Archives for posts with tag: Guidance

If you have ever visited the Alps in Europe, I do not have to tell you that they are spectacularly beautiful. You have been overwhelmed by the majestic heights of the mountains and the lush valleys. A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days in the Austrian Alps and was awed by the splendor of God’s creation.tyrolean: Beautiful alpine landscape with green meadows, alpine cottages and mountain peaks, Zillertal Alps, Austria Stock Photo

Innsbruck, with a population of 130,000, is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria. This internationally renowned winter sports center hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.

© Tirol Werbung/Verena Kathrein

The Bergisel Ski Jump Stadium in Innsbruck has been used in the two Olympic Winter Games and is the venue of countless international competitions attracting spectators from all over the world. The main tower of the ski jump accommodates a restaurant, viewing terrace and the ski jump starting ramp and offers a breathtaking view of Innsbruck.

Innsbruck Bergisel Ski Jump, © TVB Innsbruck

I stood at the foot of the ski jump and watched a skier speeding down the slope and then soaring through the air. It was a thing of beauty but I thought to myself, “that could be dangerous.”

Later I traveled to the Stubia Valley about 15 miles from Innsbruck. The peaks that surround the valley rise to a height of about 10,000 feet. Five glaciers covering 5.8 square miles form a large glacier ski area, the Stubai Glacier. I ascended by cable car to the top of the mountain where hundreds of persons began their downhill trek on skis. It was an amazing sight but I thought to myself “that could be dangerous.”

Paragliding Neustift Stubaital The Rococo in Neustift in Tyrol is the second largest village church.  The interior surprises with its magnificent features.

Paragliding Mountain Penalty - photo Apartment-Neustift village pub - photo - Holiday village pub-

At the bottom of the Stubai Glacier is the beautiful Tyrolean village of Neustift with 4500 inhabitants nestled in this broad valley that is one of the most scenic in Tyrol. There is a large flat green space in the village that serves as the landing spot for people who paraglide from the surrounding mountains. I stood nearby and watched a steady stream of people drifting down from the mountains. They would land on their feet, take two or three steps, and then walk away to fold their chute. It looked like it would be exhilarating but I thought to myself “that could be dangerous.”

A couple of days after watching the skiers and the paragliders, I visited Salzburg, the fourth largest city in Austria. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has one of the best preserved city centers in the region and is renowned for the baroque architecture of the “Old Town.” Overlooking the city is a magnificent Hohensalzburg Castle. Construction of the fortress began in 1077 and it has been expanded several times over the centuries.24 Salzburg castle - Festung Hohensalzburg

Mozart's House, Geburtshaus, Salzburg.

Salzburg was the birthplace of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I stood in front of his home, visited several of the 35 churches, and strolled along the banks of the Salzach River. In the mid‑20th century, the city was the setting for the musical play and film The Sound of Music and these sites attract many tourists.

There are a dozen bridges across the Salzach River in Salzburg but perhaps the most interesting one is a pedestrian bridge that was re-built in 2001. Hundreds  of lovers have announced their romance to the world by securing a “Love Lock” with their names engraved on it to the Makartsteg Bridge.

Locking for Love on the Makartsteg Bridge

After watching skiers and paragliders engaged in “dangerous” activities, it was in the beautiful and tranquil (safe) setting of Salzburg that I had a fall and injured my shoulder. I stepped over a two-foot wall to get one more picture of the Makartsteg Bridge. My feet slipped on wet grassy slope and down I went.

Lessons learned: Lesson #1- Almost anything is “safe” if you exercise common sense and have the proper training and equipment (i.e. skiing, paragliding). Lesson #2- Anything can be “dangerous” if you ignore the rules and fail to use common sense (Could it be that walls/barriers are there for a reason?).

In the same manner, in the Bible God has given instructions of how to live. When we ignore or violate Divine guidance, the result will be injury to the soul.

Jamie Jenkins

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hallmark: SPRINGFIELD, OR - OCTOBER 28, 2015: Hallmark greeting cards selection at a grocery store supermarket.

Hallmark Father’s Day card: “Dad, thanks to your lectures I never change horses in the middle of a job worth doing, I know the squeaky wheel gets the worm, and I never count my chickens until I’ve walked a mile in their shoes … And you thought I wasn’t listening.”

It is easy to “hear” something different from what is really said. Sometimes it is because we are distracted and we simply misunderstand. On other occasions we “hear” what we want to hear; our mind is already made up. Language, culture, experience, age and a variety of other things facilitate or prevent good communication.

The Burning Bush

I believe the same things that make it difficult for us receive messages accurately from human sources also come into play when God speaks to us. God conversed with Adam in the first garden. God told Noah to build an ark. God spoke to Moses in a burning bush. Paul heard His voice on the way to Damascus.

And I believe God speaks to us in these modern times.

Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When He Speaks by [Shirer, Priscilla]

“Hearing God speak” may mean different things to different people. God treats each of us as unique individuals. None of us are cookie-cutter people. Because of that, God doesn’t “speak” the same way to all of us. Throughout history God has spoken to people in many ways.

My wife is often the voice of God to me. Oh, she is not some mystical creature with a special connection to God but I am convinced that her opinion and wisdom has provided divine guidance, comfort, and assurance. There are others throughout my life that have also served that role.

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Hearing the “voice of God” through another human being can be most effective and most difficult. It seems illogical that mere humans would be the medium for the Divine Other to communicate with creatures like us. The psalmist asks ““Why do you care about us humans? Why are you concerned for us weaklings?”(Psalms 8:4, CEV).

An interesting story in the Bible is found in the 18th chapter of Genesis. “One hot summer afternoon Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, when the Lord appeared to him. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them” and offered hospitality. As they relaxed and enjoyed the refreshments one of them told Abraham that he and his wife Sarah were going to have a son. Sarah overheard the conversation and laughed to herself because both of them were very old.God had promised Abraham and his wife Sarah that they would have a son and their descendants would become a great nation as numerous as the stars. The problem was that both were now too old to have children. (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:14, 17:15-22, 18:9-15). – Slide 1

Remember that at the beginning of the story we are told that “the Lord appeared” to Abraham but the narrative said that Abraham “saw three men” standing nearby. I don’t know what either of them looked like but apparently they looked like ordinary human beings to Abraham. The guest who predicted that Sarah would have a baby is identified as God. Responding to Sarah’s laughter the guest says, “I am the Lord! There is nothing too difficult for me.”

The author of Hebrews in the New Testament admonishes us “to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” And who knows, God might even show up.

Jamie Jenkins