Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

Faith and Flight  

Imagine yourself in the co-pilot's seat of a four-place airplane. You've just clicked your safety belt when the pilot announces, "I'll have you handle the take-off and then some other maneuvers once we get airborne."

That was me with instructor Ian Hawk at the Moody Aviation flight school in Spokane, Washington. Since you’re reading this blog, you know we survived the flight.

Watching Ian run through the pre-flight checklist of more than 100 items, I was impressed with the meticulous attention to detail that defines every facet of Moody Aviation. These men and women are superb professionals.

As for the flight, I felt overwhelmed staring at so many screens and gauges. But take off we did. And what a rush to pull back on that yoke, to watch the nose rise and see the runway and buildings shrink as we soared.

In my headset, I heard Ian's calm instructions and a good bit of pilot talk. So much to think about:

  • Was my rate of climb too fast? Too slow?
  • Having reached altitude, was I flying straight and level?
  • Was I paying attention to the airspace around me?

Pulling out of a tight turn, Ian commented, “There are a hundred ways for things to go wrong in an airplane. But most of them are hardly noticeable—until you’ve neglected the symptoms long enough that you’re in real trouble.”

But isn't that precisely the way it is with the Christian life? We have Christ's promise that He will never leave or forsake us. More than that, we have the presence and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. But just like the instruments on that Cessna’s panel, we can ignore them or acknowledge them.

I’m hoping to hang on to three insights from that flight:

  1. Flying straight and level is far more challenging than I’d thought. Same with the Christian life. It’s disturbingly easy to get off course. Let’s not be fooled!
  1. There are plenty of ways to gauge your statusif you’re willing to look. But so often, we cheat our morning "pre-flight" time in the Word. Or we shrink our prayer time to a few "Bless me" and "Help me" phrases.
  1. Having a pilot who really knows is a powerful comfort! Knowing that Christ is right there beside us is the only reason we can have confidence and peace when the skies aren’t so friendly.

One last thought. If God is your co-pilot, you’re definitely in the wrong seat!

(Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s flight). 

Unlimited Connectivity  

Been out shopping lately for a new phone plan. Call me a dinosaur, but I don’t have unlimited data. Like most everyone else, though, I want the ability to stream without worry.

Interesting. The cry of our day is unlimited connectivity and constant access. We want a wireless world without hassles or hurdles of any kind. And don’t even think about throttling us back!

The analogy might sound worn, but our heavenly Father has already given us much more than that in Christ:

  • Unlimited connectivity through prayer.
  • Unlimited access to the Father because of Jesus’ death on the cross.
  • Unlimited power through the Holy Spirit.

But many of us are more enamored of our screens than our Savior. We’re not just glued to them—we’re welded to them! All the while, we take shockingly little advantage of what we’ve been offered through Christ.

How easily the minutes click by on Instagram or Messenger. How slowly when in the presence of the King of Kings. 

I’m as guilty as anyone. Still, don’t you wonder how could we be so far out of whack that we would spend more time with a hand-held device than our hand-holding Savior?

I want to love Jesus more than anyone or anything (including my phone). And the amount of time I spend with Christ will prove—or disprove—that claim. Same for you.

Who or what is going to have first place in your life? A hand-held device—or a hand-holding Savior?

Heaven is Better  

Did you watch any fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday?

According to Wallethub, America spent about 2.4 billion dollars on fireworks in some 16,000 civic displays. These civic displays cost anywhere between $5,000 and $200,000. All told, we import about $301,000,000 worth of fireworks—97% of those from China.

About 37% of Americans attend fireworks displays of some kind. My wife and I are among them.

While waiting to view the show in front of us, some neighboring towns behind us were blasting away with theirs. We were only a couple of miles away from the distant blasts, but I was struck by how wimpy the sound of those vast explosions was.

Though impressive in person, the audio quickly loses its bombast with just a bit of distance.

Something else I’ve noticed over the years. At the beginning of a fireworks show, every eye is fully engaged as the first few rockets blast into the sky. But before too long, some younger kids lose just a bit of interest. And some moms and dads are fiddling with their phones—and no, they aren't all posting photos. They are—unthinkably—bored. Or at least distracted. Think of that.

Call me crazy, but whenever we get to the “Grand Finale," the image of heaven comes to mind. I think of the twelve gates, each made of a single pearl. I think about the streets of gold and the River of Life, and the living creatures. And, of course, I think about King Jesus.

