See into heaven

Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.
Henry Ward Beecher

tears 2

 When our tears come they usually flow from grief or pain. They flow for ourselves and sometimes for someone else. Tears pull us from our routine day-today existence. Whatever caused them has stopped us in our tracks. We step back from the ordinary and frequently reach out to God for help. So they do cause us to see into heaven and know that God is there. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to let your tears flow.

Prayer: Thank you, God for being our help and strength. Remind us that Jesus wept. Amen

 

Prayer changes us

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
Soren Kierkegaard

mother theresa

One of my favorite prayers talks about God’s unchangelessness. God never changes I count on it. But if we spend time with God in prayer we are different. Don’t forget to spend time with God. He is worth the effort.

Homework: Take time to pray for five minutes each day this week.

Prayer: Faithful God, you wait on us to come to you. You are there with us but we don’t talk with you. Help us to take the time to be with you. Amen

 

Don’t create God

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image, when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”  Anne Lamott

We have to be careful about how we imagine God. We can’t expect God to think exactly what we think. After all, God is God. Jesus spent a lot of time telling us about God and the Kingdom of God. We need to spend more time reading the Bible.

Every-time-you-read-the-Bible

Prayer: Patient God, you know that we keep trying to create you in our own image. Remind us that it is the other way around. Amen

 

 

 

 

Cross to crown

No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
William Penn

crown

Remember the old hymn that says “if you cannot bear the cross then you cannot wear the crown.” The Christian life is not easy. Sometimes it seems that way to us since we are at the end of an age when to be a Christian was the easy path. Everyone else (who mattered was Christian. Anyone who wanted to get with the in crowd went to church. You were accepted if you were Christian. Not so any more. The number of Christians is declining and we don’t have to go to church to be socially acceptable. It may even be becoming a detriment. What will you do then?

Prayer: Lord Jesus we have been complacent for too long. Help us to see that being Christian requires sacrifice. The cross is for us not the crown. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did it!

 Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.

John Stott

father forgive them

 For many years we Christians blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus. It was easier to do this than to accept that had we lived in his time and place we could have been a party to his death. We are not blameless even now. We kill him again each time we don’t acknowledge that was are Christians, each time that we hurt someone else or don’t do something the we know is right. We kill him little by little.

Prayer: God of forgiveness, we are sinful people and we fall off the path all the time. Help us to think before we act. Amen

 

 

Understand

It is so easy to make snap judgments about others. Today I did a mediation. My initial thoughts had we favoring one side. I always have to shove these thoughts aside and wait to hear the whole story. The whole story is the answer and we don’t often know it. We judge without understanding. Judging is not up to us. Understanding is.

Judging-quote-image-2014

 

Watch out for envy

A Psalm of David. 

Psalm 37:1-7

envyFret not yourself because of the wicked,
    be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass,
    and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your vindication as the light,
    and your right as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!

We read part of this Psalm in church this morning. I was struck by verses 1 and 7. Too often we are envious of those who seem so much better off than us. It is so easy to wish that we could be rich or famous. Maybe someone else’s life seems easier. God reminds us to not sink to envy. It just makes us unhappy. We must no “fret” about those who seem to do well. For one thing we are not traveling in their shoes. Their life may not be as perfect as it seems. Peace and happiness have nothing to do with what we have. It is more about how we live.

God chooses

 Genesis 1:1-2  In the beginning God created  the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. 

in-the-beginning-god

I have always love this image. The idea of God choosing to create a world is…I can’t find a word wonderful enough. The Spirit of moving. Notice that in this version Spirit is capitalized. The Spirit is a facet of God. God is not one thing but many things. A God way beyond our understanding. Know that this is God. Infinite and unknowable until He chooses to become a man.

Our viewing point

gods eye view

It is not our responsibility to protect God. God can take care of Himself/Herself. Too often someone will want to defend their view of God. They want everyone else to understand what God wants. The trouble is it is what God wants according to them. Let us not fall into the trap of defending God. I truly believe God is fine. Just trust that, if blessed, you will hear God tell you the plans for you. He/She will not be interested in updating you about others. We each have our own perspective….our viewing point is not God’s.