Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blessed Assurance—A Christmas Theme

Does it make sense to write about how you can’t write?

What I mean is, I can't seem to express my feelings in words right now. A dear friend has died. The world's news is full of heartache and angst and fear. Besides, I have never been the biggest fan of “the holidays,” when perfect seems possible but of course never is.

Yes, there is plenty of good in the world, plenty of love, plenty of sparkle, plenty of blessing. But experiences we in all our humanness would wish away mix right in, and our feelings can become a mixed-up mess as well.

Thank goodness—thank God!—faith is not all about feeling. Faith is about assurance. Hebrews 10:22 (NIV) says, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.”

So I won’t try to express what I feel. Not yet. But in this season, in times of trouble and sorrow, I can draw near to God, with a sincere heart, and with the full assurance that faith brings. I can let the perfect go. Embrace the memories, the hope, the love of family and friends. I can offer a kind word, a warm hug, whatever gifts I have.

And that seems like a Christmas theme God would have for us all, living as though that bright Star, that ultimate Love, that Gift of all gifts makes all the difference. As though we do indeed have blessed assurance.

photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=63141&picture=christmas

Friday, November 20, 2015

One of Those Weeks

It's been one of those weeks.

When you don't know which way is up as it all goes down. 

When you think about it as you go to asleep and when you wake up. 

When you want it all to stop and you want new beginnings. 

When you believe and doubt.

When you want to be right-thinking, not wrong-thinking.

When you think long and feel deep.

When you ask, Who's right? Who's wrong? Do I know? 

When you hate politics.

(When you think about the Muslims who lived next door, but you only ever waved.)

When the news makes you sick—except for the hope.

When you hate war and terror.

When you are supposed to love but it's hard.

When you want to protect and you want to reach out. When you want to do both. (Can't we do both?)

When you know Jesus was right about trouble in the world.

When you hang on to His words, “I have overcome.”*

When you hang on to His best word: love.

*John 16:33 NIV 

photo credit:  http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=33837&picture=tealight-candle

Friday, November 13, 2015

Some Thoughts on Hitting Walls

The last time we moved, we moved into condo living. And because our unit was built several decades ago, it does not have the open concept we twenty-first century HGTV junkies know so well. What was more important to us was the location and the number of rooms. 

So we must do some winding to get from one room to another. We leave the one combo room we have—the kitchen/family room—to enter the dining room, then make a sharp left into the living room, then a left or right into a hallway to reach all the other rooms. We have no straight shot; our path is a zigzag affair.

Sometimes we think the path of life is a wide, open, straight shot. We are born, we live, we die. “You have your whole life in front of you” we say to the very young. That's true, but won't there be corners to turn and walls to bump into? Don't we sometimes get stuck in rooms we intended, had hoped, to only pass through, or avoid altogether?

We live in a world that's a zigzag affair, and more than likely, we won't always know the way through. Not on our own.

Have you hit a wall?

Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. 
(Ps. 143:8 NIV)

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