Home for the Holidays #13

candlelight

 This is the moment I wait for all year.

Light reflecting in the faces of loved ones.

Row upon row of candles snuffing out the darkness.

The presence of Emanuel dripping warm.

Oh Holy Night.

“God, You’re here to rescue and heal us.”

You Are Emmanuel — New Nation Music

Soon

soonI suppose every generation wonders — is this the final age?  Will we be the fortunate people who actually hear the trumpet sound, see the sky split open, transport to another realm?

Maybe it’s common for people my age — with children raised, careers winding down, youthfulness fading — to spend time considering eternity.

Perhaps in every century, believers have observed signs of a world “groaning as in the pains of childbirth”, waiting for its deliverance.

I just know that since meeting every Wednesday this fall with fifty beautiful women and studying Heaven in depth, I can’t stop thinking about it.  Heaven has become near and dear — a real place, a true home.

I don’t know the time or date,

but I do feel a stirring in the world and in my heart.

Could be soon.

This week, this is my story.  This is my song.

“Soon” by Hillsong United

Good To Me

When God called forth light, He looked all around and said,

“Good.”

When He separated the waters and put up the sky, He nodded and said,

“Hmmm….good.”

When the Lord brought up land from the seas, and caused plants to grow, He said,

“Oh…that’s good.”

When the Creator designed the stars, sun and moon, He smiled and said,

“Ah….also good.”

When He fashioned birds for the air and fish for the sea, He surveyed it all and said,

“My goodness, that’s good.”

When Jehovah formed creatures according to their kinds, He was pleased and said,

“Again, these are good.”

But when the Father made man and woman, He was especially delighted and said,

“Now…oh yes… This.  This is very good.”

good

This week, I have been aware of God’s goodness following me everywhere.

Even when I’ve felt

completely inadequate, totally insignificant, and wholly undeserving,

His goodness hounds my steps.

As a child created in His image, I have the capacity to recognize goodness.

God is good.

This week, this is my story.  This is my song.

“Good To Me” by Audrey Assad

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”         Psalm 23:6

31 Days of Questions: Day 26

26 also

“Why are you sleeping?”  Luke 22:46

Because it’s the only day I get to sleep in.

Why are you sleeping?

Because I stayed up too late last night.

Why are you sleeping?

Because I work hard all week.

Why are you sleeping?

Because church is boring.

Why are you sleeping?

“The world is sleeping in the dark that the church just can’t fight
‘Cause it’s asleep in the light.
How can you be so dead, when you’ve been so well fed?
Jesus rose from the grave and you, you can’t even get out of bed.
Jesus rose from the dead, come on, get out of your bed!”

Keith Green, “Asleep in the Light” 1978

31 Days of Questions: Day 17

17

“Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” Luke 17:17

Ten men

stood at a distance

and called out in a loud voice.

They went and were cleansed.

One man

fell at Jesus’ feet

and praised God in a loud voice.

He came back and was healed.

All ten had faith, only one had gratitude.

May my call for help from a distance

draw me to Your feet with praise.

May the intensity of my thanks

match the fervency of my requests.

“Thank You” by Hillsong Live

31 Questions

Jesus Loves Me

red chairI remember sitting on a little red chair in a Sunday school classroom with Carol and Sharon and Duane and Tom.  We were in the basement of the Methodist church in a town with a population of 679.

Mrs. Bickford played the big upright piano.  We sang “Deep and Wide”, “Zacchaeus”, and “The B-I-B-L-E”.  But we always ended with “Jesus Loves Me”.

There’s something about those three words — they never get old.

That’s why I’ve been singing this new recording by Chris Tomlin all week.

I still need to hear this truth.

Jesus Loves Me.

Pure gospel.

This week, this is my song:

“Jesus Loves Me” by Chris Tomlin

Here’s My Heart

heart

It’s a dangerous prayer.

“Here’s my heart, Lord.  Speak what is true.”

That kind of prayer is an open invitation to the God who knows all, sees all, hears all.

Here’s my heart, Lord.

It’s opening the deepest part of me for His examination.

Speak what is true.

It’s listening to His diagnosis and the prognosis for my neurosis.

While it’s true that I am loved and I am redeemed and I am hidden with Christ in God,

it’s also true that I am controlling and I am selfish and I am anxious.

Thankfully, God speaks the Truth about Himself as well:

“I, the Lord, am strong.

I am sure.

I am good.

I am true.”

This week, David Crowder and I are singing this song: