Sunday, December 16, 2012
While all the hullabaloo is going on, there are ample opportunities to enjoy quiet moments and observations of the children in our lives. These children have an innate trust of those who care for them, they expect to be taken care of, until proven otherwise. A small example of this is our granddaughter, Eiley (roll your eyes all you want, but oh yes, this is going somewhere...). Eiley is 17 months old and we have been blessed enough to establish some little traditions since we have been able to see her on a regular basis. One of these habits is to sit on her "GaPaw's" lap and watch a show on YouTube called "GiggleBellies". She cuddles up on him, puts her finger in her mouth and listens with rapt attention. There is one line in a lullaby called "Fly Away with Me" that says, "gives the sun a kiss" and Grandpa kisses her head each time this line is sung. Now I think this is sweet of course, but I didn't realize until I was babysitting Eiley last night and trying to occupy a little girl who hadn't had a nap, how she simply knows that kiss will be there. Eiley was sitting straight up on my lap, big as you please, trying very hard not to relax so she wouldn't fall asleep, and I put on "Gigglebellies". Finger in mouth, she listened as I played the lullaby for her and when it was time for, "gives the sun a kiss", Eiley leaned over to me, (no eye contact whatsoever) expecting that I would kiss her. I played the song a couple more times with her in the same position and sure enough she was absolutely certain of that kiss. Implicit certainty and trust that she is loved unconditionally seems to emanate from this small action from a little girl and her grandparents.
So my question this season to any and all that might want to be a bit introspective? How are you like a child when trusting in God's complete and unconditional love? Do you lean in to Him and know with complete certainty that He is there even when you're tired, overwhelmed, too stubborn to ask for help, or too happy to stop and thank the one that cares for you more than you can possibly comprehend?
May you see Christmas through a child's eyes this year. May you see Jesus Christ as the most beautiful gift you will ever receive and freely share that gift with others. May you know in your heart the certain and confident love of a Heavenly Father that allows you to lean into him and know that He was, is and always will be there... just for you.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12 NIV)
Sunday, November 4, 2012
When I think about my relationship with Jesus Christ, I'm often reminded of a compass...I don't know a whole lot about the inner workings of this fantastic little gadget, but I DO know that there is a needle in the center that points to NORTH, no matter where you are in the world. There's something about magnets and some other great information, but I love the analogy of the magnets enabling the needle to point North consistently. I'm sure you see where I'm going with this, but i will explain a bit further, bear with me;
Jesus Christ is our true North. all of the distractions in our lives, the detours, everything that takes our eyes off the direction that He has clearly stated in His Word we should go, all come back to the fact that He literally points the way to eternal life. The magnets that assist in pointing us in that direction are His Word, talking to Him consistently, and listening to the Holy Spirit. If we attempt to do all these things we can't really wander too far off course. BUT, however, (insert conjunction of your choice here...) if we do deviate from the course that He has instilled within us? we will be uncomfortable, combative, rationalizers that desperately want to create our own course, but can't understand why that course is SO difficult to sustain and why we continue to be restless, argumentative and defensive. There is an answer.
John 1:1-14 states, "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." as you continue to read, it talks about how God created everything and that we are called to bear witness of the Light. Jesus is the Light.
What I really want to give to anyone that will hear me, and read this with their heart with Christ as the compass that His ultimate sacrifice points to? is that if you believe in the Word of God? everything else pales in comparison. His Word gives us specific instructions, and if you are reading this right now and find yourself thinking of certain moral arguments that continue on and on? this is not about that, this is about reading God's Word and following it, if you do not believe in His Word then we cannot argue or disagree because we have a different compass...
