LAST DAY TO SAVE $$ – SEPTEMBER 13TH!! DON’T MISS OUT!
A poem to rest on…Enjoy.
i thank you God for this most amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything
which is natural
which is infinite
which is yes
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. ~Psalm 32:5
We make decisions every day: Work decisions, financial decisions, clothing decisions, food decisions, discipline of the children decisions, entertainment decisions, and more. We decide where we will go, whom we will talk to, and how we will respond to every situation that comes up.
One of the scariest verses in the Bible is the one that says we will be held accountable (before God at judgment) for every careless word that comes out of our mouths (Matthew 12:36). I wonder where that leaves a careless decision, one that has not considered God or His Word.
We are personally responsible for every decision we make. It is easy to point the blame to someone else when those decisions don’t work out well. The Bible teaches, “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deuteronomy 24:16)
Though we are affected by the way we are raised and the traumas we experience in this life, we are accountable before God for how we respond. The fact is, our culture has decided to take personal responsibility and lay it at the feet of whomever we please.
You get the idea. As Christians, we cannot adopt this kind of thinking. We are “overcomers” (1 John 4:4, 5:4) in Christ.
Casting blame is as old as Adam and Eve. Adam blamed Eve for his sin. Eve blamed the serpent for hers.
God sees the heart. He knows where the blame lies and He is right there, willing to hear our confession, and forgive our sin. When we blame others rather than taking responsibility for it ourselves, we lose the blessing of God’s mercy and grace.
He clearly tells us that we are each responsible for what we do, every action and every decision. Do you and I honor (and serve) God in word and deeds?
Without Christ, “Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.”
With Christ, we receive blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience. Not humbly taking personal responsibility, and not acknowledging the Law of God in our lives, is disobedience.
What have you (and I) been blaming on someone else that should be confessed and turned from before God?
Wonder. To make something mundane into a feast of imagination.
One night on our summer vacation, I sat by myself on the deck overlooking the ocean, watching the waves roll in under an almost full moon. The waves appeared to ripple onto the shore in a burning phosphorous-like ribbon, exploding into a bright white firework as they hit the beach. It was fascinating to watch. It was a wonder.
I called for my nieces to come out and see the glowing water. They immediately became as mesmerized as I was, trying to guess what made the water come alive with light. A glowstick in the water, fish that glowed, magical waters?
“Wow, way cool.” The words of wonder.
Their sensible mom came and stated the obvious – that it was just the reflection of the moon on the moving water – but still the wonder of it lingered for a few moments longer, suspending the mundane into a feast of imagination.
The usual had become fascinating.
Why not wonder? Why not sit with mouth agape and wonder about all the possibilities?
Let the little kids come to me. If you don’t get it, like these little children get it, as they wonder about it, you never will. (a loose interpretation from Luke 18.16-17)
Jesus knew that once we lose the wonder of childhood that the unbelievable, the hard-to-believe, could become the impossible-to-believe. Jesus knew that for us to believe in what we could not see, we would need to be in wonder-mode. We would need to suspend the mundane, the seen, and imagine the vast wonders of a God who loved them.
The world can sometimes be so rational, so sensible, so concrete. Instead, let’s grow a habit of wonder. To throw the obvious to the back burner, even if just for a few minutes.
I think, I am imagining, that a faith that wonders beyond the seen, the easy-to-grasp, will be a faith that is strong and true. And it will be a faith that will be built on the vast wonder that is God.
We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4.18
~A meditation in-between-the-lines, on the wonderful Benedictine blessing~
May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.
I always thought God was the God of comfort. That any discomfort was from some place dark, not to be addressed, blaming it on a crack somewhere in my faith capsule. But now I know that God often pushes us to be uneasy with the easy, uncomfortable with the things that are less than what they could be, learning to be thankful in discomforts. Today. Tomorrow. Always.
May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.
Holy anger is a different kind of anger from the run-of-the-mill human, sin-filled anger. Holy anger targets the right wrongs, the right place for it to lay down its whoop. It is more than discomfort, more than the tirades of angry people. It is subtle, a slow burn that moves us closer to awareness, closer to thankfulness and gratitude. A holy anger brings us to a peaceful satisfaction that the anger of the angry never gets near.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.
In the slums of Africa live the poorest of the poor. Most of us wealthy Americans (and even the poorest here are rich by the slum-dwellers’ standards) will never understand that kind of poverty, let alone live in it. But a wise Kenyan pastor once said, ‘you take one life at a time and give right there, to that one, until it stops hurting; then you move on to the next one. And one by one, we do what God has given us to do.’ Let us all learn to shed tears for those who need help, and then let it move us to action to help one by one.
And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.
Ah, to be so foolish and innocent and unaware of boundaries. To be so brave and reckless that we think we can achieve anything that God wants done. In this world, it’s considered smart to believe in limits; it’s considered foolish to believe that God removes them, right? But here’s the real foolishness: it’s exactly how God runs the world. No-limit foolishness. Wild-eyed, unlimited, untethered. Ridiculous, boundless belief in the impossible. Do we believe that, or do we limit too much, too often. Let’s be fools for something bigger.