FOCUS ON GOD – A Quote For Monday Morning

July 16, 2012

Whether it’s over the kitchen table having breakfast, at the water bubbler at work, in the grocery store, or at church, it seems we have a long list of complaints about all that’s wrong in life and all that we should be doing to fix it.  Seems the complaints never become fewer . . . I am always side stepping a lot of talk online, on the radio, etc., of what is wrong with the church and this is especially disturbing. 

Ultimately, all we have to do is love . . . the Lord our God, one another, and ourselves.  That’s it.  The other stuff?  He’s got it.  He had a plan long before we saw and heard the problem existed.  We’ve got our duty spelled out.  Let your light shine, be a reflection of His love.  On the list of things we “should” do today, tomorrow, this week, this month . . .  where’s that on the list?  Is it on the top? 

All too often, it doesn’t make the list, not OUR list.  Seems more likely than not it’s absent, but our verbal lists include a whole host of things “somebody” should . . .  and “they” should . . . and there’s even a whole new page for the “why didn’t” things . . . again, why didn’t “she” or “he” or “they” and not why didn’t I . . . MOST disturbing of all is the “why did God” or “why didn’t God.” 

Isaiah 48:21

\21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
    he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock
    and water gushed out.

 

God placed this quote above on my heart yesterday.  I could go on and on about all those few words reveal, but ultimately, they are summing things up well.  God is God, I am not.  He has the big stuff well in hand.  I have my instructions . . . my job, while challenging sometimes, doesn’t come close to the magnitude of His.  Mine is all about the love . . . the things that are impossible for me to even think about much less accomplish or “fix” if you will . . . they were never meant to be mine to deal with until I picked them up and began wrestling with them.  I’m letting go.  The sky is blue and the sun is shining.  I know this because I looked up! 

 

 

Here’s some of that water gushing out of the rock . . . side of a mountain actually. 

 

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Dorothy Day On Community

June 13, 2012

We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

– Dorothy Day –


February 10, 2012

Whether it’s about the Love of God, the love of those near and dear in this world or both, you will be inspired by this wonderful Haiku.


My Heart Doesn’t Look Like a Valentine!

January 30, 2012

Seriously, the human heart doesn’t look like a valentine and while I could look up why the day February 14th became linked to a specific “shape” we call a heart, I’m not going to write about that.  As I look at the shape what I see is a rounded shape which is bursting open.  A simple shape.  A shape, a vessel, so full it is exploding and it’s contents are thus shared with those near and far as it bursts because it cannot contain anymore . . . much like my human heart when it is so full of the love of God.  I can’t selfishly hold His love, even if I wanted to.  I must share it.  Fortunately, He makes this easy for He gives us people with whom it must be shared.  He also gives us more so steadily that we never have to worry about running low. 

As Valentine’s Day approaches and we are reminded of love as the world and the retail industry define it, I believe Christians who know it’s definition in a different way should take care to give that love more freely.  Let us allow that “holiday” to be a reminder of what His love means and let us share it freely everyday, shall we?  Candy is nice, but when we “”taste and see that the Lord is good” as Psalm 34:8 reminds us, we find LIFE as we’ve never known it could be!  Let’s share that love everyday!


Who Inspires You?

June 9, 2011

Join me!  Here’s a chance to say “thanks” to the person or people who have inspired you or still do so- liiving or dead, even fictional characters!  I invite you to comment with your own list.  You don’t have to give a reason why they inspire you and you don’t have to give a last name.  Just please take this opportunity to say “thanks.”

  • Jesus
  • Moses
  • Rick
  • Alan
  • Professor Knur
  • Becky
  • Alice
  • Road Runner
  • Jeff
  • Nana
  • Sandy

Swings . . . Misses . . . Strike!

April 26, 2011

 Oh, it’s that time of year!  Sports of various sorts can be found any time of day or night depending on your television reception.  My television reception is pretty good . . . I’m working on my God reception.  Baseball, now there’s something to consider just now.  Think about it . . . as the title to this article reminds us, we swing, we miss, we strike – three times and we’re out.  Wow.  Glad I’m on God’s team and not the baseball team because the rules are pretty strict, I’ll grant  you, but they are so reflective of His love for us.  How fortunate are we that we’re not out after three strikes!  He’s always willing to forgive and when He does – our sin is GONE.  There is no “remember back when you did . . . “ In baseball, on the other hand, there’s always “gosh, remember that game back in ’98 when he left three men on base because he struck out?”  We can’t strike out and lose God’s love for us.  We can always repent and change our path to the right one.  We can join the Kingdom team.  We can change our life with His grace. 

 That’s what I’m doing.  I’ve done the sensible things the world encourages and it doesn’t satisfy me.  It provided shiny toys and jingly coins in my pocket, but oddly those things aren’t at the top of my list anymore and so there are many who say I’m crazy.  I’m following the path that was made by God through His son who became flesh and died so that I might live.  He even gave us His Holy Spirit so that when we drop the ball, we have a coach who loves us right there to help us change that play!  So, in seeking a “new” team, I’ve thought of what I want to do.  I picked up a book today at a church thrift shop.  I paid 2.00 for it.  It sums up what I want to do with my life and who’s team I want to be on, and it’s got a star player that I truly want to model in my own life. 

 The book was published in 1944 and when my mother was a small child, thus long before I was dreamed of.  It’s all about that star player, my hero.  The author is Mary Alice Jones and the book is called “Tell Me About Jesus.”  Sure enough, that’s what I want to do; I want to tell folks about Jesus.  I want them to join the Kingdom team and if they get to know Him, I’m sure they’ll want to be on it because they’ll just LOVE Him!  Ms Jones wrote several small stories in this book and each one is for me a list of plays that the Kingdom team needs to focus on.  He’s the star and we need to model our lives and our plays after His.  Surely you will agree when I share some of them:

  •  Jesus loves children
  • Jesus goes about doing good
  • Jesus is glad
  • Jesus helps people
  • Jesus is brave
  • Jesus trusts God
  • Jesus helps people to be good
  • Jesus asks God to help unfriendly people
  • Jesus prays to God

 So, that’s what my new life is going to be all about.  I’m not that good at it yet, but He’ll coach me.  I’m not sure what position I’ll hold on His team, but He’ll lead me and show me.  I may not be the one who hits the home runs.  I may be the one who brings them water to drink.  It doesn’t matter.  We’re a team and all the members of the team work together and we all need to do our best at the position our Lord chooses for us.  I’m on a winning team.  Come play with me!  You won’t strike out!   You have His promise!


It Is Finished

April 22, 2011

It is Good Friday.  I’ve just come from church and as I write this I’m thinking about things and trying to keep things in perspective, but it’s a dark and rainy day and I’ve just returned from a service in a church that’s been stripped of all the trappings and left bare and plain.  I know that Easter is soon to come and that beauty and joy will return SPLENDIDLY, but just now I find I’m focused on death on a rough wooden cross.  I am wondering what they did with it after Jesus was placed in the tomb?  Did they cast lots for it to recycle its wood as they did for His clothing?  It was raw wood and surely stained with His blood . . . “it is finished.” 

I’m also thinking of my dear friend and priest as he spoke at church of the death and passion of the Lord he loves so much, and recalling the tears running down his face as he tried to teach us about this God-man who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  I heard my priest cry as he spoke of this event that happened so long ago and yet to those of us who’ve entered into a personal relationship with the Lord know all too well, we are brought back to that event just now and to the knowledge that we are the reason he died . . . “it is finished.”

What do the words “it is finished” bring to mind?  Well, as with most happenings, words, phrases, and life changing experiences, the words mean many things.  When Jesus spoke those words that made my friend cry . . . that made me cry as well, I’m certain that Jesus’ mother and His dear friends watched and cried.  He was gone.  His blood dripping from his wounded flesh, running down His dead body, staining the wood of the cross on which He hung, puddle on the ground.  “It is finished.”

There have been many times in my life when I made mistakes.  Sometimes, I can or could make amends.  Sometimes I am so grateful for a do over.  Sometimes, I simply cannot.  The damage has been done.  I have, perhaps, been hurt, others may have been as well.  It can’t be fixed.  It can’t be made well.  It’s too late.  It is the way it is.  Somehow life goes on anyway, but brokenness cannot be changed because “it is finished.”

On the other hand sometimes I get it right.  I have a quilt to make for a friend.  I will work hard on it.  I love my friend and want to do the best I can on it.  When all the fabric pieces have been cut and arranged in an artful pattern, and stitched and decoratively pieced into something new and beautiful, I will smile and hand it over saying “it is finished.”  It will bring joy to my friend and to the granddaughter she will give it to – a new baby – a new life.  “It is finished.” 

A new life!  Like my friend’s granddaughter, we too have a new life.  We have a new life because God gave us His only son who became flesh and dwelt among us that we might have eternal life with Him.  Eternal life.  Not someday,  not if I’m good enough . . . not “if I can only make it a little bit further I just might get there” as though it’s a destination we can through our own efforts reach.  We cannot make it happen and we cannot be good enough, but by believing in Him we have eternal life because of what He did.  His thirty-three years on this earth had a purpose and it was accomplished.  His purpose was to die for our sin so that we might live with Him in His Kingdom forever.  “It is finished” but that’s not an ending, but a new beginning!  In the ultimate battle of life and death we have a choice to make . . . life or death.  I choose Jesus and therefore I choose life!


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