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Pick Up the Axe

Pick Up the Axe

I recently went to my parents’ house to visit.  While walking around the trails of their house, I spotted an axe and a pile of wood. My father was splitting the wood to be used in their fire pit. I decided that I would split the wood for him. Without being asked, I picked up the axe and began chopping wood and stacking it by the house.

Yes, I volunteered to split wood.  I didn’t even think twice about it.  It needed to be done.  I was there, so I did it. 

I remember times when I was younger, where I would reluctantly go split wood when I was told to do so.  It wasn’t a fun task.  It was hard work… but this time was different.  I wanted to split wood.  I wasn’t filling a wood chopping gap in my life, I chopped the wood, because it needed to be done.  And to my surprise, I ENJOYED IT.

Your attitude about what you are doing makes all the difference.  When I was young, chopping wood was a chore.  It was something, that I honestly tried to avoid. This time, though, I looked at it as something I was doing by choice to help my dad.  Nothing had changed except for my perception of the task…and that made all the difference.

This physical example can easily be applied to our spiritual life.  When we don’t want to do something, it is easier to look at it as chore rather than opportunity.  

The first biblical example that entered my mind was Nehemiah.  He is a perfect example of how a positive mindset can have a tremendous impact on people.  The temple was rebuilt, and the walls of Jerusalem sat in decay for over 100 years before Nehemiah decided to make a difference. He showed up and called the people to action.   They completed the construction of the walls in 52 days.  Nehemiah 4:6 says that the people had a mind to work.  It wasn’t easy work.  Building a wall is always hard… but their attitude change made all the difference.

In our day to day lives, it is possible to look at our service to God as a chore. 

If you have ever found yourself saying, “I HAVE to go to worship services”, you might be showing a negative view toward servicing God.  Simply changing the statement to, “I GET to go to worship services,” can influence your perception in a positive way.  Viewing services in a positive way can change how you lift your voice in praise to God, make application of the bible lesson, and interact with your brothers and sisters.

The same positive spiritual mind set can apply to reading your bible, teaching bible classes, writing cards to the sick, and many other good works. 

Think of reading your bible as an opportunity to get to know your God.  It is about building a relationship with Him, rather than checking off verse after verse.

Teaching classes is an occasion to share lessons from God to others.  Sure, it is stressful and takes a lot of time to prepare, but try to change your mind set to focus on the result, and the process will not be as daunting.

Don’t let the spiritual woodpiles overwhelm you.  Your mind set will make all the difference.  When you come across a woodpile, pick up your axe, check your attitude, and get to work.

- Bryan Tacker


It's a Win-Win !!!

Perhaps you've heard of Byron Nelson. If not, he was one of the greatest golfers of all time, winning over 50 professional tournaments. And he's a native Texan! I've played Glen Garden, the old course outside of Fort Worth, where he and Ben Hogan, as young boys, caddied and learned to play the game. Byron was more than just a great golfer. He was a God-fearing man and lived his life accordingly. He's remembered for his kindness and gentle spirit.

As with us all, our mortal bodies wear out as the years go by. Years of walking golf courses and swinging a club at a little white ball took their toll on Nelson. As the doctor prepared Byron for his second hip replacement surgery, he cautioned him on the possible hazards of the surgery. If all went well, Byron would be able to return to playing the game he loved. But due to his age, the use of anesthesia could mean that he wouldn't wake up.

Byron met the surgeon's harsh warning with the following: "Let me get this straight, if this works, I'll be able to play golf again. If it doesn’t, I'll be going to heaven…Well, what are we waiting for? Seems like a win-win to me!"

This story brings to mind our mortality. What is our confidence in the outcome of our last day in this life?  When we doubt our salvation, remember God's faithfulness in hope of eternal life with Him. God, who cannot lie promised:

"Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began," Titus 1

We must believe in our eternal life with our Creator, because we believe in Him, and God says it is so!

"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." 1 John 5:13

- Danny Pickett