Saturday, October 27, 2012

More than one reminder

God gave us more than one sign of His assurance to sustain life. We usually think of the rainbow marking His promise to never again send a life-ending flood. But that is His reminder, not ours.

He did more than set the colorful bow we often see following a rainstorm.

He gave us the seasons: Spring’s fragrant budding, summer’s rich growth, autumn’s golden harvests, and winter’s snowy cloak.

The seasonal cycle reminds us of His faithfulness and assures us that we, too, will rise following our winter days to the newness of life in Christ.

“And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.” 
—Genesis 8:21-22 (NIV)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What better place to be?

Last week, a particularly harrowing week, my friend Jill wrote to tell me the following:

Please know you've been prayed for...and will be lifted up into His glorious, tender, loving hands...
Hands that brought healing—of every kind.
Hands that lifted up—helped, supported, built.
Hands that were eager to touch—
   anyone untouchable.
Hands that pulled children into His lap.
Hands that slapped His knee when He laughed.
Hands that lifted up bread of provision—
   and distributed nourishment to thousands.
Hands that formed knots in a whip—
   that lashed out at true injustice, 
   that cleansed what represented His Father. 
Hands that broke bread, that washed the feet of those closest to Him—
   and the one who betrayed Him. 
Hands that were pierced.
Hands that are forever scarred, that are always lifted in praise to God.
Gentle, kind, loving, firm, provisional, covenant-making and keeping, glorious hands.

Today I share this prayer with you, in whatever may be your struggle.

"Hands" used by permission

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What would you climb to reach your goals?

The biblical account of Zacchaeus is a great story. It’s packed with motivation, goals, and obstacles—all the ingredients for a great novel or a difficult life.

Zack is a tax collector who is long on money and short on stature. He wants to see the new teacher everyone is talking about, someone called Jesus. But since the crowds are so thick, he can’t.

The man’s reputation towers over him. No one is willing to let him cut to the front.

Zach must take action to overcome the obstacles and achieve his goal. When he does, a surprising twist adds another layer to the story and a new complication to his life.

His move is bold. Embarrassing. What self-respecting adult climbs a tree like a child?

Zack does. Because that’s how badly he wants to see Jesus.

Jesus also has motivation and a goal—to seek and save the lost.

When Jesus sees the desperate little man, he immediately recognizes a lost one. He takes action:

“Zack! Come on down. Dinner’s at your place tonight.”

Jesus calls Zack by name, gives him direction, fills him with new purpose—and saves him.

How do we know?

By the change in Zack’s modus operandi.

The money-grubber repays those he cheated and gives great sums to the poor—actions that are polar opposites of his earlier deeds.

Who changes like that?

Someone who climbs up for a different perspective.

Have your goals changed since you met the One who looks up into trees?

Luke 19:1-10