I thank my God every time I remember you. (Philippians 1:3)
I used to have a prayer wall. This was an area of my room where I had pictures of friends and family posted. There was no rhyme or reason to the arrangement—just dozens of snapshots stapled to the wall of a dorm room. Every time I looked at those pictures, I remembered people who were important in my life. Some of these people I saw every day; some were thousands of miles from me. Just seeing those photos prompted me to pray for them.
This is what Paul is talking about. These are people he cares for, people who are important to him. He wants them to know that he is thinking of them, covering them in prayer even when he can’t be with them.
Who is on your prayer wall? Whose face popped into your mind when you read this Scripture? Spend some time in prayer for them today. Start your week by bringing someone you love before the throne of God.
That’s a good Monday, there.
Last week I told you a story about a rather painful moment from elementary school. I had intended it to illustrate the power of storytelling, but as is so often the case with me, it took a little turn. In the end, the only power it really illustrated was the power of feedback.
Allow me to try again… Continue reading
It’s a lovely word.
Friends, I am taking a week off. I hope you mind, I hope you miss me, I hope you come back at the end of the week.
I’ll have a post up this Saturday, and we’ll get back to the One-a-Days next Monday.
God be with you, this week and all weeks.
I was in the 6th grade.
My class was doing some sort of choir pageant thingie. I had already had some notable successes on stage—perhaps you saw me in the 5th grade production of The Invisible Man? Well, you wouldn’t have actually seen me, given the character and all. In fact, I read the lines from off-stage and earned rave reviews from the class newspaper—On the Scene with Room 14! You could—and should—have seen me that same year portraying a giant cockroach. No, it wasn’t Kafka’s Metamorphosis. The psychiatric bill for that one would have been a bit high for elementary school. I was just a giant bug being chased by an equally giant can of Raid. Those who saw my performance were profoundly changed and/or disturbed. Ah, those public school tax dollars at work. Continue reading
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
But I don’t like to wait. I have plans and goals and ideas and God just isn’t working fast enough for me.
Besides, waiting seems so passive, so weak. Don’t I need to get out there and accomplish something?
I find it interesting that David says, “Be strong…and wait…” That seems to indicate that waiting takes strength and effort. It’s not passivity…it’s vigilance. In Psalm 130, the Psalmist waits for the Lord, “More than watchmen wait for the morning.” So I should wait, not sitting around aimlessly, but keeping my eyes peeled looking for him.
Sounds like trust.
Sounds like work.
You know, I’ll bet that if I were seeking God, if I were dwelling with him, as the earlier verses in this Psalm talk about, it would be easier to trust him, easier to see where he is working in my life, easier to wait for him.
Wait for the Lord.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Psalm 27:8)
This is part of that whole, “One thing I ask of the Lord…” idea we saw on Tuesday. Yesterday was a holiday, and it’s easy to get all “New Man”ish when you are outside your normal routine. Today, as you go back to the “real world,” the call to seek God can be harder to hear and obey.
God has placed within us the desire to know him. Sure, that desire gets twisted by sin and buried by the world, but it remains. Listen to the cry of your heart—it’s giving you good advice. Jesus tells us to ask, to seek, to knock. Take the time to do that today, not just this morning, but all through your day. Set the pattern.
Seek his face in the glorious sunrise.
Seek his face in the traffic.
Seek his face in the work you perform.
Seek his face in the face of your coworkers.
Seek his face at the grocery store.
Seek his face in your family.
Seek his face, Beloved.
It’s a good face.
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. No matter what 2013 looked like, it is gone. Today you begin again. If last year was one of triumph, great—remember, but don’t live there. Press on. If last year was one of failure, or loss—praise God for this new beginning.
The image in my head this morning is of the land after a snowfall, when nothing has yet touched the surface of the snow. It is fresh, clean, and waiting.
So…go make snow angels.
Have a blessed 2014, Beloved of Christ.
One thing I ask of the Lord; this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
Just to be with God. Do you ever want that? Do you ever have those moments when you get past wanting from God and just want God?
If you are anything like me, those moments are too few and too far between.
But then, the New Year is about fresh starts and making changes, isn’t it?
So, how many things are you asking God for in 2014?
How about just one?
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
We are coming up on the New Year. When you think about it, it’s just an arbitrary date on an imaginary calendar. I mean, it’s not like Wednesday is going to look different from Tuesday. Sky will still be blue, grass green, gravity should remain fairly constant.
We look at the New Year as a time to start fresh, to begin (or re-begin) new things. We wonder about the future and what it will hold for us. What opportunities await us in the coming year? What challenges? What treasures lie in our paths, and what monsters lie in wait? It can be an exciting time—and a scary time.
As you gird your loins for January 1, ask yourself the same question David asks: With God as my light, my life, my protector, what can possibly frighten me?
Chew on that today.
He was a miser, a scoundrel, a skinflint, a crook—He was villainous, ominous, monstrous—a schnook!
This is the description of Ebenezer Scrooge from the musical Scrooge, currently running at LifeHouse Theater. If you read last weekend’s post, you know that I have the privilege of playing that very miser, scoundrel, skinflint, etc.
If you didn’t read last weekend’s post…ummm…why?
I love story. I love the way a good writer can get inside your head and show you pictures of yourself reflected in a fictional character. I love the lessons we, as readers, or audience members, or even performers, can learn from the characters we experience.
Here, then, are a few lessons we can learn from old Ebenezer. Continue reading