Category Archives: Live Like Jesus

Headlights

By Kristen Entwistle

I was driving home late last night, down one of those two lane country roads in Indiana.  Turns out, there’s a lot of those roads, and I’m pretty unfamiliar with them right now.  You see, I just moved here, and I’m still learning my way around.  I don’t know which roads twist and turn or which ones are likely to have horses and buggies on them.  I don’t know which ones have stop signs every half mile, and which ones go on forever.

Most of these roads have a ditch on either side of them and people who drive like maniacs.  Oh, and people who blind you with their high beams.

As I was driving down that two lane road last night, it was a little scary – not being able to see more than a hundred feet in front of you and not knowing what’s up ahead.

It’s kind of like life, isn’t it?  God gives us these glimpses of what He is calling us to do, these rare moments of certainty where we can see a hundred feet in front of us.  But we can’t see what’s coming.  We can’t see that there’s a sharp turn or a stop sign up ahead.  That cancer is going to hit us seemingly out of nowhere or that a close friend is going to die unexpectedly.  But we can’t see the good things too – the new baby, the extra money that just showed up in the budget – all we can see is what God illuminates before us.

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Occasionally we get a glimpse of what’s coming when there’s a house light on, or a gas station.  But not very often.  Most of the time we’re still in the dark, with only our headlights.

Walking in faith isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not without its difficulties.  But we’ve got a God who can see all the twists and turns and stop signs because He built the road.  He knows what lies ahead for us and He guides us through it.

We may end up in the ditch sometimes, or make a wrong turn, but still He shows us the way, one step at a time.

Challenges, Speedbumps, and Mountains

I started off 2016/ended 2015 with this facebook status:

Honestly, I’m glad that 2015 is going to be in the rearview mirror. Praying that 2016’s challenges and speedbumps and mountains will be weathered with God’s grace and strength, not my own.

And boy, what a 2016 it’s been so far.

Challenges, speedbumps, and mountains?  Check, check, and check.

I can’t give you all the details (because I don’t know all of them myself) but suffice it to say that every area of my life has been … well, for lack of any other words, jumbled up … this year.

I am facing a year of giant changes.  I don’t know yet where these changes will take me – or when.  But I do know that God is unchanging.  Unyielding.  Immovable.

I am facing a year of the unknown.  I don’t know what is going to happen in this year, but I do know that God is all-knowing.  All-loving.  All-powerful.

2016 not my own

I am facing more than a year of challenges – I am facing a lifetime.  A lifetime of things that I don’t expect, don’t understand, and won’t soon forget.  But it’s a lifetime of challenges weathered with the God of the Universe on my side.

I am facing more than a year of speedbumps – I am facing a lifetime.  Some speedbumps may throw me for a loop, while others may slow me down.  But it’s a lifetime of speedbumps faced with my God in the driver’s seat.

I am facing more than a year of mountains – I am facing a lifetime.  I will climb, and I will fall.  And when I get to the top, there will be more mountains to climb. But it’s a lifetime of climbing mountains with the Lord of Creation by my side.

I can’t do this, but God can.  And He will.  Every step of the way, He is with me.  No matter what challenges, speedbumps and mountains come my way, I will not be shaken.  I will not be moved.  Because my God is with me, and He will never leave or forsake me.  Amen and amen.

 

Waiting On The World To Change: Down Bourbon Street

By Kristen Entwistle

A few months ago, I took a trip to New Orleans for a scientific conference.  The famous Bourbon Street was a ten minute walk from our hotel, and we ate dinner in the French Quarter nearly every night.

My first trip down Bourbon Street was crowded and I was mostly just trying to keep track of my group so that I didn’t get lost in the throng of people.

My second trip down Bourbon Street, I got to take a better look around. 

And I didn’t like what I saw. 

Every other brightly lit sign enticed people to come into strip clubs and sleezy bars and questionable establishments.  (To be fair, there are some reputable and higher class bars/restaurants on Bourbon Street).  But it’s not just the signs that these establishments use to try to get people to come through their doors.  At every strip club, there is at least one bouncer telling people to come in and that it’s free and what they’re going to get when they go in.  And in the doorway, there’s always at least one scantily clad (sometimes not at all clad) woman moving her body to get the boys on the street to come in.  And then there are the college students, clearly on spring break, on the balconies above the street, throwing beads down to the people walking through the street, whooping and cat-calling for anyone they (in their drunken state) found attractive.

My third trip down Bourbon Street, I was tired and not really paying attention to what was around me.  It was raining, and I was mostly trying not to get our group lost.

My fourth trip down Bourbon Street, I was overwhelmed.  The line from a song that came to mind: Waitin’, waitin’, I’m waitin’ on the world to change.

I was filled with sadness at the things that I was walking past.  My heart broke for the people for whom this was their only reality, for whom this may be their only option for a job.  I wanted so much to yell up at the college students on the balconies, “There’s so much more to life than this.  Don’t waste your life chasing things that won’t satisfy.  Come to the well, where Jesus will freely give you Living Water, and salvation.”

But when the bright lights and pretty beads and glittering storefronts beckon, it’s a hard sell for anything else.  The Church doesn’t dazzle in the moonlight or have a glowing sign.  In fact, our lights are usually off and our doors locked at the hours that Bourbon Street is open.

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We’ve got to do more than just wait on the world to change – because on its own, it won’t.  But I’m not suggesting we go hand out tracts on Bourbon Street, either.  Let’s start by living life so that people can see whom we serve.  Let’s love like Jesus loved, no matter what people have done or how different they are from us.

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And maybe, just maybe, we’ll be doing more than just waiting on the world to change.