The Promise

There is coming for those who believe a day like no other.  It is a day when all; the spirit, soul and flesh will behold the promise – the great light of Christ. (Isaiah 9:1)  No matter how dark the circumstances, how bleak the prognosis – the promise will come again. 

Christ is our lighthouse; a light wave blazing through the darkness of our souls; a glistening promise of new life. So bright is His light; so pure is His light that it lifts us out of the darkness of our sins. it radiates and cleanses; it restores and heals; it delivers and makes us whole again.  God’s Promise of our Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace is not to be taken lightly.  It should give us assurance; a blessed assurance that all will be made right today.  No matter how deep the pit – the promise can reach you.  We can rise up this day with shouts of joy and victory that the Promise has come, and will come again.

Staying the Course

“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.

You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him.” Psalm 119: 1-2 [MSG]

It is easy to get distracted by challenges, situations, circumstances, interruptions, or just life in general.  It can be downright difficult.  Staying the course results in reward.  If you desire the reward, you must understand what staying the course means.  First, it means discovering the road God revealed, not your road, but His.  Second, understand why you are on the road.  It is to discover the word, which is the ultimate expression of God’s mind and reasoning.   The word keep you steady in spite of all those distractions. It also point you in the direction of the one who created the road.   Third, follow His directions.  Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are Gods’ workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”   God already prepared the way for us.  He already revealed the course, the instructions, and the roadmap.   If we stay on the course, understand the process, and follow His direction, then we are the recipients of the blessing.  Ultimately, we get to do what He prepared us to do.  Wow!  As we stay on the course, we discover purpose, receive blessings, and find God.  What could be more wonderful?

I Need Thee

Raging fires, power outrages, water and gas shortages, soaring temperatures…people seeking and needing shelter.  Much of the country was affected by the damage caused by the recent storm, while some are dealing with aftermath of the Colorado fires.  As the impact continues to be felt, organizations and the public are working together to provide much-needed resources.  The need is great.  And as the power is being restored, those returning to their homes and businesses are accessing the damage and beginning repairs.

As we returned home to clean up and toss out food, I considered our need for God.  When the storms of life are raging, the need to seek God should stir up our internal engines to run to Him.  When our spiritual tanks get low or run dry, instead of running to the nearest “good time” we should fill up at God’s service station.   Our “battery” power is short, and ill-equipped to handle all of life’s challenges.  The enemy wants to burn us up, drain us dry, and turn off our lights.  We can’t live this life and survive without God.

Become a first responder.  Go to the Fountain of Living Water which nourishes, refreshes and powers our mind, body and soul.  Plus, it never, ever runs dry.   It puts out the raging fires.  It fuels our lives, and lights our way.  This source-the only true Source provides, protects, and prospers.  Our need for Christ and His wonderous, working power is needed daily.  He satisfies, and shelters us during life’s storms.

So, no matter what is happening, or what will happen, seek Christ. As the old hymn states,” I need thee, O’ I need thee. Every hour I need thee. Bless me now my Savior.  I come to thee”.   Go to Christ our Savior.  We need Him.   Luke 5:31-32

Godliness

Godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing in the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7 NASB

Godly contentment seems like a lofty goal since we are plagued with constant messages of volatile markets, and  ever – changing political climates both here and aboard.  The harbingers of doom and gloom-the news and entertainment media fill the airwaves with images of death, destruction, grief, sorrow.  And along with these are the conveyors of every conceivable pleasure laden items, and substances, all waiting to snatch away our peace of mind.  “Vanities of vanities, all is vanity.”  How can one expect to maintain a sense of peace within or achieve Godliness?  1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace – as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.” NIV

God promised our minds would flow and remain in perfect peace and harmony when we focus on Him.  We will never be content with this world’s vain riches.  Nor can our minds withstand the endless onslaught of messages and images designed to attract and distract us from our divine purpose.  Our soul craves for the living, soothing water of Christ-the Prince of Peace.   It is His message, and His image that establishes contentment and peace. Only with the power and presence of Christ can we place all things and experiences in their proper place.    “The earth is the Lord and the fullness thereof.”  Recognizing everything belongs to the Lord, and that we are merely His stewards means freedom.   So let go of the entanglements, and the sin that so easily besets us, and lay hold of the peace and contentment that passes all understanding through Christ, our King.

The Game-Postscript

In my last post I incorrectly quoted from the movie Pollyanna.  The inscription on her necklace was “If you look for the bad in people you shall surely find it”, Abraham Lincoln.    The major theme of the movie was to look for the good, not the bad.  Whatever you look for in people, you will see it.

Philippians 4: 8 [KJV]  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.   Form an opinion of those things which heighten, elevate us and those around us.   People need to see the true, see integrity, see justice, purity, beauty, and the good.  They need to see they are made in the image of God.

The moment we behold [with our soul] as with the clear light of Christ, we are transformed, and so is our world.   Light removes the darkness.  It penetrates the heart and spirit, and take us to the sacred place of forgiveness and love.

Your good eyes shining on the poor soul who has lost their way will be like a drop of water in the dry desert.  Let resolve ourselves to see the good, and share the Good News today.

