Sunday, July 24, 2011

One Way - July 19th

The balcony of my room looks out over the lake …a big lake…the joke of the week is that it is a GREAT lake…Lake Michigan. Our motel faces the road, and just passed that is a bike trail, and then a short grassy drop to the lakeshore. As I look out over the lake ahead of me, I see water stretched out as far as the eye can see on the horizon…beautiful blue glistening water. So vast you could get lost in it.

That was my thought as I looked out over it. No roads, no set paths, no guides to show you the way, just vast and blue as far as the eye can see. Someone could get lost out there. Then my eyes focus one small sign , ok, a road sign, on the side of the road heading down to the lake which read, “one way” with the lake as its backdrop.

As I sat there thinking about that signs simple direction in contrast to the waters just behind it, I thought how funny the contrast and how simple it is to miss the signs. God is so much like that. Despite the vast world we are a part of today, all the options, the choices, the careers, religions, educations and possibilities, His directions are still simple. There is only one way.

Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life, and no one comes to the Father but by Him. How simple it is.

And then, just to make sure I did not miss the point, He sent a cloud cover to darken the opposite side of the lake as to the way the sign was pointing. I just could not help but take a picture. Reminds me of the verses in Deut. 30:19 “behold I set before you this day life and death, blessings and cursings,” and just like the clouds rolling in to make his point, in His Word you can almost hear the “and in case you didn’t get it” second part of His CHOOSE LIFE. In case you missed it before let me draw you a picture….choose life…. Pick me. Follow me. Watch for My signs and seek after My ways. Don’t get overwhelmed or lost in this world of choices….choose me. I will be your way. I will be your truth. I will give you life. There is only one way….His name is Jesus. Talk about an incredible compass!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July Freedoms

As I sit outside watching the fireworks, my senses are almost overwhelming me. The sizzle and colors of sparklers and the beautiful children faces in laughter as the glow lights up their joyful expressions. The sounds of different conversations as people talk and laugh in sweet fellowship. The bright flashes against the dark and starry sky as the bang of fireworks demands your attention. The smell of the grass around us, and the sulphur smoke blowing past. Feeling a light breeze sweep gently past giving a brief reprise to the heat of the summer night.

As I sit here, almost alone in the crowd of people and fireworks, it is a strange paradox.  So much going on around me, and yet Lord my mind is calm and stilled on You. I am thankful Lord for friends and family, for country, for this opportunity, but Lord may I please never take for granted the sacrifices that made it all possible. My heart is full rejoicing in the love you've shown, in the grace you've shown. Lord, for my freedom to serve You I give you thanks. Galatians 5:1 says that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free so we should not be entangled again by the yoke of slavery. May that be our hearts cry both individually and as a nation. May our gratitude carry over to our actions. May we guard our God gifted freedom with all diligence and live our lives out of allegiance and honor to The One who lived and died and rose again to grant our freedom.