A Matter of the Heart

Mar 04 2015

Verse for the Day:  Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

Have you ever pulled any type of trailer before? Over the years I have pulled many different types of trailers from small to large, empty to full, light to heavy and short too long. Some of these trailers were bumper pull while others were either a goose neck or fifth wheel hitch. In most cases the bigger the trailer the more likely they were to be equipped with electric brakes. If given a preference when pulling any trailer especially long heavy loads I will choose a goose neck or fifth wheel over a bumper pull every time and electric brakes are a must not an option.

You might ask why a goose neck or fifth wheel over a bumper pull and why are electric brakes a must? For me the answer is simple it comes down to better control, stability, and being able to stop quicker. One of the last times I towed a bumper pull horse trailer it was loaded with four horses and no trailer brakes and it almost ended in disaster. A friend and I were headed to Colorado to spend some time in the back country for a few days. Just a few miles out of Bayfield, Colorado, on a two lane road headed down hill with a right hand curve, the trailer started to swerve back and forth. The more it started to whip side to side the more the horse’s compounded the problem as they shifted their weight back and forth. With no trailer brakes to assist slowing down I had only one option, I had to speed up and try to pull the trailer back into control. At 60 mph with a trailer whipping behind you that’s a hard concept to make yourself do. Well thankfully things worked out; but, it was that trip that convinced me to buy a goose neck horse trailer with electric brakes.

In the 25 or 30 years since that close call, while pulling a goose horse trailer loaded with as many as 7 horses and equipped with electric brakes, I have never lost control or experienced a situation like that again. There are two main reasons why I feel trailers equipped with a goose neck or fifth wheel hitches and electric brakes are the best options when pulling any trailer-especially long or heavy trailers. First when you have electric brakes on any trailer whether bumper pull, goose neck or fifth wheel you have a better chance of slowing down quickly. You can apply or increase the braking ability on the trailer without applying brakes on the vehicle, which can help in a situation where the trailer starts to push your vehicle or in situations when the trailer starts to swerve back and forth. The second reason is the fact that, with a goose neck or fifth wheel, the load or weight of the trailer connection is positioned directly over the rear axle. It has a much solider base in which to connect to versus a bumper pull at the rear of a vehicle. The chances of a trailer getting out of control are much higher when there is no way to apply brakes to them and the further away you get from putting the main load over the center of the axle of the vehicle.

I believe this same concept can apply to our Christian walk. We all need God’s spiritual brake when it comes to walking and living this life here on earth. We need to be equipped with the Holy Spirit of God in order to slow down or stop our lives at times when things start to get out of control. It’s important to have your spiritual brake installed and equipped long before you ever need to use it. Just like my bumper pull incident a long time ago, knowing and wishing I had electric brakes wasn’t enough to stop the trailer from losing control. It was only by God’s Prevenient Grace that things didn’t turn out any differently than they did.

The next concept is being connected to a solid foundation that’s centered on Christ. Just like a bumper pull trailer that is further away from the center of the vehicle has a greater chance of losing control, the same is true with our walk with the Lord. The further away we are from a life centered and connected to Christ the easier it is for our lives to get out of control. And just like those four horses compounded and multiplied the swerving action of that trailer, the same is true in our lives when we let outside influences affect our way of living.  The more out of control you get the harder it is to get back in control as those outside influences start to affect what happens.

If you have ever experienced a bumper pull trailer out of control or even your life out of control you know exactly what I mean when I say brake assistance and a solid connection that’s centered properly is a “Must”. If you are towing a load and have never installed that solid foundation found in Jesus Christ or asked Him to give you His spiritual guidance and brake control found in His Holy Spirit, I pray you’ll do it today before you find yourself out of control like I found myself so long ago while pulling that bumper pull horse trailer. Ephesians 3:16 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, (NLT)         

Feb 19 2015

Verse for the Day: Matthew 6:30-34 30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.  (The Message)

Do you remember a song by Bobby McFerrin released in 1988 entitled "Don't Worry, Be Happy" I think it could be the theme song for today’s scripture verse. Are you someone who worries a lot? I have known a few people over the years that seem to worry about everything, If I didn't know better I would think their name was "Chick-Little", because almost everything in their lives seem to be uncertain and every event leads them to think the sky is falling, the end is near or something bad is going to happen. They live their lives in what appears to be continuous fear and worry about what tomorrow holds.

Prior to the fall of mankind when Adam and Eve broke the one and only rule God had given them (not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge found in the middle of the garden) there was no such thing as worry. Just think about it, in the beginning Adam was all alone in the Garden with no helper and no companion before God created Eve to help him. He had to care for the garden and come up with thousands of names for all the animals, birds, fish and all the creatures on which God had or was creating. And not once was there any mention of stress or worry on Adam's part in the Bible. You give someone a job title or task like that today with no helper or assistant, I guarantee you there would be worry, stress and probably a whole lot of complaining going on in their life. 

Worry seems to be in everyone's DNA now-a-days. We worry about everything from our kids when they're late getting home, our jobs, our income, our safety (911 definitely changed that), retirement, our health, what we eat or don't eat, how we look, smell and feel-- there seem to be an endless list of the things we worry about now-a-days. 

Well, I wish I could say with 100% confidence that I was worry free from all of life's concerns but I would be lying to you. I still worry about my kids, grandkids, other family members and friends. I worry about their wellbeing physically, financially and most of all their spiritual health. Do they trust in The Lord, have they truly excepted Jesus as Lord and Savior over their life? While I worry about these things from time to time there is something else that I think about even more. Have I done my part to live my life in such a way that reveals, promotes, encourages and leads others to Christ - have I been Christ like to others, putting their needs ahead of mind. The answer usually comes back that I probably could have done more. But this is where we have to be careful not to allow satan to use our missed opportunities or short coming as a way to discourage, derail, compromise or distract us from God’s purpose for our lives. 

When we allow satan to manipulate our thinking and we get so worried about the future,  past mistakes or what’s next  we end up forgetting to live for today. What does the Lord’s prayer say? “Give us our daily bread” Matthew 6:11 It doesn’t say anything about tomorrow, next week, next year or in the future. It says our daily bread. And yet too many people today are too busy making a living and so worried about tomorrow they forget to live for today. I believe when we put too much focus on the future and worry about our tomorrows, we actually rob ourselves of the blessing God wants to give us today - the blessing of our family, our friends and life in general on a daily basis. 

I personally don’t know of one person that hasn’t had a little DNA of worry at some point run through their body. Is that a bad or good thing? It all depends on what you do with it. If worry consumes you with fear like Chicken Little then it’s not from God.  I don’t know what your worries are today but I pray you will take it to the Lord and lay it at His feet and ask Him to help you live your life one day at a time for His glory. Jesus is ready, willing and able to help you overcome your worries if you will allow Him to. So, Don’t Worry Be Happy in the Lord and He will give you peace like you’ve never experienced before.  Philippians 4:7 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.