Monday, November 30, 2009


First Advent Reading

I wait for your salvation, O Lord.

Genesis 49:18

Waiting is part of our daily lives but it doesn’t mean that we grow accustom to it. Our shoulders slump at the bank’s long line. A quick trip to the market is extended because of the “quick trips” of others. Kids can’t wait to grow up and be on their own. Parents simply wait to see how their parenting techniques have worked. Living and waiting walk hand in hand.

And now we come to the time of Advent—a time of waiting for the salvation of God. Here there is a significant difference in the focus of our waiting. With this waiting comes hope, promise of a future. There is a "known" in the waiting--Jesus bearing witness to God in his flesh. The end result of all our other waiting pales by comparison.

Throughout the coming days as we wait in line for whatever reason we might want to consider the waiting as an opportunity. Instead of fuming over time lost, let’s rejoice in the time gained to consider and wonder at Who we’re ultimately waiting for.

Jesus, I eagerly wait for you!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Praying the Psalms

Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
he got you out in the nick of time.
He quieted the wind down to a whisper,
put a muzzle on all the big waves.
And you were so glad when the storm died down,
and he led you safely back to harbor.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
Lift high your praises when the people assemble,
shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!
Good people see this and are glad;
bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks.
If you are really wise, you'll think this over--
it's time you appreciated God's deep love.

Psalm 107:28-32, 43 (The Message)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

This Thanksgiving I have the privilege of being with at least part of my family. For the first time in 31 years my husband and I had to go to separate coasts to see our families, which has meant us being apart. It is a bitter sweet experience this Thanksgiving. I am with family that I love while missing my husband and daughter who mean the world to me and whom I love with every breath.

So, this Thanksgiving I'm thankful for it all--the joy and the sorow, the closeness and the distance, the laughter and the silence, the past and the future, the successes and the failures--all of which are continuing to be used by God to mold and shape me into a vision of character that I hope and pray will be glorifying to him.

My prayer is that you also will embrace it all and give thanks for what God has allowed to come into your life. Thank you for your reading and being a part of my growing up in Christ.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Waiting. . .Ugh!

Suggested Bible Reading: Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord…

Psalm 40:1

Patience has never been a virtue of mine so it isn’t surprising that it remains the constant lesson in my life. From birth I was apparently eager to get going and not much has changed. I like to see things happen—quickly. So, when confronted with obstacles that slow down my progress, instead of seeing them as moments of reprieve and rest, I view them as nuisances. But, in my defense I am learning a life-changing lesson. These obstacles are becoming prayer moments.

The psalms talk frequently of waiting, patience, be still. The psalms know us better than we know ourselves! Rushing from project to appointment we become frustrated, irritated and annoyed that life isn’t as “smooth” as we want it. Obstacles are constant, like the signs held by road workers that force us to stop and wait. But fuming over being stopped doesn’t get us to our destination any faster. Patiently waiting, being still is what allows God’s voice to be heard and in that hearing our spirits are quieted.

Believe me, it’s hard to be still. But there is a greater richness to the quality of life with the obstacles. Without them I would be more apt to forget to take in the surrounding view and more importantly keep a listening ear open to the heart of God.

Thought for the Day: How often during the day am I “still” ready to hear God’s voice?

Jesus, forgive my rushing life.
I want to accept the obstacles as stop signs that allow me
more time with you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Intentional Prayer

We all know that praying is important in the life of a Jesus follower. But there always seems to be an elusive quality about it in that we're not sure just "how to do it." Once in conversation with a group of people I discovered that some "prayed" once a day. I was left wondering if they talked to their friends, spouses, family "once a day." A pastor called a congregation to 90 minutes of prayer a day for the purpose of spiritual growth. Members found it more than challenging and again I pondered over how much time is spent watching television, reading, exercising.

So many of our activities throughout the day are intentionally planned, intentionally executed, intentionally accomplished. Prayer somehow falls through the cracks of our intentionally planned days.

Prayer is often approached as a one way conversation. Most of my friends wouldn't tolerate my friendship for very long if I sat and talked at them for 90 minutes. Our friendship continues and flourishes because we talk with each other in a mutual back and forth conversation. Its talking and listening that makes a rich and satisfying experience.

