Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Spirit of Fear

II Timothy 1:7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

God did not give us a spirit of fear. My interpretation is that we will indeed fear sometimes but we are not to let fear abide in us; move in and live there. We are not to be fearful people: living lives controlled by fear. So if we do have a fearful spirit, where did we get it? Certainly not from God. The scripture at the head of this page attests to that. Where does the spirit of fear come from but from satan. Who else would want us to think less of ourselves? Who else would like to blunt a potentially bold witness? Who else would like to see us give up control to the spirit of fear which he diabolically controls? Who else wants to destroy us and our hope? Who else.

And as give in and let our lives be lead by fearfulness, we may withdraw from others, withdraw from service; withdraw from having courage. We may begin to trust our fears more than we trust God.

The Bible is just full of "fear nots" and one of the few places Jesus tells us to fear He says: And I say unto you my friend. Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more they can do.
But I will forewarn you who ye shall fear: fear him, which after his hath killed hath power to cast into hell; year, I say unto you Fear him. Luke 12:5-6

Perhaps, our biggest fear in our Christian walk should be the spirit of fear itself.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Frosty Glass Love

This morning my 5 year old granddaughter came into my room to hug me goodbye as she was leaving for kindergarten. Then she noticed the frosty look of my patio door. It was cold outside and the door was covered over in condensation to the extent that we couldn't see outside. She sensed somehow it would be all right if she went over and wrote on my door in the condensation. When she had written something, she seemed sort of pleased and asked me to look. I did and she read the words she had written: "I love God."

Wow ! What a great way to start a day with I love God, written on your door by your grandchild. Yes, even though we could not see out into the world through the fog on the glass, we know that we love God. When all we can see is God, that will be enough.

I hugged my granddaughter goodbye and told her that God loved her too. She said, "Yes, I know. I would wish that for all the world: that they love God and know that He loves them too.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

True Home

As a child I once got lost in the woods. It is hard to remember it now but I do remember the fear upon realization that I was indeed lost. Things looked differently. Nothing seemed familiar. Finally I came to a gate that I had never found before in my other adventures in these woods. When I looked across the pasture past the gate, there was a strange old house. In my young mind I wondered if it were a witch's house. Then the conflict: I was lost and this was the only sign of civilization that I had found in seemingly hours of wandering around in the woods. I had to take the chance, but I would be ready to run back to the woods if things got bad at all.

As I left the gate and the woods and walked cautiously toward the old house,little by little it began to come back to me. As I began to come to myself I realized that the gate that I had come to was the one I opened to go into the woods to begin with. The old house was no witch’s house. It was my Grandmother’s house where I was staying: home. I had been lost, confused, my perspective altered, filled with fears, until I realized I was coming home. I was lost but now was found. Like the prodigal son in the pig pen, I had come to myself, began to see things in a truer light and found the way home.

How many prodigals in this world are lost, confused, filled with fears, with altered perspectives to the extent they can’t recognize their way home. Their former faith and hope in God has given way to trying to find their own way home. Yet, at the end of themselves they find they are still lost in a wilderness, with all seeming strange and unfamiliar. It will be dark soon and at the bottom of it all they know they are in the wrong place, only going around in circles: lost out there in the wilderness of life, aimlessly, fearfully wandering, not knowing where they are going or what they should be looking for. They only know that they desperately need to find a way back home.. And, as they begin to come to themselves; no longer blinded by the world, they begin to see with new eyes and experience that old, steadfast warmth vividly experiencing true Home in the Love of the Father and the Son.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

With Thanksgiving

Philippians 4:6 -- Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication (humble request or prayer) with thanksgiving let your requests be made unto God.

Prayer and supplication should be made with thanksgiving. We are to thankful when we pray before we get an answer. Sounds a little different. But the Word often stands the world's logic on its head. If we haven't got an answer yet, or we asking with thanksgiving, what could we be thankful for?

