wondered? So I asked one of my single friends for advice. She declared, "Enjoy it! Now you can do anything you want, whenever you want!". That was not the response I was expecting—that now that I'm alone I should enjoy being the king of the house!

Jesus decided to be alone often. Once, according to John, he left a crowd who sought to make him king because he had given them all the food they wanted.
Jesus realized that they would try to force him to be their king. So he went up on a mountain, where he could be alone. — John 6:15
Jesus chose to be alone instead of being crowned king by the crowd. Jesus didn't need the praise or seek the company of the crowd—he sought to do God's will, not the crowd's will.

Loneliness is when you are alone and seek others. Solitude is when you are alone and search yourself. When you find yourself alone, find out who you are in solitude, apart from the crowd—when it is just you and the King of Kings in the house.

Hoping you are never lonely,

(sent as this week's Extra Christy.)

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Now with More Resolution 
Monday, January 2, 2006, 09:34 AM - Extra Christy
How are you doing on your Resolutions? I had a good one last year I want to share with you. I resolved to wait more. Not to have more patience, but to plan on make it a goal.

I have trouble waiting. While waiting, I think of other things I could be doing, what is next on my to- do list, and worries about how long I will be and have been waiting.

So last year I decided to wait. Not to be distracted with alternative realities where I didn't wait, or past regrets of waiting, or future worries of waiting yet to be. This year, when I remembered my resolution while I was waiting...I thought, "I'm doing my New Year's Resolution!" and was pleased at accomplishing that goal!

As I waited this year, I remained where I was, mentally, noticing the places and people around me, enjoying the moment and the details missed when we rush by on time and on task. You see...I wasn't wasting time...I was fulfilling one of my resolutions!

Being where I am instead of where I want to be, helps me be aware of others. Recently, I was waiting for a tow truck to move from in front of my driveway. Pre-resolution I would be worried about the time slipping by, the inconsideration of the driver who parked there...on and on. But my decision that it was okay, even good, to wait this year, freed me from fretting and I was able to get out of my car and help push my neighbor's car so the tow truck could grab it. Accepting the place where I was, instead of where I thought I should be, allowed me to be a present help instead of a frustrated angry commuter.

The Psalmist knew about waiting...
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. - Psalm 37:7-9 (NIV)
Wishing you a fret-free New Year!

(sent as this week's Extra Christy.)

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Thanksgiving Grace 
Monday, November 21, 2005, 06:10 PM - Extra Christy, Prayers
Saying grace is a part of our family Thanksgiving tradition. While we pause for grace before our family meals throughout the year, the prayer before the Thanksgiving meal has a wider perspective; covering the preceding and coming year rather than just the joys and concerns of the day.

Of course, grace isn't just a name of a short prayer before a meal. In the Bible the word usually translated “grace” is charis, which literally means “gift”. (The “c” has a “k” sound, if you are reading aloud.)

We find grace in this New Testament benediction:

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.— 2 Corinthians 13:14

The grace (gift) of Jesus Christ is the gift of eternal life, salvation from sin and the curse of sin: death.

So grace has come to mean a prayer that gives thanks for the gift of food which allows us to live on earth just as the grace of Christ allows us to live eternally in heaven.

It is good to have this little prayer, which grows large on Thanksgiving, to remind us with joy not only of the gifts of food that nourishes us for the day, but of the gift of Christ which sustains us for all time and eternity. That is a wider perspective worthy of great Thanksgiving.

Hoping you enjoy grace on Thanksgiving and forever,

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