This summer, we've spent a lot of family time at the beach. Addi Grace loves catching fish, sand ‚Äúflees‚Äù, and periwinkles (she seriously can do it for hours) - and Lance decided it was finally time to upgrade his 2001 Acura to a Jeep with 4-Wheel Drive! Needless to say, we've had lots of time to watch the waves and reflect on Gods beautiful creation. It‚Äôs been amazing - and a stark contrast to last summer thanks to some amazing additions to our Cape House team! A few weekends ago, we saw several pools of dolphins swim by (my favorite!) Soon after, Hannah Grace (HG) and I were about waist deep in the ocean cooling off when I noticed a lot of fish jumping around us - more than usual. They seemed to be everywhere! I realized that could only mean one thing... there must be a really BIG fish chasing them. Instead of freaking out and scaring HG, I casually (but cautiously) recommended we head back to the shore to find some more periwinkles. (Inside, I was flipping out!) When I got back to my beach chair, I recalled the situation, God reminded me that warnings are meant to protect us not punish us. We have to be aware enough to recognize them and to pay attention to them. Just like the jumping fish, there are warning signs that something more is brewing under the surface. Sometimes what we see at first glance or in a rush may not be all we need to make the best decision (John 7:24). There is more to the story! But HG didn‚Äôt see the warning signs. When we are distracted or having fun, we can ignore the signs - or maybe we don‚Äôt even know what signs to look for (especially if you are 6). Or if we do, we push them off as unimportant because we would rather stay and enjoy in the moment. We can be the same way - especially when life is going great. We tend to ignore warnings that we need to turn around or change our ways. All throughout history God provided ‚Äúsigns‚Äù to show people the way to live, but they kept going on their own path. In Luke Jesus Himself says ‚ÄúAs Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation. ‚ÄîLuke 11:30.‚Äù Even then, the religious leaders and people did not pay much attention to His warnings. Life seemed fine and dandy. They didn‚Äôt want to be told they were wrong (vs 45). We have to pay attention and be alert. There are warning signs all around if we will just take the time to notice them and then make the necessary changes they call for. God wants only what is best for us, but there is a real enemy who is out to steal, kill and destroy us in every way he can. His most common tools: lies and busyness. If he can keep us distracted long enough or fill our head with lies about our self worth and happiness, we will ignore the signs all day long! ‚ÄúStay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.‚Äù 1 Peter‚Ä¨ ‚Ä≠5:8‚Ä¨ ‚Ä≠NLT‚Ä¨‚Ä¨. I also love the wording in The Message version: ‚ÄúKeep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up."¬†1 Peter‚Ä¨ ‚Ä≠5:8-11‚Ä¨ ‚Ä≠MSG‚Ä¨‚Ä¨. Whether it‚Äôs simply getting out of the ocean when there‚Äôs a scare, or more seriously, your health is deteriorating because you don‚Äôt take the time for rest and self-care, it‚Äôs time to be set apart! As Christians we need to be people on guard and aware of our surroundings - constantly praying, listening, and asking the Holy Spirit to lead us and help us discern the signs. Willing and ready to make the right move when the fish start jumping!