Thursday, June 26, 2008

Love in Action

Good Morning Genesis.

The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:2)

Look at the verbs.

Today, some of you will build up your community.

Some of you will gather today … you will reach out to include the one whom others are likely to ignore.

Some of you will heal a brokenhearted co-worker or family member.

Some of you will be involved in “emergency room” care – you will bind up a wound, stop the bleeding or set the bone.

Read this passage again, but this time, say “I” – add the place where you live, where you work:

I build up Westchester, the YMCA or the local school.
I gather the outcasts at the office, or the nephew everyone hopes doesn’t show up at the family reunion.
I heal the brokenhearted,
And bind up their wounds … I pay attention, and I’m available.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,” so goes the LORD's Prayer.

Jesus elaborates – that our forgiveness of others seals God’s forgiveness to us. To not forgive another is to reject God’s forgiveness for ourselves.

This morning, a picture: a young man in northern Uganda, staring at the camera, his disfigurement apparent. Kidnapped by a warring faction that cut off his ears, nose, hands and part of his lips, he says, “I was angry about what happened to me and bitterly against any amnesty. But now I know we’ll never have peace if they [his kidnappers] don’t come out of the bush. And they won’t do that unless we forgive them.”

Coming from anyone else, I might dismiss such words as armchair blather, but John Ochola speaks out of the depths of his suffering and anger.

A handsome young man disfigured by tragedy – speaking words of forgiveness to those who hurt him.


Amazing Grace!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Poem

Susan Ager, Detroit Free Press Columnist, offers this delightful poem in honor of her father.

It'll bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face.

Just click HERE.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Gift of Praise

The gift of praise.

Praise the LORD from the heavens.
Praise Him in the heights above.
Praise the LORD from the earth.

From Psalm 148 … take a look at it if you can today … and let the Holy Spirit lift your mind and heart to praise.

I find in my own life a strange darkness about this. There are times when I don’t want to praise the LORD because I KNOW that it’ll take me out of myself, and there are times when I don’t want to leave!

But I find the words of praise, like Psalm 148, to always work their grace. My heart is lifted, if only for a moment; my mind is soothed and refocused, and it’s enough.

Remember - the LORD is at your side.
His eye is on the sparrow … and He knows the number of the hairs on your head … the God of the smallest detail, infinite and intimate … who one day took up a cross and crawled to Calvary for the sake of the world.

His name alone is exalted.
His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.

The gift of praise!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A New Song

“Sing to the LORD a new song” (Psalm 149).

Try a new idea today, read a different book, look at people and things from a different angle. I don’t know about you, but my mind and heart easily slip into a routine. But that’s when things go stale and I start getting bored. The new song can be simple. Drive home a different way. Prepare an unusual recipe. Go to a movie you wouldn’t otherwise see. Find a new restaurant.

When God gave Adam and Eve the Garden, every tree in it was theirs. It’s a big garden, and lots of things to see and do. Though I love the comfort of routine, it doesn’t do my spirit any good. When I find and do something new – even a simple new idea from a book or something I’ve heard on NPR, freshness is added and something grows a little larger.

“Sing to the LORD a new song."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Everything Is Okay

“Everything is okay in my life.”

Pretty radical idea, wouldn’t you say?

I heard a speaker say that recently. “Wow!” I thought. How that might revolutionize the way I approach life.

How much of my time is spent in dissatisfaction, grumping and griping, waiting for another day, letting the moment slip by, while looking to the horizon for that something which never seems to get here anyway.

Could I give thanks a little more often?

Would a second look at things, even the darker, harder, things make a difference.

I wonder … maybe everything is okay in my life … Wow!