I would venture that we could be thankful that we as human beings can even approach Almighty God with our prayers and supplications. And, we can be thankful for the peace and comfort of bringing our prayers and supplications to a God who cares.
"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." I Peter5:7

And, we can be thankful for the measure of faith He builds in us, when we bring our prayers and supplications to Him and are able to surrender our care and control into His hands. At these times we can be thankful for the relationship we have with Him, that we are close enough that we might ask of Him as little children of God. What a great thing to be at the feet of Jesus, to learn of Him, to experience Him, to have relationship with Him, to be love and cared for by Him. So much to be thankful for.

We can be thankful that in His infinite wisdom, He will answer our prayers and supplications. We can give thanks-if we have matured enough in Christ - that we are able to willingly accept His answer, be it yes, no, or wait. And, we can be thankful that in our humble, and earnest prayers, in our dependence and obedience to Him and His will, "all things will work together for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28) Thanksgiving: so much to be thankful for.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gathering or Scattering

Luke 11: 23
He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.

There is not middle ground; no straddling the fence with Jesus - no politicians here. You are either "all in" or you are all out. On a secular level I have found this to be true with ironman training. The cost and reward are high, the training rigorous. A half-hearted ironman attempt can lead to serious problems out on the race course. You can't be "almost an ironman. The time limit is 17 hours. Finish within that time and you are an Ironman. Don't finish within 17 hours and you are not.

And one who does not gather is one who scatters. If I call myself a Christian, claim to be "all in " for Jesus, yet my life is no different from the way of the world, am I gathering or scattering in the expression of my faith to the world. And, when the world hears my profession of faith and does not see the evidence of Christ acting through me, my confession and my witness can appear as hypocrisy, driving some away from knowing the true Love of Christ.

As I go about my little life because I need the guidance of the Holy Spirit because with each choice, with each encounter, I demonstrate whether I am gathering or scattering.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Chosen and Ordained

John 15: 16 -- "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it to you."

He has chosen me. How great is that? When I was a kid playing sports, I was puny and when teams picked players, I was one of the last to be chosen. Sometimes, I wasn't chosen at all. One time I tried so hard at the try outs yet at the end of the day, the team coach took me aside to tell me I would not be chosen. I was heartbroken. However, someone must have been watching me try so hard yet not be chosen. A few days later I got call from another coach ask me to come to come to another try out. This time I was chosen. I was so grateful that I just played my heart out for this team. In fact, I even chosen to be on league's all-star team.

I believe Jesus knows our heart, sees our struggles, knows we have little talent on our own, yet chooses us for His team anyway. We have been chosen and ordained too. But we are not chosen to be bench-warmers; we are chosen to play our hearts out for Jesus because we love Him and because He has chosen and ordained us to be His witnesses that bear fruit long after our playing days are over.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WHO WE ARE STANDING WITH?


We can know where you are standing with God by who and what is standing against us. When unsure of whether we are following Gods will, leading a life for God, look around and see who we are standing with and who is standing against us. The character of those we find ourselves around and who stand against us will often show us where we are standing ourselves, and whether our spirits are being led in the direction of God or away from it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Is It Real ?

It is either “real” or it isn’t. Can’t sit through church and lifeless liturgy, then go home and feel “spiritual.” Faith either moves me or it doesn’t. Faith and commitment to God should bring us to higher ground. It is like an uphill course, every step an effort, but every step an adventure into taming the wilderness within. The effort keeps us awake - alive. It changes things. It makes a difference that you can see in yourself and others can see Christ in you. It is real and it makes a difference ---- or it isn’t.

Lord give a hunger for the stunning experience of the reality of God.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lord Help Me

It came to me that I frequently to pray for others but didn't pray for myself. A look at my written prayer list shows I am not on it. The first thought was how selfless I am without realizing it. How nice that I would pray for others and forget myself. Before I pat myself on the back too much, something moved me to a deeper look inside. And, it was revealed to me that perhaps I pray for others and exclude myself because I am hesitant to work on myself? Maybe it is easier and safer to dwell on the problems of others than to confront my own? Maybe I am not being all selfless and spiritual after all, but have my head in the sand, hiding out from asking God to take over. Self-sufficient in that I can handle my stuff. It is the other, less capable, that need God's attention, not me. Perhaps, not praying for myself discloses that I do indeed need to ask God for something: humility.