I am so grateful that I don't have to even begin to say that may words and actions are perfect, and I can readily say that I am a hypocrite, but I don't know anyone that isn't. But I DO know that my compass points directly to Jesus Christ and I am drawn to Him and what His Word asks me to be, that His forgiveness, mercy and grace are the magnets that sustain me on this course and I firmly believe that I need to share this, and take a stand for the One that gave Himself completely for me, you, and anyone else in between, Jesus Christ, my true North.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
last night i was home by myself with the extreme luxury of having a remote control all to myself... what do i do? i channel surf, trying to find something that pique's my interest... i land on a current episode of survivor 2012, episode 10...this show has great memories for me from the first few seasons, watching with the family as we nitpicked the odd behavior of individuals vying for a million dollar prize in lieu of honesty and plain old common courtesy and values... our moral superiority was immense:)... so, with a bit of nostalgia i settled down to watch an auction of items... the rules were: each current survivor (this is episode 10 so i assume they've been there for quite a while, this season began mid february...) is given $500.00 cash in increments of $20.00...they are allowed to bid on items, mostly luxury (leaving a wide berth for interpretation, since they look pretty grungy and malnourished...) AND they are not allowed to share these items with the other members...the be-dimpled host, jeff probst unveils the first item up for auction, cupcakes and a lovely iced coffee, this goes for some exorbitant amount of money... next is, chips, guacamole and a margarita... THEN a lovely outdoor shower with soap, warm water, a toothbrush and toothpaste...the bidding war was pretty extreme for THIS one... no individual had any idea what would come up next in the auction PLUS the auction could also end at any time...yes, you could take your $500 home with you, as "tarzan" one of the members told jeff, "this money will pay for my muffler when i get back home, if i don't win at least i'll have this much" (not a direct quote, but you get the picture...more items are auctioned and then, BAM, up for auction? a letter from home... one young lady, alicia, without hesitation, says while holding back tears, "500 DOLLARS"... no one can beat that... she gladly pays the money to jeff, and obtains her letter, she goes and sits with the group and reads it aloud to everyone... a letter from her dad, who tells her how proud he is of her, how he knows she can do this, and that he loves her and misses her... through more tears, alicia chokes out the words, "my dad has never written me a letter"... not.a.dry.eye.
you may be wondering why i've taken the time to describe some silly, competitive reality game show scenario, and why you have even gotten to this point in this post to understand what my point actually is (and there really is one...)... these people are attempting to survive, on an island, under some pretty intense circumstances...welllll, isn't life like that? can't life be pretty intense, competitive, overwhelming, disappointing, aren't we all surviving in this game called life? but there are life preserver's, there are dear friends, loved ones, common sense, moral codes... but these are earthly life preserver's... what about our eternal life preserver? what about that $500, no holds barred letter that we can read from our Heavenly Father that gives hope and encouragement to make it through this life so that we will eventually be with Him...
martin luther once wrote,
This is my Psalm, my chosen Psalm. I love them all; I love all holy Scripture, which is my consolation and my life. But this Psalm is nearest my heart, and I have a peculiar right to call it mine. It has saved me from many a pressing danger, from which neither emperor, nor kings, nor sages, nor saints, could have saved me. It is my friend; dearer to me than all the honours and power of the earth.
i love that he personified this scripture, how it saved him, he was referring to psalm 118:8 & 9 (which happens to be the exact middle of the bible...) says...
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.
the interesting thing about all this, is how God leaves it up to us to read that letter, to read His word, to be saved by scripture and all of His direction that is available right at our fingertips... there's a reason why He is called our Savior! He does save us, He is literally our life preserver! we just need to grab hold, trust Him and He'll pull us in...
Monday, March 26, 2012
WE are like glow paint, on our own, without any light (God) we can't realize our potential and actually be who we were created to be, we can't glow on our own... but to carry this a bit further, when we are close to that Light, our glow, our relationship with God gets stronger and glows brighter... but just like glow paint, if we don't have regular access to the Light, we cannot glow and we simply fade out, on the plus side? you always have the potential to glow, just revisit the Light, it's always there...
1 John 1:7 says "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
God wants us to enjoy and absorb His love and His light, He has provided a very real way for us to be close to Him through his Son...the opportunity is there, hopefully we won't be like my jar of glow paint and just sit there on the unused dining room table, hopefully we'll realize that we can be turned into something amazing if we just allow Him to use us... so glow on, my friends, glow on...
OH and i needed to show you a little sample of these jars... these are the ones from pinterest 'cuz i was too lazy to take pictures of mine:) enjoy...
Monday, March 5, 2012
the last book we went through was by lee strobel, "the case for the creator", it was a difficult road, and i missed several chapters of scientific knowledge that i probably would have scratched my head and attempted to look intelligent through my confusion, but those of you that know me, would probably understand that this particular way to learn about God, is really not my cup of tea...yet, the discipline of actually finishing the book, now sheds a fresh perspective on our new reading, i would liken the two books in my mind to running a marathon, hitting the wall, and c r a w l i n g over the finish line with lee strobel, and comparing "experiencing God" to lounging in the sun on a tropical beach somewhere and simply absorbing these concepts... YES...
so, the reference to fight or float? how do we experience God, i decided that a word picture is always a good way for me to relate to what God has for me. it seems quite often the bible uses water references; baptism, walking on water, Jesus calming the storm, good GRIEF we even have jonah in a whales belly...all water references and locales (well the whales belly might be a stretch but where else would the whale BE??)... anyway, have you ever thought about when you're in a really difficult situation and you're literally wrestling with God, or life, or some type of decision that is pulling you every which way? this would be like a rip tide, something that could pull you under, especially if you fight!... then you have treading water, you don't go anywhere, but you keep your head above water and you basically sustain your life (but it's SOOOO tiring...) this would be complacency, going through the motions and still trying to do things on your own... lastly, what about just laying back in the water and letting it buoy you up and sustain you while you simply relax and float...effortless, supported by unseen hands, hmmm...this is the spot, this is where i want to be, i want to float and depend on God...
Psalm 46:10 says, "be still and know that I am God"... these eight little words have quite a punch to them, each one significant...
BE; exist, live, thrive, state of being.
STILL: devoid or abstaining from motion
KNOW: to be aware of the truth; certain, actuality
fighting life's riptides, treading the mundane exhausting daily waters, or trust God and float...be still and know...i think i'll choose to lay back and let the cool water of God's love soothe my floating soul...
Monday, December 26, 2011
to find the connotation that you want to explore obviously involves context;
"seasons of life"= commentary on stages of getting older or aging...a nice way of saying that if we follow the natural order of life we will eventually be in our "wintery months"...
"changing seasons"=many times a reference from those who don't live in southern california and actually observe a change in seasons; leaves morphing into a variety of hues, diminishing warmth, snowy holidays...
"season of change"=not one of the better known idioms referencing change (and possibly just one that runs through my own head) but a reference to limbo life, the moments, weeks, months sometimes years of accepting all things new surrounding us... family growing up, loss of loved ones, acceptance of personal limitations, challenging personal limitations, finding the equilibrium to make the season a positive stepping stone to whatever the next season may be...
"reason for the season"=Jesus, referencing the Christmas season and celebrating Christ in Christmas
for God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life....John 3:16
recently timmy and i had a discussion about the christmas spirit and how we all tend to look for more opportunities to demonstrate God's love at this time of year; pay for someone's dinner, serve food at a homeless shelter, put a quarter in the salvation army bucket... all good things, but why is there a spotlight at this time of year? why is it merely seasonal? i guess what i took away from that conversation was a bit of a weighty conscience and a challenge to not allow "the reason for the season" phrase to dictate an annual event, and to actively (actions vs. words) pay homage to our Lord and Savior who gave everything for us, and think/act on this as a regular exercise in faith.
When we think of the word reason, many of us may think, "well doesn't there have to be some question involved?" and of course if we're using Jesus as the answer to the Christmas season that totally works. But what if we just simplify and turn the other well known phrase around "Jesus is the answer" and combine the two and take out the question (uh-oh, sounds like math to me...)
Jesus is the reason for the season + Jesus is the answer = Jesus IS the reason:)