Saturday, March 28, 2015
I pray this post finds you in a good place after this past week. I pray that you are able to be thankful and rejoice for yet another day of life and breath. I ask that as you read this that you think on this past week with a certain awareness of the simple things that have great value. Also as you ponder another week gone by I hope you have a sense of those moments that despite their simplicity were actually sacred.
If you think about it, each moment we live does not necessarily bleed smoothly into the next. They are not so much disjointed and completely separate, but instead could be viewed from the outside looking in as separate acts in a lifelong play. We face each moment and situation with a chance for making the most of it, or just going through it on autopilot. We risk either living up to some sense of greatness or just winging it and missing out on the tremendous power of an opportunity.
Don’t miss out on blessings because you simply won’t take the risk of living life as a participant but instead settle for being a spectator or worse, a victim.
Don’t get me wrong, I have to own up to sometimes taking what seems to be the easy way out, and finding myself instead bearing the very real burden of regret. It’s not a place where we really want to live and I firmly believe that if we stay in this place, we are in fact not truly living.
Look back on your week. Can you see the places where our lives intersected the sacred? Can you see where God spoke to you and let you know that He is very aware of your struggles, your weaknesses, and your desperate need for His unconditional love?
If you are like me at all, maybe you watched as others around you said goodbye (temporarily) to those who they loved and won’t see again until the other side of eternity. Maybe you instead walked a road of struggle to just put food on your table and longed for things to just get a bit easier. Or, maybe you had to take some deep breaths and push into each day as you faced private pain whether physical or spiritual (though I believe these go hand in hand).
I am sending this post with prayers attached for the both of us. I never have really had any easy answers for anyone. Though I am all for positivity and understand that God has already won the war over death, and pain, and suffering, I know as you do that this does not mean that we will not face these challenges this side of heaven. So, again I pray that you can lay your cares at the feet of your (our) Savior because He has walked our road and lived the realities of living in these frail bodies that we now dwell in. He knows your heart and mind and He sees every tear. We are not alone and He is only a prayer away.
To those of you who have said the hardest goodbyes this week. To you I can only give you this: What joyful and blessed reunions await you on that day when you too step over the threshold of this life into the waiting arms of Jesus. I can envision the hugs, and kisses, and warm welcome from those who we miss dearly when we meet them again. Until that day, keep singing the songs that remind you of the same faith that they share with you. Talk about the precious memories, remember all of the shared moments, and honor their memory. Rejoice that they are now in the great cloud of witnesses that cheer us on to the finish line of our own lives.
I’ll leave you with this. I went to the movies this afternoon with my two favorite girls. We watched the new Disney Cinderella movie. It was really well done and I am still pondering two things that it left on my mind. First, Cinderella’s mother spoke a precious legacy into her daughter before she passed away. Her mother said that no matter what life handed Cinderella, she needed to have courage and she needed to live in kindness toward others. (Please keep in mind that I know this is just a fairy tale, but hear me on this: “Never miss the moments in life where God whispers a truth to your heart, no matter what venue He chooses to speak to you through, including movies, books, the words of a friend or stranger, or nature itself.”) There is a brief and poignant moment near the end of the movie where Cinderella is faced with a choice. She can choose to be vindictive and possibly in some people’s minds to rightfully berate her wicked step mother for the years of abuse and lack of love that were unfairly heaped on Cinderella. Instead, Disney made the choice to have Cinderella simply just say, “I forgive you.”
Now, for some in the audience, I am sure this was missed. For myself, I actually caught my breath at that moment. Those words were and are very powerful. Forgiveness is extremely powerful! God has forgiven us (if you have accepted Christ as your Savior that is) for a lifetime of sin. This was and is a very great price that was paid to cover our shortcomings and failings to live up to God’s requirement of a sinless and blameless life. We have much to be thankful for!
Again, I ask you. Look back across this past week and take note of what God has taught you in every moment you lived. Hear His quiet voice and take to heart the things He wants you to do in the week ahead that will honor Him.
Run the race to the finish line! Keep your eyes on the prize of an eternity spent with our Savior!
Thursday, March 26, 2015
So I live in this poverty
Hard days and sleepless nights
Late to bed and early to rise
And still I face into the wind
You may judge me true
But please wait your turn
And get in the line
For you’re not the first
And you may be surprised
Or maybe again you won’t
For at the front of the line
Look carefully and take note
For the first one there
The one with the biggest stone
The one most ready to fight
Well, he wears my face
A strange thing is this judgment
This unwanted pity
This failure to understand
Introspection a dying art
You see I’ve observed this truth
And it’s really no mystery
We are often our own worst critic
No enemy so venomous as the self
So I challenge us both
I throw down this gauntlet
Scream out my barbarian cry
And then I whisper so very quiet
Let’s break these mirrors
For if I have learned even one thing
Gleaned one truth from this journey
Then it would be this one nugget
This one goad to move us forward
To break these ghostly chains
Is the key to a better future
And, you will not regret it
Won’t waste another tear
Gaze instead into your Saviors eyes
Look into them and see
See the love unearned
And, yet freely given
Demonstrated in nail scars
We are bought at dearest price
Rescued from darkness
And carried into a new day
A better future now assured
Our reflection not misplaced again
Not found in enemies lies
Not found in mirrors’ deception
But instead in dear Father’s gaze