Emotional Baggage Claim

Emotional BaggageIt’s an all too familiar scene after each flight we take. No sooner do the wheels hit the tarmac, and travel weary passengers erupt into life as if each seat injected its comatose passengers with 5cc’s of epinephrine. Nervous apologies are made as people compulsively burst from their seats and start yanking their bags and belongings from the overhead compartments. Throats nervously cleared. Passive aggressive (some outright aggressive) elbows are thrown. Knees are knocked. Heads are clonked. The frenzy is just beginning.

Eyes glazed over, the dazed and confused passengers stampede toward the baggage claim like hogs to the slaughter. I think I’ve even heard a few oinks and squeals along the way! The first few to arrive look a little bewildered as they attempt to confirm which magical carousel will jettison their precious cargo. With anticipation that rivals Christmas Morning, passengers feverishly alternate their glances between their watches, clocks on the wall, and the screens above. While some have transfixed their gaze upon their hallowed cellphone as if it were a crystal ball revealing the lottery numbers from this week’s Power Ball.

Welcome to Baggage Claim!

I’ll admit it’s difficult not to get swept up in the excitement, and even the competition of disembarking the plane to get to your meeting, start your vacation, or to fall into the warm embrace of those who may be anxiously awaiting your arrival.

While this scene alone is ripe with allegories, analogies, and metaphors, I’d like to share some thoughts about a baggage claim of another sort.

Your Baggage is Heavier Than You Think

Baggage comes in many shapes, sizes, and capacities. This holds true for physical baggage AND emotional baggage. Somewhere along your life’s travels, you’ve acquired a great many “souvenirs.” Events, both good and bad, all leave unique imprints upon you, your mind, your heart, even your entire outlook on life. Unresolved pain, unresolved issues, and pent up feelings of anger, resentment, or bitterness, can start to become part of the baggage we carry around. The sad irony is, this baggage can subtly grow so heavy over a period of time, that we don’t even realize the weight we’ve been carrying around until, and this is important, we set it down.

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

“Setting it down” can mean a lot of things. For the purpose of this post’s theme, we will call it “checking our baggage.” When we “check” our baggage, we present it before someone; an attendant. They inquire about the contents, they determine the weight, you pay a price, and they whisk it away until you reach your next destination.

We’ve personally checked in baggage before that exceeded normal weight limits. Of course these limits are established by the airline, but our own capacity to carry things we have no business carrying seems to grow. It’s often not until we place it on a scale, that we realize the true weight of what we’ve been carrying for who knows how long.

Checking your baggage every once in a while is healthy. In fact, we’ve had so many surprises at the airport check-in, we purchased a scale of our own to determine how heavy our baggage is. We don’t like surprises. Routinely checking in on your own baggage with a trusted friend, counselor, pastor, or mentor, are excellent ways of ensuring your baggage isn’t interfering with your ability to grow, thrive, and even excel.

Airlines use a pre-flight checklist to check and re-check every safety aspect of their planes. Our lives, and the lives of our loved ones depend on it. They check it so they don’t wreck it! Being excessively weighed down by baggage (and too many passengers – life has those too) can inhibit an airplane’s ability to safely take-off, reach altitude, and safely land. The emotional weight of your baggage can in like manner adversely affect your ability to take-off, reach your potential, and to safely arrive at your destination of a fulfilled and purposeful life in Christ.

“Let ‘er Rip!”

old luggage cartNow in our mid-forties, there’s a terrific service at some of the airports we frequent, that we’ve started to use. These big strapping fellows who are all too willing to toss your bags up on these luggage carts and push them right up to the counter, your shuttle, or your car. For a nice tip, they’re friendly enough and will point you in the right direction of a good restaurant, hotel, or area attractions.

1 Peter 5:6 – 8 instructs us, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour…”

The Greek word here for “casting” comes from the root word “rhipto” or phonetically said, “rip-toe” which means to hurl forcefully. I like to think Peter was saying, like we would in our post-modern vernacular, “Let ‘er rip!” This phrase is a little dated, but basically is said when someone is about to launch something.

Could it be that Peter, a couple thousand years earlier would have realized our propensity for carrying things around we have no business carrying? Could it also be that Peter, during his early days with Christ, realized his own innate inclination toward carrying around things that interfered with his walk with the Lord? These verses provide us with such tremendous spiritual insight into how best to handle the baggage that causes us so much heartbreak. But, according to Peter, one of the preconditions to being afforded this powerful privilege is humility.

