Four Questions, More Power (Or What I Learned from a Leaf Blower)

I’m not exactly an outdoorsy person, but I don’t mind blowing leaves. However, last week when I flipped the switch on my electric blower, nothing happened. Bummer. I knew it was either the blower or the power cord.

After a few days of careful observation (just in case the blower did something symptomatic that would tip me off to the problem,) I decided to pull out a new power cord and try it with the blower. Eureka! It was amazing. The blower was much more powerful than I had remembered. I didn’t realize it, but the power cord had been on the fritz for awhile, so I was only getting partial power to the blower. But now with this new power cord, I am unstoppable. Leaves fear me and small yard critters clear a path for me.

Can you recall a time in your walk with God that was a little more powerful? Maybe you went through a season when you sensed the hand of God so powerfully, or God was using you mightily. Perhaps you’ve never had a walk with God like that, but you’ve longed for it. The problem may be your power cord. When you received Christ, the power of God came upon you through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), but God’s work might be hindered in your life due to spiritual disconnects in your heart.

Ask yourself. Are you:

  • Resentful or bitter? Are you angry about a loss in your life? Do you feel frustrated about your schedule or responsibilities? Bitterness is a poison (Acts 8:23) and causes trouble (Heb. 12:15). Before blaming others for your frustrations, examine your own decisions and ask God to bring order to chaos.
  • Indulging in sin? Regarding sin in our hearts hinders our communication with God (Psalm 66:18). Sin demands a high price.
  • Operating in your own strength? We need the strength of Jesus to do the will of God (John 15:5). We need His guidance and direction to live a satisfying life.
  • Holding on to unforgiveness? We need God’s forgiveness, thus we must also forgive (Matt. 6:14-15). Unforgiveness requires a lot of energy from us, and can be the idol of our attention. Choosing to forgive will bring freedom to the forgiver.

I’m thankful for my blower mishap, because it resulted in a more powerful yard tool to make my work more productive and my yard more attractive. How could God’s power flowing full and free change your life?

A Christmas Lesson: Choose to Ponder

But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

Strange men in dirty ragged clothes, smelling like the open fields, showed up at the most private, exhausting, wondrous experience in a woman’s life because they wanted to share in the moment. The shepherds heard the words “unto you a child is born,” and they made haste to celebrate in person the arrival of the newborn King. If Mary went through what every other woman experiences after giving birth, we know she was tired, sore, overwhelmed, overjoyed, trying to capture every moment though she felt like doing nothing else but falling to sleep. In walked mangy shepherds, excitedly chattering about angels and swaddling cloths. A quick look in the manger, and sure enough, that was what she had placed upon her newborn Babe to keep Him warm. It was too much for any one person to absorb on such a cold night of new and beautiful things, but Mary clung to the moment. She kept all these little details. She pondered them – literally, she tossed them around in her head. She experienced her life in real-time.

I am getting older now. Aren’t we all? And as time passes, I look back and realize that I haven’t always chosen to experience the moments of my life. Sure, I was there every time, but not always did I pay attention to my very own life experiences. Sometimes in a moment, I glanced too much at the TV screen. Often I got pulled away from giggles and snuggles to glance at a computer screen. Occasionally I’ve been sucked away mentally into a vacuum of worry, or planning, or guilt-driven obligations; I may have been at a particular event in the flesh, but my mind wasn’t capturing the moment; instead, my worries or daydreams were capturing me and carrying me far away. But not Mary. What a wise mother. From the very moment her Firstborn entered the world, she held onto the moments and paid attention to her life.

Christmas is a special season, and December seems to bring out a desire in all of us to make memories we can cherish for a lifetime. Be purposeful to enjoy every moment of this Christmas season, and then give yourself and your loved ones a beautiful gift; make the choice to “keep all things” and “ponder them” the other 11 months of the year. Merry Christmas!