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

Friday, October 29, 2010

He Calls the Stars by Name

Psalm 147:1-4

Praise the LORD.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.

The other day as I walked to my car to go to work, I took a few minutes to look up. The clear, dark sky filled with stars mesmerized me. I could have gazed at them for hours. I recognized the Big Dipper and searched for other constellations I might know. When I look at the night sky, I’m still amazed at the order of the millions of stars and how they stay in place.

God positioned every single star in the sky and he named them. He knows where they hang and keeps them all in line. If he pays that much attention to the stars, how much thought does he pay to us? God created you and me in his image to be his cherished family. He loves each of us more than we can imagine. I love that the Psalm says he heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds. He does this because he cares, because he loves us. As you gaze at the stars remember his promise to heal and to love. Praise the Lord for his love!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What Kind of Shoe are You?

Ephesians 6:13-15

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

My family tells me that when I attended Kindergarten, I insisted on wearing my cowgirl boots every day. Mom let me wear them because I was terribly shy and the boots kept me from crying each day on the way to school. I’m sure the clickety-clicking sound they made on the linoleum floor drove the teacher crazy. But I loved my boots; they brought me comfort and familiarity like an old friend.

I hope that I am like an old worn shoe to my friends and family, a shoe that soothes and comforts instead of like a high heel with a narrow toe that pinches and throws the wearer off balance. Or I could be like a boot, the kind with the warm shearling lining that offers protection and gives stability, or a pair of flip flops that show all of me so my friends can see my heart. No matter what footwear I put on, God wants my feet to carry his peace to my friends, family and acquaintances. A peace that only comes from knowing Christ as my Savior.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Bush is Burning

Exodus 3:1-4

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law…and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up." When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."

Driving home from work, I’ve noticed a bush that bursts with brilliant red leaves as it dresses for fall. Every time I spotted the bush, I thought about Moses and his experience on Mt. Horeb. My mom has one of these bushes growing by her front door. When I asked her what kind of plant it was, she answered, “burning bush”. Ah, no wonder it drew me to it.

God commanded Moses attention with a bush that blazed but did not burn up. He wanted Moses to take the Israelites out of Egypt. But, Moses first reaction was, “Who me?” And God said, "I will be with you.” God promised that if Moses obeyed him, He would walk with him step-by-step. God makes this promise to us too. If we choose to follow Christ and accept him as our Savior, God has great things in store for us as his followers. Most likely the tasks he asks us to undertake will not be easy ones, but we have the promise that He walks with us and will be with us in all we do for Him.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Brittle and Brown

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

As I drove to a workshop in Kentucky this morning, I looked up at the tree covered hills and expected to see an array of autumn color. But instead of scarlet red, bright orange and golden yellow I saw tree limbs covered with brown dry leaves. I am thinking that the lack of rain in our area probably caused the premature aging of the leaves and left us without the beautiful bright colors.

Unfortunately, our spiritual lives can look just like those leaves, brittle and fragile from a lack of soul-feeding nourishment. When I don’t read the Bible, pray, or spend time with encouraging family and friends, I find my spirit drying up. But, when I dig into God’s word and talk to him, I know my soul is renewed because hope and joy bubble to the top. When my soul is renewed, God’s hope shines through. Praise God for his promise of eternal life.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Eat Your Fruits & Veggies

John 15:8-9 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

My doctor tells me to eat more fruits and vegetables. I admit that I do better with the fruit food group. My favorites include blueberries, bananas and oranges. When I shop for them, I look for freshness. I check the bottom of the blueberry container to make sure there are no smooshed berries, I search for bananas that have no bruises and are not overripe and I look for good color and freshness in the oranges. If I need to eat fruit to be healthy, I want what is fresh and good for me.

In John 15, Jesus encourages the disciples to produce good fruit; he reminds them that the fruit they bear reflects God’s glory. Jesus means this for me too. I keep a wall hanging above my kitchen stove that lists the fruit of the Spirit. Each time I read that list, I am reminded of who others should see when they look at me. Just like the physical fruit that keeps me healthy, the spiritual fruit keeps me humble and seeking Jesus. Praise God for his love and grace!