Monday, July 29, 2013

Time and Silence

It has been a very long time since I have posted in this place.  Has God been silent?  Or, have my ears been closed to his voice?  I know what the answer is and knew it before I typed the question.  I have been inside my head overmuch and the noise inside of there has kept me occupied to distraction. 

What to do? 

Sometimes it is best to go back to what has worked in the past and here I am seeking God's whispers in earnest, by peering into scripture.

But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him.
-- Habakkuk 2:20

Lord, silence the noise in my head so I can hear the soft whisper of your voice.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Love Came Down

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dear God

I don't understand.
I don't understand why you allow people to suffer.
I don't understand why you don't stop natural disasters.
I don't understand why you don't heal all the sick and take away all disease.
I don't understand why you don't give food, water, and shelter to everybody.
I don't understand why you don't stop wars and fighting.
I don't understand

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Spending Time in Relationship - Song of Songs 2

My love calls to me: Arise, my darling. Come away, my beautiful one. For now the winter is past; the rain has ended and gone away. Song of Songs 2:10-11

These verses give a sense of passing time and the relationship seems to grow more intimate as the man and woman spend time together.

  • They eat together in the banquet hall. 
  • They visit one another.
  • They spend time away with each other.
We also get a sense the couple enjoy each other and treat each other with kindness and respect.

  • They compliment each other
  • They communicate openly
  • They are openly attentive to each other
What happens to a relationship when a couple never spends time together?

What happens to a relationship when friends or family members do not communication openly with each other?

What do harsh words do to a relationship?

What do gentle, kind, and respectful words do for a relationship?

Having an intimate relationship with God involves spending time with him. We often put intimacy on the back burner because our lives are too busy. As time goes by, intimacy begins to slip away and our relationship becomes stale and boring.

How is it with you? Do you have scheduled times to spend in relationship?

Abba, forgive us when we let time go by without spending moments with you and the special people in our lives. Teach us to build intimate relationships through gentle words, respect, and open communication. Show us how to value others as you have valued us. Fill us with your Spirit and let your love flow from our lips and spill over those we have come to know.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Looking Beyond Farewell

“And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:22-24

Transition often means saying good by to the old and hello to the new. It often involves trials, hardship, grief, and broken hearts.

Paul had to say goodbye to people he knew and loved.  He also faced an unknown future of "chains and afflictions."

Did Paul worry about what would happen to his friends and loved ones? Did he worry about what he would encounter in the future?

Did his friends and loved ones worry about what would happen to Paul? Did they worry about what they would encounter in the future?

The only thing Paul saw in his future was chains and afflictions. Yet, he stayed the course and pressed on.

Lord, transitions are hard! When we must say goodbye to the old and hello to the new, help us place the movement into the framework of your grace. When the future holds chains and afflictions, and the past holds grief and hardship, help us to look beyond the farewell and see the guiding light of your loving spirit.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Looking Beyond Financial Hardship

When he had assembled them, as well as the workers engaged in this type of business, he said: “Men, you know that our prosperity is derived from this business. You both see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost the whole province of Asia, this man Paul has persuaded and misled a considerable number of people by saying that gods made by hand are not gods!” Acts 19:25-26

The gospel was changing lives all over the place.

In this account demonism was defeated in Ephesus. Many became believers and turned away from their old ways and placed their faith in Christ.  Those that practiced magic, collected their own magic books and burned them in front of everyone. The books were valued at 50,000 pieces of silver!  This represents financial hardship.

The silversmiths in Ephesus, who made silver shrines for the goddess Artemis, heard all the news reports. They were afraid of losing their livelihood.  Paul was preaching against idol worship and people were being persuaded.  This represents financial hardship.

One group was able to look beyond financial hardship and welcomed change.

The other group was blinded by financial hardship and turned away from change.

Lord, we know that change often involves financial hardship. When you lead us in a new direction, give us spiritual eyes to look beyond financial hardship.  Give us courage to take the necessary steps. Help us to rely on your faithfulness as we navigate through the change.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Looking Beyond Responsibility

But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his clothes and told them, “Your blood is on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Acts 18:6

Paul took his responsibility too far when he violently persecuted Christians.

In this account, Paul knows when to stop and wash his hands of responsibility.

Responsibility is a heavy burden, especially when it involves the lives of other people.

We need a clear vision of our purpose. We need to know when to push. We need to know when to let go. And, we need to know that it’s okay to walk away.

This holds true for church ministry and daily living. It’s true in every relationship.

Lord, give us the wisdom to look beyond the burden of responsibility. Help us to know when to push, when to let go, and when to walk away.