Identify your mission. Pick your target. Nail the objective.

Peer pressure is a funny thing.  Mostly, it snares those of us who are people pleasers.  We tend to be manipulated into doing things we really don’t want to do, just because we don’t want to make a scene and want everyone to be happy.  

Jesus encountered peer pressure.  “Everyone is looking for you.”  That is a pretty strong statement.  My natural response would be to go back and try to help those looking for me.  Notice what Jesus did?  He kept going the direction He started out and didn’t let peer pressure interfere with His objectives.  

This is a good model for us.  Check with Jesus.  Pick your objective.  Don’t let others deter you from the task at hand.  Now go walk with Jesus today.  He likes the company.  

“Simon and those who were with him followed after him; and they found him, and told him, “Everyone is looking for you.”  He said to them, “Let’s go elsewhere into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because I came out for this reason.””~Mark

Surf to: for a Fresh Connection…

Tips on keeping fruit fresh…

Working hard for Jesus is not all it is cracked up to be.  Imagine a tree that is meant to bear fruit.  You are the tree.  Now work hard for Jesus and for everything you do, you get a fruit to stick on a branch.  Before long your tree is going to look pretty cool for a short time.  You might have an orange stuck on the end of one branch and lemon stuck on the end of another branch.  Maybe even some pomegranates, figs, grapefruits and who knows what else.
Pretty cool, right? But you know before long, the fruit begins to rot because just working hard and sticking them on the end of the branch does not provide nourishment.  The fruit all dies pretty quick.  It turns rotten and begins to stink.   There must be a better way.
Consider an alternative.  Consider the possibility that Jesus resides in you and desires to produce His own fruit through you.  He really doesn’t need you to tell Him how to produce fruit.  He is the original fruit orchard creator.
Take a step back.  Refocus.  Keep your eyes on the creator and let Jesus produce His own fruit through you.  The fruit will ripen in its own season and Jesus will keep it fresh and nourished.  Others will want to know what makes your fruit so much better…

Surf to: for a Fresh Connection…

How many times will you look into the eyes of a people with fear?

So there was this guy Simon who just happened along…

“As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus.”~Luke

I have wondered what was Simon thinking? He’s coming in from the country and finds himself carrying the cross of Jesus. The Word says, “they made him”. It would be human nature to want to avoid the murderous mob with expectation of not getting involved. Yet Simon not only fails to avoid the mob, but finds himself in the middle of it. Simon likely is thinking this is not going to be good. You have to imagine fear is playing a major part in his mind as he picks up the cross.

As my imaginations consider Simon being forced to pick up the cross, I consider the possibility. As he kneels down at the feet of Jesus he looks up into the master’s eyes and sees a deep loving compassion that few in the world has seen. His heart melts beneath the cross and shoulders the burden of a Christ he has just met. As Jesus is further abused on the walk to “The Skull”, Simon may have winced in pain with the sound of each lash on Jesus’ back.

Somewhere in the walk, Simon likely became a changed man. How could anyone carry the burden of a cross for Jesus and not be a changed man? Have you looked into the eyes of Jesus? Have you picked up His cross. Has your fear of the crowd become insignificant in comparison to the love of Christ?

Sadly, you may have picked up the cross of Jesus only to set it down when you looked into the eyes of the crowd. It’s not too late. Once again, pick up the cross of Jesus and look into His eyes. The love you find will cover all fears and you will shoulder His cross with honor amidst the pain.

“Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory you also may rejoice with exceeding joy. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified.”~Peter

I love the thought of kneeling at the cross. Gazing up into the eyes of Jesus for the first time and seeing incredible love amidst the blood and gore. Picking up the cross and putting in on my shoulder as I cry out, “I’m not worthy! Father, forgive me. Holy is thy name! Sing praises to the King. Sing Hosanna. Sing!”

Surf to: for a Fresh Connection…