Faith and Feelings

There are times when our feelings line up with our faith and that is great. There are also times where feelings don’t connect well to our faith and that is okay too. In the Bible, we are taught to “Live by Faith and not by Sight.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:7) In other words, there will be times when we need to trust God and go on in spite of the circumstances. Our faith and personal relationship with God is not limited to our emotions. D.L. Moody describe it this way… “I thank God my salvation doesn’t rest upon my feelings. I would not give much for a hope that is based upon my treacherous heart. But I tell you that a hope that is based upon Jesus Christ’s word, is a hope worth having.”

There have been times in my life that for whatever reason, I did not feel close to God. It was not that I was doing anything wrong, I just felt numb. I can remembering praying to the Lord, and telling Him, I was going to trust Him, worship Him, and follow Him, even if I did not feel like it. That was a big turning point for me, liberating me from being so dependent upon my changing circumstances or moods. Dr. Eugene Peterson states that: “My feelings are important for many things. They are essential and valuable. But they tell me next to nothing about God or my relationship to God.My security comes from who God is, not from how I feel. Discipleship is a decision to live by what I know about God, not what I feel about Him or my neighbors.”

When you look through the Bible you find a tremendous parade of people who did just that: Abraham, Noah, Joseph, Moses,Elijah, Ruth, and the list goes on and on. These are examples for us to follow as they did, by faith more than feelings. So, the next time you are dealing with going by what you know is right or just your feelings, go with your faith in God. He knows what is best for us. When you and I have difficulty with a car or an appliance, the manufacturer provides an owner’s manual. Oftentimes, we can find the answer to what has gone wrong with those things. God not only created us, but He also wrote His Manual for us … the Bible. Samuel Rutherford said “Believe God’s Word more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock which ebbs and flow, but the sea.”

Life Lessons from Really Great Guitar Pickers

It is refreshing to get out of the rut of your usual routine and occasionally do something completely different. I have always enjoyed guitar music. I am not really good at playing the guitar. You may have heard the saying about playing the guitar as “Pick and Grin”…Well, I grin more than I pick the guitar but I admire those who do pick and play the guitar and are really good at it. My good friend Ray Johnson encouraged me to attend the “Chet Atkins Appreciation Society” Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. My cousin, Pat Corn performs and teaches workshops at this annual event. I have attended it several times through the years. Chet Atkins was a famous guitar musician, music producer. He had a passion for developing musical talent and teaching people how to play the guitar. The convention is sorta like the World Series of Guitars which is attended by musicians of all skill levels, age groups and they come from all over the world. I have met guitarist from South East Asia, Europe, Australia, etc.

Here are some important life lessons I have observed being around these great guitar musicians…

YOU HAVE TO FREQUENTLY ADAPT AND ADJUST TO KEEP YOUR LIFE IN TUNE. There is no worse sound than when a musical instrument is out of tune. Even at concerts, you will see entertainers take time to tune their guitar in between songs. That is true with your life, especially when your life gets out of tune with your soul, stop and adjust your schedule or attitude, etc…to stay in tune to be the best version of you that God wants you to be each day.

GOOD HABITS ARE DEVELOPED BY PRACTICE. These musicians practice playing their guitar a lot. You will not get better at something if you give up too quickly. In life, good habits are just as difficult to break as bad habits. Bad habits are overcome by developing good habits. Choose good habits.


LEARNING FROM OTHERS. Dr. Vance Havner said that he had a friend who was determined to be original or nothing, he ended up being both! The truth is that the most original and creative people all have mentors that played a role and impacted their lives.

FRET NOT… There is something calming and refreshing about listening to beautiful acoustic guitar music. It is very relaxing when you hear it. I know I have found just playing my guitar at home unwinds the tension of a stressful day. It is good to stop and take a few minutes to be grateful for a peaceful break from a hectic day. Even that doesn’t compare with the peace we can find in our relationship with God. It transcends any situation and circumstance. Jesus said “ I am leaving you a gift, of peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” That is really the reason I can grin and bear it no matter what happens each day. If you happen to get out of sync… be sure to take time to get back in tune.

Enjoying the Journey of Life…One Step at a Time

Life is like hiking… you usually have a desired destination in mind, but you can only get there one step at a time. It is just as important to enjoy the journey. That is true in life too. Max Lucado describes it this way: “Since I know God’s provision is timely, I can enjoy the present. The key is to meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow…

You don’t have tomorrow’s strength yet. You simply have enough for today.”

We are so obsessed in today’s culture with instant service and gratification. When you combine that with our other obsession for planning and goal setting and then you encounter some situations where none of that doesn’t apply or work…you end up with anxiety and worry…There are some things you and I just have to wait on that are beyond our control…but the good news is there is no situation that is beyond God’s control.

In the meantime, we can still enjoy today. Our focus should be on The Lord, His goodness and grace more than worrying about the uncertainties in the future. Jesus teaches us: ” Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” ( Matthew 6:34 The Message). We all want security and should do our best to secure that but at the same time our most important security should be in The Lord. May you and I trust Him while we are waiting to see how He works things out for our ultimate good and His glory!