Alive! Inside and Out by Larry Refsland
You can’t judge a book by its cover. Outside appearances may not really tell the true story. I remember seeing an article in one of the gossip magazines entitled, “How I Shot a Bear Blindfolded.” That was the title, but the story was more along the lines of, “How that bear got to be blindfolded, I’ll never know!”
Sometimes it pays to look a little deeper than our first impressions. We’ve all seen fallen trees after a storm. Sometimes we’re surprised to see what we thought was a healthy tree broken in two by strong winds. Upon closer examination, the signs of disease and decay show why the tree couldn’t stand against the storm.
Many of us are like that tree. We look good on the outside, we seem to have our lives together; but inside we are hurting or lonely or afraid. The Bible reminds us that even though we look on the outward appearance, God looks on the heart. You can’t fool God. He knows we need inner strength and peace.
For me, it’s great to know I can be real with God. I don’t have to hide anything from Him. I can openly share my feelings and frustrations with Him. I find when I tell Him how I really am doing, He comes and gives me peace and hope. As it says in Psalm 30:11, he turns my mourning into dancing, and in Isaiah 61:3, He exchanges my spirit of heaviness for a feeling of praise.
Be real with God today and let Him strengthen your inner being.
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by Larry Refsland
What would baseball be without umpires? Anybody who has ever played or watched a baseball game knows how important a good umpire is. They call balls and strikes, indicate whether a ball is in fair or foul territory and decide close plays by declaring a runner either “safe” or “out”.
When a good umpire makes the calls, the game is fair and orderly. We may not always like the calls, but for the game to continue we abide by their decisions. The rules of the game are followed and we enjoy the competition.
The Bible says that God has given us an umpire to help us live our lives according to the game rules. Here’s what Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The original Greek word for “guard” is the same word from which we get the word “umpire” today. In other words, the peace of God will be the umpire for our hearts and minds as we bring everything to God in prayer.
How do we know if we should pursue that relationship, or change careers, or buy that house? Present it to God and follow the peace that he gives. If there is no peace, the umpire is saying, “That’s out of bounds, don’t go there.” If there is a very strong sense of peace, follow it. Don’t forget, the umpire of peace can only be relied upon when we have first brought the situation to God in prayer. I encourage you to be sensitive to God’s umpire of peace to direct your life today. Now, play ball!
Join our church by phone on Sundays at 3:00 pm
Tune Up Your Life!
Our hope is that you will find encouragement from the brief but thoughtful (and sometimes humorous) musings of Pastor Larry.
Take East of Backus on Hwy 87 to Cass County 49. Take 49 to Shortcut Rd and then left on 8th St NE to church.
You can also type in 812 8th St NE in Pine River, MN into your GPS, but if your GPS steers you differently, we recommend following the directions above.
Join Us Every Sunday
Interactive Bible Course – 2:00 pm
Fellowship and the Good News – 3:00 pm
For immediate requests, please contact Pastor Larry or Patti Refsland at 218-348-2202.