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Saturday, August 31, 2013

In The Suitcase

What if I said to my children, "This year, I plan to take you to Disney World!"

Then I wait and watch for their reaction and marvel in the moment.  There would be squeals and hugs everywhere.

But, then I drop it on them and say, "Oh, but did I mention that you will need to figure out how we are getting there and how we are ever going to pay for it?"

Stunned, they would go from tears of joy to tears of sorrow and I would suddenly go from Mom-Of-The-Year to Worst-Mom-Of-The-Century!  There would, of course, be no way for them to make it happen on their own.  My plan for them is only exciting when the promise of my provision goes with it.  Otherwise, I'm just being mean and playing games with their hearts.  What kind, loving parent would do that?  I'm not a perfect parent, but I'm certain I would never do that to them.

In the same way, God tells us He's got exciting things for us to do.  "...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(Jeremiah. 29:11) He's got good, good stuff for us -- such good stuff that it's beyond our ability to even help Him.  If it's going to come to pass, it's going to be because He makes it happen.  He's the one that's going to have to purchase the 'plane tickets', 'Disney Park tickets' and 'hotel accommodations'.  Heavenly Plans require Heavenly Provision.

So, the question is not whether He has plans.  He does.  And it's not whether He will provide.  He will.  The question is: Will we rest, let go, and trust Him enough to follow through with His Word?  Are you like a skeptical child that hears his parent's promise and then doubts?  Or have you built such a trust with Him that when you hear His Plan, you rejoice because you know it's on His shoulders, not yours, to bring it to pass? 

This may sound funny, but I had a picture in my mind once of Jesus standing outside an airport, near the curb, holding a suitcase.  He was leaning over the curb and looking down the road toward me.  He was waiting for me.  In essence, what He was saying was, "I'm ready to take you places and all that you need has already been packed in the suitcase.  All you have to do is join me."

He's promising us a trip of a lifetime.  Our suitcases are already packed.  Will you take Him up on his offer and fly with Him?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Friends

Peace and Comfort hold my hands while
Hope lifts my head.
Then with moves like Travolta, Joy sweeps me onto the dance floor for another.
I forget why I was ever sad. 

Trust helps me when I don't understand. 
Faith gives me wings so I can fly. 
Both make a path for Grace to come.
All three together set me soaring to places I never knew existed. 

Forgiveness reminds me that that was once me.
She tells me again that she is to be passed along.
I don't know it, but she is really doing me a huge favor. 

Mercy hands me lotion and makes me even more tender.
Her Kindness comes through like a fragrance
and all I touch feel her Compassion

Patience teaches me to wait with a smile.  
She knows Who's really in charge here.

Perseverance gives me binoculars -- always calling to mind the Sweet Ending that awaits.  Faithfulness cheers me on, too. "Don't give up!" they sing in harmony over me. 

And Love reminds me that I am rooted.  Who can separate us?  
I am absolutely secure. 
He wraps His Arms around me and my other Friends and holds us all together. 
Love, Himself, will take me Home.
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Easy Connection

Telephones have come a long way. 

I remember watching episodes of Little House on the Prairie on television and watching the actors pick up the telephone only to first speak to an operator who would then connect them with the person they wanted to speak with.

Even when we moved past that middle man/operator phase, it still took some effort and time to call someone.  Dialing on my rotary phone as a kid felt like it took forever.  You had to push the wheel down for each number and wait for it to recoil back.

Then it got a bit easier.  Just push the buttons down on your phone and voila!  You're connected.  
And now we have computers in our hands that we can talk to.  With a simple voice command, the phone dials and connects for you.  It has gotten easier and easier with each generation to make a phone call and talk to someone.

****

The evolution of the telephone is like my journey in connecting with God.  It used to feel so hard and take so much effort.  The way I understood it as a kid was that I had to first go to a middle man -- a religious man of God -- who would help me connect with my Creator.  I could confess my sins to the 'operator' and tell him what I wanted to say to God. 

God has a way, though, of helping us understand that He has made it much easier for us to connect with Him.  He showed me that the only Mediator that is needed is Jesus, Himself, who took all the sin on Himself so that we can have 'unlimited minutes' and full access to God personally.  It was an amazing revelation to know this Reality and that there is now a straight 'telephone line' to God!

But even since that revelation, God is still opening my eyes to just how easy He is to access and how much 'work' I don't have to do.  For example, I don't have to be in a certain body posture to authentically connect with Him.  I don't have to go through a ceremonial step by step process that will improve the communication line.  I don't have to wait for a certain time of the day.  And I don't have to wait until I feel good about myself.  And let me tell you too -- raising your voice doesn't improve your connection.  I used to think that the 'fervent prayer of a righteous man' (James 5:16) meant that if I wasn't exhausted and broken out into a sweat at the end of my prayer (I'm exaggerating, but you know what I mean), my prayer was not very "fervent".  

God spoke to me recently and said, "You're trying too hard."

See, I keep thinking that I'm using an old fashioned or rotary phone that takes so much effort.  I keep forgetting that He has changed up the whole System for us.  He has made it so 'touch sensitive' and 'voice activated' that even our thoughts in prayer move Him.  My whispered, breathy prayers can move mountains.  Two words spoken as an intercession for someone can completely set them free.  See, it's not about our strength.  It's about believing in His strength and the Blood He shed.

He has given us an easy connection.  Are you trying too hard, too?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Joy comes in the morning
Peace restores my soul
The rain is over
And, I sing Your Song!

~~

And, I feel the Sun
All the clouds are gone!
No more weeping
No more crying
'cause today is a New Day

~~
 
I hear Your Voice
The sound of Hope
You have taken all my sorrow
I just thank you for this day

A New Day

 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fisher Boy

The young boy loved fishing with his Father.  It was one of their more enjoyable bonding times together. 
 
He loved to stand in front of his Dad and work the fishing Net with Him.  He loved pressing himself up against his Father's chest and hearing Him speak gently over him.  Fishing was fun but it was the time spent together that they both loved the most.
 
The boy knew his Father was a master Fisherman, so he watched everything his Father did very carefully.  He waited on His timing.  He was wise and patient.  He especially remembered what his Father told him once:
 
"Be careful not to scare the fish.  They will only swim away.  Be gentle.  Do as I do.  Move when I move.  If you do this, we will rescue many."
 
Then He pointed to the ripples in the river. 
 
"See the waters?  They are the ripples of Love and Mercy that carry the fish toward Me.  It is My Job to draw them.  When we fill the Net, the fish will be gently placed in My River where they will always be safe."
 
"Father,"  the boy said,  "can I come to this river and fish alone one day when I am older?"

The Father smiled and said, "I own all the Nets, son, and the Boat is Mine, as well.  No man can fish alone."

The boy looked at the Father and His eyes were full of Love. 

"Father," the boy said quietly, "even if I was able to fish by myself, I would not want to.  You are the reason I want to be here."