Tuesday, November 29, 2011

can you see the kingdom?

the kingdom of god is unrecognized… unaccepted.
yet it recognizes and accepts you.

it is visible only to those who trust in the lord. so…
the responsibility to share this view is bestowed unto thee.

john saw the truth and told andrew, who then found his brother.
it was the very first thing that he did.

some will follow. others will question.
our job is to be fearless about spreading the love.

for the vision of the kingdom is the range of god’s effective will.
life now and forever in the palm of his hands.

we are born of the light that has entered the world.
and we must become less to amplify that blaze.

worship in the spirit of truth.
eternal and all knowing.

you have the power of the world.
to heal and revive.

can you see the kingdom?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

my banker hugged me

day before thanksgiving, bank was busy-busy-busy. stopped in to sign some papers for work. long lines. phones ringing. cranky customers. busy-busy-busy.

error on the paperwork… need to wait some more. long lines. phone ringing. busy-busy-busy.

bank manager turns to the loan rep: did you ever notice that mr. gillespie never seems frazzled, always calm, always smiling.

turning to me she asks, how do you manage that?

i looked up and told the truth: i just trust in the lord.

in an instant, the phones stopped. the lines melted away. the busy-busy simply vanished. and she threw her arms around me and whispered: me too.

and today i wonder… how many others are out there… busy-busy-busy… just waiting for someone to come in and mention his name… to say it is okay to express your faith… to declare your love… to live out the peace… even in the midst of the busy-busy-busy.


Monday, November 21, 2011

the change list

Today’s exercise: reflect on the things you would like to see changed about yourself. (To which Chief Brody replied, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”) Anyways….

I get defensive when someone questions or critiques me. Jesus, on the other hand, sought out questioning. He approached those he knew would critique and went to places where he knew his authority would be questioned. Why do I get so defensive?

In doing so, I miss out on opportunities to gain new understanding, to improve myself, and to enlighten others on new possibilities. I close the door on conversations and the chance to build relationships.

Lord, make it clear in my heart that it’s not about me. Free me from my need to control outcomes and have the last say. Open my heart to criticism. Let me seek joy only in your pleasure.

I can easily get caught up in whatever I am doing at the time, and fail to see and hear the cries for help around me. Jesus was observant and always in touch with his surroundings. Why is it that I can so easily shut off the world?

Instead of lifting others up, I pull them down by my appearance of disinterest. And then wonder when they are not there to listen for me.

O God, help me surrender to others. Open my eyes, me ears and my heart to the needs of others. Teach me to prioritize others before myself.

I often do not think about God and the Kingdom when making decisions. For Jesus, every decision was an opportunity to glorify God. Why do I leave God out of the picture so often?

When I eventually come to my Lord, the truth stings—and whatever I gained by going my way, it cost more to return to the path that was intended for me.

At the crossroads of life, there is only one direction I need, Lord, and that is your will. I want you to be at the center of my life—for every moment of every day.

I like to be entertained. TV. Movies. Books. I look for ways to escape. Jesus was comfortable with silence and solitude. He created time to be alone. For meditation. For prayer. Why do I need to constantly want to fill the vacuum with noise?

Entertainment cannot love, and so I go unloved. Entertainment cannot fulfill, and so I go unfulfilled. Alone when the TV goes on, alone when it goes off.

Jesus, teach me to live in the present, prioritize people, and rejoice in your peace. Help me become more disciplined—where I come before you in prayer, meditation and silence for the pure joy of basking in your presence.

I am not always the same person in public as I am when I am alone. I have secrets. I live two lives. The life of the nice guy. The life of the self-gratifying jerk. Jesus was authentic. He was Jesus. Why can’t I be the me I want to be?

Shame. Disgrace. Anger. Fear. These are not how I would feel if I was being the true me.

Let the one true authentic me be the one and only me. Help me live in the light. Crush and destroy the sin and disobedience in my life.

Change me Lord. Change me from the inside out.