Thursday, June 20, 2013



For bedtime stories the boy with auburn curls brings me the Word to read, for tender ears to hear before dreams come.  This is the third night in a row he has chosen the Bible as his "bedtime story."  Tonight he says, "Did you know that those words in red are what Jesus said?  He actually said those words, right there!"  Joy and love and excitement fill his voice and his eyes - I love his love for the Lord!  This childlike faith that Christ calls us to have is simply beautiful.  Fully trusting.  Fully loving.  Fully abiding.

So we read the words in red.  The words from THE WORD covered in the red sacrifice of His life.  Words that give life, words given by the author of life.

"Abide in me. . ."  John 15:4

He calls us to abide. . . to remain. . . to rest in Him. 

He has called us to do many things, but the one thing that is of the greatest importance is abiding.  Ever dwelling in His presence.  Bringing our minds, our hearts, our souls into constant communion with Him.  Living and growing in our Lord. 

I'm guilty though, of NOT abiding.  It's easy to do when habits have turned a life into go, Go, GO!!  When swimming pools and $1 movie theaters and kids museums call for summertime fun.  When you go so much, in search of fun or entertainment or. . .fulfillment that you forget you had it all before you even walked out the front door.  You have it all in the palm of your hand. . .a holy Word and a holy God just waiting for you to stop. 

Waiting for you to stop for a moment to ABIDE. 

To be in Him and to let Him fill you. 

You won't get full on popcorn or chlorine or eye candy.  To be filled you must be still.  To be filled you must drink the Living Water.   

And this jar of clay can't be filled by some drive thru version of the Gospel.  Believe me, I've tried the five minute morning devotions, the three minute bedtime prayers, and the one and a half minute "Thank you for this food Lord" blessings over meals. 
This gospel of convenience is not the gospel of Christ.  He calls us to lay down our lives to follow Him. . . to count the cost and give Him your all, not just your leftover. 
We can only be filled when we are daily abiding in Him.  Keeping our jar continually in His presence.  Being filled by the Word, by prayer, through worship (not just on Sundays) but everyday, every hour. 
So I know our summertime is going to be doing a flip!  From GO to slow.
Because it's hard to be still when you're racing go carts.  It's hard to see eternity when the tv is stealing your time. 
And if Christ himself spoke those words in red just hours before He was arrested.  Maybe He wanted them to leave a lasting impression on the hearts of His disciples and on the heart of now.
"Abide in me."



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Choices, Choices

Life's full of choices isn't it?  Some are simple, some. . .not so much.

Paper or plastic. . .
Chocolate or vanilla. . .
Game night or movie night. . .
Quiet time or tv time. . .
Facebook or The Book. . .
Good or evil. . .
Life or death. . .

It all began in the Garden really, when an eternal God made a beautiful world and placed us right in the middle of His glory.  Perfection lived out right before our very eyes in blooming flowers and flowing water and soaring birds. . .and then He planted the choice.  Right there in the middle of His garden, planted in the fertile soil of life's beginning, right there in the tenderness of our hearts.  All knowing God gave us a choice. . . one that could be seen and touched and tasted.  Two trees - one bearing the fruit of eternal life and one bearing the fruit of eternal death.  One choice, one taste is all it took.

We all know the choice our human parents made long ago because it is lived and felt every day of our lives.  We flesh it out in our daily choosing of our own life or death.  The taste of the fruit we choose is fresh in our mouths.  Will we choose this moment to live and obey, or will we choose in this moment to die in disobedience and rebellion?

We see the choices woven throughout Scripture of the ones who chose the good fruit.  Abraham tasting the fruit of faith as he left all to follow the one true God.  Joseph picking obedience as he heeded his father's voice and chose over and over again to do what was right in every circumstance.  Noah, Daniel, Nehemiah, Ruth, Elijah. . .all life followers. 

And then we see the greatest life follwer of all. . . a baby born and God wraps His son in newborn flesh and places the King of Heaven in a virgin's arms.  And that boy grows into a man who heals and preaches and prays.  A man who chooses the fruit of obedience to His Father even when the fruit seems bitter.  Even when the fruit of life comes at the cost of death.  A man who loves His God Father so much he gives his body to be beaten, his name to be assaulted, and his spirit to be given . . . all to please the Father who loves the world. 

This world that is sin lusting and dripping in self.  These people who are mocking and hating and killing.  Right in the middle of our sin . . . He loved us and He died for us.  So that when we choose the fruit of death He can offer the gift of life.  So that when our self saturated hearts fall in the pit of destruction He is there to lift us up and wrap us in the gift of His blood, so when the Father glances our way He doesn't see our sin choice, He sees His Son's life choice.  He sees the One who is Son and God and man all wrapped in one, who chose freely to give us life through His death.  The Son who gives us still the fruit of life and all its glory!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Snow Blossoms

Winter drags its icy fingers into spring. .  holding on for dear life.  We saw it yesterday here as snow fell on flower blossoms.  Heavenly crystals swirling slow and silent, to fall on the white cups of bradford pear glory.  These seasons manifest my heart.  This winter has been a dark, cold, icy one.  Darkness lingers and its hard to hold onto the light sometimes. . . 

And this is why I'm thankful. . . this is how I know He is faithful.  That no matter how I feel or how bleak the world may look - He is always good and He is always God.  He is faithful and true.  His beautiful love is ever waiting to be known.   And it is this love that melts the cold, hard, bitter winds of winter deep. 

I can see the sweet blossoms of spring trying to fill my world, if only winter chill would leave and falling snow would pass.  In all, I cling to the Maker of the spring and the snow, the One who knows me by name and gave everything for my soul.  I will hold fast to the Potter who fashioned these days for my good and His glory. 

                 "I will lift up my eyes to the hills -
                  From whence comes my help?
                  My help comes from the Lord,
                  Who made the heaven and earth.

                  He will not allow your foot to be moved;
                  He who keeps you will not slumber.
                  The Lord is your keeper,
                  The Lord is your shade at your right hand.

                  He shall preserve your soul. . .
                  From this time forth, and even forevermore."

                                                                Psalm 121:1-3,5,8