Impossible Advice

faith

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God For all things are possible with God.”
Mark 10:37 ESV

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Walt Disney

Have you consulted an impossible advisor? Their offices abound.
They specialize in discouraging,
and harumph is their favorite sound.

They see a lack of reason
in every Christian’s step forward in faith.
For them, there is no good season
to favor the boldest way.

You’ve searched God’s Word,
and prayed, and sought good counsel,
but fear could stop you
from serving the Lord
by stealing the wind from your sails.

The assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen,
the fuel of faith gives you power
on those hard
and harder days.

Don’t let impossible advisors
get in your head.
Don’t subscribe to their social media,
don’t take their calls,
block them instead.

Look for encouraging,
Jesus loving friends,
who see more beginnings
than ends.
Godly advice helps you stretch
beyond self-imposed boundaries.

Adventure awaits you
brothers and sisters
when you’re willing
to seize your dreams.
When you step out in faith
the din of fear will fade away
and you’ll experience
what victory means.

© Joel Tipple 2/16/2019
Author of “Written in the Light.”

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Your Words

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18 ESV

When you’re pondering what
you could possibly give,
and the thought of God
using you
seems absurd
consider what you share
for good or for ill.
Think about the power
of your words.

Choose…

Words spoken in haste,
off the cuff.
Words soaked with anger,
too rough.
Words intended to defend
what shouldn’t get defense,
words thrown into the air
with uncertain intent.
We teach children not to play with fire,
then we fire off our mouths
and burn our families down.

Or…

Word spoken with thought
for the hearer.
Words that consider others
more dear.
Words spoken
slowly
with careful inflection,
words the Holy Spirit
prods us to mention.

If we’re wise we beseech
the author of wisdom
for the best direction
of our tongue.
A college degree won’t help you
if your heart and mind
hasn’t learned
the message of the Son.

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:36-37

The right words spoken at the wrong time.
Words spoken when silence would be better.
Words written,
then sent
when wisdom says
burn the letter.

Words go to war
or make peace.
Words give dignity
to the least.
Words can separate
or cement
the marriage bond.
And the examples go on
and on.

Finally,
if you would know
what God would have you speak
when the Spirit says it’s your turn,
seek first the wisdom of God.
Rightly consider
His Word.

© Joel Tipple 2/9/2019

God of the Undiscovered Country

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pasture. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23 ESV

Shakespeare’s Hamlet wondered aloud
of “the undiscovered country,”
that place to which every human being
will someday journey.
But though by faith, followers of Christ
know the place we’ll someday dwell,
what of the many other
undiscovered destinations
we find ourselves?

God of the
undiscovered country,
the places we go by faith,
you know
leaving the familiar
isn’t our favorite thing.
Even when what we know
isn’t especially easy or nice,
stepping out and moving
can test our hearts and minds.

God of the undiscovered country,
you’ll meet us there.
What’s heavy to us is light to you,
so You carry our care.
What we don’t know
you have planned already,
and you’ve made provision
for our every need.
For the doors
we must go through
you’ve already cut the keys.

Sometimes undiscovered
isn’t far,
in terms of
what we ever
thought far would be.
But what’s easy for one
is a trial for some
and God knows what we need…
for the undiscovered country,
where He’s already been.

© Joel Tipple 2/2/2019

Measure

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
1st Peter 2:9

God, I’d like to be
the measure of a man
you would have me be.
Close my ears and eyes
to how the world defines me.
For when I look
to the left or right
of the road you’ve set before me
suddenly I stumble.

Season my speech
with words wise and giving,
an attitude of joy,
one of great thanksgiving.
If by chance someone hears
some of what I say
I pray my focus
is on the Holy Spirit
because I sought Him
and prayed.

There was a time, Lord,
when the mirror used to be
something other than my friend,
and there was a sad moment in my life
when I prayed for a sooner end.
Thanks for holding off calamity
with your loving hand
and saving me.

If we don’t turn off the news
sometime
with its
relentless
negative
auto-repeat,
we risk rendering our witness worthless
to the point, we cannot speak.
But no matter how dark
the world may become
if we turn our eyes to you
and the sacrifice of your son
we will be saved.

You Lord,
the one who measures rightly,
the one who made the world,
and all its wonders
will always bring us back
from the brink
when we call.
Even though we’re prodigal
and have nothing at all
to earn it,
you’ll forever
heap upon us
so much devotion
we can’t help but share it.
Thank you, Lord.
Thank you, thank you, thank you
for sharing
so much
it could never
ever
be measured.

© Joel Tipple 1/26/2019

I Choose Joy

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
Nicolas Chamfort

“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

‘Oh yes, nodded Pollyanna emphatically, ‘he said he felt better right away, that first day he thought to count ’em. He said if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to rejoice, He must want us to do it – some.’
Elenor Porter, Pollyanna

From the moment we begin a day,
foggy though we may be,
a choice is made,
destiny laid,
to carry on through eternity.
A deep connection to God
and how we fit in His plans
each dawn’s birth
we must employ.
But I can’t imagine
God and beginning
unless I’m beginning with joy.

I choose joy!
though circumstances
shout a different direction,
though news in its varied guises
favors a negative slant.
I choose hope over despair
though hopelessness
clamors for attention,
and tries to blind us
to better horizons
before our faith
has a chance.

You may call me a Pollyanna,
but I don’t mind.
In a world filled with darkness
count me in
with the light giving kind.

Give me joy!
A better, not bitter mindset
is fighting against the tide.
But God wouldn’t tell us to rejoice
without giving us fuel for the ride.

In the course of a day
on this earth,
we make countless choices
that affect
ours and others’ lives.
I have a certain faith,
God’s not playing with loaded dice.

I choose joy!
It’s a habit worth promoting
a way to identify
life
versus death.
When waters threaten to drown,
joy makes you taller.
I’m enrolled
in God’s Hope University,
so I suppose
that makes me
a Joy Scholar.

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
Psalm 47:1

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.
Romans 15:13

© Joel Tipple 1/19/2019

Future Through Failure

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Henry Ford

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
Johnny Cash

“The flaw in, say, austerity, is that its success is predicated on the relative exactitude of math rather than the shifting liquid imperfection of people’s lives.”
Steven Weber

God, you see a painting of me,
But it’s one, I fear,
I often fail to see.
I know you,
the ultimate artist,
with the deft stroke of your brush,
can make a man
by your plan
from this accumulation of dust.
I’m not finished
because you’re not finished with me.
From failures to future
the ups and downs of life,
I refuse to give in to misgivings.
I won’t wallow
in disappointment and strife.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

©Joel Tipple 1/12/2019