Wednesday, December 26, 2007

For Optimal Performance, Please Read All Instructions Before Proceeding!

As you might have read from my last entry, I had a very meaningful and enjoyable Christmas this year. And, in addition to the gifts I mentioned, I received another very nice and much needed gift this year: a digital camera!! That’s right people, …..I will no longer be using film and I will now be able to upload the numerous and wonderful pictures that I take, quickly and easily, without having to wait for my pictures to get developed. LOL So, all you people who have been picking on me for being old school can stop now (you know who you are!!). So there! LOL Thank you Dad and Lauri for the camera!! OXOXO And, thank you to Janelle who told me about the one that she had so I could get the same one with all the cool features that it has!!

The main reason I am choosing to blog about my new digital camera comes from an inspiring analogy that God brought to my mind as I was learning to figure out how it works. Yesterday, I was reading the manual and testing things out, and showing my cousins how it worked. They were comparing it to their cameras and asking if their cameras had a color accent feature like mine does. I told them I didn’t know, and that they should check out their manuals. One of my cousins said that she had no clue where her manual was and that she probably lost it a long time ago. I asked her what good was it to have such a valuable piece of technology with all its features if she didn’t know how to utilize it. What a sad waste!

I know that people don’t always like to read directions (especially MEN! LOL) and that they like to figure things out on their own, but how much sense does that really make? Why not make things easier on yourself by reading the instructions (as well as the safety precautions and warnings!) from the person/persons that created that piece of technology so you can use it to its full potential - effectively and safely! Are we really that prideful to say we don’t need instructions and we can “figure it out” ourselves without the proper guidance right at our fingertips?

That got me to thinking about life and how we have an instruction manual right before us to tell us how to make the most of our lives. That instruction manual is the Bible. The creator of life itself provided it for us so we could have the fullest life possible and live it out to its greatest potential. So, why would we not want to read HIS instructions; instructions on living the life HE created? What good is our life if we don't implement the wisdom and guidance we find within His words? How much is God’s “manual” going to help us discover all His wonderful features and power if it sits in a drawer untouched or gets lost? How tragic!! It’s specially tragic considering the fact that there are many out there that are literally “dying to get their hands on it.“ How foolish it would be to ignore such a wealth of information from the EXPERT CREATOR THAT KNOWS BEST!!

How will we make the most of the life and gifts that God has given us if we don’t know about all the things God has made available to us as children of God? All power and authority is given to us by Christ so that we can make an impact for Him in this world. Yet, some are still clueless as to the bigger picture of God and that there is a whole lot more to Him than just the “basics.“ That’s another thing I realized as I looked at the TWO manuals that came with my camera: the basic and the advanced manual. The basic manual is so you can learn how to functionally operate the camera at it’s minimum potential. Sure, you can “get by” with it, but you’ll be missing out on so much more that it has to offer!! To get the most out of it, you have to want to go deeper and get more “advanced.“ But, I suppose it’s intimidating for some, because it’s seems “too hard” or “complicated.“ But, it doesn’t have to be! You can take it one step at a time and gradually work your way into more knowledge. The manual wasn’t meant to be read all at once and digested in one sitting. It’s meant to be broken down into smaller chunks. You aren’t going to know everything overnight.

I am still learning about my camera the same way I am learning about God. I can’t possibly absorb every nugget of wisdom and information all at once. It comes in “chunks.” But, every little byte (sorry, had to use the pun! LOL) increases my knowledge and broadens my perspective. And, the more I practice what I learn, the more adept I become and the more helpful it is to me!

I can’t tell you how many times I have been “wowed” by all the sides of God that I had previously not known about before!! Over the years, I went from a Methodist-raised-basic-knowledge-of-God Christian, to a Christian who started seeing that God was much more than His Bible stories or church doctrine. I started seeing Him as the “multi-faceted” God that He is and learned that there is so much more to God than what people accept Him as!! He STILL does miracles!! He STILL works through us!! His Name STILL casts out demons and evil spirits (oh yes, and they still exist people!! The devil never took a holiday!). Jesus is the same TODAY as He was yesterday and as He will be forever! He is faithful and unchanging!! Just because we have changed, and most of society believes that God isn’t the same God that He was then, doesn’t mean that He’s not. He’s very much so the God of the Bible; then, now, and always!! All we have to do is GO DEEPER and explore all the glorious aspects of Him!! There is SO MUCH MORE! We don’t have to settle for “basic” or just “go it alone” and “get by” with whatever we can.

Like I said, I have experienced God more and more over the years and have seen just how miraculous and wondrous He is! I have seen the manifestations of His power through me and through others. He still blesses us with dreams, tongues, interpretations, and miraculous healing power as well as authority over demons in HIS NAME!! (And that is only the tip of the iceberg!!).

On this closing note, I would like to point out that while my cousins' cameras didn’t have some of the “features” mine did, that aspect doesn’t apply to any of us. We are ALL given access to God and have all the same benefits of His power that all the rest of our Christian brothers and sisters have. The only “features” that are different are the “features” that He gives specifically to all of us. We all have different gifts, but they are all used to make up one body that works together to accomplish its goal. We all have a unique function and purpose, and we got to do our part. But first, we got to know what our “function” is, take our place, and do our part in completing the body!! And, just because one person functions different than another, it doesn’t mean that you are any less “functional” or special than another. Even though my cousins’ cameras didn’t have the same assets as mine, they were no less special or functional than mine. There is no reason for them to think that their cameras aren’t as good or important as what mine can do. It doesn’t lessen their purpose or functionality. Each camera still accomplishes the same goal which is to take pictures. That is the same concept with all of us as children of God. Just because one person SEEMS to be “better” or have more “functions” than we do doesn’t mean that you are any less important or essential!! We all have different gifts and purposes, but the objective is the same and that is to glorify Christ!

So, read your “manuals” everyone!! DON’T SETTLE FOR “BASIC.” There is SO MUCH MORE that you don’t know, but once you choose to learn, it will wow the socks off of you!! Then, you’ll wonder why you didn’t bother to discover it before and will wonder how you ever did without it!! Don’t waste so much time only to discover “oh, why didn’t I learn this sooner?!” Discover it NOW!! GO DEEPER!! GO ADVANCED!!! READ YOUR MANUAL!!! GOD BLESS YOU EVERYONE!!

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