Friday, January 19, 2018

WHERE ARE YOU LORD?


Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:1-2 (NIV)

Where are you Lord, when the dysfunction of our government is paraded before the world like cheap reality television?

Where are you Lord, when our veterans who served faithfully to protect our freedoms are forgotten?

Where are you Lord, when people exploit one another for financial gain?

Where are you Lord, when we stare in horror at the carnage of the latest victims to the evil of terrorism?

Where are you Lord, when businesses treat your children and creation callously—discarding them without a care, like equipment that has served its useful life?

Where are you Lord, when our families are grieving over the loss of our children to illness, drugs and suicide?

Where are you Lord, when our politicians live by their own set of rules at the expense of the people they serve?

Where are you Lord, when our justice system fails and the lawless are set free to prey upon the innocent and our children—children who look to us to protect them from harm?

Where are you Lord, when we put our hope in the things of the world instead of in You?

Where are you Lord, when life is not viewed as sacred?

Where are you Lord? Are You crying too?

Sovereign Lord, with broken hearts we cry out to You to heal Your people and heal Your land. Lead us back to You, our hope at the end of hopelessness.

Come Lord Jesus, come.

© 2017 Amy A. Verzi

Friday, January 12, 2018

LISTEN UP


If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile to me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over.
 Leviticus 26:27(NIV)

Wow! This foretells disaster for the person or nation that persists in being hostile toward God!

This morning I awoke to a gentle rain. American life and commerce proceed calmly and efficiently as we enjoy the blessings of freedom established long ago. Yet in many ways I see in the newspapers and public forum a nation divided, many indifferent, if not hostile, to the God of the Bible.

 I wonder.

 God is also extremely loving. He invites us into a relationship of love. God even sent His Son, Jesus, who told us, If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love... I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete (John 15:10-11).

 Leviticus is Old Testament and was proclaimed under the Old Covenant. But God still seeks a loving relationship with us. Those who are “hostile” toward God clearly have no part in the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood. What about indifference? God is the judge of where the line is, but if a nation or person must wonder where they stand, they may be in trouble. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.

Jesus went to the cross to invite us into a loving relationship. For those who will receive it, God’s love is the most real and joyful aspect of our existence.

Lord, I’m listening. Lead me in paths that honor You.

 © 2017 Parker Wayland

Friday, January 5, 2018

THE SEASONS OF LIFE

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (RSV)

Solomon gives us pause to reflect on our own journey through life by developing a more personal relationship with our Creator. A good way to do this is to restructure our path through the year.

September should be the start of our year, refocusing our energy in work, school, and church, revitalizing our core human existence of vocation, education, and spiritualization.

This focus of our fall quest prepares us for the greatest gift by our Creator, His Son, born in a cold cave, but with a bright star, lighting His triumphal entry into human history.

Winter is a season of praise and thanksgiving for this miraculous event while preparing us for God’s next great intervention—the Easter Event.

Here God allows His great Christmas gift of life and hope to dim and die a painful human death. In three days God shows us the way out of our sorrow by bringing His Light back to life for all to see and rejoice in the resurrection of new life in His Son, Jesus the Christ.

The summer season is a time to rest and reflect upon these incredible miracles of God breaking into our earthly existence, and showing us the best way to live, and the true way to go home—with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

When we come back to the fall season, it’s time to shout out “Happy New Year” and Prepare ye the way of the Lord. 
Mark 3:1 (RSV)

Heavenly Father, lead us through our seasons of life with Your guiding light and love.



© 2017 David Le Kites

Friday, December 29, 2017

LIVING IN HIS LIGHT

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 (NLT)

Fellowship indicates the bond we share with fellow believers in Jesus, each living in the light as God is in the light. Although we come from all nations and socioeconomic backgrounds, we are all one in God’s Kingdom here on earth.

We have been cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus. Within the fellowship of God, the Holy Spirit provides an abundance of overflowing love.  May we each be filled with God’s love, pouring forth the fruit of His Spirit?

Our mission is to spread God’s light to others throughout the world. Years ago I experienced Christ’s love from a neighbor who befriended me and my two young boys with her loving spirit. As we shared our lives and became close friends, she often spoke of her love for Jesus. Do you, within the body of Christ, display the fruit of the Holy Spirit toward others?  During this Christmas season, may we encourage everyone to be the light in this dark world every single day forward into eternity. 
 
