High beam life

 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another… – 1 John 1:7

There is a special connection for me when I gather with a group of folks that are like-minded in Christ. They are on a Jesus journey like I am. That bonding comes to life every time we gather. I make an intentional choice to be with these people for they bless me as I hope I bless them. I recently made a 2 ½ hour trip to attend the funeral of a friend’s husband. I had never met the husband, but the connection of the friend made it a choice I really didn’t have to think about. I was not the only one who thought like this. Many from that same group traveled just as far if not further to attend. That’s the family of Christ in action.

Walking in the light of Christ doesn’t mean just wearing a Christian nametag. It means being active in your relationship with Christ. This naturally spills over to those who walk in the same light. Whenever those who walk in light gather, the high beams are on for Jesus. Those not walking in the light take notice. They desire something like that for themselves. They are being drawn to Jesus with the light.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the people of light that I walk with in this journey. I pray that the light you show through me will draw others closer to you. Amen

Faith Tip: Live life with the high beams on.

Living against the norm

backwards man / grimshaw

backwards man / grimshaw (Photo credit: lukemontague)

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. – John 12:23-27

Going against the normal in life is hard. It’s difficult for our mind to grasp something foreign to our everyday beliefs and actions. I remember in high school there was a day where we could do things backwards or be crazy looking. On that day, wearing clothes inside out or backwards was considered normal. Mismatched socks were popular that day along with a pig-tail on one side and not the other. This was fun and all done for the purpose of raising spirit for the school that day.

Jesus tells us that going against the normal in the world is the right thing to do. Ideas such as hating our life so that we can keep it or being a servant will bring honor. In fact, Jesus demonstrates that by his dying, many are saved. These are not the messages of the world which include getting the gusto from life, climbing the ladder to the top, and other self-serving beliefs which surround us. His message is foreign. Yet we see that the purpose of his message is to increase the building of the faith of those who follow him. Every day is Spirit Day.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the precious gift you gave us of your life to save us. I pray that I take hold today of your words that encourage me to live differently than what the world says is normal. Amen

Faith Tip: Go against the world’s sense of normal today and show the difference Jesus can make.

All together now

West Michigan Word Weavers Writers Retreat

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God‘s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. – 1 John 3:18-20 The Message

Writers know and understand the hopes and fears of other writers. That’s why it is great to be part of a writer’s group. We can share our struggles in the craft and know others have experienced the same thing. Writers can share their hopes and dreams and together, we can work towards those goals. Traveling the journey together is the important part. If we are alone in the journey, the focus becomes us. In a group, even though we may fall short in the business one way or another, we don’t need to only focus on that. We can help and encourage others, which in turn, helps ourselves.

The Christian journey is the same in that although we fall short of God’s glory, we don’t need to focus on that and become locked up in moving forward. In walking together and sharing our lives with one another, truly living in community, we can focus on the love of God given to us in abundance and experienced through his people. This is truly living.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the community you have put me in. I pray that I show them love and help them to your glory and honor. Amen

Faith Tip: Who is in your community? Share in the blessings of traveling the journey of life together. It may start with a cup of coffee.

Following Dad

The Gardening Duo

The Gardening Duo (Photo credit: timmyjimi)

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. – John 5:19

The little boy followed his dad into the barn. The father picked up a hoe, rake, and shovel and indicated to his son to pick up a few of the smaller tools. They walked out to the area of the yard where they would begin their garden project. The son had never gardened before and was excited to be helping his father in this adult venture. Whatever his father did, the son also did. The son was confident in what he was doing because it was what his father was doing. The boy felt the expectation of the harvest that would one day come.

We can feel that same expectation of harvest as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. God is always at work and invites us to join him. That’s what loving father’s do. In confidence, we follow his every move as the Spirit guides us in the plan set before us.

Prayer: My heavenly Father, thank you for the great love you show me in inviting me to join you in your great work. I pray that I am confident in what you show me to do. I look forward to your harvest. Amen

Faith Tip: Be aware of what God is doing around you today, and watch for his invite to join him.

The Foot Message

English: A pedicure in progress.

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“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” – John 13:8

I remember getting my first pedicure and thinking, how could anyone like doing this job? The woman that took care of my feet did such a wonderful job in such a caring way. The experience of having a pedicure truly made an impact on me to wash others’ feet. But how would I have felt if the Queen of England came in to wash my feet? It would be hard not to jump out of the chair and offer it to her and begin washing hers. She is the Queen after all.

We have an idea of how Peter felt when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Jesus was his Master, Teacher and Savior. Peter’s first reaction was to jump out of the chair and offer it to Jesus, but Jesus had a deeper purpose than just the task itself. The loving service he was modeling for them gave a perfect image of how they were to give loving service to others. They were to take on the role of a servant just as Jesus did to show impacting love that will multiply from one life to another.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for giving me this example on how to serve others with your love and compassion. I pray that I can be part of the process of multiplying this servant attitude. Amen

Faith Tip: Today, make it a priority to serve someone taking on the role of a servant … just like Jesus.

 

Are You Acquitted?

Courtroom in in . The Classical Revival courth...

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 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. – John 3:17-18 The Message

While watching a high profile court hearing, I could sense the many who condemned the person accused of the crime. This came through the news shows that commented on the trial and public opinion on social media. I wonder how it feels to be truly condemned by society. I wonder if that’s how Judas Iscariot felt when he experienced remorse over turning Jesus in to the authorities.

Condemnation is basically a death sentence. It may not be death of life, but it may be death of relationship, self-worth, or life as it is known. The condemned stands alone.

Believing in Jesus makes condemnation impossible. Saying yes to Jesus is saying yes to eternal life. Not saying yes means certain conviction of our sins and paying the price of forever being separated from God. It’s not what he wants. That’s why we have Jesus.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for the marvelous gift of Jesus so that I am not condemned. My death sentence was revoked when I said yes to you. I pray that today I am given opportunity to share that good news. Amen

Faith Tip: Realize the importance of saying yes to Jesus and watch for opportunities to share with others.

Future Planning

English: I took photo in Lubbock, TX, with Can...

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For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

As we go through life, we only have limited foresight to see and experience living here on earth. Our daily goals include an aspect of preparing for the day and planning for our future in the world. This is good, but it is short-sighted.

God prepared for us the ultimate goal of eternal life. Because of his great love for us, he gave us Jesus, so that we had a way to be with him forever. That is great love.

Life on earth is a blink of an eye in comparison to eternity. Looking beyond what we see and experience today will help us prepare for a life beyond our dreams.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, your love for us is grand. Life with you happens now as well as in the future. It is for always. Today I pray that I respond to my future home. Amen

Faith Tip: Iron sharpens iron. Is there someone God will put in your path today that needs encouragement about their future?