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!