Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Promise Of The Spirit.1

"It is the Spirit
 that has the power
 to give life."

Another Christmas season is upon us.  Do you suppose Jesus gets annoyed at all the people who won't celebrate the season properly?  Wait, what is the proper way to celebrate, it is His birthday after all?  
-Purge the urge to get caught up in the commercialism? (saw a young Amish-man at Walmart picking out a Nerf-gun, presumably for a child...are there no sanctuaries of simplicity left in this world?!). 
-Feel indignant at the insufferable secular infiltration into His important incursion? (Believe in Santa/Don't believe in Santa...)  
-Pout at the potency of pitiful popular sentiment? ("The Dog Who Saved Christmas"...seriously?)
-Antagonize atheists who attack our sacred symbols?  (Stop making me say "Happy Holidays!"...darn you!)

Or maybe its to quietly and thankfully remember that this season represents all that Jesus is about: attracting to himself all that makes life troublesome - our lack or want magnified by our inability to satisfy it!

My Christmas wish for you, follower of Jesus, is to be reminded of these wonderful truths, from friend George Mac:

  • that the soul [filled with] harmony has more life, a larger being, than the soul consumed of cares;
  • that the sage is a larger life than the clown;
  • that the poet is more alive than the man whose life flows out that money may come in;
  • that the man who loves his fellow is infinitely more alive than he whose chief effort is to exalt himself above him;
  • that the man who strives to be better, is better, than he who longs for the praise of the many;
  • And, best of all, that the man to whom God is all in all, who feels his life-roots hid with Christ in God, who knows himself the inheritor of all wealth and worlds and ages, yea, of power essential and in itself, that man has begun to be alive indeed.

Image Author Unknown
"Let us in all the troubles of life remember—that our one lack is life—that what we need is more life—more of the life-making presence in us making us more, and more largely, alive." 

--George MacDonald, Life, Unspoken Sermons II

May you, by the Power of the Spirit, experience more and more of the Life He came into this world to let us taste, and in our tasting create a greater longing for, the love that satisfies as it ever expands its own life-giving presence -- in us and through us! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Place For You.4

"A woman, when she is in childbirth, knows pain and agony; but as soon as the child is delivered, she forgets her suffering, rejoicing that her child is born into the world. For a moment you may experience sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will be able to take your joy from you."

A new Kuyper to bless the world;
photo by Mom
I met a man the other day who told me that he and his wife had decided years ago not to bring children into this corrupt world.  Some decisions we just can't take back...the regret on his face filled my heart with pity.  (Perhaps I shouldn't have told him about our Lyon's Pride of eight boys...)

The trauma of having children is not, in my humble opinion, limited to the physical pain of birthing them (no offense ladies, but how should a man ever understand this analogy if the Lord limited its meaning only to half the human equation), but also includes the day to day anxiety of providing for them, protecting them, disciplining and directing them in the way they should go!

Our Father wanted each of us and loves us into existence. 

That love begins at the intense pleasure of conceiving them followed by the suffering of childbirth, followed by the moment the child looks up into the eyes of love.  A lifetime cycle of love and suffering is birthed in that moment! 

But the great reward throughout the parenting process is:
JOY!  It may very well be the one analogy that we can truly understand about the very real love & suffering our Creator God feels toward us.  His stamp of approval and our confident hope is Jesus.  Take hope then, follower of Jesus, that the cycle will be broken when we see Jesus face to face - 
will never again 
be taken from us!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Place For You.3

"Do not marvel when I say: A little while, and you will not see me; and not long after that, you will see me again. You will weep and be sad; but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful; but your sorrow will be turned to joy."

My eleven year old granddaughter and I sat on the couch last night watching the Grammy Nominations program.  After Taylor Swift's sensually suggestive performance, we talked about the transformation of young ladies like Taylor and Miley from family-loving innocents of light to fame-following instruments of darkness.  

I asked her what she thought these girls would say if someone had shown them, at the age of eleven, the script
image from
of their life  and the kind of things they would be promoting in their twenties.  "I think they wouldn't believe they would be doing things like that, grandpa," Vanessa replied.

____________________________________________ "The wicked strut about freely when what is vile is honored among men." -Psalm 12:8
____________________________________________ I pray that my granddaughter will continue to grow in her moral convictions and be a light to her generation who are easily duped by a wicked world system bent on violence and self-rule. A world that will not honor the King of Light, Love and Life.  A world that exalts death, destruction and disease while giving lip-service to compassion.  A world that demands tolerance to open mockery & disdain for all things sacred.

There is a sorrow that mourns for those caught in the web of deceit and the destructive power of sin.  There is a deeper sorrow that yields to fear when hope is overwhelmed by helplessness.  Imagine spending three years of your life in intimate contact with the Power that convincingly overcame the world.  Imagine the hope ignited in your heart for a world ruled by righteousness. Imagine the deep sorrow when hope was dashed at the cross by this rebellious world.  

Imagine the joy when Hope was resurrected!

Do not marvel, then, follower of Jesus, that darkness grows deeper as the vile strut freely about, making it harder to see the Lord.  While the world rejoices in less accountability and conviction, let us not lose hope knowing the joy we will see when Righteousness finally rules this world!