Friday, July 18, 2008


I'd like to give you several of the definitions of the word yet: in addition; besides; up to now; continuously up to the present or a specified time; at a future time; eventually.
Now think of the times you've said, with a hint of cynicism in your voice, that an object of desire had not happened yet. With cynicism as a companion, yet means highly unlikely. Every unmet expectation becomes another brick added to the wall of unbelief. Yet holds out little or no hope. Yet gives up on someone, something and maybe even God. Yet may be the idol of unbelief.

Now think of the times when you've stated that your object of desire had not transpired yet. But with a gleam of hope in your eye and an ounce of faith in your heart, you are waiting for the future time-- the "eventually" of your dreams. Yet does not construct a brick wall here, it destructs the concrete blocks of negativity. Yet sets it's eyes like a racehorse with blinders to keep the goal of the finish line in plain view. The finish line is there no matter how far away it may seem. You may expire before you reach it but you will die reaching and believing for the goal of yet.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Those who come to Him must believe that He is. He is what? He is a God of your yet, my yet. He rewards those that believe He is a yet kind of God. He is faithful even when we are faithless. He reaches down when we can barely look up. Yet does look up instead of around. Yet forges ahead when others stay in the box. Yet throws away the odds, the statistics, and keeps a distance from the naysayers in life. Yet hears the cheers of those on the sidelines rooting, believing and praying for your yet.
Your yet may be today, tomorrow, next week , next year or off in the distant future. Choose yet companions wisely. They will either keep you from your desired finish line or hand in hand walk with you to it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Water Pots and Wedding Guests

The first miracle that Jesus ever performed was at a wedding. Just about every preacher uses this story when performing a wedding ceremony. This story is endearing to a love struck couple. They know Jesus understood how special and long awaited a wedding day is.
Unfolding the details of the wedding Jesus was attending makes the plot thicken. First, Jesus' mother was at the wedding. She was only a guest and not in charge of the food and beverage. Her concern was certainly not for herself but for the parents of the bride and groom. How embarrassed they would've been if anyone went home thirsty or hungry.
Up to this point Mary had never seen Jesus perform a miracle. What did Mary know? Well, she was told some thirty years earlier by and angel she would deliver the Son of the highest, of his kingdom there would be no end. After his birth and a declaration by appearing angels and shepherds Mary is said to have pondered these things in her heart. The mother of Christ never forgot who she birthed. While she didn't understand the capabilities of her son, she trusted Jesus could help the celebration stay a celebration. No one would go home murmuring.
Mary approaches Jesus. She states, "They have no wine." No coaxing or badgering. Part of Jesus' reply to his mother when she stated the dilemma was that his time had not yet come. However, he turns around and orders water to be put into pots then turns the water into wine. This was the first manifestation of his glory. The saying,"No wine before it's time" is certainly applicable here.
Often when situations look impossible, inconceivable, insurmountable, Jesus reveals his glory. Why does Jesus wait for the eleventh hour so to speak? So only he will get the glory. So everyone will recognize no human could orchestrate what has happened. So jaws will drop. So people will tell one another. So man will see the manifestation of God's glory, done only in his time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A New Thing

On an early morning walk I allowed solitude to take me back into history. The history was past memories. Corners of my mind crept out carrying a painful past, painting pictures with hues of deep slate, ebony, onyx. The broad strokes were dark and the fine strokes were even darker. The music I could hear in the background was a dirge emerging into a crescendo that made me want to close my eyes and deafen my ears. My heart ached and I wanted to find an eraser to wipe the canvas clean, a gong to stop ballad of lament. I realized the enemy of my soul was laughing. I bought the lie to replay the tapes, the scenes of hurt I caused and the pillaging of my heart by others. My feet began to drag as well as my emotions. I realized I had a choice. I could set up camp at this dreadful place or I could run.
Funny thing-- just a few days ago I just delivered a sermon on how God wants to do a new thing in our lives. I had to ask myself how can God do a new thing if I chain myself to the past. God won't force me to take the chains off. However, His Word promises that He desires to give me a future bright with promise. New colors can dot the canvas, brilliant with yellow, gold and red. A song and dance with joyful tones, swift and lifting movements can swirl around me. I can be carried away by the One who loves me most, who restores my soul, and who dines with me as I feast in His Word. He has a future that includes goodness, promises of hope, mourning that is turned to dancing.
Isaiah 43:19 says, "See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
I have decided I would rather look expectantly for the new thing than live in the past. This is a new day!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


