Don’t Yank my Chain

Orcas

“But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.

                Job 12:7 

 

By G. P. Avants

 

Here we are at Sea World watching the updated Shamu show. I am sure you have heard about all of the issues with aquatic creatures like the orca being held in captivity? It seems like Sea World is at the center of that storm. Some feel like these wild creatures have been put on a chain, as it were, and ruined by their captivity. So, things have changed. We are watching a show that goes into great detail about the orcas in all aspects of their sea-faring life. If you like to learn and understand the workings of these amazing creatures and how they interact with their environment, you might really enjoy this presentation.

OrcaFact1

What I took away from this piece and what inspired this posting, was the role of creatures in God’s creation. I really believe that Jesus as Creator loves order and harmony. If you look at the wild ocean as a realm, there needs to be a head, a leader of you will. I think the orcas are that leaders of the sea. They are highly intelligent, have a social order, protect and manage other sea creatures, are amazing problem-solvers, highly adaptable, and can be found all around the world. It looks like they have been given enough intelligence and authority over a place on earth that has its own sets of rules and organization. They are appointed as guardians of the sea with their own chain of command over all sea creatures great and small.

  TalkingAnimals1

This reminds me of the Narnia Series. Man, represented by the new king and queen had authority to rule and protect all creatures in Narnia. Under that rule Aslan took at select group of creatures aside and made them talking beasts. They were given a blessing that the other lesser creatures did not. It also came with a warning. If they abused their power and didn’t carry out the duties they have been given, they can lose their position and be made like the other lower creatures roaming the earth       FOUR-FACES

In the book of Ezekiel, we are given a unique and curious look at creatures called the Cherubim. They are angelic messengers that seem to be very involved in the things here are Earth. Besides their unique design which includes four wings each, eyes everywhere, their hands, bodies, etc. they have four faces. One of a man, one of a lion, one of an ox, and one of an eagle. There are many interpretations of what they are, but I think they are representing order and obedience in God’s creation. Just as orcas could be rulers of the sea, the lion rules over wild beasts, the ox over the tame beasts and the eagle of the creatures of the sky. They have eyes all over their bodies which reminds us that God is watching and concerned about all of His creation. God creation as a whole has an order in time (the wheels they travel on) and eternity (The glory of the Lord above) and the Holy Spirit within their midst.

Orcas 2

So, what is man’s role in all of this? We don’t yank or break up this chain of command, as it were. When we mess with God’s creation and order, things go south. As we look at the world around us we see man’s sinful choices affecting God’s natural order of things. Believers are to walk in harmony with God and His creation. I am not talking about hugging every tree and putting Mother Earth as the object of your worship. I am saying that we manage those things that God has placed in our lives. With the Lord in the center of our lives, those people, places, and things are all our responsibility to manage, which includes reaching out to the lost in this world. The world is passing, but God will make a new one someday. In the Bible, the book of James, talks about caring for those who can’t care for themselves. Do animals who live around us need that love or care as an act of honoring God’s creation?

Courage

How do you manage God’s creation and creatures in the way He has called you to?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We Have a Problem

Apollo 13 We have a Problem

“Therefore prepare your minds for action…”

                                       I Peter 1:13

Do you remember the movie about the real Apollo 13 mission? I think we have all heard or seen examples from this story. There was a problem: These three astronauts had an accident in space and they were in danger. The solution: Find a way to get them home.

apollo-13

Here’s what I loved about that movie: It wasn’t just the astronauts in the capsule that made up the Apollo 13 mission. No, it was every single person at NASA made that team what it was. The three guys were the physical arm out in space but, the whole body, the whole team, extended all the way back to earth. When the crisis came, they worked together to resolve it and resolve it they did.

Appllo 13 ship

Upon the inception of this story we had just re-elected President Bush. He had seen an unprecedented term that was full of highs and lows. Though it’s easy to gage his performance by all that he does, Mr. Bush, as with any president, is part of a much larger team. He is the face we all come to associate with that presidency yet, there are many persons who we do not see. They are all a team that works together to make our nation run as effectively as they are able.

apallo13 Go!

When a crisis arises these folks, with their unique gifts, rise to the task. Some shine, others falter however, they all try to do what they feel they need to do to avert the crisis or solve a problem. Even though we want to place all that happens on the president’s shoulders we must remember he is only one player on the team. To blame the pitcher or the coach for the entire outcome of the game or the season is not only unfair but a bit skewed. Nobody can play another person’s role on the team. They have to do their best to make the team work as one even when the odds are against them.

Apollo 13 Team

So, let me ask you a question? What part are you playing on this team? Oh, you weren’t aware you were part of this all-star franchise? You bet. We as a people are just as responsible for making this nation what it is. It is easy to sit back and let George, Barack, or Donald, and crew take the wrap for our nation yet, that’s not how it works. We the people, we are the United States of America. I hear the word UNITED in that term. United means one people working together for the common good. That, my friend means that you and I have just as much burden to make America what, I believe, God wants her to be.

