Monday, November 30, 2009

God clothed in an infant's frame

Frosted windows glow. Inside a hearth burns brightly. The cold night air confirms it is Christmas time as little twinkling lights compete with the stars.

I cannot imagine the first Christmas when my Savior took his first breath in the night air of an old dusty stable. Lord, did you shiver in the cold when you stepped out among humanity-God clothed in an infant's frame.

Lord, did all of heaven look down to earth from the warmth of cloudy, frosted windows? I cannot fathom that you left the comforts of home for the sake of me and for all humanity. Yet, on the night you came to earth, they pushed you to the outskirts of town.

Lord, I pray that we will welcome you today, and not push you to the outskirts of our lives, even on our darkest and coldest nights.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Revelation 3:8

At this time of year, mistletoe hangs in many doorways, inviting expressions of peace and goodwill. They seem friendly and warm, while they contrast greatly with darkened doors reminiscent of Scrooge and Marley, whose appearance alone cries Bah Humbug! And then there are doors that serve a divine purpose, not in the sense of nativity scenes and Christmas choirs, but the kind Jesus speaks of in Revelation 3:8; "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word, and have not denied my name."

Is there an open door God has placed before you this holiday season?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

"I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High." -Psalm 7:17

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

James 1:17

I am a social drinker . . . when it comes to coffee. I do not care to darken the door of a Starbucks alone. I prefer the good company of a loved one or a friend or a good book. But on a rainy day like today, the day before Thanksgiving, I am enjoying the comforts of a good cup of coffee at home curled up on my couch watching a movie with my family.

"Every good and perfect is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows." -James 1:17

Monday, November 23, 2009

Luke 2:11

My heart swells in anticipation of what this holiday season will bring.

My six year old helps to usher in feelings of thanksgiving; in her first grade class at a public school, she wrote a story about how thankful she is for Jesus. Her child-like faith bears a depth I admire.

Meanwhile, my three year old waits for the day when we can decorate the house for Christmas, after having very little memory of Christmases past.

And I look forward to spending quality time with family and friends in the midst of all the festivities that deck the halls of our lives with beauty and busyness.

But even when the demands of this holiday season come knocking at my door, I will remember that most of all, my heart swells in anticipation of celebrating the birth of our King.

"'Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'" -An angel of the Lord, Luke 2:11

Friday, November 20, 2009

I want to share with you today one of my favorite poems:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

-Robert Frost

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Matthew 14:29-31

I would like to say I live like Jesus, but in reality I walk like Peter. I have the faith to get out of the boat, but I also have the doubt to sink.

Yet even as the waves toss me around so I can barely tread water to keep my head from going under, Jesus always throws me a lifeline. That lifeline may look like a worship song or a quirky statement made by three year old or a kind word from a friend, but it always looks like Scripture.

"'Come,' he (Jesus) said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!'

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'" -Matthew 14:29-31

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Special thanks to Jenny Schmitz for inviting me to participate in the Women in Ministry Blog Series. Check out my blog entry for today at

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mark 10:45

Choosing a life of serving can lead us to a life of surrender. When we serve others, our focus becomes those who we are serving, not ourselves. And when our focus is not on ourselves, it makes it easier to be selfless. I think that is just one of the many blessings I receive by answering God's call to serve others. It's amazing to see a life enriched when God reaches out his hand and touches the life of someone else through mine.

"For the Son of man also came not to b served but to serve . . . " -Mark 10:45

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunset at Treasure Island

A copper sun sinks from the clear blue sky, dropping a deposit into a giant piggy bank painted ocean blue.

Now the moon boldly shines, after waiting all day for his turn to take the stage. The stars come out one by one, eagerly awaiting his performance. Tonight the moon masquerades as a giant sand dollar dancing across a quiet sea. There is a hush over the night until all that can be heard is the quiet clapping of the ocean's tide.

After several hours, the show comes to an end and the Stage Director calls, "Encore!" before waiting for His glorious display to happen again tomorrow.

"The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor." -1 Corinthians 15:41

Friday, November 13, 2009

The God of the Bible who appears as a burning bush now burns passionately and personally today. He kindles a fire in the souls of men and women that may start out reminiscent of the tune This little light of mine, but it grows and burns brightly. You see, we have the luxury of experiencing God, not as a burning bush from a distant desert in the middle east, but in the closest confines of our own hearts.

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'" -Hebrews 12:28,29

Philippians 1:3-6

I see you making your way; a woman-to-be wrapped up in the heart of a girl. Toting dreams around in your purse while wearing your heart on your sleeve. I wonder who you will grow up to be? A wife, a mother, a daughter-in-law? A doctor or a missionary or even a rock star? And still my heart overflows with thankfulness for who you are today.

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." -Philippians 1:3-6

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hard times can produce hard hearts. And dreams can wilt like flowers scorned by the sun. The pressures of this life can drive us to extremes; the loss of a life, the loss of a career, the loss of a hope and a future.

But what if the Author of all life pens that there is still more to the story? Even though there is conflict, there can still be resolution.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -Jesus Christ (John 16:33)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ephesians 6:18

Prayer Warriors serve as silent soldiers in unseen battles. They combat the captains of dark armies. They devastate dark horses with their powerful weapons of war. Their prayers light up the night sky like bombs bursting in air.

Praying for love tucked cozy into bed across the hall or across the world. Praying the prayers of faith for babies grown or babies not yet born. Praying for leaders whose decisions affect where we are today, and where we are headed tomorrow. Praying for peace. Praying for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Praying for the sick, the poor and the brokenhearted. Praying for shifting shadows to be brought into the light.

These are my heroes. They travel through this life, sometimes radiant with the Spirit, sometimes incognito, touching our lives in ways only heaven can see. Meanwhile the rest of us slumber across the hall or across the world . . .

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the saints." -Ephesians 6:18

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Romans 12:11

Perspective. It is a loaded word, isn't it? It can be a skewed perception of reality. It can be positive and optimistic or it can be negative and dismal. Our perspective impacts the ways we think, the ways we act, even the ways we relate to others, including God.

There was a time when my perspective could have been characterized as that of a worldly rogue, but now I like to think of myself has having the perspective of a spiritual renegade, passionate for Jesus!

How about you? What is your perspective?

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." -Romans 12:11

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Psalm 118:24

I relish lazy evenings when darkness is my only deadline for turning in, and the sun peeks through tall oak trees while a breeze rustles crisp autumn leaves. A new sense of perspective rushes in with the dusk; Perhaps the stresses of the day were larger than what they appeared. I like to think of them now as faux giants.

As night slips in, I drop my sling and my stone and rest in the luxurious descent of the evening, knowing that tomorrow will begin anew.

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." -Psalm 118:24

Monday, November 2, 2009

James 1:27

She wishes upon a star in a velvet night sky illuminated by a silvery moon. She waits for her time to become . . . to become the apple of her father's eye. Instead she longs even just to be a thought fleeting through her father's mind. Her father may not be dead, but she is dead to him. She is an orphan. And she looks like you. And she looks like me. She looks like the girl in the check out line. She looks like the girl at school. Will she remain unnoticed in the black of night, or will we come alongside her and point her to a Father who listens and cares?

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." -James 1:27

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Life is . . .

This perfectionist says, "Life is not a box of chocolates, that would be too messy and too fattening!" Can I control my life in such a way that it can be artificially sweetened, then kept cool enough so it won't melt in my hands? Don't get me wrong, I think there is a time and a place for self-control, but what if God wants to say, "Go ahead, taste life!" Am I okay with taking that risk? If I am honest, sometimes I am, and sometimes I am not.

How about you?