32 Lizards

dad-and-daughter

By G. P. Avants

 

“Daddy, there’s another one!”

“Where?”

“Under that wooden rail.”

“Oh, yes. It’s green with stripes. I’m just glad its not a snake.”

“That’s thirty.”

“Daddy, this bike ride is harder and longer than the last one.”

“I know but you’re doing so good.”

“How much farther?”

“A couple of more miles.”

“Oh…look there’s another lizard. That makes thirty-one.”

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My baby is seven now. Where has the time gone? We all say that but, we know its been caught up in just daily living. When she first rode this lake she was attached on the back of my bike with a sort of tandem bike. We worked together to make the trip. So her efforts were a combined venture with mine.

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This time she was on her own. Those hills and valleys were all her. So, like I told Autumn, this really was a big step for her. It was part of her taking some big strides and learning what endurance really takes out of us.

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Life is not a quick sprint. It’s not an easy cotton candy stroll down the board walk in the cool of the day. No, its more of a marathon or a long bike ride. It will take us to places we never dreamed but, it will cost us in time, energy, and patience. The cost is high but, worth every penny of it. It requires that we grow and stretch beyond ourselves. That is if one wants to live a life that really God planned for us to live. Sometimes, we have to focus on the little things when the road gets to long or the hills get too steep. I am thankful for companions along the way and the chance to count skittering lizards to get our mind off how long the journey can become.

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I smile. This trip will get easier the more she takes it. Her endurance will increase as she takes each new step or pushes each pedal around and around. The muscles strain and even her eyelids will sweat however, the price is worth the journey. I hope that I will be there to see her take on life in the same manner. Maybe someday she will be counting lizards or other wild creatures with her children as they begin their travels.

“There it is, Sweaty…”

“Daddy!”

“Just kidding. There’s the gate, Sweety. You made it!”

“Hooray!”

“I’m proud of you.”

“Thanks, Daddy. Oh look.”

“What?”

“Number thirty-two.”

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Posted in Christian inspirational, God's Love, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Inspirational quotes, Jesus, Relationship with God, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

24

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By G. P. Avants

“Live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.” Titus 2:12

Working hands

There is an Army slogan that we quote on our Saturday bike rides: “We get more done before 9am than most people do all day”. We’re up at 5:45am and pumped up before our families are stirring on a Saturday morning.

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How is it that more people seem to get more done in a day than others? I mean, we all do have the same 24 hours, right? Yet, some people are getting things done that many take weeks to think about doing. What is their secret?I think I have a few hints that I have observed.

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They do prioritize. Some things need to be done today and some things can wait. The things that have to wait are on a to-do list so they won’t fall by the wayside.

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They do less and get more done. You’d think they try to pack as much as they can in order to get more done. Actually that seems to add to the problem. The thing is to do less and do it better. You can actually get things done, no running half-way into the next project, and avoid getting overwhelmed.

Collaboration

They finish what they start. There is a great feeling to begin and complete a task. Sometimes that means that you stick with it and not commit to something else until it’s done. Yes, it does feel like you might be missing out but, you can actually follow through and check it off.( personally, I like the stroke of the pen with each thing I get done.)

Help

They know when to ask for help. Recognizing your limitations instead of plowing ahead blindly, shows wisdom. Getting assistance with something that frustrates you is better than getting stressed out. You may have to walk away, take a time out, and then come back with better advice or an extra set of hands.

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They know when to walk away. You are not going to get everything done today. That is a fact. Staying too long and trying to do it all is like dieting. They say that if you skip meals, you actually slow down your metabolism. Breaking it up into smaller meals works better. So, it is with work. Break it up into bite-sized portions. It will be there tomorrow waiting(That’s a certainty) but, hopefully you’ll be fresher when you begin.

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I am sure there are a number of other practical ideas to make your 24 hours productive. Something’s that are tasks need to have a time limit and a checklist. However, being as task-oriented person (I don’t know when that happened) I am re-learning that people don’t get the same treatment. Our time with people needs to have breathing room, no timers, and definitely high on the priority list.

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I pray that your 24 hours is productive as well as instructive. May the Lord show you what He has planned for your day. Each one is different and has a different purpose. Be flexible and realize it’s okay that things don’t turn out exactly as you planned.

What are your secrets to making the most of your 24?

Soul Train

 

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9 Ft. Weeds

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By G. PAvants

“Then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.”

 

                                                                         Job 11:15

My daughter is a dancer. She enjoys ballet, jazz, and tap. We got her on a great team at her dance studio. Because of this we have been able to see all kinds of dances and dancers. That’s the good stuff. The bad part is that we see all kinds of dances. I approach this  topic as an observation from a concerned parent.

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Well…one of the things that made our mouths drop were some of the dances the younger dancers were doing. They were doing dances that were very suggestive and not very family friendly. That disturbed me but what shook me up were the adults encouraging this behavior. There were parents cat calling and egging on their gyrating. It really bothered me that some are encouraging their kids to do dances the compromise their character.

