Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thoughts at the end of a Year

Towards the end of the movie "The Green Mile," right before his was going to die, the hero of the story talks about how tired he is, how tired he is of how people treat one another, how tired he is of fighting evil, tired of being alive. His words resonated with me at that moment. I could feel the weight of what he spoke of. Life is tiring. It is a weight at times. We live in a fallen world and yet we often expect things to get better, we somehow think that life will get better. We forget there is an enemy who has not yet been put away. He is defeated but still roams around destroying on borrowed time. We saints of God are the fortunate ones. We know the joy of forgiveness, feel the nearness of heaven, know that the weight of this world is a temporary one and that we share the load with God. Can you imagine the pain that is in this world? There is the pain of carried sin and the guilt that goes with it, the pain of the consequence of bad choices, the pain of the bad choices of others. I thank God that the Holy Spirit is at work still drawing men out of the mire of their pain. I am thankful to be a small part of that work and that I can dedicate myself to that battle. It is nearing the end of the year, a time for new beginnings. As a believer I can be sure of my calling. It is two fold. First, I am to Love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. What an honor that is and what power there is in that Love relationship. The second is that I am to love my neighbor as myself. When I love God it pours out to those I am in contact with. I need to see them saved, I need to love them, I need to minister to them. I need to be that picture of Christ that will make the difference. Who is my neighbor? Anyone I see, anyone I come in contact with, anyone God places in my heart. My neighbor is sometimes nearby and sometimes on the other side of the globe. My neighborhood is anywhere and everywhere there is need. This year I want to dedicate myself afresh to my neighborhood and to my God. I want to be a better neighbor and a better child of my King. As I put together some resolutions for the year (yes, I do that), I want those resolutions to reflect the calling God has given me. I hope you will join me and together we can make a fresh start this New Year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How are you Handling Life?

How are you handling life? This seems like a simple question but is actually complicated. Life has lots of facets to it. Today I talked to two dear people who are walking through pain and darkness. My heart broke for them and their two very different situations. They got me thinking about how I handle darkness. How do I walk when life throws pain and sorrow at me? How do I navigate when it feels like God is silent? I ask this because this world is watching us. Our families, our neighbors, and collectively all people are watching us. I like to think that they are hoping we will not disappoint. I believe that people want more than this life, that they long for God. Most of us handle the small things well, slow traffic, late people, missed appointments. What do we do when our world falls apart, when our marriage suddenly crumbles, when we lose a child, when those around us walk away from Christ? What happens then? As believers we are blessed beyond what we deserve. We have access to the throne of grace, We are indwelt by the very Spirit of God, and we have each other. We are filled with a hope that goes beyond this life and because of this we are equipped to suffer hardship as saints. We understand the truth of this life, this is not all we have or all that will be. Those around us are watching. They want to see if we collapse under the pressure or quit when there is no happy ending. They are watching as we face head on, with feet dug in, and set our shoulders to gracefully handle the weight of suffering and pain. It is that standing firm that speaks louder and becomes a more powerful and effective testimony than any mere words. Of course that does not make the suffering less, but it does bring purpose to it. How do you handle it when your life feels like it has been struck by a train? It is hard. I know that I covet the prayers of my precious family in Christ. I know that I pray for you. If I know you I am praying for you. Together we make up a powerful testimony that will reap a bountiful harvest. We stand strong as we stand together.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I had a bad day. I felt like I was clinging to this edge and was ready to go over. To be fair I am set to move next week, right before Christmas, and we still haven't chosen a rental, and I am not done with Christmas shopping, and very little is packed, and it has been a tough year. On the positive side, well, lets face it, sometimes we don't want to look at the positive side. There is one, but on this day, I want to freak out a little. I think that once in awhile that is okay; at least for today I am going to choose to believe that. Some days feel more overwhelming than others. That is why I am thankful for sleep. It brings closure to a bad day and lets us wake to a new one. Usually I am feeling much sunnier the day after a freakout day, and I am sure tomorrow will be no exception, but just for today I don't feel much like looking at the bright side of things. I will leave that for tomorrow. God knows I need tomorrow and He will bring it. It will be fresh, it will be new, and by then I will be ready to look at things differently. At least I hope so.