Archive for June, 2011

See through faith

June 30th, 2011 by Maureen

If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light. Luke 11:35-36

Light passes right through transparent objects. Transparency eliminates darkness, tears down walls, and leaves us with nowhere to hide. Transparency is a commitment to letting others see what Christ is doing in us, with us, through us, around us, and occasionally in spite of us.

Lord, help me to be more transparent.

Just shut up

June 29th, 2011 by Maureen

I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say. Job 40:4-5

The desire for a complete, linear explanation that makes sense can lead right past God’s honest truth  Sometimes we just have to stop trying to figure out “hows” and “whys” and trust that God is good and wise and loving and let that be enough. Wonder and obedience lead to truth and wisdom that defy human logic or easy categorization.

Lord, I think I need to spend more time with my mouth shut.

Catch my disease

June 28th, 2011 by Maureen

And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. John 17:14-15

Our whole spiritual DNA is being altered, sort of the opposite of a zombie movie. Our spirits are being genetically altered into the image of Christ and we become live carriers of transforming love  and infectious grace (which might frighten the world and certainly frightens the evil one.)

Lord, make me an infectious carrier of love and grace.

Further up and further in

June 27th, 2011 by Maureen

I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them. John 17:26

Receiving redemption through the  gospel is a simple, profound exchange. Walking through a relationship with Christ is an adventure of continuous revelation and discovery. His transforming love is an ongoing experience that draws us into a journey further up and further into the truth and personality of Jesus.

Lord,  take me  further up and further in.*

 

*”further up and further in” is a quote from C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle, Book 7 of The Chronicles of Narnia. If you’ve never read all 7 books, read ’em. They are not just for kids.

Gotta do the little things

June 26th, 2011 by Maureen

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. Is.4:10

The small things that happen right at the beginning of a project can set it up for success. Taking the time to use a plumb line (and knowing what it is and how to use it for that matter) assures straight lines where straight lines are critical. And not just at the beginning, but throughout a project, there are some details that just have to be right.

Lord, give me patience for the little things.

Going postal for God

June 25th, 2011 by Maureen

The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will. Is. 50:4

Our days are full of encounters with people who may be weary and struggling. As we seek to be more aware of God we begin to recognize these people and find the appropriate moments to pass along God’s messages of comfort and grace into their lives. It’s like getting to deliver a love note from God.

Lord, help me to deliver.

Time to change the filter

June 24th, 2011 by Maureen

Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Titus 1:15

Perspective is a huge part of how we process what we encounter on life’s journey. Our own particular set of disappointments, prejudices and temptations gunk up the filter on our reactions and attitudes. Jesus replaces the filter on our hearts so that we are free to process life fearlessly, joyfully and wisely.

Jesus, give me a pure heart.

Under the sea

June 23rd, 2011 by Maureen

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Cor 3:18

Christ’s gift of grace is more than a spiritual oxygen tank that lets us survive the presence of God. His grace transforms our spiritual lungs into gills so that we belong in the ocean of glory and  joy surrounding His presence. Our old nature struggles in God’s presence as if we were in a foreign environment, but transforming grace invites us to embrace the transformation,  take off the mask, and just breathe.

Lord, I want to feel more at home with You.

The Lord is my sunscreen, I shall not burn

June 22nd, 2011 by Maureen

The Lord watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. Psalm 121:5

When situations get hot and messy God is right there to restore cool reason and perspective. When the shiny stuff blinds and distracts, God shades our eyes so we can see what’s really important.

Lord, thank you for watching over me.

Held up

June 21st, 2011 by Maureen

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. Deut. 33:27

In life’s  inevitable moments of hurt, loss, and confusion Christ opens His eternal arms full of peace and comfort. We just have to lean into Him and let Him hold us up. God is an eternal source of strength and support so that we don’t have to go through anything alone.

Thank you for holding me in Your everlasting arms.

Cost-benefit analysis

June 20th, 2011 by Maureen

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? Matt 16:26

Every choice comes with costs and benefits. We work so hard to build and preserve relationships, careers, health, and wealth. Sometimes the question to ask not whether a decision will be worth it in twenty years but whether the decision brings positive spiritual and eternal consequence.

Lord, help me stop asking what it will cost me and start asking how it will help You.

Ridiculous fatherhood

June 19th, 2011 by Maureen

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. Luke 15:20

This father offers open arms, forgiveness, and restoration to a child who has been selfish and stupid. Instead of inflicting guilt and retribution he throws his child a party. The father is not gullible or blind to his child’s shortcomings, he’s just so faithful and unconditionally loving it’s ridiculous.

Lord, thank you for fathers who love their children so much it’s ridiculous.

Bloodlines

June 18th, 2011 by Maureen

Remember the days of long ago;think about the generations past. Ask your father, and he will inform you.Inquire of your elders, and they will tell you. Deut. 32:7

Just as families have genealogies and family stories that create a sense of continuity and connection, Christ followers are part of a spiritual bloodline that directly connects each one to Christ through a unique succession of believers. A legacy of faith passes from generation to generation as believers tell their own personal stories and pass on the stories of those who came before them and encouraged their faith.

Thank you, Lord, for my natural and spiritual bloodlines.

More than a feeling

June 17th, 2011 by Maureen

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. Rom. 13:8

When it comes down to it freedom from the law is replaced with yet another impossible task. How do we love everybody all the time? We can only choose to treat others as if we love them, Christ in us has to supply the actual feeling and motivation of love.

Lord, as I choose to show Your love help me to feel Your love too.

Check “yes”

June 16th, 2011 by Maureen

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Phil. 2:1

Sometimes God answers these questions with a divine, spine-tingling sense of His presence but often, probably most of the time, He gives us each other to provide encouragement, comfort, and a sense of belonging. After hanging out with me I want people to be able to check “yes.”

Lord, make my heart more tender and compassionate.

What do you expect?

June 15th, 2011 by Maureen

For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. Phil. 1:20

Setting expectations helps us think and act on principle rather than impulse. It’s important to remember what we expect of ourselves when we get up in the morning, before important decisions, and when we are around those who influence us most.

Lord help me let go a shame and honor You with my life.

Gardening lessons

June 14th, 2011 by Maureen

Does a farmer always plow and never sow?
Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting?
Does he not finally plant his seeds—
Is. 28:24

At some point the farmer has to stop getting ready to sow and get out there and get his hands dirty. Why is it easier to read books about evangelism, discuss strategies and plan campaigns than it is to have a personal conversation with a friend? Nothing grows until the seeds are in the ground.

Lord, help me to lovingly, wisely, and honestly sow seeds of grace.

 

Being the moving dot

June 13th, 2011 by Maureen

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. Ps. 143:10

Trying to follow God’s will is sort of like being the moving dot as a GPS directs through unfamiliar territory, turn by turn, mile by mile. Sometimes God allows us to see landmarks that match those on the map so we’re reassured that we’re still on the right road. Ultimately, though, we have to trust that where we’ve been lead is where we are supposed to be.

Lord, I’m glad you have a global view.

Crowd surfing

June 12th, 2011 by Maureen

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Matt. 10:30

God has intense, personal love for each one of us. It’s reassuring and amazing to look at any crowd of people and  realize that God know how many hairs and tears and needs are represented. The Holy Spirit is always surfing crowds looking for someone who is open to experiencing the love and grace of Christ.

Lord, let some unsuspecting head be filled with the wonder and  beauty and magnitude of your love!

Bold, rich, and fearless

June 11th, 2011 by Maureen

And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. I Thess. 3:12

Fickle, distracted humans only manage fleeting moments of rich, uncontained love. In these moments every face is precious, every relationship is of tremendous value, and the love of Christ is a tangible force. Falling into these moments, vulnerable and unreserved, cements families, unifies churches, makes friends of strangers and brothers of friends.

Lord, give me bold and fearless love.