Conductor of Love

Father, even though it is overcast as we come together this morning I am truly grateful, as the old hymn says, that “There is sunshine in my soul today”! I would ask that You would give me an opportunity this day to let the “sunshine” radiate through me. Help it to burn through the fog in which people find themselves to illuminate their vision of You. May the Son shine through!

Colossians 3:14 (<<click the green)

Harmony in love, both are very fulfilling but to really be what they are I cannot have only one component. I can sing a solo a cappella and it can be nice but it’s so much more fun if it becomes a duet or a trio or a choir. Throw in some instruments and the possibilities are almost endless! Love is the same way. I can love myself but it is not nearly as enjoyable as loving someone else. Thinking of loving God and others has so many facets and possibilities. The breadth and depth of what that means take my breath away!

When I work together and I am clothed in love, with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ what harmony is generated. Too many times lack of love brings discord in the faith community. Lord, help me to be a conductor of love. And enable me to allow love to permeate my being to the very core. Change me so that every thought, every action, every word, everything that motivates me is immersed and filled with love. Help me to be a sponge dunked in love so that no matter how anyone interacts with me love will touch them in some way. It’s a challenge I know. It’s not my normal leaning. I want my needs, my comfort, my satisfaction. My love for others does come through but it needs to come through more! I pray that love in action becomes my leaning!

June 23rd, 2015, Tues, 8:22 am

I’m the One Who Needs Forgiven

Good morning, Father! I am so grateful that this has become a regular part of my schedule. I would ask that You would help me to never take it for granted but that I will always cherish our time together. And I think that’s what is foundational is that I cherish You! I have incalculable reasons why I should cherish You, I just need help realizing them. As Your Word directs, may I love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength!

Colossians 3:13 (<<click here)

Forgiveness – Lord, over my lifetime we have worked through so many incidents where I have needed to forgive. Most I can’t even recall but a few of them were huge! Being asked to step down from an associate pastor’ position with no reason given, being unable to refinance our home because of an employer’s comments, being encouraged to leave the nest of security in another associate pastor’s position to became a Senior pastor when I felt I wasn’t ready. In those situations the hurt, the confusion, the anger – they consumed my every thought it seems. In the heat of the moment, I was unable – make that unwilling to forgive. Together, You helping me, I have been able to forgive. Thank You, Lord, that I no longer have to carry that baggage.

And looking back, I am the better for the experiences I have had. Sometimes things just don’t make sense – we just have to move on. Sometimes people are just apathetic to our situations, but we just must press on towards our goal – and sometimes we are the problem. Many times people love us and want what is best for us but we are blinded by fear and uncertainty. When the dust finally clears we find we are the ones who need to be forgiven.

Lord, thank You for taking the hard times, the extremely difficult times of my life and using them to make me stronger, to make me more sensitive to the needs and predicaments of others, to make me more and more appreciative of what You have done for me.

June 22nd, 2015, Mon, 5:58 am

Let Your ‘Yes’ Be ‘Yes,’ and Your ‘No,’ ‘No’

I am grateful, Father, that You are active in my life. Just thinking through last night, I know, I have no doubt whatsoever, that Your hand was upon me. I was up once in the early hours of the night, and then around 2:30 I was wide awake and could not get comfortable in bed – but You were with me! I went to the couch and changed sides a couple times but was not up again until Your gentle call before 6:00 to begin my day. You are at loving Father…and I love You, too!

Matthew 5:33-37 (<<click the green)

Lord, as I sit here pondering Your word one of the first things that popped into my head was prayer. (And I do not believe it was just a random thought!) One of the things I have dealt with over the last couple of years was being true to my word when someone has asked me to pray for a specific need or situation.

Growing up in the church it is almost a knee-jerk reaction when someone requests prayer to answer “yes”. But many times I would say “yes” but later realize that I never did. It wasn’t intentional…it was negligence. I meant to…I wanted to…but I didn’t….

So now when someone asks for prayer, I don’t just say “yes” but I take the time right then and whisper a prayer, and quite often I will pray that the Holy Spirit will enable me to remember to pray later as well.

