Tag Archives: compassion

A Shredded, Soggy Mess

Good morning, Father. Thank You for our conversation early this morning. May I stay close by Your side. Guide me. Direct me. Protect me. Amen.

Growing up we almost always had a dog. I remember that at least one of them like playing tug-of-war with an old rag or sock. We’d play until it was a shredded, soggy mess. I also remember them taking that old rag in their powerful jaws and viciously shaking their heads back and forth. It was a lot of fun.

This fond memory came to mind as I was thinking of struggles I have had along my journey of faith. Lord Jesus, You know all too well the troubles with which I have dealt.

Many times I have walked along, faithful and true. My shield of faith has helped me deflect many a flaming arrow. But there have been times, too, then my guard has been down, my shield of faith has not been in place and I have been pierced – not just by one but by many flaming arrows. …there is no one to blame but myself.

So what do dogs and flaming arrows have to do with each other?

Many times in my failings I have not so much felt pierced, but I have felt like that shredded, soggy mess of a rag. I have felt like our old adversary has taken me in his powerful jaws and has viciously shaken me in his powerful jaws…my strength and my righteousness nothing but tattered remnants. He laughs… He gloats…

But You, Lord? With eyes full of compassion, You tenderly reach down, gathering me in You mighty arms. You gently touch my wounds and as I have asked for forgiveness for my failings, You graciously bring healing to my brokenness.

I, though I deserve Your condemnation – and I would no defense otherwise – am loved. …thank You, Lord…thank You. Help me to live out each day in grateful devotion. May I lean on You as we share the yoke. You are strong. You are mighty. In You – not in myself – do I find the victory. Amen.

Oct 23rd, Mon, 11:30 pm

A Fine Line

Thank You for our talk this morning, Father. I needed that time of quiet interaction. May I be sensitive to Your presence throughout all the many tasks of this day. Amen.

Matthew 5:7-12 (<<click the green)

Lord, as I read through these verses it is no surprise whatsoever that though You spoke them two thousand years ago, they are so applicable today in the here and now. The world in which I live today is so divisive! It’s so defensive! Anymore it doesn’t take much tip people over into a fit of rage over almost anything.

What bothers me most is the fact that even those who follow You follow the same track. Where is mercy? If we are truly people “whose hearts are pure” wouldn’t we also be those “who work for peace”?

Is it any wonder we struggle to find Your blessing? We surely don’t deserve it…

I totally understand that we are called to firmly stand for what is right, that we should hold up the cause of the downtrodden. And here is where we must walk a fine line. We are to stand strong but why must we pair it with hatred? Why do we despise those who are in opposition to what we hold to be true?

When I read verse 11 the beginning of verse 12 slaps me in the face.

11“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12Be happy about it! Be very glad!”

Our world is in opposition to Your Church and Your kingdom seemingly more than it ever has been. Your Church is mocked. Your Church is persecuted. Your Church is lied about. People say all sorts of evil things against Your bride. …and are we happy about it? Are we glad? …I don’t think so…

We are livid! We are angry! We are retaliatory!

Where is the love? Where is the mercy? Where is compassion? Where is grace? Where are the tears for those who are lost? Where is the “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing”? (Luke 23:34)

Lord, I pray for Your hand to fall heavily upon Your Church. May we take to heart the life You lived before us. May we take upon ourselves Your humility. Make us merciful…and pure…and those who work for peace. May we do what is right in Your eyes, not our own. Amen.

Oct 11th, Wed, 8:37 am

Best Foot Forward

Father, last night was a little rough but I am ready for this day to begin. I give it to You. Not knowing exactly what it will entail, there is no better place to lay it than in Your mighty hands. Fill me and use me. May I be a blessing to those whom I would come in contact. Amen.

A beautiful word picture from The Valley of Vision before I move forward this morning,

“Give me a broken heart that yet carries home the water of grace.”

1 Peter 2:18-20 (<<click here)

O, Lord, how many times have I complained about my job? Yeah, I’ve lost count… This is definitely a very difficult time of year. Earlier (and later) hours. Boatloads of freight. Thousands of customers – some cheerful, some not so much. Leadership run ragged…run through the mill… dead men (and women) walking. Many try (some succeed) in putting their best foot forward…but it’s tough, to say the least.

Lord, today fill me with You. May I be loving. May I show true compassion. Bless me with an attitude of long-suffering patience, just as You have with me. If my day is extra-bumpy, may I take it all in stride. May I encourage and not discourage May I support and not tear down. Use me this day, Lord, as an ambassador to Your kingdom. Amen.

Dec 12TH, Mon, 5:12 am

Who Am I to Judge?

Yesterday, Father, I was reminded of Your grace. I saw a friend who because of very poor judgement and then yielding to temptation met with some life changing consequences. Another friend was astonished that they would show their face again. Although what they did was wrong and they were judged fairly, all I could feel for the individual was compassion. Who am I to judge? I have not yielded to similar temptations but I have, throughout my lifetime, yielded to many sordid ones of my own.

I know my friend strives to follow You and I get the impression that it’s somewhat new for them. If You – the ultimate Judge – have forgiven them, why shouldn’t I? Not one of us is any better. Every one of us has done things to separate ourselves from You. And no one is exempt from Your mercy and forgiveness.

Lord, I pray for my friend and myself. May we remain strong in You this day and in the days to come. May we be able to cast off that which so “easily entangles.” (Hebrews 12:1) and cling to You, our Savior and Friend. Thank You, Lord, for Your love. Thank You for Your grace. Amen.

Jan 28th, Thurs, 6:37 am

Open Lives

Thank You, Father, for the encouragement to refocus. Our time together is too crucial for me to be hit and miss about it. I pray that all of my days will be impacted by the time we spend alone together each morning.

Titus 2:3-5 (<<click here)

Every one of us, Lord, has a responsibility – each of us must be attentive to receiving and /or giving examples of godly living.

Growing up I don’t know if I deliberately examined and followed the guidance and direction of the godly men and women who crossed my path. As I got older, I may have done so but I would say that overall I learned less from what I was told that I should do or not do and way more by the way they lived their lives out before me. Many people from a great cross-section of life impacted me – parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, in-laws, Sunday School teachers, church leaders, youth workers – and the list goes on. So many dear people fleshed out what it meant to be a follower of Christ in the ebb and flow of life.

And even today I still learn but now more and more, I am on the teaching side of things – and this goes way beyond my time behind the pulpit. How I interact with the people in my churches on a personal level and how I work with my leadership teams making decisions for the churches. But I also find myself purposely saying and doing things that will convey my commitment to Christ in my work at Kohl’s. Each day I interact with associates and customers – some who I know well, others who I will never see again – and I am responsible to live before them all a godly life – one of integrity and compassion – a life that shows one and all Whom I belong to and Whom I follow. Lord, help me to conscientiously follow Your lead – to boldly live my life, to be transparent, to love others as You love me.

Jan 24th, Sun, 6:32 am