Rabbit and DaschundA good friend and I were talking the other day and he told me about an experience he had in Hong Kong. First I’ll tell you what he saw. Then I’ll tell you a story based on that.  Then I’ll apply it in one of many, many ways you can apply the story.

What My Friend Saw

As he and his group were traveling through the market in Hong Kong, he noticed someone selling rabbits. (Note:  I’m pretty sure they weren’t  being sold as pets.)

There was a cage full of rabbits.  Then on top of the cage there was a single rabbit, just sitting there, motionless.

My friend asked, “Why doesn’t that rabbit run away?”

The answer: Because he’s been in the cage so long he’s forgotten what life outside the cage is like. He assumes there is nowhere else to go.

My Little Rabbit Fable

Once there were two rabbits. Both were raised in captivity.  Both had only known a life within the confines of a cage or pen. But that wasn’t all bad. [click to continue…]

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Old friend called yesterday.  It had been a while.

“I’m calling to ask you to pray,” she began.  “I’ve just had a bombshell dropped in my lap.”

Like you would do, I’m sure, my mind started racing at the possibilities.  Family?  Finances?  Health?  It could be anything.

I won’t tell you what hers was, but it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that she was handed some bad news she didn’t see coming.


What matters more is that she was really making some progress in some areas of her life, and this jeopardizes all that.

Kabloom again!

And what matters to you is that next time it could be you.

Have you ever noticed that when you start moving in a positive direction, life has a way of testing you out of center field with alarming or disarming stuff?  And it comes dressed in any number of ugly outfits. [click to continue…]

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Is God Loosening Your Tent Stakes?

by Andy Wood on November 16, 2012

in Since You Asked

My friend Bruce Reinhardt has a unique way of communicating through metaphors.  He’s the one who taught me this phrase to describe when God is preparing us for a major change.  “We can look back and see that the Lord was loosening our tent stakes.”

I have long ago lost count of the number of times I have used that imagery.  It especially speaks to people who tend to think their “tents” (translation:  lives) are anchored in concrete.

If your heart’s still lost somewhere on Walton’s Mountain or you’re still imagining working at that same location until you’re shipped off to the retirement home you may need to wake up for this one.  We’re not just living in a mobile society.  We’re living in a changing one.

Fact is, you may actually be less mobile and still have multiple changes.  As of this year I have lived in Lubbock, Texas longer than anywhere in my life – 16 years.  But I’ve drawn paychecks from 16 different places.  Not all full-time, of course. But the point is, many of those had to do with changes that were handed to me that I didn’t ask for.  And not all of them involved leaving a place of employment. [click to continue…]

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This image disturbs me on many levels.

Yeah, it really does get faster and faster.  There are more birthdays to remember (or forget).

(Let’s see… when was my son-in-law’s?  Today?  Tomorrow?)

I’m definitely Moving at the Speed of Life.

There are more demands – many of them self-imposed.  I’m at that point in life where I know I can get more done – just sleep an hour less or (my favorite) multi-task.  After all, time’s wasting! I’m smarter now than I’ve ever been, I have lots of unfinished business, and I can sleep when I’m dead.


Just keep Moving at the Speed of Life.

There are more opportunities or distractions, depending on how you interpret them.  I’m at a point in my life where I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I have and, truth be told, a little scared to say no when another one presents itself.  I’m old and scarred enough to recognize there are no guarantees, and still young enough to say yes when the right ones come along.

I only get one of these, and I’m still Moving at the Speed of Life.

Stop. [click to continue…]

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Somewhere not far from you, in an undisclosed location (they like to keep it that way), a group of ants is planning for winter.  Methodically, laboriously, they’re hauling whatever it is that ants eat into a safe place.  Though I’m sure they’re tempted to nibble on the profits, they resist the temptation to consume today.  Instinctively they know that they must work now for the time when either they can’t work, or there won’t be resources available.

