Prayer of Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Thine own peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Sneak Up

If happiness is what I am looking for....

I will never find it.

It has to sneak up on me.

Jesus wants me to be happy.

So He tells me not to pursue it.

For when I am rich.

When I am full.

When I laugh.

He says, "Woe unto you."

When I am poor.

When I am hungry.

When I weep.

Then Jesus says that I will be happy.

Luke 6:20-26.

She Packed The Lunch

Someone had to pack that little boy's lunch.

You know, the kiddo who gave Jesus his five loaves and two fish.

Jesus took the loaves.

He gave thanks.

He fed five thousand.

The boy has been (rightly) applauded throughout history.

He shared what little he had.

And Jesus did the rest.

One person rarely (if ever) noted is the woman that packed the lunch.

The mom that placed the sack into his hands.

Ever think about her?

Yeah, neither have I.

Until last Saturday.

On the Mountain Top.

When my wife, Amanda, brought that woman to our attention.

Reminding us to be faithful.

And giving us four cogent points.

I'd give them to you but it's not my insight.

It's Amanda's.

She packed the lunch.

And Jesus multiplied it last weekend.

I thought expositing the Bible was the one thing I could do better than my wife.

Simply because she never had.

Last weekend, I was proven wrong.

She packed the lunch.

 

Labor to Enter

I gave a speech to my kids yesterday.

It was my birthday.

So I felt entitled. :) 

"Pursue your dreams," I told them.

"Run your race," I implored. 

"I will root you on," I said.

"Because I am finished with mine."

Indeed, I have gone to Bible College...

Lived in the South Pacific.

Started a church in the Mid-West.

Pastored 7,000 person ACF.

Was a Bible Teacher in Orange County.

Am now pastoring beside (or behind) my Dad.

I'm good.

I want them to do better.

And while some may (even validly)...

Call that laziness.

Or apathy.

Or mediocrity. 

I call it maturity.

I still want to work hard.

I no longer need to work hard.

I know who I am in Christ.

Labor to enter into God's rest.

 

Clean Windows

"Then Rahab let them down by a cord through the window..."

Joshua 2:15

The word for a cord in the our English Bible...

Is literally the cord in the Hebrew language.

Implying Rahab used a specific cord or rope to save the two Israelite spies.

Then she bound it out of her window for salvation.

Verse 18 will tell us it was a scarlet cord.

And she was a prostitute. 

Perhaps the scarlet cord was an advertisement.

The Red Light District.

Maybe a rope ladder of sorts. 

A secret point of entry to her place.

Yet, the very cord used for sin.

Was used for her salvation.

What was once an invitation for men to sleep with her.

Was now an invitation for the Lord to save her.

God didn't save you or I because we had clean windows.

He saved us and washed those windows clean.

 

 

The Fruit of the Spirit

"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us...."

Rom. 12:6.

According to the grace....

The original word there is "charisma."

Or literally "gifts of grace."

Any gifting you have is by His grace.

As opposed to what the Bible calls "works of the flesh."

For when we endeavor in our own strength.

Our own ingenuity.

Our own endurance and self discipline.

....Or lack thereof.

It is always draining.

Frustrating.

Grating.

And even annoying. 

Hence, the works of the flesh.

As opposed to the fruit of the Spirit.

So today be reset.

Be refreshed.

Don't push things.

Simply trust.

Just rest.

 

 

Do You Agree?

Here is my (oversimplistic) take on the Bible.

The Law of the Old Testament is rigid.  

It is rough on the social "liberals."

For example, when a man picked up firewood on the Sabbath...

He was put to death.

The Law of the New Testament is also rigid.

But it is tough on the social "conservatives."

Whether Jesus confronting the Pharisees.

Or the Epistles calling out the Circumcisers. 

Therefore, I suggest that both the Liberal...

That means you, Leftist Leper.

And the Moral Majority....

Which is you, Conservative Concision.

Need Christ to be saved.

Equally so.

Jesus being crucified between two thieves...

Reminds me that the Left Wing can steal our salvation.

And so can the Right.

Do you agree with that perspective?

 

 

I Wonder....

"Love thy neighbor as thyself."

The Law of Love.

It's completely fulfilled in Christ.

That is a fact.

And here is another way of looking at it.

Just a suggestion.

The Law of Love might be proportional.

Can you "love thyself" sometimes more than others?

I think so.

And if you can, might that impact your ability to "love thy neighbor?"

Maybe it does.

Therefore, when you are down on yourself.

Perplexed by yourself.

Doubting yourself.

I wonder if God might cut you slack.

In loving your neighbor.

Because you are having a hard time...

Simply loving yourself.