A vortex is a spinning, often turbulent, flow of fluid. The spinning action forms a cavity or vacuum in it's center and draws objects into the action. One definition in Webster's is- something that resembles a whirlpool "the hellish ~ of battle - Time ". My mind grasps the whirlpool concept. But my heart knows the vortex experience caused by a "hellish battle of time."
Our minds, wills, and emotions can be drawn into a vortex when: we believe we have plenty of good years left but our employer retires us ten years too early: our desk is pregnant with bills, our bank account is barren of funds; the white picket fence we erect around a precious relationship has turned into a stone wall between us and the other party; the child we birthed and nursed wouldn't take a glass of milk from us if we were the last person on earth; the loving heart of someone we cherish has turned into a vinegar soaked sponge. When we allow the "hellish battle of time" to continue, destruction is inevitable. Everything we think, feel, and act on emerges from the vortex, the whirlpool. When the whirlpool is a cesspool we become toxic. Objects engulfed in this kind of whirlpool wind up a stinking mess. Stinking thinking produces stinking living. Only we can make the choice not to get sucked up in this flurry of activity. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says that we can demolish strongholds, arguments, and pretensions against God by taking our thoughts captive and obedient to Christ. This is the only warfare tactic that will keep us close and clean.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dark Nights

I've often heard, "It's always the darkest before the dawn." At times this has brought comfort to me. I know dawn comes day after day without fail. Always has, always will. However, when life throws me a round of hurts, failures and disappointments I begin to wonder when the inning will be over. Should I count on one, two, or even more curve balls before the day ends? I lay in bed at night knowing that tomorrow will bring the dawn of a new day but will it bring dawn to the dark night of my soul? I begin to question God's remembrance of me.
I've heard God has a load limit sign on me. Nothing is able to come my way that will destroy me--unless I choose destruction. By faith I choose to believe that my God is able to sustain me-- no matter how long the darkness lasts, no matter how many rounds of curveballs are thrown, no matter if life makes any sense at all. By faith I trust God loves me, will hold my hand in uncertain times, and will even carry me till the dawn comes. And it will come!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Before It's Time

My dad was an alcoholic. I choose not to drink. I figure if I can't stop at one chocolate chip cookie my self control with alcohol may not be any better. I have friends that enjoy a glass of wine on special occasions. Not trusting myself to know if I could stop at just one glass, I dare not explore unknown territory. Some people say wine is safe. I wonder since I "whine" to much if I would wine too much as well. In that case the term, "No wine before it's time" could hold true with my whine problem as well. I need not whine over an outcome before the end of the story has passed. At times I tend to be the person who says the glass is half empty instead of half full. I start revving the whining engines when my glass starts getting empty, when things don't go my way, when people start walking away. Friends and family have to remind me the end of the story has not come. Time has a way of changing people, places, and outcomes. A whine before it's time is just as unpleasant to the ears as a wine before it's time is to the palate. Pessimism hovers when I forget my Sovereign Creator is the One who begins a good work in each of us and is faithful to complete the work. He may complete the story with a different ending than I desire. In that case I need not whine too much or wine too much. His timetable is different than mine. I just need to trust Him!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Vav Adversative

Reading broadens our vocabulary. As of late I am into a book on lamenting. I have learned a new term from the Hebrew language called a vav adversative. My computer keyboard keeps me from typing it correctly. The best description I can give for the term is that it contains an exclamation point ! with a tilde ~ on the top left side. This character looks like a flagpole with the flag flying in the opposite direction. If I were to draw a flag I would make a pole with the fabric flying from left to right. This Hebrew character looks like the wind is blowing the fabric from right to left. Sometimes the vav adversative is used in Scripture to represent antithetical or adverse ideas. An idea is presented, then followed by the word "but" and everything changes. The wind blows in a different direction without warning and the scenery changes.
My life is like that. Everything seems to be going in my favor and then a mighty wind comes up from nowhere. I get knocked off my feet, broadsided, or I lose my balance. One day I am whistling down the hallway and the next I am in excruciating pain, mourning, lamenting. The dam bursts and my tears flow freely and often.
We've all been there at some point -- a death, divorce, job loss, run away child, a miscarriage... How great is the day when the wind eventually shifts and the flag flies again in the way we enjoy it. We can't keep our flag at half mast forever. We learn to set our sails in the direction the wind is blowing. We may have to go with an uncomfortable flow until a change comes or the tide does.
Life can throw us plenty of "vav adversatives". What we do with them determines our outlook, our mood, and whether we sink or swim. Today I am going to swim!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just Right

My mother used to tell me bedtime stories as a child. Goldilocks was always a favorite. She was a gutsy little girl who should never have trespassed into the home of the three bears. I envisioned her slipping through the doors and being frightened for her safety. While fear would have been a more predominant feeling for me, hunger was the overriding feature for little Goldi. Her eyes rested on the bowls of soup and she dove right into the first bowl-- too hot; the second bowl--too cold; and alas the third being just right. My words and speech seem to fit into those same three categories and numerous times in precisely the same order. Burning, chilling, or pleasant to the listener.
The chairs came next. After filling her belly, the child decided to rest a bit. If television or Gameboys had been available Miss Locks would have helped herself to those as well. I am sure of that. Of course the size of the chair was all important. Do we think she was a bit spoiled? The first and second chairs were too big while the third proved to be just right. I have placed myself in jobs that were much bigger than I had skills for. These jobs left me in need of a time out just as our featured character, Goldilocks.
Perhaps boredom or the need for an afternoon siesta led the child into the bedroom. Trying out the beds, she found the first too hard, the second too soft and the third just right. Many a night I have crawled into bed when insomnia took over. The hard situations of life have left my mind racing even though my body was fatigued. There have been nights when the soft pleasures of the day have kept me awake while I rehearsed, re-inacted and relished a most wonderful event I have experienced. Fortunate is the night finding me in a restful sleep. These nights only come when I give everything over to God. When I surrender all of my words, my jobs, and even the pleasant experiences of life, will everything be just right.
Goldilocks jeopardized her life by going somewhere she was never meant to go. In the end she fled for her life when the bears awoke her.
This story is just child's play however I believe we can relate to each scene. If we stop and think of similar situations in our own lives we may learn some great lessons. Where we go, what we do, think, and say all have repercussions.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Waiting Place

Everyone waits. No one is exempt in this life from a period of waiting for someone, or some event to take place. Dr. Seuss says this in "Oh, The Places You'll Go"- "The Waiting Place...for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come or a plane to go...waiting for a Yes or No...or waiting, perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
Have you ever felt like you were in the runner's position on the starting line when the announcer proclaims from his megaphone, "Runners take your mark. On your mark, get set,WAIT"? Yes I said wait. We all want to hear the word Go! But how often do we we get red led lights instead of green? Are you familiar with these words,"Your business is very important to us. However, all of our representatives are busy right now. Please stay on the line until..." My response is "When it snows in the Bahamas or someplace further south than that." If a poll was taken most people probably would not get an award for doing the Waiting Place very well. Impatience is costly. Just ask the person who has run one to many red lights, broken out of prison, spoken out of turn, turned a fist instead of a listening ear, walked away from a relationship before someone came near, fessed up, got right or was never guilty in the first place. Waiting is as difficult for the most seasoned adult as it is an impetuous child on Christmas Eve. The waiting room of a hospital can seem as cruel as the waiting cell in a prison. Waiting for a promise to be kept can feel more frightening than if it had been broken. Why? Because what we do in the waiting place is crucial. Who or what we put our trust in will determine our attitude and our character. Other people will let us down. We will let ourselves down. Outcomes let us down. The Waiting place can be the most beneficial place if we wait well. What does not waiting well look like? We can fight. Just put on those boxing gloves labeled anger and bitterness and start punching. We can use might- manipulate, pay off somebody, undermine another or show off our stuff. We can take a flight from a person, a dream, or from God. Is there another alternative? Yes! Delight yourself in the Lord. Trust the Creator of the universe while He is creating you into a person much stronger, more faithful, more mature than you ever dreamed possible. Dr. Seuss says The Waiting Place is a useless place. For some people that may prove to be true. Let us resolve for it to be our most useful place in life!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's Not My Job

