What Do We See and Who Do We Seek?

Today’s been one of my reading days…

I’ve been catching up on articles that have surprised, challenged or even overwhelmed my thoughts on normality and what “being good” is all about… no, I don’t look at life through sheltered eyes, and sin really doesn’t “surprise” me.

Yet, what overwhelms my heart is the truth of Scripture that tells us (paraphrased), “The fields are white with harvest, but the laborers are few.” …and they are SO few. We are so burdened with the cares of this world, I’m not sure how many lost we actually see in our day-to-day, and if we do see them, do we just keep on walking by trying not to offend?

What boggles my mind is the rampant demand in our culture to call good evil and evil good. There is a new “common norm” that is flowing like a rushing River. All those opposed to it are hailed as evil, trying to build a dam to stop the flow, and some in that parade even give the confusing claims to Christ while shouting everything He hates is good and everything He loves must be from hell itself. Others stand on the wall of the dam screaming at the water, describing all the nastiness in the liquid but never giving it hope to see that the dam isn’t there for its detriment but rather for it’s transformation to something better.

What challenges my soul is how I can reach out in love AND truth to share His story, even if it might be just one life at a time. How can we create a culture that loves God, hates sin, seeks His perfection while compassionately love the imperfect-ed around us?

Can’t it start with just one? Doesn’t it start with me and you turning our accusing fingers back at our own hearts and kneeling at the foot of a bloody cross and repenting?

Oh God, help us to have eyes that SEE the lost. Help us to have a heart to CARE that they’re lost, and help us to have the courage to SPEAK Your Truth! Your children have been silent for far too long…

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven , and I will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

Monday Musings: Lessons Learned from 2020 and COVID-19

This has been quite a year for so many, and some would say this has been the absolute worse year ever, others would just say it stinks. I’m not sure there’s many at all who would say it’s been the best year; yet, maybe a three year old could have this perspective.

I will say it’s not been an amazingly wonderful year; it’s certainly had it’s challenges. However, I’d have to admit, it’s not been the worst year I’ve ever experienced.

Some of the worst years of my life were the year after my grandfather passed away, or the year we lost our first child after trying to conceive for 13 months, or the year I battled depression for a good half of the year… yeah, perspective always brings sunlight into the day.

Yet, there are some things this year of 2020 has taught me, and I thought I’d add it to my previous lists written near the beginning of all this

1. No matter what comes into my life, with God, I can walk through fire and I can stand in the rain…even if I have to grab the fire extinguisher and maybe a boat paddle!

2. Regardless what the days bring, you still have a choice to take another breath and move forward or clamp down on oxygen and lie down to die…I choose to breathe.

3. Despite the ugly, the tornadic, the chaos or the devastation, there is always hope, you just have to search for it…often times, it will be buried deep within.

4. Although, there may be confusion and uncertainty, if you know the right source from which to draw strength, you will have an endless supply…the Source is your key.

5. Life brings with it all kinds of ups and downs, doubts and fears, turmoil and challenges, questions and very few answers; yet, when you have a firm foundation, those specific answers may not always become easier to find, but the principles to these will be as sure anchor doe your soul.

6. Everyone needs a friend. Choosing to live out your life in isolation and avoidance is just a waste of life! … choose friends carefully, but choose them.

7. Having the courage to call out when you’re in trouble can be scary, and it definitely will make you more vulnerable than many of us like to be, but honestly, having moments of vulnerability brings humility back into our prideful flesh…and the courage it takes to ask makes us all that stronger.

8. Life has been known to bring us lemons, and sometimes, they can be the sourest ever grown, but if you’ll add a little sugar, you’ll find that lemonade to be quite refreshing… mind you, sometimes, you better add a lot!

9. No matter the clouds that brew overhead, always remember, there is a sun still shining. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but keep looking up, and it’s bound to eventually burst forth and warm up your skin.

10. If you believe there is no hope to ever be found, just stop in your tracks, take a deep breath, and place your hand to your heart to feel that beat…if there is still a rhythm, then there is always a glimmer of hope.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

1 Peter 1:13

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…

Ephesians 1:18

Monday Musings

Am I growing old before my time?

I was always told I’m an old soul…

Am I aging with grace and wisdom?

