Year 41, and Counting!

Dateline: July 3, 1974, Houston, Texas

 

July 3, 1974Our wedding date and location. It was an evening wedding before a long weekend off for our short honeymoon. It was a home wedding, hosted by Jack and Freda Huffman, somewhere near University of Houston.

Our officiant was Rev. A.E. Matney. He had performed my parents wedding 20 years earlier and looked the same in both photographs.

Our car was decorated, and there was shaving cream all over the steering wheel… Ruined my slacks if I remember correctly. We had to clean it up with that green napkin before we could drive off!

Some people take great care to plan their lives. Certain schools, careers, residences and experiences. Finding the right partner creates a dynasty, or so those wealthy families would espouse. But, Brenda and I sort of “jumped” into living. In those first 5 years of marriage, we moved about 14 times. Once kids came along we did settle down a little, and moved only about 10 times during the next 35 or so years. Careers, school, and life in general. From Texas, Alaska and Washington, we enjoyed life has we sought out locations, careers and God’s calling.

We slowed down our rapid pace and have settled to where we only had two residences over the past 22 years. We were never guilty of looking for anything specific, just a great life together. 

We were successful!

Mike and Brenda - UK Trip - September 2009We are still successful as we celebrate the first 41 years of life together. This is the year we both hit the big 60, as we have the same birth year. (You do the math!)  Sure, there have been bumps along the way, but if you do not experience those lean years, how can you enjoy those blessed years? You know where you have been, and you know where you are at, and still, you guess at the future.

To my partner of life, I love you bunches and wish for many more years and joys to come.

Because I am a unique thinker, I thought to add these statistics. Hope you enjoy!

Date difference from July 3, 1974 to July 3, 2015

  • The total number of days between Wednesday, July 3rd, 1974 and Friday, July 3rd, 2015 is 14,975 days.
  • This is equal to 41 years.
  • This does not include the end date, so it’s accurate if you’re measuring your age in days, or the total days between the start and end date. But if you want the duration of an event that includes both the starting date and the ending date, then it would actually be14,976 days.
  • If you’re counting workdays or weekends, there are 10,697 weekdays and 4,278 weekend days.
  • If you include the end date of Jul 3, 2015 which is a Friday, then there would be 10,698 weekdays and 4,278 weekend days including both the starting Wednesday and the ending Friday.
  • 14,975 days is equal to 2,139 weeks and 2 days.
  • The total time span from 1974-07-03 to 2015-07-03 is 359,400 hours.
  • This is equivalent to 21,564,000 minutes.
  • You can also convert 14,975 days to 1,293,840,000 seconds.
  • Today is 7/3/2015 and 7/3/1974 is exactly 14975 days before today.

In Times of Distress, Where Do You Go?

S.O.S.

SOSIt’s been around as long as I can remember. In fact, it was adopted in 1906 as the default code to be used in a moment of distress, and primarily for those ships on the waters in perilous situations.

Previously, the letters CQD were the default code and it is thought that SOS was more easily communicated since the Morse Code was Dash-Dash-Dash-Dot-Dot-Dot-Dash-Dash-Dash. And, there would be no confusion for it having any other meaning. We often think of SOS as meaning Save Our Saucepan. No. Wait. That was for the scrubbing pad that was, and probably is, so popular back in the day.

No. SOS does not mean Save Our Ship. The Morse Code series was simply chosen as easy to communicate on the wired and wireless routes of distress communication.

So, what did CQD stand for? 

Maybe you don’t know because you never called out for distress! Actually, CQD stands for: General Call Distress. I remember hearing the phrase “CQ, CQ” in a movie that my son loves so well. Can you guess it was in Contact? Sure had no clue what that meant back then!

Of course, this makes me think of those in distress all around us, and for many different reasons. Perilous times makes us call out for help. Distress causes up to look up from our low estate and search for salvation.

It was just reported that an elderly grandmother survived for several days with a fractured back after an accident on a lonely road in Texas. After swerving to avoid something she went off the road, over the hill and crashed by a pond. She pulled herself out of the car through the broken windshield, and survived by soaking her t-shirt in a pond. Unable to crawl to the road, or to get anyone’s attention, she simply waited. And waited. Until help came.

Woman Survives

We see these stories all the time. In pain. Trapped by the situation. Unable to call for help, we have grown to depend upon our tech devices to help notify others when we are in need.

Yet, there is a spiritual place we should go when struggling with the woes of life. David seems to be the one who writes more about this in his collections of songs (Psalms). If you can track them back to the event and put them into context of the moment, then they show us how we can — and should — learn to call on God in the moments of stress.

