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May 21, 2017

Seeing Jesus


Have you seen Him? I mean Jesus. Are you looking for Him? Would you even know Him if he presented himself to you? Jesus is alive. He moves and weaves the strands of your life like a majestic tapestry. Sure He may be silent, or is He? When you buzz around through life as busy and distracted as you are Jesus can seem and feel missing. 

Don't be so focused on your circumstances that you can't see Jesus. Stop looking around and cast your sights on the things above. You have become myopic and well, blinded to His glory and presence. You likely missed Him in the sunset, a fragile flitting butterfly and even behind the smile of the kind server or cashier helping you the last time you went shopping. 
You likely didn't see Him when his mighty hand protected you from an impending danger or provided you with the blessing of a friend, your child or even your sweet and lovable pet. 

Jesus wants to be close to you. He longs to spend time in quiet reflection where he can speak to your soul and share his love with you. In order for you to see and hear Him you need to to commit the time and focus on Him. When was the last time you heard or saw Jesus in your life? Open your eyes, your ears and your heart. Jesus is here.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

Apr 16, 2017

The Cross


Some years ago I attended an event put on by a friend to sell her mom's handmade jewelry. There were many, many pieces to choose from. Each was arranged and on display on various holders throughout the dining, living and family rooms. There were pieces with various beautiful gem stones, some silver and other items. 

It happened that a neighbor's child was over playing with my friend's children. They were about 8 years old at the time. The children were all looking at the jewelry. The neighbor child had been given some money by her mother to select and purchase a piece that she wanted. The girl looked carefully throughout the rooms inspecting various items she thought she might like that were in the price range she could afford. She kept coming back to a particular piece. It was a cross.

Soon she said to my friend's mom, "I know which one I want to buy. I want to buy the plus sign please." My friend's mom looked over and saw the cross and explained that this was not a plus sign but rather a cross that was a symbol for the love and hope of Jesus Christ. "He died for you and this cross represent His promise for you to be with Him and God the Father in Heaven." the little girl was told. We were all in awe to see this child drawn to the cross even with all the pieces she could have selected.

Well, she was just fine with the Jesus story but knew nothing about him. She just thought that the plus sign was the most beautiful piece of jewelry and she wanted it. It seemed the power of the cross had moved her soul. The girl bought the cross went home. 

It wasn't very long when she returned saying that her mom sent her to give back the cross and get her money back. The girl's mom was Muslim and did not approve as she understood the symbol to be the cross of Jesus Christ. Her money was returned and off she went. We all were quite amazed. It was unfortunate that the child could not keep the plus sign she desired, however, at least she heard about Jesus. Maybe later in life she will make a choice to add Jesus to her life and follow him as her Lord and Savior. 

Jesus is a positive addition to any life and the cross symbolizes His sacrifice for you. With Him in your life you have all you need. You need not do anything to gain His love. He has done it all. It is finished. Paid in full. That is the real plus and you are blessed to have received Him.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18



Apr 9, 2017

The Gardener


Photo Credit - Tiffany Parry

It's Spring! There are flowers, fragrances, cool breezes and much scenic beauty. God is an amazing artist. He creates the most breathtaking views, colorful scenes and exquisite variety of handcrafted blooms. It's incredible really to consider the miracle of God's garden. He is the Gardener of creation including of his most precious children.

Much like the spring flowers burst forth and explode with color, God's children produce exceptional fruit when they remain in His Son Jesus. Jesus is the vine and those in Him are the branches. Without Christ you can do nothing. He is your air. He is your source. He is your water. He is your light. 

Spring time is the perfect season to re-commit yourself to Christ. Easter is just around the corner. In this season of re-birth and eternal life take the opportunity to seek Him. Be one with the One who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Lift your eyes, heart and hands to Heaven and pray that God's grace and love with fill you with His Spirit so that you can be a beautiful bearer of gifts through Christ Jesus.


"Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15: 4-5

Mar 6, 2017

God Focus

Photo Credit Casie Steele @ http://steeleapeek.blogspot.com

There you are not being focused. You can't help it. It is as though it is totally out of your control. You start out focused and ready to spend time with God and then before you know it there is a distraction. Sometimes it's the phone, often it's a pet or a child, it could even be the door bell. It's a campaign to keep you from spending time with Jesus. 

That's not the only issue. Besides the typical distraction, you have an attraction to distraction. There are apps, email, text messages, phones, to do's and all the have to's that fill your time. It's very easy to find no time left for God. He won't compete with the distractions in your life. He deserves and desires your full attention. Are you ready to devote time to Him? Not just the last few minutes at the end of the day when you finally think of Him but rather quality time set aside for you to be with Him? 

Start today. Establish a distraction free zone where you can shut out the world and focus on Jesus. Be one with Christ in prayer and reflection. Seek him throughout the day in interactions with others and in nature. Focus on Christ and be blessed.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.Luke 9:23

Feb 27, 2017

Tolerance


Tolerance. It is a word that is used in excess of late. The dictionary defines tolerance this way -"the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with". Tolerance should not be confused with acceptance. Acceptance is defined as ""the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group". The difference between tolerance and acceptance seems to be confused or misunderstood by many. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Loving someone does not mean you agree with the way they choose to live or what they do or stand for. You may not accept their lifestyle as one you agree with or believe it's in line with what Jesus would desire from a follower of his. Still, you can be tolerant and love them because you understand that each person is free to make their own choices and is accountable to God. You are tolerant and not judging but that does not mean you accept their believe or choice.

 Jesus is not always tolerant. He cares about truth. Sin is sin and tolerance of sin does not change that. Jesus was clear on the way to live as a follower of his. The next time you hear about tolerance stop and consider what is being requested. Are you being asked to pretend sin is not sin? Are you being asked to love knowing we are all sinners? Are you being asked to accept a belief or lifestyle that you disagree with as acceptable? Is what you are hearing in alignment with what Jesus would say is the way?   

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it”. Matthew 7:13-14