Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rolling From the Apple Tree

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

According to the meaning of that is, “A child grows up to be similar to its parents, both in behavior and in physical characteristics.”

This statement can be meant to be positive or negative.  Sometimes people say it in reference to a baby resembling one or the other parent, which is a nice compliment.  Other times, people say it as an insult to hurt someone. 

For the apple to stay close to the tree would mean it continues to stay in the same path as the tree.  It looks like where it came from, tastes like where it came from and can easily be identified because it hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

The apple here is a metaphor for people.  If we stick close to those around us before long we begin to act and sound just like them, thereby making, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” a very true statement.

Hurtful words cause us to hurt others.  If we are treated badly, we’ll treat others badly.  If we are talked to negatively, we’ll talk to others negatively.  We become a bruised, sour apple and we make more bruised, sour apples in the people we come in contact with.

Sure, we make mistakes.  However, if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we begin to act and sound just like Him.  If we read His Word and follow His teachings, we will become more like Him.  Let Jesus into your life.  Listen to His Words.  He can take the bruised apple and make it smooth.  He can take the sour apple and make it sweet. 

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” ~Proverbs 25:11 (NKJV)

Very often the negative people in our lives try to keep us banged up and bruised in order to keep themselves from facing the truth of their own lives.  But you can change your life.  By following Jesus, you can have a new life.  Sweeter.  Different.  Better.

Yes, I fell from the tree.  Bumped, bruised, and battered, I rolled.  My roots tried to roll me back time and time again, always attempting to engage me in things I once said and did.  Many times, defeated I rolled back, more bruised, more battered.  I would go back into more hurt, more depression, more hopelessness.

One time though, I didn’t roll back.  One time I rolled all the way down the hill, away from the roots, and let Jesus smooth me out, and sweeten me up.  Trust me, once you roll down the hill, away from the tree, you can’t roll back up the hill again and you won’t want to.

Don’t misunderstand, people will remember your past, but it doesn’t have to affect you negatively.  Once Jesus heals you and smooths you out, you’re not the same person anymore and no one can hold you to your past unless you let them.  Instead, choose to be a new, sweeter apple.

The next time you hear, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” you’ll know that it does if it rolls down the hill and away from the bitter roots.

“For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” ~ Zechariah 2:8 (NKJV)

You are the apple of His eye.  Nothing or no one can change that.  You are chosen, hand-picked by God, and you are loved.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

You're Right Where You Are

“If you ain’t where you are, you’re no place.” ~Col. Sherman Potter, M.A.S.H. 4077

Sitting in a little bakery at a lunch meeting one afternoon, I listened as the young lady I was meeting with said, “God has me right where He wants me.”  I smiled.  I felt proud for her because she was so confident that she knew and I was happy for her.  Then I smiled more because at that moment, I knew that He has me right where He wants me too and for once in my life I knew it.  How ironic.

How do we know that we are right where God wants us?  How do we know that what we’re doing is in His will for our lives?  Many people have asked me this.  First of all, don’t trust your feelings.  Feelings are fickle.  They change like the wind.  Don’t trust your circumstances, either.  Because without warning those can also change.

So how do we really know that we are in the will of God?  Faith.  Trust.  We have to ask God to show us in ways we can understand, then follow His leading, His prompting, and just go with it, even if it seems weird.

If you want to fit in, be where God puts you.

God doesn’t always do things by the book.  Meaning, God doesn’t do things the way society dictates.  On the contrary, He does things His way, by His book, which means that quite often it’s over the top, out of our comfort zone, seemingly impossible, and the most outrageous thing you’ve ever thought of. 

“The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”  ~Psalm 32:8, NLT

Everyone is looking for where they fit in.  Everyone wants to fit in somewhere.  And everyone does fit in.  God has a place for each and every one of us.  It’s a one-size-fits-all and it’s a custom fit for everyone.  It’s just your size.  Where you fit in is tailor made just for you.  It’s already waiting for you.  You don’t have to be fitted for it.  God already took care of that.  All you have to do is show up and step into it.  Go ahead. Try it on!  You’re right where you are for a reason. No matter where you are, if you’re where God wants you, you’re definitely someplace.

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