In a time of finally reaching the place where God wanted him, David writes a song that can easily be looked on as a prophetic Messianic psalms. But the one phrase I point out is this one:

“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears.” (2 Samuel 22:7 ESV) (And Psalms 18:6)

In a popular song by Dottie Rambo, I find these words comforting. As a child of God, I understand that my answer to a distressful cry comes from the source of my daily strength. Part of my answer to SOS comes from knowing where to turn to when the troubles assail. Instead of crying out to just anyone who will listen, I definitely turn to the Rock of my salvation.

Where do I go when there’s nobody else to turn to?
Who do I turn to when nobody wants to listen?
Who do I lean on when there’s no foundation stable?
I go to the Rock, I know He’s able, I go to the Rock

I go to The Rock for my salvation
I go to the stone that the builders rejected
I run to the mountain and the mountain stands by me
When the earth all around me is sinking sand
On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand
When I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to the Rock

Where do I hide till the storms have all passed over?
Who do I run to when the winds of sorrow threaten?
Is there a refuge in the time of tribulation?
When my soul needs consolation, I go to the Rock

I go to the Rock for my salvation
I go to the stone that the builders rejected
I run to the mountain and the mountain stands by me
When the earth all around me is sinking sand
On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand
When I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to the Rock

I go to the Rock for my salvation
I go to the stone that the builders rejected
I run to the mountain and the mountain stands by me
When the earth all around me is sinking sand
On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand
When I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to The Rock

Who do you turn to when stressful times come? Some continually return to the same source where they feel they get the most assistance. I want to know that there is a better place, a better source of answers, a better spiritual place to be. Especially when I need it the most.

The Confidence Factor

Who have you put your confidence in?

Confidence

Similar in meaning, but different words (trust, faith, reliance, etc.) give foundation to a concept that we depend upon every single day. Our self-esteem or self-confidence may be out of whack, or we simply need an influencer in our life, so we look to someone else, or something, to give us what we are missing. In other words, there are things we depend on other than ourselves.

What is Confidence? Of the variety of descriptions used in the dictionary, the one that speaks to me the loudest?

Confidence: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something

Rely? In other words, it’s someone I can put MY TRUST in, and maybe even trust for my particular SITUATION.  Dig a little deeper for application – It’s who I trust with my finances, family, kids, mechanic for my car, a friend that is closer than a brother…. It’s who I trust for my spiritual condition.

For the past several weeks we have been studying about “influence” and documenting those things, and people, that have been an influence in our lives. Some of these influences lead us properly in life, but there are also bad influences! It’s necessary to learn to recognize those that are good influences, and those that are not so good – and choose appropriately!

This gives me my Confidence Factor. Part of what I do is to put parameters upon people and things and determine if I can place my confidence in them. Are they dependable? Reliable? Consistent? Show up when necessary, or needed? Do they follow through when required? Are they there when needed, and even when not needed?

In other words, can I place my confidence in them? Or it? Many times I do not even trust my own parameters, and end up trusting someone that should not be depended upon.

I awoke this morning thinking about confidence. Immediately, I thought about a favorite song of the 70’s by Andrae Crouch. It was a favorite choir song, and I know I wore out an album listening to Andrae sing this and other songs.

When trouble is in my way, I can’t tell my night from day
When I’m tossed from side to side, Like a ship on a raging tide
I don’t worry I don’t fret, My God has never failed me yet
Troubles come from time to time, But that’s all right,
I’m not the worrying kind because

Chorus:
I’ve got confidence, God is gonna see me through
No matter what the case may be,  I know He’s gonna fix it for me
Job was sick so long, Till the flesh fell from his bones

His wife, cattle and children, Everything that he had was gone
But Job in his despair, I said He knew that God still cared

Sleepless days and sleepless nights, But Job said that’s all right because
Some folks wonder how I smile, Even when I’m goin’ through trials

They say Andrae` how can you have song, When everything is goin’ wrong
But I don’t worry I don’t fret, My God has never failed me yet
Trouble’s coming from time to time, But that’s all right,
I’m not the worrying kind because

[Words & music by Andrea Crouch]

Along the way, we choose to put our confidence in people or things. Perhaps there is a time when the trust is justifiable, but we should constantly weigh out whether this confidence is necessary for the long run. You see, when we trust continually one way and leave God out of the equation, then we will struggle with our Confidence Factor.