In my own life with Christ, prayer has made a significant difference. Some days are spent with 30 minutes here, 15 minutes there and so on. Other days there is a total immersion into the refreshing waters of prayer. It has been life changing. My days have become turning off the radio while driving to an appointment and I find I've had a 25 minute conversation. Standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes listening to God's Spirit suddenly 20 more minutes have passed.The days and hours of intentional prayer have given me life at a time when I felt life waning.

If you're like me, sometimes I wonder about "how to do it" or even "when" but when I think of it in terms of a conversation, I realize that prayer is a conversation with the One who made me and wants to be in relationship with me..

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grow or Die

Suggested Bible Reading: Galatians 5

You were running well. Who hindered you from the truth?
Galatians 5:7

Some of the seed that is thrown by the farmer in Jesus’ parable of the sower falls amongst the thorns. The seed begins to grow but soon its life is choked out of it and what began as promise ends in death.

It’s a familiar parable with powerful spiritual implications and hopefully shock value for the Jesus follower. Thorns are everywhere! When we say “yes” to Follow Me nothing can be taken for granted. The growth of our seed rests solely on the attention and awareness we give to it. Jesus later tells of seed that falls on fertile ground. Our course, when asked, we know we all want to be those fertile seeds! But it is important for us to consider what may be the thorns that hinder us from growth.

Everything that we take into our life has the potential to feed our souls or suck them dry. From books read to friends made to movies seen whatever touches us leaves an imprint. In order to keep running well with Jesus decisions will need to be made as to who and what we’re “hanging” with. Growth is impossible if choose to live with thorns. Even our doubts don’t have to stop growth. Here again it depends on us; choosing the influences that will feed and nurture our struggling seed will determine whether our soul lives or dies.

Thought for the Day: What choices am I making that nurture my seed of faith to grow?
Jesus, forgive me for allowing thorns to grow up
around me. These are what are hindering me from
running well. Help me to choose only
that which keeps me healthy in you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Suggested Bible Reading: Job 38—42

Even though troubles came down on me hard, your commands
always gave me delight.

Psalm 119:143

Walking together into Sunday School my companion said, “I don’t know why Job had so many problems. He just got hit with all sorts of stuff and I can’t remember what he did.” “Absolutely nothing.” I replied. Job lived a blameless and upright life. He feared God and avoided evil at all costs. (Job 1:1-2) There was no reason for his trouble except that God gave Satan permission to give a try at tempting Job away from the presence of the Lord. What Job endures as a result of this bargain is pretty grim.

There doesn’t seem to be any “fairness” when it comes to troubles. For some life seems to offer little difficulty while others get far more than their “fair” share. It can be troubling. If you’re like me, you may have wondered if God has given permission to Satan in your life as well.

Job is a source of comfort. Through it all God never left Job’s side. God knew what Job was made of and he was confident in his creation. Job’s initial reaction to his troubles is upbeat as he claims God’s “commands.” But, of course, he is human and ultimately slides into despair. Nevertheless those “commands” were an integral part of his being. They guided him through the dark and into the light when Job, with confidence, is able to say, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)

Thought for the Day: How can I make God’s commands an integral part of my being?

Always present God! When troubles come down on me hard,
don’t take them away, but bring me the memory
of your commands so that I can find joy in the darkness.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No Napping

Suggested Bible Reading: James 4:1-12

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce,
and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.

I Peter 5:8 (The Message)

My first encounter with evil happened in a church sanctuary. It wasn’t a surprise then, a few years later, that I again experienced evil while doing “ministry.” Calling out the name of Jesus to shine and expose the penetrating evil I was relieved of its suffocating presence. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t look for evil behind every bush, but I definitely don’t take the presence of evil for granted.

The first miracle in the gospel of Mark finds Jesus in the synagogue when a demon possessed man accosts him. Jesus isn’t taken by surprise. Perhaps even the religious leaders knew that evil had invaded their holy place, but they had looked the other way. It was easier to live with the elephant than to get rid of it.

