Guard Rails- Direct and Protect

SERIES OVERVIEW Guardrails are everywhere, but they don’t really get much attention . . . until somebody hits one. And then, more often than not, it is a lifesaver.

When I was growing up in Long Island, Bahamas, we has a bunk bed with rails. I am sure you can guess what they were for. Yes, they were designed to stop one of us from falling out of the bed and ending up with serious injuries.Maybe you don’t know anything about bunk-beds.
On the highways we often see guard rails on bridges, medians, curves, and soft shoulders. They are on bridges because there is little room for error. They are in the medians to protect us from oncoming traffic. Of course, they are on soft shoulders and curves to alert us to sudden changes in the driving pattern. Guardrails are  placed in the safety zone; not the danger zone. They direct us and protect us. Guardrails is a system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous and of-limit areas. They prevent us from having a possible head -on collision or falling into a ditch and causing serious damage to both our car and ourselves.
Guardrails are designed to minimize damage. If we hit a guardrail, we might have to take the car to the garage for repairs but we might not have to visit the emergency room or stay in the hospital and accumulate serious medical bills.
But the highways and roadways are not the only places we need guardrails. Isn’t true that your deepest regret could possibly have been avoided or minimized, if you had established some personal guardrails in your life – in your finances, your relationships, your profession, in your marriage? Further, future regrets can be avoided if you set up some personal guardrails in your life starting today.
Notice: Personal guardrails are standards of behavior that become a matter of conscience. They are personal rules that light up your conscience when you bump into them. Like on the highway, they are placed in the safety zone. They warn you before you mess up your relationship or our career, that you are headed for danger,
The problem we face is our culture despises guardrails. It is not comfortable with them. Culture would rather promote painted lines where we have the option to crossover at will. It tells us to “drink responsibly” or “have sex when you are ready?”  However, even though culture dismisses guardrails and baits you to the edge of disaster, it is quick to shame and mock us when we cross the line and fall into the ditch in our finances or our relationships. It throws you under the bus when your marriage goes South off the cliff into the abyss.
Wise King Solomon gives us some great advice relating to guardrails. In Proverbs 22:3 (NCV) he writes, ” The wise see danger ahead and avoids it, but fools keep going and get into trouble.” Guardrails don’t just keeps us from doing wrong, they keep us on the side of wisdom.
Is the action I am about to take has wisdom’s approval? In light of my past experiences, my present circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do? Hey, are you living on the edge? Flirting with disaster? It might be wise to set up some safeguards, don’t you think?
 In this 6-part series, we will explore how to  be wise and stop flirting with disaster and establish some personal guardrails in our lives. While culture may not celebrate you and friends my ridicule and despise you if you opt for the establishment of guardrails,you will stay in the safe zone and avoid the pitfalls, ravines, and ditches along your path.
Please check back next week are we answer the question: Why Can’t We Be Friends?”

Chasing Carrots

What really makes for a happy life? A dream job, a bigger house, or a new relationship? We’re all chasing something. Usually something just out of reach—a better job, a more comfortable home, a perfect family, the approval … If you’re always hungry for the next big thing, but frustrated because it never seems to satisfy, you might be Chasing Carrots – things that bring only fleeting happiness, fulfillment or validation. May be it is time to hop off the treadmill.
What’s dangling in front of you that your never seem to reach no matter how much you try? If you are spinning your wheels going nowhere and you are worn out, tired and frustrated, why not stop Chasing Carrots and start chasing something real and life changing. Join us for our new series 10:00 am August 4.

It’s Easter …So What?

It’s Easter … So What? When I think of Easter, I tend to think of pastel baskets, dyed eggs, chocolate bunnies, and sticky Peeps. For many people, Easter is just another holiday where we feel pressure to spend money on things that won’t last. Plastic grass, cards, and candy aren’t bad, but they aren’t what Easter was meant to be.
For a Christian, Easter is about Jesus and His miraculous resurrection. It’s about an empty tomb! Without Easter,
the Bible would be useless. Our whole faith and the power behind everything we believe and teach are wrapped up in the fact that Jesus died, and then rose from the grave. Without a resurrection, Jesus would have been another good intentioned individual cut down in His prime. But Easter did happen, and because of that, we can place our trust in God’s promises. Jesus overcame death and established Himself as having authority over all things. That means, when Jesus makes a promise, we can believe Him (2 Corinthians 1:20).

It’s Easter… So:

1. I won’t die.

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36).

2. I don’t have to be a slave to sin.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

3. I am a new creation.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

4. I don’t have to fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).

5. I don’t have to worry.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

6. God wants good things for me.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)

7. I am not alone.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

8. God wants to hear my requests.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

9. One day all things will be made right.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

10. God loves me.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Unbelievable? The good news is the one who promised has proven Himself trustworthy. Every Easter, we are reminded that nothing is too big for God to handle, and nothing can keep Him from us. The greatest promise of all: Even though we should be eternally separated from God, Jesus came to Earth and gave His life up to bridge the gap between us and God. Jesus chose to reconcile all of us who believe and He was willing to face death and suffering to do so. This Easter, let’s celebrate like we have a God that refused to leave us on our own. He is a God of great promises, a God who is faithful and true
Yes, He is Risen indeed and that makes Easter the most powerful, meaningful event in history. So let us celebrate, this Easter Sunday, because the tomb is empty. Yes, an empty tomb!