Posted on Saturday, May 25th, 2013
(The Lord)gave (human beings) so many days and so much time . . . He clothed them in strength, like himself, and made them in his own image. . . . He made them a tongue, eyes and ears, and gave them a heart to think with. He filled them with knowledge and intelligence, and showed them what was good and evil. He put his own light in their hearts to show them the magnificence of his works, so that they would praise his holy name as they told of his magnificent works. Ecclesiasticus 17:2-10
Full moon was setting as the sun was rising this morning as I walked on the recently restored beach. Only a small crew was working through the night to the north—and soon no longer will I hear the bulldozers moving back and forth as they go about pushing the sand into place in the days allotted.
Yes, so many days—something for you to reflect upon at the start of this day—each day. You are made in His own image. Will you ever get close to understanding this, especially at those times when you fret or are anxious about tasks before you or about situations that embroil loved ones?
But here are the words to dwell on this morning—He gave a heart to think with. It isn’t the mind and its analytical capacity that is called out, but the heart influenced by compassion and love that is a special treasure imparted to you. Oh, would your world be different or even you in your daily routine, if these words imparted the strength of character meant.
And as if you needed more to emphasize the insight contained in these verses, listen to these words—allowing them to penetrate the chambers of your heart where silence and peace reign beyond the clamor of things and disruptions—He put his own light in their hearts. It might take repeating these words silently to yourself, but ask what do those words mean to you; how are you transformed, and how do [...]
Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2013
Then I heard a loud voice from the throne, “Look, here God lives among human beings. He will make his home among them; they will be his people, and he will be their God, God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness or pain. The world of the past has gone.” Revelations 21:3-4
My years of rising at 4:30 to wake my son, prepare his breakfast, and walk the dogs are coming to end as he prepares to graduate high school and move on to college. This journey began in earnest when my wife died ten years ago and I still recall the impact these words of scripture had on me at her memorial service—He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. Help me Lord to welcome each day for the opportunities sometimes hidden from my awareness to serve you.
A new heaven and a new awareness are ready for you. All you have to do is to be—no koan or paradox, just a simple insight, nourished by the Lord’s grace for you and packaged especially this morning. God lives among you; in fact, he makes His home among you—in this very home you reside and on the path that you experience—whether accompanied or not, whether incapacitated or not. The Lord’s real presence is the God-with-you that scripture foretells.
Instead of breezing over these familiar words, focus on the God who lives and, yes, in your midst and in an intimate relationship where no murmur for assistance, understanding, or guidance is ignored or misunderstood. And, yes, every tear that you shed is understood and is wiped from your eyes—even if your eyes appear dry to the observer. There is no more death, despair—no more mourning or sadness or even pain, if you can accept and believe in His love. Indeed, your world of the past has evaporated in this Divine Sunburst penetrating the thickest cloud.
Recognize the God-with-you today, beginning now in the insights [...]
Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is a good thing, but if the salt has become insipid, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.” Mark 10:49-50
This morning, I walked into a blankness it seemed—no light, air still, even the birds seemed to delay their chatter into a new morning. And I wondered wordlessly, what is this all about? So many arrangements still to be made for this trip—or adventure—to India as another day awaits my attention. Let not the salt lose its taste as I embrace the unknown.
The salt is the taste of anticipation discovered in and yielding to new challenges, experiences, and opportunities— and, of course, in encountering individuals from which to learn and to share insights related to this life journey. There is nothing routine in the smack or taste of salt, or in the manner such experiences season you—even fire you.
Salt also represents or hastens coming into consciousness so that you see, hear, and touch—as if for the first time—all within reach—but especially in prayer. Once so revived, you no longer sit dull—repeating phrases that have lost meaning in rote delivery. You discover that you have matured from a scribe to a bold poet of the heart.
And as if a paradox, you are also being counseled that this saltiness must also contribute to the peace you spread and receive in your encounters with others—because you are becoming awake and conscious, as if for the first time.
All for this morning.
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Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
I saw a brilliance like amber, like fire, radiating from what appeared to be the waist upwards; and from what appeared to be the waist downwards, I saw what looked like fire, giving a brilliant light all round. The radiance of the encircling light was like the radiance of the bow in the clouds on rainy days. The sight was like the glory of Yahweh. I looked and fell to the ground, and I heard the voice of someone speaking to me. Ezekiel 1:27-28
Yesterday afternoon a rainbow spread across the sky, following a deluge of rain that fell. It drew me to the beach as I attempted to map the source of its brilliance way out on the ocean. In those few minutes, time stood still in rapture—as if I too had fallen to the ground. With all my activity of yesterday, those few minutes of wordless reverence dominate my heart from which I will return for sustenance. And when I turned for home, I looked back and the sky was dark and the rainbow had vanished. Help me not to miss experiencing timeless moments of His grandeur.
Just when you are wrapped up tight in activity and even concerns, isn’t interesting that you are drawn—if you accept it and are conscious—to the timeless dimension of eternity as evidenced in the blessings that you receive without asking? And the relief experienced is like the swig of water after a grueling race, reaching a vista overlooking a valley that you thought was still some distance off, or sitting quietly in prayer before dawn.
How else to describe His peace except in wordless adoration and thanks? What alternative is available to you but to share that peace with others not yet drawn to His presence—still seeking to release the tension that can build unconsciously and bind the wrists, shoulders, and the lines that tighten the face and forehead?
Push aside those cares that imprison you, and open your eyes and heart to what is just on the near side of [...]
Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
My child, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal. Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes. Cling to him and do not leave him, so that you may be honored at the end of your days. Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire and the chosen in the furnace of humiliation. Ecclesiasticus 2:1-5
During my walk this morning, it took a while before I realized that what I thought were seeds being distributed on a gentle breeze were in fact light rain drops. This morning—following a roundtrip drive to Washington to submit our visa applications to visit India—help me to relax in the Lord’s presence and be more conscious of His presence on the road of my life.
Ah, it doesn’t take much for the Scripture this morning to cause you to reflect upon your life to date—the challenges, losses, disappointments that are followed so quickly and substantially with demonstrations of His love discovered in a rain blessing during a walk, message received from a friend from the past, an opportunity to serve—and the joy that overcomes you for no apparent reason, though you know the source.
How long has it taken—how many years in fact—before you began to realize that acceptance, yielding to His will, patience, and even humiliation are not a signs of a flaw in your human character, but chords—sinews of building strength— in your soul—a soul that is being transformed in His grace and love even this very moment.
So, prepare yourself to welcome any surprise encounter—ordeal or not—with a sincere and open heart; be steadfast, realizing that you are gold that is being tested in the fire. . . in the furnace of humiliation.
All for this morning.
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