Of old, we knew that Egypt was a mighty nation. When Israel left slavery and returned to their promised land, the Pharaoh had a change of heart and sent his mighty army of soldiers and chariots after them. Fear swept Israel. They understood what this army could do, but they had so quickly forgotten their new found confidence in the releasing power of God! They had just come through all the plagues, and now they were free! Except for the chariots…

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD! (Isaiah 31:1 ESV)

You see, if God can handle an entire nation on their home turf, then the same God can handle their armies as they leave their cities! Israel may have had their Confidence Factor shaken, but Moses shows them to trust God even again.

Later, King David wrote a psalms that brags on Israel and God!

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalms 20:7 ESV)

Watch those you put your confidence in, because they, or it, can fail you. This applies to all facets of your life… Even your financial position. Stock markets, gold, silver, 401k’s, property – they all are volatile and will lead you on a roller coaster. You may trust in what you have, and what you hope to gain, but with one swift day and it can all crumple around your ears… Just look at Job! So, one more scriptural thought about the Confidence Factor from a man who lost just about everything he had, including his family.

“If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence, if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because my hand had found much, if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.” (Job 31:24-28 ESV)

See? If you had been faithful to all that you have acquired, and trusted in what you have been able to make and do, and been false to God… Then you have your Confidence Factor out of whack!

 

Who Said That?

I ask this often, even more so with Social Media…

Quote MarksWe are bombarded with quotes from famous people. Twitter is nothing if not a library of 144 character sentences with a reputed line from someone who once was.

That being said, does it mean what is being quoted needs a famous name associated with it to make it more meaningful? Perhaps the original thought from whoever penned the saying needs to be famous for it to be received. But even if I see a quote I enjoy, I attempt to independently verify it before repeating it. Else we are simply repeating a falsehood.

Even when we think we are repeating something someone else said, I am sure we never get it exactly correct. Maybe the “gist” is the only thing we hope for.

So, when I find something that appeals to me I try to find the source from whence it came. Barring success, and sometimes it is a difficult task, I will simply recite it as an “Unknown”… 

Some of the best quotes that relate to me the most come from famous leaders of the past – Churchill, Lincoln, and other such notables. I really relate to messages from Einstein! Guess this means I’m smart, or I simply do not understand him but think I do.

The gullible might read something they like, and it has a source they respect, and they will simply recite it over and again declaring its validity. For example, I saw a tweet recently that was a quote of Lincoln that said something about a modern event. Obviously, it was not a direct quote.

Many of us that use the Bible as a source of strength and making better life choices often mis-quote the scripture. Yes… Even I am guilty of that! Fortunately we have a ready book available to verify the quote. We should verify this easily.

What makes me think about this today? Someone tweeted a comment about love and happiness. At first I thought it appropriate, but upon deeper consideration I realized it was a falsehood. True love does not come trying to fix it where another is “happy”…. True love comes when you love even when another cannot reciprocate.

Consider the words of Jesus:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Note this, our example of love does not come from anyone else. It is exampled by how He loved us – sacrificially. Right? We are his disciples when we example the same kind of love for one another.

Additionally, this means that I look for those who sacrifice for others and note their example of Jesus. The one that loved Jesus the most was his disciple, John (John 13:23). John took the same words of Jesus and repeated them a little different….. Note, he is not talking to just anyone. He’s talking to followers of God.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11 ESV)

If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No where in any of my readings can I find that love makes you a happier person. Nor is my happiness found in your extension of love. Love and happiness do not go hand in glove when it is not found outside of the realm of God. In fact, Jesus is quoted in Revelations like this:

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”  (Revelation 3:19 ESV)

Since God is love, and since He loves everyone – then he reproves (corrects) and disciplines them so that they will repent. Repent? Yes, when we go from Godly ways, then correction and discipline leads back to Him and under the covenant of Love.

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10 ESV)

This, then is love – the ultimate payment system of our sins.

What is true love? If it is not a Godly love that leads someone to Christ, then it is simply what we call love in this world today. I cannot think of a better way to quote Love to another. It has nothing to do with your happiness. It has everything to do with Godly example.

 

 

Your Compass Never Lies

A compass is a remarkable tool.

Compass - GurleyA child can make one with a needle, water, and a magnet or piece of silk.

Explorers make decisions that affect their life by what they see when they hold it in their hand and they go where no one has gone before. It gives them focus and a sense of direction.

This compass, though fragile and missing various components, still has characteristics that are common to all magnetic compasses.

It show’s direction because the compass needle is attracted by magnetic “magnetic north”, not the “true north” …. There is a difference between the two. For Earth, the planet has a top and a bottom, and centered at each pivot is true north and south. And, for Earth, the entire planet acts as a magnet. I’ve read all the definitions and nothing settles down into plain English. So, I define it as simply where the strongest pull of this ball of earth magnet draws the needle.

