Monday, November 28, 2016

You Are Beautiful!

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news...." Isaiah 52:7
A hungry little girl doesn't  care if your nails are chipped when you hand her a plate of food.
A homeless woman won't refuse your help because you missed your hair appointment and your roots are showing. You look beautiful to her.
Ashy legs and a wrinkled top won't stop a hurting soul from finding relief when you listen as she pours out her heart to you.

 Writing a small check you can send is better than the dream check you can't.
Your hoop-dee is Cinderella's chariot when it brings meals to an elderly man who otherwise wouldn't eat that day.
Your life may be a  mess, but you still have the power to bless. 
Take your eyes off all that is not yet perfect in yourself and your world. Shine what light you have in the direction of someone's dark place.
 Don't wait until your rich uncle gets out of the poorhouse before you give to foreign missions. He may never get out, but others will remain imprisoned in hunger, hopelessness, ignorance, loneliness, and ultimately Hell if you keep your treasures to yourself waiting for your planets to align.
You are needed, what you have to offer is valuable, and to those you serve, you are beautiful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Happy Repentance Day!

"Produce fruit in keeping with repentance." Luke 3:8

John the Baptist didn't mince words, did he? Imagine the stream of people coming to him to be baptized and his palms facing them as he shook his head saying, "No, you're not ready for this. You're skipping the step that comes first: Repentance!" Can't you hear the soldier speak up, asking what he must do? John the Baptist explained that he was not to take money by force and to be content with his wages. What?  Same with the tax-collectors who were notorious for overcharging and pocketing the excess for themselves. It would be like a drug dealer or a prostitute getting an honest job. What about a politician deciding to tell the truth or a child molester getting help? That's what repentance looks like. It's a change of direction, doing the opposite of what one was doing before.

 What does your fruit of repentance look like?

Not engaging in your addiction?

Stop flirting with a married man?

Showing favoritism? 

Watching what you eat?

End an affair?

Stop running from the truth…face it?

 Loving that unlovely person at work or in the family?

 Biting that gossiping tongue?


Walking in forgiveness toward yourself or someone else?

 Not living in the past?

 Sometimes it's not the repentance that's the challenge but the repeating of it.

 Repentance is an installment plan, not a lump sum.

It's a good thing God's mercies are new every morning  (Lamentations 3:22-23).  He will show up every day to greet your made up mind with strength to live the life of repentance.   His divine power has given you everything you need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)

Today may be Repentance Day for you. It may be Repeat Repentance Day. Either way, it looks beautiful on you. Happy Repentance Day.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Know a Girl

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves." Colossians 1:13

I know a girl who is rough around the edges
Who talks a tough game,
 whose past is in the dredges. 

Trust was burnt away while it was still a seedling 
What was normal to her would leave you barely breathing.
If you could take a peer at what she's been through, 
You'd congratulate her for her sanity and for remaining hopeful too.

She tells her story with eyes that won't meet mine, 
Revealing things she's never told a soul, 
On the outside she seems to be just fine, 
But her heart down under fights to be uncold. 

She's heard that Jesus can heal the broken-hearted.
He's helping her with her question: "Why me?"
Friend, I think the devil's being out-smarted! 
That serpent's foiled again by Calvary! 

He intended to destroy her at a very young age, 
By abuse, violence, and brushes with death.
Hear the keys of heaven turn in hell's cage!
Gasp at Christ's wooing, take an awestruck breath! 

Now, I know a girl who's trading her chains
For the crown of beauty Christ offers.
Pray she basks in the beauty of no more sin stains
As a joint-heiress to Heaven's rich coffers! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

When God Whistles

I was reading Isaiah 5  and saw in verse 26 this morning  where Isaiah said God would whistle and the nations would come running. The context is one of judgment against Israel for her sin, but I want to zero in on the powerful word picture of the Almighty whistling and whole nations of people coming running like dogs summoned by their Master. Woah! What power!

This reminds me of that passage in 1 kings 17 when this same God told the prophet Elijah that  He had commanded the ravens to provide for him. Commanded them! Later, He said He commanded a widow to provide for the prophet when the brook Cherith dried up. The widow didn't even know the prophet was coming that day, which means God calls a thing done even before it's done.

 The centurion understood this same idea in Matthew 8:8 when he told Jesus, "You don't have to come to my house, just say the word and my servant who is sick will be healed." Jesus applauded him for his faith.

Faith is the wind on which God whistles.

What about you? Do you need God to whistle and command something to happen in your life? He is able!

You're probably thinking, "Why should God whistle for anything to happen on my behalf?"

 Answer: Because He is the One who invited you to invite Him to do it! He said, "Call unto me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. " (Jeremiah 33:3)

What are you waiting for?

Ask the Father to work on your behalf and listen for the whistle. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Other Side of Surrender

"All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give." ~ Justin W. Van DeVenter

It feels like a dirty word. Some hear it and think they heard "quit." They assume that, by default, they must wear the "Loser" T-shirt. 

That's how the world sees surrender. 

For the growing Christian, surrender is an invitation, not an insult. It calls in a still, small, yet authoritative voice, "Take up your cross daily. Deny yourself. Follow me." 

Although the love in His voice pulls you closer, it doesn't quite bring you over the line in this tug-of-war. Fear, which seems stronger and calls louder, yanks at you from the other side of the rope.  It's voice is not tender. It's clingy and suffocating, and it tells you all you will lose if you surrender to God. The arguments are persuasive and full of accusations similar to what Eve heard. 

For all of God's power and strength, He will not pull you over the line. 

That would not be surrender. 

Surrender is when you drop the rope altogether and step over the line by choice. 

Oh, but when you do! 

Like Dorothy saw in Munchkin Land, surrender changes the color of everything! The future looks brighter though you still can't see it. Knowing God sees it is enough. 

Frightening things have to tangle with God before they get to you. Shamelessly, you get to pass the buck to Him. That's one of the perks under the Surrender Contract. 

Fear, with all of it's lies and what-if's, turns out to be nothing but a big bully melted by douses of faith in God.  

My favorite part of surrender has been the peace. It's not all riding on me anymore. His yoke truly is easy! 

What about you?

Will you allow Him to take your belief while helping your unbelief? Isn't it worth the fight to enter the secret place of the Most High and the Shadow of the Almighty? 

I know surrender is hard. I struggle with it too. By God's grace, I'm determined to live on the other side...the other side of surrender.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lord, Make Me Beautiful!

A Timeless Prayer for Every. Christian. Woman
 by Georgia Pointer

Lord, this body of mine will not always be young. Grays and wrinkles will eventually win out over creams and dyes. The firms will flab and my heart muscles will eventually find the cardio workout a price too high to pay for the building upkeep. So, Lord, give me a timeless beauty…one that shines through the lines and wrinkles. Give me strength through the hard times that result in a muscular faith. Help me to have a prayer life that creates the kinds of curves that remind one of a smile from heaven. May the hidden person of the heart be so radiant, that it doesn't matter what  the lampshade of age looks like. Clothe me with an attractiveness whose designer tag points back to  You.  My feet, Lord, make them the kind of   beautiful recognized by the poor who receive the Good News they bring. Lord, Make me beautiful! Amen.