For some, talk of Satan isn’t “spiritually” correct. God fares better—He brings comfort. But, as sure as there is a God, there is Satan. He doesn’t possess any power over God, but in a day he unleashes scads of mischief, especially for a Christian. There’s no reason for Satan to work “out there” in the culture, he’s got that in his grip. The last remaining place to conquer is wherever Jesus followers gather. Destroying a body of believers is at the top of his list.

As a result of “napping” on our watch, Christianity has become an anathema in our culture. James 3:7 says that not only are we to give ourselves to God but also resist Satan. It’s the two steps together that will help us bring God’s Kingdom to others.

Thought for the Day: Are their any areas of my life or church where Satan may be at work?

Father, Son and Holy Spirit I praise you Three for the power
you have over Satan.
Let me never assume his demise but be ever vigilant
about his whereabouts.
Expose his presence with your light.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Prayer Fitting

Suggested Bible Reading: I Thessalonians 5:12-24

…pray without ceasing.

I Thessalonians 5:17

I once heard a church member complaining that too much time was spent praying and studying the Bible during the board of deacons meetings. Because of this spiritual indulgence not enough business got done. It was a sad exposure of what perhaps many more Christians believe—prayer should be done on the fly, used as an opening and closing or perhaps, if not convenient, eliminated altogether.

We know that we should pray. Niggling doubts, however, cause us to disbelieve that it has any effect on our lives or the community we call “church.” Jesus committed time to prayer in spite of not having lots of spare time! When reading the gospels its apparent that Jesus had a packed schedule with numerous interruptions! But, repeatedly there is a connection between the time Jesus spends in prayer and the outcome of his ministry. In choosing deliberate, intentional times of prayer (Mark 1:35) miracles happened. Jesus didn’t just fit prayer into his “schedule.” His life fit into intentionally “scheduled” God conversations.

As new believers, the Thessalonians needed the assurance that their prayer conversations would be powerful and life changing. Prayer can’t be a by-product of our lives but a genuine one. It makes us distinctive Jesus followers, allowing us to not just “see” miracles but experience them as well.

Thought for the Day: What do I need to do to make my life become a life of prayer?

Jesus, forgive me when I “fit” in conversations with you.
I want to make my days fit into a life of prayer.
Help me become the genuine product of praying without ceasing.


Friday, November 13, 2009

God's Evidence

Suggested Bible Reading: Psalm 68

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.

Psalm 68:19

There’s nothing like good, long time friends. Those friends who have known you for years and while months may go by the minute you hear their voice you’re off in vibrant conversation. Talk flows smoothly and readily. The immeasurable value of these friends is the ability to remind you, by their presence in your life, of who you were, where you have been and where you’re standing today. They are God’s evidence.

The psalms are perfect guidelines for prayer. They give us permission to rant, to bless, to praise, to be depressed, to curse, to glorify, to thank. And, they always bring us back to Who.

Even when we’re in the middle of the muck we usually don’t forget God. No, in fact more than likely he is very much in the center of our thinking—either for blame, doubting or hopefully, if we are able to embrace the moment, praising. But, as the psalms illustrate, he’s strong enough to take it all. Whether we acknowledge it or not, every day we are given is an opportunity for God to carry us to where he eventually wants us to be.

Back to those valued friends. If we allow them, they bear God’s evidence that we have been carried forward through whatever storms have slammed us. Acknowledging who we were and who we are now, they are God’s evidence that he provides what is needed in order to daily bear us up.

Thought for the Day: Who in my life is God’s evidence of his presence?

Generous God, thank you for friends.
It is through friends that I can see you never forget me.
Their encouragement, their support
is your evidence that you daily
bear me up. You are my salvation.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Go to Ninevah

Suggested Bible Reading: The Book of Jonah

But Jonah got up and went the other direction to Tarshish,
running away from God.

Jonah 1:3 (The Message)

I can remember exactly which road I was driving when I uttered-- “Lord, I want to really know what it means for you to live in me and me in you.” At the time I thought it a prayer of honesty and perhaps, a point of "discussion" with God. He apparently took me at my word because since that day there have been more times than I can count that I have wanted to do a Jonah—get up and go in the other direction.

