Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mary Pondered These Things.

Faith in Christ is always a miracle.

Faith is a gift, pure and simple, from the heart of God to us. We didn’t choose Christ; Christ chose us!

John says so eloquently, Not that we have loved God, but that God has loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Only because God has acted favorably on our behalf, only because God has looked upon us with mercy, has the light of Christ dawned upon our souls, to push away the dark night of sin and fear.

This is a miracle.

Within ourselves, a sea of darkness.
In God, the light, the true light that gives light to everyone.

As the Psalmist says so beautifully, In your light we see light.

It is said of Mary, she treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Oh Holy Spirit, Light Divine,
Open my heart and pour in the treasures of Christ.
Help me, I pray,
To slow down today.
To ponder the glory of Christ.
In the deep places of my heart! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dealing with Fear

Ask yourself: "What am I afraid of today?"

I have to do this from time-to-time, when my stomach is churning and my soul is burdened. 

Facing our fears head-on reveals them to be a lot smaller, and a whole lot sillier, then they appear to us when we're looking at our fears out of the corner of our eyes, or over our shoulders - then our fears appear gigantic and powerful.

Sometimes the first answer doesn't quite get at it. Keep pushing closer, and keep asking, "What am I afraid of today?"

Remember this: your experience of fear is never accurate, because anxiety magnifies the fear. Like looking at an ant in huge magnifying glass; the ant looks like a monster. But remove the magnifying glass, and the ant is just an ant. 

Remove the anxiety and our fears grow smaller. And when fear grows smaller, love begins to flow. Fearful souls are not very good at love. Souls freed from fear become conduits of God's love.

And then next step: faith.

Putting our lives and our future into the hands of God!

Not everyone has had a good experience "with god" - I understand that, and as a pastor, I regret what the church has sometimes done with God.

But God revealed in the face of Jesus is always good, and when God says, "I am at work in all things for good," it's a great comfort to me, and helps me put my life into God's hands. "I'll be all right" I have to say to myself; God will see me through."

Two steps today:
1) Ask the question as courageously as you can, "What am I afraid of today?" Push hard at this point!
2) And then say to God, "I put my life into your hands, and I trust your love in all of this!"

A spiritual exercise to clear the air and free the flow of love.

To see faith and commitment 
in someone's face is
always a remarkable moment.