The Curse Of The Fig Tree

figThis morning I was reading in Mark and came upon the passage where Jesus cursed the fig tree. At first I skipped over it thinking that I already knew what it said, blah…blah…blah. However, I went back to it and felt the Father wanting to teach me something (it was also a reminder that nothing in God’s Word is insignificant!). Continue reading

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The Dog Park

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As I was walking my dog this morning, I watched the cars pulling into the dog park across the street. I smiled as a truck drove by with a dog barking incessantly as the truck drew closer to the park. His barking made me laugh out loud because I could feel the excitement of this dog – he certainly knew where they were heading! It is not an unusual occurrence. I hear dogs barking and jumping excitedly all the time as their owners drive up to the park.
I smiled as I thought how great it was that these people love and take care of their dogs so much. We all love our pets, don’t we? We cater to them. We get up early for them. We do things for them that they love. We cuddle with them. They are the focus of our photos and attention.

Continue reading

I Wonder…

Dear God,

I wonder what it would have been like to have been the field that Jesus walked through – to feel His feet against my soil?

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I wonder what it would have been like to be the tree that provided shade against the heat of the day – to have the Son of God lay against my trunk and under my branches?twisted tree

Or what about the cloud He gazed upon while looking in the sky? What shapes would He have seen in me?cloud-trees

What would it have been like to be the wind that blew through His hair – to feel the softness of His skin as I gently blew by?sun-hair

Or what about the rock He cried upon and leaned on while He prayed to His Father – to feel the warm blood that He sweat as it dripped on my hard surface?

Sea of stones, Kali Basin, Hungary

But as the rocks, trees, fields, and wind were created through Him – so also was man created in His image. And I am thankful that I know what it is like to be a child of God. And though I have not been able to physically touch Jesus (yet) – He has touched me in a much deeper way, by loving me.

To know that the blood that dripped upon that rock, and why He came to earth was for me, makes me thankful that I don’t have to wonder what it is like to be made in the image of God.face-laugh

 

[Originally written Monday, April 27, 1992. I was 22 and had such a tender heart towards God.]

Embrace These Days

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What is happening in our nation? It seems like every day there is a new crisis! Fear easily creeps in and steals our thoughts and emotions during times of change and unrest. We are seeing crisis on a national scale and the ripples of anger, frustration, exasperation have touched every single person in one way or another.

How do you respond? Do you engage in the bantering and taking on of political cause as a reactionary response to it all? Maybe. Perhaps that needs to be done.

Do you panic because you feel like your world is crumbling around you and fear is gripping your heart? Or it could be that anger is consuming your mind.

Our responses/reaction are based on what we choose to see. So…

What do you see?

We’ve had time to get over our initial reactions, but now can you step back, look at our nation through different eyes and see beyond the surface? Instead of the foul banter that is bubbling up on the surface, what is happening at the core, the source?

I encourage you to refrain from acting out of initial emotion. Knee-jerk responses are never right. But when you step back and look deeper, what do you notice?

This week, I watched, prayed, and was overcome by what I saw. Like a wildfire that blazes through land and destroys everything in it’s path, our nation seems to be reeling from fires in every direction and I don’t think we are quite finished. Yet the beauty of wildfires is that they have a purpose: fires PURGE.

We are being purged, yet the aftermath is beauty and NEW LIFE.

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There is New Life in the midst of turmoil.

What do I see? I see NEW LIFE.

I am filled with praise right now! Praise!

  • I see hearts moved to compassion.
  • I see people uniting.
  • I see our country being shaken – and it’s good.
  • I see people falling to their knees in prayer.
  • I see people changing their perspective and looking to the Lord.
  • I see people waking up and doing what’s right.
  • I see people throwing off the deception of lies.
  • I see people breaking chains of destructive thinking.
  • I see the goodness of God in the land of the living!
  • I see God on His throne.
  • I see fields ready for harvest!
  • I see healing.
  • I see a time of OPPORTUNITY!

 

Do not fear! Embrace these days. Lift your voice in praise. Doors are open for new relationships, for healing, for loving. Stay focused on the new life that is pushing up through the ashes. As the Lord covers you in His love, share His love and reach out to others that are hurting. It is time to share the true love of the true God!

 

Cherish The Memories

memoriesLast night my parent’s came over for family game night and my mother showed up with several CDs of old family videos that she had transferred from tapes. After they left I sat down and watched my high school graduation and my sister’s high school graduation. Nearly 30 years have gone by since those days and it was like watching another life. I barely remembered anything and as I viewed images of myself I tried to remember what was going through the mind of that young woman avoiding the eye of the camera. I felt as if I was watching a shadow. Who was that person in the video? As far as my sister’s graduation I had no recollection of that day at all. In fact I told my parents I didn’t think I was there because it was the summer I had made a trip to Guatemala for a missions trip. Yet, suddenly, there I was in the video.

I was astonished at how quickly memories fade.

The most emotional part was seeing my grandparents who have long since passed away. I wanted to jump into the screen and grab hold of them one more time. Chuckles abounded out of seeing how much everyone has changed – the slimmer figures, darker and fuller hair, and the the hair styles! My son sat next to me and when an image of my mother came into view he said, “Nana’s hair looks like the shape of an atomic bomb!”. We rolled with laughter. The videos brought back wonderful memories of fun family gatherings. As imperfect as my family was, we loved our gatherings. I always enjoyed being around all the cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends so close we couldn’t remember if they were blood-related or not. Living within a few hours of each other made it easy to throw together a picnic or bbq filled with lawn games and laughter.

I’m really grateful my mother took the time to put these memories together. It’s good to remember pleasant times. Cherish your memories for if you do not, you lose something valuable.

When I awoke this morning I had a bit soberness as it bothered me at my lack of remembrance in my life. Have I completely disregarded the life I had? In my pursuit of being better, learning and growing, did I throw away the precious gift of remembrance? I felt very disconnected to the girl in the video – she had no idea the hard life she had ahead. If  I could go back and talk to her what would I say? I wanted to reconnect in some way to those moments as if it could somehow save me from the sadness and heartache of other memories. All those swirling thoughts ended up with the impression of how important it is to simply remember. Remember the blessings and cherish those memories.

How many times does God ask us in His Word to remember? He established festivals and rituals for the sole purpose for us to remember. Communion is about remembering the Life given to us through the sacrifice of Christ. Do many of us devote much time to remembering the goodness of God and the lessons in life? I know I don’t give any. I think we assume we will automatically remember. Last night was a good reminder that not only is remembering something good for us as it helps with perspective, but remembering takes a focused effort. It’s easy to recall the pain and hard times, but we easily discard memories of the blessings. I am guilty of focusing on the pain, but last night revealed that it’s not only the hard times that shape my life – it’s the good times as well.

As a challenge to all of us: what can we do to remember the good things in our life and the faithfulness of God? I know the Paul says “forgetting what lies behind I press forward toward the upward calling of God.” How do this directive and the command to remember fit together? Perhaps it is the encouragement to do the opposite of what we naturally do – forget the failure and pain of the past and move up in the high calling of God.

Occasionally taking the time to stop and purposely remember God’s goodness through fond memories and honoring His blessings in our lives is a good habit to form. It builds within us a grateful heart and perhaps diminishes the negative memories that we easily hold on to.

 

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The Lord Will Arise Over You

Arise, shine;
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
BUT…the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
Those that do not know the Lord shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.  (Isaiah 60:2)

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