Lower Before You Launch

Before we can ever expect to launch, we must be willing to lower ourselves; humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. When you humble yourself under His Hand, it will literally allow God to give you a hand, not just any hand, His Hand! It will be His Hand that will carry the seemingly insurmountable weight of your grief, your pain, your sorrow, your anxiety, your fears, your worries; all your care! And, it will be His Hand that will “exalt you in due time.” That word “exalt” means to restore your dignity, your honor, and your rightful place in Him.

Like those big brawny lads at the airport that magically appear at your trunk as you’re unloading your baggage, Jesus is lovingly there saying, “Hey toss that over here! I got this!” You may wince, like we do sometimes when we think about how heavy our bags are before the guys pick them up, but you never for a moment have to doubt that Jesus can take it. He’s more than proven Himself. He overcame Death and Hell…it’s safe to say Jesus can handle anything else you “throw” His way!

Music to Your Ears

When we check our baggage with the Lord, it would behoove us all to, in the in the now infamous and lyrically addictive words of Elsa in the Disney Movie “Frozen,” Let it go…let it go!

Upon your arrival to God’s Divine purpose and calling for your life, don’t compulsively run over to baggage claim like a moth to a flame to look for your bags to pick them up again. The words of the old spiritual song are never truer than at this moment, “Leave them there…leave them there. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there!”

Once we give it to God, don’t lay claim to it any longer. Peter warned, “Be sober, be vigilant.” The enemy is diabolical and deceitful. He will try to deliver the old baggage of your past in a brand new fancy bag with a bright red bow. Do not take delivery. Do not sign for it. Don’t let your neighbor sign for it. Don’t even allow Satan to leave it on your front porch! Since I’m apparently closing with a musical theme here, the words of that 1962 Elvis Presley song come to mind, “Return to sender…address unknown!”

You may think you’re fooling everyone by nap-sacking your issues and trying to inconspicuously tote them around, but like the little child who covers her eyes thinking no one can see her; someone sees. That someone is Jesus and He’s given us all an invitation today, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28 – 30)

Ant on a Mission

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Proverbs 6:6

As springtime blossoms, we see evidence of new life at every turn; flowering buds on trees, Robins nesting, Sparrows singing, and the return of summertime’s pesky insects. Proverbs points us to one such insect that has been around since the dawn of time and has over 12,000 different species – the assiduous ant! Known for her industry, the ant is ever searching for food and water sources. No time for luxury or frivolous pursuits, she’s always on a mission!

Solomon was contrasting the sluggard with the industrious ant, but as Christians, what’s our take-home message? Have we become like Aesop’s lazy grasshopper, basking in the temporary pleasures of this world, flitting from one blade of grass to another seeking enjoyment and pleasure? Or, are we like the laser-sharp-focused ant who never forgets she’s on “Mission from God?” We’ve been commanded to go into all the world preaching the Gospel of Christ’s Death, Burial and Resurrection. An ant builds a colony, numbering in some cases in the millions. Let’s make God’s Mission our mission. Let’s work the harvest while it is day, and colonize for the Kingdom of Heaven.

II Timothy 3 warns us all, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” (NASB)

Put Postponed Promises in the Potter’s Hands

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The Psalmist declared, “I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Only the God of the universe could form man from clay and breath the breathe of life into him. What lifeless lumps of clay you thought were dilapidated dreams and postponed promises, will you allow God to breath new life into? Leave them on the wheel and let the POTTER perform His artistry. He said, “I will work…who will let me work?

“Ser-minutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.

The Anointing

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From the earliest days of man’s history, anointing has played an important role in the transference of God’s presence, power, and favor to His servants. As man grew more reliant on God’s power and sufficiency, and less on his own cunning craftiness, they learned there was much more that could be accomplished.

Jacob anointed the pillow on which he slept the night God revealed Himself from the top of the ladder of Heaven. Jacob anointed his pillow and it became a pillar.

The anointing, as it was applied to Aaron and his sons, took a man and his family, and established the Levitical priesthood. God took a man who had allowed Israel to fashion a golden calf in Moses’ absence, and a man who had challenged Moses’ authority, to be the foreshadowing of Christ, our Eternal High Priest because of the anointing.

