Relax and Remember

Memorial day weekend is a time to relax from work and remember the lives of those who have fought and died for our freedom here and abroad.

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The feet are mine and those of my son, Veteran of two tours in Afghanistan.

As we celebrate the coming of warm weather and longer day light hours in the northern hemisphere, this U.S.A. long weekend has become known for its parties! To me, the freedom to party, worship, relax, speak and live freely exists because men and women were willing to give their lives to establish and maintain freedom.

Spiritually, our eternal freedom was won on Calvary.

Let’s celebrate our freedom this weekend! I hope we all can take a few moments to think and be grateful for how it came to be…on every level.

Signs

The evening I arrived.

The evening I arrived.

The word of God mentions signs 79 times. (Thirty of those are “signs and wonders.”) Our Creator enjoys getting our attention most any way He can.

I landed in Denver last week on a rainy afternoon. Shortly after my arrival the photo above is what I saw. I took notice particularly because I just wrote on the presence of God with us in the storms of life. But that photo was only part of a rainbow. This was a complete rainbow. He had my attention.

When I was inside, the thunder from the storm outside rocked the building. And when I walked out of the building there it was. The most complete rainbow I have ever seen to date. (I was not able to capture the partial second rainbow to the side….) I immediately had the sense of the promises of this sign, that before any of the events of the week had begun, He wanted me to know I was in the right place at the right time!

During the four nights of the Denver 10 Days of Prayer we were able to attend we went to an Hispanic church, a Messianic congregation, African-American service and had an Anglican priest lead the last service at a large Nazarene church.

We had 10 Day leaders and House of prayer leaders meeting during the days from Texas, Washington state, Florida, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and of course Colorado. The four corners of the nation!

Jonathan Friz, the founder of Wisdom Way and the 10 Days of Prayer, calls us Uniters! We are all called to be part of helping God’s children of all stripes, colors and flavors to find points of connection to build towards John 17 unity. The trip was a delightful show of unity in diversity for the entire time! I am certain we are just one group of many with a similar flame burning in our hearts.

There is hope for us as individuals and for our nation. I believe it begins with the Church finding points of connection in the love of God, and easing our grip on the differences. I’m not getting all universalist, trust me. Just as each individual is a one of a kind. Local and denominational churches are too.

We are called to be an answer to the prayer of Jesus.  John 17:21 “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (Italics mine)

I know it is possible, because Jesus prayed it in John 17!

May the LORD’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!

Storm With A Promise

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All storms come with the promise of the presence of God.

Have you ever driven into a Storm? Literally or figuratively? I have done both.

This photo speaks volumes to me. It shouts to me of the promises of God….

Not just the promise to Noah to never again destroy the earth with flooding that rainbows signify. Any promise from the word of God. Heading into places or situations where I can not know the outcome, where I am clearly not the one in control, is when I cling most to those promises.

This picture captures my experiences of entering the unknown…willingly or otherwise.

I feel like my Creator who rules over all is saying, “Come! I know it doesn’t look good from here, but I am with you. I will never leave you. No mater how hard or uncertain it looks, I am with you and will bring you through. I am lighting the way one step at a time. It is worth the risk to trust me. Come with Me!”

Can Our Creator be trusted? You will never know unless you try….

Shifting Sands And Solid Rocks

Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands…isn’t it beautiful?

Our culture is like shifting sands. I can’t keep up with the changes in what is often considered ‘important’ to our broader, U.S. and global cultures. Honestly, if I was not called  by our Creator to be a Change agent I don’t think I’d even try or care. It is that overwhelming to me from a human perspective. Fortunately, there is another perspective.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

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Solid Rock…beautiful, and immovably secure. These waves are called ‘breakers’ because they break against the rocks.

I thank God daily that I do not have to ‘go with the flow’ all the time. I also Thank God that I do not have to ‘fight’ against the currents. I can choose to stay on the Rock. Our Creator holds us on the Rock! That is His promise to us.

My choice is between having my life and faith constantly shifting on a foundation of culture that behaves like sand, going with the flow of any whim of the loudest voice of the moment; and staying planted on The Rock of faith in Christ the Maker of Heaven and Earth. This Maker who, from before creation provided a firm foundation, promises to never let us go and ways to stay firm.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” (Another way of looking at the waves of culture.)

When we are tempted to confusion or to give in to the shifting sands, we are not off track. Temptation is a constant. Giving in, sliding off the Rock or being destroyed by the waves of culture is not necessary. If we are looking for it, God always provides a way to stay true.

What about culture do you find true and a blessing? What do you struggle with? Ask God to show you your way of escape, then look for it!