In the Middle East there dwells a little furry critter – something like a cross between a chipmunk and a badger.  (In other words, he sings like an angel, but he’s in a really bad mood!)  Seriously, this little mammal is something like a Rocky Mountain version of a prairie dog.  He has no natural defenses, yet easily protects himself from predators.  His secret?  He makes his home in the little crags between the rocks.  There he remains safe while his enemies get a sore nose.

[click to continue…]

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If you just read the title of this and are still reading, you don’t have time for cute stories or complicated formulas, so I’ll just get to the point, if that’s OK.

If you are in a situation where you are at a complete loss as to what to do, it’s because you need to reset your glance and your gaze.  You have allowed your gaze – your long-term focus – to become set on your circumstances, your prayer request, your frustration, your pain, your desperate desire for change, or something other than the Lord.  You’re glancing at God, asking Him to fix whatever you’re gazing at.

Nice try.  I understand why.  But it doesn’t work that way.  Reset your gaze on God, and your glance on the world around you.

That’s what it means to wait on the Lord.

That’s what it means to praise, or to worship

Yes, that’s in the Bible. [click to continue…]

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The other day I turned left out of a parking lot and started heading south on Avenue Q, between 19th and 34th Streets in Lubbock, where I live.  If you’re not familiar with that stretch of road, it’s a seven-lane thoroughfare, with three lanes each heading south and north, and a turn lane.  Big.  Wide.  Sprawling.  Busy.

It was in the afternoon, around 3:00 or so.  I was talking on the phone with Joel, my son.  Traffic was busy enough, but not nuts.  I was in the middle lane, with cars pretty much all around me – left and right, front and back.  I was probably about a quarter mile from the 34th Street intersection when the strangest thing began to happen.

I went blind. [click to continue…]

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Had coffee with a sweet friend last week.  She was describing the amazing things the Lord has worked in her life over the summer as she has gone through a wonderfully painful, gloriously gut-wrenching season.  Each day the Lord has brought new strength, insights, healing, and refreshing as she prepares for a future that is far less certain… but far more peaceful.

Did you get that?

Far less certain, but far more peaceful.

Like many people, she had defined peace and satisfaction in terms of being able to predict what the future held (among other things).  Now as she returns to school, she heads off into an unknown destiny, with lots of uncertainties.  But she has a phenomenal peace that she is being held right in the center of God’s heart and hand.

Here’s how she expressed it to me.  I was so touched, I wanted to share it with you (my paraphrase): [click to continue…]

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I live because…

Jesus fought me. He was my holy enemy, mercifully blocking my stubborn rebellion.

Jesus bought me. He was my sacrificial redeemer, willingly shedding His blood for my pardon.

Jesus sought me. He was my desperate lover, tenderly calling me out of my hiding. [click to continue…]

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I believe that it is not dying that people are afraid of.  Something else, something more unsettling and more tragic than dying frightens us.  We are afraid of never having lived, of coming to the end of our days with the sense that we were never really alive, that we never figured out what life was for. – Harold Kushner

The great Presbyterian pastor Donald Grey Barnhouse was once riding in a funeral procession in Philadelphia when he noticed a large cargo truck running in front of the procession.  From the way the sun was positioned, he noticed that the truck was casting a large shadow on the sidewalk.  That shadow crossed light poles, road signs, and even people, and didn’t harm anything.  No one would want to be in front of the truck, mind you, but the shadow was harmless.

Every one of us was born on the other side of something called “labor.”  We enter the world completely helpless and fragile, totally dependent on the protection, care and kindness of others.  We borrow the oxygen and assorted things for a span of time the Bible calls a “vapor.”   Despite our claims to ownership, we take no possessions with us.  And we end our sojourn on earth passing through something called a “shadow.”

Birth is a labor soon forgotten…

Life is a vapor quickly fading…

Possessions are an illusion suddenly passing…

Death is shadow silently creeping…

Is there any wonder we struggle sometimes to know what’s real?  And what’s valuable? [click to continue…]

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