Jonah wasn’t ignorant of what God was asking him to do. He knew Ninevah and that his physical end might well be at the hand of the Ninevites, if he came with God’s “message.” To follow God’s message, to live in him, was in Jonah’s mind, much more than he could deliver. Ultimately, he valued his life more than anything.

When God lives in us, complete control over our lives is lost. And, we can plan on unexpected “surprises” that ultimately will draw us further up and further in to the Kingdom of God. Of course, “surprises” is a euphemism for hardships. Ninevah was a hardship for Jonah, but he wasn’t in control of the ending.

Many years later I realize that God has answered my prayer. In the beginning I fought my Ninevahs because, like Jonah, they were too difficult, too risky, too challenging, too dangerous. I never got to Tarshish, either. And when I finally reached my Ninevahs they usually turned out much better than expected.

Thought for the Day: What is God calling me to do and be in His Kingdom?
I hear your voice calling, God.
Help me to not run away in fear.
My desire is to move in the direction of each Ninevah you send my way.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Facing Bullies

Suggested Bible Reading: Matthews 10:26-33

Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies.
There’s nothing they can do to your soul…Save your fear for God,
who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

Matthew 10:28 (The Message)

Chinese Christian Brother Yun, is acquainted with bullies. As part of the growing house church movement in China for over forty years, he has been beaten within an inch of his life numerous times and suffered persecution beyond what any healthy mind could imagine. He has never, however, allowed the bullies to silence him.

Inside and outside the church there are an abundance of bullies. Unfortunately, there are even more who have been bullied into silence. Seeing injustice and mistreatment the silent ones turn their heads away hoping that it will go away, afraid that if they speak up and take action they’ll lose friends, lose their position or just plain lose the fight. As a result, people get beaten up and destroyed because the silent ones are more afraid of the bullies than of God.

Power and control at various levels are what bullies seek. But, Jesus is the only One who has complete power and control. This is the One we should fear the most—the One who holds our entire life in his hands. Wherever we encounter bullies or see others bullied we cannot be afraid to speak the truth. The harm bullies inflict is detrimental and destructive, but their effects are mild compared to God’s response if we don’t speak the gospel truth in boldness and love.

Silence only affirms the bullies attitudes. So, don’t affirm bullies! Shout out God’s truth today!

Thought for the Day: Who in my life am I afraid to speak truth to?

Jesus, you never allowed the bullies to silence you.
When you saw shameful actions, heard damaging words,
and witnessed abuse you spoke boldly about who God wants us to be.
Help me, Jesus to no longer be silent but to speak your gospel truth.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cleaning Drawers

Suggested Bible Reading: Psalm 51

What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then, conceive a new, true life.

Psalm 51:6 (The Message)

I once heard an illustration of the difference between Luther’s reformation and that of John Calvin. The two reformations, said the author, resemble the cleaning out of a dresser drawer. In Luther’s reformation he pulled out the drawer and took out only those parts of the Catholic tradition that he believed were detrimental. John Calvin, on the other hand, pulled out the drawer, dumped everything out on the bed and put back into the drawer only what he believed was good for the life the church.

This delightful comparison also represents what God wants to do in our lives. We are the proverbial dresser drawer! When God pulls it out to take a look inside it may be that the accumulated junk inside reveals a necessary clean out. Through difficulties, hardships, downturns and disappointment our drawer’s contents are dumped out and replaced only with that which reveals the truth about who we are in Christ.

The best part of this analogy is that God never leaves our drawers empty. Having cleaned it thoroughly, he puts back only that which pleases him and will bring him glory. With this “reformation” there are no fears of being discovered a fraud. What people see is exactly what they will get—a person whose identity is grounded in the truth of God’s love.

Thought for the Day: What does God see when he looks in my "drawers?"

Open me up Lord!
Clean out my life’s drawer so that whoever sees me
will know the truth of your amazing love.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Staring Down Sin

Suggested Bible Reading: Psalm 51

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Psalm 51:3

Growing up I heard fantastic “personal” testimonies. At every evangelistic service there would always be a speaker who mesmerized me with stories of their “life of sin.” My life seemed utterly boring by comparison. I loved hearing how God had reached down and pulled them out of their pit. Somehow it gave more meaning to my understanding of being “saved.” I loved Jesus, but I hadn’t really done anything from which I need to be “saved” from! At least that is what I thought.