Apollo 13 The Mission

As Emeril Lagasse says, “Let’s crank it up a notch.” You who are believers, Christians, people of faith, you are even more responsible for the welfare of our nation. Okay, let’s say that you have a greater, far reaching goal at stake. When a crisis comes we should be the ones who are leading the charge. You have our nation to stand on but, your hearts are mindful of the eternal outcomes represented. We were founded on God and we are to uphold those truths in our everyday lives. We are to do this regardless if the rest of the nation is following God or not. God’s people represent, set the standard and live out the meaning of what our forefathers meant the US to be.

Apollo 13 accident

So, before we (and I do mean we) get upset how the Middle East Crisis is being waged, gender issues, the turmoil all over Asia, our domestic quandaries are unfolding, etc., ask what you can do to help? Wasn’t that what JFK proposed? “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country?” When we see ourselves as a united team under the hand of God almighty, anything is possible.

(This piece is one I wrote e few years ago, but I am getting convicted myself by it. I have gotten a little worn and torn with the times we are in. However, the Lord knows when to prod US out of our petty, pitty party, and get back into the mission.)

 

Posted in Apollo 13 Movie, companionship, Faith, family, fellowship, friendship, God, God's Kingdom, help in time of need, Uncategorized, unity | Leave a comment

Forecasting The Sky

Sky 1

By G.P. Avants

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

Hebrews 6:19
Meet Sky. She is the newest addition to our family. Our loppy floppy long-legged Teri-poo puppy came rip tearing into our lives. I never realized how broken in our other two smaller doggies were until our Sky changed our view.

Sky found out that carpets are wonderful to rip and shred. Needless to say we had to remove carpets, replace plants, sprinkler drip like, basically anything that could break apart into pieces.

Sky 4

Sky produces a daily weather pattern that was never the same twice. When she is amped up with canine ADD we say she is turbulent Sky. After a fun busy day, crashed out on the couch we experience a tranquil Sky. With this unpredictable nature, we saw

Happy Sky

Blue Sky, Intense Sky, Angry Sky, etc. Her weather-pattern affected the rest of us as we adjusted to the unpredictable conditions.

Sky
Would you call it this change more or less adaptation? A new habit or person appears in your normal routine and throws off your grooves. Something’s change radically at first. Our normal business may even be affected or even neglected for a season. Though your old life is gone a kind of new life emerges.

Blue Sky
For all the times I have gotten upset with Sky for ripping the floor from beneath my feet, I see more often the joy she has brought to our family. Pets or people are sent by the Lord into our lives. He knows that this season of shaking up the status quo really will stimulate us to grow. In the end we who were once individual parts have now become…minus the lily Sky is gnawing right now.

 

Posted in Adaptation, beating stress, Brokenness, christ, Christian character, destruction, Dogs, growth, Pets, responsibility, spiritual strength, Uncategorized, uncomfortable | Leave a comment

Danger: Thin Ice. Proceed with Caution. 

 

“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

 

                                                                                                Acts 14:22

Walter Skateboarding

 

By G.P. Avants

 

How do you handle risk in your life? I think we all want to avoid upsetting the illusion of balance and contentment we are trying to maintain. I know I do. Being risky and pushing the envelope can appear to be a good Christian thing to avoid. Yet, for anything to change in our life, we have to be willing to maybe take a walk on what some might deem the wild side.

These images are from a great inspirational movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I was watching this today and was reminded that this movie fits perfectly with this post. So, just go with me on this one and let’s see if it makes sense.

 

Walter Mitty Ocean

Water is life for our bodies. It can be nourishing and renewing when life drains us dry. In America water is pretty much a turn of a tap way. The average person in their normal routine hardly has to lift a finger to drink from this life-giving flow.

 

However, consider its source.

tenor

Water can flow from unclimbable peaks forming raging rivers and cool into musical streams of refreshment. It can rise from deep within the great recesses of the Earth. You can step into the shallows of the ocean and never venture to the edge where deeper waters teem with mysterious aquatic life. Water is such a seemingly simple resource that we have bottled, corralled, and generated into a tame creature that does our bidding.

 

Walter Mitty 2

Isn’t that like life? It has become predictable and determined by those who never understand it’s real purpose. Life that Christ offers pushes limits of what the world says is possible and good for you. He never advocates foolish or foolhardy ventures, But Jesus does beckon us to walk with Him no matter what the water conditions might be.

Walter and the Volcano

He asks us to walk into dangerous places and reach out to questionable people. It feels like walking on egg shells at times, or the possible crackle of ice beneath our feet. It is easier to run far from those risky places where we are comfortable and warm. Or do we leave our safe places and discover what God is doing in the lives of hungry and lost people?

Walter Mitty on ice

I wonder if life in these times could be compared to a frozen lake. There is a man-made sign that states: Danger! Thin ice. Yet, written in the unmistakable hand of the Lord these words followed: proceed with caution. How do you interpret that?

walter-mitty6-550x550

Have you ever seen the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Here is a scene about taking steps from a comfortable safe life and into the risks of a real life. It’s easy to life safe, but it that really living?

