We've experienced a grueling Presidential Campaign. The primary process seemed to be like a heavyweight boxing match for each major political party. We finally have two candidates, informally identified. We face four more months of accusations, boasts and promises before the final drama of the election. The country waits to find out who its leader will be for the next several years. There is this sense that the fate of the nation hinges on the election. Many live in hope and fear about the outcome. But we do well to be reminded that, as believers, we have already been elected to make a difference. Our term will run the rest of our lives. Our platform is unchanging and clearly expressed in a wonderful Book. We serve a ruler who can not be voted out of office and who is unlimited in His ability to make the differences we need on an individual, local, national and global basis. Not only can we make a difference, we must and we shall. Our impact is not constrained to high level heads of state. We are able to make an impact at the grass roots level, in every neighborhood and job site where we live and work. The fate of the nation may hinge, in some respects, on the outcome in November. But, in a very real sense, its direction will be affected in a more lasting way by what we do and who we are starting today!
1 Thessalonians 1:3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
We enjoyed strolling through a massive yard sale yesterday at a local neighborhood. Something like 30 families had emptied their homes of treasures in need of new homes. Pictures, toys, clothes, golf clubs and knick-knacks of all descriptions were available for great bargains. Our daughter Meredith was with us and she spotted a furniture item that was particularly appropriate (as she approaches having a new baby): a "changing table". It was well constructed and included baskets for necessary storage. The price was right and she made the purchase. I thought about the term "changing table" and how life calls for constant change (admittedly of a different aroma than an infant requires). What if you could buy a changing table that you could sit at, as an adult, and be confident that the change you needed (facing a decision, dealing with dilemma's, handling greater responsibilities, coping with relationship difficulties) would be done in your life (perhaps just as surely as a baby's changes are made on their table)? I suppose we can have that confidence, because the Lord has committed to be in the middle of the changes we need, seeing us through every issue and helping us grow to maturity.
Psalm 102:25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth,
Saturday, June 28, 2008
This morning I walked over to a pond nearby. On the way I was pleasantly surprised to see a wild turkey up in a tree. It was quite a sight to watch this ungainly creature struggle into the air as he heard my rustle in the forest floor. When I arrived at the pond I flushed another large bird from a log protruding up out of the water. It may have been an egret. As I relaxed and looked over the water I thought of the time when Jesus walked on the water. I thought about the reaction of the disciples as they saw Him. I also tried to imagine what my own reaction would be if I saw Jesus strolling across the pond toward me. Three words entered my head: "There is God". Each of these three words can be accented to savor a slightly different aspect of truth. When they saw Jesus on the water they knew that "there" they were actually seeing the One promised from Heaven. And He was one they knew well and who knew them even better. Having allowed that to sink in the greatness of the thought is captured in the verb "is". The fact that God "is" makes all the difference. Our trust in a living God validates our faith and gives life purpose to our walk with Him. "There is God, and God is there indeed!"
Matthew 14:25-27, 33 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."
Friday, June 27, 2008
Matthew 6-13:Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
I was thinking about the Lord's Prayer the othe day. I was thinking about how Heaven enters our lives in the most common of experiences(Thy will be done in earth). It enters in seeing our daily living needs met (our daily bread). It enters in the midst of our relationships with others (forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors). It enters in the quality of our vertical walk with the Father (lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil). It is apparent that Heaven is directly linked with Earth in every important aspect of life. For there really is only one kingdom, one true power and one great glory (for ever. Amen).
Thursday, June 26, 2008
A few weeks ago I saw several men standing by the road near my office. They were looking intently into the woods across the street. Over the next several days I began to see pickup trucks and bulldozers. A clearing was carved out of the thick trees, the curb was broken and gravel laid. Since then, the small opening has been greatly expanded. Several specialized machines have been cutting up and stacking logs. You can begin to visualize a new office building getting its start. Probably in about one year the new building will be complete, with parking spaces, lighting and new tenants. But right now, men are sweating and working hard in 90 degree humidity to get the project started. It occurred to me that we don't think much about all the work that was done to make a building, once it is complete. We just use that building, or pass by with barely a notice. The same can be true in our own lives. The Lord has done a great deal of work to break new ground, cut down and remove unneeded lumber and smooth out the rough places in our makeup as He builds us for service. I think it is good to look back and reflect on how the hand of God has fashioned us. He's done a lot of heavy lifting but as we occupy the premises we can be grateful for His promises to complete what He's started!
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
As I walked this morning and began to enjoy the new summer day the thought occurred that our lives are battery operated (sometimes I feel like a small "AAA" battery and sometimes like a powerful flashlight "D" cell). When our natural lives begin that battery is fresh from its wrapper. It powers us through the stages of growth, from childhood through adolescence, into adulthood and finally wears down and runs out of energy. The battery in our natural bodies doesn't get replaced. There is no compartment to open and pop in a new one, or recharge the old one. We were designed to eventually run down and stop. I know that we were also designed for eternal life, where our battery will never run down, but it helped me to remember that each day lived here is to be cherished because this natural experience in God's creation on planet Earth was intended by our Maker to have a limited run. That's not a bad thing...it's a real thing...and it brings great value to each new day!
Psalm 39: 4 "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
" This is the way, walk in it,"
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
Monday, June 23, 2008
- Support for and the elevation of leaves, flowers and fruits. The stems keep the leaves in the light and provide a place for the plant to keep its flowers and fruits.
- Transport of fluids between the roots and the shoots in the xylem and phloem.
- Storage of nutrients.
- The production of new living tissue. The normal life span of plant cells is one to three years. Stems have cells called meristems that annually generate new living tissue.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
3 " Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
And He who formed you from the womb:
" I am the LORD, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
no, four things I'll never understand
how an eagle flies so high in the sky,
how a snake glides over a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
why adolescents act the way they do.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
He makes lightning for the rain;
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
And Israel whom I have chosen.
2 Thus says the LORD who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
' Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
4 They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.'
5 One will say, 'I am the LORD's';
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand, 'The LORD's,'
And name himself by the name of Israel.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
when you marched out into the wild,
Earth shook, sky broke out in a sweat;
God was on the march.
Even Sinai trembled at the sight of God on the move,
at the sight of Israel's God.
You pour out rain in buckets, O God;
thorn and cactus become an oasis
For your people to camp in and enjoy.
You set them up in business;
they went from rags to riches.