Showing posts with the label Embrace

You drowning?

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. (Havelock Ellis) At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:16-17) What do you hold onto what actually weighs you down? A drowning man seeks to be free of all that adds weight to his body - shoes, jacket, shirt, and even pocket change! Why? It will drag him down - creating extra 'drag' on his body. Learning what creates 'drag' in our lives versus what liberates us to move freely is sometimes quite a challenge. We hold onto what God says we should give up and then wonder why we don't seem to have the 'capacity' to take on what he wants to give us next.  I know this seems simplistic, but when God deals with something in our lives, he is asking us to give it over to him. Does this mean it will never s

A little 'parenting' lesson

The Lord shows mercy and is kind. He does not become angry quickly, and he has great love.  He will not always accuse us,  and he will not be angry forever.  He has not punished us as our sins should be punished;  he has not repaid us for the evil we have done. As high as the sky is above the earth, so great is his love for those who respect him. He has taken our sins away from us as far as the east is from west. (Psalm 103:8-12) I find it very good news that God does not punish us as our sins should be punished. As a parent, I often considered the ill-behavior of my children and found myself in a quandary as to how to 'punish' the ill behavior. There were even times I'd ask the offended party to name the punishment for the offending party - as though a brother or sister who was angry with the other was the right one to pick the punishment! I even tried asking the ill-behaving child to pick their own punishment on occasion. I guess I was out of options at that point - so

Garbage pick-up day

There are times we all feel like quitting. We also have heard the words of Vince Lombardi, "Winners don't quit and quitters don't win." Another quote goes something along the line, "Quitters are good losers." Nobody wants to be labeled a loser, nor do the want to really be at the point of being so 'under water' that they feel they have no other choice than to just walk away. So, we keep plugging along, hoping not to be labeled as a quitter, trying hard not to be thought of as a loser in some fashion. I think God may look at us, realize our desire to quit, and then somehow begin to meet this despondency with his provision. In those moments, what we do with what he gives us matters. We can embrace his provision, or we can continue to stumble along as we have been doing. The choice we make in those moments will determine our outcome. God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. (Psalm 145:14) Robert In

More than a hug

Wisdom, in the book of Proverbs, represents not only a characteristic we develop, but a person - the person of Jesus Christ. The very life of Christ was a display of wisdom by which we can pattern our daily walk. We are reminded frequently of the importance of choosing wisdom over any other action - all other action paling in comparison to the one directed toward embracing both the person and trait of Wisdom. We are told, " When you find me, you find life, real life" - these words point us directly to Jesus. In him, we find all the things in life we label as "good" and "real". There is nothing as fulfilling as coming into relationship with Jesus. Yet, so many of us live far below what we would really call a "fulfilled" life - we just don't "feel" fulfilled. Why is that? Well, we might just find out that we have not embraced God's ways as we should - this is key to experiencing God's fullness every day of our lives.  "So

Me, me first!

33  They came to Capernaum. When he was safe at home, he asked them, “What were you discussing on the road?”  34  The silence was deafening—they had been arguing with one another over who among them was greatest.  35  He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.”  (Mark 9:33-35 MSG) Sometimes silence 'says' it all! There is nothing more 'convicting' than to be called out for one's behavior, is there? When it is done in a kind fashion, out of love and with grace, we can embrace it pretty well, right? To be 'called out' because we are too self-absorbed to see the needs around us is kind of hard at times, but we all have a tendency to drift into the 'what about me' kind of moments and need a little nudge to get back to the 'its not all about me' mode! Over the past week we have been considering prayer - the life of communication and maintained connection. Service to others

Therein I find love

They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything. (Bil Keane) Many of us grew up reading the Sunday funnies and pouring over "Family Circus" - Bil being the faithful creator of that cartoon regular. Many times the scene was one big quarter sheet spread, depicting some element of family life that we all associated with, such as the fiasco of trying to pack up the car for the summer vacation, or the gathering of family around the Christmas tree to open presents all the while remembering the reason we celebrate the season. Did you know it continues in syndication today because his son, Jeff, has taken up the pen to keep it going? Mr. Keane had one very special way of helping us to connect the "reality" of family life with the need we all have for understanding, acceptance, and compassionate love. Many of his cartoon depictions showed family members being embraced by each other - revealing a tremendous truth that each of us longs to be embr

Not just a night light

Some of humankind hated the light. They  scampered hurriedly  back into the darkness where vices thrive and wickedness flourishes. Those who  abandon deceit and  embrace what is true, they will enter into the light where it will be clear that all their deeds come from God.  ( John 3:20-21   VOICE ) As a child, some of us absolutely hated the dark. We wanted nightlights left on, the door to our rooms to remain open, and some even would not fall asleep unless the radio was lightly playing in the background. Why? Light dismissed some of the shadows of darkness. An open door assured us we weren't totally alone as someone was readily within calling distance. The noise on the radio masked those noises of night we all hear from time to time, like the creaking of a house settling, the noise the furnace makes when it comes on, etc. All in all, it was still nighttime; it was still dark. We just did thing that made it seem "less dark" and "less fearful". Truth be known

Embracing Arms

32-36  "So, my dear friends, listen carefully;    those who embrace these my ways are most blessed. Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;    don't squander your precious life. Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,    awake and ready for me each morning,    alert and responsive as I start my day's work. When you find me, you find life, real life,    to say nothing of God's good pleasure. But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul;    when you reject me, you're flirting with death." (Proverbs 8:32-36) Wisdom, in the book of Proverbs, represents not only a characteristic we develop, but a person - the person of Jesus Christ.  The very life of Christ was a display of wisdom by which we can pattern our daily walk.  Our writer spent the first eight chapters of this book reminding us of the importance of choosing wisdom over any other action.  If something is repeated that many times in Scripture, it is pretty important that we pu