Don Goulding - Blog

Mockingbird

6cd0d4bad552390c44d550a1ec72a6aaBut since we have the same spirit of faith as that shown in what has been written, “I believed; therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak. (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Mockingbirds, you either love their midnight serenades or you hate them. To me, they are DJ’s playing the favorite songs of other birds. They memorize what they hear and re-mix it into a playlist that rocks through the night.

According to biologists, Mockingbirds aren’t expressing joy that’s pent up in their little birdie hearts. The males sing to establish the boundaries of their territory. The volume and eloquence are meant to intimidate rivals away from their mating and feeding territory. Mockingbirds sing from desperation, not from delight.

I, too, have songs trapped in my chest. Jesus giving his life for us is not an event I can keep to myself. Like the mockingbird, it’s not a matter of delight, but desperation. I must sing.

The gospel has not been explained to forty percent of the global population. I can start by singing to them.

For the percentage that has heard about Jesus, most still disbelieve because they don’t witness changed lives in those who are preaching. For them, the Christian message is so much rhetoric from copycat mockingbirds.

I can talk about the gospel, write about it, even sing it out, but my most effective communication is made by my lifestyle. Only when my words match my obedience does my proclamation become a sweet song instead of a grating annoyance.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may my life sing about belief in you.

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Been With Jesus

Don 1When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and discovered that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

I get recharged by spending time among green, brown, fur, and feather. I’ll choose an hour in the woods over electronic entertainment every time. The energy and serenity of the outdoors changes who I am. Others can tell by my demeanor when I’ve been with nature. 

The same is true about time with Jesus. The most beautiful personalities I’ve met were made that way by spending time in the presence of Jesus. Self-help schemes, and even formal learning, are paint over rust and rot. They don’t reach the core person.

Dawn Christmas was a elderly believer with a dead husband and a deranged son. She had every reason for bitterness, but, true to her name, she was one of the most festive, Christ-like people I ever met.

When Dawn wasn't reading her Bible, she was shuffling down the street toward some gathering of the saints at nearby churches. She had no interests except more time with Jesus and his people.

Sweet communion with the Master is the only agent for real improvement. The more Jesus that’s inside me, the more I effervesce his beauty. 

When a bee visits a flower it leaves pollen that changes the bloom into fruit. I need my encounters with Jesus to leave me changed and fruit-bearing. Time with him is not about more knowledge, it’s about fertilizing my character for new birth.

Prayer: Holy King, may others recognize I’ve been with you.

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Beyond Me

HAnds“Indeed, my plans are not like your plans,

and my deeds are not like your deeds,

for just as the sky is higher than the earth,

so my deeds are superior to your deeds

and my plans superior to your plans.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

“Go ahead son, let go. You can trust me,” Dad said. 

My feet dangled from a walnut tree, just beyond his reach. I shook my head and clutched the branches. A skinny six-year-old would have been an easy catch, but I wouldn’t make the leap. Something in my juvenile reasoning concluded that if I couldn’t catch a falling person nobody else could either, not even my strong father.

Read more: Beyond Me

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