Showing posts from December, 2012

Choose An Open Heart

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28   Every now and then something happens that causes a television show to make the announcement, “you are joining a program already in progress.” We enter most people’s lives that way. With the obvious exception of our children, we join lives whose stories are already in progress. I joined one such life when my life was barely in progress. There isn’t a time in my early life that a woman I’ll call Angie, was not there.   We lived in very close proximity so my observations of her are very personal.   Angie was cold to the extreme. There was no real option of getting to know her beyond surface information. She was unhappy, dissatisfied with her life and it showed. Watching her I determined to be nothing like her. Where she was unapproachable, chilly and dark, I wanted to be a warm, caring and affectionate person. As a child I was non

Called By Love

I just began to read the book of Jude, not looking for anything in particular, just because I wanted to read it.   The first words in it grabbed my attention. It reads, “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy and peace be yours in abundance.” It’s just the greeting. Maybe it’s the New Testament version of “To whom it may concern.” But read it again. “To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.” I was reading Jude, just to read it. I love the last two verses, the doxology, so much and for whatever reason, was drawn just now to read the whole book, which I will do in just a few minutes, after I think about these words above that stopped me. “To those who have been called.” That’s me! My guess is if you are reading this, that’s you! We have been called by God the Father and are kept by Jesus Christ and if that isn’t fa

You and You and You

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town David a Savior had been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 The other day I was listening to a modern version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and something stood out. In this particular version the singer sings the words, “He’s coming back for you and you and you and you….” As I listened I began to smile. I heard a very different voice, the voice of a young friend of mine who lives with a mild version of autism, among some other challenges. My little buddy fixates on certain songs or movies and repeats them over and over for a time before moving onto the next one. Right now one of the songs he loves contains the line, “You and you and you and well…..all of you!” See the connection? While listening to the promise that Jesus, Emmanuel is indeed coming back for you and you and you, I thought of his willingness to come for us at all. We read

Miracle Babies

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Holy Spirit will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son o God.”   Luke 1:34-35 Thirty-two years ago today I was as hugely pregnant and thrilled.   Throughout Advent I thought about Mary and her pregnancy. It was thrilling to think about my own baby, expected so close to the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth.   I was healthy and happy right up until the my own journey of labor, my twenty-eight hour, excruciatingly painful, journey. All of which was very worth the product, my son Paul. Today Paul’s wife is expecting their first child. Her journey is a bit off from Mary’s as Paul is a January baby and my grandson, who I call “Silas,” as they are keeping his name a secret, is due in March. There is however a huge similarity between Paul and “Silas,” even before our little man makes his appearance on this earth. They a


  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name, Jesus. Luke 1: 31 This morning I read a line in a devotional that really made me think. It said that the religious people of Jesus day had the attitude that the Messiah would get their allegiance when and if he fulfilled their expectations.   As soon as I read the words I expected a prick of guilt. Do I do that? Do I expect Jesus to meet my expectations? Those questions made me laugh. I’ve had many reasons lately to take stock of all that God has done for me so far. I know what he is doing now and I have experienced the thrill of knowing that my future is in his hands. Do my expectations need to be met? No! Because they have been surpassed by miles and miles. Looking around at my imperfect life, at my family, friends, job etc, I can see the myriad ways that Jesus has blessed me. There are people, things and experiences in my life that I couldn’t have asked for because they are beyond wha

Most Wonderful

  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7a   It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Every year at this time something prompts me to borrow that line from the much loved Christmas song of the same name. It is the most wonderful time of the year but not for the reasons the media would like to sell us. This is what liturgical churches call Advent. When I was a child I was very confused by the juxtaposition of Advent and the secular preparations for Christmas. In our church Advent was a solemn time. We prepared for the birth of the baby Jesus. That should be happy, right? Yes and no. Are we happy that Jesus is being born? Yes but because we know his whole story, we know about Good Friday and we know the part we play in it. That casts the solemn light on things. For while we were still sinners that prec