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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Showdown at High Noon: The Story At Last

{Cue Spaghetti Western Whistling} The gunslinger appears at the edge of town just as the church bell tolls high noon. The click of his mouse announces his arrival, and intensity shines out from his squinting eye-slits. The wireless keyboard, holstered at his side, shifts as the gunslinger steps forward. On the far end of the dirt road, separated only by whirling eddies of dust and careening tumbleweeds, is the Story. An elusive villain, wanted by every author in the land, and known to be as slippery as an eel, as mercurial as lightning, and as dangerous as life itself. The staredown begins. The gunslinger's hand twitches ominously at his side. He knows this chance is fleeting. He knows the stakes. His eyes narrow. His thumb slides against the knuckle of his forefinger. The wind stops. The time has come.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Power of an Undivided Heart

Psalm 86:11 “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart.” 

This is my new "Battle Cry."

Division is a killer. Divorce. Politics. Civil War. A house divided cannot stand. And yet, for many of us Christians, we get up every morning and ring the doorbell to enter our own divided house. Hmmm, ten extra minutes before work. I could spend some time in prayer -OR- I could stop by the fast food joint. Stomach grumbles. Hashbrowns, here we come.

Paul often wrote about the battle within: new man (born again, spirit alive) versus old man (sin-stained flesh and bone body). It's not a pretty battle either. Paul laments "what a wretched man I am." Have you ever felt that? I have. 

I've been a Christian for 23 years, and I'm still in that battle. Too often, my heart is divided: usually between SELF and God. I want versus what God wants. On one level, I really do want to be rid of selfishness. But, on another level, I'm like Gollum: seeking my precious (selfish desires) at all costs.

I wish I had an easy answer to fix this. But, I don't. But reading this Psalm this morning gave me a thread to grasp. The Psalmist apparently had a clue: ASK. He pleaded with God to "give" him an undivided heart. That seems like a winning prayer if I've ever heard one. So, it's my new battle cry.

How about you? What are your "secrets" for avoiding or overcoming a "divided" heart?