Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Heritage

My 8th grade son has been given and assignment to trace his family linage. This school assignment has got us interested in finding out more about our heritage and the different people in our family tree. There are some parts of the family tree that we have been able to go back several generations. However there are other parts that we can only go back a few generations. We have discovered on one side of the family that the kids are related to James Wilson, one of our founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence. He was appointed by George Washington to serve as one of the original Supreme Court justices. My kids are heirs to a founding father. That is pretty cool and exciting for them.

I think that when we trace our history and search out the many branches of our family trees we always hope that we will be an heir to someone who is famous. We all hope that we will find a connection to someone from the past or in the present that is significant or at least well known. There is always the hope in tracing our history that we will be an heir to someone special.

"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." John 1 :12-13

"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Romans 8:16-17

You are an heir to someone special. You are an heir to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! There is nobody more significant or special. This relationships makes all the difference in our lives and it comes with an inheritances to which nothing else can even compare. You are a child of God.

Love today.

In Christ's Love and mine,
Doug

Friday, August 26, 2011

In the path of the storm

Today Lord, I am standing in the gap for all of the people who are in the path of the storm. I woke this morning with a burden on my heart to just pray for those people in the Bahamas and the people on the east coast of the United States. I pray that you would protect them from the storm. I know that you are a God that cares for them and loves them and you stand with them in this storm. Just, as you stood with the boys in the fiery furnace I know that you are present with them in this storms. I lift them all to you and pray that they would be aware in a real way of your presence with them.
You know Lord, that there are also others in our world that are in the path of storms. The storms that they face may not be tropical, or weather related, but they are storms none the less. They are devastating and they are raging. I stand in the gap and pray for all everywhere who feel they are in a storm of life. Be with each of them and hold them in the palm of your hands. Raise up you followers everywhere to step in and stand with people in storms to be a tangible sign of your love and presence with people in the storms of life. I thank you that you are the God who loves and cares for your people. I thank you for being the God who speaks to the storms of life and says "Peace, be still!" I thank you for the calm that comes form knowing that you are a God who is with us always and leads us through the storms of life. I thank you for not staying far off but entering into the stuff of our lives. I thank you for the calm that we can have even in the path of a storm because we know you love us and are with us. I thank you that we can call upon you and you hear our cries. I pray all of this in the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.

Love today.

In Christ love and mine,
Doug

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love and the Cross

Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for sin. However, why Jesus dies on the cross is not sin. Jesus didn't give his life on the cross because of sin he gave his life on the cross because of love. He died for sin but he did it because he loves you and and me. He loves us so much that he is willing to do what is necessary for us to be in relationship with him. He loves us so much that he is willing to lay down his life so that we can have life.

I have a cross that hangs in my office that has a yellow scroll unrolled and nailed to it. The scroll reads, "When He was on the Cross, You were on His Mind."

First and foremost the cross is about love. "For God so loved..."(John 3:16)

Our response? Love.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Undefined

Why do we allow the wrong things to define who we are in life? There is only one thing that should define us in life and that is the creator and giver of our life. God is what should define us. However, it seems that we try to be defined by other things. We let the words of others define us rather than the word of God. But, I am/ YOU, are who God says we are. You are his precious child. You have been formed by God, just the way that you are in you mothers womb, and you are his beloved. God loves you because you are you and you are his. God will never stop loving you. God has a plan for you.

Here is the heartbreaking thing for me. Everyday I speak to people who think that are stuck in a definition that someone else has given them. A parent, a spouse, a past relationship, someone has come along and told them that they are something other than what God says they are and they have let that define them. Others have allowed past mistakes, or addictions, or behaviors to define who they are and they say, "this is me, I am my mistakes, my addictions, my behavior, or my diagnosis." It is not true. You are who God says you are. And God does not define us in those ways. Others give themselves a definition or seek to be defined by someone else or something else. They define themselves by their jobs or by their relationship.
God loves you as you and for who you are. God does need you to have a certain job or need you to be someones spouse or significant other. God loves you. You are his beloved. You are his handy work.

What is it that defines who you are? Are you letting the words of others, your job, a relationship or non-relationship, or your past define you? In what do you have your identity? That stuff and those things do not make you who you are. God does. You are who God says you are. If we will stop letting other things define us and allow God to define us we will become what God says we are. It is time for us to be really honest with ourselves and with God about letting him and Him alone define who we are. Today might be a day to get undefined by the other stuff and redefined by God.

You are loved by God and by me.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Friday, August 19, 2011

Maybe we should slow down

I think God might be telling me to slow down. He might be telling me to take time and see His handy work, smell the flowers, listen for him and hear the birds sing. There has not been an audible voice. There have been no flashing signs that say this. But, as I have been hurrying through my day to try to get things done I have gotten behind a truck that was not in the hurry that I was. When I got my son to the orthodontist we got to spend time waiting for the Dr. that we had hurried to be on time for. We got the new technician who is training at a slower pace than a seasoned pro. I am being giving all kinds of opportunity to slow down. I have a tendency (please don't judge) to allow these things to frustrate rather then hear them as God speaking to me. But, I think Gos has a few words for me today and those words are "slow down".

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Song Stuck in my Head

My soon to be three year old daughter has got a song stuck in my head. We had vacation bible school about three weeks ago and since then she has been singing.

"When your jumping, jumping up and down.
When your spinning, spinning round and round.
God's seeing everything you do
because God is watching, he is watching over you!

“God is watching, watching over you.
Twenty-four-seven, watching over you.
My life is in your hands, whoa!
He’s got great big plans ’cause He’s watching over you.”

This is an important truth to have stuck in our heads and written on our heart. God cares about us. He is watching over our lives and holds us in the palm of his hands. He has a plan. So, I invite you to sing along with the truth that my daughter is singing about. God is watching over you.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The last day of summer

My kids start back to school tomorrow. This means the it is time for us to get back into our family routine around the house. It means that we will have to be more scheduled about the time we get up and the time we go to bed. It means we have to be more scheduled about time for dinner and time to study. We will have to get into a routine that makes the whole family more productive and able to do all that we need to do with the new much more rigid school schedule.

Summer offered us more time in the day and more flexibility so that we could enjoy time together and time to have recreation. Now that summer break is over it is time to get back into the routine. It is time to establish a routine that still encourages time together and recreation. It is important that we make sure to keep the important things as part of our routine. It is necessary that we make the time in our now busier, more rigid schedule for those things that connect us to God and each other. We need to make sure that we take the time to connect to God through his word and through prayer. We need to make sure that our routine contains time for worship and time with our family (the family of God and our family of birth).

There is a statement that I always think of at times like these. "Too busy not to pray." The busier we get the more that we need to make sure and be intentional about our relationship with Christ.

Make time for your relationship with Jesus.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Friday, August 12, 2011

What would you do for another?

Jesus says, "Greater love has no one than this, that they lay down their lives for their friends." (see John 15:13) He also says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? (see Matthew 5)

It is easier to read God's word than it is to live it. It easier to talk about love than it is to love. Jesus calls his followers to love like no one else. He calls his followers to love like crazy. He calls us to follow him by loving everyone with the same radical, life changing love that he has for us. A love that says it is not about me it is about you. A love that says I will lay down my life for you.

He says what will make his followers different is that they will love everyone. No exceptions. Love everybody. Love like crazy. Love unconditionally. Love freely.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug