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, July 27, 2013

A Touch of Heaven

Philippians 3:20-21
But our citizenship
 is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

This week I was honored to visit with friends I hadn’t seen for over thirty years. Several of us gathered at our classmate Helen’s home. She lives near Kentucky Christian (College) University, the campus we all attended. The stories and laughter flowed as we remembered our professors, crazy antics and the fun we shared. Of course, the talk led to the twists and turns that formed our lives.

Visiting our alma mater reminded us of what brought us together in the first place. We shared a love for Jesus. As students we attended chapel and praised God together. As adults, we shared how Jesus has moved through our lives and led us to minister. Even though some of us suffered with physical ailments, heartbreak and sorrow, we also rejoiced in the love and joy that our God poured over us and continues to spill on our lives. We tasted a touch of heaven this week as we praised the Lord for his blessings. With that on my mind, I can’t help but long for the day when Jesus returns and takes his followers to that glorious place called home. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jesus' eyes

John 8:7-11
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

There’s nothing that says summer to me as much as the game of baseball. A ballgame is a great place to people-watch. All kinds of fans join together to root for their favorite team. As I sat in the ball park with two of my grandkids, I wondered how this all looked to them. Did they see the joy and the sorrow that ebbed and flowed with each pitch? When the crowd rose to cheer, the little guys couldn’t see at all, unless we lifted them up. After the game, fireworks exploded in the sky. My three year old grandson covered his ears and, at times, his eyes while his sister watched in awe.

This made me wonder. Whose eyes do I look through?What do I see? Beauty and hope? Or flaws and frustration? What about the people around me every day, do I see someone who aggravates me or a soul that’s hurting? When Jesus saw the woman who sinned, he looked at her with compassion and forgiveness. Her enemies just saw sin. I want to view people through Jesus’ eyes and wrap them in hope and love with words of forgiveness and salvation.  Praise God for seeing our hearts.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

That's It!

Colossians 2:2-3
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Every year the calendar flips and I celebrate another birthday. My first thought this year was, “Thank you God for more time with my family and friends.”  I always wonder what He might have in store for me from one birthday to the next.

Recently, I’ve been praying about my writing journey and asking God what the next step is for me. The blog I created for my writing life needed updated and a bit more direction. As I read my Bible and pondered what to do, I came across Colossians 2:2-3.  “Encouraged in heart”, “united in love”, and “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” jumped out at me. God spoke to me through his word. Like Charlie Brown, I proclaimed, “That’s it!” This verse added focus to my writing. As long as I am encouraging others and showing love that leads to wisdom and knowledge of Jesus, then I’m working toward the ultimate goal of sharing God. I love when Bible verses hit me between the eyes and wake me up. Praise God for his guidance and wisdom.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Chicago Harbor Light

Psalm 24:1-4
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
In Lake Michigan, off the shore of Navy Pier, stands the Chicago Harbor Light. The original purpose of the light was to assist ships in and around the Chicago River and the lake. Now the old place stands empty, without a mission. The building’s still beautiful with off white walls and red roofing. One might even call it inviting. Yet the sad, desolate building cries to be used. The good news is that the city of Chicago has plans for the lighthouse in the near future. I read that they want to create a museum that tells the history of the area.

I’ve felt like that lighthouse more times than I care to admit. Desolate, empty and wondering what I’m here for. But God, in his grace, filled me with his light and promised to stand by me and help me in all that I do. For my part, I must seek the Lord and ask for his help. Now I walk in confidence and know he has me in his hands. I don’t want to end up as a museum of the past, I need to live in the present and stay in step with God’s plan for me. Because, one of these days I want to dwell with him in his house in heaven.

How about it? What has Jesus planned for you?