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Showing posts from September, 2009

Greater love...

“The hard thing is to stay.” These words, spoken in a brief conversation tonight, pierced my soul, as I realized how true they were in almost every relationship (God, spouse, friend, family, parent, child…). Relationships take work to flourish and remain healthy; relationships are not always easy. What’s more, anything worthwhile requires a sacrifice from us, a true investment of ourselves, if you will.
So what happens when life become unsavory? What happens when the blue skies of relational bliss turn dark and stormy? Admittedly, when gale force winds and torrential rains pelt the ground and erode the foundations of a relationship, it would be easier to jump ship in search of calmer waters. This, however, is the exact opposite of how we are to respond.
For the last few weeks, my son has had some difficulties with transitioning into his new class (something that is compounded by the palpable stress that unfortunately permeates the atmosphere of our home as of late). He had chosen to man…

The Rosebushes

For fifteen weeks, as I walked to my early morning class, I'd pass by nearly a hundred different rosebushes. Most days I’d pick a rosebud to put in my hair. These roses were magnificent. Each one had a unique fragrance; from mild and sweet to spicy and perfumed. They were indeed extraordinary and each shared a common factor. As the day wore on and the rose opened, the fragrance would intensify. As the rose was actually dying, it would give off its strongest aroma that would permeate the air.

Now the garden rose differs greatly from the store-bought variety. Roses from a store are usually smaller and rarely emit much of a scent. When handling such roses, I would find many stems that were considered to be “bullets.” The bullets were small, closed tightly and most assuredly would not open, but rather die from the inside out. These bullets were automatically discarded.

There is a point to this. I often think of Jesus as being the “Master Gardener.” We can look at ourselves as His roses…

Sheep and Dirty Whores. Oh, My!

I have been reflecting on sheep and their need for a shepherd.

Sheep need a good shepherd to lead them and care for them; Jesus is our shepherd -- the only Good Shepherd. Let's face it, sheep are kind of dumb...And as much as a shepherd will go after a wandering sheep, Jesus, too, goes after his wayward children. Shepherds of old would oftentimes break a sheep's legs when it was prone to wandering, which essentially put the sheep's life in danger. While the sheep is healing, it is completely dependent on the shepherd for everything. A deep bond is forged and when the sheep regains its mobility, it no longer has wanderlust but ultimately follows the shepherd whom it trusts unconditionally. So when you see pictures of Jesus portrayed as the Shepherd with a sheep around his shoulders, it, to me anyway, reflects the great love of the Savior that carries the broken - carries you and me.

In the same way, I think that God will break us for our own good when we are incapable of m…

When in Doubt

With all of my newly-found free time (well, not so much), I have been looking back on some of my old journals. One of them contained some pages on Scripture prayers that I had written out. I love praying Scripture; it totally takes some of the "guess work" out of praying in accordance to God's will because it's His Word! Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

So, I thought I'd share:

Enable _____ this week to grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18

May _____ be filled with the joy of the Lord. 1 John 1:4

Motivate _____ to quickly and sincerely confess any and every sin they commit, assured that you will immediately forgive that sin and cleanse them from all unrighteousness when confession is made. 1 John 1:9

Empower _____ to do what you tell them to do and to learn to love you more and more. 1 John 2:5

Your word assures us that you are listening if we pray for…

The Threshing Floor

I love me some allegory :) Not only do I love reading it, but I also love writing about it. It is a weakness... Consider yourself forewarned.

I love autumn. It is my favorite season with spring coming in at a distant second. Unfortunately, I live in a climate that doesn't afford me the opportunity to witness actual honest-to-goodness seasonal changes. Nonetheless, that doesn't stop me from becoming ridiculously giddy for the earlier evenings and cooler weather (which sometimes doesn't arrive until November, but I digress).

Fall is also the time for harvesting. As I was reflecting upon this, I sense that it is time to go to the threshing floor. Now some may not like to make the connection that we are the wheat is this scenario, but that's where I am going (stay with me). The threshing floor is a place of blessing, but also of judgment. The wheat is harvested and brought to the threshing floor where it is struck and crushed. This is utterly necessary to separate the grain …

"C" is for Cookie

**I have been perusing some of my old journals and thought I'd share...

Few people are unfamiliar with the iconic, blue, furry, crazy-eyed Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. Every episode I have ever viewed includes Cookie Monster inevitably devouring a cookie (or two…or ten) all while helping to promote the “Letter-of-the-Day.”

One fateful morning when Jaden was younger, I lay on the couch suffering from a nasty combination of a cold and flu. In a feeble attempt to entertain Jaden, I flipped on PBS. Sesame Street was on and it seemed to gain his attention, for which I was grateful. Fast forward a few skits and there is Cookie Monster in his predictable scenario with the large chocolate chip cookie taunting him. Today’s “Letter-of-the-Day” was “D,” which the proud cookie displayed. Tormented at the prospect of gobbling up the cookie in one fell swoop, but knowing that he shouldn’t, he made a sign to help remind him of the right choice; it simply said, “DON’T.…