Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Life Lessons from Looney Tunes (‘What are You Chasing?’ or ‘Standing on Thin Air’)

I love the old Warner Brothers ‘Looney Tunes’ characters such as Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Sylvester the ‘Puddy Tat’; and of course Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

Someone has said, ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.’  You don’t need to watch too many Roadrunner cartoons to realize that Wile E. Coyote is insane!  He does the same things over and over again as if they are going to work.  Wile E. is constantly after Roadrunner; continually chasing what he thinks he wants.  His sense of self worth is completely tied to his pursuit of his worldly desires.  When he fails, which he does, over and over again, he walks away dejected and defeated.

In one episode, Zoom and Bored, the Coyote is up to his old tricks again.  At one point in the madness Wile E. seems to have caught up to Roadrunner and they come to a screeching halt in a cloud of dust.  Wile E. knows almost immediately that he has lost again.  The dust clears from around Wile E.’s feet to reveal him standing on thin air.  After a pitiful look at the viewer, he plummets to the ground; it’s a long fall with a painful ending.  As Wile E. falls, the dust clears from around Roadrunner’s feet to reveal him standing on a solid rock ledge. 

Now because it’s a cartoon, and because he is enslaved to his worldly appetite, Wile E. gets back up and starts chasing Roadrunner again, usually ending up back in the same hole (remember that definition of insanity!)

In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus urges His disciples to look past the desires and appetites of the world for things which are more substantive, more real.  ‘Don’t worry’, Jesus says, ‘about food, drink or clothes’.  In more modern terms He would say, ‘don’t worry about the iPhone, the X-Box or the Ferrari.’  ‘Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?’ (Matthew 6:25). 

We need food and drink to live, and we must trust God to provide these things for us.  We don’t need an iPhone or a Ferrari.  Sure there is nothing wrong with owning these things, but they aren’t the important things in life.

What are the important things in life?  Let’s think about Roadrunner.

Roadrunner knows that Wile E. is never going to catch him, so he lives with a sense of joy and exuberance in life.  Wile E. thinks he will be happy if only he can get the right gadget to work; if he can catch Roadrunner.  He needs what Roadrunner has- peace, joy, contentment, freedom

God wants us to have peace and joy in our lives.

Jesus said, ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10).  To follow Jesus, to truly follow Jesus, is not a matter of keeping a bunch of rules and trying to make God love you.

God loves you as much as He can possibly love you—‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…’ (John 3:16).  There is nothing you can do to earn His love because He cannot love you any more than He does right now.  And He will never love you any less.  If you are in Christ, there is nothing you can ever do to lose God’s love

Trying to keep rules is the work of the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy.

Living with a sense of peace that you belong to God and nothing will ever change that…that is getting on the road of living life to the fullest!

‘But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’ (Matthew 6:33).

In life, particularly in our spiritual life, we need to be sure we are chasing after the right things.  If we chase the wrong things for too long, we will find ourselves standing on thin air.  And if we chase the wrong things for our entire lives, we are in for a long fall and we will find there is no bouncing back.

What are you chasing today?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Blessing of Partners

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work” (Ecclesiastes 4:9niv)

With Living Wisdom heading for final publication, I want to take this opportunity, as promised, to publicly thank those who came alongside me with financial support.  Your generosity has overwhelmed me and made what once seemed impossible into a reality. 

In alphabetical order:   
Roy Barclay
Sally Brochu
The Brown Family
Ron & Lura Cole
Cheyenne Fernald
Ken & Sharon Fernald
Todd Fernald
Emelia Hardy
Keystone Community Church
Jeff & Connie Lander
Corey & Sarah Sesin
‘2 Pats Fans’

Even more than your generosity is your belief in the value of this project and your faith in me to carry it out.  One of my personal ‘demons’ has always been a lingering sense of inadequacy; as if what I have to say matters to anyone.  I confided in one person after finishing the first edit of the book that I could feel the breath of the enemy on my neck as he whispered these lies in my ear.  My confidant remarked that this was good evidence that I was on to something important.   Your support gave me the energy and determination to see this project through.

I would also like to recognize those who have supported me in prayer and with through other forms of encouragement.

I pray the Lord’s blessings on all and look forward to your feedback on the book.

Deepest regards