Monday, October 31, 2011

One Foot in Front of the Other

Joshua 3:7-17
It seems that we are always in the process of going from one stage of life to another. Just when we get adjusted, and, perhaps comfortable, it’s time to cross over into another one! Such was the case with God’s people in the book of Joshua. The wilderness journey of 40 years was behind them, the land of promise was before them, with a barrier in between that only God could remove. This scene was a lot like the one at the Red Sea. But this time, they had to start toward the water before they could see it parting. The hand of God was upstream, holding back the water, but it took time to dry up, and it was only after they began to get their feet wet that they would see the miracle of God.

Today we still have to move ahead each day in faith, knowing that God goes before us, making a way, which we will see as we continue forward, putting one foot in front of the other!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm qualifying!

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

I’m not breaking the law, I’m qualifying! (Don’t say this to the police officer pulling you over!)

Where’s Moses when you need him? Right where he belongs! We are each born at the right time, for our time. Not only was God pleased to make each of us with the physical characteristics and personality traits of his choosing; he also chose us to be born into the place in time where we belong. And then, as  if those qualifications where not enough, even all our ‘mistakes’ and downright screw-ups, in his redemptive power, only serve to become further qualifications of experiences out of which we can fulfill the purposes he had in mind. Surely Moses had no idea how the difficulties of his first 80 years (not the least of which was murdering an Egyptian who was abusing a Hebrew and fleeing the country as a fugive from the law) and first two careers (Royal family, then wilderness Shepherd) would be qualifications for his third, and most memorable career- Sheppard of Israel and God’s ambassador to his ex-family Royalty!

It’s as if God just laughs at the things that we think are the end of our existence, and weaves them into qualifications for his original plan! Don’t you just love it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Only If You Go With Me

Exodus 33:12-23

How many times have you felt like you were surrounded by a million complainers? That’s how Moses felt, and it was true! When you’re surrounded by a bunch of stubborn complainers, it’s easy to forget that we ‘have it made’ with our life with God. In fact,  Moses said it well when he told God he wasn’t feeling very ‘special to God’ (Message translation.) Feeling not so special means that we are merely reacting to our circumstances as if we are human.  That’s understandable. But the answer was also right there in Moses speech- the job that God gives us is 1)God’s job, God’s people, God’s responsibility; 2) it’s only possible if God goes with us, and we’re not going anywhere without it!!!  God walks with us on the path that he’s chosen.  Don’t leave home without him.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Let Him Get The Best of You

Philippians 4:1-9

Two of the lessons of the joy of the first date: 1) You put the person in the center of your attention, 2) your choice to give attention to them makes other concerns seem small and ‘handleable.’ (handleable is a word in my book!)

It’s like that with letting our love of Jesus be the lens through which we view life. When we allow relational issues or life worries become our center stage, life builds with drama, and Jesus takes a balcony seat.  But when we begin with a personal face-to-face love conversation with Jesus, we have the inner energy and courage to face (not ignore) life’s challenges and not let them get the best of us, because Jesus has the best of our love, our first attention.  When we have our mind and our heart convinced that the first issue of life, (our being unconditionally loved,) has already been settled, we face life with a settled heart. What a difference! Life is good! Very Good!

Revised Common Lectionary 23 (28)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Eye On The Goal

Philippians 3:4b-14

Bang! I can’t believe I backed into a car! And neither could the other driver in the Target parking lot. I had looked behind just a second or two ago, but got distracted. Luckily, we were both going so slow, there was no real damage to either car. At faster road speeds, it is even more important to keep your eye on the road- there is more at stake, damage from driving distracted goes up.

Worse than driving distracted, is living distracted. And it’s not just ‘unspiritual’ or evil influences that can get us distracted. In our spiritual life, sometimes the ways and means or methods by which we use to get to God, may actually get out of balance and become the focus, rather than help us to focus, on Christ.

We stop and take a moment to pause, and remind ourselves, that ‘it’s all about Jesus!’ With Jesus at the center, the rest of life can fit in (or, not; and that’s ok!) around our center-Jesus.