Frost Warning

Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Luke 10:2 NKJV

With a frost warning coming tonight I rushed out to pull in the last of the peppers. Some were large and ready for harvest. A few others were okay though yet mature. But saddest of all were the blossoms left on the plants when I pulled them and shook the soil from their roots. The frost was here and their beauty and promise were never to be fulfilled.

God tells me stories in the garden. Some stories give me comfort, some direction but frost is like a heavenly alarm clock. The raw jangling of the cold, the grey of clouds and the whistle of North winds shake my world up. There is a frost warning coming for each of us. The time for promises unkept is past. My worn out excuses for immaturity sound hollow in my ears. God’s plan, His will and Kingdom are all that really matter. Don’t just send laborers out into your harvest Lord. Send me!

What ever Happened to Sin?

With all the debate about highly paid kneeling athletes one might be led to believe that racism is something new and shocking. In a way it is good and healthy to be able to talk about right versus wrong but that conversation apparently begins and ends with only one or two subjects. Any conversation about sin in the church seems to run into a dead-end. We don’t want to judge or worse be thought of as hypocritical because of our personal failures. Yet while here on earth, Jesus minced few words when it came to pointing out sin. He regularly pointed out that the Pharisees were adulterers, covetous and in danger of hell for their hard-hearts and attitudes.

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The preaching of God’s grace was never meant to end up as an accommodation of sin. Yes we are all weak and we are all in need of a great Savior to forgive us. But sin remains sin. Adultery has grown to be so much the norm that we forget that it still destroys families. Gambling which is simply the marriage of stealing and covetousness continues to march through our nation with new and bigger casinos in every state. The idea of honoring the Sabbath has been so completely abandoned that even a brief Sunday morning feel-good meeting is too inconvenient to sacrifice the chance for overtime pay. Jesus’ sermon on the Mount has lost its message as a revolutionary overthrow of sin and is  today looked at as some kind of nice collection of sweet ideas.

 

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15

Maybe those kneeling athletes who have at least started a debate about racism have stumbled onto a starting concept that we as Christians ought to consider following. What would happen if we began to take a stand no matter the price for the things that Jesus taught us to do? What if like the Amish and Old Order Mennonites, people actually knew that we would do without conveniences in order to live for Jesus Christ? What if this year instead of a trip to a theme park we spent a week volunteering in a homeless shelter. What if we turned off the Super Bowl and went to church to pray? Just standing for the national anthem will not move us one inch closer to God while our children grow up without a father or mother in the home because of the failure of yet another marriage. We need to do more than smile and just talk about grace. It is time for the mighty power of that grace to be allowed to radically change our lives and we will discover that there is nothing more joyful, more peaceful and more liberating than being cleansed from real sins by a real God who really sent His Son into the world to save sinners: of whom I am chief!

When in Doubt

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
Matthew 28:17 NKJV

I love the honesty of God’s word. It never airbrushes over the faults or weaknesses of His people. Try to imagine seeing Jesus with your own eyes after the resurrection. You are listening to His voice, seeing the marks of nails in His hands and yet there remain some doubts. Jesus knows! He is not fooled by our outward religiosity. He sees into our hidden and most intimate thoughts and yet, He accepts us. Instead of rebuking the doubters in the crowd He simply put out a call for action. Doubts or no doubts, here is what needs to be done; “Go into all the world and…” That call still echoes in our 21st century world. We do have our doubts but our faith asks the question “What will we do today?”.

Learning to be Alone

Oh how I have always hated being alone! I sometimes got in trouble as a kid just so I could be included with everybody else who got caught. But in my Christian walk I have discovered something strange… Sometimes God wants me to be alone. He takes people out of my life. He cancels opportunities for me to be seen. He allows me to be too weak to do want I hoped and planned to do. In fact there are days when God chooses for me to be forgotten abandoned and rejected by other people. Yes it is no one else. It is Him. But in those long and lonely days he is waiting in those dry places for me to find my rest in Him! How very unlike me is our faithful loving God!

Author of Salvation

He isn’t just the author of our salvation He is also the editor of every jot and tiddle. He isn’t just the editor He is also the literary agent in the person of the Holy Spirit who reveals Him to hungry hearts. All God is looking for are newspaper boys and girls who will put the good news of Jesus Christ on the door steps of everyone on route!

And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
Hebrews 5:9 NKJV

Who is Welcome?

I posted on Facebook yesterday what I thought was a pretty innocuous thought about unity in the church. Wow I was dismayed and surprised to see the “controversy this stirred up! My hope is that if we each ask ourselves this one simple question and be willing to take personal responsibility to reach out that each of our churches will be the better. Have a blessed day!

“Will folks who think or look differently than we do feel welcome at our church? If God wanted us all the same He would have used plastic and not dust when He was forming man.”

 

All kinds of folks

WWJCA (What would Jesus Care About)

With all the emotions running wild after this election I paused today to ask myself, “What would Jesus care about?”

Here are my favorite four. Let me know if you have any other ideas!

A) Love God with all your heart,mind  soul and strength Mark 12:30

When God becomes the center of who we are we stay in the exact orbit that He has designed. Hurtling aimlessly through space is not freedom it is just wandering alone or as Bob Dylan said, “no direction home.”

B) Love your neighbor Luke 10:27

Once God replaces us on the throne of our life then loving our neighbors gets a lot easier to do. Love is much more than a reasonable action, it becomes a part of our life in Christ. Jesus never had to stop and decide if He could love someone. Jesus Christ simply was moved with compassion because of who He was, not because of who He was with.

C) Take up the Cross and follow Christ

Matthew 10:38 As disciples of Jesus taking our cross was never presented as an option. It is not like in the car showroom where only some things come standard. Following Jesus means going where He went. Our true life is hidden with Christ in God. To discover life’s design means an intimate relationship with the designer: “the fellowship of His suffering”

D) Go and make disciples of all nations Matthew 28:19

When we focus on what Jesus has called us to do we will find that we have a lot less time to fuss about what others are not doing. We can do all things through He who strengthens me, but without Him we can do nothing. So let’s patiently, determinedly and lovingly run the race that God has chosen. The days ahead will be hard and sometimes confusing but He has promised to be with us even to the end of the world. Now is the time for genuinely sharing the love of God.

More about Jesus would I know

More of His love to others show

More of His saving fullness see

More of His love who died for me!

 Eliza Hewitt