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Archive for February, 2012

A glance at the car parked next to mine quickly turned to unmannerly gawking when I noticed the condition of the vehicle.  Every visible space–except the driver’s seat–was crammed with fastfood wrappers, boxes, and cups.  The front seat?  Full of trash.  The back seat?  Brimming with garbage. 

I couldn’t help but think of the spiritual implications.  How many times have I refused to rid my life of the clutter I’ve picked up along the way?  Bad habits.  Feelings of inferiority.  Judgemental attitudes.  Every time I’ve allowed the cares and concerns of my past to crowd around me then I feel pressed in on every side–trapped and immobile. 

Christ offers a new beginning, though.   I can throw away all of the “junk in the trunk” and focus on the road ahead.  A road free of old debris. 

What habit or concern can you give to God today? Let’s de-clutter!

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“What is your Patmos?”, the speaker asked.  I sat in the audience, thinking of the apostle John–a man from Jesus’ inner circle who was exiled to this tiny island because of his allegience to Christ.  If the disciple “who Jesus loved” wasn’t spared suffering, why should I expect to live a life without trials?

Later, when I read the words of this scripture (Revelation 1), I paused.  Wow!  In the midst of John’s loneliness and afflicton,  Jesus revealed his full glory.  I am not suggesting I seek out suffering or desire persecution, but it seems that when we–like John–struggle with life’s twists and turns Christ will reveal himself in fresh, new ways. 

So…whatever your Patmos might be today, I pray you will recognize the One who is working in the midst of your situation. 

How have you seen God work in your life when you’ve been alone on Patmos?

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Belonging

The mountain valley—lush with wildflowers and evergreens—was the perfect setting for my sister, Tiffany’s, wedding.  The afternoon sun cast its warm, honeyed glow on the bride and groom while the soft sounds of birds singing joined the young couple as they made their vows.  The wedding party stood nearby—twelve bridesmaids in elegant dresses.   Tracy, our sister and the matron-of-honor offered silent, smiling support. 

Words of love.  Promises of tomorrow.  Yet, I sat in my chair battling with mixed emotions- adoration and resentment, happiness and pain.  Why?  Because I had been rejected.  My little sister—one whose tears I had wiped and celebrations I had trumpeted—had chosen a dozen  women to assist, encourage, and support her on one of the most important days of her life and I was not one of them. 

Thoughts of rejection pricked my heart.  What did you expect?  You are just the half sister.  You’ve never really been part of the family.  Weeks later, I continue to struggle with the unrealized hope of belonging.

In gentle reproach, God began assuring me of my true position.  Daughter, remember my words. “[You] have been set free to experience [your] rightful heritage.  You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own child because God sent the Spirit of his Son into your life crying out, “Papa!  Father!”  (Galatians 4:6 MSG)  You do belong—to me!  What more could you need?

What more could I need?  Nothing.  Rather than being rejected, I have been accepted—even adopted– as a daughter of the king.  I am part of Christ’s family.  I have a place of belonging.  

Do you, too, yearn for acceptance?  Then take hold of the certificate of adoption Christ holds out to you!  You’ve been adopted.  You belong.

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