Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The shade though!

Dark enough to see…

February 26, 2015 one picture nearly broke the Internet. The picture went from one person’s social media site to over ten million tweets worldwide. It wasn’t the most picturesque but it grabbed enough attention to make it a common household conversation. The picture asked a simple question, “What color is this dress?” Some people said black and blue others said white and gold.

There were as many opinions as there were shares of the dress on social media.

The reason everyone’s opinion differed on the same dress was because of lighting.  The light that was used when the picture was taken gave a varying hue to the dress and depending on the condition of the viewer’s eyes and exposure to light, opinions changed. The funny part of the whole ordeal is how long it took for someone to ask the dressmaker about the actual color. (It was blue and black)

I believe the same is true when you consider the way individuals create opinions without seeking the facts. It is often because the circumstance is displayed in the wrong “light”. When Jesus asked his disciples how others perceived Him, they gave answers depending on the light in which He was seen. Peter gave the correct answer because He sought the creator. (Matthew 16:13-20)

Ellen DeGeneres is quoted, “In the beginning there was nothing. God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better. ”

Light can reveal a lot when used properly.

When I was in High School my mom gave me a super fancy watch. It had a genuine leather band; at least that is what was engraved in it. It also had a gold face, notches on the bezel for the hours, and glow in the dark hands. I loved the watch and only wore it on special occasions. One evening we went to a play. I looked at my watch during the production and realized I couldn’t see the hands. I was annoyed! After reading the manual, I learned that the hands needed to be exposed to light for an extended amount of time in order for them to glow in dark places.

Have you allowed limited exposure or completely avoided the light you need to shine appropriately in a dark place?

Matthew 5:14-16(NLT)
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Knowing Jesus ignites a light that makes you glow. The amazing light of Jesus Christ that is living in you is very accessible but it can seem dim if it is hidden by distractions. If it looks fun but fades the light that helps you be the person God created you to be, it isn’t for you. Change locations, remove the shield, and glow the way you were intended.

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
- Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross

In our DARKEST moments we realize our need for the LIGHT…

His light can not only give light to you but also give directions to those near you.

 While taking a photography class, I learned that the negative makes creative pictures based on the shutter speed. The longer that the shutter is open greater amounts of light are exposed to the negative. Light objects blur across the print and dark spots disappear.

If things seem negative for you – open your heart to The Light. Prolonged exposure will spread His Light throughout your outcome and will fade your dark spots.

Get to know The Light (Jesus Christ)

Spend more time in His Light 

Reveal His light in you to others




Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Elephant MUST retire...

The elephant must retire…


The elephant in the room is a frequently used idiom for an obvious issue that no one wants to address. That problem or issue is often obtuse and difficult to overlook. Yet, people typically find ways to creatively ignore the obvious in an attempt to avoid what must be discussed.

When I was a kid I loved the circus. The vibrant colors mixed with the synchronization of laughter and the awe of excitement painted lasting memories. Today, new acrobats flipping, clowns performing, lions roaring, and massive elephants marching still entice people to the Greatest Show on Earth. Above it all, I am most impressed by the elephants. How do they get these weighty pounds of flesh to dance, do head stands, and bow with grace and ease? There is even a Disney movie about a silly but aerobatic circus elephant with a tragic and triumphant story. How could you not love the circus elephants?

Soon, kids will no longer make a circus elephant memory. Can you imagine my shock when I read that The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus announced that they were phasing out their elephant attraction? As fun as it is to see them perform, the negativity they received from being a traveling attraction was surmounting.

But, just like the Disney movie, this thought starts tragic yet it will end in triumph.

Mark 11:23-25 (ESV)
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received[c] it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Many people refer to their life as their own private circus. It is a cornucopia of joy, pain, mishaps, circumstances, successes, and spectators. The private circus has performers and spectators. The performers are the people trying to keep it all together and the spectators are some people enjoying the show and some people hoping for failure. Don’t forget the elephant of the show. That is our big attraction that everyone can see but needs to retire.

I believe that we all have elephants in our circus that have gained great attention but need to be let go. What is your elephant? Have you developed a personality or character trait that no longer defines you? Maybe you have allowed an old circumstance great dominance in your life. Maybe you carry an addiction that everyone is aware of but no one will address.

The fear that exists with letting go of the elephant rests in wondering if the show will continue.

In the Gospel of Mark we are taught through the metaphor of moving mountains that even the most substantial and resistant objects can be moved. Not only can they move but we also can move on with our lives.

With unwavering confidence you must retire your elephant. This isn’t magic, it's faith. Your Father in Heaven, who moved matter to make you cares deeply about what matters to you. He can remove your giant circus attraction but you must diligently believe and speak to Him about it through prayer.

The show will go on! I am not sure what the circus will use to replace the elephant attraction. What I do know is that it is trademarked The Greatest Show on Earth and you don’t take away a big attraction without having a better plan in mind. God never digs out holes without planting something great. It’s ok to retire your elephant and keep the lights on - the Creator of the Universe has something greater behind the curtain.

BONUS:

Verse 25 says stand and pray then it says you must forgive others so that your Heavenly Father can forgive you. If your elephant is forgiveness, don’t allow that big beast to stink up your show with droppings of bitterness and anger. Forgive and get forgiven!


What is your elephant?
When will you let it retire?