Smoking weed in San Diego

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I’m in San Diego for a conference this week.  I’ve enjoyed the city- especially the weather.

Yesterday I went for a run from the conference hotel.  I walked down to an intersection to cross over into a park- and was met by a strange odor in the air.  It was sharp, distinctive and permeated the air around me.  I looked sideways at two young men standing next to me and quickly determined the source.

These guys were smoking marijuana.  In broad daylight. At the corner of a busy intersection.

I was stunned, but it obviously wasn’t a rare occurrence for these two.  Isn’t this illegal? They causally talked and laughed while they waited for their bus.

The light turned green and I ran across the street into the park.  But I couldn’t get the thought out of my head.  It was just a strange sight.

I later found out that this wasn’t illegal at all.  If you are 21 and follow certain rules, public usage of marijuana is perfectly legal in California.  It wasn’t agains the law at all.

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:9

It made me think of my own life…and how my behavior and attitude might shock others.

The times that I show greed or envy.  The opportunities to show mercy- but I don’t.  When anger takes over my thoughts and I secretly harbor ill feelings toward others.

Thoughts of anger, greed or envy aren’t illegal, but they are unproductive.  When I display those tendencies, I can hurt others or diminish my influence as one who loves Jesus.

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. Philippians 3:17

Pray for me to be a better example to others.  I want to show Jesus in my life- even when  I think that no one is watching.

And let me know how to pray for you.

God bless.

 

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Running away from your Bible

I’m a runner.

Well, ok…I like to think I’m a runner.  I’ve completed four marathons and a dozen or so half marathons.  But- my pace is slow, I’ve never won a race and my running form looks painful to the casual observer.

But still…I’m a runner.

I like the peace that comes from a clear head while running.  I love being outdoors and taking in nature.  I love the quietness of the minutes before daybreak.  I just love running.

There are many parallels between running and reading the Bible.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17

  1.  You don’t have to be very good at it to benefit from it.  Running is simple.  You just put one foot out in front of the other.  Walking becomes jogging- which becomes running.  After several months of training, the act of running becomes effortless.  The same is true with your Bible.  It’s God’s inspired word. You don’t need training to get started.  You just need to commit to reading, studying and praying over it.  A little bit of study leads you to want more.
  2. You don’t need a special place to do it.  In the past seven days alone, I’ve completed a three-mile run in a hotel parking lot, a four miler on a mountain trail and another run on an indoor treadmill.  Running is portable…you can do it anywhere.  It’s the same with Bible study.  You can study in the quiet of the morning or late at night.  You can listen to the Bible in your car between meetings.  You can download it on your phone and read it on your lunch hour.  It’s completely portable.
  3. The equipment is minimal.  In running, you just need a good pair of shoes to get started.  It’s the same with Bible study.  You don’t need anything but God’s word and a good notebook for observations and questions.  Just get going.
  4. It’s always better when you are training for something.  It’s true in running…if I have a race or an outdoor event to train for- I’m more motivated.  I have a goal.  The same holds true with Bible study.  If I’m teaching a class or participating in a study where I’m expected to be prepared- I work harder.  It’s good to have goals for your personal Bible study.
  5. You can enjoy it alone or with a group.  I love to run alone to clear my head, think about solutions to problems or to get in an uninterrupted prayer.  I also enjoy running with my family.  I’m blessed that we all get to race together- and enjoy training together.  When studying God’s word, it’s good to be alone sometimes to go at your own pace or study what’s truly interesting to you.  It’s also nice to have a group to discuss topics from the Bible…and to hold you accountable for study.

 

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Running legend Steve Prefontaine once said, “a race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways as they’re capable of understanding.”

It’s the same as studying the Bible.  It’s a work of art.  If  you commit to it, God’s word will pour into you and make you a new creature…transformed. It will affect and change every aspect of your life.

My prayer this week is to be even more diligent in my study of God’s word.

Let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

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