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Friday, May 12, 2023
Point Loma is a peninsula between San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Here's a view from one side of the bay with the city skyline in the background.
Message summary: Throughout our lifetime we hear many voices. Above all, we must learn to know the voice of the Good Shepherd and seek God so that He will direct us in the way we should go.
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"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21). “This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go’” (Isaiah 48:17). "His sheep follow Him because they know His voice" (John 10:4).
Several times on our trip out west we heard voices talking over each other at the same time while we were driving to new locations. Those experiences brought about confusion in our minds and are illustrative of a vital spiritual truth. So let's explain:
Like many these days we use the GPS in our phones to get around, often requesting the directions using voice commands (especially Brooksyne). For instance she will say, "Siri, directions to Shields Date Farm", to which we are guided by a pleasant female voice.
I also use the GPS but normally use Google and type in the desired destination, which also uses a similar sounding female voice. Then the directions are given through the car's speaker system using bluetooth.
Several times both devices started giving us directions to different places at the same time which became very confusing and frustrating. Brooksyne fumbled to turn the GPS we didn't need off but couldn't necessarily determine which one that was and how to quickly get it off. On one occasion this happened while we were in heavy San Diego freeway traffic.
The "old man" (in this sense) came out in me after awhile and I became rude to her (the female voice) with expressions like, "Shut up Bluetooth" in attempts to get the voice silenced. But she was unfazed by my mean expressions and just kept on pleasantly giving directions as if she never heard me which often included "Take a U-turn at the next light". I was convicted in my spirit and knew it was not her fault, that she meant well, but we just couldn't get her to be quiet!
Conflicting voices bring about confusion, chaos or mayhem when we are gathered with others or in our own individual lives.
I'm speaking of the many voices clamoring for our attention and obedience. All over our country and around the world young people will soon be graduating. Graduation (high school and college) is an important milestone preparing us for adulthood and independence. In so many ways it is a vital fork in the road of life. Often, due to lack of proper direction in the early formative years, so many choose the wrong road at this point.
Sadly, in many cases, higher education has become fertile ground for destruction of the teaching young people received in their early years. The almost always funny and insightful Babylon Bee satire site has a story titled, "Local Christian Parents Pay University $100,000 To Totally Destroy 18 Years Of Their Hard Work". (link below)
I want to encourage graduates and all reading this to hear a very clear message from God’s Word about knowing and obeying God's voice, "This is the way; walk in it”.
The second text, also from Isaiah states, "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go”. Truly, our heavenly Father knows best. We all need to keep this truth before us, but our young people are especially at a vulnerable point in life where there is a battle raging over this issue in their souls. They hear so many voices from the world (media, education, workplace, etc.) asserting “This way is best for you". But many of these ways are absolutely contrary to God’s way and will lead to destruction!
Finally today, get to know the voice of the Good Shepherd through reading and meditating on His words in Scripture, by prayer and devotion, by following in the steps of those who are fully committed to God, and by aligning your desires with His. "His sheep follow Him because they know His voice" (John 10:4).
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Daily prayer: Father, I pray for families whose children graduate from high school or college this year. What a tremendous and long-range accomplishment this is in the lives of our young people. I ask that You would empower our graduates with great foresight, godly wisdom, daily discipline, and a sense of purpose as they enter a new season in their lives. May their hearts be fully consecrated to You as they use their natural and learned skills in the marketplace. Though much about their future is not yet revealed, You have given absolute direction about their personal spiritual walk. No matter what field of study or where they locate geographically may Your voice be clearly heard, “This is the way; walk in it.” No matter what season of life we’re in, help us to never forsake the unchanging, fundamental truths we learn from steadfastly walking in Your way and listening for Your voice. We joyfully acknowledge it is the best way! Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Voice Of Truth" Click to listen on YouTube Casting Crowns
This photo was taken the morning before we headed back to Pennsylvania. (L to R) Dean and Jill Thompson (Marilyn's only child and his delightful wife), Cheyenne (Marilyn's business manager), the two of us, and Lupe, (Marilyn's housekeeper). Cheyenne and Lupe were with Marilyn nearly twenty years and are like family. (One of the focal points of Marilyn's home is the glass elevator seen in the right background. When she met with the architect over ten years ago she told him four main features she wanted was a glass elevator, a prayer tower, oversized glass sliding doors all the way across the side of the house facing the Pacific, along with an infinity pool which made the road disappear between her pool and the Pacific Ocean. It is a stunning setting with passersby staring and photographing the setting everyday.
Brooksyne has been out to California several times as part of Marilyn's care team since 2016. Blanca (above) was one of the dedicated caregivers that became friends with Brooksyne from previous visits. Blanca is active in Christian service and her love for Jesus is so evident in her exuberant joy. Since her first language is Spanish she was always pleased to have Brooksyne visit and pray with Marilyn in English. But love in any language can be spoken fluently no matter where we are by our actions, attitudes, and affections we exhibit to those around us.
John (left) is a longtime friend of Marilyn's due to her aviation interests. She had both her airplane and helicopter licenses and she owned two planes and a helicopter. John is from Texas and worked for Bell Helicopter, starting as a mail clerk when he was 20 at Bell and later retiring after 42 years as the CEO. That's quite a career!
Ron (right) was sure a colorful man, reminding me of Philip Bongiorno, my former District Superintendent. His wife was one of Marilyn's prayer and Bible Study friends for many years. Ron came to faith in Christ when he was 40 years old and went to a Bible Study with Richard Dresselhaus, another California friend and retired pastor. He is 87 years old and still works every day in the construction company he founded. Among their many projects is building hangars for the F-35 fighter jet.
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