Others will continue to be prayed for, but a new entry has been added to my prayer list. Lord help me!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Holding Them Up To See Jesus

The picture had been there since she was an infant but for some reason this day my little granddaughter saw the picture of Jesus over our fireplace and pointed. I said, “That is Jesus.”
She repeated, “Jesus.”
She pointed again and said, “Hold me up to Him, Pop-Pop” (my grandfather name). I picked her up and held close to the Jesus in the picture as she pointed and felt the face with her finger. She repeated with a smile, “Jesus.”

Yes, Jesus. She was being lifted up and brought into closeness to the image of Jesus. And so too our role as Christians. We are called to bring those who see Jesus only from afar, into closer moments with the Risen Lord. To lift this child up to see the picture, I had to be strong enough to hold her. We are called upon to increase our own strength through the exercise of our faith so that we may able to lift others into His presence, who then, perhaps, with the wonder of a child, smile and speak the name Jesus into their lives.

What remains is not about what you picked but what you planted.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What's This Day?"


"But Jesus called them unto Him and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."
MATT 18:16

It was calendar training time for my granddaughter: day of the week, the months, and then, the holidays. She can’t read yet so-----
“What’s this day?”
“Palm Sunday. That’s when Jesus came—“
“Riding a donkey,” she interrupted, “and the peoples put branches in His road when He came to town. What’s this day?”
This is Good Friday. That’s when they took Jesus to the cross and---“
“They nailed His hands and hurt Him and put him up on a cross. And He died. What’s this day?”
“This is Easter. That’s when --- “
“I know about Easter. That’s when He come up from out of the ground and come alive for us.”
I couldn’t have summed it up any better. I had no idea she had such a vision of the gospel experience. It made my heart glad, not just for her but in knowing there are probably countless other little children who have the truth of the Gospel in their hearts and minds. In this world which seems to dwell on the bad news, there are little children who know the Good News. It brightens my day with hope for future generations. In spite of the seemingly overpowering influence of the gods of earth, the wisdom , power, and eternal Hope of the Gospel is, and will remain, the Hope for this world and the world to come.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hold !


This particular scene from the movie Braveheart has always inspired me. No, it’s not the scene in which Wallace makes the fine horseback speech that impassions the men to fight against terrible odds. No, my favorite scene is the one where the enemy on horseback are thundering down on Wallace and his ragtag army. Wallace has brought long, sharpened poles that had been laid out before them on the ground between them and the approaching enemy. Let the charging horsemen get close then raise the sharpened poles to stop them. That was the plan.
Imagine how that might have been: a bloodthirsty enemy intent on disgrace and destruction, thundering down upon them on horseback. And Wallace told them to hold; hold. The horsemen got closer-hold! Hold!-closer still, they can hear the heavy breathing of the horses-hold! Hold! In the “fullness of time” the poles were raised and the horsemen were stopped. And, eventually, they were victorious in the battle.

For us, the continuing saga called life sometimes seems thundering down upon us like the horses in that Braveheart scene. No surprise. Jesus warned,“In the world ye shall have tribulations.” When standing in the right place for the right thing, we might expect a well-equipped menace bearing down on us. Like Wallace, we have to believe in what the world, the enemy, cannot see. Our sharpened poles of faith lay ready as the voice of the Lord tells us to “hold, hold.” Yes, hold - and believing that at the end of the day we will be victorious through Jesus Christ. The approaching menaces of disease, disappointment, disability, and even death will not make our faith flinch. And, the battle will be the Lord’s.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Forgotten Wake We Make

My Father and I in our aluminum boat, right after daylight, skimming on the river surface. It seemed we disturbed little with the mirrored surface of the river, glazed to accept us; wisps of fog rising from the water in strands. We made a small furrow with our boat with the forested world parading by us on both shores. Yes, we made a small wake; the small waves of which lapped gently upon the shore. In a moment it was smooth water again behind us closed behind us leaving no trace we had ever been there.

