Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

I need Jesus.

I cannot live with out Jesus.

I need His love.  I need His forgiveness.  I need His presence in my life.

I need Jesus because I am a sinner.  I do things that separate me from God and others.  I can't change this about me.  But, Jesus can.  I need Jesus to be my life.  Not just to bless my life but to be my life.  I mess it up when I try to be the Lord of my life.  I need Jesus.  Without Him I am nothing.

Jesus, I am sorry for the things that I have done to separate me from you.  I am sorry for my sin and my disobedience.  I need you.

Thank you for your forgiveness.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally.  Thank you for loving me just the way that I am and for loving me enough not to leave here. Thank you for being me life and my all.

Today, I repent and believe the Good News!

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Friday, February 17, 2012

How are you today?

We are often asked "how are you today?"  This morning I was asked that and I said I am fabulous.  I started thinking why do we not ask the other "w" questions as easily.  I guess it might be rude to ask "what are you today?" or "why are you today?"  But, I think when we can answer the who, what, when, where, and why it effects the how we are. As followers of Jesus we can answer these "w" questions and because we can answer these particular question in particular ways because of our relationship with Jesus then we can always say we are fabulous when asked "how we are doing?"

What am I today?  I am a child of God.  I am created by God for his good works.  I am an image bearer of the king. I am his precious.

Who am I today? More importantly whose am I?  I am his.  It is not about me it is about Jesus.  It is not about What I have done but what Christ has done.  I am who I am because of who He is.  Who am I?  I am a servant of the  King!

Where am I today?   I am in the presence of God because God never leaves me or forsakes me.  God is in me.  I am seeking to be in the will of God.  I am in a committed relationship with God.

Why am I today?  This is a day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.  The why is to worship and be glad.  The why os to love and serve Jesus.  That is why today. To love God and to love God's people.

When?  The when is now.  I am not stuck in my past.  I am forgiven and I am a new creation.  I do not have to worry about the future because God is my provision.  I am living now.  I will not allow the past or the future to be my when and rob me from living today.

This is why I can say today.  I am good.  I am great!  I am fabulous!!!

Thank you Jesus!

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jesus Loves Me (You)

"Jesus loves me this I know.  For the Bible tells me so.  Little ones to him belong.  They are week but he is strong."

I think it was a theologian named Karl Barth, when asked what the greatest thing that he knows about God is, who said, "Jesus loves me this I know."  The greatest, deepest, most true insight that he had discovered in all his years of study was that Jesus loves him.

Wow!

Have you discovered just how wide and how deep that love is that God has for you?  Yesterday was Valentines and maybe someone said to you they loved you.  God loves you more.  Maybe, you have deep feelings for someone and yesterday you said to them "I love you."  God loves you and me more.

Maybe, you had no one say those words to you yesterday, you did not get any cards or candy or flowers.  I want you to know that God loves you.  God loves us more than anything or anyone.  God loves you and me so much that he hurts when we hurt.  He hurts when we run from Him.  His heart aches when ours aches.  God loves you and me so much that he pursues us and wants to lavish us with love and grace. He pursues us all the way to the cross where he laid down his life so that we could be know his love and live in his love for all eternity. God loves you and me so much that he created us not because he needs us or has to have us but because he wants us.  God created you and me so that he could love us and we could love him in return.

God loves us.  I think it does us good to just stop and ponder just how much God loves us.  It is the deepest, truest greatest thing that we can understand about God.  When we really understand just how much God loves us it changes everything.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nursing Injuries

This past week as I have been taking care of sick kids I have also been nursing a nagging knee injury.  I have been training to run a marathon in April.  It was a goal of mine to run a marathon when I was 40.  I am running  out of time to reach that goal.  The last time I was training I injured myself playing softball and missed that race.

Okay.  I can hear all of you saying it, "maybe, I am too old for this stuff."  I am not too old I just need to take care of myself.  I am not a teenager any more.  I can't recover like I did in my twenties, but I can still do things. That is why I am training and it is why I am taking special care this time to take care of myself.

This has me thinking about how often we neglect taking care of ourselves spiritually.  We get a few bumps and bruises and if we don't stop and really care for the bumps and bruises before you know it we are missing out on the things we really want to do.  We want a deep, committed, real and authentic relationship with Christ.  We want to love and live like Jesus.  Yet, the stuff of life comes in and cripples us from doing that.  The problem is not the troubles of life.  Jesus says in this world we will have troubles.  The problem comes when we don't treat our hurts and hangups.  We get our feelings hurt or we do something that we wish we had not.  Instead of stopping to care for the pain that it has caused us spiritually we ignore it.  We have a relationship with a brother or sister that is fractured and we ignore it and don't care for the pain that it is doing to us and it drags us away from what we really want and effects our relationship with God.  We cant say that we love God and not love our brothers and sisters.  We want to live in relationship with God yet we continue to do things that we know are not Godly. Instead of working on our behavior that is unhealthy for us we try to do more "good" things yet the unhealthy behavior is dragging us away from what we want.  We need to stop and care for the hurt because it is effecting our relationship with God.  If we ignore it or try to cover it with a mask it will rob us of what we truly want. We have to really are for our hurts and hang

When our hearts are hurt it is hard to love.  We have to take care of our hearts.  When we are spiritually empty  we are not being led by the Spirit.  We have to take care of the bumps and bruises that we get along life's road because if we don't it will keep us from what we really hope for.  Don't let things fester.   Do what you got to do as soon as you can so that you can heal and be whole.  When we do this we understand more fully what grace is and we understand more fully the power of the resurrection for our lives.  We grow to be more like Jesus.

I am going to finish the race.  This means that I will take care of  my injuries along the way and not ignore them.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Prayer

Father God,  you are my life.  Help me to live today for you.  Help me to decide and stick to it that today I want to become less and you become more.  May I be so connected to you that your love flows through me to others and may they not see me but see you.  May they only recognize the pieces of my character and my heart that bring you glory and honor.  Help me to get out of of the way so that others wont trip over me on their way to you.  No matter what I encounter, no matter what happens, may I praise you and bring you glory.  This is the day that you have made.  It is a gift to me.  May it be for your glory.  May I make it about you and not about me.  In Christ name.  Amen.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Friday, February 3, 2012

TGIF

Thank God today.

The last three days I have been home with sick kids.  Being sick is no fun.  But, feeling bad or bad situations does not eliminate the good.  We can still find good and be grateful.

I am grateful that my work is flexible enough that I can be there for my kids.  I am thankful that God is always here for his children and that he comforts us and brings his healing to our lives.  I am thankful the time spent with my kids.  We have had fun with each other even as we have been sick.

Make sure that you look for the good in your day today and take time to thank God.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Live like that- Sidewalk Prophets

Here is the title track to Sidewalk prophets new album.  I got this in my email the other day and it just reaffirms the desire of God's heart that we be real about loving like Jesus.  Give it a listen, be blessed and be a blessing.



Love like that today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug