And it’s gone!

Miguel Cabrera batting for the Detroit Tigers....

Miguel Cabrera batting for the Detroit Tigers. A. J. Pierzynski catching for the Chicago White Sox. The umpire is Ed Hickox. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14

It was exciting to watch the Detroit Tigers play the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park yesterday. My husband and I went along with his brother and wife. The inner child definitely came out of all of us as we watched Miguel Cabrera hit his 300th homerun along with the Tigers winning and staying in first place on the stats. I think it is the inner child showing for the players on the team as they celebrate the win … especially Fielder and Cabrera in their winning antics. I loved how most people there expressed their passion for the Tigers. Even though it was in the 90’s, the heat didn’t melt the excitement.

Taking our focus off the ballpark for a moment and refocusing on the kingdom of God. Is it the same inner child passion that we express as we encounter God? Many times it seems toned down quite a bit. What elements are melting our celebration? God wants us to be free in our passion for him and the kingdom. We can stand up and cheer; we can even do the wave, for Jesus won the game for us by hitting sin right out of the park.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for giving me experiences where I can allow my inner child to be free. I pray that I show the same excitement for all you have done and what will come in the future. Amen

Faith Tip: Grasp your inner child today and allow them to be excited.

You want what?

English: Outdoor seating area - Sussex Street ...

English: Outdoor seating area – Sussex Street Part of Tatties restaurant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. – Matthew 20:32-34

Sitting down at a table at a restaurant the other day and being handed a menu, I began to peruse the choices. Everything looked good and I found it difficult to choose. The server wanted to bring me what I wanted, but was unable to do so until I made a choice. If she brought me something I didn’t want, I wouldn’t appreciate it as much. It’s important for me to know what I want.

It’s also important for us to know what we want from God. It’s not that he doesn’t already know, but we need to understand what we want and why we want it. God is not ready to take our order and serve us as we desire, but is there to give us the best. Most times, we don’t know what the best is, but if we pray for God’s most excellent in our lives, and seek to know what God wants, we know what to ask from him. He will respond … perhaps not in the way we imagine, but it will be good.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being my great provider. I know I can look to you for all my needs. I pray that I discern what it is I want from you and understand why I want it and discern why you sometimes say no. Amen

Faith Tip: What do you want God to do for you today? Why do you want that?

Where are you?

Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe from the ...

Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe from the trailer for the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. – Matthew 16:25

When Marilyn Monroe committed suicide, she didn’t leave a note. So the question of why she would do this remains on the minds of those who knew her. She seemed to have everything. She was rich, a movie star, friends and more. Somewhere she became lost in her life.

Striving after things of the world can bring chaos into our life. There are so many things that catch our eye and we desire that we can’t possibly have it all. So there’s always room to want just a little bit more. This is an endless cycle of wants where we can lose ourselves in the midst of it.

Jesus has a better plan. He says we are to follow him … just him. Putting our energy and resources in being obedient and seeking God enables us to experience the best of what life has for us. We will be provided for, given peace and love in abundance, and the best part will be that we know who we are in Christ. Our life will be found and it will be good.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for life. Even when I am disappointed, all I need to do is look at you and you remind me that I am your child. There is nothing better than that. Amen

Faith Tip: Let go of your striving for things of the world today. Reach out to Jesus and find yourself.

Keeping watch

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” – Matthew 26:36-38

On my online calendar, I have a spot to list people I want to keep in prayer. They know I pray for them daily. I remember the peace I was given when people were praying for me as I went through my cancer journey. As I pray for others, I humanly ask for their healing, for restoration, for whatever will make their life “normal” again.

When Jesus was asking the men to keep watch with him, was he asking for a change in the circumstances? His heart was set on doing the will of the Father. It was hard for he knew what was coming. I wonder what the disciples prayed before they fell asleep for they didn’t fully understand what was happening.

Could it be that Jesus was asking them just for their support in this difficult time? He wanted them to join him in talking with God and become strong from the events that would occur. He didn’t want them to be lazy in prayer, but to pray for strength to persevere. The death Jesus was facing was terrifying. The disciples needed to be connected with God so they would be able to stand strong with God’s message and not flee. Is that why we pray?

Prayer: Jesus, your journey to the cross was overwhelmingly scary. Only through the grip of grace can I stand strong in your message. I pray that today my connection with you makes a difference in my life and others. Amen

Faith Tip: Take some time to keep watch today.

Losing to Win

English: Courageous woman crossing the finish ...

Image via Wikipedia

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their lifewill lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. – Matthew 16:24-25

Losing something in life is a painful experience. Whether it is a much beloved person, item or position … it hurts. When we experience loss, we may feel a bit lost ourselves until we come to grips with it.

What if we intentionally lose something, giving it freely knowing the cost? That may seem a bit crazy unless there is a purpose. When Jesus is the reason we give up something that means a lot to us, we will discover something new about ourselves. God is a giver. We cannot out-give God. You can trust that as we give freely to God for the Kingdom purpose, we will definitely find some special treasure that has eternal value.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being the One I can trust today. I pray that I am intentional in giving of my life to You today. Amen

Faith Tip: Go beyond your box in giving of yourself to Jesus today. See what treasure you will find in your life.

 

 

Heavy Living

My tired kitty.

Image via Wikipedia

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Monica looked at the clock … midnight again, and she was still folding laundry while her children slept. She worked during the day, so any house cleaning had to wait until the kids were in bed. The only time they had to talk about their day and generally share life was the few scant hours between dinner and bedtime, and she treasured that time with them. Since the divorce, Monica wanted to make sure they didn’t miss out on parenting time or feel they weren’t secure. She was tired.

Holding the whole world on our shoulders can be quite the burden. Our “fix it” mentality goes into overdrive and we give it all we got to make it work. There is a better way … Jesus. Jesus wants to be part of the process; in fact, He wants to be CEO of it. What do we fear in giving him control? That it won’t be done the way we want it? That He won’t be able to handle it? Perhaps we will not feel needed and lack purpose. Putting on the yoke of Jesus means to put to sleep the burden we feel and experience peace.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for the yoke you offer to me today. I pray that I will take it, put it on and relish in the peace meant for me. Amen

Faith Tip: Do you have a heavy burden today? Your choice is to either hang onto that yoke and use all your energy, or trade it in for a better model.

Who is My Family?

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Image via Wikipedia

 

Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. – Matthew 12:47-49

I love the coming of the holidays with all its festivity, but along with it comes stressors. I know I am not alone in this for I have heard from a multitude of people who struggle through the holiday season for one reason or another. Whether it is a family member who is no longer there, strained relationships, or someone who is far away either physically or spiritually, the holidays seems to wrap a blanker of sadness over what was meant a joyous occasion.

It is a process to journey through these emotions, but there is hope in knowing we are not alone. God has called each of us into a loving family of believers. Accepting that call to be a part of the family is important. Just as the disciples said “yes” to Jesus’ call for them to follow him, we are also encouraged to be part of the kingdom building family.

You may think that the people who are fellow believers are not really blood family, but Jesus said they are more. Could we really treat another believer as a relative? Are we that close?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the family you have surrounded me with knowing that each person is of great value. I pray that others may be encouraged by my sisterly love today. Amen

Faith Tip: Look through God’s eyes at the family he has put you in. Be encouraged by the love you have and can show others.