But of this, you can be assured. When we finally reach heaven, we will never have occasion for boredom or distraction. Our enjoyment of God and our amazement at being in His presence will never fade, never grow old, and never lose the slightest bit of enchantment. It will be forever new, forever amazing, forever a sanctified sensory overload.

So, forget the tired image of wimpy Christians clustered on clouds plucking harps half-heartedly. Heaven is better. WAY better than that.

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

-1 Corinthians 2:9



SOURCE: https://wallethub.com/blog/4th-of-july-facts/22075
Joy Robbers  

It happened the other day—again. I'd spent a meaningful season in prayer, enjoyed time in the Word, launched into the day, and before long, I'd lost my sense of joy. In its place: a rumbly grumbly cauldron of discontent.

There was no single moment I could point to where the joy got sucked out of things—but gone it was. Like others who’ve experienced this, I asked, who robbed my joy? After some uncomfortable introspection, I now know that for me, it can be any one of a thousand things:

  • A discouraging email arrives from a colleague.
  • A news website attacks my biblical worldview.
  • A notice from the dentist informs us our insurance won’t cover the procedure.
  • An added task comes with an unreasonable deadline.

Truthfully, it doesn’t take much to rob me of my joy. And that’s a problem. It speaks of a trust issue.

You say, What?

Look at it this way. Romans 15:13 says, "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.” We get the hope and joy as we trust in Him, not when our circumstances are perfect.

The smaller the thing that can rob our joy, the smaller our trust in the Living God. It turns out that our capacity for joy is linked to our capacity for trust.

The irony is, when trials and troubles come, those of us who profess to have received Christ as Savior are often the guiltiest, trying to be our own Savior.

And that’s the moment that joy disappears. The old hymn calls us to a better way:

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to take Him at His Word

Just to rest upon His promise,

Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!

How I've proved Him o'er and o'er

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!

Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Invisible Rot  

A wooden deck is a thing of beauty. But neither wood nor beauty last. Hence, I found myself in the 100-degree heat, replacing a number of cracked deck boards.   

In some cases, the warp and wear were apparent. Yet as I fastened new boards next to old, I was caught off guard. Several pieces that looked perfectly good on the surface turned out to have significant problems: rot.           

Previously, I had slathered on the best stain/sealer the hardware store sells. And they looked perfectly healthy. But just beneath the surface, I found tunnels of hollowness. Worse, I could crush this wood with my bare fingers, disintegrating it into shards of would-be lumber. (Impossible to miss the left side of the photo).                                          

Again, I thought I had solid wood. I thought I had worked hard to preserve the health of that pricey lumber. And from all appearances, everything was fine. Dripping sweat in the summer sun, I stared at all that rot, pondering the additional work it represented.                               

How very like the human heart. So many of us look good on the outside: strong, spiritually healthy, "reasonably" godly. But inside, we have rotted away.                                                                        

Maybe we’ve shortchanged our daily time in the Word. Maybe we've cooled off our church attendance or our time in prayer. Maybe we've dabbled with an addiction. Or danced at the outer edges of pornography.                             

All of this leads to one thing—and that one thing ain't good: spiritual rot. Which is absolutely guaranteed apart from a vigilant commitment to maintenance. It’s not that it could happen or might happen. It WILL happen.                       

So, where’s our protection? How do we guard against spiritual rot? From personal experience, David shared his secret in a prayer recorded in Psalm 25:21, “May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.”             

Apparently, David placed extraordinary value on integrity and uprightness. So much so that his prayer for these twin virtues rarely ceased from his lips.                                                                                             

A vigilant commitment to integrity and uprightness in your soul. Neither of these is flashy or fun. But, as Jesus famously asked, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Records per page First Prev   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 of  115  Next Last  

Jon GaugerJon Gauger

Recent Posts

Thursday, March 23, 2023
A Hearer and a Doer
Thursday, March 16, 2023
The Outrageous Power of Praise
Thursday, March 09, 2023
Vision Problem
Thursday, March 02, 2023
No Small Gifts
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Caught on Camera
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Your One Job
Thursday, February 09, 2023
You Are Mine
Thursday, February 02, 2023
Spiritual Anesthesia
Thursday, January 26, 2023
The Darkening of America
Thursday, January 19, 2023
The Price of Purity
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Trash Talk
Thursday, January 05, 2023
With Christ in the School of Self-Denial
Thursday, December 29, 2022
Our Advent Problem
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Move Me Closer
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Lessons from a Christmas Concert

Jon Gauger Media 2016