It was the God of David that anointed his head with oil and his cup over ran. Yes, the same man, who as child had been anointed the future King of Israel, the same man who in his lust committed adultery and murder. The same man, who in his arrogance, numbered the children of Israel, was well acquainted with the Oil of Gladness. He repented and found forgiveness, and said, “I shall be anointed with fresh oil.”

Oil was a constant in the worship and sacrifice of Israel, and it is clear to see that the oil of the Old Testament was without doubt the precursor to the anointing of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament.

The five wise and five foolish virgins’ level of oil was indicative of their readiness for the bridegroom.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus told his disciples when they fast, not to be like the hypocrites, but to anoint their heads and wash their face, “That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

The Samaritan tended to the wounds of the traveler with both oil and wine

In James, he commands the sick to call upon the elders of the church, to anoint and pray for them, and God shall heal them, and if there be any sin it shall be forgiven.

The anointing is not a static event in someone’s life. It is intended to activate the power, plan, and favor of God in all that it is applied to. The oil is the outward agent of the inward transference of God’s divine intervention in your life.

  • Use the Anointing Oil in every area of life…
  • Use it on the forehead of a sick child in the middle of the night.
  • Use it on the pillow of an unsaved loved one who refuses to answer the call of God on their life.
  • Use it on the vehicle of your teenager before they travel.
  • Use it on the job application or scholarship that you desperately want God’s favor in.
  • Use it to anoint a bill you cannot afford to pay and watch God unlock your finances.
  • Use it on yourself before you fast, and then wash your face.
  • Use it to anoint the doorposts of a new home or a home that is battling evil spirits.
  • Use it on a napkin or handkerchief like Apostle Paul to allow the transference of healing.

God’s Anointing, coupled with your prayer is unstoppable!

…and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

Pastor RDM

Photo compliments of  Bro. Carlos Hernandez.

Please visit his blog at http://carloshernandezphoto.wordpress.com/ to view some of his artistry in documenting Apostolics in the 21st Century. Thanks Bro. Carlos!

Happy Feet – Pastor RD Mangold (Part 2 of 2)

Happy Feet Continued…

  • Moses – When approaching the burning bush was commanded of God to remove his shoes…he was on Holy Ground. Basically, Moses was to bare his feet. God was about to set Moses’ feet on a mission!
  • Isaiah – In Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
  • Romans – But I like how Paul says it better in the book of Romans, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
  • Mary – The sister of Lazarus made the feet of Jesus HAPPY FEET…John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
  • Jesus – John 13:12-17 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

 

Of all the things Jesus could have used to illustrate servitude and humility, he chose to wash our feet.

Jesus knew that the roads ahead of the disciples were going to be tough and that happiness was going to be the furthest thing from their minds.

They were going to face cruel scourgings, beatings, torture, and death, but when Jesus was facing His own darkest hour, His greatest concern was that His disciples would be…Happy?

If you think for a minute that God’s content watching you be miserable…You don’t know God like I know Him.

God wants us to be happy and he knows that if you really want to be happy, you won’t be able to do it with feet that are fettered and hurting.

So, God has been kind enough to allow a word to be fitly spoken into your spirit today…IT’S TIME YOUR FEET BECAME HAPPY FEET!

Time to Turn Your Mourning into Dancing

God knows, if he can get the fetters off your feet…if he can get you through your trial or test. He’ll pour some healing into your soul that will make your feet so happy you’ll want to DANCE, DANCE, DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!

God’s not concerned with the rhythm of your dance, or how stylish it is, He just wants you to be able to dry your tears long enough to get your DANCE back.

We have a Savior that cares so much about you that the very night he was to be given up to the authorities, He wanted His disciples to know, if you want to be happy…take care of one another’s feet!

If our creator could humble himself enough to bow down and wash the feet of the 12, including one that was going to deny him, and one that was going to betray him, couldn’t we be big enough to do the same for our brothers and sisters.

Paul’s Feet Kicking the Pricks

The day that the Apostle Paul was converted on the road to Damascus, Jesus makes a peculiar statement

Ac 26:14 – 18 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

 

The Apostle Paul was so busy kicking against the pricks, spiritually speaking, his feet HAD to be hurting. Constantly kicking against something he knew full well was what God was calling him to.

