Thursday, February 28, 2008

Look At the Audience

Trying to follow
In the footsteps
Of the masters,

But it’s a lot harder
Than it looks because
Even though they had
The same size feet
As us, they weren’t
Looking down
The whole time,
While they walked
To make sure
They were
Doing it right

(From Brian Andres, Traveling Light)

When my daughter, Rachel, was in dance, we’d go to the recitals. I was fascinated to see which dancers looked at the audience and who looked at the other dancers.

Those who looked at the other dancers were always a few beats behind, waiting on others for their cue. But those who looked at the audience stayed on tempo. They didn’t worry about how others were doing it; they just did it!

It’s so much easier to do life without looking right or left to see what others are doing. Getting our cues from others puts us a few beats off tempo.

Comparison is risky: we can find folks with less money then we have and those with more. We can find folks with unkempt appearance and those with killer looks. Folks who weigh more and folks who weigh less. Comparison is risky. And we’re always a few beats off tempo.

So, keep your eyes on the audience, and the audience is none other than the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and all of heaven’s angels.

And their conclusion at the end of the evening? “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Dance your heart out. And keep your eyes on Jesus!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Simple Realities

Simple Realities …

1. I’m a sinner in need of grace.
2. I’m far from God and need reconciliation.
3. I’m at odds with my created self and need healing.
4. The world is ruthless with its infatuation with self-help.
5. The world cannot find or offer what the soul needs.
6. The help I need is found in Christ.
7. And Christ is utterly generous!

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand!” Romans 5:1-2

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Early Easter

Not since 1913 have we had an Easter as early as March 23 and that is before most of us were paying attention. Easter can happen as early as March 22, but that hasn't happened that early since 1818 and won't again until March 22, 2285. Even this year's date of March 23 won't happen again until March 23, 2160.

Pay attention to time ... it's precious and full of grace. "Time is money" someone once said, but I'd rather say:

Time is love.
Time is hope.
Time is peace.
Time is service.
Time is sacrifice.
Time is Christ our Lord!
Time is Life with one another!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wheelchair Backflip?

A backflip in a wheelchair?

You bet.

I just saw it.

A young man, in a wheelchair, decided to stop by a skateboard park and try a few things. Convinced that a backflip was possible, he went to work.

With a lot of spills and tumbles, he finally did it.

Here’s the video link:


And whatever you do, and whatever you dream, stay with it, take your tumbles, and try it again!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stress Relief

Stress relief … anyone interested?

Stress is life … Adam and Eve were stressed, so was Abraham and Sarah … so was Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Is there a pattern here?

Of course … it’s all about clear-headed choices for God.

Adam and Eve were confronted with a choice for the self. So was Abraham and Sarah, and so was Jesus in the Garden when He prayed, “Father, is there some other way?”

But in the end, Jesus says, “Not my will be done, but yours.”

A firm and clear decision for God and God’s Kingdom.

All of my ministry, I’ve heard 10 million reasons why someone can’t do something like Bible study, prayer groups, teach Sunday School, or attend worship regularly – it all comes down to the same thing: “I’m too busy!”

And hell’s cheering is deafening!

“Seek first the kingdom of God,” said Jesus, “and life’s other concerns fall into place.” God knows our need for bread and clothing and will provide, but anxiety compels us to make them our priority, turning it all into dust, leaving us in a heap of stress.

Jesus wants us involved in the world, of course! How else can we be “the light of the world” or “the salt of the earth”? But involved with clear intent, bringing to our work and schools a vital spiritual energy growing out of “first things first.”

Give it some thought. Give it some prayer.

Stress comes from completing loyalties. Peace comes from a clear-headed commitment to Christ!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Prayer Advice

Eleanor Roosevelt offered the following advice for a president's wife.

Always be on time. Do as little talking as humanly possible. Lean back in the parade car so everybody can see the president.

Good advice for prayer:

1. Always be on time ... make prayer a daily discipline, and always around the same time.

2. Do as little talking as humanly possible ... keep it simple, keep it brief.

3. Lean back in the car ... relax!

4. So everybody can see the president ... so that everybody can see Christ in us!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Heart Open

Been reading the script for “The Bucket List," starring Jack Nicholson (Edward) and Morgan Freeman (Carter) and came across the following:

Carter: “Everyone’s scared to die alone.”

Edward: “I’m not everyone.”

Carter: “Than you kidding yourself.”

We are everyone, and everyone is us, too.

I like that! It’s the bond that ties us all together, and makes it possible for us to love one another.

We are everyone, though Satan works tirelessly to convince us otherwise - that we are unique. Not only unique, but deserving of special benefits and favored status – the mindset of entitlement that divides and conquers the soul and isolates us in deep loneliness.

And it’s loneliness that fuels the consumption frenzy and leaves us stressed and sad at the end of the day.

In the end, both Carter and Edward find life even as they’re dying, because they dare to love one another and dare to love those around them, finding the grace to forgive themselves and the grace to forgive “life” for the way it’s come to them.

Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly!”

Life, as God created it – loving one another with grace and kindness, sympathy and gentleness, mercy and comfort.

In a voice over comment about Edward, Carter says: “I know that when he died his eyes were closed, and his heart was open.”