Have you ever been asked to do something that was not your job? It happens in the workplace, in the home, at church and in all kind of settings. Our first reaction is to be ticked off. When we know that someone else needs to be responsible for something and we get their load, a grunt or groan slides off our lips or out of our hearts. Rarely do we take on someone else's work load to make ours unmanageable. Notice I said rarely. Occasionally we take on a job that does not belong to us and really has been designated as "off limits." The task we assign ourselves belongs to the creator of the job. So just what would that job be????
Isaiah 63:4 and Romans 12:19 tell us that a job that only belongs to it's creator is revenge. Both verses say the same thing, "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." Since the beginning of time man has assigned himself this task that truly makes life unmanageable, unbearable, unfulfilling, unloving, and all the other "uns" you can think of.
In Genesis 34 Jacob's daughter Dinah is raped by a man who tries to declare his love for her and then asks for her hand in marriage. Dinah's brothers are outraged and carry out an evil plan of vengeance not only to her perpetrator but his whole village as well. They slaughter every male in the city. What an awful job to undertake. They never asked their father or their Father God what they should do about the situation. They believed the vengeance belonged to them and allowed evil thoughts to be turned into evil actions. The word vengeance comes from the Hebrew word naqam, meaning "to entertain revengeful feelings." That is what happened to Dinah's brothers and it happens to us today. We entertain revengeful feelings and we can get so worked up that we justify carrying out a job that only belongs to God. We take on His workload.
Several weeks ago I was hurt and angry at someone. I was doing naqam- entertaining revengeful feelings. Unfortunately I was "naqaming" while going through the self checkout line at the grocery store. I was thinking and planning of ways to get back at the person who had wronged me. After scanning my goods and placing them in the bag I headed out to my car. About the time I cranked up the engine I heard a knock on my car window. It was the woman manning the self checkout line who informed me that I walked out without paying for my groceries. I was mortified! I was trying to do two jobs at once and it about undid me. After running at breakneck speed to pay for my groceries I came back to my car and begged for God's forgiveness. I left the person who hurt me in the hands of God. Max Lucado says it best with these two quotes,"Vengeance fixes your attention on life's ugliest moments," and "Score settling freezes your stare at cruel events of the past." I do not want to take on either of those jobs!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pivotal Points

I love to read! I go in spurts though. Sometime I am a voracious reader and then there are those times that life gets so busy that reading anything other than the newspaper is just not possible. I have discovered that some of life's most astonishing truths can be found in a mere paperback. This week I read a book that changed my life or at least the way I looked at it. This has happened to me on more than one occasion. When it does I tell everyone who will stand still long enough about the book. My husband often comments that there is no need to read a book after I have because I interrupt him with each new nugget discovered on the pages before me.
So about this week's book- it is called Exquisite Agony By Gene Edwards. What an author, what a book! There are so many profound truths that I just broke down and cried. "Tell me, tell me" may be what you are thinking, so as I best I can I will try.
First of all who crucified Jesus? If this is such a simple question and answer ask various people. We sing a song that asks,"Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" Who is the "they" referring to? Was it those who drove the nails in, those that shoved the crown of thorns on Christ's head, those that mocked and spit and cursed, the governmental leaders? Well, the answer in my book was that it was God who crucified Jesus His son. People were just the means to accomplish God's plan for the redemption of mankind. You may be thinking that you already knew that God sent Jesus to die for your sins and mine but to say out loud that God did the crucifying is hard. God intentionally made His son suffer so you and I would not have to.
God often has to crucify us at the hands of people we love, or things we are holding onto, or in various other ways. We kick, we scream, we cry, we question His love for us. Even Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane asked His Father, "If it is possible, let this cup pass from me..." Have you ever asked God to take a burden or pain from you because it seemed to heavy to bear? At least we are in good company! Jesus' next sentence is the most important one of all,"Not as I will, but as You will." Can you and I say to God,"Use whatever,whoever, whenever and so long as you deem ever to get me to the place that I am truly crucified with Christ? Of all the people in the room can you be at peace that God chose you to be crucified by a person you love or a thing you held dear? After coming to grips that this must be so in your life, can you be nailed to the cross without fighting back? Can you arise from the event without looking for those who seemingly did the crucifying? Jesus arose from the dead and did not look backward, only forward. So it is with you and I. Surrender, trust, and obey. These are the pivotal points!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Discus Throwing

When I was in high school taking P.E. was mandatory. I did not love much about the class. I had it as my first class of the day which meant getting sweaty first thing in the morning and ruining my hair for the rest of the day. I was less than coordinated in most of the sports and felt very insecure. One of the sports I failed most miserably at was the discus throwing. A discus is heavy disk (the Latin word is dish) that is meant to be hurled out and the distance it is thrown to be measured. Being that I had no upper body strength my discus hurl never went any significant amount of distance. I remember laughing inside as my teacher made everyone stand at a great distance as each class member threw the disc to keep us out of harm's way. I knew my throw would never make it past an arm's length and would not be worth measuring. However precaution was taken just the same as I let go and hurled the discus.
Satan is a master discus thrower! You might be wondering why I would label him as that. Look at John 13:2,"During supper, when the devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him (Jesus)"... The Greek word for put is ballo. It means to hurl. Satan hurled "the desire to betray" discus at Judas' unprotected heart. Something had happened to Judas that his heart was wide open to receive the hurl. One commentary I read said perhaps it was that Judas was still seething over the money that was wasted when Mary of Bethany poured out the expensive ointment on Jesus' feet and wiped it with her hair. Judas was thinking the ointment or perfume could have been sold or exchanged for a good deal of money. Was it greed that had opened Judas heart and left it unprotected for the enemy's hurl? Was it impatience at Jesus for not asserting Himself and becoming an earthly king. Was it pride that Judas thought he knew more than Jesus as to handle financial affairs? Perhaps Judas was angry that Jesus had openly rebuked him in front of others for discounting Mary's act of love and devotion. Whatever the reason, or the offense as Judas may have considered it to be, he left himself open for Satan to do great harm. I realize that when I am hurt by another person's words or actions I must take care of the offense in my heart. Any unforgiveness will leave my heart open for the hurl of Satan that could take me down for the count. The NLT version of Prov. 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do." I know first hand how easy it is to hold onto offenses and how damaging a clenched fist or heart can be. Let us purpose in our heart to give God everything that hurts and keep the doors of our heart closed to the enemy!

Monday, March 31, 2008


Hogzilla was the name given to a wild hog caught and killed in Alapaha, Georgia a few years ago. This hog was about 8 feet long and weighed nearly 800 pounds. Hogzilla was the hog of all hogs so to speak. I cannot imagine how much food it took to get old Hogzilla that size. Fortunately the animal was wild as it might have bankrupted a farmer trying to maintain the life of that thing! "Hogging" is a term we often use when we think someone is taking more than their share of something. I was raised in a home with six siblings and I remember fussing with my sisters about hogging the bathroom when we were trying to get ready to go somewhere. My father was often the referee as we tried to pull each other away from the mirror with screams and tears. Each of us considered our time to get ready as the most valuable. I wonder if things ever really change.
In the second chapter of Philippians, verse 3, Paul exhorts the believers:"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit..." The actual Greek meaning of these words is to jockey for position with hollow boasting or with prideful ways. I think as children we coined the phrase perfectly when we said to quit hogging the bathroom, or the food, or even simple conversations. Even as adults we still are guilty of "hogging". We get into discussions with other people and think what we have to say is of utmost importance and leave little room for anyone else's opinion. We call people up with our latest news and forget to ask them if anything interesting has come their way. In arguments we pull out the trump card and then walk away feeling quite proud of ourselves.
Paul gives further instructions by saying that the best way to live is to esteem others better than yourself. That would mean thinking that someone actually knows more than you, or has something to say that is brighter, or wittier or more engaging than you. "Moi?" as Miss Piggy would say. The answer would be yes. Would you ever want to be coined as the "Hogzilla" of your group, family or friends? Hopefully your answer is no. Quit jockeying for position, drop the pride and let others have the limelight. In God's economy there is room enough for all of us.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Worthless Idols

swan idol
Yesterday's paper had a picture and article that caught my eye. The story detailed the account of a black swan named Petra that had fallen in love with a gorgeous white swan. What's the problem you may ask. The problem was that the white swan was a gigantic, carved out swan- shaped paddle boat! Petra and her swan shaped boat were parted at a local zoo and Petra finally settled for a real white swan. "But the romance was short lived...her new beau flew off and sought the company of other black swans. A zoo statement says that Petra appears to feel lonely and is swimming around in an agitated state."
Examine these two verses from the NKJV Bible:

Jer 18:15 "Because My people have forgotten Me, They have burned incense to worthless idols. And they have caused themselves to stumble in their ways, [From] the ancient paths, To walk in pathways and not on a highway,
Jon 2:8 "Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.

Petra fell in love with the wrong thing! What she loved could never love her back. We do the same thing all the time . We idolize people, places, and things that will never love us back. We put such high hopes in something we believe will bring us great satisfaction, acceptance, or earthly delight. The only problem is that it never does. Often when what we idolize is removed from our lives we do just what poor old Petra did- get depressed, lonely and swim around in an agitated state. God never intended for us to idolize anything. He created us with the need to be accepted and loved and to find fulfillment in Him alone. No relationship, job, or material wealth and possession will fill the hole that is shaped in God's image. We must love Him more than anything here on earth. Do you?