Acknowledging our sin is usually the snag that trips us up when we follow Jesus. If we’ve lived a pretty “good” life it becomes particularly challenging. When we’re told to “confess our sins” what exactly do we confess?

It’s easy to focus only on sins “biggies” when faced with confession. But reading the Bible carefully, we discover that the “biggies” aren’t mentioned nearly as often as those things we don’t always consider “sin”—bad tempers, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk and lying (Colossians 3:8-9a The Message). Any one of these “sins” we can find an excuse for that seems plausible. But, no excuses are available for these or any sin.

When faced with “no excuses” sin there is no escaping confession. Whether they are conscious or unconscious sins, confession opens the door to a brand new life,

Thought for the Day: What sins do I make excuses for in my life?

Generous in love—God, give grace!
Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.
Amen. (Psalm 51:1-2 The Message)

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Cleansing Prayer

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:2

Loving God, who sees and knows all, even those things that I think I have safely hidden away, forgive me. I need your confronting hand to show me behaviors, speech and life choices that fall painfully short of what you want from me. It is only in your confronting that I see how I am living versus how you want me to live.

The world today is angry and mean. People fear losing everything they have gained and in their fear lash out. In their meanness they say and do things they perhaps never thought possible. I discover that too often, instead of being a light in the midst of this darkness I am infected by their spirits of anger and fear. My response is to do in kind as I have received. Forgive me, God! Help me to not succumb to these dark spirits!

Let me see the joy of my salvation and know again the pleasure of living in your presence. Pour your cleansing water, like a flood, over me and with the pouring, I pray all that stubbornly clings to me would be washed away.

I pray for your shield to protect me from all that seeks to co-op me!

Let my words be your sweet honey to all with whom I speak. Let my actions reflect the love you give to me daily. I am your creation. In your washing, restore me to the beauty you originally intended.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Face of Humility

Suggested Bible Reading: Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God…

Psalm 51:1a

There are those who pretty much live out their “Christian” life in this way—God helps those who help themselves. It is difficult for them to connect that the God who gave them life also wants to help them, daily. God is intimately acquainted with us. For us, however, to be intimately acquainted with God takes humility. The, God helps those who help themselves, approach doesn’t allow room for much humility. The emphasis is pretty much on the individual will power of “me.”

Humility is the defining characteristic of an unpretentious and modest person, someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others ( Here’s the attitude of a Jesus follower coming to confession. When we ask God to have mercy on us, it is the first step in acknowledging that our lives are nothing without God’s presence and this opens the door to repentance. True confession, honest repentance cannot begin without first stepping towards humility and asking for God’s mercy.

“Helping ourselves” isn’t the Jesus way. God didn’t create us so that we could “go it alone” or “make our own way.” By asking for God’s mercy, we identify him as the creator of our lives. It is at this point of our saying, have mercy on me, O God that humility overtakes our pretentions and he can continue finishing the good work He has begun.

Thought for the Day: In what areas of my life do I continue to try to do things my own way?

Have mercy on me, O God.
I cannot help myself and my life is nothing without you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Confession is Good For the Soul

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

It may be that "confession is good for the soul" however, it is one of the most difficult disciplines of a Jesus follower. Nevertheless it is a requirement to living a life with Jesus. John the Baptizer preached a message of baptism and repentance which resulted in life change. We like the thought of baptism, it implies being clean and belonging, but repenting usually is accompanied by pain--a kind of pain that needs to be avoided at all costs. It involves too much introspection, too much self reflection, too much exposure. That kind of "life change" we can do without!

I've been thinking a lot about confession and the steps that are necessary to come to that place of a “right spirit.” Confession is at the heart of our Christian faith and yet in our prayers, in our relationships, in our Christian communities confession isn’t practiced very regularly. I once read an article about the increasing number of web sites that offer "anonymous online confession" and the number of "hits" they were receiving. Given the high number of “hits” it would appear that as individuals, as a church, as a culture we are in desperate need of God's confronting Spirit.

