Monday, November 22, 2010


…you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:19-20)

Paul introduces us to a “truly global faith…where only one category remains: all believers. Across cultures and races, God is building a new family: we are joined together in Christ, and in our multi-colored, many-tongued expressions, the Holy Spirit dwells.”

Gerard Kelly, writing for
Scripture Union USA, is Senior Pastor of Crossroads International Church in Amsterdam.

Dear God,

How is it that we divide up into denominations? St. Paul, steeped in the tradition of his own religion and culture learned a better way:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:28)

Yet there’s a human inclination to choose sides. I tend to associate with people that look like me, think like me, live like me.

Father, don’t let church become my private club. It should be more like a base camp. A place for supply. A place where an expedition begins - even an adventure!

Lord Christ, you prayed for unity, that we would be one.
(John 17:11) No barriers. No boundaries. Help me to find common ground with all believers in your teaching, your example, your presence. Amen.

Photo credit

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stones that Speak

Joshua erected a monument at The Gilgal, using the twelve stones that they had taken from the Jordan.

…this was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always. (Joshua 4:20-24, The Message)

Dear God,

You instructed Joshua to build a memorial of twelve stones - a memorial that would speak of your blessing, guidance and protection to the generations.

We erect monuments to our heroes - military, commerce, philanthropy, church and sports.

But what are the “stones that speak” in my life? Could I find twelve? What about faith? Family? Is there a stone that speaks of service? Discipleship? Grace?

And certainly, my monument doesn’t merit chiseled marble. Maybe a pile of river rocks where your Spirit has removed the jagged edges.

Lord Christ, I pray that my life will speak to others - of your blessing, guidance and protection - that they will hold you in
reverence and recognize your strong, rescuing hand. Amen.

Photo credit

Monday, November 8, 2010

All Saints' Day

We celebrated All Saints’ Sunday yesterday…singing (with gusto) For All the Saints and I Sing a Song of the Saints of God. It prompted me to reflect on the “cloud of witnesses” that has surrounded me, and for that I praise God:

I sing a song of the saints of God…

My Grandparents, Lewis and Clara. They would recite the Lord’s prayer with me at bedtime. Laying a foundation of faith.

My boss and his wife, Larry and Catharine. Dedicated to one another, their family, their employees and community. A couple to imitate.

Patient and brave and true…

My co-worker and friend, Lyn, whose life was claimed by cancer. His compelling assurance of Eternity strengthened my faith.

The departed Saints in the Men’s Bible Study at St. Matthew’s. Loyal to their church and committed to their faith. Never bashful with their doubts and questions.

Who toiled and fought and lived and died…

Mrs. Hawkins on my Meals on Wheels route. Terminally ill. Always reading her Bible. Preparing for Heaven.

Cindy’s nanny, Elizabeth. The family’s lively prophetess of both admonition and encouragement.

For the Lord they loved and knew…

My colleagues Jan and Ben. For their high standards and friendship.

For Wild Bill, my father-in-law, who loved nature and learning and teaching. A model of graciousness.

They were all of them saints of God, and I mean, God helping, to be one too. Amen.

Photo credit: Cemetery in Cracow Poland on All Saint’s Day

Monday, November 1, 2010

Signs and Wonders

Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wondrous God, thank you for this day!

Father, the book of Acts tells us the Gospel was confirmed with “signs and wonders.” I don’t believe those powers were confined to 1st century church. I’ve seen them in my life. 21st century Christians need to raise their expectations!

We have extraordinary powers: to love, to care, to encourage, to share, to befriend. I should exercise my special powers with greater frequency.

I may not have the healing touch of Peter or John, but I have the power to forgive. That’s a potent and healing force!

Lord Christ, help me to see the opportunities. And I ask your forgiveness for the ones I’ve missed when busy and self-absorbed. I’ll take Peter’s advice and claim the promise:
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord… (Acts 3:10)

Use me for “signs and wonders” on your behalf today…through the Spirit’s extraordinary power. Amen.