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Desperate!!! One of the definitions for desperate in Websters is: involving or employing extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat or frustration. The gospel account of the woman with the issue of blood seems to be an act of complete desperation. Her plight had been long- twelve years to be exact. She had spent everything she had to be healed- money, time, and all of her energies. The woman was physically, spiritually, and emotionally desperate. Newsflash of the day was that Jesus, the Healer, was coming through town. People flooded the streets. They were engulfed around the One whom had healed not only physical infirmities, but had brought a dead man back to life! Employing the most extreme measure she knew, this woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, made her way to Jesus. She pushed herself beyond all limits to get to the Healer. Most likely she would have had to make her way through hundreds if not thousands of people! Unable to squeeze her way in for a face to face conversation, she could only get her hand through the crowd and touch the hem of Jesus' garment. Immediately she stopped bleeding and immediately Jesus knew His clothing had been touched. Of course His clothing had been touched. He was shoved in on every side by people! But the desperate touch of this woman pulled power from Him. He asked ,"Who touched me?" The woman fell at His feet trembling and declared in front of everyone she had been healed. She did not care what anyone thought. Her eyes were on Jesus not other people. He looked at her and told her to go and be at peace. Desperation leaves no room for peace. Not only did her body need the touch of Jesus so did her soul. Is your soul desperate for Him? What lengths would you go to for a touch of His healing? What would you be willing to give up, or give over, or give in, to be healed by the only One? Really, just how desperate are you for who He is?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

After Easter Thoughts

What happened to the disciples after Jesus' death? The disciples experienced what most of us have experienced at some point in our lives- a shattered dream. What they thought would happen with Jesus' life and what would transpire because of it, was altogether different than what was happening at that moment. They had hopes and dreams that were dashed and seemed to die right along with Jesus hanging on the cross. When their dreams, their plans for the future, their hope in a person was crushed, they ran and hid in fear. Don't believe me? Check out John 20:19. It tells us the disciples were behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. A shattered dream caused them to run to a place of safety, lock the door behind them, and shake with fear. Look at the fallacy of what they did. They ran to a place they thought was safe and locked the doors. Where could they have truly gone that the Jews would not have found out? The right answer is nowhere. Then they locked the door. As if!!! Did they not think that the Jews could send a great force and knock the door down? I think they actually created their own prison cell called fear and locked the door. What happens next is great. My imagination sees these grown men with one eye on each other and the other eye fixated on the door. The Word says that Jesus came and stood among them and said,"Peace be with you." He had to tell them to be at peace because they were not.
If you have experienced a shattered dream most likely you can identify with these guys. When my shattered dreams have come (and there have been a few in my life!) fear sent me running to a prison cell that I locked and stood shaking, quaking and exhausting myself in. While Jesus Himself has not personally showed up, His Spirit has in bold print (THE WORD),through friends and pastors, and through His still small voice saying,"Fear not, I am with you" or "Be still and know that I am God." These words have had the power to break down prison doors when I let them.
Jesus did not want the disciples to stay in their self made prison. He had specifically given them things to do before He died. There was much work to be done on earth to expand the kingdom of heaven. So it is with you and I. Cerebral prisons (fearful thoughts) lead to emotional bondage (feelings of fear) which lead to physical standstill (willing yourself to do nothing). Friends, God has greater plans for us than to live locked up in fear.
One of my goals for 2008 is to take risks. To take risks you have to let go of fear and trust God. The lesson that Jesus wanted to teach the disciples that day is the same lesson he wants you and me to learn today. Let's get this lesson right so we can be kingdom builders!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thoughts from Easter morning

As I was reading the account of Easter from Matthew Ch. 28 it says in verse 16 that the eleven disciples went away..... My thought was there were only eleven because Judas had just hung himself. I felt like crying. I know why Judas hung himself. Judas did what all of us do from time to time. He believed the lies from Satan. Satan must have fed him lines like,"What a traitor. You've mocked your own leader. You are so worthless. Jesus could never use you now. Just quit. You might as well just kill yourself. You'd be better off dead than alive." Judas exchanged the truth for a lie and a lie for the truth. We do the same thing all the time. Maybe we don't take it to the extreme of Judas but we quit or give up on tasks God has set before us. We see ourselves as failures or not usable by God. If Judas would have run to Christ and repented I know Jesus would have embraced him and forgiven him. One truth that set me free years ago was that I could never do anything to make God love me more and I could never do anything to make God love me less. He loves me unconditionally. I hope to speak, teach and write about this till I die!