Compass readings are affected by the presence of iron and steel objects.

A rusty nail placed near a faithful compass, will sway it from the truth, and wreck the argosy. –Walter Scott

The magnetic compass has been used for navigation for hundreds of years. At one time, it was the only reliable means of direction-finding. Today sophisticated equipment is available that is more accurate in locating direction and bearings.

However, such equipment has not made the compass obsolete. It is still a very practical tool. Even airplanes and ships equipped with more sophisticated equipment often carry compasses as backups.

If we were to draw spiritual lessons from the compass I would begin by having you see that God’s Word is the compass of our lives. From it we derive our destination, direction and determination. Now is the time we must be setting the compass to reach our destination.

Paul writes to Timothy in his last letter:

2 Timothy 3:14-17 (KJV) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

First, consider that aiming the compass points one into a singular direction, whether it be the correct direction or not.

Paul tells Timothy “…that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15) Much of our direction in life is set from a young age. Train up a child (Proverbs 22:6) when he is young and when he is old he will not depart.

The word for “train” actually means to point someone on the right road. Do it when young and there is plenty of time to make corrections.

The same is true with the Compass. Make necessary corrections at the start of a journey and there will be a less of a dramatic change than when you make nearer your destination.

This is probably best seen in simple things – teach a child early how to read, and there will be a love for what the written word can provide, or, teach a child how to respect their elders then they will carry this honor into their adult life. Yet, when it comes from a spiritual perspective, present the child with solid spiritual training and the likelihood is that the child grows up with God first in their life.

The older I get, the better I understand these spiritual applications. The New Testament has numerous teaching points on the importance of Spiritual connections and how they will touch ever time period of our life.

  • PastEphesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
  • Present and Future1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Our destination is set by the Compass of His Word. It says we are to be conformed to the image of Christ while on the road, with heaven being the ultimate conforming to where we will be like He is. Jesus is our True North – on this road of life, and at the ending of our life. It is impossible to sight your compass across a large expanse and then walk across that area while continually looking at the compass dial. The list of what could happen is endless. You see, we walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor 5:7). If I’m walking without worrying about what I am “seeing” then that means my Faith must be strong and capable to give me my “bearing” so that I can arrive at my destination.

Secondly, when one sets the compass of ones life in light of the Word, then your Compass will give you proper direction.

Paul tells Timothy how important the Word is, (2Timothy 3:16) “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…”

This means that it has all the reference points I need in order to make sense of the direction of Faith.

Yet, it seems like many have lost their sense of direction. Too many believe that the Word is not relevant to life,  and not not capable of pointing us the proper direction, and thus it is no good for anything in life.

I hate to ask for directions. It seems like such a waste of time, and not only that it makes me look like I do not know where I am going. Isn’t that true of many. We’d rather look like we know where we are going rather than know for certain where we are going!

There are many definitions of the number of people in life, but one person defines three kinds of people in the world.

  • Aimless wanderers who are lost with no bearings toward True North.
  • Rebellious run-a-ways who are defiant with not interest in True North.
  • Hopeful explorers who are seekers with a clear focus on True North.

How can you claim to be a Christian if you are Aimless or Rebellious. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God” (Matt 6:33) shows us that a person cannot be counted among the Aimless or Rebellious if they have put God first! (1John 5:20) “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” With Christ as our destination, we must see that all scriptures point to Him our True North. We need the reference points God provides.

Paul later tells Timothy that there will come a time when people will not endure “sound” doctrine, but will follow things that satisfy their own desires. (2 Tim 4:3-4) They will follow anyone that gives them the teaching that satisfies what they want to hear. They will follow anyone that gives them the stories and fables that will make the path to God easier.

What is Doctrine? It’s God’s instructional teaching from His Word… Not man’s teaching, but God’s teaching. Why do we believe what we believe? Is it beliefs backed up by scripture, or just man made devices with scriptures that are twisted and turned to fit us? Paul talks about this to the church in Ephesus, (Ephesians 4:14) “…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive,…” It’s not my job to teach my philosophies. It is my job to teach God’s instructional Word – His Doctrine. His word is “profitable” for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction. (2 Tim 3:16) It has a purpose to make us perfect and thoroughly furnished unto all good works…

Consider this the power of the Compass. It can give us:

  • Correctional Direction – 2 Timothy 2:25-26 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
  • Instructional Direction – Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Planet Earth shifts it poles from time to time as it wobbles around the sun. This means that magnetic north can shift. Yet God says, “I Change Not…” (Malachi 3:6)  and Jesus Christ is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever (Heb 13:8). A magnetic compass is affected by outside influences (iron and steel) but the Word never adjusts for its surroundings. We must be careful to not be influenced by the changing and shifting values, beliefs and practices in our culture. The fool with compass in hand will lead you in a foolish direction. (Proverbs 18:2) “A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.”

