Jesus wants to be there for you, not from a distance, but right next to you! He desires to be with you every waking moment of every day, and in every circumstance!
That Spot You Are In…
So…that spot you find yourself in today.
Stop and look at the plan from His perspective.
Find the path that He has planned for you to walk in.
I don’t post a lot about current events or political things. Today, as I have thought, and prayed, and talked with some, I come to the following conclusions…
1) The tragic death of George Floyd is not a current event. The way people of any Ethnicity other than white, have long been handled in a manner that is anything but at the very least decent. And this has been happening since the days of Bible, and it has to stop!
2) This is not political, social justice, police or any grouping of people issue. This is a heart issue!
Simply stated the founding principle of our great land is this, “All men are created equal!” Jesus loved this way, so should we! If it weren’t for a police officer, a gun, a racial divide, drugs, or crime, or any other thing that steals the center stage – we would all see the heart of mankind is growing increasingly more evil. Folks this is Bible. The hearts of man are in the balance and people that do not deserve to die are dying.
3) There is simply only one hope – The GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!
The fact that we are called to love like Jesus loved, but don’t. The fact that Jesus came to give new life, but live our life without that hope. This completely robs the connection, the dash, it robs you and I, of not just civility and equality – but of true relationship between men and women that don’t look like each other, but can truly love each other!
4) Please know this…
It is long past time that the church of Jesus Christ stand for not just evangelicalism, but for LOVE of ALL MANKIND! REGARDLESS!!!!!
It is time for us to link arms with each other and LOVE like we have never loved before. Even as the example of Christ, “no greater LOVE than man would lay down his life for a friends!”
It is time to STAND AGAINST THE PLAGUE! Please hear me out. There is a plague that is far more painful than Covid-19. That plague is racism. It has been a plague that has killed more through the centuries and has never been given the complete eradication from our planet, simply because men and women will not agree to the root and the symptoms. Let us remember the words of scripture found in Numbs. 16:48, “There he STOOD, between the living and the dead, and the plague STOPPED!”
So will you STAND? Standing is the answer! Standing with and for each other. We don’t have to condone the actions, but we HAVE to love selflessly!
Will you stand with a brother or sister that doesn’t look like you, come from the same place you come from, have the same upbringing you had, or doesn’t value all the things you value? Will you stand in love? Will you stand so that these last words of George Floyd, will not be uttered in vain?
Today I stand with the family of George Floyd! I stand with our police, there are far more moral and upright than crooked and evil. I stand with my brothers and sister that are not like I am. I stand on the LOVE OF ALL MANKIND, THAT TOOK JESUS TONTHE CROSS FOR US – ALL!!!
Jesus is the cure to the heart condition of mankind, and He wants to take ALL THAT PAIN AWAY!!!! And HE WILL if we give Him the chance!
“You just don’t understand me.”
“Why do you see me that way? It is not who I am!”
“All I want to is for someone to put their arms around me, to hug me, to love me, to help me know that I am not alone!”
“I hate being in the shadows…”
Shadows…of pain, hurt, rejection, despair, loneliness, and hopelessness. They are places of fear, places of pain remembered, places of darkness, places that we often don’t want to be.
A son in his father’s shadow.
A daughter in her mother’s shadow.
An apprentice in the shadow of their master.
An athlete who just doesn’t measure up.
A student who can’t quite muster up the grades.
A mom that feels pulled in a million directions.
A father who has lost the sense of purpose.
This morning, through pain, through questions, through the unknown, through all the shadows… There is a shadow that is safe and not painful. There is shadow where peace and comfort and joy and love and hope reside. There is a shadow that is not tempting to try to overcome. There is a shadow that is place of rest and wisdom.
Where is this shadow? I’m glad you asked…
Psalm 91:1-13 (MSG)
1-13 You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
spend the night in the Almighty’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path
Today, I am walking through my own questions as to the shadows in my life. I am sure you are as well. I believe that the answer to our shadows is not our quest for more authority, more gifts, more talent, more influence, more money, more of whatever you and I feel meets the void. Our answer to the shadows that we fight so desperately to get out from under, is the shadow of the Almighty God!
So will you join me in finding Rest for you, Peace for the journey, and Love from your Heavenly Father in this shadow, in His Shadow…
ICE at Easter
Jesus Identifies, Confirms, and then Employs!!!
As a human, I stand back and realize that often their struggle reminds me of my own struggle. The struggle to, as Micah 6:8 says, “To do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your (their) God.”
Special Treat…My wife wrote this! Man it is good stuff! Thanks Babe for sharing your heart with us all! I Love You!
When I think of going deeper, I imagine digging a large whole in the ground. I am one who doesn’t mind getting dirty. I’m the girl who would rather get dirt under my nails then wear gardening gloves. It makes me feel strong and I can look down at my hands and know I made a difference. Even if that difference is as small as digging a whole to plant a few flowers.
When I am digging deeper into the ground, at first I feel strong and proud, but depending on how deep I have to go, I can begin to get tired and overwhelmed.
This makes me think of my life journey with Jesus. When things get hard, or I don’t understand the journey He has me on, I am typically very strong. “We got this Jesus, you and me together no problem!” And I am good for a while.