I’ve always been told my heart’s river runs deep…

Am I deepening my knowledge or my love?

I was told to love wisdom is to understand His loving kindness…

We have a choice in life…

We can assemble all those memories, and we can only see the pain and injustice…

Or we can gather the joys one by one, pick out those moments of serene peace, select those tiny miracles that don’t happen every day…

And relish in the here and now while looking forward to that beautiful ever after…

I think I’ll choose the beauty…

I believe I will grasp the sunshine…

I will strive to always opt for the good…

Never ignoring, but rather, discarding the hatred and violence that threatens to distract my journey…

And I’d suggest for you to do the same…

It is possible…

If you will believe…

“Whoever is wise will observe these things,

And they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.”

Psalm 107:43

“Get wisdom! Get understanding!

Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom.

And in all your getting, get understanding.

Exalt her, and she will promote you;

She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.

She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

Proverbs 4:5-9

Monday Musings

There’s nothing better than a great big glass of ice cold water after a 3 mile walk in the heat of the evening.

You’re parched. You’re tired. You’re breathless.

Yet, that water is like snow in the desert.

It’s refreshing to the bones.

It’s reviving to the muscles.

It’s rejuvenating to the very soul.

This is just how I have found my God to be.

I’m not talking about finding religion, and I’m not trying to convince you of an ancient tradition.

I’m just referring to a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.

I’m pointing toward a comfort in times of need, a peace that surpasses all your understanding and a fulfilling joy that words just can’t seem to describe.

You might scoff, and you might even turn the page, but I challenge you to simply try Him.

Just say His name.

Jesus.

He can be refreshing water for your weary mind.

He can be a babbling brook for your exhausted heart.

He can be a living stream for your parched soul.

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

John 7:37-38

Friday Fun Day

I don’t know about you, but those little sparkles that you can buy during the Fourth of July holidays make me feel like a little kid.

They light up the night.

They sizzle.

They pop.

They bring sweet memories rushing in of innocence and laughter.

If you’re struggling today to find some peace, and if your striving this week to find some joy, just go pick up a box of those sparklers.

Light ‘em up.

Let them spark.

Let them bring a moment of joy to your heart, and remember there’s still hope.

Because there’s still breath to breathe.

Enjoy your Friday Fun Day!

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Whimsical Wednesday

Sometimes, things don’t turn out like they should.

Sometimes, your dreams change or disappear.

Sometimes, the aspirations of yesterday get middles in the chaos of today.

Yet, there is still Hope, and it can find a way.

Just take a moment to breathe.

Just take a second to relax

Just step back from all the confusion and deeply exhale.

Just remember, there is a God who can shelter you in the gale.

Penned 7/7/20 MG

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

Do Something

George Floyd Memorial
Minneapolis, MN

So many words are spewed about

So many syllables are given out

This one says you should say that

That one says you should use this format

So many demand justice and revenge

So many scream inequality must end

This one brings a torch and a brick

That one brings a hand that constricts

How does this violence bring harmony to souls?

How does this hatred bring peace to console?

Can’t you see the only answer is unified prayer?

Can’t you see the only action is our hearts stripped bare?

May we search deep within for the sin that lies dormant.

May we recognize the enemy of the cross is our torment.

Our battle is never because of my skin color or yours or because of a simple nod.

Our battle is always with the one who steals, kills and destroys the children of God.

Penned – MG – 6/10/20

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Do Something

George Floyd Memorial
Minneapolis, MN

So many words are spewed about

So many syllables are given out

This one says you should say that

That one says you should use this format

So many demand justice and revenge

So many scream inequality must end

This one brings a torch and a brick

That one brings a hand that constricts

How does this violence bring harmony to souls?

How does this hatred bring peace to console?

Can’t you see the only answer is unified prayer?

Can’t you see the only action is our hearts stripped bare?

May we search deep within for the sin that lies dormant.

May we recognize the enemy of the cross is our torment.

Our battle is never because of my skin color or yours or because of a simple nod.

Our battle is always with the one who steals, kills and destroys the children of God.

Penned – MG – 6/10/20

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

A Call to Arms, Peacefully

We are to bring peace to this crazy world.

Peace, love, hope, and joy

How can you bring peace when you’re full of anxiety?

