Follow the sign!!! Signs are everywhere, some obvious some not.They warn us, implore us, irritate us and direct us. They also taunt, tempt, teach, trick and terrify us.Signs are so much a part of our culture that we look for them and recognize them on site.We believe in them and derive a certain expectation from their words.
There is a small red and black sign on a door in our parking garage at my office building, which says "Fire Extinguisher Inside."It tells me that there is a potential for danger in the garage, and if fire breaks out, there is help just behind that closed door.That message gave me a sense of security until I noticed... THE DOOR HAS A PADLOCK ON IT!
Our lives are a sign of our beliefs.People have certain expectations from Christians in the workplace, in the home and at school.When the world comes knocking, let us not greet them with the disappointment of locked doors, mixed signals or misleading messages.
GospeLines Prayer:Holy Father, Let our light be a sign of your love for this world. Whether that sign be given in words or deeds, help us to reflect your grace and bring praise and honor to You.May our signs encourage others in faith, trust and love. Amen and Amen
We make all sorts of covenants (contracts) during a lifetime.We promise to love, honor and cherish our spouses till death do us part; we contract with credit card companies to purchase goods or services using a line of credit they provide; we secure a mortgage for a 15-, 20- or 30-year period and agree to pay on a timely basis.We may even enter a contract to gain desired behavior from our children.Some of us have performance agreements with our employers.
The most important covenant we can ever make is one with Our Father.In the Methodist church, there is a beautiful covenant prayer written in the Wesleyan tradition.Hear the Word --
A Covenant Prayer
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
Exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
To thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it be ratified in heaven.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, we often come before Your altar as hurting children. By my own admission, I know that I have not always lived the life you have required of me. But, Father, You are forgiving and faithful and I thank You Lord.
I am privileged to have a covenant with You and You bless me immeasurably.
When my heart is at the breaking point, let me remember that I am thine Lord and You are mine.
It sounded like a good idea at the time, spending Sunday afternoon putting my Geo Tracker in 4 wheel drive and sending it where no one dared to tread.I should have noticed that the trails were wet and empty, except for a few off-road motorcycles and a handful of pedestrians.Predictably, the last two hours were spent in a muddy rut the size of the Grand Canyon, waiting for a kind soul to pull us out.Philosophically, I told my son afterward, "It could have been worse!"He was not amused.
I recall my pastor saying the only thing different about a grave and a rut are the dimensions.Life has its ruts, and finding them is the easy part.Learning how to dodge them, straddle them or avoid them altogether is the difficult task.But the real danger is getting stuck in them and finding ourselves unable to get out on our own.
The Christian life may be difficult or challenging but it should never become boring.That’s what I love about studying the life and teachings of Jesus.His message was always the same but his life was unpredictable.And it drove the Pharisees crazy!Christians, we need to walk in the Truth that never changes but our lifestyle should exude spontaneity.Let’s get out of those ruts and live in a way that will compel the non-Christian to want what we have.
GospeLines Prayer:Lord Jesus, when I am near a rut, guide me; when I am in a rut, nudge me out.If I find myself in situations where there are lots of ruts to fall into, steer me to higher ground. I pray in your Holy name, amen and amen.
Confucius says - “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
That single step is when we, as Christians, accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.Some of us are young and others older when we make that commitment. Our vows take on a much different perspective as we age and experience life.
When we accept Jesus into our lives our journey starts on the right footing.When we keep Jesus at our center, we have a peace that passes our own understanding.
So often during the early years of my journey I thought I could make the right decisions and didn’t necessarily consult God on them. What a mistake!
He knew that I should talk to Him regularly and often.I’d press on and things would sometimes go okay and sometimes not.
He waited patiently for me and opened His heart and arms – ready to welcome His daughter back to the fold.
Now don’t get me wrong, I never left.I ensured that my daughter and I attended church regularly.We were involved and not benchwarmers.But, God expected more of me.
Again, things were pretty good or okay, I thought.Sometimes God throws up a few speed bumps to get our attention.Believe me, I know speed bumps and God has drawn me nearer to Him.I’m not nearly as smart as I thought, even though He gave me a good brain.He IS in charge.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, life is really difficult sometimes.Try as I might, I’ve made mistakes.
Thank You for those speed bumps - those reminders to look only to You!
Thank You for your unconditional love and forgiveness.I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey!
I've told you about the bird feeder in my backyard.It will come as no surprise, then, that much of my morning quiet time is spent listening and watching my feathered friends.
A sparrow's song was my joyful serenade one early morning.I could hear it but could not find the chorister, and spent several moments quietly positioning myself to find the source of this cherub-like music.There he was!Tiptoeing around the yard, I could both see and hear the little fellow.When he noticed me, he stopped chirping momentarily, and scurried out of sight of the unwelcome audience, then began his song again.He certainly wasn't singing to me!
This little dance went on for several more minutes.I would strain to find him, the singing would stop, then once out of sight, he would start up again.
Why was he singing this day, so beautifully?Was he singing for the other birds in the neighborhood?Why did he want to be alone?Or, was the little bird singing to the heavens in honor of his creator?
There are times when we all want (and need) is to sing alone.I don't know about you, but I cherish my quiet times.I am not lonely during those precious moments, and the truth is, I am not alone, either.Just me and my Father, sharing, laughing, crying, and singing!Glory!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, teach me more about being a sparrow, singing my heart of praise to You.Thank you for meeting me this morning in the backyard.See You there again, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow!Amen and amen.