Listen to the rest of the story…

 

 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

 16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;

 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,

 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Paul’s feet were far from being HAPPY FEET! He was spending so much time and energy kicking against the pricks that he wasn’t seeing the ministry and the purpose God was calling him too.

But when he stopped kicking, and his feet stopped hurting, God granted him a ministry that resulted in millions coming to Christ!

Now those are some HAPPY FEET!

I don’t know where you’re at today, but I’m almost certain, your feet are killing you right now.

If it’s been a long time since you’ve danced before the Lord you have to ask yourself one of these questions…

1. Am I bound by something?

a. Perhaps it’s a habit

b. Perhaps it’s a sin

c. Perhaps it’s the enemy

2. Am I kicking against the pricks?

a. Am I purposely avoiding doing what I truly know is right?

b. Am I so wrapped up in my own life, my own plans, my own schemes that I can’t see the ministry, or the purpose that God has for me right before my very eyes?

God wants His people to have HAPPY FEET! He went to great lengths to ensure that we could enjoy this great truth, and fulfill our purpose in Him…but we can’t do it without HAPPY FEET!

Happy Feet – Pastor RD Mangold (Part 1 of 2)

Happy Feet

March 16, 2008

Psalm 105:14-15

 14 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;

 15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

 16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.

 17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:

 18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:

 19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

 20 The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.

 21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:

 22 To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.

John 13:12-17

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.

 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Without a doubt one of the most inspiring stories in all of the scripture – the story of Joseph going from favored son, to slave, to a ruler in Egypt, brings with it all the elements of a great story…Tragedy, treachery, travail, and ultimate triumph.

If you have never sat down and read the story of Joseph starting in Genesis Chapter 37, you owe it to yourself to read it.

Joseph’s story illustrates for us that when God institutes a calling and purpose in your life – you better pursue with all diligence.

Hebrews 10:23 – Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

When you’re feeling challenged in your spirit, and the enemy comes against you; don’t you for a minute think that God’s going to sit idly by and watch you flounder around. We serve a God that cares – and cares deeply for His people…

1Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Sore Feet

We find in our reading a brief summary about the story of Joseph but I want to queue you into a particular passage of David’s account of the story. He says it like this…

Psalm 105:18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:

This particular account brings to light an element that even the original story doesn’t. We knew Joseph was experiencing pain. You know, the pain of being sold into slavery, the pain of betrayal, and just the overall pain that somehow he may be missing the mark.

But this reading shows us that something was adding to that misery…Joseph’s feet HURT with fetters!

Of all the things the writer in Psalms could have included in his description of Joseph’s account, he dialed right into how Joseph’s feet hurt due to the fetters.

What’s Got Your Feet Fettered?

Have you ever been so tired, and walked so much that your feet ached…no, I mean downright hurt? I think one of the most miserable feelings a person can have is when their feet hurt.

I may be stating the obvious here, but if you’re feet are hurting you’re going no where fast.

  • Washington D.C. Trip
  • London Trip (if time)

Those stories illustrate that we put our feet through some serious abuse and expect peak performance every time.

  • Now, imagine if your feet were fettered or shackled.
  • Now imagine they’re put there to restrain you.
  • Imagine how your ankles would ache, the sores and blisters that would fester and ooze.
  • You’re so tightly bound that freedom of movement is impossible.

Joseph was there – full of hopes, dreams, and ambition but he was in fact bound so tightly by the fetters, or leg irons, that his feet just hurt.

When in the midst of his trials, Joseph’s only real complaint…my feet hurt!

My feet don’t hurt because I’ve walked too much or because I’m retaining water…my feet simply hurt because I’m bound and I can’t get free of my fetters.

Some of you within the sound of my voice today have sore feet. They’re not sore because you’ve done a great deal of traveling, or because someone has been stomping on them…Your feet hurt because you sit here a miserable wreck, bound by fetters of the enemy and you’re in PAIN!

Won’t you admit it? You’re feet hurt – you’re tired of pulling at the leg irons that have you so tightly bound.

I’m here to declare men and women…

  • YOU WERE NOT MEANT TO BE BOUND!
  • HE WHO THE SON HAS SET FREE IS FREE INDEED!

We have a Savior today that’s not content to watch you rot in the prison of your present circumstance…GOD WANTS YOU TO HAVE HAPPY FEET!

The Bible and Feet

If you did your homework in the scripture, you’d see that feet play a very prominent role in the Bible…

To be continued later this week…check back soon!