Friday, November 18, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
God has delivered us, but a greater deliverance is yet ahead. We have been given a moment, a pause, a cease-fire from the battle we face every day. The great battle to remain the beloved of God in a world grown dark and more anti-Christ moment by moment. So this is not ordinary time, it is extra-ordinary, a supernatural moment in which God has drawn near and is—like Aslan—on the move. When the long winter begins to break in Narnia, the animals know that is it because Aslan is on the move. The signs were unmistakable. I urge you, my friends, to consider that this political miracle is not so we might be free to return to our lives and live them as before. It is not so America can have high standing in the world. It is not so our rights are confirmed. It is not so we can blithely wander in our own way, paneling our own houses, gathering things to ourselves and building our own kingdoms. I believe that we are at a fork in the road moment of decision, a Joshua 'as for me and my house' season.
God is always about the big picture...even in the smallest of details in the most individual of lives. He is working toward the conclusion He ordained from the beginning. A time so long ago that it nearly seems a fairy tale to us in the twenty-first century. God made Man and placed him in a garden that He might be with him. The earth is a garden made for us, but in a greater sense it was made for Him. It was made as a place in which we might discover our great purpose. It was made that we might know and love Him. A place in which we might learn what it means to belong to God and become prepared to live with Him forever. We've been given space to consider what that means to us and how we go forward from here.
God works in our lives in seasons that come and go. Therefore this season of rest, however long it might be, is a blessing we must not waste. The election is a megaphone, reminding us that there is a God in heaven and He does whatever He wants, urging us to draw near and hear His voice, warning us to disentangle ourselves—not from the world, but from the love of it, inviting us to seek Him particularly, asking us to set our faces toward Him as a Bride coming down the aisle. Though the church be full of people, she has eyes only for her beloved.
My heart longs that He might bless us once again with revival. Not so we can have great meetings and feel good about ourselves, but that He might fill us up with Him. That we might be equipped for the greater deliverance still before us, when we are stripped of our own way and baptized into His. A deliverance from ourselves that we might behold the fiery One, enthroned among the cherubim. That gazing at His inexpressible beauty, we might be changed. I want that for me. I want that for my friends. I want that for a world tearing itself apart chasing fulfillment it can never find, because it exists only in the place of surrender to the One who made it. I long for the transformation of the church into doorkeepers who cry out, "Here! Here is the way! What you most long for—the beauty and the satisfaction and the rest for your soul—it is in here! HE is in here!" Beholding Him and letting Him fill us will equip us to be His doorkeepers, His voice, His body on the earth doing the works of Jesus. His dealings in our lives will activate in us Jesus' calling to 'bring many sons to glory' (Hebrews 2:10). His love will empower us to overcome the world. He is worthy and we are privileged. Maranatha!
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Still hate this election though.
Monday, October 24, 2016
To our Gentile minds this holiday might almost seem like an odd little afterthought tagged onto the end of Sukkot, but it definitely has something to teach us. The Bible is not just a book among many books, not a collection of pithy sayings, not a compendium of religious instruction, not a dry and dusty history, not a handbook of do's and don'ts. The Bible is unique among all books because it is alive, powerful, almost vibrating with the fervent love God has for us. His Word contains the power to re-order our thoughts, renewing our minds. Its blessing to us cannot be overstated and it is good to be reminded to thank God for this gift.
Our Bible contains the story of God's interactions with Man. It outlines His plan to redeem the Earth--from the Garden to the Millennium. It is full of examples to help us walk our way to God. It is the means for learning who God is, how He feels about us, how He thinks and acts, how we should respond and most importantly how we may connect ourselves to the source of life and power and peace. We can encounter God in many ways, but the first and best way to learn about Him must be what He says about Himself. Without this direct revelation, we would be left blindly feeling our way toward God and missing Him more often than not.
