Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent - Week I

Lord, I’m ready for Advent!

Candles glow from every window.

1500 mini-bulbs twinkle on my shrubs.

...but I’m in need of illumination.

Help me, Lord, to answer St. Paul’s Advent wake-up call:

The hour has come…to wake up from your slumber…the night is nearly over; the day is almost here…put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11-12)

Help me, Lord, to stand in that light, to stand still and quiet in the light of Jesus Christ. To feel peace and joy. To notice the angels, shepherds and wise men that you put in my path each day.

Help me, Lord, to reflect that light, to share that the Apostle John described it:

The true light that gives light to every man… (John 1:9)

Thank you, Lord, for our Savior, your Son...Jesus the Christ. Jesus the light. Amen.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. NRSV Matthew 6:21

Your words, Jesus, and they convict. You see my checkbook register and credit card statement. You know my finances. You know my heart.

What is it with me? It seems that material success is a form of heart disease.

You’re not holding back. You’ve given me great treasure. Indeed, I have a sense of gratitude, but I need a greater sense of contentment, a greater love for your Church and a much bigger heart for people in need.

From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. NRSV Luke 12:48

Your words again, Lord. Inspire us to do more with all that you have entrusted to us. We need to be about greater purposes, looking to greater ends for you and your kingdom. Amen.

~ ~ ~ ~

It's cold and flu season. Have you been vaccinated against affluenza?

Consumer warning:
The recession does not provide complete protection.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's More Precious Than Life?

Chapel at Versailles Palace

Max Lucado writes about “family partings”…it could be a move, going away to college or a funeral:

Question: what kind of God would give you families and then ask you to leave them? What kind of God would give you friends and then ask you to say good-bye?

Answer: a God who knows we are only pilgrims and that eternity is so close that any “good-bye” is in reality a “see you tomorrow.”

That’s what I call developing a heavenly perspective. It’s born of unshakable faith, of confidence in one’s salvation and His promise of eternal life. Solid trust in God.

I have yet to achieve that perspective with consistency, but I certainly aspire to it.

In that vein, I’ve written a contemporary Psalm - based on my daily Bible study. I’m borrowing words from Alastair Campbell, a Baptist Minister and teacher in Jamaica. (Writing for Scripture Union USA)

What is more precious than life?

Could it be the love of God?

Not a passing emotion
Given and withdrawn at will,
But a steady, deep commitment.
A slow-burning fire
That our sins cannot break,
And death cannot quench.

The love of God!

A love that made us,
Called us,
Believes in us,
Weeps over us,
Forgives us,
And saves us
From the power of sin and death.

But how can it be more precious than life?

Because it lasts! For eternity!

Praise God!
…for his love revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lawncare Prayer

Dear God, I’ve been working in my yard - preparing the lawn with aeration, seed and fertilizer. We’re pruning and planting, too. Father, you prepare our hearts in much the same way.

Break up the ground around my negative thoughts.

Use the pruning shears on my selfish and stubborn ways.

Your Word and worship are good seed.

Fertilize it with your Holy Spirit.

Lord Christ, it’s fall in my yard. Things are dying or dormant, but I pray this is a growing season for me. You are the master gardener. Bring forth new growth that I may bear fruit for your Kingdom. Amen.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Under Armour


Given my macho inclination, I reach for your armour: the sword, the helmet, the shield. But St. Paul gives us the entire outfit - the under-armor so to speak. He says to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

I’ve heard it said: “You cannot claim to belong to Jesus yet wear dirty clothes.” (Valson Thampu, writing for Scripture Union in India)

So, I pray that we clothe ourselves with these qualities of Jesus - spotless, immaculate. And that our armour is polished and shining for you.

In His name and the Spirit’s power, Amen.

Photo credit: Metropolitian Museum of Art, NYC