Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Friday April 20, 2018 Rewriting the Story

April 20, 2018

But the Father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.  Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it.  Let’s have a feat and celebrate.” Luke 15:22-23

During a sermon on the Prodigal Son, a priest explained that Jesus was retelling an old story from Jewish tradition when he created this new parable.  The Jews in the audience expected the traditional ending, that the father rejected his worthless son who squandered his money and lived a dissolute life.  So when Jesus said these words everyone was quite surprised and in many cases taken aback.  He was rewriting the ending to illustrate God’s love and forgiveness.  He wanted his listeners to grasp the fact that no matter how sinful, His Father was going to welcome this unworthy son home.

Jesus was preparing these men and women to share in a new world.  One where forgiveness and love were the standard.  It was no longer an eye for an eye.  It was no longer business as usual.  Jesus was illustrating in no uncertain terms that His WAY was something completely different.  How blessed we are to live in a post Jesus world.  How blessed we are to know a forgiving God who was willing to sacrifice His only Son so that we could live and move and have our being with HIM!

Jesus showed in this parable rewrite that God wanted each of His children to be with Him.  Each of us is guilty yet God runs to meet us when we turn toward Him.  All He asks is that we make the commitment to be with HIM!  He will welcome us and clean us up and throw a party to let all in heaven know, that we are no longer lost, but are FOUND!

Thank You Jesus for illustrating God’s love in every possible way so that there can be no confusion about Your Father’s love for me.  I seek to share in that Good News! 

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Thursday April 19, 2018 Shalom, Shalom

April 19, 2018

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.  Isaiah 26:3-4

The Hebrew word Shalom can be translated as peace but also as perfect.  So when it was written in verse 3 of Isaiah 26, he was saying PERFECT PEACE.  What a promise for those who remain steadfast.  In today’s world where peace is so lacking, most of us cannot even imagine even a few moments of it much less PERFECT Peace.  Isaiah tells us that the only way to achieve this is to trust in the Lord steadfastly.  Each day, no matter the traffic, the hurricanes, the financial loss or cruelty by someone who you trusted… believing that God can make it all good is the only way that peace can ensue.

Isaiah uses the word “Peace” over twenty times, other translations of shalom speak of “welfare”, “prosperity”, “wholeness”, a comprehensive well-being of a person, people or place.  Each of these are in short supply in our lives today but it was the same then.  The Jewish people were slaves and exiles.  Their idea of peace was being home in Jerusalem, independent and able to worship their God in their holy temple.  Isaiah speaking of perfect peace was as foreign to them as it is to us.  Taking these words and promise to heart are vital for their survival as a people, just as they are for us as survival of our souls.

Help me Lord to openly receive Your peace and steadfastly trust in You.  You are the ROCK and my faith is always rewarded.  Help me breathe in Your grace and know the wholeness that You have to give me.   

Wednesday April 18, 2018 Called

April 18, 2018

I have called you each by name; you are Mine.  Isaiah 43:1

I know that this verse has touched most Christians in a very intimate way.  The day that each of us realize that God has called each of us, personally is the day that our lives become changed.  A priest shared a story that drove home the importance of listening for the call in our busy and noisy world.

He was overseas and paid a visit to a convent of sisters working in the missions in Africa.  He said Mass and the sisters invited him to stay for dinner.  The Prioress told him they would be having some entertainment that night and asked if he could stay.  It worked out for his schedule so after dinner the nuns gathered in their community room and a projector and movie screen were set up.

The prioress explained that they had been videotaping each of the sisters I their villages.  Each of the sisters delighted in seeing themselves and remarked and shared the names of some of the villagers.  They all laughed about the situations and how they looked on camera.  At the conclusion of the show, the Prioress stood up and asked each what they had gotten out of the video.  Many varied responses but none that she was looking for were shared.  She said that she would like to play the video again… and asked the sisters to listen.

In the scenes of each village, the sister who was working clearly heard her name during this second time through.

It illustrated to each of them and to the priest that God was calling so often and because of all the ambient noise most if not all of us never hear Him.  As we hurry through our days it is so important to stop and listen for the Lord’s voice.  He calls to encourage, He calls to correct, He calls to say I love you!  We need silence and focus to hear Him.

Lord I struggle with the noise and busyness of my life.  Help me to listen for Your call!  I am YOURS and I do not want to miss Your guidance and messages of love.  Thank You for loving me! 

Tuesday April 17, 2018 Taste

April 17, 2018

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.  Psalm 34:4

Like many of our friends, we treat our dog like royalty.  Best food and fresh water are always available.  So it always puzzles me when we are out walking that she chases lizards and eats whatever nasty thing is found on the road.  WHY would she want THAT?

