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God is patient, but...

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. (Romans 5:6-8) If God had to wait for your timing on some of that 'life change' that really needs to happen in your life, just how long do you think he'd have to wait? I am going to admit something to you about my life - I don't like waiting, but I don't seem to mind it when God is kept waiting on things he clearly has asked me to do! God asks for some form of obedience and I drag my feet, not beca
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Holding on tightly

But let me run loose and free, celebrating God's great work, every bone in my body laughing, singing, "God, there's no one like you. You put the down-and-out on their feet and protect the unprotected from bullies!" (Psalm 35:9-10) Times were different when many of us were children. Back in the 60's when I was a wee one, no one thought it odd to allow their children to play in the front yard - oftentimes running from one neighbor to the next depending on who had the neatest toys to play the next go-round of imaginary play. If my grandsons want to ride their bikes, it take a whole lot for mom to not restrict them to riding in circles in front of the house! Today, we sequester our children from the world around them, arranging instead for "play dates" because we have a society in which we do not feel comfortable allowing them to run "loose and free". Sad, isn't it? I wonder, though, just how much of our life's celebrations we miss out

Pondering the list

"Are you serious?" Whenever someone poses this question, they may not really be seeking the truth about your level of trustworthiness or your desire to commit to something. In fact, they might just be saying this to exclaim some message of surprise - like they could not possibly imagine what we just did or said as even remotely possible! There is another saying: "Let's get serious now." This one is often spoken as a word or two of admonishment designed to get us focused (refocused) on what is at hand. I can see the difference in these two 'serious' questions, but there are times when all it want to answer is the "are you serious" one and definitely not the "let's get serious now" one. Why? One doesn't require more than a sharing of superfluous info while the other requires me to do something with the info I have. Listen to me, all you who are serious about right living and committed to seeking God. Ponder the rock from

Huh, my mess? What?

Really! There's no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. The cost of rescue is beyond our means, and even then it doesn't guarantee life forever, or insurance against the Black Hole. (Psalm 49:7-9) Simply put - pulling one's self up by your bootstraps means you are going to 'rescue' yourself - be a success on your own. I don't know how that works for you, but when I have tried it, I fall again! If you are into "self-rescue" - the constant exertion of effort to pull yourself out of the mess you find yourself in - you are likely to fall again because you won't stand very well on your own. Many of us try to deal with life by a series of "self-rescue" attempts - don't we? We simply cannot bring ourselves to admit we messed it up - let alone admit we need someone else to help us out of the mess! As my kids were growing up, they'd pull out all kinds of toys. The floor would be littered with building bloc

Be the means

This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear. (I John 3:16) Wouldn't it be terrible if God's love disappeared from this earth? What is the need you walk by today? It may seem insignificant at the time, but each 'passed-by' need is one less expression of God's love to a hurting and very needy world. Living sacrificially doesn't come easy to us, does it? Who do we think about first on most occasions? Do we cook dinner because we think the family is hungry even when we are probably not hungry ourselves? Do we speed ahead, closing the gap in traffic as cones are directing traffic down to one lane and that yahoo on your righ

We are in the same boat

His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) His love has the first and last word in everything we do... How true are these words in your life? I'd have to admit to you that Christ is not always the one in control of my actions - sometimes I just plain take over and cast his sage wisdom aside in pursuit of something I want to do. I deliberate over my actions and sometimes still choose the wrong path. Anyone else here with me? The good news is that if we are in Christ and he is in us, his LOVE has the first and last word in everything we do - even when we get a little out of control sometimes. His love pulls us back - not once, but repeatedly. For some of us, that '

Whose are you?

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. (Ephesians 1:7) Abundantly free - how many of us live as though we were set free and now live free? Most of us struggle with some form of guilt (because we did something wrong) or shame (because we believe we are bad because we have done wrong). Guilt is meant to drive us to a place of repentance; shame just keeps us believing we will never 'measure up' and will always be lacking in some way. Either way, we are likely not living free if we are gi