How did you bring Hope when you’re hopeless?

How can you bring courage when you’re fearful?

We are His ambassadors!

We are to bring His message to this fallen world.

Have we forgotten our place?

Have we forgotten our calling?

Rise up! Take your place!

This place is a disaster because the church is a disaster.

We have just as much divorce, drugs, anxiety, etc., as the world has.

This should not be.

He called us out to be separate, a royal priesthood, set a part for His will and His way.

We’ve spent too much time trying to fit in, to conform to the norm.

Rise up! Stand your ground!

Our fight is not against flesh and blood.

We have forgotten our enemy while he has lulled us to sleep.

We have grown lazy in our opinions and agendas, forgetting Whose opinion matters most.

We’ve got to return to our calling.

We’ve got to return to the mountain.

Don’t shutter because He’s mighty.

Praise because He’s holy.

Worship because He’s gracious.

Shout because He is merciful and just.

We serve a King not a people.

We are an army to storm the gates of hell not lie in the puddles of our own ambitions and desires.

Rise up! Take your place in the kingdom of God!

This world is desperate for a Savior.

Can you hear Him calling?

Can you hear their cries?

How can you ignore it?

Why do you walk away?

If you do not fight now, you will lose the very things you clinched so tightly.

They are like sand sifting through your hand.

We are Ambassadors of Christ.

Grasp the things of His kingdom.

Seek Him first.

Chase Him, church.

Arise, oh daughters and sons! Arise!

Take your place and reap the harvest!

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

What COVID-19 Has Taught Me Now

It has amazed me throughout this pandemic how loud the media has shouted and how quiet the church has remained.

It’s been eerily quiet, except for shouts, concerns and finger-points of who should do what, when and how.

It has amazed me how quickly the whole world has given up their freedom and personal rights, even here in America, under the guise of health, security and even “common decency.”

It has been eerily obvious, except for the shouts, concerns and warning signs thrown up by those who recognize this is not what the Constitution nor our Declaration of Independence provides.

Maybe you’ve not read that part recently.

Let me refresh your memory… (Declaration of Independence)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

Who gave you the right to remove my rights? Who gave you the approval to dictate to me where I can go, what I can buy, who I can see and where I can eat?

This happens in Communist countries day after day.

This happens in Socialist countries when a crisis arises.

Because the people are dependent upon a higher power to provide.

No matter your political persuasion, if you call yourself an American, don’t get mad and move on.

No matter your religious integration, if you call yourself a Christian, don’t get offended and scroll past.

Please, stay with me here.

It has amazed me how quickly businesses shut down, the economy faltered, and the wallets closed for trade all over the world.

It has been eerily hasty, except for the small businessman who just altered his delivery of food, except for the churches who simply worked a new vantage point to proclaim the gospel, except for the volunteers who said, “Not on my watch, will you struggle and falter alone.”

It has amazed me how quickly many of God’s people shut their doors, curtained their windows, and shielded their mouths.

It was eerily fervent, except for those who cried out for mercy, except for those who swung wide the welcome for shelter, except those who ran to the needy to provide and proclaim a message of freedom.

It has amazed me how quickly many of God’s people walked in fear rather than faith, claiming to rely on the educated, the enlightened, those “in the know.”

It was eerily evident, except for those who called in God’s Name for deliverance, protection and wisdom, except for those who proclaimed His peace, His hope, His love, despite the storm or the outlook, except for those who stepped forward in cautious optimism to say, “He can save. Look up! The Best is yet to come!”

I write this today, not to stir debate, not to bring condemnation, and by no means to try to trivialize the sickness nor glorify a rebellion.

I only write to stir your heart to prayer, to bring conviction where there has been terror and to proclaim His victory over a he darkness.

If we call ourselves Americans, we should never relent our freedom so easily, no matter the declared crisis.

If we call ourselves Christians, we should never surrender our faith and our fight so easily, no matter the size of the giant.

To slay the giant, never proclaim the intricate details of your foe until you have proclaimed the meticulous victories, promises and testimonies of your God!!

2 Samual 17 … read it again, and become like David, not like the Israelites. Walk in courage rather than fear. Ask about the spoils for the triumph. Declare the victory is God’s not yours…nor theirs!