So, it with life. For all of our world-changing tasks, and all the highly “important” things we thought we had to do, and all the exalted things we thought ourselves to be, still, life closes behind us, leaving no evidence of the little wake we made. Only what we have done for God will remain. The glassy surface of this world will close forever behind us when we die, but for those of us who know Jesus. eternal life with "Our Father Who art in Heaven will" open before us.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Lady No One Could Stand


She wasn’t pretty. In fact, she had a somewhat disheveled look to her. Who knows what her job was where I worked at, but she came around to transact some sort of business in my department now and then. Everyone avoided her as much as possible.
“She’s mean and hateful,” they would say. “She’ll bite your head off. Better to leave her alone.”

Indeed, she looked the part. Her furrowed brow, her large eyebrows, the narrow hollow eyes, the set jaw, all gave her the look of someone you better leave alone. She never had much to say, and what she did say was short and curt, in a “better leave me alone” tone. No one could stand her. But Something wouldn’t let me stop wondering why someone would want to be such a mean and disagreeable person.
Every time she would come around that thought would peak my curiosity. Besides curiosity, I also felt pity that someone could choose to live life so full of bitterness. On my own I am not that caring or sensitive but God has a way of melting my heart like heat melts a candle. My candle was being melted as the light from God to my heart was beginning to drive away the darkness.

I started to see things a little differently despite what this mysterious “everyone” said about this woman. Already having a natural distrust of majority opinion, I just had to experience this for myself. One day as she was coming down the hall to our office to make her delivery, I got in the hall ahead of her, smiled, and told her good morning. She was taken aback, and glared at me like I had offended her in some way. I kept the smile and let silence take its course. After a few moments I asked her how does she feel today. It wasn’t the customary “how are you,” but a little more personal, to suggest I really did want to know how she felt. Her face took on a startled, confused look .
“Who told you,” she snapped.
“Told me what?” A long pause and her face seemed to be losing its rigidity. The eyes widened, showing a fear and pain I had not seen before in her face. Then there were tears, sobbing tears of despair. I held her hand as she explained her terrible diagnosis: she was dying of cancer.
“I will pray for you”

She nodded, wiped away her tears, patted me on the arm, and moved past me.
Her face never had the meanness on it again that I could see. Maybe it was my vision of her now and maybe it was her vision that someone cared; that someone was praying for her. Of course, the office consensus concerning this poor woman didn't changed until one day I told them the story. It was then that their faces seemed to soften. Now, they seemed to have compassion instead of condemnation. Over the next few weeks several more people talked and became involved with this poor soul. There were hugs, more tears, and the Love of God got real for all of us and for this “lady no one could stand.”

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Invisible Days

“My wife died you know?” The one-time British sailor squinted up at me through ninety year old eyes as if to see if I were going to listen before he went on. There was pain and need in those eyes. “She was beautiful too; pretty as a picture; pretty as a picture, and played the piano like an angel. Sixty years we been together. She was beautiful. Played the piano like an angel. I miss her you know. I got nobody now. People don’t care about old folks like me. They don’t even seem to see me. It’s like I am some kinda piece of garbage or something cause I’m old and worthless now. I miss her you know. She was beautiful. Played the piano like an angel.”
I am not too far from old and worthless myself. Some say I am already worthless. And for all the times I have gutted out races; all the times I have raised my arms in joy at some finish line, for all the awards I have won and all my other moments of accomplishments, projects completed, gardens raised, pastures mowed; despite all the hard work I have done, there will soon come a time when I won’t be seen either. All the things done in my life won’t be worth listening to by a younger , trendier world. I will be passed over like a crack in the sidewalk. I will be essentially invisible, encased in only my own world consisting of what memories I can recall. But that’s OK. I am at peace about it.
My invisible days won’t be alone. I will have Somebody; my Faithful Friend will be with me when the world goes on without me. I have His blessed assurance which – like the song says – “the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away.” I have Jesus.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I Had Survived

11/10/09----

With the new day I look back and see I have survived, still intact. How did that happen? I remember the desperate moments, the extreme tension; the hunkering down in the storm. But I also remember that in the midst of those storms there was the urgency for prayer: I needed to pray. I sought out the chapel in the hospital, but it was closed. The chapel had regular hours but thank God, He is open 24/7. There in the empty waiting room my broken prayer seemed somewhat small and futile. And in this indifferent, self-seeking world in which I found myself feeling isolated and alone, prayer seemed almost out of place; sort of like I was waving loose ends of tattered threads in a raging wind. B
The world had been found to be comfortless and as my feeble prayers were, they were all I had, all there was, and all that could offer a measure of comfort. My faith, my prayer was all there was to hold on to. So I did.

When the winds abated, I looked up to realize that all had sustained me through the night was Hope, connected to Jesus through the thin thread of prayer. The problem was not overcome; the questions were still unanswered but now I something I had not had the night before. My prayers were answered: hold on, not yet. Prayer and faith had sustained me through the storm, and in storms that come they would undergird me with a refreshed hope and security through Jesus Christ. So, in the beginning and in the end, in the calm, and in the storms, my Anchor holds. Praise God! The Anchor holds.

“Now more than ever I cherish the cross. More than ever I sit at His feet. Miles of my journey have proved my Lord true. And, He is so precious to me.”

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father Who Art in Heaven

"Our Father who art in heaven" --- That's the One ! The One who formed me and begat em, enlivened, awakened, and infused His Spirit within me to be "born again" unto life eternal. Praise my Father: my Holy Father for now and evermore! This is Fathers Day - a Sabbath. Perhaps every Sabbath day is Fathers Day; one in which to praise, honor, and worship "my Father who art in heaven" and yet lives in me.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Our Greatest Hope

Mark 5: 1-6
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
And when He was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and o man could bind him, not with chains:
Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken I pieces: neither could any man tame him.
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him.


This man was big strong, with almost supernatural strength, but he was cutting on himself. His own strength came to nothing, except to increase his capacity for self-destruction. His demons were his source of his strength and the cause of weaknesses and self-degradation. He lived among the tombs: dead already in a sense, desperately crying out. What was he crying out for? Could it be the immense pain of the lack of self-control, the torment of rage for life that the demons drove him toward constantly? Could it be it was that separation from God that tormented him to tears day and night?



Then the man saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him.



To the man Jesus was his greatest hope: to the demons, Jesus was their worst nightmare. But, until his demons were removed the man’s own strength would come to nothing: He couldn’t serve, he couldn’t build, he couldn’t plant: he couldn’t fully realize the life, the capacity that could only be had in Jesus. He could not live out the calling that Jesus had for him.



Do we sometimes find ourselves living in our own strength in misery and self-destruction? Do we sometimes cry out at the pain of separation from God, tormented by various demons we have allowed into our lives? Has this separation thwarted us living out our true calling for God? Do we need to forgive and forget ourselves in order to find ourselves and our place in God's plan?



The good news is that Jesus has come ashore in this world long ago, died on the cross, and rose from the dead that he might forgive our sins, remove our demons - that we might give our lives completely to Him and live out His plans and purposes in our lives.


The man had his demons removed and was given a calling. Isn't it the same as our own?


“Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”
Mark 5:19

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Let Him Have the Things That Hold You"

A couple weeks ago I did a triathlon and had to wear a wetsuit for the swim portion. There was no assistance for getting us out of those tight-full body things, and trying to remove the wetsuit and get onto the bike was a real chore. It was a wrestling match with that thing. And, it reminded me of a line from "The Spirit Song" which goes something like: "Let Him have the things which hold you ----." Well, I certainly was ready to give up the thing which was "holding me." I would have given that wetsuit to anyone who would have helped me out of it. And oh how liberating it was to finally be free of that which held me; to throw it down on the ground, put on the new things to get me on my journey on the bike. Putting off the "old man," so to speak. I thank God for the wetsuits in life He has taken from me, helped me out of, and ask Him to continue to help me in my transitions, to be on the path He would have me on.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Triathlete's Prayer

Standing at the edge of the lake, waiting for the event to begin, I humbly ask your blessing that Your plans and purposes for my effort be lived out in me today, for Your Glory. May I fear not to enter the waters cold, or to climb the steep hills of the course. Help me to remember that I am "beautifully and wonderfully" made, and you have placed all I need within me. Give me courage to step out in faith: to try more, to risk more, to care more, to be more than I am now, that I may grow toward all you would have me be. And when I push beyond myself, when my steps grow weary toward despair, continue to carry me on, that I might finish this race with grateful humility. In Jesus' Name---Amen

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Being Hungry and Thiirsty

Matt 5:6 Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. The filled life seems to be about being hungry and thirsty for the right things. Can we be hungry and thirsty after things other than our His righteousness in us, and be filled? Or, will we remain hungry and thirsty, empty in a place within ourselves that only God can fill.

Once I completed a marathon and was cramping badly. For some unknown reason at the time, all I could think of was something salty. Only when that need was satisfied did I get the cramps under control and my body on the way to recovery. Perhaps the world has a hunger and thirst for something it does not realize or will not accept. Perhaps the satisfaction of that hunger and thirst get misdirected to food, drink; lifestyles dedication to self, possessions, and various forms of consumptive behaviors? And yet there remains that empty place in our lives, in our hearts. There is still a hunger and thirst that can only satisfied by that Bread from Heaven, that Living Water through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Still

Be still and know that I am God……Be still ourselves to receive His stillness. He still cares, still consoles, still heals, still delivers, and He still saves. In our empty vanities it really doesn’t matter what we think about our supposedly special selves, and our special times, our special technologies, we are still a desperate people, desperately needing Jesus. Be still and know that Jesus still lives and Jesus still saves.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Stiff-Arming God

Thinking of football highlights, I remember a runner going down the field full steam with an approaching tackler about to meet him. But, the runner pushed out a stiff arm in the tacklers face and continued going down the field unimpeded to the goal line. Sometimes I think we stiff-arm God. We move down the fields of our lives, enjoyed the speed, the force of our selves. When the God of universe would like to meet us, not tackle us, but lovingly embrace us, we stiff-arm God, going our own way to our own goal line to celebrate ourselves. God gets left back there on the field somewhere. But when catastrophes come and circumstances tackle us, throwing us to the ground: where is God? Doesn’t God care? What kind of God would let this happen? A God that had been stiff-armed, left far down the field and out of lives; a God that would have loved to embrace us. But all God ever got was left out of our game after being stiff-armed. So we try to blame God for all we are not, all we have failed to embrace, and the consequences of our choice to live for ourselves.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

For This Day - An Easter Prayer

For this day the tomb was empty---- For this day all things made new---- For this day sins were forgiven---- For this day free from the law of sin and death---- For this day of life eternal with You---- For this day, oh thank you Lord

Monday, March 25, 2013

Surrendering All

I Surrender All is the title of a haunting old song. Hard to do. Yet, it seems that the only way to victory in Christ, is through surrender. Hard to do. There is so much self-sufficiency; so much pride; often arrogance, it seems, that get in the way. Hard to surrender if I think I might win this one, somehow, someway, all by myself. Today, I went off to my prayer spot to pray for my sister who is having surgery today. Oh, I had my laundry list, my grocery list and personal wish list all ready for God. But the peace of the moment and the aggravating chatter of my own prayer thoughts, seemed to suggest God saying, "shut up!" And so I did. Recapturing the peace of the place and the moment, I asked the Holy Spirit to come settle in on my soul. I surrender. I surrender all. And I listened as the peace that passes all understanding settled in upon me. I gave thanks and rose to face the day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Trust Me

I have been training for an Ironman event but injuries have plagued me. Prayer has been supplemented with heat, ice, stretching but things still hurt. I prayed about this back in November when I started the training. I prayed every time an obstacle came up and God seemed to open up the will to go on. I have sensed God's pleasure in me doing both the training and the eventual event, for His glory. Lately, I have been on the borderline to cashing it all in. The injuries didn't seem to get better. Today though, I felt pretty good. Things didn't hurt quite so much. God do you want me to go on? I will,you know, if that is what you would have me do. God, I prayed, I wish I knew. Do you want me to go on? Just a hint? Any clue? My 61 mile bike ride was great and I had planned to try a run after the ride. Wow, but I felt great - But -

The first step of the run brought a fractured feeling of pain upon impact. Each step my hip feel worse. Barely moving forward, it wasn't just a lot of pain but pure misery. And I knew. It was one of those moments of absolute clarity when you just know? This game] was over. I had been given my hint; my clue. Head bowed and spirit sagged as I slowly walked back to my vehicle. Humbled, hurting, heartbroken, nevertheless, I had heard and I knew it was real. There would be no going on. It was over.

