Monday, November 10, 2014


"I am so busy. I can hardly keep up with my schedule. I'm exhausted."   Have you heard these words anytime lately? Have you said them or something like them in the last several days? I have had some time to think about "busyness" in the last couple of months since I am not as "busy" as I used to be.

We generally don't think that there is anything wrong with being busy. After all, we tend to think that the opposite of busy is "idle" or "lazy" or to be a little Biblical - slothful. Actually, two dictionary definitions of the opposite of busy that I really like are:  "quiet" and the other is "available".  Ah, now that puts a different spin on it, doesn't it?

In Ephesians chapter 5 and verses 15 and 16, we read:  "Be careful how you live. Don't be unwise but wise, making the best use of (redeeming) your time. Understand whats the Lord wants you to do."

Good verses. What does the Lord want us to do and how does He want us to think about "busyness" ? I like the thinking of Max Lucado on this issue. He says that being busy is not a sin. After all, Jesus was busy. Paul was busy. And we all know, don't we friends, that we will not get much of anything important accomplished without effort and hard work.  And working hard will make us weary. Ok, that in itself is not sin.

But being busy in a mad dash pursuit of things that leave us empty and broken inside does not please God.  Would you agree? Doesn't it seem like sometimes the faster we go in our lives, the emptier we become?  Yet why does it seem like taking time to pause, reflect, meditate and just listen to the important voices in our lives is just so hard? It's not easy to make decisions to bring our life under control and change our priorities so we can focus on first seeking after and building our relationship with our Heavenly Father and letting some of the other things take a backseat.

So I align with Mr. Lucado who believes that in the midst of busyness, the Cross is still there. In the midst of your emptiness, the Cross is still there. The promises of Jesus still stand today. You can claim peace in the midst of a hectic life -- but not without some sacrifice and concentration, but we can do it.

So I am learning once again that God's Word is so true. Pastor Jerry, family and friends and brothers and sisters:  Up North Wisdom says listen and apply the truth from Matthew 6 which tells us that doing what God wants and seeking His Kingdom first will keep us in good relationship with Him as well as with others. And the needs of our lives will be met. I'm learning friends and I hope you are too. Not only will God show you how to live, learn and love better, but He will bring great peace into the middle of the busyness of your life.

"Father God, help us to know when to say no to the world and yes to you. Help us to hear the true and still small voice of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the pressures and busyness of life. We are not very good at it, Father, so we really need You to help us. Thank You for Your love and Grace in our lives."

So now with all that in mind, isn't it so cool to really know that The Best Is Yet To Come?  Blessings!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Who Do You Trust

Pastor Mark Cox of Central Church in Green Bay posted on Face Book this morning that win, lose, or draw for the candidate of your choice, let's be civil and remember ...We're ALL in this together! Good post, Pastor Mark. Psalm 20:7 says that "some trust in chariots and some trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord God."  An excellent verse. I would give it a modern twist and say, "Some trust in one political party and some trust in a different political party, but Christians trust in the name of the Lord, our God!"

Listen, there are a lot of things this old world needs but angry Christians are not one of them. It always amazes me to hear Christians say ugly things about certain politicians like this one or that one is their personal enemy. It's almost enough to make me........well a little angry. :)  Friend, I know who my enemy really is and so do you. And it's not a certain politician who holds a specific office.

I've often heard and said that if Christians are obedient to God's Word, they WILL pray for those in public office and not sin by being an angry voice that continually says negative and ugly things about certain politicians that they don't like. God's Word, not mine. Check out the writings of Paul.  Prayer is a great calmer and a great antidote for an angry spirit. We are not going to influence the world towards Christ by acting in opposition to what He told us.

Living Hope Church's founding pastor, Jim Erickson, said often that a defining verse in God's Word is " A soft answer turns away anger".  So how am I doing on that one?  How are you? How is the world going to know we are Christians if we don't act like one?  The Book of James is the great mirror for all of us. To say we are religious (Christians) and yet to say things and do things that are contrary to the Word is to fool ourselves. When we aren't demonstrating (living out) our faith by what we do (like reaching out to help the poor, ministering to those in need, having control of our tongues, talking less, listening more and not becoming angry, etc. etc. etc. -- then we are just another loud angry voice that joins all the others.

Some defining verses for me are found in Proverbs 3.   "Pastor Jerry, and all Christians,  Trust In The Lord With ALL Your Heart and Don't Depend On Your Own Understanding. Give Him First Place In Your Life and Everything Will Turn Out As God Directs."  JBV Version (Jerry Bruette Version) :)

Let me end with this from Max Lucado:  "I believe that many of us go through life sucking on pacifiers. Oh we don't see them because they're in our bank. Or they're parked in our garage. Or we live in them. Don't put your hope into things that change -- relationships, money, talents, beauty and health. (And into certain politicians - my add). Set your sights on one thing that can never change; trust in your Heavenly Father."   AMEN!  And Up North Wisdom adds one more thing for those of you who choose to trust God in all circumstances -- The Best Is Yet To Come!