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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Inspired by . . . silence the stones

In my memories, Easter is a wash of pastel colors; fresh greens, robin eggs, lavender buds, and sunshine.

It was a time for dressing up and going to church.  We knew about the cross but the concept of sacrifice was lost somewhere in the Easter baskets that were overflowing with gifts and candy.

Peanut butter eggs may be the best thing since sliced bread but the real gift of Easter is the sacrifice.


It's an unpopular concept in our world today. Prosperity is a gospel loudly proclaimed and universally accepted but someone giving out of their need rather than their excess is scarcely mentioned and rarely celebrated.

How can a world of instant, personal gratification understand a God who laid aside all His glory and power to become a man? A man who allowed Himself to be tortured and killed to save the very people who shouted, "Crucify!"?

I don't know. 

But I do know that those of us who believe live a life woven with the reality of this Truth. We are the heralds of His sacrifice. Our lives: a canvas to display His glory. Our lips: an instrument to praise His name.

And silence the stones.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Inspired by . . . rivulets in the desert

The intensity of these moments took my breath away. 

A sky so dark. The crescent moon so crisp in the sky I felt as if I could lift it free from the fabric of the night and tuck it in my pocket.

A sky so blue. Broken suddenly by the silence of wings. So deeply white, a cloud in the sky, his beak a ray of sunshine.

Moments seared hot in my memories. Whispers from heaven.

Rivulets in the desert.

When we're in the desert, especially when we're in the desert, the enemy loves to coax us off the path of faith with mirages of sunlit fields filled with wildflowers . . . that quickly turn into pools of tar and quicksand.

Time spent in a spiritual wilderness is a blessing that is most appreciated in hindsight. We are desperate to be in His presence, yet we can't seem to grasp even the hem of His garment.

Often, strangely, we find, finally, that He was closest to us when He seemed the farthest away.

In the desert, flash floods destroy what the rivulets sustain.

Perhaps, in this moment, He is revealing as much of Himself as we can contain.

A sky so dark.
A sky so blue.


Photo credit @getstencil

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Inspired by . . . a slow rebirth

After the beautiful weather we've had these last couple of weeks, we are now back to much cooler temperatures and grey skies. Despite the laughing faces of the daffodils and the appearance of other spring flowers here in the southern states, parts of the north are still buried under several feet of snow. 

Time marches on, straight into April regardless of how much snow remains piled outside the windowpanes or the nip in the early morning air that causes the daffodils to bow their sunny heads.

As Jesus walked the dusty road to the reality of Good Friday, I wonder if He felt caught in the fabric of Time. Able, yet unwilling to stop His ascent to the cross, did the web of Time seek to pull and bind Him fast to things of this world?

We look forward to the end because we know that Sunday is coming. My friend so did He.

And yet, while He went willingly, even joyfully to the cross I can hardly believe that He welcomed the pain and suffering. 

This is the lesson of Lent. A time for us to identify and dwell with Him in the suffering. A time to tend and nurture the tiny sprouts of our faith. Faith that is never quite as strong as we believe it to be.

Some years the weather helps us along, giving us just small glimpses of the hope that is to come. For even creation groans against the constraining fabric of Time.

Each year we have this opportunity to join our Lord in the slow ascent to the cross. A time to pull back and match our stride to His. To soak up His presence, setting aside our own desires for a time so we can focus more fully on Him, without distraction.

Between the dormancy of winter and the blooms of spring, growth happens in the dark, shelter of the soil. So, too, God changes us from the inside out.
And He who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." (Rev 21:5)
If your faith is feeling a bit tattered and torn, pause a moment, fall into step with Him. Take this time, as we wait for the weather to catch up with the calendar, to delight in His presence.

Allow the light of His word to prepare your faith to bloom.