Back at the vehicle, with watery eyes and wounded heart, I prayed and listened, prayed and listened. Through the pain of the moment, two words were pressed upon my heart; two words that kept repeating themselves time and again: "Trust me. Trust me." And so, I will trust and follow His calling to have faith in the dark; called to trust when I have toiled and toiled and sown but reaped not; faith to trust when I cannot fathom reasons nor see the road ahead. Faith: seeing through a glass darkly; trusting.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Run For Thee

It was a very tough 15 mile run today. I was tired, very tired right from the beginning. It got worse - worse to the extent I was calling out like Simon Peter when he walked on the water and began sinking: “Lord save me.!” My left shoe was making a scuffing sound, and in the scuffing sound I began to hear the refrain, “Jee- sus, Jee-sus, Jee-sus." On I went, feeling awful but sustained by the sound of the shoe scuffing out the name of Jesus. At two miles I almost turned around but almost hypnotically I followed the Name up the hill to continue on. A song came to mind: “I need thee, oh I need thee. Every hour I need thee…” Oh yes, I needed Him but I needed Him every moment; every step. “I need thee, oh, I need thee. Every step I need Thee. Oh bless me now my Savior. I run for Thee.” Fifteen miles was not in my body this day. I was out of the bounds of my capability but not out of His. At the end of the fifteen mile run, I was thoroughly “poured out like water” but I had run for His glory and in His strength alone. I had been blessed.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Light in the Darkness

There was a time before cell phones. Hard to conceive, I know. Back in those pre-historic times, the engine in my auto just quit on a desolate, dark highway, miles from home. Fortunately, the road was straight, the country flat, and far up the highway, a dim light shone. It was cold, and the icy wind whistling through my clothing made the moments that much more desolate. But, I kept walking to the dim light. There was nothing else to do; nowhere else to go. As I kept on the straight path, over time, patiently plodding forward, the light got a little bigger as I got closer. Finally, after walking well over a mile, I arrived at a fully lighted intersection with a pay phone. In thinking of that event long ago, I thought of the scripture where many disciples left Jesus and He asked the disciples, "Will ye also go away?" And Peter answered, "Lord, to whom else should go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." The Gods of earth won't get me home. There lights are like fireflies, blink here, blink there; gone. There is only one Way. For me, there is no other Light in the darkness of which to follow. And, I have found that the longer I go toward Him, the closer I get. As the line from the song say, "the longer I trust Him the sweeter He grows." Praise God.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Coming to Yourself

Have noticed in reading the story of the prodigal son, that the change occurred in the wayword son when he was at his lowest ebb, feeding pigs; trying to keep from starving by eating their food. The scripture says, "he came to himself." From that point his life takes a different direction, a new road, a new perspective on himself, his place in the world and about his father. But, he had to come to himself. To me, that suggests that the capability to be who he could be was in him all the time. He had drifted from who he really was. Sometimes we might drift from the person God sees in us; the person that through Christ we can be; the person we really are; close to our Father's love.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Seeing Through a Glass Darkly

The more I read the Bible, the more I am made aware of how much I don't understand---yet. But, the hunger to know more, to be more, to live more closely to God, has brought me to many personal revelations in studying His Word. It has been impressed upon me that these revelations are not my own personal property but belong to all who would read, or hear. At the same time this is an opportunity for me to step out in faith, and by exercising my faith, become stronger in it. Faith is the bird that feels the light And sings when the dawn is still dark. (Rabindranath Tagore)