Monthly Archives: September 2016

Impromptu Hike, Vol. 2: Cords of Human Kindness, Ropes of Love

God is no stranger to helping hikers. He’s an expert guide. One of the greatest love stories ever told happened on a hike – a hike that lasted 40 years.

The Israelites thought they knew best. Despite God showing up in miraculous ways, they were a “stiff-necked” people that wanted their own way (Exodus 33:3). Yet, He never turned His back on them. He never once left them stranded.

rope-of-loveListen to HOW much He LOVES:
It was I who taught Israel to walk and I took them by the arms, but they did not understand that I had healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ropes of love.  I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down and fed them.”
Hosea 11:3-5

I can only imagine God’s view of us today. We can’t look that different from the Israelites so long ago.

Do you feel His arms leading you?  Or have you jerked your arm away one too many times? Do you find yourself struggling to find purpose for your hike?

Consider John MacArthur’s words in his book, Found: God’s Will:

“You say you do not know what God’s will is, but I’ll tell you what it is. Above all, it is that you know Christ and then that your neighbor’s hear about Christ. That is His will. So often we sit around twiddling our thumbs, dreaming about God’s will in some distant future when we are not even willing to stand up on our own two feet, walk down the street, and do God’s will right now.”

Want to see a vision of God’s will for us?

These young men were captured reaching out a coffee shop window to touch a widow and pray over her broken heart.

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ropes of love.
Hosea 11:4

When interviewed about the above picture the young men said, “This is just another day at work for us.”

Looking in the car window, they saw a woman on an “impromptu hike” that was hurt. They saw, not with human eyes, but with spiritual eyes… and with cords of human kindness, God bent down and wrapped His arms around her. You see those arms… reaching out that window… those are His arms… doing HIS will.

There are many reasons for our own impromptu hikes:

  • Our own choices leave us lost
  • Choices of others lead us down paths unknown
  • Circumstances beyond our control leave us stranded

In God’s field guide, the map to our success will always be found in each other. “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ropes of love.” Never does He ask us to do this alone.

Open your spiritual eyes today. When you see the people around you, ask God to show you their “spiritual surroundings.”

For that widow in the car, I can only imagine her relief – when through a coffee shop window – young men looking through His eyes saw her reality of being in a deep, dark valley. Their human kindness threw her a cord to grab a hold of so she could climb out of that valley.

Stop jerking your arm away from His tender leading.

Dear God, our guide on this journey,
I pray that today you will stir in hearts and through human kindness, others will feel you leading them. I pray eyes will be open to the reality of other’s spiritual journeys. I pray that we will link arms together and realize that we were never meant to walk any of our hikes alone. Thank you, Lord, for never giving up on us. Thank you, Lord, for using us and giving us a purpose, so every step of our hike can serve to help others find their own way to You and Your loving arms. Amen.

Erica Pearson, ericalovesbooks@gmail.com
For additional reference: Impromptu Hike: Lessons of the Hill, Vol 1

With controllables, it’s all about the process – not the results

“Controllables are process-oriented, not results-oriented.”

Amy Pigozzi
Amy poses with a family who bought educational products from her. In running her own business, Amy makes process-oriented decisions that yield desirable results.

This was a phrase uttered by Amy Pigozzi, an Associate Sales Leader with Southwestern Advantage, during a recent focus group that caught my attention. It got me thinking about more than the question or topic it was a response to.

The word “controllables” is part of a driving principle and an undeniable mantra we’ve had for many, many years at Southwestern Advantage (est. in 1855). The complete phrase is “control the contollables.” This means you should only worry only about the things that are in your power to control. All other things are not in your control and are of no matter, yet keep in mind they are of consequence. If you are truly focused on controlling the controllables, then you will have all your efforts based on the things you can change or improve – such as your attitude, for example.

However, getting back to Amy’s phrase above that triggered my thought process… those things that are controllable are based on the PROCESS and not the RESULTS, as she noted. It’s the process we control to get to the results.

This is evidenced everyday in our lives. If we are hungry, we eat. But if we are trying to lose weight, we might make the choice to eat a salad rather than a burger and fries. The reasoning of eating the healthier option is part of a process that yields a specific result. This controlled decision was process-oriented.

What’s more is, we are in a constant process ourselves. In order to get to our final results, our lives are one big jumble of both controllables and uncontrollables. Knowing where to put our focus helps us get through life a little more seamlessly than if we try to problem-solve those things we can not really do anything about or effect.

That brings me to a verse in Proverbs 19:

Many are the plans of a man’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
– Proverbs 19:21

We all have plans for our lives, but it’s God’s purpose for us that wins out and carries the day. His purpose is in the uncontrollable category. But some of the ways we fulfill our purpose, however, are in our control. The key is to make our plans as part of the process so we can obtain the desired results – the Lord’s prevailing purpose.

Contact: Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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