2017: Page 271

There are times when some unknown trip-wire opens the floodgates in my mind and memories that I wish were erasable come flooding in to try to drown me in their lies.  For some reason, page 271 was one of those days.  Fortunately, God went ahead of this mental flood and used the combination of a stranger and a friend to remind me last night that even when others find no value in what I do, God uses the efforts of faithfulness in ways often unseen.

My workday was filled with a lot of the usual daily things along with great progress on two different sermon outlines and content.  After the building was ready for the day, the sky appeared as if the sun was about to set it on fire at any moment so I set up my camera to time-lapse record the sunrise.  As it turned out, there was a brief splash of color and then a thick blanket of clouds moved across the sky and kept the sunrise from exploding with the brilliant color I was expecting.  When I looked at the time-lapse video later, I was impressed by the beauty that was captured even when it wasn’t what I was expecting.

I thought I had finished up my “Living as the Lord’s Servant” series a few sermons ago, but God continues to put in my mind both characters and characteristics that are important as we learn from Biblical examples about how we ought to be serving.  While love is arguably the greatest identifying characteristic of a Christian, Christ-like love will always result in serving others according to their need.  It has been a long time since I have had two sermons in process in my mind at the same time — at least not in stages that I was aware of their development.  It was fun to see them come together and to also see the way they are connected — which is likely why they are being developed together.  In case you’re expecting more info about them, I will save the summary of each sermon for the day’s page of when I actually preach them.

After work, I went home and had a mid-afternoon lunch before spending some time unwinding and relaxing.  By early evening, I had managed to catch some new photos and a video of a hummingbird that has yet to begin its flight south for the winter.  The sky had almost completely cleared of any clouds, so we headed back down to Potato Creek for a family walk and to take some photos.  While most of the photos involved the lake and/or the setting sun, the photo on today’s page is of a milkweed seed head that has burst open to allow the seeds to carried away by both wind and critter.  I guess I chose this photo for today because it kind of brings my day full circle.  The discouragement from within the day seems to come from an uncertainty of usefulness or purpose, but the advance reminder from last night was about God carrying through the air some seeds I have planted in the past until they found just the right person to settle into and grow into a blossom of encouragement in his life — and then back into mine.  

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • Not all days feel like productive days — that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not.
  • Sometimes God will use someone to encourage you in advance of your need because He knows you will need it.
  • It is never a bad time to let someone know how they have helped you.
  • Just because something isn’t what you expect, it doesn’t mean it can’t have a beauty of its own.
  • My plans often get changed when I spend time listening to God.
  • The Bible is full of people who had flaws yet still lived as the Lord’s servant.
  • You can’t love like Christ without serving like Christ.
  • God expects us to carry, and spread, the seeds of the gospel wherever we go.  Sometimes He has specific places for us to take it and sometimes He wants us to release it and allow Him to carry it on the winds to where it needs to be.

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