Consider the power of the Compass pointed in the right direction – it gives us determination to go the right way. This is the Power of the Spirit working within us that began a good work and working to complete until the end (Phil 1:6), while at the same time an equipped person speaks as the voice of God (1 Peter 4:11). God will never give us something to do that we are not empowered to do, nor will He gives us a task without us being thoroughly conversant in the doctrine.

You see, we are His workmanship, created for good works, that God prepared beforehand for us to walk in certain ways (Eph 2:10). If we profess to know God but deny Him in our works, then we are abominable, disobedient and disqualified for every good work (Titus 1:16)

Just how determined are you to get to your destination? Listen to the determination of the apostle Paul. (1 Corinthians 2:2) For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. No discussion or controversy on anything, he said he came only to present Jesus Christ!

Finally, as with anything in life, if we are going to understand how a Compass work we must search out the answers. This is where we must all begin our study of the Directional Power of God’s Will in our life – the study of God’s Word. May I suggest to you the best time to set the compass is in childhood.  Did you notice Paul speaking of Timothy, “… that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, …” 2 Timothy 3:15a Parents, set the compass in your life and in turn set the compass in your children’s life.

Sink the Bible to the bottom of the sea, and man’s obligation to God would be unchanged. He would have the same path to tread, only his lamp and his guide would be gone; he would have the same voyage to make, only his compass and chart would be overboard. -Henry Ward Beecher

Set your compass now…

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

When The Weeds Win

You Heard Me!

Weeds WinSometimes the weeds win the battle. All you have to do is look at my back yard and you see the results of drying conditions and no sprinkling.

I’ve watched my neighbors who enjoy their green and luscious yards and I’ve come to some conclusions that apply to much of life in general…but mainly my yard… and me…

Take this as an application of “thinking it through”…

  1. Soil conditions – Everything needs soil to grow and the soil needs continual conditioning to keep it in the freshest condition to hold nutrients and moisture for the roots. Roots find their nourishment in the soil. Poor soil produces poor opportunity for the grasses to be successful. When you do not take care of the soil, then you struggle with grass that cannot grow properly – and that’s when weeds, who maybe start out as a minor nuisance, can take over because they do not need soil that’s in good condition. In fact, many of my weeds grow where there are rocks and little soil!
  2. Nutrients – I’m not much on fertilizer, but this is often required in certain regions where the rain can wash away what might be in the soil naturally. Properly timed nutrient addition can give the grass time to recover and provide coverage that will choke out the weeds.
  3. Weed Killers – I’m not much into putting out poisons that will kill certain things, but not others – but this is definitely needed at this time of the year. Of course, it’s probably not wise to do it at the wrong time. Early in the season, make it where the weeds are not welcome and they will die out.
  4. Trimming – I love to mow, but sometimes I don’t get to it soon enough… So, I have to cut deeper than I should. The rules say to trim only about 1/3 of the length, even if it means multiple mowing in subsequent days. Sometimes, we cut the good stuff shorter than we should and it becomes stressed. Stressed grass allows the weeds to sprout!

So, my summation is this. We need to revitalize the soil! Utilize better nutrients! Judiciously apply the weed killers! Trim the good stuff the right way so that weeds do not creep in!

There is a way to win against the weeds!

Think this through with me… Doesn’t this apply to much of what we deal with in life? Whether we replace the word “weeds” with “time thieves” or “wasteful spending” or even “wrong choices” – there are always ways to properly setup life where these “weeds” are not battled tomorrow. Choices today setup the game plan of tomorrow!

A good friend of mine posted a quote this morning that is very applicable to me, personally.

“Don’t have your concert first, and then tune your instruments; begin the day with the Word of God and Prayer.” ~Hudson Taylor via Steve Smith

We cannot win the battle against anything if our instruments are out of tune! Nor can we win against spiritual conditions if we are not prepared for the battle. Jesus understood this very well.

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’   (Luke 14:28-30 ESV)

Timing must be right. Conditions must be ripe. And we must be prepared. At the right time! It took Noah a number of decades to build his ark before the floods came.

If you do nothing, then the weeds win! Your grass will slowly be choked out and you will have to fight back for simply the right for it to survive.