There’s a reason why genuine confession and repentance is so difficult, it entails coming to God, silent, listening to what he has to say about what he sees and knows isn't right. Generally we don't like being confronted even if we know we’ve done wrong! Consequently, being confronted by our Creator is particularly intimidating because of His x-ray vision that sees beyond the superficial looking at the heart, which is “deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV).

We know with our minds that sin is anything that goes against what God desires. But defensively we put a "value" on sin which helps us avoid our culpability. Surely, a little “constructive criticizing" of our church leaders isn't nearly as "sinful" as murder. Passing along information that in the passing loses it’s truth and perhaps isn't yours to pass--well, come on now, "gossip" can't possibly be held to the same standard as breaking one's marriage vows!

There are an endless number of excuses that we can generate for our sins. But whether it be gossip or slander, selfishness or willfulness, murder or adultery, it all has the same “value” to God. Unfortunately, sin is sin. God just doesn't see sin with our “creative” nuances.

In order to experience spiritual growth and maturity, along with spiritual health, as individuals or in our Christian communities, a willingness to hear God's confronting voice will be necessary. There will be surprises at what He points to because it will probably be those little “sins” we thought innocuous, that we did in "love", thought didn't really hurt anyone or believed, self-righteously, that we were doing the “right thing.”

Little or big, our sins are destructive. Restoration, transformation, healing begins when we humbly fall on our faces praying,

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tangled Messes

Suggested Bible Reading: Psalm 139

When he was alone with his disciples,
he went over everything, sorting out the
tangles, untying the knots.

 Mark 4:34 (The Message)

My husband is a great untangler. Early in our relationship I found him with a coed’s tangled mess of necklaces on a table before him. Sometimes the process took longer than others but, his patience always paid off, because he never failed to unravel the knots. He was the “go to” guy for sorting out tangles.

Getting into a knot is much easier than getting out of one. Like a pile of tangled necklaces, the life choices that we make can suddenly knot us up. The harder we try to detangle ourselves, the more tightly knotted we become. We need a patient hand to unravel us.

Jesus saw a lot of tangled, knotted up people. For some their knots were of their own making. For others their tangles came about due to illness, cultural estrangements or political decisions. But all of them needed the patient hand of Jesus to sort them out and he never failed to unravel every single knot. There were those, like the Pharisees, who in their panic knotted themselves even further, but for those who wanted to be un-tangled Jesus spoke, “Your sins are forgiven.”

It doesn’t matter how our knots came into being. But, first we have to stop running around trying to untie them ourselves! Our efforts only make them tighter. The patient hand of Jesus will take our tangled messes and unravel them to beauty.

Thought for the Day: What areas of my life does Jesus want to untangle and bring to beauty.

Jesus, time spent with you
makes things far less complicated and tangled.
Help me to remember that whatever the situation,
Your patient hand will unravel it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Soul Windows

Suggested Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:25-32

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and
slander be put away from you.

Ephesians 4:31

Eyes are the windows to the soul. What resides in our inner depths cannot be hidden, long term. The next time you sit in an airport or wherever a large “study” of people is available look at their eyes, you may be shocked at what you see. In my own observations I’ve seen plenty of fearful eyes, bitter eyes, empty eyes, angry eyes. In between there have been those eyes whose deep pools have brought me refreshment.

Whatever we’ve set up house for in our souls, whether anger or bitterness, peace or joy, will ultimately find its way out the door of our eyes as well as our mouths. God created us as a living being with our physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions intricately connected. It is impossible to keep hidden whatever we take in on a regular basis. It’s like overeating! Eventually we don’t need the scale because the results are evident in the mirror.

Jesus was surrounded by Pharisees angry about how he was upsetting their traditions. But, he never succumbed, even to the point of his death, to the anger that lived in their souls. Paul reminds us of this truth. To be a follower of Jesus we have to evict from our souls those emotions that make our eyes and mouths distasteful.

Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and slander are present everywhere. We, however, have the message of the Kingdom! A “world” difference will come about when the Message is the only resident in our souls. Then our eyes will shine!

Thought for the Day: What do people see when they look into my eyes?

Jesus, You brought the message of the Kingdom--
bringing joy, promise, hope and love.
Help me to evict all that prevents your
Kingdom message from being seen and heard.