For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4
Saturday, May 30, 2009
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
15Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.
16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
I love that Jesus, in all of his perfection, still wanted to follow God's direction. Jesus didn't need to be baptized, he never sinned, yet he wanted to follow God's plan for his people. How much more important is it for us to follow God's plan? We need his grace and mercy, as the Bible says, all people sin and can fall away, but their is always hope through Christ. I praise God everyday for his grace and forgiveness and the hope we have in him.
Friday, May 22, 2009
…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
What an awesome week, I spent two days with my daughter at the YMCA Camp where she lives and works and time with my sister, her son and his wife. When we were planning the trip, Hannah told me she wanted me to do the “Zip Line”. I really didn’t grasp the concept until I walked to the lake with her and she pointed out a cable that hung across the water and was tied to a tree on the other side. Soon I stepped into a harness made of straps and buckled it around me. We hiked to a platform, where I climbed to the top and should have stepped off and let my weight carry me across the water to the other side. But, when I got to the top step, my courage didn’t follow. After some coaching from Hannah’s friend Rachel, I sat down, slid off the platform and swung across the lake, and made a (let’s say “original”) landing. What an awesome experience!!! I’m so glad I did it. Especially since Rachel’s 80 year old grandmother also went across. What an inspiration, and the funny part is, she told me I was brave because I went first.
God wants us to be courageous for him, to speak up, move forward and make a difference. Just as he told Joshua to be strong and courageous, he also wants us to show courage through our faith.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Jesus makes it sound so simple. Love God and love your neighbor. The problem is, life gets in the way, attitudes, frustration, anger all darken our outlook on life. These feelings are all part of living on earth, so what do we do??? The answer seems as simple as the words in the verse, but it isn't , the answer requires discipline, faithfulness, and determination. Pray and fill your heart with God's word. Both take time, both take faith, both take discipline. I struggle to keep at it, most people do. But to live a life where we are free to love God and the people we see each day, our hearts need to be filled with him. Praise God for his love!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
..."Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." 16And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
If you've spent much time with young children you know they mimic and follow their parents or caretakers, they trust completely; and they come with open minds and hearts ready to listen and learn.
Jesus wants us to come to him in the same way. He wants us to be like young children, trusting him, following him, loving him and obeying him. Come to him as a child and you will be blessed.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Like the salmon, God created us to be different, even peculiar (according to the Bible). He encourages us to stand out, be a light, even make the unpopular choice. Swim, swim, swim--- with your eyes on Jesus.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
This week in the Art Gallery at UC Clermont, an installment of etched glass is on display. I met the artist and learned a bit about the process. He takes a piece of plain glass and carves on it with a tool that uses sand to cut a design into the surface. Each time he wants to make a cut, he tapes or masks off the parts he doesn't want to carve into. Each piece he created showed unique characteristics and beauty.
God works in us much the same way. He etches and creates in us until the old plain and even troubled parts are carved away. Perhaps he masks off the "good" parts and works with what's left. God does not stop at the surface, he goes into our hearts to carve at our attitudes, desires and thoughts.He fills us with his Spirit and continues to work in us as we learn about Him.
Praise God for creating the new and disgarding the old.