God has given us a great treasure! We must drink deeply until we are sated and changed...until we behold His face and are dumbstruck at His beauty. Rejoicing in the Torah is not meant to elevate a book, but to acknowledge the wonderful provision of our amazing Creator. I love that God created a people and gave them His word and set about inviting the world entire to be blessed and included in His plan for them.
Thank you Father for giving us Your Word--a way to learn about You, find You, know You and love You. That is definitely something to celebrate!
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Forerunners. A word overflowing with meaning and emotion and memory. My heart was stirred and filled with the idea when I first heard it. Preparing a people for the coming of the Lord in the spirit of Elijah…what a mission! How could I not say “yes”? Then twenty-five years went by. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s wondered at times if God didn’t pull a little joke on me. I’m sixty years old, for crying out loud! I had come to the conclusion that the call had passed me by. Yet in all these years I never once heard that God had rescinded my draft notice.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
It has been instructive that the Republican party expects it is owed my vote; as if it is my life's calling to do my bit toward a conservative win. And of course I want to fulfill my civic responsibility and vote my conscience. But what a small, weak sort of calling that would be, when God calls me His family; an eternal being; a royal carrier of the glory of God; a world-changer; the Bride of Christ. I Corinthians 6:2 says that one day we will judge the earth. We will rule and reign with Jesus. Makes this sad, tawdry political episode seem a bit beneath it all, doesn't it?
This is a calling so beyond me and my small abilities that only He can fulfill it. Recurringly I find my heart, my inner man, shaken with fear over the storms darkening the far horizon. It seems to me that the cure for such thinking is to crowd it out by filling my heart and mind with Jesus. By meditating on His beauty; singing His praises and worshiping at His feet. By reading His words to me—hungrily, as a starving man sitting down to a long-anticipated meal. To maintain myself I need daily reminding that my identity and validation come from the highest source there is. So I remind myself that I belong to the King of all; that He remains serenely in control; that He is my anchor, my course and destination, and my portion forever.
Sophie and Hans Scholl and their friends made it their business to remind and exhort each other that God was sufficient—even in Nazi Germany. When they contended with martyrdom, they found Jesus fully adequate to the task. What an amazing encouragement! For He then must be sufficient for my trials and temptations as well. Those young people refused to let the culture of death all around them define who they were. For the joy set before them, they endured, they maintained themselves. Though they died more than 70 years ago, they continue to speak powerfully to us today.
Sophie Scholl said, "I will cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even when my numb hands can no longer feel it." That is tremendously good advice to us in 2016. Our world has become vulgar, coarse, and violent, but Jesus is lovely and worthy. I must lean on, rely on, and desire Jesus as my absolute necessity. I must have Him, like air to breathe, like food to eat, like sanity in a crazy world. Our great King is high above and beyond it all and filled with light. Let Him fill you with hope and wonder at His goodness; His beauty; His intention to set things right. Let Him recenter you, reminding you of your identity, your destiny, and your calling. His beauty and goodness are greater than that which fills the world. By focusing on Him, we gain strength to maintain ourselves, against all powers. Maranatha!
Friday, February 26, 2016
I don’t know that God is wanting to “Make America Great Again.” I don’t know that He is concerned about our comfort zone. I don’t know that He cares very much whether democracy triumphs or our pensions are intact. I do know that He cares deeply about the world…the world which only exists because of love. I know that a new heaven and a new earth are coming in which love reigns supreme…but first the old, broken world must go. I do know that God’s plan is to save as many people as will come to Him, before the end arrives. And the end will eventually arrive, because it would not be loving for God to allow evil to go on destroying forever.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
I think I would amend what our mothers told us as children. How about —If you don't have anything nice to say, don't remain silent—say something kind instead.
*And lest we think that being forced to play nice is something that happens only when Christians are hanging out with unbelievers, consider that niceness can also be the buffer we place between ourselves and others in order to avoid intimacy. We might ‘make nice’ to keep the conversation at the surface, in order to minimize the possibility that we might have to shoulder someone’s burden or confess a weakness of our own. Selah :)
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