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What’s crazy it that if they grow up and get into things that are very questionable, the same parents act shocked. Why is my kid rebelling and doing things that are dangerous?  Do they remember what they were doing as kids? It starts when they are young. It’s like neglecting a patch of your yard and wanting good things to grow up. Instead of watermelons, weeds pop up and we wonder how that happened.

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I don’t know what to say really. I would like to say please monitor what your kids are doing. Please consider what they are learning and how they are representing themselves.  I know that this is probably a difference in culture or taste. I totally understand that fact. However, please don’t blame anyone else if little ones do things that surprise you. We do sow what we reap. It’s not easy raising good kids. We do have a great model in God’s word.

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If you aren’t sure if what they are doing is right or wrong ask the Lord to show you. I will tell you He will help you prepare your kids. He does know what is right and what they will face ahead. Please don’t blame God just ask Him to guide you where ever you find yourself.

Posted in Biblical People, Biblical Values, Body of Christ, Christian Bloggers, Christian character, Christian inspirational, Dance, Faith, God, God's Kingdom, God's timing, Inspirational quotes, Jesus, Relationship with God, Religions of the world, Strength in Christ, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Speak Wookie? 

Do You Speak Wookie?

By G.P. Avants

 

“My name is Han.”

“Last name”

He shrugs.

“Han…Solo, welcome to service in the Empire.”

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That is how our beloved rascal of a pilot Han Solo came into the service of the Empire. He attempted an escape with his love Kiri, but they became separated. Han attempted to hide in plain site from his enemy while making credits to get them both free from Corellia.  However, you know Han Solo’s pathway wouldn’t be free from obstacles. He attempts to escape a three year stint as a lowly trooper with a covert band of mercenaries.

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As if being a Mud Trooper wasn’t already a lowly Imperial rank, it goes south and Han finds himself in a dank muddy cage with a hairy man-eating beast.  As the huge dirty creature is pressing his body into the stinking mud, Han realizes who is attacking him.

“Greeee raww, ohhh.” (Or something like that.)

The chained creature quizzitively answers back, surprised dinner is conversing in its native tongue. Han convinces his attacker that if they work together he will help them both escape. Both of these prisoners haphazardly escape and join a renegade team, their ticket out of jail. Who would have thought that Han’s time among the lowly, slaves, and street urchins would save his life? Now, cleaned up he and his Wookie companion finally get a moment to make proper introductions.

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“What’s your name?”

“Waah, grroowl, ha, ha, groooul”

(Or something like that. My Wookie is rusty)

“Chewbacca?” Han shakes his head. “You’re going to need a nickname”

Chewie laughing

It’s funny that being able to communicate might mean stepping out if your comfort zone. It might also mean life will take you back along lonely roads that you swore you would never trudge again. We can run screaming from unfair situations or open our eyes and understanding why we were led into these dark places. Maybe the Lord is orchestrating a door to free others from a prison they could not escape on their own.  Isn’t that the struggle we all face? We can save our own skin and live to grind out another day all alone. Or maybe we can communicate hope to person that you would have never dreamed of becoming your life-long friend. It might be as simple as speaking a little Wookie?

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3

 

 

By G. P. Avants

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3 is a magic number

As the old song goes.

 

It’s God’s number

The trinity:

God in three persons

Father, Son and Spirit.

He sees the from eternity

The Past, Present, and Future

All at once;

He is

The great IAM.

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He created a lowly planet

Third from the sun

To be the only habitable place

In our solar system

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He created man in his image

On the sixth day.

God is a trinity

So is man,

Body, spirit, and soul

So two threes coming together

In a wonderful fellowship.

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Satan tried to imitate

That 3 by being the third

Wheel in the Garden of Eden.

Look where that road lead.

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But the union that works

For a relationship

As it says in proverbs

Is the three-fold cord:

Two lives wrapped around

The center cord of the Lord.

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The Father send His Son

To restore that lost union.

Jesus Christ.

At his baptism the three

Were present.

The Father spoke.

The Son submitted.

And the Spirit descended

Like a dove.

The great I AM had come.

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Everything about Christ’s life

Reflected the image and nature

Of God.

That three followed Him

Sort of like a trade mark.

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Even in the choice

Of His friends.

Jesus’ Three closest

Were Peter, James, and John.

Peter was the first leader of the church

James the first martyr

And John out lived them all

He saw the end of the world.

So his friends

In a way

Represent

The beginning,

The present,

And the future.

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I believe even the timing

Of Christ’s death

Was perfectly timed.

It was to show that God

Not man,

Was in control

Of His final minutes on earth.

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The Bible says that he died at the age of 33

I wonder if we wanted to get down to it

He died at 33 and 1/3 years old.

He was also crucified at the 3rd hour

Which is around 9am.

From the 6th hour (noon)

To the 9th hour(3pm) darkness fell upon the earth.

He said it was finished and gave up the ghost.

Man did not kill Jesus,

He gave his life a ransom for all.

He didn’t own a watch but I wonder

If he died at 3:33 and 33 seconds.

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Only God knows

How many 3’s accompanied Jesus

What we know is that nothing

Especially the life and death of our Lord

Was by accident.

All times and times

Are in His will and His time.

God has placed His number

His signature to all He does.

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Next time you wonder

What it going on.

Take comfort in that fact.

