Category Archives: essays

In It Together

_71435662_m3750096-family-splDear Millennials:
You desire truth and authenticity, the freedom to be and do you; you want enough safety to become vulnerable; you want significance. I want that, too.

Like you, I learned to be cautious and mistrustful.  I am anti-establishment and ever seeking new ways.
Dear Boomers:
Do you remember wanting these things? I do.
What happened? Why did you give up on these and settle into the status quo?

I know so many of you – you still value authenticity, social justice, idealism and freedom.  You have not lost the fire in your hearts that cause you to work for a better world.

 

Dear generations in between:
You want identity, prosperity and freedom.
Do these not add up to the same things that milennials and boomers seek?

We are in this world together, searching and working for the same things.
Let’s join hearts and hands and include each other:
Boomers need you, Xers, Mes and Milennials;
I hope you recognize that you need us as well.
There is such a lie that has been promoted – Anyone over 40 is done.
No! We’re still here; we’re alive and desirous of the same things.
Instead of opposing or excluding each other, let’s come together in the unity of our ideals and searches;
Then we’ll see what God makes from all of this.

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Ambassadors

festival crowd

Ambassadors of God’s Kingdom are varied indeed:
Some are conservative while others are progressive;
There are liturgical believers and evangelicals;
Rich, poor and those who live “in between”;
Well educated, professionals, tradesmen, laborers, those who don’t work at all;
People of every race and tradition.

Yet these ambassadors have the most important thing in common:
They belong to Jesus.
They love and serve Him;
They share in the joy and abundant life he gives;
They want to bring others into God’s household
So that the family will grow.

Now Is a Good Time

fantastic-forest-clock

A large number of prophetic words have to do with 2017 being a year of breakthrough.  many are saying that those who have waited for years to receive answers to prayers will finally get them; hopes and dreams are being awakened; upgrades are coming.

I say, now is a good time for that!

What words have you personally received, either from the Holy Spirit directly or through a person?  Now is a good time to claim them

What have you asked God for?  Healing?  Salvation of loved ones?  Now is a good time to pray, believing.

What is God’s call on your life?  Now is a good time to walk in it.

Does it seem especially dark?  The news certainly communicates that.  Now is a good time to “Arise and shine” – Light is much easier to see in darkness.

Now is a good time to walk closely with the Living God.  He is good; his love endures forever; he has wonderful plans for you.  Trust, obey, believe, receive!

Jesus, teach us to ask as big as your answers and to reach as high as you reach.  Thank you.  Amen.

GOOD WORKS

What are the good works that God created for you to walk in?
How do you know what they are?

I certainly have wrestled with these questions plenty and may have a glimpse or two at the answer to help you find your way.

 

What are your spiritual gifts?
Helps (also called service)
Giving
Exhortation
Teaching
Prophecy
Words of knowledge
Wisdom
Tongues
Interpretation of tongues
Healing
Working of miracles
Administration
Pastoring

 

What do you seem to be attracted to?  One of the most important lessons I ever learned is that God’s assignments will feed and bless me as much as they do others.  He built me with certain likes, desires and interests that can only be fulfilled as I “will and do his good pleasure.”  Vocational choice, volunteer activities  and hobbies will point to these things.

What are your natural gifts and talents?
Music
Art
Poetry
Writing
Cooking
Fixig things
Mechanics
Computers
Research
Gardening
Taking care of people
Building
Designing
Sewing
Cleaning
Organizing
Working with children
Serving elders

And on the list goes.

 

One thing I have come to understand that really encourages me and helps me to rest:  God does have good works for me to do; I don’t have to wonder about that.

 

DREAMS AND DESTINY

What are your dreams?
Can you think of a time when an idea, however fleeting captured your imagination?  What was your response?  Have you given value to what seemed like small ideas?

 

Do you find yourself wondering about possibilities?

 

God wove dreams and the ability to find them into each of us.  HE always has a way to direct us to destiny and purpose.  This is a foundational part of how we are built.

 

Make sure your dreams match who you are, not who you aren’t.  I am guessing that most of us have tried to do things that really didn’t match our passions, gifting and skills, only to discover that we felt drained, instead of fulfilled.

 

It is appropriate to serve someone else’s dream, but only when it is what God is directing us to do at the time.  Even at that, this season of service will be part of building our own destiny.

