God can change your course of history. Have you ever been
between a rock and a hard place, where you have to make a choice between two
unpleasant options? I grew old from throwing stones, so I conceded to stay in
I’ve found myself at dead-ends of lonely highways, and at
the edge of cliffs I thought was a gentle shoreline. I drove in storms where no
man ventured, unaware I was being protected by God. Do you, too, look at your
world and question how you ended up where you are today?
Second-guessing our world allows Satan a place to rest in
your life. No rest for the weary may have more meaning once you understand
the complexity of the verse. Being placed between a rock and a hard place is best
described as a vice on your spirit. God will not allow our hearts to be bound if
we continue in loving prayer. We can apply God’s command by choosing His way…
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him.”
How does God give us direction? He guides us by the wisdom
of the Bible and wise biblical counsel from His servants. It addresses every
complexing situation in life. Sometimes, though, answers may not be clear
through scriptures. Search out guidance in a library or Christian websites to
gain a piece of broader knowledge.
“Where there is
no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
Maybe you’re afraid of deciding about something which you may
regret later. Everyone has to make choices, and my friends, our Father’s
abundance of grace and mercy freely flows to His children. His forgiveness is
I give God the glory! The mighty savior’s strength protects
us from the storms. He knows we face situations of being caught between a rock
and a hard place. But in the sanctuary of His safety, He delivers answers within
the ferocious winds and the sigh of calm waters. The Lord’s love abounds among
the fear. He mends the broken threads of Satan’s fury for His way is
I pray your prayers will make miracles happen when you are between a rock and a hard place. Wouldn’t you rather find peace in a quiet harbor than on a violent sea? Pack a paddle and head for the Lord!
highlight of my Easter season, when I was a child, was watching the nail-biting
TV movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” I remember my tears flowing as Dorothy handed
Toto over to Miss Gulch on the bike. But today, I look at this Academy Award
Nominated motion picture in a different light. From a Christian writer’s
perspective, the underlying message and morals in this movie are phenomenal!
Let me take you for a walk down my yellow brick road…
Dorothy was a character on a soul-searching mission. She was an orphan, adopted by her aunt and uncle in Kansas, yet she appeared to have a deep-rooted longing to find a true home. Insecurities plagued her because she didn’t fit in with the older relatives, and a mean Miss Gulch wanted to take her only friend, Toto, away from her. Auntie Em became frustrated with Dorothy’s antics and yelled, “Find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble.” Dorothy picked up Toto and said, “Is there such a place Toto? Not a place you can get to by boat or train.”
most of us looking to fill an empty spot inside our soul – a place where there
isn’t any sadness? Always seeking, we get mixed up in wrong relationships,
addictions, and false idols. When we finally accept Jesus Christ into our
hearts, we soon realize we have everything we need daily; and it’s not a place
you can get to by boat or train.
Dorothy, like so many people, run from their problems. A tornado swept her from
safety, and she entered another world. Her only path home was down the yellow
brick road. The Good Witch of the North, Glinda, warned her to never venture
off its path for darkness loomed in every corner. What a great metaphor! We must
walk through life on God’s golden road only for Satan will quickly invade if
our guard is down. Temptations of sin can fog a mind when difficulties become
overwhelming; prayers are the answer to tackle the troubles. Seek God first
before using your own solution.
theme of the movie centers on Dorothy’s quest to go to the Emerald City; she
sought the Wizard of Oz’s help to take her back to Kansas. Along the way, the
Wicked Witch of the West and her minions attack her and her friends. This is so
like Satan trying to intervene in our life! By the end of the film, Dorothy
discovered the Wizard was a phony, a false idol if you will. She is devastated
until Glinda (her guardian angel, perhaps?) magically came to her rescue. “Dorothy,” she said, “You’ve always had the power to go back to
Kansas.” What lesson did she learn from the whole experience? A heart’s
desire isn’t any further than your own backyard (or in my case, a bible). The
love and acceptance she wanted were always at her doorstep.
moral of Dorothy’s story is God’s power makes our life fantastic for He is
greater than any physical object or place we seek on our own. As we come to
know Jesus Christ, we understand He promises to guide us because the love for
His children is eternal. When we resist the enemy, we draw closer to Him, and He
becomes our home. The solution to our problems is right under our nose.
SCARECROW AND A BRAIN
first friend Dorothy met on the yellow brick road was the happy-go-lucky
scarecrow who wanted the Wizard to give him a brain. It’s quite funny, often throughout
the movie, he acted as though he had a brain and common sense. How frequently
do we take action as if we don’t have sense? We beat ourselves up for the
mistakes we make along the way and we lose forgiveness in the shuffle of
stupidity. God forgives us our sins so why hold on to regrets? Did you ask God
to clear your heart and mind of all the clutter which pulls your progress down?
