You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2011.

Clouds captivate.  Soft billowing clouds, those with dramatic contours, and those that children identify as shapes of animals, all clouds get our attention.  Eyes are drawn up and beyond.  When we look up at God’s sky and His cloud formations, we see His creative Hand.

We are wise to let God’s beauty draw us away to capture our attention and imagination.  When we meditate on God’s creative expression, we can come to see the  potential God has placed in each of us.  Even when challenges arise in our lives and we experience seasons odd and unwanted, the Lord can use them to create something magnificent.  The drama of the thunderstorm still gives a gift, and after it is gone—the rainbow.

Lord of Life, Thank You for the marvelous way that You create beauty for Your children to enjoy and by which to be inspired.  Lord, give each of Your people wisdom to look carefully for the blessing in every cloud.   In Jesus, Amen.

Advertisements

Hope is not something to take lightly.  This soft word produces hard results.  If one possesses hope, a myriad of wrongful and destructive outcomes are kept at bay.  Without the presence of hope, there is nothing to hold back choices self-destructive or destructive to others.  Without hope, there is no vision for the future.

Suicidal deaths are the result of the absence of hope.  Addictions, depression, and various other realities bar hope.  An ending is committed that is a harrowing beginning in grief’s torment.  Jesus is the hope that breathes beyond human limits and beyond challenging endings.  The hope of Christ breathes into weak faith.  May you remember that Jesus is the hope that upholds believers and sustains them throughout all of life’s valleys.  Jesus is the also the One to comfort when hurts and losses are deep and numbing.  Jesus is with you—right now.

Jesus, Your hope sustains.  Thank You for Thy upholding Spirit, and righteous foundation.  Those who ache in grief have You to carry them with Your powerful.  Your love is everything.  In Thee, Lord Christ, Amen.

To right a wrong after someone has died can make a spirit churn and a body weak form guilt and remorse.  To seek forgiveness from someone who is no longer there to ask for it is to live with regret.  Jesus can change that.  He does not want anyone to live with regrets that deplete energy and slay joy.  Instead, He wants a person to come to Him for the forgiveness they need.  He is available at any time or place to dispense that forgiveness.  This is what Jesus does—forgives.

There are times in life when betrayals, wrongs, and offenses are committed against us or by us.  They long to be soothed and righted.  Jesus is accessible at any time to heal.  What happened cannot be changed.  It may not be possible to speak to the person with whom the problem occurred.  However, Jesus is the Person you can go to now to tell about the problem and seek resolution.  He is waiting to hear from you.  His heart will not reject you.  His love for you is too great to turn you away.  Go to Him.  Jesus loves you.

Lord Jesus, sometimes circumstances are such that people are unable to go to individuals directly to relieve their minds and spirits.  You, Lord Christ, are the One who forgives.  Thank You, Lord, for Your constant availability to anyone who needs to release his or her burdens.  Thank You for the gift of prayer and time with You that heals and restores.  In Thee, Amen.

The Star that is Jesus that a believer follows means walking in step with His heart for you.  Think of that.  Jesus is with you walking the path of your life with you.  On a momentary basis, Jesus is beside you to speak, listen, care, and love.  Oh, how He loves.  His love for you is second to none.  Think about that.  It is a thought to stop you in your steps and take your breath away.

In a culture of speed and instant answers, walking with Jesus is counter-cultural.  To go along with Jesus is to live in faith.  Whether your life is currently stable or if you are in a season of trial, to continue to walk with Him is to take steps of faith and trust in Him.  The Wise Men kept walking toward the Star and eventually arrived to bring their gifts.  The wisdom they possessed told them that what they had to offer was small compared to the gift of Himself that Jesus had already given to them by virtue of His presence.  The gift of His presence is still ours today.  Receive it.  It is yours.

Lord Jesus, Your love for each one of Your own is immeasurable.  You walk with each one in love.  Jesus, Thank You for your faithful steps.  May we continue to follow You and Your ways.  May we be open to receive Your incomparable gift of love.  Amen.

                                                SOLUTIONS

If you have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.    Matthew 17:20

There I sat on the floor with my little nephew, Lego blocks surrounding us.  His young eyes peered over the pieces as I held the directions to put together this apparatus, one far more sophisticated than the plain Legos I built when I was little.  Things have changed.  So there I was having fun assisting him as to the various pieces/steps required to put together this contraption. 

In the course of our building project, at times I would watch my nephew as he studied the pieces before him and concentrated on the right fit.  When it registered in his little mind, he would officiously state I have the solution.  It was a declaration.  One would think a Head of State were entering the room.  I might of thought it comical if I were not so impressed by his confidence and the repeatedly correct solutions.  As we sat there engrossed in this project, I silently prayed that as he grew he would look to Jesus as his solution—every time for every need to be solved.

Jesus is the solution for your life and for mine.  Faith is the key.  Even the small faith of a mustard seed will do.  That is all that the Lord needs and wants for matters to be turned over to Him so that He can work out solutions.  Belief in Jesus and all He can do builds trust in Him so that we go to Him—regularly—for help and healing.

The solutions we receive from the riddles in our lives may not be the answers we  pray for.  Sometimes solutions are antithetical to our desires.  Whatever results come, they are God’s best solutions to our problems and concerns.  The Lord has a mysterious way of making the outcome for one need an exponential blessing.  He is such a giver.  The Giver.  And while His solutions may confound us at times, we can trust that the perfect love of God has a reason for what comes—and for what does not.

For Christians worldwide, this month begins the solemn season of Lent.  It commences on Ash Wednesday and continues for 40 days.  It is a time of sacrifice, reflection, and spiritual renewal.  A time to ponder the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness to ready Himself for the inimitable and dark day of His crucifixion.  By all accounts, that day looks bleak and aimless.  It was a day of violence, torment, and death.  A day Jesus endured for the forgiveness of man’s sins as He shed His blood on Calvary to be the cleansing blood to wash sin from the lives of people of all place and time.   Jesus is The Solution to human need.  He always will be. 

Losses in our lives due to death, divorce, illness, wayward children, job endings, and other significant transitions, are losses that beg for a solution.  Jesus solves.  His presence offers strength and comfort.  That does not mean that circumstances will be different; they may remain as they are for a time.  But it does mean Jesus will go through life’s challenges and sorrows with us so that we are never alone and never without hope.

In the times in which we live—a turbulent, rapidly changing, and sinful world—we need Lent, and any hour of focus on Christ to remind us and renew us of a formidable and holy Christ who made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for the covering of sin.   As you walk through this season, may your heart be tenderized toward Jesus who stayed alone in the wilderness for your sake.  For mine.  May these weeks before Easter serve to remind us that the era of history in which we live is not faced alone.  The turbulence and shift we live through is a season overseen by Sovereign God.  God’s unmatched love and divine wisdom gave us a solution for this place and time: Jesus.  May you seek Him with all of your heart and be held safe and sound in all of His love.

Lord Jesus, to think of You preparing for the cross and wilderness in order to meet Your day of suffering, stops all other thought and activity.  Pondering those solemn days is to be mindful of Your sacrificial love.  Such love is beyond words.  Lord, with humility and warm gratitude, Your own bow their hearts before You.  May Your heart be blessed as Your people live with abiding faith in You as our solution.  There is no other.  In Thee, Lord Christ, Amen.