Don’t get Sidetracked

Proverbs 4:26-27

26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. 27 Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

winding path

Damian storms out of the house well past curfew seeking to fulfill his addiction. His mother cries out in a strong yet depleted voice, “Please stay home my son–not again–let us help you!” Her words reach the front door just as he shuts it closed. She slumps in her chair and offers a prayer similar to the ones before: “Dear Lord, he is my son, and I love him so much. I pray that you will continue to place your watch care over him even though he is not listening or seeking you! Pierce his heart for all things holy and pure, and draw him closer to you each and every day. Above all things, Lord, give us peace, comfort, and direction as we continue to minister to our son. We ask all these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.” Damian wanders a crooked path welcoming destruction. It is almost as if sin and all things evil are attracted to him. His life-choices mimic open gates inviting loss, heartache, ravage, extinction, havoc, rebellion, and downfall. He projects these demons onto his family and those around him out of hate. Yet, through the faithful prayers of his family, church, and friends, he will soon experience deliverance. His tragedies will soon become his testimony. Once bound by addiction, he will lead the masses to acceptance in Christ.

Dear friends, what do you see from this passage in Proverbs? I see preparation, “Mark out a straight path for your feet.” Marking any path takes time, study, practice, and implementation. We cannot expect to succeed in this life by simply wearing Christian-themed T-shirts or slapping a catchy biblical bumper sticker to our cars. While these things are “good”, they do not closely define our Christian walk. I strongly encourage you to dig deep into God’s Word where you can study His principles and practice! Prepare your Christian walk and remain on the straight path – “stay on the safe path.” When you are prepared, you are able to remain focused, keeping your feet far from evil.

Thoughts: Do you find yourself becoming spiritually sidetracked and removing your feet from His safe path? How will you combat this today?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

 

God is Awe-Inspiring

Amos 8:9

“And on that day,” declares the Lord God, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.”

solar

 

I must admit…I am not tired of talking about the solar eclipse today, and I will tell you why. While watching The Weather Channel to see the first videos of the total solar eclipse, I couldn’t help but sense God’s presence as millions gathered to watch this celestial event.

Even more, The Weather Channel reporter began to cry as she attempted to verbalize how “touching” the experience truly felt in person. To be completely honest, this pierced my heart. It is during these times that we become simply overwhelmed with God’s awesomeness; our brains truly cannot comprehend the magnitude of His creation let alone His love for while we were still sinners He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us!

While scientists attempted to explain the statistics and physics concerning the axis, speed, size, angle, and degree of all three body masses moving in harmony to create such a speculator display, all I could truly think about was…Look at You God!

shadow

I was able to walk out of the hospital at just the right time to catch a perfect display of God’s beauty. My senses were overtaken when I visually processed hundreds of tiny eclipse shadows on the sidewalk as the light shaped the leaves in perfect mirror image of the solar eclipse. In my mind, God’s detail is far-reaching my friends.

While we are busy looking at the “obvious” in life, He is masterfully orchestrating the intricate details to support His will to perfection! In other words, how many times have we cursed God for abandoning us or being silent far too long when the whole time we were standing on hundreds of His promises without notice? This draws me back to the tiny eclipse shadows. I simply get lost in this picture. He never ceases to amaze me!

I pray that we are always seeking God’s hand in our lives. Remember, while you are looking up and seeking direction, don’t forget to humble yourself, bow your head, and maybe there…yes, there in the peace of humility, you will see His mercy and grace fluttering around your feet as He has been carrying you this entire time.

Question: Have you forgotten to look down as you seek God’s face? He is there too!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Seasons

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The Mystery of Time

There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

seasons

I truly love when you have an “aha moment” during your day. I also call these God-winks! My prayer has always been to be keenly aware of God’s voice throughout the day. My dear friends, I just don’t want to miss anything, and I know you feel the same! There are so many stories and lessons from His creation to the words spoken from an innocent child’s heart that we can see and hear God in all things. My prayer for you is that you seek His face and voice in all things because trust me, He is speaking…even in the silence there is a message.

While wrapping up the work day, I was talking to a coworker who made a profound statement that simply washed over me…”What would I say to myself if I were my own best friend?” I couldn’t help but interject and ask this friend to repeat this self-reflecting interrogative. I braced myself on the wall as I continued to feel the Holy Spirit flood my soul with memories and edification. I couldn’t help but reflect upon my life and the seasons I have endured. This was almost a soul-cleansing experience.

The message that continued to boil up inside of me following this question involved “seasons of life.” God paints us a beautiful example, naturally a perfect example, of change; this change occurs four times a year without fail in reference to our particular weather patterns and physical divisions of the year. However, we also experience seasons of life that are also characterized by divisions in life patterns, behaviors, experiences, emotions, friends, family, and trials.

So, why do we accept the changes in our weather through the four natural seasons yet we fail to accept change ordained in our own lives? Yes, let that sink in for a moment. That actually may sting a little. As human beings, we crave consistency for the most part. We thrive on familiarity. This is where we feel comfortable enough to let our personal walls down…to feel vulnerable. However, when the cool air of personal change begins to blow in, we exhibit stubbornness, defiance, and most certainly resistance!

The best example I can provide is through friendships. Throughout my lifetime, I have had seasons of very close friends, those that I spoke to daily and spent a great amount of time with. Yet, due to changes in schedules, work, kid’s sporting events, etc., you simply drift apart. This has always been tough to understand and even accept. However, I truly see it as a season in life. I do not resent the change or place blame. I am thankful for God placing these people in my life because I always learn from them. I pray that you always see each relationship as a learning opportunity. God will use anything to draw us closer to Himself; we must be quick to listen.

What other season of life examples have you experienced?

What are you currently experiencing?

Are you refusing to accept the change?

change

God longs to speak to you, and He often places change in your path to (A) draw your focus to the King and to (B) build your faith. The worst thing you could do is to hold on to what God is trying to let go. If you find yourself in a season of change, I encourage you to evaluate what you learned. Then, I strongly encourage you to walk confidently through the door He has opened.

Where God leads, He provides.

Where God leads, He protects.

Where God leads, He teaches.

Where God leads, He sharpens.

Where God leads, He molds.

Where God leads, He crafts perfection.

Dear friends, do not hold on to the things that God has removed or is attempting to remove in your life. Where He closes one door, He opens another. Keep your eyes focused on the cross and you will always be surefooted. You will pass through many doors throughout your life. As you walk through, don’t look back! God is escorting you ahead. Turning around only invites Satan to confuse you and play with your emotions. May you be blessed and protected as you travel your God-given mission accepting your beautiful seasons of life.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta