Small Stuff

Father, in talking with a brother-in-Christ last night I was reminded of how much You care about us, even in the small stuff. Often we are prompted to do little things and just as often we brush it off as a random, “where did that come from?” kind of thing. Shortly thereafter something happens and we think, “Why didn’t I do that little thing that popped in my head?” Those aren’t’ random things it’s You!!

We’re driving along and we see gas is at $1.39 and it pops in our head, even though we have half a tank, “I should fill up.” We may brush it off and say, “I’ll do it later.” The next day we’re out again and gas has jumped to $1.59! You tried to help us and we blew it off! Next time I’ll act when prompted!

You love us – You care about us! Even the small stuff. It all adds up! It’s just like pennies they’re not worth a whole lot but pick them up often enough and you have a $1!

And it’s not just about making life easier and realizing that You care about us. On another whole level You are training us to listen to You. Once we become responsive to Your still small voice in regards to the little things, it will open the door to bigger, more important things.

The next time it may not be about gas. It may be prompting to pray for someone and we find out later they were in a difficult situation at the exact time we prayed! Who knows, Lord, what You will use us for!

A while back at the store, You checked me in my attitude towards a regular customer who does not always have the sweetest disposition. When I saw her heading to jewelry, I am ashamed to say, I would literally groan inwardly. You prompted me to love her – to be kind and considerate. So I did. And as we interacted while she looked at some things, out of the blue she opened up a little and shared a little about herself.

She wasn’t from around the area until recently when she had had some physical issues and her family who did live in the area felt it best that she move closer to them. So she did. She sold her home and left everything of familiarity behind and now lives not too far from the store. Fortunately for her, her health improved and she is doing much better but unfortunately just about everything she had cherished – her home, her friends – are now gone or too far away to enjoy. Then she said something that pierced my heart. She said, “I only have a couple of friends here and you’re one of them.”

She barely knows me and honestly I can’t even tell you her name – but, dear Lord, I am her friend.

What if I had not listened to You, Lord? I don’t know what would have happened if I had just brushed away that prompting but I didn’t – and because I was obedient, You were able to touch someone as only You can.

Lord, help me to listen – even in the small stuff. Train me to not hesitate but to immediately respond when I am prompted by You. Amen!

Feb 21st, Sun, 6:18 am

Adopted into the Family

Over the thousands of years, Father, oh the countless multitude who have sat where I am sitting – in Your presence, spending time with, learning from You, growing in Your, being love by You. What a privilege!

Hebrews 2:11-13 (<<click here)

It’s a little over whelming, Lord, to think that because You have made me holy that I am now Your brother. I know that this is the case but it just seems so…so…intimate. I know, oh too well, who I am yet You embrace me as a cherished member of Your family.

I really don’t know a whole lot about the feelings that are associated with adoption. I know people who have been adopted but we’ve never really talked about it. I also know individuals who have adopted children and have heard some of how it has impacted their lives. As I sit here writing, it by no means does it justice but here’s a little of what I see.

Two families come to mind. In both instances, by no choice of their own, there were unable to have children and they wanted children so badly. The love they shared with their spouse they wanted desperately to share with someone else – and not just any someone but a special “someone’ who would call them Mommy and Daddy. There was a void in their lives and they wondered if it would ever be filled. God graciously enabled both of these couples to embrace beautiful additions to their families. It is truly a blessing to hear the stories they have to tell and to see pictures of their children as they continue to grow. It is obvious that the gifts they have received are not taken for granted. They are cherished, they are loved, and life could not be imagined without them.

Neither couple was coerced into bringing a child into their lives. They diligently prayed for the privilege of having a child and both were richly rewarded.

Father, it is a difficult to comprehend all You went through to bring me into Your family. You sacrificed greatly so that I could be with You. Jesus, You gave up Your very life so that I could be made holy, so that I could call You brother.

I guess what comes to mind when I think on these things are pictures of love, fulfillment, acceptance, gratitude, completeness and things being as they should be. And though these are all my personal things – intimate things – they are not meant to be kept quiet. They are things that bring great joy and are meant to be celebrated!

Feb 20th, Sat, 5:29 am

Tasted Death

My Father, today marks 30 consecutive days that I have come to sit at Your feet! You have enabled me to do this! I had been somewhat consistent before but there were many gaps. Thank You, Father, for Your patience with me. Thank You for loving me. Thank You, for never giving up on me. Bless our time together, Father, may I hear what You have to share this day.

Hebrews 2:9-10 (<<click here)

“… by God’s grace Jesus tasted death for everyone.”

Wow! Could more be packed into so few words?! Lord, my mind is a swirl just trying to figure out how to write it all out! Oh, my!

Lord, the Father’s grace – His unmerited, undeserved favor has been freely given. And by that grace You, Lord Jesus, came – in the flesh! – to live amongst us, so that You would be placed into the position where You could take what we did deserve – death. Romans 6:23 Death – the indisputable penalty for sin – for thumbing our nose at God – for in defiance doing what we want – for turning our back on You.

But there is also a very interesting use of words here. Lord, You “tasted” death. It is a irrefutable, historically documented fact that You died but…You only “tasted” death. For three days You laid in that cold, dark tomb…no pulse, no breath, no brain activity. But that was it! Three days was enough – it was a “taste” but it was enough! Praise God it was more than enough! Death had You firmly in its grasp…but no more. It only had a “taste” of victory until You were wrenched from its hands!

Jesus, You “tasted” death as You “swallowed it up in victory!”  ”O death, where is your victory?…where is your sting?”  “…for sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, Isaiah 25:8, Hosea 13:14

And the last bit of today’s passage states “…for everyone.” No restrictions, no exclusions! Everyone is every one! Our petty  divisions do not factor in from any angle – all are included, all are forgiven, all are loved. Praise be to God! What more needs said?! Amen!!

Feb 19th, Fri, 5:59 am

A Work in Progress

Father, I am so grateful for Your presence in my life. I am grateful that it is not just some kind of overview kind of thing where You are “up there” watching what I am doing “down here” with an occasional interjection of wisdom or a needed prodding for correction. No, I am grateful that You are by my side through all the everyday ups and downs, goods and bads, laughs and tears. You guide and direct me. You are an ever present help when it comes to temptation. (Psalm 46:1) I cannot even begin to count the number of times a thought has been brought up short because it’s a line of thought that is not beneficial to my walk with You. Or my eyes catch a glimpse of something and then they are quickly averted for it is something on which I do not need to linger. Father, You know me well and know that I am far from perfect but I am so much better off with You by my side – thank You. I realize I am a work in progress but thanks to Your love and interaction, I am not the man I once was – praise Your holy name! I will always need You. I absolutely cannot go it without You.

A song from many years ago came to me and though I am 53 (yikes!), I am still Your child. And only You know the things we are yet to do – together!

I AM A PROMISE by William and Gloria Gaither ©1973

I am a promise, I am a possibility
I am a promise, with a capital “P”
I am a great big bundle of potentiality

And I am learning to hear God’s voices
And I am trying to make the right choice
I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be.

Feb 18th, Thurs, 7:02 am

Out of Control

Lots of things on my plate today, Father. Help me to use my time wisely and effectively. Much has to be done for Sunday and I need Your direction and strength to stay the course. Amen.

Hebrews 2:5-8 (<<click here)

Lord Jesus, overall this passage is stating that everything has been placed under Your feet. You have been given “authority over all things.” Quite often in life that is difficult to remember in that it feels like we are on bus that is careening towards a cliff and the only foreseeable outcome is carnage and death. But…You have been given “authority over all things” and our lives – and the world as a whole, for that matter – are most definitely included under “all things.”

You created a perfect world with perfect people. But You didn’t make us love You, You gave us a choice to love You. Now maybe in our naiveté we didn’t do a good job of thinking things through, but we chose instant gratification and in the process chose disobedience which in the big picture equaled a choice not to love You. Perfection was blemished and so became imperfect. And because of that, we imperfect people brought imperfection to the world as well.

So, back to the bus. You have been given “authority over all things” but we chose to do our own thing. The “bus” we are on is of our own making. All of the contributing factors that have brought us to this point, we have instigated and perpetuated. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

I, and I am one of many, have chosen to return the authority to You. I have chosen to love You because You first loved me. You have my best interests in mind… but I am still on the bus. And this bus is on a crash course but I will be saved. Death is not the end, though many want to believe it is. One day we will all stand before You. And on that day the choice we made in regards to You will receive it’s just compensation. Your authority will be acknowledged by one and all.

Lord, may I continue to choose You every day. Help me to bring comfort and joy to others even in the midst of our careening, Help me to show them who You are so they may choose You, too.

Feb 17th, Wed, 6:48 am

Doing it right for once.