Did you diligently pray for forgiveness?
the end of the show, it’s quite ironic the Wizard actually did not fulfill the
scarecrow’s wishes. He only gave him a diploma of higher thinking. This character
simply lacked self-confidence. The Scarecrow sought a higher power to confirm
he could be smart. Little did he know, confidence comes from a relationship
with Christ. Yes, we must be secure in God’s Word and not in our flesh. He
gives us hope in times of adversity.
THE TIN MAN AND A HEART
second character who befriended Dorothy was the rusted Tin Man. He wanted the Wizard
to give him a heart, hence emotions. The Wizard of Oz told him “a heart will never be practical until it is
made unbreakable.” The Tin Man
quickly learned what a broken heart was when he said goodbye to Dorothy.
hearts is a common thread among humanity. We have to trust God has a better plan
for our life, thus healing us from the inside out. He replaces the feelings of
rejection and abandonment with a sense of renewal. All we have to do is pick up
the Bible and allow His words to soothe our soul. Once we connect with Jesus,
everything changes and nothing or no one has the same power over us again. God
forms a shield to protect our innocence.
THE COWARDLY LION AND COURAGE
to Emerald City, the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Dorothy trotted arm-in-arm.
Suddenly a large curly-haired lion jumped out from behind a tree and tried to
scare the trio. The ferocious lion growled and snapped at them until Dorothy
slapped him. “You should be ashamed
of yourself!” The lion quickly retreated behind his own tail and cried.
Throughout the movie, his fear reared its ugly head. Could the great Wizard
give him courage?
experience scary situations in life – perhaps bullying, roadblocks, and other
fear factors. Hard times are unavoidable, but we can count on God to pick us up,
dust us off, and help us through these failures. An important message from this
is Satan instigates fear. My favorite saying is, “Where there is fear, there is
no faith.” Let us rely on God for strength to conquer our personal battles for
He is always in control and will not abandon us. Be of good courage for the
Lord is with us every step of the way!
OUR CHRISTIAN WALK
The Wizard of Oz, though not written with religion in mind, can teach us about our Christian walk with God. We should examine our relationship with the Lord and strive, every day, to be more like Him. Draw on the intelligence of our brain; maintain a heart open and sincere and pray for the courage to stand up for our belief. If we stray along the way to the Emerald City, known as heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ will be there to lift us up. Just as Dorothy had to “learn it for herself,” our journey helps us grow to be the best Christians we can be for eternal salvation. Everything we need is in the power of God, not the ruby slippers.
The next time you watch this excellent motion picture, look for the hidden Christian parables – you will be amazed at how many you’ll witness!
the pond, a familiar Aesop tale sends a very succinct message. A little shepherd
boy stood guarding sheep at the foothills. It bored him waiting for a wolf to chase
the flocks. He thought it more entertaining to watch the villagers run to his
imposing calamity as he cried out, “Wolf!
Wolf! A wolf is chasing my sheep!” But, there was no wolf, nor an emergency.
The second occasion he fooled them, he became known as a nuisance, and the angry
men told him “Save your frightened
song for when there is really something wrong!” As fate dictated, a wolf
later appeared, and when he screamed for help, the village did not pay
attention. The moral of the story is no one believes a liar, even when he tells
the truth. How often is humanity shrouded in dishonesty? It’s one of life’s
most painful experiences.
the Last Supper, Jesus became troubled and overcome by grief. He announced, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you
shall betray me… to the chief priests and elders, in order to be put to death.”
The disciples looked at him in great astonishment wondering who would betray Jesus’s
loyalty and honor. The Gospel of Mark gives no motive for Judas’s betrayal, only
that he committed the disloyalty in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. But
when he learned Jesus was to be crucified, he attempted to return the money; the
Romans denied the coins and Judas committed suicide by hanging. In this
biblical story, Jesus understood Satan overcame Judas. Isn’t this a common
trait of evil and unholiness – lying, deception, and betrayal?
are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He
was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because
there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own
resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
As human beings, we usually want to believe the best in others, but generally, this is not the situation. For liars, it turns into a scary second nature. Their behavior provides comfort and an escape from discomfort and boredom, just as the little boy crying “wolf.” If public figures are caught lying, a scandal erupts, but what if children lie to their parents? Children have a fear of being scolded and punished for their mischiefs. It is easier for them to take refuge in their lies rather than tackling a problem head-on. But, many parents accept their behavior without giving a consequence, and the fibs grow into more significant issues. Then we hear the horror stories of spouses lying to each other too. The innocent person tries to make excuses for the other’s actions, and a dysfunctional whirlwind creates a less-than-honest marriage.
Oddly enough, these dramatic lessons can be traced all the way back to Jesus’s time. In the restitution of life, there comes a time when we have little choice but to give it to God. Be it a child, spouse, or Judas’s betrayal, stretching the truth will haunt you for the rest of your life. Crying wolf, without due cause, finds you at the mercy of God and the wolves, “for you reap what you sow.”
