Thursday, January 31, 2019

Warming winter up

Jan 31st  (212 words)
End of January.  It seems to me a little momentous.  End of January – then comes the end of February – and March arrives.  Is this a count-down until the end of the winter months?  I must be growing old – winter used to be my favorite season.  Now I’m longing for green grass and blue skies…

“Dear God, give me eyes of faith to look past the snow, down into the earth – to see the seeds and flower bulbs waiting to burst out.  Give me eyes of faith to look ahead to the new heavens and the new Earth – when it will be paradise.  Give us energy and strength to persevere and even prosper this winter.  Help us God!”

We’re looking at the resurrection.  This is a spring-time subject – as new life bursts from a dead frozen ground.

“Thanks God that winter isn’t the end.  It’s only a season.  Death isn’t the end.  God, your resurrection power is also at work in our own lives.  You brought Jesus up from the dead, and you are bringing us up from our old lives – into a new life – of heavenly citizenship.  Let me warm up the people around me with your love.  When I’m cold, I need your ongoing love to melt my heart.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

When I'm afraid I'll trust in you

Jan 16th
Every night when I put Luke to bed we sing a few songs together. Sunday night I sang the song: “When I am afraid I will trust in you, I will trust in you (2x); When I am afraid I will trust in you, in God whose word I praise.”
Then the very next morning in our morning Bible reading we continued our slow walk through the Psalms. We read as a family Psalm 56: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
Little Luke looked at me with wide eyes – “You sang that song!”
God was reminding me (and him) not only that I can trust in him – but also that I hadn’t realized that I was actually living in a state of stressful fear – and that God had something better for me.
“God, remind me again and again – when I am afraid – you are there and I can trust you.”

Snow, hot chocolate and seatbelts

Jan 23rd (273 words)
Here in Quebec, the weather has been monopolizing much of the conversation – intruding like an excited puppy.  There is something that I find cozy about being caught in the grip of a storm.  It’s a nice feeling for many in North America because for people sitting at home in front of a fire with a warm cup of hot chocolate in your hands there is very little risk to our lives.
This wasn’t always the case.  I’ve read stories that showed how a century or two ago terrible storms would have posed a much greater risk for people’s survival.

I’ve been struck not only with the beauty of the snow, but also how it poses certain dangers.  In the snow storm of Saturday, Sunday and Monday – I saw cars getting stuck in the city of Cowansville – trying in vain to go up small hills. 

In most of these discussions we can be amazed at the degree to which humanity has been able to innovate and develop methods of surviving – even thriving – in the cold.  Even an invention as simple as a seat-belt – has saved lives.  Today people walk out of a twisted wreck of a car – because God had endowed humanity with the ability to innovate ways of protecting human life. 

Some people arrogantly see this as people thwarting God – but that’s just like a silly goose.  God gave us the intelligence to thrive in the world he has made!  Our innovations only give him more glory!

Glorify God for the snow, safe homes, warm fires, cups of hot chocolate, and seatbelts.  Drive safe – and thank God for all his gifts!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Pursuit of God

Jan 3rd, (306 words)

How does God pursue us?

This is a question that assumes that he does pursue us.
It is a question that assumes that we can be pursued.
It is a question that assumes there is a God.
It assumes that God isn’t standing there in Heaven with crossed arms – stubbornly refusing to do anything for us until we come to him for help.

Instead, we know that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
We know that even when we were enemies of God, Jesus died on the cross for us.

God pursued us – and his pursuit of us doesn’t stop with the cross. He woos us to himself with promises of peace and rest. He offers our thirsty souls his living water. He says come to me and I will give you life.

An old Christian rock band said – you might take 10,000 steps away – but don’t you know that it’s only one step back.

You take a step toward God – and find that he has taken 10,000 steps to you.

Of course, he is not insecure in all this, or desperate. It is out of his overflowing love that he desires our presence and fellowship. He wants our best. He’s a good, good father!

We might say that God pursues our attention with every hand-crafted snowflake that falls. He pursues our notice with every mix of air that we breathe. Every tree points to the heavens, every rock cries out – that God is great, and worthy of our attention.

Thanks God for all the ways you pursue me. This earth is simply there to offer us metaphors for the reality of our eternal life with God.

I’m in awe of my God who pursues me.
“Let me keep my eyes fixed on you this year – because you deserve it, God”