Archive for October, 2012

Living Hope

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,           1 Peter 1:3

A living hope.  Sounds good doesn’t it?  This morning I found those words very refreshing.

So often, I find myself reflecting back to a better time.  I catch myself thinking about a mountain top experience and relishing in the emotions of a time when all was well with God and with the world.  I think back to times when it seemed everything was going just right.  And then the phone rings or my In Box sounds and I am brought back to the reality of today.

But this verse this morning splashed cool water on my weary face.  In Jesus, we don’t have a hope that comes and goes.  We don’t just have to hold on to the memories of a mountain top experience.  We have a living hope.  A hope that is growing and maturing.  And this hope is made possible by God’s great mercy.

Our hope would be non-existent without God’s unspeakable mercy.  The two things are tied together – inseparable really.

You see, God’s mercy is not a single act at one moment in time.  It’s not like we were caught red handed doing something wrong and God decided to forgive us.  God’s mercy is always with us.  In fact, that might be the best way to describe it.  God with us.  When I think that God loves me enough to stay with me even when I do stupid stuff, I get a picture of that mercy.

And that is how our hope can stay alive.

God loves you and his mercy is real!

Live into today reflecting vibrant hope.

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As I sat down this morning for part of my time alone with God, I decided to use a practice I turn to frequently – prayerful reading (lectio divina).  I turned on my computer and opened my online Bible.  There for me to read on the front page was the verse of the day.  I would normally have clicked passed this to a passage to start my time with God, but for some reason, I felt a nudge to stay with this verse.

Proverbs 29:25, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in God is kept safe.”

We are entering a journey in the life of our church family here at 1st B and on the outset, it seems too big and illusive to really get our heads around.  We are at the very cusp of what will be a new era in our church.

As I pray about God’s leadership in this endeavor, I often find myself doubting.  Thoughts flood my mind like: “What if we miss it?” or ‘What if we fail?” or even “What will other people think?”  I guess at the root of all the anxiety is that last one – what will people think.  If we attempt something big and fail, what will others in the community think?

The writer of Proverbs warns us that fearing what others might think is an immobilizing trap; a trap I believe  leads to complacency.  We throw up our hands before we even start and say, “It can’t be done – its just too big.”

I have said this before but the fact of the matter is complacency is the cancer that is killing the church.

The cure for this cancer is trust.  While the writer of Proverbs gives us this warning about fear, he also encourages us by reminding us that those who trust God walk in God’s protection.

Whatever you are facing today that seems too big – don’t fear.  Simply trust.  God has a plan and that plan includes protecting you.

Live boldly today!

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Waiting . . .

I talk a lot about slowing down and listening for God fairly frequently.  I believe it is important to slow down and rest in God’s presence.

Today, I am being forced to slow down.  I am writing this from a doctor’s waiting room.  I began to feel sick Saturday night.  Before bed I was running fever and the body aches had set in.  Yesterday, I made it through church and a meeting and then spent the rest of the day on the couch.

So this morning, I decided to go see the doctor to hopefully speed up the process of getting better.

Now, I am waiting . . .

So as I sit here, I am reminded, once again, of the importance of waiting.  I am one of those people who does not like to wait – particularly when the reason for waiting is out of my control.  But as I sit, I am also reminded that God is in it all.  I am reminded that I need to be present, even in the waiting.

Today, slow down and focus on being present.  It might just make your day come alive.

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