We will live in harmony when God calls us home, and we can live in His perfect love right now. God has called His Kingdom here on earth to join hands in fellowship and pour out His Spirit. When the world experiences His love, His reigning peace, and receives His message of Christ our risen King, God’s Kingdom will grow exponentially.

Father, light a burning fire in our souls.


© 2017 Marianne Lucot

Friday, December 22, 2017

A CHRISTMAS HEART

That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:17 (NAS)

A friend of mine only gets to see her son once a year due to the nature of his job on a large fishing vessel. This year when he came home their family celebrated their time together with a week at the beach. Each night as they gathered round, they celebrated a different holiday theme since her son wouldn’t be present for the actual holiday.

They sang, “Happy Birthday” and exchanged special gifts like a keepsake quilt made from her son’s old, but treasured t-shirts. The birthday festivities ended with everyone’s favorite cake. 

Thanksgiving had all the trimmings and turkey decorations. 

For Halloween their two year old granddaughter dressed in costume and went from room to room collecting treats.

Christmas brought twinkling lights, colored balls and more presents. 

The next day their little granddaughter proudly donned a Santa hat while she played on the beach. 

When I saw the adorable picture of her in bathing suit and Santa hat, I couldn’t help but think how perfect an illustration of what CHRISTmas is supposed to be. It is not meant to be a once a year celebration and then put away with all of our decorations. The point of Christmas is for all seasons, for all people, all over the world. 

Jesus came that we could have new life in Him forevermore. The joy of our salvation is meant to shine through every day of the year so that others can see Christ in us.

Thank you Jesus, that you came, not just for a season, but to be our forever God. Help us to live in a manner that shows you to the world every single day. Amen. 


©
©2017 Bonnie Mae Evans

Saturday, December 16, 2017

MAKE ROOM FOR THE SONSHINE

"Come near to God and He will come near to you."  James 4:8 (NIV)
When first viewing the green grass and healthy trees surrounding my new home, I was excited to move in. However, after twelve years the trees that drew me to this place have overgrown their welcome.

The maples and oaks are three times taller than the roof of the house. In the last several years, sections of a once green lawn have developed large bare spots--as hard as cement. Nothing green can grow where there is always shade. Rain water is diverted away by the leaves. There is sunshine, but it cannot reach the ground because of the overpowering shadows from the trees.

If the green grass is to restore its healthy thick green beauty, it must be in touch with the sun.

In like manner, we must make the effort to remain in touch with the Son of God on a regular basis.
Unhealthy thoughts can creep into one's life while we're busy with worldly things. It is too easy to become involved in mundane issues. Meanwhile the most important issue--our relationship with Jesus, languishes in the shadows.

The Son's shine on our day is what makes life worth living.

If we open ourselves to God's glory and take time to invite more of the Holy Spirit into our hearts, His sweetness and beauty will remain in us giving light and purpose to our lives.

Father God help us to keep the light of your Son Jesus, shining in our lives by taking time to "soak" up" Your Son's shine. Amen.

(C) 2017 Christy Struben   



Friday, December 8, 2017

WE EACH HAVE A STORY TO SHARE


You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

Have you spent time meditating on this verse? I have. These words reflect how all knowing Our God is and how His sovereignty crafts us according to His will. This is true of every individual who has, is, or will live on this earth. As I meditate, I see God’s hand on my life at the age of five. He laid on my heart a dream that I would become a nurse, and I did!  I never lost sight of that dream although I did lose sight of God.

Although we may lose sight of God in our life journey, He does not lose sight of us. I lived over thirty years of my life in this world, without answering to God. I made poor choices and paid the consequences. I began to yearn for a relationship with God, desiring to turn my life over and live for God alone. Now I am living in His light with all of my scars. I can see that God was preparing me for His higher purpose.

God calls each of us to His higher purpose. In your wayward journey, He is preparing you for His greater purpose to call the lost. Your scars will identify your purpose in God’s Kingdom. You can breathe hope into others who have also lost their way. There are no new sins under the sun, and there are people that are hurting just as you.

Share your story with others      

Father, equip us to boldly share our stories and encourage others with our hope found in Jesus alone.

© 2017 Marianne Lucot