 

Posted in Character in Crisis, christ, Christian character, Christian living, courage, Dangerous, Exercise, healthy, Major Tom, Passion, renewal, Risk-taking, Space Oddity, Spiritual fitness, Uncategorized, Walter Mitty | Leave a comment

Is that Honey-coated Honeycomb with Hint of Honey Drizzle?

By G. P. Avants

Honey Comb

“Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!”

                                                        Proverbs 25:16

My Grandma Kay loved her “Goody-goodies.” Her house had sweets stashed everywhere. Needless to say, I think we all inherited her sweet tooth. Sadly, but not surprisingly, we all inherited that gene that is susceptible to diabetes.  I wish that I could be carefree as the kids in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Wouldn’t be great? And it was all made with Xylitol so it was the sugar that actually helped strengthened our teeth.

Honey coated

These are fantasies that are soon shaken when our overall health comes into play. The good thing is that the Lord has given us more wonderful things that in the long-run satisfy us deep down inside. He created that spicy kick to enhance dull moments we might experience. Life is a also sprinkled with salty tempers, sour bites of meloncoly , and dry bitter sadnesses which make us appreciate the special sweet things in life.

Buzzy Bee

We can’t live in a honey-coated world. 247. It isn’t lasting and doesn’t have the staying power to get you through the day. All the unique flavors in life round us out as it were. They deepen us into people who just don’t skip along on the surface. As my daughter became a teen (fifteen this month) I have seen her happy happy joy joy moments go through a maturing process.  We often ride home from dance and listen to music. I have seen her tastes change in music over the years. She has a wide variety so you never know what we might hear. We both agree that sad thoughtful music does deepen your soul, mind, and heart. It makes everything richer and the sweet happy times are grounded in something under the surface.

Sad Bear

Yet, together our tastes desire what our lives needs for whatever tasks are ahead. God gave us a perfect vehicle that is waiting to be fueled for the uncertainties on the road of life. I believe He doesn’t want us to sugar oursleves up with short-term things. The Lord wants us to consider the variety of flavors that your high-precision vehicle will need for that marathon race ahead. So whatever you are tasting at this moment, consider how it is preparing you for the next step in your life.

polar-bear-face_1811615i

Posted in bears, Blossoming, Change, Character in Crisis, christ, Christian character, Christian living, endurance, flavor, food, grace, growth, Health, healthy, Healthy Eating, Jesus, Life, perseverance, Persistance, renewal, Sadness, sorrow, Spiritual food, sweetness, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

When You Wear Thin…Remember Him

By G.P. Avants

I am having one of those weeks, well seasons actually, of being worn and torn. It is that time in life when you have to cut back to doing what the body, mind and soul can manage.  We live in a world that will suck every drop out of you. It can make you feel like that paper bag in the wind, or too much bread without enough butter to spread over it.

Thank the Lord, that He knows when we need to be energized.  I pray that this video from one of my favorite bands, Tenth Avenue North, lifts your spirit. We aren’t done yet, folks, the best, by God’s grace is yet to come.

Do you need prayer of encouragement? Let me know.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mi Casa es Su Casa

Welcome

“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and will come to him and make our home with him.”

John 14: 23

Mi casa is su casa-my house is your house. Have you ever had anyone tell you that before? That’s a generous offer. You’re basically making yourself at home at somebody else’s expense.

Welcome to my home

Is that how I treat the Lord in my home? Does He have full access to my home? It all starts off good. We start off like friends who stay a few days. We do things out of the ordinary and maybe have some special meals, play some games, watch movies. Then the week turns into weeks, then months.

Clean the house

When you have a long-term guest things do change, don’t they? Are they still a guest after a certain amount of time? Do I start asking them to do jobs and pull their own load a lot more? Yeah, I think their status as guest does change but, to what?

Bad day

Will the charming host wear off when God stays long term? Will He feel at home even on those days when I come home bearing a stress load from work? Dinner is late again and we are eating leftovers. These are realities of life in our home. Will He still feel welcomes in mi casa?

Our home

I wake up one morning, unshaven, and in my pajamas. There He is waiting for me so we can talk. We’ve gotten into a good routine but, I feel like I am just going through the motions. We have a great time conversing and eating breakfast. I always feel ready for my day after we have spent time together.

guest_info

However, He notices that there is tiredness behind my plastic smile.

”Tired?”

“Uh-huh, sorry.”

“There’s no need to be sorry. Thank you for opening your home, your life to me.” Then he grins.

“What?”

“I can’t wait until it’s my turn.”

Friends

I know where He is going with this but, I still play the game. “For what?”

“To bring you back to stay with me.”

“On vacation?”

“No, Son, to your real home.”

“Right, yes, that’s right.”

“Don’t forget,” Jesus hugs me, “Mi casa…”

‘
”…es su casa.”

New home someday

 

 

Posted in Christian living, companionship, Eternal home, family, friendship, God, God's Kingdom, Home, Jesus, Mi Casa es su casa, relationships, Uncategorized, Welcome | Leave a comment