Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Letter To A Friend

My dear friend,

Your note struck home with me. Reminded me of times the accuser gets in my face taunting me with my own shortcomings.

The Lord reminds me that because we have experienced Christ's forgiveness and are journeying to freedom, we are truly bearers of good news.  If we had no struggles, we could not empathize with each other.

I pray that the Lord will help you STAND while He purifies you. I know it's hard... even excruciating at times. We need the LORD's protection to keep the enemy from gaining ground. The conniver would like to pummel us into the ground, tell us how worthless we are -- poor representatives of fabulous good news.

Humility and trust are hard lessons to learn.

HARD lessons -- but so worthwhile. They are gained by dying to our preferences and discovering Christ's power, humility, and faithful love.

I agree. This is not an easy journey. But the Holy Spirit faithfully teaches and reminds us we can't do it on our own. He loves to help us!! Praise Him.

Praise Him quietly.
Praise Him loudly.
Praise Him as you wash dishes.
Praise Him as you help with homework.

Praise Him as you love.
Praise Him as you are loved.
Praise Him when you feel unloved.
Praise from a broken and contrite heart.
Praise Him for He is WORTHY of our best praise.

May Christ's peace and transforming presence keep you from beating up on yourself.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just Believe

Easier said than done, sometimes.

It was now hopeless. Jesus, occupied with healing another, didn't rush to Jairus' daughter's bedside.

Stop bothering the teacher anymore. She's dead. But Jesus ignored them and told her father, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

Sometimes, God doesn't work the way we'd like, so we have trouble believing. At least, I do.

Walking through loud wailing to her still little body, Jesus put out those who didn't believe. He held her hand and spoke life into her.  Eyes saucered and mouths hung loose as she stood up and walked around.

Jesus didn't heal her like He healed the hemorrhaging woman. Jairus could have gotten upset -- as might I. Fear gripped him, but he stayed close to Jesus. When I stay close to the Holy Spirit, He helps me recognize God's healing presence in my dilemma.

Christ may not heal now or here, but if I believe, I will encounter the hand that lifts me up from unbelief. I will see the piercings and remember God's ways are beyond mine.


See account in Mark 5:21-42.

Have you brought Jesus your suffering?
Where do you find His presence and comfort?
What instructions might He be giving you?
How is this impacting your faith?

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Spring Colors

Spring outfits parade throughout retail fliers. The yellows and oranges draw our imagination to see if they would look good on us. Maybe we need new clothes for a fresh outlook.

Paul describes the soft colors of the Spirit: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (See Colossians 3:12-14).

Some old clothes don't only make us look bad. They are unbecoming and carry toxic fumes: sexual immorality, lust, greed, anger, malice slander, filthy language (See Colossians 3:5-9). They slowly pollute the our lives, create offense and hurt, create rifts and even escalate inner wars.

Let's get rid of them: no recycling, no accessorizing.

This spring I want my newest wardrobe item to be the peace of Christ.

I prefer to follow His fashions, let Him dress me as He sees me: holy and beloved.

Sometimes, the power of an old habit tries to redress me. As soon as I smell that old odor or recognize that dark fashion, I get rid of it. Again. And each time, I realize more clearly how it can drag me down.

Help me, Spirit of God. When I'm tempted to dig worry out of the trash heap, put Your colors in front of me. That old grave dress doesn't suit your resurrection in me.

Fill me full of your presence. You love me and know what I need, so I will trust You. I prefer Your colors.

They put a spring in my step.


Is there a new wardrobe item that God's Spirit is attempting to help you wear more?

What keeps you going back to an old, polluted outfit? How can you not only take it off, but keep it off?

You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being enewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (See Colossians 3:9-10).