Because it is a fact

That doesn’t change.

Three is a magic number.

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3…2…1…fire!

Fire

By G. P. Avants

“If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or stubble, his work will be shown for what it is because THE DAY will bring it to light.”

                             1 Corinthians 3: 12-13

 

Judgment day. We’ve heard about it in movies that talk about the end of the world. It can bring chills down our spine or it can be more like a great reward. I guess it depends on where you stand with the Lord.

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Let me back up for a minute. I had a job a few years back that involved explosives. Actually, we were able to watch some hillsides being dynamited as part of a local dam project. The guys who get to create the explosions say it’s a lot of painstaking work for the few spectacular seconds that follow. However, they love to see their work go up in smoke. That means it was a job well done.

Boom!

Being a spectator, it seems like an eternity before the big boom. There is a lot waiting, checking the clock, listening to announcements, before anything happens. Then there’s that count down 5..4..3..2..1..:Each second hangs in the air. We anticipate what’s about to happen because none of us knows exactly what we are about to see.

 

FIRE!

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The end of the world used to scare me. I would hear of wars going on and wonder if I was really ready to face the end. It’s a good thing, I think, to always  make sure you are right with God…daily. Is this relationship all that it should be? Is there one at all?

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If you haven’t read the book of Revelations in the Bible, you really should. God promises a blessing to those who read it. Maybe that blessing might entail a little insight and peace of mind at the same time. The beauty of this insight, is that you might know all of these things happening around us are in His plan. You experience peace of mind knowing that you can be ready for the Lord and His second coming. The real Judgment Day will come when we face the Lord Jesus himself. He will ask what we did with the life God gave us. God will ask, “What did you do with my  Son? Was He you’re life or was He ignored?” These are simple but, tough questions. He will wait for your response.

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I think I was scared because of all the sneaky things I did in my life. I was going to be embarrassed to have everyone know what I did. I tried to get it right with God in my own strength however, I went back to my ways. I never really felt confident that I could honestly be good before God.  That’s because I was trying to do it myself. That was my first big mistake. When it became too much I basically surrendered. “I can’t do this, Lord. If you are real take my life, I can’t do this, I surrender to you.” That’s where I should have started. He lifted my burdens and showed me how to face my life in His strength. I wasn’t afraid of the future after that. No, my confidence shifted from me to Jesus. He’s now the Savior and the Judge, an advocate and just lawyer in court. What better help could I ask for on that day?

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When I feel like I am under fire in my life, I see it as a Pre-Judgment Day of sorts. The Lord is burning the sinful man from me so he won’t be haunting me on Judgment Day. It’s like he’s rooting out those things that would have caused me to be condemned. He is using this life to get us ready for the real thing: eternal life.

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There’s still time, you know. If you feel Him tugging at your heart, that means you have that chance too. Let Him speak to you, redeem your life and become the Lord to you. Believe me, I have been where you are friend. I have had all kinds of days but, I do not regret ever giving my life to the Lord Jesus. He is ready to do something only He can: be your hope for today, tomorrow, and your sweet victory on Judgment Day!

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02-02-02

     Moments from History

By G. P. Avants

My favorite subject in school was History.  History was full of events and events were marked by memorable dates. I bet a few of these dates are ones you might feel are important. July 4, 1776, that one marks the beginning of America’s freedom. How about 1492? Yep, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  Do you know what happened March 4, 1966? I’m just joking with that one because it’s my birthday.

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So you see how dates can stick with us and be pivotal events in human history.  Some are full of events to remember like the year 1944.  A great war was over and the world rested after a great struggle.  Other dates live on in infamy like December 7. 1941 or need I remind you of  911?

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A date came and went with little hoopla and fan are.  In my humble opinion though I believe that it marked the beginning of events that are highly significant to us as believers and to non-believers as well: February Second Two-thousand and two.  Or better remembered as an interesting date, 02-02-02.  Some would simply say it was only Groundhog’s day that just happened to fall smack dab in the middle of a Palindromic (spelled the same backwards and forwards)  year.

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Beside that, did you know that when God repeats something three times in the Bible that it holds great importance and significance? It’s like the cry, “Holy, holy, holy,” that the angels cried out in Isaiah 6 or when the Lord repeated to Joshua “Be strong and courageous” three times in the same chapter.

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That Saturday I sat in a Fresh Start conference where we were challenged to be open for the Lord to use us in new ways.  To reach the lost in the world we need to be ready to do things differently than they were done in the past. This day was the beginning of something special. As I look over at my very pregnant wife who would be having my daughter in just a few weeks, I thought about the parallels to new plans. You can see it forming and seeing signs are very obvious to everyone. When the Lord prepares something new there is a crackle of anticipation in the air.

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We have to compete with a world that is stealing the life from people every day and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. I believe that God is equipping us to be creative, forward thinking and prepared to do whatever it takes to share the Gospel. He has given us all gifts and talents that we have yet to fully commit into His hands. I believe that when we do this, we will see amazing things happen in our lives.

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Watch for the signs, notice the nudge, and don’t ignore the obvious reminders that His plan for you is coming into focus. It could be today, whenever date that falls.

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