Thursday, December 17, 2009


"I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it"(Mark 10:15).

I walked among dandelions when I was three

They were beautiful then

Yellow, bright, inviting, and plentiful

When blooms died

I blew them to other worlds
I squealed at butterflies when I was three

Wonders worth chasing

I romped through meadows after their allure

Time held no meaning

Their fluttering dance the object of dreams

I prayed unashamedly when I was three

Daddy God all powerful provider

Faith unencumbered by intellect

I’d make my request assured He answers

Then picked a bouquet of happiness
To become as I was when I was three

To see beauty in weeds

To abandon conventionality

To trust implicitly

This is my quest

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Worthy Judge

And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation (Revelation 5:9 ).

Worthy is the Lord the chorus goes. No one is worthy to judge unless they fully understand the law. Not just the law itself but the intent of the law. For without knowledge of the spirit of the law, a judge can only be rigid and uncompassionate. A fair and just decision rests on the situation’s full comprehension by those who have power over us.

Christ is worthy, because He was with His Father in the beginning. He saw the world in its infancy and watched the people whom He loved turn from their Creator. Then, at the Father’s bidding, He came to Earth. Not merely to live among men but to become a man who would possess the same vulnerabilities that entrap every mortal. The wonder of it all is that He could have risen above the mundane at any time, yet He lay down His power to experience the vilest of deaths. Who else could be worthy? And because of this, I sing the new song grateful that my place in eternity will be decided by One who extends mercy, understands, and has the power to forgive.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Full to the Uttermost

Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed  (Isaiah 55:13 NIV)

Earlier in the chapter, Isaiah points out the promise of redemption. For a time Israel must endure God’s chastisement because of her disobedience. But God remembers His covenant with her, and He will renew her to her former glory. He promises prosperity, not in gold or wealth, but in spiritual richness. Just as the rain and snow descend on the earth, watering and nurturing the soil before it evaporates back to the air, God has planned that His Spirit will germinate and replenish our souls. The soil cannot demand the rain to fall. God designs the weather. The soil cannot brag for the flowers that grow. It is God’s faithfulness that brings about the bloom. Likewise, the believer cannot reap fulfillment by the deeds and work of his hands. Joy comes solely from intimacy with God. Christians delude themselves into believing they are called to a special task. Their joy is cheapened by their pride. While God does ask us to do certain things, our value to God is not in the doing but the being. Oswald Chambers writes, “God calls to no special task: He calls to Himself.” Our task is to pray; He will engineer the rest.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Is It Good to Have Need of God?

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak (Isaiah 40:29)

Why do we humans insist that we need certain things in order to fulfill God’s will in our lives? If we had more money, we cold give more. If our health were better, we could be part-time missionaries. If we didn’t have to clean the house, cook, and do laundry, we could write a novel in ten days. Whatever our perceived goal, we only see the obstacles. Because we focus on the why we can’t we miss the opportunity to see how God can. Does this mean we should praise the obstacles because then the thing accomplished is more to the glory of God? I wonder, if it’s possible to witness the full measure of God, if we don’t have need of Him?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Aging Grace

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26).

God does not promise a life without physical problems. No matter how “in shape” we are, the body eventually dies. No one lives forever on this earth. Decay is a natural occurrence brought on by man’s original disobedience. Our wit, our senses, our desires, our dreams diminish as we age. The good news is that God will keep our energies afloat to fulfill His good purpose. Do Christians suffer from dementia? Yes. Do Christians suffer from paralysis and debilitating disease? Yes. But, God is able to transcend these limitations. The Bible teems with stories of heroes who overcame seemingly impossible odds to further the Kingdom. David lived like a hunted animal in fear of Saul. Joseph became a leader even in prison. A slave girl led a Roman official to Jesus. God is not limited by our limitations. Rather He uses them so that none can boast of their own strength.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Essence of Sharing

A generous man will prosper, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25).

I don’t think this means that if we give a hundred dollars to charity, we’ll win the lottery. I don’t even think it means that if we give a man our coat, we won’t be cold. If we only have one coat, we can share it. By wrapping it around someone else, we get the benefit from their body heat. Thereby, we are both the warmer for the sharing.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sharper Than a Sword

The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to the dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges, the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)

God’s word is powerful beyond description. Why then is it so hard for me to pick up the Bible and read it? I think sometimes, I’m afraid of the insight I’ll gain. I fear conviction, and that conviction may compel me to change something. Sometimes, when convicted, I bury that conviction deep within or rationalize my inability to make the change. There are times when I argue with my soul. I try to convince myself that The Bible is too cumbersome. I have to digest it, scrutinize the scripture before it is of use to me. Who has time for such intimate study? In this day and age of instantaneous information, I don’t want to take the time to mull things over. But God says His word is sharp. It will slice through any hesitation or argument I can devise. Lord, increase my hunger for your word.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways  (Proverbs 21:29)
Once upon a time, a mill owner decided to view his factory. He wanted to bask in his fortunes. Did the workers produce all they could produce? When he arrived, he cried with the revelation that his wealth was obtained by the back-breaking work of others. He looked upon the filth of the factory floor. Then he noticed the children. Why weren’t they at home playing or attending school as were his children? He saw the women tugging loads meant for the muscular men. His wife went about raising money for charities while he enslaved the poor. He thought himself a kind compassionate person until this day showed him the kind of man he really was. While wearing the face of reformer, he oppressed the masses. He went home a saddened man, but much wiser. From that day on, he sought to live the life whereof he preached.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Art of Followship

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3

How often we forget the work of our leaders. Most of them give of themselves not for their own betterment but as a gift of service. How do we respond when their work fails to meet our expectations? We become critical and even think perhaps someone else would do a better job. We are very quick to identify their weaknesses, and even quicker to make sure we tell them of our knowledge. We think we are supportive when we tell them how they should go about their work.

According to this scripture, we are going about it all wrong. We should be in constant remembrance of the motivation that drives our leaders forward. And we should give thanks for their labors.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Difficult Response

Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Acts 8:4

Their homes had been destroyed or confiscated. Their friends had been captured, mutilated, or killed. Havoc seared the streets of Jerusalem. Thousands fled. Though they were displaced and had little to nothing of material possessions, they had the most priceless of treasures within their hearts—the knowledge that Messiah had come. Instead of burrowing within their sorrows, they praised God and preached the Good News to others. No wonder people listened. For what power made these people rejoice in their losses?

I wonder how I respond in difficult circumstances. Would anyone ask, “What gives you the grace to endure?” Would I rejoice in the opportunities my misfortune provides to exalt his name?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Which Road is Better? The One Chosen or the One Determined?

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17

Which way? God’s way. The best way. Often times, we seem to think that if God has pointed us in a certain direction, the path will be strewn with victor’s wreaths. Not so. Sometimes, the obscure, briar-patched trail will lead to the thrilling adventure. God knows when we need a respite and allows us time to frolic within water-rich valleys.

He also knows when our training requires the challenges of the arid desert. Sometimes the best lessons are learned through hunger and thirst.

Whatever path he puts us on will be glorious, for it can only lead us closer to Heaven. The One who guides us is our Redeemer. Having redeemed us, we belong to Him. He does not save us to destroy us. He saves us for something better. The One who guides us is also the Holy One of Israel. His leadership is generated by Love. Knowing Who paves our highways and byways, why should we fear a rocky road?