Is God Trying To Get Our Attention?

Learning what matters most, thanks to a Wind Storm...

As I drive around town, I see many people who aren’t paying attention to the world around them.  "I love you, Dad..." not paying attention (From Tumblr)Some can’t hear a friend calling out to them because they’re using earbuds and an iPhone. Others are at the dinner table, scrolling through the Facebook News Feed on their tablet.

And as I’m driving down the road here in rural Maine, I notice that least 1 in 20 of the other drivers have their eyes looking down… at their cellphones… as they drive.

This new life attached to phones doesn’t appeal to me very much.  My language work largely involves working with computers. So I turn everything off at the end of the day and try to talk to real people or read a book.

However, the challenge for me is to stop working!  My cause is noble, and there always seems to be work waiting on my computer’s desktop.  The computer allows us to work efficiently and I find it difficult to pull away from it and pay attention to my family as I should.

How often has God tried to get my attention, and I was too busy to listen?

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Safer Than A Roller Coaster!

God takes care of those who "risk" obeying Him

I hate roller coasters. I can’t handle the feeling of losing control of where I am going.  It is difficult to rush forward without knowing what’s going to happen next.  However, they say that roller coasters are actually safer than children’s wagons or even folding lawn chairs. And I must admit: on the few times my girls ever talked me into riding a roller coaster with them, there came a point before the ride was over that I actually relaxed and gave up worrying about what was coming next.

Last month, because the brakes of my 1998 Toyota Corolla were squeaking, I left it at Quality Tire in Brewer, Maine to get them fixed.  Around noon, they called me back.  “Your car needs new struts and brakes, and it’s going to cost you $1,600.”

Inwardly, I gulped.  “That’s a lot!,” I thought.  Then I asked my mechanic it would be okay to think it over.  I thought about it, then called Sharon.  We both agreed that we needed to get a new vehicle so that I could preach in the churches each month.  But on our missionary salary, what could we get?

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Freedom for the sick and tormented

This post was written while we were in Chad.

Last Sunday, in the morning, Sharon needed phone credit. At the shop where I buy credit sometimes, there were clipboards; I bought one. So, after worship (we have listened to sermons from our home church), I went next door. I gave the clipboard to the man with the chains around his hands and a bar around his feet. I included some colored pencils, two pens and a note pad and paper. My thought was, “If I sat in chains all day, I would want to do something other than think about my problems.” That’s all.

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Kite Flying and Holy Spirit Revival

Searching for a Breeze: August 27, 2014

Our family went to Sand Beach this past weekend, for one last outing before the school year begins.  It used to be our family tradition to go to the coast each year at least a few times, but our summer was so busy that we hadn’t been yet.

When we go to Sand Beach, my girls love to venture out into the freezing cold ocean with the bobbing waves (crazy kids!)

and I love to fly a kite.

I have a kite shaped like a blue Navy jet.  It has a long tail of streamers which looks like the flames coming out of the jet engines as they shake in the breeze.

One of the sticks that holds the kite in its jet-like shape was missing, so I used a long seagull feather in its place.

Kite in hand, waiting for a breeze

Sand Beach, Acadia NP, where I love to fly my kite in the summer [© 2001 - 2015 Greg A. Hartford] breezeI didn’t do a lot of kite flying at the beach that Saturday.  There was little to no breeze, so I spent most of my time wandering around the shore, trying to feel where the wind might be at its strongest.

I found that the wind blew the most near the lifeguard’s seat, so I hung around there a long time, kite in hand, feeling for some breeze and trying to get the kite to fly into the air.

Oblivious to those around me, my senses were focused on finding a breeze as I watched the treetops for some movement, or felt the air lightly touch my neck.

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How to be as bold as a lion: Proverbs 28 verse 1

The wicked flee though no one is pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. – Proverbs 28:1 (LITV)

Lions don’t run from anything.  They just stand there, and face whatever danger comes their way.  They don’t often face a deadly threat, but when they do, they are bold, and go down fighting!
If we are in the right, there is no need to anxiously run away.

Excuses to be anxious

scared child at nighttime (source:’ve lived for 14 of the past 24 years in Chad, Africa, and have learned to live with uncertainty.
So even when I have no reason to be anxious, I often make up my own.  Health anxieties, money anxieties, security anxieties… anxiety about the future of America, about natural disasters, about the end of the world…
Last Friday, the brakes on my 1989 Toyota Corolla started making scary noises.  I didn’t get to call the mechanic to schedule an appointment before the day ended.  So I had the whole weekend to worry about the rust spots, about the oil leak, about the tire depth… about all the things that, when taken together, would mean that I have to junk my car and start looking for a new one.
On Monday morning, I was surprised that, when I called, my mechanic could take me right away. We dropped off the car, and I waited for my mechanic [at Quality Tire, in Brewer, Maine] to tell me what he saw.

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