I hope I can explain this clearly....
I found my first red leaf of the fall yesterday. Our sycamores have been dropping yellow leaves, but I constantly look for the red and bright orange leaves that let me know that the cooler days of autumn are finally coming to release us of the humidity and mosquitos of summer. This red leaf, even with its black spots of decay, grabbed my attention filled me with the anticipation of breezy, cool autumn days.
You know, in some ways I resemble that leaf. I have areas of blackness and decay in my life--not just from aging, but from not yet being conformed to the image of Jesus in all areas of my life. I often try to ignore these dark areas, for these imperfections frustrate and embarrass me. However, I am sometimes so aware of my failures and shortcomings, that I am hesitant to speak of the greatness of God. I think: How can I speak into this situation when I am so messed up myself? I wonder if...
On this Resurrection day, my thoughts wander. . . .
Yesterday [4/3/21] I spent several hours driving across the Carolinas. Because work delayed my leaving until the afternoon, I didn’t really want to make this drive yesterday; but I had to take the journey if I wanted to be home for Resurrection Sunday [commonly called Easter]. Along the way, I had to slow down several times because of signs saying that "Road Work" lay ahead; these work slowdowns lengthened my journey considerably. I was so glad that the sun clung to the sky long enough for me to recognize the familiar landmarks and signs that lay within a mile or so of my home. [I actually entered the house just as the last afterglow faded from the sky].
During this long drive, I spent part of the time listening to books by Jennifer LeClaire and James Goll. As I listened to their inspired words, my mind went from focusing on the length of my journey and the delays I faced to the goodness and majesty of...
I don't know anyone who has said to me, "2020 has been my best year yet!". We are all aware of the hovering menace of Covid 19. Death has taken off his mask, and he walks freely with his companion named Fear.
Probably everyone now knows someone who has been afflicted by the Coronavirus; some have lost loved ones far too soon. Even those who have not been directly affected by the virus have had their lives upset. For many, what began as an inconvenience has been replaced by serious hardship.
The term "2020" in the past has been used to refer to clear vision. This year has certainly changed many people's vision. We have had to look deep into ourselves, to reevaluate what we consider our priorities. For some of us, 2020 has been a year of painful reconsideration of our priorities. Through all this self-examination, we have learned to see ourselves and our priorities in new ways.
2020 has also been a year of goodbyes. We have had to say...
Today is the 4th of July. Happy birthday, USA!
Thinking about the improbable set of circumstances that lead to the creation of the USA, I started thinking: Have you noticed that God loves the broken, the weak, the down-and-outers? He really does seem to like the underdog. Think about it:
God made a great nation out of a bunch of slaves whose ancestors, though they knew God, were guilty of some very questionable behavior. However, God did not forget these folks or their children, even when those folks dishonored and disrespected Him. From an unruly group of slaves, God established the nation of Israel and declared that Jesus, His own son, would be considered one of those often disobedient, stiff-necked people.
God probably laughed.
[And much, much later]--From various nations, some explorers, some exploiters, but mostly desperate people desiring a new life, came together to create the United States. Many of those courageous people came with the hope of...
When I read the birth of the Church in Acts, I am in awe. When I look at where the Church is going, I want to laugh and clap my hands with joy. When I look at the state of the Church now, I sigh. I am so full of gratitude that God has not abandoned the Church but even now is restoring her to the glory and splendor of what He has called her to be.
I wrote/and prayed the following meditation last night. Yet as I awoke this morning, I realized that this meditation, this prayer applied not only to me as an individual but also to the Church as a whole.
We cannot get to where we want to be by trampling down those around us.
We cannot get to where we want to go by sneering at those from different cultures.
We cannot get to where we dream of living if we ignore those of a different generation.
We can't get there without them.
God has decreed it; every nation, tribe, and tongue shall give glory to His name.
The pain we feel;
the shame we experience;
the problems we...