Forgive One-a-Day Friday  11/30/18

A life worthy

Forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us (Matthew 6:12).

Your translation probably says “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” but I like this version, and it’s my blog, so…

I’m actually pretty good at forgiveness.  When someone asks my pardon, I generally give it readily and fully.  That’s not because I am Super Saint. It’s just that I remember this verse.

And I see that little word as.

See, the line reads, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive…”

In other words, we are asking that the Father forgive us in the same way that we forgive others.

Well, I want to be forgiven fully and freely and immediately and thoroughly.

So…

There you go.

Mercenary? Perhaps…but there you go.

Walk in forgiveness today, Beloved.

Happy Friday.

Just Enough   One-a-Day Thursday  11/29/18

A life worthy

Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).

Just enough to get me through the day.  

Not too much, or I might get prideful.

Not too little, or I might not make it at all.

Just…enough.

How about a deal, Lord?

I’ll trust that you know how much I need, and you…

remind me that you know what “enough” looks like.  

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Thy/My Will One-a-Day Wednesday  11/28/18

A life worthy

…your kingdom come,

your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

I think the hardest part of the whole living for God thing can be found in this verse.  Because God doesn’t always listen to my design input as he formulates his will, and frankly that annoys me.  

But here’s something to chew on, Beloved: Heaven is all about God’s will.  So, if we can’t learn to say, “Your will be done” here, well…our first few weeks of eternity might get a little crunchy.

Of course, that may be part of why we’re here in the first place: to learn to say, “Your will be done” and mean it with our whole everything.

I can’t do it

Yet.

But someday…

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Holy One-a-Day Tuesday  11/27/18

A life worthy

…hallowed be your name…(Matthew 6:9)

Hallowed

You know, like holy.

The Jews were so intense when it came to the holiness of God that they wouldn’t even utter the name YAHWEH. They considered it blasphemy.  I remember as a kid being told not to “take the Lord’s name in vain.” I didn’t really get what “in vain” meant, but I figured that God’s name was special and only to be used in prayer.

These days, we seem to be past all that.  Our society uses God’s name all the time–and not always in prayer.

Not often in prayer.

Beloved, perhaps today is a good day to remind ourselves that God is not like us.  I mean, we are made in his image, and Jesus became flesh and lived among us, but ultimately…he is different.

His is separate.

He is holy.

There is a purity and a majesty and a power in God that caused everyone who ever came into his presence to fall on their faces. Isaiah cried out, “Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips!” God appears to people as an angel, or as fire, or as tempest, because God in his true glory would crisp them.

So, while God is our loving Father

He is also

Almighty God.

Walk in reverence today.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Father One-a-Day Monday 11/26/18

A life worthy

This, then, is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven…(Matthew 6:9)

Not Mighty God

Not Lord of the Universe

Not Holy One

Not Creator

Not Sustainer

Not Giver and Taker of Life

Not Commander of the Heavenly Host

Even though all those names are true

Father

When Jesus taught his followers to pray, he started with Father.

And so should we.

Happy Monday, Beloved

Whole One-a-Day Friday  11/23/18

A life worthy

Give thanks with a grateful heart.

Give thanks to the Holy One.

Give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his son.

And now let the weak say, “I am strong…”

Let the poor say, “I am rich,”

Because of what the Lord has done for us.

And now let the sick say, “I am whole…”

(Give Thanks, Don Moen, 1986)

God is not bound by time.

Stay with me here.

God created time.  He exists outside of it.  He is simultaneously present at all moments of eternity.

So…..?

So, my body may ache, my soul may weep, my society may be wracked with sin and pain and loss.

but

God sees more.  He sees me as I am, but also as I will be.  He sees the aching, but also the relief. He hears the weeping, but also the rejoicing.  He knows the sin, but also the redemption.

Singing this line is not a denial or what is.  It is a celebration of what also is.

Not just someday, but right now.  Because for God, it’s all right now.

When God looks at you…what does he see?

Wow

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Thanksgiving One-a-Day Thursday  11/22/18

A life worthy

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16: 34).

Busy day today.

You’ve got a turkey to burn, cranberries to sauce, potatoes to mash, tables to set, dishes to break, shards to sweep up, relatives to endure/enjoy…

Beloved, take a moment, right now, before the craziness descends.  Offer your heart and your mind and your day and your life to Him in thanksgiving.  If you don’t do it now…

Breathe deep, and thank him that he chooses to be good

That he chooses to love you

That he chooses to choose you forever, not until he gets bored with you or until you mess up in some way and displease him

Because…no offense…but I’m sure that’s already happened.

He could choose to stop loving you, but he won’t.

It’s in his power, but it’s not in his nature.

His love endures forever.

You are his Beloved.  

Forever

Happy Thanksgiving, Beloved.

Rich One-a-Day Wednesday  11/21/18

A life worthy

Give thanks with a grateful heart.

Give thanks to the Holy One.

Give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his son.

And now, let the weak say, “I am strong…”

Let the poor say, “I am rich,”

Because of what the Lord has done for us.

(Give Thanks, Don Moen, 1986)

Yes you are.

Rich

Oh, your car may be falling apart and your dishwasher may be dying and you may be checking the sofa for enough change to make a Del Taco run, but you are rich.

First, in this world you are rich. Beloved, there are people out there who pray for shoes so they won’t have to walk barefoot

who pray for clean water to wash the dishes with

who pray for dishes…and food to put on them.

And in the spiritual world…are you kidding?  You’re the beloved child of the King of, you know, Everything.

You are in possession of the greatest treasure the universe has ever known:

the love of God.

Baby, you are rolling in it.

Bask in your wealth today, Beloved.

Happy Wednesday.

So Strong One-a-Day Tuesday  11/20/18

A life worthy

Give thanks with a grateful heart.

Give thanks to the Holy One.

Give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his son.

And now, let the weak say, “I am strong…”

Context is really important.

This line from Don Moen’s song is found in the Bible in Joel 3:10. Of course, those of you who look it up will find that the Lord is actually speaking to the enemies of Israel, the nations who have plundered and destroyed his people.  God is essentially telling them to “Bring it on,” to prepare to fight, because God is going to turn them to powder.

Not exactly the same feeling Mr. Moen was looking to engender in his song.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, for one thing, I want you to be Biblically literate.  If we’re going to use Scripture, we should at least know what it really says.  

Also, even with the contextual confusion, this remains one of my all-time favorite worship songs.  And the message is true, even if the reference is a bit askew. The Bible is full of the truth that God gives strength to the weak.  He offers–may I be so bold as to say that he longs–to show his strength in our feebleosity.

Do you feel weak?  

Well, you are…you know… in and of yourself.

But in Christ…oh, baby!

In Christ you are mighty.  In Christ, you have the power to do battle with whatever comes against you today.  In Christ, your weakness is transformed into his great strength.

So now, though you are weak, say, “I am strong!”

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.