Just this morning, before sitting down to write, I saw a request for prayer on Facebook. So before I “liked” it and before I commented, I prayed. Saying I will and not doing so accomplishes nothing.

And, Lord Jesus, that’s what You are talking about here in this passage of Scripture – not about prayer specifically but about following through with what we say we will do. This is one of those passages that the wording of the King James Version sticks in my head from my youth. The New King James Version puts the last verse this way,

“…let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” v37

May I continue to be a man of my word, Lord. When I say “yes” or “no” may others know that that is true through and through. I don’t want to leave them wondering. Amen.\

Nov 14th, Tues, 6:19 am

Victim of the Wringer

It was a bit of a rough night sleep wise, Father, but regardless You have lovingly encouraged me to come be with You. May our time together be rich and sweet. Amen.

Matthew 5:31-32 (<<click the green)

For whatever reason, we often have this faulty mindset in place that things are so different today than they have ever been. Yes, technology has advanced greatly but the core of who we are as human beings has not. Solomon said it almost 3000 years ago and it’s still true today,

“History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” Ecclesiastes 1:9

When You spoke, Lord Jesus, You identified a mindset that is still as prominent today as it was then. When man and wife are united in marriage, the intent is for a lifetime commitment. But many of us have a problem with commitment. Some desire to be unfaithful. Some merely are tired of the old model and are looking for a new one. Our whole society leans that way. “Tired of your current car? Get a new one!” “Fed up with the job you have? Get a new one!” “Is your spouse not meeting your needs? Find someone who will!” “It’s not that hard just do it!”

It may be easy to do but that doesn’t mean it’s not difficult. Buying a new car frequently can cause financial difficulties but ending relationships impacts so many other people. And it’s not just a short-term inconvenience – for many, it’s a lifelong open wound.

Lord, divorce is not just some sin that You cherry-picked to rank as one of the top infractions on Your list. Sin is sin. But it is one where sometimes one party and sometimes both parties are so often completely void of love. Lord, I have friends and family both who have dealt with divorce as a part of their life history. Sometimes the division is amicable but most often someone is hurt and the other party is glad that it is so.

We are called to love as You have loved us, Lord. Right now I pray for those I know who have gone through this wringer of divorce. Though they may have suffered greatly, and some continue to do so, may they find a peace and a love in You that surpasses any they have ever known. Help me to listen and love from my end as well. Amen.

Nov13th, Mon, 6:52 am

Looking’s Not Necessarily OK

Good morning, Father. Thank You for the solid night’s sleep. I would ask for Your presence as the day unfolds. May I help Karen get set for the morning in that I will be gone for a few hours – may I love her as You do. May You be a palpable presence in our services today. May we all be attentive to what You would have to say to each of us individually and may we be compelled to act upon Your word. Amen.

Matthew 5:27-30 (<<click the green)

Several years ago I worked with another believer and on more than one occasion, he was married by the way, I heard him say in regards to admiring beautiful women, “It’s OK to look, just don’t touch.” It bothered me then and it bothers me now.

Sex is one of the most rewarding, yet at the same time, most difficult things with which to deal. It is most assuredly a gift from God. When we act on it in a proper setting it brings us great joy. But outside of that proper setting, it brings way more grief than it will bring satisfaction. And not just for the parties involved – so many others are impacted when lines are crossed.

So, as long as we don’t physically act, it’s alright to have an active fantasy life, right? Uh…no. Lord, we cannot twist Your words as recorded by Matthew any way in which to justify doing so.

“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” v28

To say that our world is full of temptation is a great understatement! We can’t walk past a magazine rack or turn on a TV without being bombarded by lasciviousness (showing a desire for, or unseemly interest in, sex)! Lord, help us!

The only way we can stand, Lord Jesus, is to stand with You. Only You can help us be what You call us to be. On our own, we are weak and fallible. I fall into You mighty arms. Help me to be the man that You need me to be in this fallen world. Amen.

Nov 12th, Sun, 6:34 am

Doing it right for once.