This and That

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing
I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth
unto those things which are before. (Philippians 3:13)

Can you believe we’re in the second month of the new year?

What have you been up to, my friend?

I’ve been praying for a study I could sink my teeth into. Not just a sweet morsel or a piece of fluff but a thick juicy piece of meat to spark my synapses and grow my spirit kind of study.

But until recently, I had been so busy with life—and its heartaches—I didn’t have the time or the chance to be alone. So, I am thankful for last month’s opportunity to settle in and grow in understanding. To reach for a “that” and make it a “this.”

The idea of “this” and “that” has been with me for over 30 years after hearing a message. I can’t remember everything the minister said except “this” and “that” is necessary to move forward. The Lord has brought me back to the idea many times to help me understand the seasons in my life.

So what is the point behind this and that? I’m so glad you asked!

A “that” is the next step in our spiritual journey. The next victory we’re believing for—and expecting—God to give us. It is the answer to our petitions if we pray for God’s will.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14-15 KJV)

Notice John said, “according to his will.” That should be the pattern for our prayer life. It isn’t a name-it-and-claim-it lifestyle. It’s a sold-out-I-surrender-all-not-my-will-but-Yours-be-done lifestyle. Without that mindset and faith, we will never turn a “this” into a “that.”

This and That

When speaking of this and that, we could also say here and there. This being here. That being there.

A “this” is a truth we possess. It is what we know. Our comfort zone.

A “that” is what we’ve yet to achieve. It is the invisible in our lives waiting to be discovered.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

In the opening scripture above, Paul forgets those things behind him and reaches for things before because he wants his life to become the story of Jesus. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

To be like Jesus.

We can’t know the overflowing power of his resurrection unless we daily conform to his death. Do we want to know the fellowship of his sufferings? Hard question, I know. Yet Paul was in prison for his beliefs. He did not complain. Instead, he penned letters to encourage the believers.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend “that” for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended… (v. 12 parentheses added)

Wow! When I think of what Paul had been through, what he had done for the Lord, it’s hard to imagine him saying there is more.

…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (v. 13)

Paul knew there was more, and he wanted it.

Like Paul, we are apprehended to bring glory to the Father through Christ the Son. To be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him. An obedient servant doing the will of God our Father.

In this new year, will you remain in your comfort zone or press into the unknown to apprehend even more of Him? To trade a “this” for His “that.”

Before you answer, did you notice the picture? THAT looks bigger than THIS. But it’s not. The font on THAT is 42 percent. The font on THIS is 50 percent. Often, our present THIS looks smaller than our future THAT, making our task seem almost impossible. But God is always with us. Cross that bridge of faith, my friend, and claim all the spiritual blessings He has for you!


Father, may we press toward the mark and claim by faith that which you are calling us to. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen

Travel Plans

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2 KJV).

I shared the familiar hymn “I Feel Like Traveling On” in my last post. Today, I want to talk about our spiritual journey and how easily we can get off track.

The Power of One Degree

Several years ago, my brother shared the story The Power of One Degree Course Correction. The spiritual aspect of that story stuck with me. I want to share part of it here today. (You can find the article at

In 1979, a passenger jet with 257 people aboard left New Zealand for an aerial view of Antarctica. However, the pilots were unaware of a minor 2˚ error in the flight coordinates, which placed the plane 28 miles east of their intended route. As they approached their destination, the pilots descended to a lower altitude, giving the people a better view of the landscape. Both pilots were experienced, but neither one had made this flight before. They had no way of knowing the 2˚ error had placed them in the path of Mount Erebus, an active volcano. Unfortunately, everyone died in the plane crash.

In air navigation, there is a 1 in 60 rule. That means for every 1˚ a plane veers off course, it misses the destination by 1 mile for every 60 miles traveled. The farther you travel, the farther you are from your intended target.

One foot traveled with a 1˚ error will put you 0.2 inches from your destination. That may not seem like much. But you must remember the farther you travel, the farther you move away from your target. A trip around the equator with a 1˚ error will get you 500 miles off course. Whether it is 0.2 inches or 500 miles, 1˚ makes a difference when aiming for a target.

Why do I share this story? Because when traveling, we have a destination in mind and a roadmap to get us there. As children of God, heaven is our destination, and the Bible is our roadmap. It was—is given to help us remain on the right track. A slight miss or a significant miss is still a miss! And that takes me to my next point.

The Power of the Word

Have you seen the social media reels of people demonstrating how to use BPA-free snackle boxes when planning an outing? The plan is to pack a little bit of everything like cheese, olives, carrot sticks, fruits, nuts, and a treat. I thought about this new fad while pondering this post. We should pack good things to snack on too. But here’s the thing. The Bible isn’t a charcuterie board. We can’t arrange, rearrange, or choose just the “feel good stuff” if we want to grow into a healthy mature Christian. As with our physical diets, our spiritual diets much be balanced. Not every Scripture is easily swallowed. But all is given by the inspiration of God.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV). 

And that brings me to another point.

Read and search the Scriptures for yourself. Pray about everything.

As travelers, we must stay on guard and regularly check our coordinates to ensure we are not being led astray by others. Too, we must never “think” of ourselves as experts. We have never traveled this way before. Our coordinates must come from the Bible because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. We’re human, and we make mistakes. Thank goodness, the Lord knows how and where to lead us. Let us hold the “roadmap” before our face, adjust our coordinates when needed, pray constantly, look to the author and finisher of our faith, and keep traveling on.

Blessings on your travels!

Pictures courtesy of Dorothe and No-longer-here from


Welcome to the New Year!

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecclesiastes 9:10 KJV)

Merriam-Webster defines opportunity as an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done.

No matter the project we’re working on, each new day offers us an opportunity to finish the task.

There’s no time to waste. Let’s begin filling the pages of life!

Photo by kellysikkema on Unsplash

Each new day offers us an opportunity to finish the task. #encouragement #hope