I have a feeling that God must look down at we humans and ask the same thing.  When He has provided His only Son to be the Bread of Life, why do we want the dregs and the worst things for us?  Drugs, alcohol, porn and degradation of human kind seems to attract us like bears to honey.  It is the worst thing for us but we as a people can’t seem to resist.  Truly rubbish is the diet of choice and nothing seems to cure our appetite for it.

God invites His people to feast on His goodness instead of picking through life’s garbage.  He sent each of us His Son.  How can we prefer the muck and mire?  Why do we ignore the beautiful table set before us?

Dear Father, Help me to desire and receive the bounty that You have prepared for me.  Instill in me the cravings for Your holy life…. Filled with blessings, Your table is overflowing with every good thing.

Monday April 16, 2018 Fleeting

April 16, 2018

Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.  Psalm 39:4

Everyone I speak with lately remarks at how quickly time is passing… seems like yesterday it was Christmas and it is already Easter; FOUR Months have sped by and the year is a third spent!  It is important to me to have “Moments” when I can look back and revel so that I feel that my life is making an impact and that my time here is not being wasted.  King David when he wrote these words must have been facing his own loss of control over time.  He had occasionally acted without wisdom and he surely saw that his time was limited.  A few verses later, he says: Everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. Psalm 39:6  This is as true today as it was thousands of years ago.

Acknowledging, how short our lives really are in comparison with eternity is reason enough to act circumspectly.  When my actions here will determine how I spend eternity, I need to take David’s words to heart.  God never gives insight as to when death will come.  He does let me know the number of days and I am very grateful for that.  I would be overwhelmed but realizing that my life is finite spurs me on to embrace each day and seek to serve God and others with my whole heart and soul.  I know I have sinned, BUT Jesus dies to forgive my sins.  What I dread hearing is that I had the power to make a difference and did not choose to do it.  If I am to be welcomed to heaven, it will be because I fed the hungry, clothed the naked and visited the sick.  Instead of heaping up wealth of stuff, I seek to serve.

Lord, You died at 33!  Your time on this earth was indeed fleeting!  Despite the brevity of Your journey here, You changed the world.  Help me to never tire of doing Your will.  Help me to make my life count even though it is brief so that I can spend eternity with YOU! 

Saturday April 14, 2018 Terrified

April 14, 2018

They were terrified an asked each other, “Who is this?  Even the wind and the waves obey Him?”  Mark 4:41

The disciples were terrified first by the storm that threatened to sink their boat as they crossed over the Sea of Galilee while Jesus slept and then when He quieted the wind and the waves.  Both incidents frightened them in very different ways.  These fishermen knew that squalls like the one they faced that evening could kill them all.  They had a healthy respect for the power that they could not control.  When Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and said to the waves “BE Still”, they were aware in a new way that their friend and Rabbi was more than a teacher.  He is God.

Today, when I am terrified by the storms of life, I can trust that not one of them is bigger than God.  I know that I cannot handle them, but HE can.  If I can put my faith in Him and lean not on my own understanding, I will be able to survive in spite of the overwhelming crises that threaten to sink me.  Mark posed the question, “Who is this?”  Men throughout centuries have tried to articulate an answer that will appease them.  Mark gave three more stories after he posed the question…  to supply an answer… Jesus casts out the demons from the possessed man, Jesus cures the woman who has been bleeding for twelve years, and raises a girl from the dead.  Jesus is God!  He has power over nature, the spirt world, our bodies and over death itself.  Mark demonstrates that He can solve any problem!

Lord help me to be calm and trust YOU when I am amid my storms.  You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  None of the small stuff that I am dealing with is beyond Your purview. 

Friday April 13, 2018 Advocate

April 13, 2018

Jesus said, “I will ask my Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.  This is the Spirit of truth.”  John 14:16-17

There are many words in the English language that are verbs and nouns.  Advocate is a powerful one.  In this statement by Jesus, He gives us another even more profound usage.  A title, THE Advocate.  The Holy Spirit, very real and active in our world continues to be God’s presence on earth.  Without His continued presence among us, this world would have deteriorated past the point of no return.  God knew we would need this spirit and voice to keep us living according to God’s word and following His Way.

As this day begins, I am looking at how blessed I am to have this Advocate.  Because in the true meaning of the word (publicly recommend or support), the Spirit steps up and becomes a barrier, a protector, and my biggest cheerleader.  Protecting me from my own poor choices and defending me against the evil machinations of the devil.  How can I doubt God’s love when I stop and think about Jesus who died for me and the continued presence of the Spirit who supports me in everything I do?

Finding peace in this confusing and loud world is only possible when each of us seeks the Lord.  The Advocate, His Holy Spirit, is an ever-present guide to heaven.

Lord give me ears to hear Your voice and eyes to recognize You as You advocate for me.  My defender and support through good times and bad.  I am so grateful for the abiding love You have shown to me!