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, August 29, 2009

What's in a name?

Philippians 2:9-11

9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Names have been a popular topic in our family lately. We are expecting three new grand-babies in the next 6-7 months and the parents are searching the baby name books and tossing around the best name for baby. Names are important, you live with your name your entire life (unless of course - you legally change it). One of the first things people do when they first meet you is ask your name. What do people think of when they hear your name? Someone who is responsible, joyful, a nagger, pessimist, optimist, fun, boring? Do they think of someone who loves the Lord?

The name Jesus is recognized all over the world. His name is probably spoken more often that any other name. Sadly, it is often used as a curse. I hope that when you hear the name Jesus, you think of forgiveness, love, salvation, joy, peace, and all the attributes we know of him through his word.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


2 Corinthians 4:7-9

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Several years ago, my mom brought home an old chest that had survived a fire. Covered in soot and charred, it looked pretty useless and ugly. At the time, I was learning to refinish furniture and she told me I could have the chest if I wanted to work on it. As I cleaned it and peeled away the black layers of dirt, soot and fire damage, I discovered an attractive cedar wood with copper strapping. The more I stripped off the more beauty the piece revealed. When I finished applying the clear satin finish, the piece shone like new. It now sits in my daughter’s home.

Often we face fires and get burned in life. We all encounter difficult situations, times that are tough, illness, loss of loved ones and on it goes. God wants us to go through these fires, not hide from them. If we invite him, he will walk with us through the flames; then we will not be destroyed, instead, we will emerge stronger.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Creation

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

I am certain, without doubt, that God created each of us. I imagine him working with the clay of the earth to form Adam. Carefully placing the finishing touches on the mountains and seas. Breathing life into the fish and birds, tigers and snails.

Even as he created life from the very beginning, he fills us with a new life when we accept Jesus as our savior. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that the old is gone and we are new. All new! Isn’t that wonderful. God wants to fill us with his Spirit. He wants to walk with us everyday and he loves us as never before. Even better, he offers us forgiveness and grace. Grace, freedom from sin that only God can give.

Praise God for his mercy and grace!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Clean Heart

Hebrews 10:21-23
22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Today I plan to clean out my closets and take whatever is still useful to the Goodwill.
I love the feeling I have when I am finished and everything looks neat again and I know all the "junk" is gone.

When I turn all the "junk" in my heart over to God, I find peace. If we move toward God with sincere motive and humility and empty our heart into his hands, He sifts through and keeps the beautiful, useful parts and plants them back inside us. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life by offering up all that you are to God.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Celebrate Joy!

2 Chronicles 30:25-27

25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites and all who had assembled from Israel, including the aliens who had come from Israel and those who lived in Judah. 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.

Last evening I attended a wedding filled with great joy. The groom's grandfather performed the ceremony, and the joy he held in is heart for his grandson and his bride poured out to heaven. God wants us to keep joy in our hearts and celebrate him just as his people did in the Old Testament. In 2 Chronicles 30, the people had finally come together for their Passover feast after waiting for a long time. Verse 26 tells us "there was great joy".

When was the last time you experienced great joy? God wants us to carry joy in our hearts-that joy which comes from knowing Jesus. Rejoice and be glad in him.