BUT THEN IT HAPPENS… I get tired and overwhelmed! I start to doubt that I can do this! I allow the negativity of the enemy to seep into my thoughts. It becomes easier to not read my Bible, or talk to Him that day. I grow weary, my calluses hurt, I just don’t want to today Jesus.
And then I hear Him say, “I want to go deeper!”
“I can’t go deeper Jesus, I have gone far enough, now it hurts, I am exhausted and I don’t know if I have anything left.”
“I want to go deeper“, He says to my heart.
“How is that even possible Lord?”
“Because my yoke is easy and my burden is light! Because I see you, I see your hurt and I see your pain. I see your future and the plans I have for you! Let me take you deeper!”
“Yes Lord, but how?”
“By trusting in me! Allowing me to do a work in you that will hurt and it will be hard, BUT, oh my child, the reward is breathtaking! The relationship that will grow between us will be beautiful! The beauty that will come from me taking you deeper will be indescribable! Trust me my daughter, I promise it will be worth it!!”
And then, as I trust Him to take me deeper, I know that I will be able to look inside my heart and unlike the dirty hands from digging into the earth, my heart will beat ever so strong and pure! My life will be a reflection of Him, and the flowers will bloom once again!
Will you let him take you deeper? Will you allow there to be beauty in the hurt and the hardness of life?
Today I choose to go deeper! Will you go with me, better yet – with Him?
If you want to reach out to Jen, you may find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jenlewiston or on Instagram @jlewdrinkspink
Today, marks the day that changed America like nothing since Dec. 7, 1941. More America lives were lost on this day 15 years ago, due to terrorism, than ever before. It was tragic!
For our generation, we can tell you where we were, what we were doing, giving details to the very minute angles of the morning. It is a day forever seared into our memory banks!
Today, I want to remind us all of the timeless treasure of the words of Jesus. They are for us today, they are for us 15 years ago, they will be for tomorrow should the Lord tarry another 15 years from today!
Jesus said in John 16:33…
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
To those that lost their lives, lost loved ones or friends, take heart today – Jesus has overcome your pain and grief.
To those who have let the pain of this day bear its weight, take heart – Jesus has overcome your fear.
To those who have watch a mom or dad walk out the door to service in the military, take heart – Jesus has overcome your sadness.
To those who have yet to ask Jesus to be their Lord, take heart – Jesus loves you and desires to have relationship with you for eternity!
May we never forget, may we never look backwards, may we always have the passion to move forward in Christ! America, let us turn our hearts to our Heavenly Father!
Way Down Deep
Yesterday, I was moving furniture, pics, and boxes with the help of a few friends. In the midst of all the moving, I grabbed a picture that has a rustic wooden frame, as I grabbed it – I felt this pinch or stab into my thumb. You guessed it – SPLINTER – DEEP SPLINTER! I calmly put the picture down, looked at my thumb, and saw the inch long piece of “lumber” sticking out of my thumb. OUCH!!!!! I pull out the splinter, wiped off the drop of blood, and went back to my day.
Later that evening, right before dinner, I notice my thumb was sore. My daughter and I with a flashlight, tweezers, small sharp blade and fingernail clippers started a small surgical process of exploring to see if I had not removed all of the splinter. We couldn’t find anything. Well, when I woke up this morning, thumb was throbbing and a little yellow pocket of infection had formed causing even more discomfort! Pulling out all the same utensils, I went a little deeper. And I struck gold. There is was, a tiny little sliver of wood, causing the discomfort and infection.
As I performed this little removal, I really felt like the Lord was speaking to me. “Sometimes we have to go Way Down Deep!”
Using all the same instruments, process, and knowledge, I had to go deeper to find the leftover splinter. What caused me to stop my exploration through my thumb – my pain. I didn’t feel as though I could tolerate the pain. But this morning, there was a different kind of pain, and that pain said to me “No more splinter – no more pain!”
It is not enough to stay close to the surface. When there are things in your life that are causing you pain and discomfort, we have to go a little further to find the source of the pain. When things are good, there are often things that are better than good – maybe great or the best!
Often times the surfaces is just that – the surface. The place where things are status quo. The place where life is just a pattern of normal and mundane. It is below the surface, or in the deep where the formation of who we are, what we do, and/or why we do it is really formed an molded into what God really has for us!
One of my favorite passages of scripture (as well sermons that my pastor at the church I grew up spoke – many moons ago) is found in Matt. 26:39…
39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
We obviously get a sense of the pain in the voice and the heart of Jesus. But we get first a glimpse of the tenacity and persistence of Christ as well. “He went a little further!” He didn’t stay status quo. He went deeper. Way down deep!
Psalm 42:7, tells us, “Deep call to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.“
Today, I don’t know your situation. I know mine though, and I need to go deeper. I want to go deeper. Wherever you and I are at, whatever you and I are going through, no matter the feelings or emotions… Let the depth of His love for you and I crash over us. Let the depth of His love, call out to our need to be loved by Him!
Romans 8:3 & 39, “For I am convinced…neither height or depth…will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
I don’t know about you, but I want to go deeper! So that Jesus can go “Way Down Deep”!