Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday School Lesson #1

“Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Acts 3:6

Peter and John couldn’t give this man money. They couldn’t give this man the thing he desperately asked for every day of his life. They walked past him on their way to worship the Lord. He, lame and unattended, sat in plain sight asking for help, asking for the one thing he knew he could try to acquire from those around him: money. They, freed and receiving of mercy, had the One Thing he didn’t even know he needed.

Was he ever told that there was more he could ask for? Did he ever dream of a day when he would be able to walk again…a day when he wasn’t given the title of “lame” but instead was one of those fortunate ones who could walk to the temple to worship the Lord?

Day in and day out, he begged and he sat. He couldn’t go anywhere: not because He didn’t WANT to go somewhere, but because he couldn’t. His life existed within a literal arm’s reach of where he sat and was only changeable upon another’s means.

They, Peter and John came by and changed all of that. They looked at him and saw the soul beneath the filth. They saw the healable pain and longing beneath the lame and unattended physical body. They knew that what he needed was love. It was peace and grace.

What he asked for was money. What he begged for was something to satiate the desire and longing for a greater life. What they saw was that he needed healing. What they gave him was a new life.

Sometimes I’d like to think that I am Peter. That I can be the bearer of good news to the poor, the lame, the needy. Sometimes, I see someone who is so spiritually lame that they don’t realize that the miracle is just under the surface. They are content with being lame. They are happy with their arm’s reach, dependant upon another, self-absorbed life: asking for love and help from expendable and monetary resources. Sometimes, I see past the exterior of what they say they want; and I share with them what they need: a dependency and a freedom in Jesus.

Then, there are the times that I am like the lame man. Sitting in my own filth and using my lameness to gain something from those around me. Unwilling to ask for help and unwilling to see the miraculous freedom right in front of my face. Then, there are the times that the Peters and the Johns in my life walk along my path and share with me what they have: the one thing I need and am not asking for…

Jesus. Jesus’ love; Jesus’ grace; Jesus’ mercy. I need it every day. I desire it less frequently than I truly need it. I long for it in measurable quantities when it should be innumerous.

And I am so thankful for the Johns and the Peters in my life: because without them I would know less of His love.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A moment of serious…

Two days ago, I was asked “so what are you going to do on your last days here on earth?” My response, in a comical and sarcastic tone was filled with shallow, mocking remarks.

Yesterday, as I scrolled through my Facebook updates and spoke with different friends, I noticed words spoken as eyes rolled and chuckles released amidst response and jokes.

I laughed, too.

The reality of the situation is that these people are being deceived. They are being led to believe an un-biblical “truth” by someone who, biblically speaking, should be assumed false.

1Jo 4:1 NKJV - Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2Pe 2:1-2 NKJV - But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, [and] bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

in a moment of serious, poking fun and mocking those who are deceived is un-biblical. Praying for and lovingly correcting them in the truth is what we are called to do. Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us that we are

to be a part of equipping the saints. We are to speak the truth in love. It tells us that, regardless of our own insecure feelings, we are all a part of the same Body of Christ if we recognize Him as our personal Lord and Savior. If you personally believe that His death on the cross and His resurrection 3 days later conquered sin and was the payment for your sin, then this includes you, too.

Admittedly, I am of those who are also humbled by the exhortation. I can’t laugh anymore, knowing that there are many deceived people out there.

Yes, the Lord could return any time. Yes, He could return today. I don’t know, nor will I attempt to know the time and day of that return.

Mat 24:35-36, 42-44 NKJV - "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only….Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Free Falling


She is 10 feet in the air. Her foot is set firmly in another’s hand,  his body floating precariously above ground by the strength of another’s legs below him. She flies through the air, with a smile on her face. Spinning as a torpedo, destined for a target. Arms reach out and cradle her fall, only to launch her back into the unknown air above their heads.

Cirque du Soleil Banquine act from Quidam

She still has a smile on her face. Others scurry to reach the contact spot and she is once again rescued from the unknown above her and placed onto a well known medium: ground. 

Some call this beautiful—it’s an art and a show of strength. It’s a display of “I dare you” and “look what I can do.” It’s an awe-shocking act of death defying displays meant to drop your mouth open and sigh in wonder at what these people are willing to do.

It’s trust.

With trust, there can be no fear. With trust, there is no limit to what can be accomplished. With trust, you can be launched forward into the unknown. With trust, there is no worry about whether or not you will be caught, just a delight when your feet hit the ground again.

Without trust, there is no launch. Without trust, there is a limit to what can be imagined. Without trust, there is fear and worry and angst and unknown.

It’s faith.

With faith, steps don’t have to be seen, just obeyed. With faith, hands don’t have to be inspected, just grasped. With faith, every moment counts. Every movement is graceful, every display covered in fellowship.

Without faith, a step will never happen. Without faith, one will look but not touch. Without faith, every moment is a lost one. Every movement in the wrong direction, filled with guilt and pain.


This last weekend, I knocked something off my bucket list. I went and saw Quidam, a mind blowing artistic masterpiece that left me speechless—but certainly not thoughtless. The faith and trust that these performers had left me shamed at the lack of faith and trust in my own life. The challenging moments in the performance of having to (quite literally) place their life in another’s arms left me wondering where along the spectrum of trust I fell.

I realized that life, although desired to be neat and tidy, with a list of checked or unchecked items to keep us on task, is never without its moments of faith. Life, as compartmentalized and self-reliant as we wish it, will never be without it’s steps of trust.

And, as I crossed that “one more thing” off my bucket list, I wondered when my next leap would be. Because, although I may not know where I will land, I know Who will catch me…He always does.

photo (2) Be blessed.

Monday, May 9, 2011

…a time to keep silent…

and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:7

I grapple daily with speaking up too much and staying silent. I wonder if my words spoken were scars, cuts, bandages, or balm. I continually remind myself to be quick to listen and slow to speak and then doubt myself when I hear His Voice telling me to share.

Does this happen to you?

We walk a tight rope of fears, doubts, wonderment, and dreams. We hold tightly to those things we know we shouldn’t do and those things that we ought to do. We lean toward the breeze of doubt on one side of the rope and into the abyss of boldness and faith on the other. We walk across holding tightly to the One who will never let us fall.

And within this act, we are reminded that there is no one answer. Sometimes, to stay balanced, we are to share, exhort, encourage…speak. Often times we ourselves are exhorted to pray, listen, comfort…keep silent. Both are necessary in order to stay on the rope.

There is a time for every purpose under heaven. We, ever purposeful creation, are given times to speak and times to remain silent.

Heavenly Father, thank you for hedging us before and behind. Thank you for protecting us and giving us words to say when we need them and the wisdom to remain quiet when You desire it. May we open our ears to hear Your Voice, to know Your will, to be a part of Your majestic plan here on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.