Some time ago in the Brig, I shared an observation from the cartoon-movie “Over the Hedge” with Bruce Willis. The scene showed our heroes (the forest animals) humorously executing a plan to turn off the human’s backyard motion detectors and alarms so they could raid the house and steal the food.
Hammy the squirrel on his mission, getting distracted by the cookie. (LOL)
Hammy the Squirrel does a tightrope walk across a fishing line, from a tree to the house. Once on the rooftop, Hammy continues on his mission and is immediately distracted by a cookie that was previously thrown away. RJ the Racoon, the mastermind of the plan, recognizes the cookie distraction as potential failure of their ultimate goal – an abundance of food. He pleads with Hammy, “No, Hammy, not the cookie. I told you that cookie was junk!” Hammy whimpers, “But I like a cookie.” RJ quickly digs into his tool bag and pulls out a red laser light, which he uses it to recapture Hammy’s attention and guide him to the completion of his mission – disabling the alarm.
Like Hammy on a mission, God calls his sons and daughters on a mission (2Tim 4:5 & 2Cor 5:18). And who among us cannot relate to getting off-track with distractions at the expense of fulfilling our mission? Believers, we need to clearly remember that these distractions:
1. Actually compete with God’s will for our lives.
2. Take on many forms, i.e., relationships (ungodly or untimely), addictions or bad habits, material things, money, work, ministry, worry, fear, and ungodly beliefs.
When distracted, we end up wasting our time, energy, and resources. These distractions are more accurately understood as forms of modern-day idolatry, which I refer to as the Five P’s.
▪ Any Person, Pleasure, Pain, Problem, or Philosophy in your life that is greater than God is an idol.
In Exodus 20:3, God gave mankind His very first commandment. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Simply put, any time a person, pleasure, pain, problem, or philosophy consumes us and takes precedence in our lives (words, thoughts, and deeds), we are walking in idolatry… modern-day idolatry.
But God! Thank the Lord for His love and patience towards us. I can see Him pleading with us and warning us, “No, no, no! That’s not good for you right now! Put the cookie down.” And our drama-queen response too often is tears welling up in our eyes, grasping that thing tighter, and whimpering to God, “But, I like a cookie.” I can hear God asking, “Do you trust me?” In continuing comfort God says, “Every test that you experience is the kind that normally comes to people. But I will keep My promise, and I will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, I will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.” (1Cor 10:13 GNB)
Our normal, conditioned response is, “But, I like a cookie.” Because I don’t understand and I am presently too invested in that “thing,” it can be difficult to let go, continue to pursue my will, and not His. However, faith in Christ and maturity compels me to trust God and to let go of the cookie. And, as I do let go of those cookies, I increasingly find that He has my best interests at heart, He is faithful, and what He gives me is always better than anything I’ve chosen on my own. So, join me in “dropping those cookies.” (LOL)
Agree with us in prayer…
“Fix bayonets!” Role-playing: Christians vs. Critics using the Bible to respond to modern-day controversial issues.
a. For the Brig/Prison — for the inmates, guards, and their families. Bind up spirits of suicide, shame, condemnation, and pride. And loose a spirit of salvation, discipleship, forgiveness, exposure, healing, deliverance, peace, and restoration!
b. For increased discernment and power over demonic activity in the barracks. Several instances among have occurred in the dorm rooms of Believers and non-Believers. (On a positive note, non-Believers are asking the Christians to come and cleanse their rooms from unclean spirits.)
c. For those “standing in the gap” while we’re off island for our daughter’s wedding.
– Monday R&R Discipleship class (Howard & Christian)
– Wednesday Brig Bible Study (Joel & Patsy)
– Friday Brig Sxxual Integrity class (Pastor Tuck)
– Saturday ZCDC (Howard & Christian)
d. For our current schedule, i.e. finances, resources, wisdom, strategies, and strength:
– Sun: Share/Report Christians In Action
– Mon: Radical & Relevant (R&R) @7pm
– Wed: Brig Christian Fellowship (BCF) @7pm
– Thu: Publish Think On These Things newsletters
– Thu: Publish Youtube video (YahwehHasASon)
– Fri: Sxxual Integrity & Restoration (SIR) @9am
– Sat: Zebulun Christian Discipleship Center (ZCDC) @6pm
It amazes me that this woman keeps up with me… and puts up with me. (LOL) I am humbled by her love.
Saints, Sandy and I continue to covet your prayers as we are presently in the US for the marriage of our oldest daughter. I thank God for the many people who’ve stepped up and out in faith to minister in our outreaches while we’re away.
Even while traveling in the US, God is using me to minister and counsel people in deep, healing ways. For whatever reason, God has anointed me and enabled me to open doors with strangers very quickly on extremely sensitive and private topics. (Those of you who’ve hung around me know this to be true.) As such, God uses us to bring forth healing and deliverance in rapid, mighty ways. (Glory to God!)
Just a reminder, Sandy and I have to travel to the US twice this summer – our daughter’s wedding and the triennial CinAMI conference in September. Please bear in mind that we are full-time missionaries and “out here” completely by faith in God. As such, we rely on people for financial support. Please consider partnering with us through financial gifts and offerings. Donations can be made online at Christians In Action. Or, you can mail contributions to the address listed below.
I declare that you are not surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you. (1Pe 4:12)
In His comfort,
Pastor Nick & Sandy Guerra
Contributions can be sent to:
Dominic Guerra (Acct# 426)
c/o Christians In Action, Missions International
1318 E. Shaw Avenue – Suite 308
Fresno, CA 93710-7912
▪ Please ensure Acct #426 is annotated on your contribution so the funds can be allocated correctly.
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