 

One of the most formidable barriers to realizing dreams is unfinished business, however that is being lived out.    Our very freedom is taken from us; even having a sense of what we want seems to die.  “Don’t decorate your cell.”
Cells can be past experiences, things we don’t seem to resolve or overcome…”

 

 

Some writing to do
1.  List things you did or were interested in as a small child.
2.  What are your gifts what are you doing that uses them?
3.  What ideas do you have?

 

Lord, lift us up to Your level of dreaming.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

DIFFERENT

One day, many years ago, I died.
Jesus came into my heart and I was born again.  My life is now hidden in Him.
My old self was removed; I was given new clothes:  Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, love; a garment of praise, beauty for ashes, a crown of joy.
Now, as a daughter of the Most High, a member of Christ’s Body, I live a life that is different from the world.  Instead of holding grudges or getting revenge, I forgive.  Peace rules my heart; anger, worry, bitterness and malice have no place there.  Society’s values no longer govern my thinking and choices; God’s commandments are my foundation.
I, along with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, am different; set apart to be and live like Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is the way of Your people, oh God, by Your grace.  Amen.

 

********************
Based on verses in Colossians 3:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly
as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

ALL IS WELL

Because God is omniscient:  Nothing ever catches Him by surprise; He never has to say, “Hm, I didn’t think of that…”
Because God is omnipotent:  The King of kings and Lord of lords has all power over all forces, principalities and entities; in Heaven, on Earth and throughout the entire universe…
Because God is love:  He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother; not even a sparrow can fall from the sky without being noticed by Him; the very hairs of your head are numbered by Him…
Because GOD IS,
All is well.

AMBASSADORS

“Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:1)

Jesus, Prince of Peace, I receive you with joyful, devoted love.  I confess that I am utterly in need of you:  What you say and do; your very presence that fills my soul, until my heart is no longer troubled.

 

 

There are so many things that could undo me; that can really throw me for a loop.  You, however, give me peace that is from Heaven.  There is nothing like it on Earth; no substitute or comparable solution.

 

 

Jesus, you are the Alpha and Omega, my Source and Goal.  In you I live, move and have my being.  Wherever I go, help me to recognize your presence and spread this wonderful peace, until the very atmosphere around me changes and your Kingdom is more evident.

 

 

Make your people leaders in every nation.  Let us be climate changers.  Give us vision, wisdom, words and direction that fit our standing as citizens of your Kingdom, working as ambassadors on Earth.

 

 

Thank you.  Amen.

DESTINY OF THE UNITED STATES

“Be very careful. Pray. Listen to your heart where Holy Spirit lives. I promise you—we’re voting for the destiny of our nation.”  Dutch Sheets

 

This really is a pivotal election with lots at stake.  Let us seek God for wisdom, words of knowledge and truth so that we see through all of the posturing, rhetoric and advertising; even our own bents, anger and agendas to what God is doing.  Let’s cooperate with Him.

YOUR KINGDOM COME

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He included this line:  “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven…”

As I have pondered these phrases, an idea has come to me.  What would happen if Christians joined together for a day of declaring God’s Kingdom reality over the Earth?  Instead of rehearsing the troubles, wrongs and evil we come across, we would recite and declare all that God is and all that He has for His world.  For example, instead of repeating all of the news about the Zica virus and focusing on how bad it is, we would declare that God is Healer; all disease is defeated by Him.
If we hear something about a neighbor, even something true, we can turn it to blessing:
Statement:  “She’s such a nag!
Response:  God bless her and give her peace.  The Prince of Peace rule her heart and mind.””

 

Among other Scriptures, Romans 12 is full of instructions to serve and bless.  I have been learning an important lesson about this:  Blessing tears down curses.  God is so much more powerful than all other forces and entities, there is no contest!  When we agree with Him, His Kingdom reality takes over.

This all sounds a little “goody two shoes” to me, yet it is what we are called to as His people.  In Romans 12:21, Paul exhorts us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  We don’t do this on our own strength.  IT is only as God lives in us and transforms us that we can have this kind of victory.

Obviously, God would have us respond this way all of the time. The only reason I suggest a day is, we would practice joining together in such a powerful way.  As we “put what we learn into practice,” (Philippians 4:9) we grow in the ways of the Lord.

Are you interested?  Can we set a date and agree to join in blessing?  Then we can share the stories about what happens.  Let me know in the comments.