Friday, March 4, 2022

Early Morning Thanksgiving

 It was almost a quarter century ago. I had a baby boy who would wake up about this time. He and I would go into the other room, letting Mom sleep. He would have an early morning bottle, and I would sit and hold him, check email, and give thanks. I spent a lot of other days with him in his life, but those early mornings were special.
Stephen is grown and married to a marvelous lady. They love other people and their kids in Franklin, Tennessee. Later in life he had a sister, who he has helped to love and grow. I am blessed to spend these mornings with her, seeing her grow into a wonderful Godly young lady who makes the world a much better place. I am amazed that the Lord has given us two such wonderful young people, As Sarah said the other day, we have a blessed life.
On occasions I still wake up about this time and give thanks. There are lots of things going on in our church, the families in it, the ministries I am a part of, our community, nation and world. They demand attention, concern and seem at times to be clouds and storms in our lives.
Sometimes we see what to do, and other times we aren't sure what steps to take. As I look at these people, places and times, I know where to go. The Lord calls me to relationship, communion, life together with the Almighty. From that, God leads. There are things I can't change, things I can pray about, and things God allows me to work on. Most of all, I can pray and allow God to change me, to work with the Lord in these situations.
Lord, thank you for early mornings, children and adults who grow in you, and the blessings and challenges we have. Help me to work with you, and let you work in me, to be the person who can love those you place in my life and be part of your transformation of lives and this world.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

LENT- A Cure for Microwave Christianity

Tomorrow starts a very important season for Christians today- Lent. Some don't even know what it is, and very few truly celebrate it. It is the season from tomorrow until Easter, when we do without, when we fast and pray, when we meditate on Christ's journey to Jerusalem and the cross. 

But Lent is vital for us in 2022- for it brings us a Godly perspective many have left behind.

Lent is the cure for our modern microwave life and faith. In giving more time to God, in denying ourselves "normal" things, in focusing on Christ's journey to Jerusalem, not our own paths, we are changed. We become part of a global, eternal body, not the specific time, meeting or group we find ourselves in. We share life with the Church and God's people for thousands of years, taking time from life to celebrate who God is and what God has done. 

So briefly, I ask that you hear the church's call to Lent- 

Seek God's face and let God lead you to do without this season. It may be one or more meals. It may be a food, or drink, hobby or media. It may be a habit or even an addiction that has you under its control. But ask God what you should do without to better concentrate on the Lord. And keep that denial between now and Easter.

As our days grow warmer and brighter, and as our time gets busier, take more time in these days to seek God. Spend more time reading the Word. Spend more time in prayer. Spend time simply thinking about the Lord and about scripture. 

And celebrate- celebrate Jesus' path to Jerusalem. The miracles, the teaching, the times with his disciples. Celebrate our God in worship, by yourself and with God's people. Share these times with your family- celebrating God's goodness each day and teaching your family to follow God as you follow God. 

Turn off your microwave schedule and use this lent to find again the waiting, the seeking, the gentle joy of God in Lent.