My dad was a tough, wise man who quoted, “There are no exceptions to experience. You have to go through it to understand.” He’s right! It is awful to be deceived, but we can learn from the mistake and move forward knowing God is in our heart to ease the pain. We need to sharpen our wisdom tactics and pray for those who attempt to cry “Wolf.”
approached the corner of a gorgeous, stately community. A large sign didn’t show
which direction to proceed, and its definition confused me. Marveled by the
message, I wondered if God was trying to tell me something. Dare I make a wrong
turn because some things seem so inviting yet sin lies just around the corner?
makes it abundantly clear we need to listen to His messages, but sometimes our
spirit disagrees with the subconscious mind. Second thoughts might lend
themselves to be valid than reality. God didn’t really place the sign but whoever
did, might be sent by Him. Sitting with my foot on the brake and profusely
sweating, how do I know for sure if it’s His warning sign?
is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that
you are not of God.”
instant, my car rumbled to a halt. Was it trying to tell me something? My mind went
in reverse as God made His presence known. I cried out for Him to save me
before I traveled further down the wrong road. I’m confident He saved me from a
you imagine the magnitude of our mistakes if we did not have a close
relationship with the Lord? We live in a world filled with signs, some good and
some bad. The sole way to distinguish the best ones is to have a heart committed
to understanding His words. This requires a heart fully surrendering to Him and
plenty of prayers. In our moment of silence, God will relay His guiding words.
the engine again and regained my composure. The car behind me honked his horn, so
I made a U-turn. I smiled at the driver and politely acknowledged I was in the
wrong with a hand signal. God also knew where I might be if I not heeded the
a safe bet to acknowledge God tries to save all His children who hang on the
brink of self-destruction. His voice speaks to us through the Bible, a friend, and
yes, even a sign now and then. But don’t be tempted to look for a quick answer
to the warning signs. God may not be finished revealing a situation to you. It
is all in His perfect timing.
important to understand the Bible has many stories of people doing exactly what
God wanted them to do, yet they still suffered hard times, persecution and even
death. After all, His idea of success will not be your own, and sometimes there
will be plenty of pain to endure along the road. Even in the darkest highways
of life, we still need to stick to His plans. This is obedience to His word!
sure of your directional heading? Then turn to God who needs to be your driver.
Follow the biblical legend, Jesus Christ, for the only way to get to heaven is
with an invitation from Him. I pray every day the heavens gleaming light will radiate
in your heart. The passion from heaven will transform you making life’s little
temptations so much easier for you to handle. Learn to read the warning signs. Christ
is here to help you if you let Him….. just don’t obey the warning signs of
your subconscious mind.
The picture above is such an appropriate scene for many of
my followers today! I took this snapshot five years ago (sorry, it’s not the
best of quality). Complacent as it is though, my thoughts run deeper. I never
realized, until this morning, how much it says about life. The heavens were so
blue and tranquil. Yet the beauty of the landscape hid a time when my spirit
was riddled with frustration and hope. In all the luster and calmness of the
frozen and packed ice, I traveled the road with determination. Living in a house
of selfish people who cared more of fulfilling their own desires, I only had God
on my side. He knew the truth of my anointing to be His messenger. I was headed
home to a world full of doubts and far from harmonious. Slippery promises of
change, like drifts in the snow, laid heavily in my mind.
But, in this photo, there is another obstacle not readily observed
by the naked eye – faith. You must succumb
to life’s icy patches to make sure you’re qualified for God’s blessings which He
has in store for you. I was never really alone on the treacherous road. You see,
faith is tested more during times of trials and tribulations. Things may not
always appear to be as you wish, but pray for strength and guidance, and God
will protect you. Reminiscing those scary road conditions, it’s obvious He
watched over me. He made sure nothing obstructed His view of me. Our Father
never deserts His children!
I learned many family members doubted me because not one
soul witnessed me being touched by God. But I didn’t care who believed or
disbelieved me. My decision to be a writer of our Lord’s messages would honor
Him. I trusted God implicitly to guide me through my passages of a thousand
words, and He has never failed me.
This morning, over breakfast, I told my wife, “Thanks,
honey, for believing in me.” She, to this day, has a hard time comprehending she
is the first person to believe God touched me. As our miracles continue to
mount, there is little doubt. Even the picture above mysteriously appeared while
writing this blog – a clear sign He acknowledges this message to you.
It is important to remember this… when life hands you an
icy road to drive, don’t stop looking up to the heavens! You may not understand
immediately the “why,” but one thing is for sure, God wants to use your
hardship to draw you closer to Him. Stay connected in prayer for He is testing
your obedience. Our Father will always be with you on those snowy back roads of
Today, as everyday, and many times also, you will make choices. Each time, you will choose between good and evil. Tell me what you will choose, and I will tell you what you will be doing to the world. The choices you make determine whether you are adding good or evil to the world.