 

Description

Jesus holds many titles: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Savior, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Prince of Peace, Bright and Morningstar, Alpha and Omega.  He has also been described as “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”   Our Savior bears each title with dignity, honor, and much love.  From the princely realm of heaven to the depths of humanity, Jesus carries these titles like jewels in a crown.  They represents the essence of his character, and his divinity.  Because of them [the titles], we understand Him a little.  He is approachable. We relate to Him, because He is acquainted with every facet of life.  He knows our pain, our sadness, as well as our joys and triumphs. C.H. Spurgeon described Christ as the Lamb that was slain…”who wears the glory of an Intercessor who can never fail, of a Prince who can never be defeated, of a Conqueror who has vanquished every foe, of a Lord who has the hearts’ allegiance of every subject.”

All apt descriptions of our Lord.

Deep Knowing

My husband and I made an 11 hour road trip yesterday to see our granddaughter perform in a dance recital.  Watching her and others dance, I thought, at what moment do we recognize our special gift or talent? What triggers the thought this is what I want to do, this is who I am, this is what I came to do?   I’ve read that some can recall in vivid detail the moment they realized their gift or purpose.  They called it a “deep knowing” which they stated made them realized this is why God made them.  With this knowing they move into the flow of their giftedness.

There are plenty of distractions, lost opportunities which delay, or prevent this discovery.  Lots of people go through life feeling there is nothing special about them.  That they are not valued, and have nothing to contribute. Some abused, and discarded souls fail to launch sensing their only purpose is to experience pain, and not to experience the feeling of being in their destiny.

What I witnessed yesterday was the beginning stages of recognition.  It was evident on some dancer’s faces, in their movements and in their eyes. There was a yes, this is what I am supposed to do.

Why is this important?  God wants us to recognize who and what we are.  He wants us to express our gifts and talents.  Expressing our gifts shows our gratitude to Him, and give the world a chance to experience more of God.  The Bible tells us, “Every good and perfect gift comes down from Him”. Our source and connection to the Creator and Source of All Things is the creative lifeline. We were made in his likeness and image, and because of it, there is a longing to express beauty, love, peace. [Genesis 1:25-27] 

The moment you begin the journey of discovery you change.  Life flows differently.  Just as some of those young people yesterday began discovering their gifts, it can happen to you.
It has been a joy and privilege to watch the flower of discovery unfold in our grandchildren.   I believe their journey of learning who they are, and what God made them for will culminate in pure joy.  As they move forward, and they will come closer to God, and their purpose. Ecclesiastes 8:6 states, “to every purpose there is a time”, and there is an eternal plan for us.  While we are here, we are called to demonstrate to the world who we truly are [Ephesians 3:11].

Everyone was given something unique in which to express their connectedness to the Holy One.  It’s quite remarkable.  Just as Jesus’ purpose was to reveal His deity, and destiny to mankind, so to are we.  Do you know your purpose?  Are you expressing your true gifts and talents? Do you know what they are? If not, take the journey of discovery.  The world needs to experience those precious gifts.  Don’t hide them under a bushel.

Liturgical Dance performed by Elder Cassandra Henry. All rights reserved. Oshkosh, Wisconsin. 2008.

 

Roadwork

There are different seasons in the Midwest: fall, winter, spring and construction.  Around Easter, provided the weather is just right, little orange cones start popping up along with lilies and crocuses.  Highway construction crews begin their annual process to repair our roadways, highways, and byways.  I got to thinking about our roadwork that occur within the different seasons in our lives.  In Matthew 7:13-20, Jesus tells the disciples there is a narrow gate to life, and few will find it.  There is also a broad way that many will travel on.  This one leads to destruction.  Isn’t it interesting how when we see the roadways ahead, instead of staying on through the narrow path, and we begin our own construction projects?  We try to broaden these roadways, creating our own little superhighway. There are those who tunnel under it [the narrow way], going underground hiding those sins which so easily beset us.  We create elaborate suspension bridges in attempts to go over it, trying to hold up the broken pieces of our life.  And if all else fails, we ignore the stop, caution, danger, and warning signs, hoping the challenges and/or difficulties will just go away, as we continue to ease on down the broad way.

However, our roadwork is flawed, and never sustains us. It cracks and crumbles from the imperfections, from the sin. And all our patchwork is flimsy bandage which won’t hold. It is like the man who built his home on sand which fell.  Unless, we choose to travel that narrow way, and seek the One who created the gate in the first place, the  consequences will be and are, broken, shattered, lost lives.

This season as you travel and see those little orange cones and merging signs, take a moment to remember that God does the best roadwork.  The job He does is flawless and will last throughout eternity.

Faith Note

This quote from E. Stanley Jones about faith and worry had to be shared. 

“I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil”.

Faith is the soil and substance of our belief.  Without it, it is impossible to do anything that pleases God.  Faith means we can and will do it.  We take the leap and move from yesterday into tomorrow.  Faith means we go beyond the surface, beyond the chaos, beyond our fears into the glory of God.   Faith shines brightest in those dark moments when all our human efforts have failed. 

Remember today, that faith is your native land.  Pack your bags and leave the land of Fear-False Evidence Appearing Real, and go home to Faith.

Right in Christ

“Everything depends on our being right in Christ. If I want good apples, I must have a good apple tree. If I care for the health of the apple tree, the apple tree will give me good apples. And it is just so with our Christian life and work. If our life with Christ is right, all will come out right.” Andrew Murray

If we are right with Him, then our world should see the results of our being attached to the eternal, divine Vine-Jesus.  And we have all the instructions for becoming the fruit the world needs.  Do not let the weariness, the cares, the endless distractions keep you from getting your nutrients from Jesus.  Spend time with Him today.  Whatever is before you, remember to let him carry the load.  And we are his branches.  It is our job to go and produce fruit.  Then all will come out right in the end.