Released

And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” John 11:44 NKJV

Today I have had to say goodbye to a dear friend. Maria has finished her war with weakness and is now standing in the presence of our Lord. She has been fully and eternally released from the things of this life and is walking around her new home with Jesus. All the tears remain behind here and only Joy has found her just the other side of the door.IMG-20170416-WA0000

The Biggest Mountain

… if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you Matthew 17:20b

Maybe when you have heard this verse mentioned it was used in the context of a surgery to be faced, a marital crisis brewing or a financial disaster looming on your horizon. But a mountain also represents any impossibility that separates us from God’s plan for our lives. What is the biggest mountain that separates us from God? Today’s encouraging  news is that moving that mountain has nothing to do with its size but it has everything to do with our small faith in a big Savior!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord Romans 8:38-39 new-alaska-pics-4

No mountain can separate us from God’s love because of the cross of Jesus. Our sin which loomed like a giant mountain in our path has been removed and cast into the sea of God’s forgetfulness. It will no longer be remembered anymore forever. When one day we open our eyes in eternity with God we have the wonderful assurance that this biggest mountain of all has been moved! Since He has moved that giant mountain we joyfully use our mustard seed faith to face any small mountain today!

Finishing the Race

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,I have kept the faith

2 Timothy 4:7

No medal winner can receive the prize simply for having run. Being able to run faster will only be of value if the race has been run all the way to the finish line. My high school coach used to tell us, “Run through the tape, not to it.”, And coach would always be there waving his arms for us to run our fastest and cheering us on.  Paul in his writing to Timothy sees his finish line. He knows that he is running his final lap. He is pressing toward the mark but Timothy is still some distance behind him. Timothy still has a race to finish as do we.

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There is a tape for us all to run through. No matter the miles that still lie ahead, no matter what difficulties life has in store. When we look to the end we can see Jesus Christ waving his arms and cheering us on. Everyone who loves him and runs the race to the end is promised the prize in He has in store. !

My Song of Life

 

IMG_3612One prayer that I have

That I ask Jesus for

Is that He will help me to sing

As I face every storm

That when waves wind and fear

Try to drown my small boat

That my voice will be strong

And my heart stays on note

 

 

That my ears will be open

To hear angels sing

To the Lamb on the throne

Our Heavenly KingKIMG0363

Then with hands lifted up

And my heart for His ways

I will give Him my soul

As my gift of praise

 

Then to the verse that beganKIMG2253

Way back at the start

When I first trusted Jesus

And He entered my heart

Is added a chorus

And a bridge that can reach

Over darkness and storm

To the place at His feet

 

P1010574Where my breath becomes His

When my work here is done

And I finish the verse

That on earth I’ve begun

And I lift up my voice

In a loud joyful song

May my last verse be finished

                                                                                                                  At my Father’s throne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Life is a Letter!

The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.           2 Corinthians 3:2

Did you ever stop to think that your life is a blog with a new page written daily by someone. If our hearts are open to God’s word then we are giving the Holy Spirit editorial permission to correct a few lines. His revisions sometimes seem painful and a few of His twists and turns of the plot difficult to understand, but He knows precisely how our story needs to flow.

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He writes from the opening paragraph to the denouement a love letter for our souls. God sent His own Son to die for our rescue and He knows how from our sunrise to the end of our day how things will work together for our good. When we trust the scenes of our lives into the hand of the master director nothing short of a masterpiece will result as our names are written into the book of life!

Did Jesus come to end poverty?

“For Mother Teresa, poverty and sickness were gifts that provided the opportunity to develop one’s connection with God. Her mission was not so much to alleviate suffering but to ensure it happened within a framework of religious belief.”    George Gillett from The West’s big lie about Mother Teresa in Salon Magazine January 3.2016

In his article,Mr. Gillett takes issue not only with the “saintliness” of Mother Teresa in specific, but also with what he sees as questionable motives in all Christian missions and charity. He asks some hard and some very pointed questions about poverty, suffering and why Christians see value in the spiritual side of their work. Initially I was offended by his seemingly heartless attacks on Mother Teresa. Then as I paused to reflect I realized that his opinion as expressed in the article was really only another voice in the growing secular chorus of doubts as to the purpose of Christian work around the world. Criticizing Christian charities may have become popular because it gives people a politically correct sense of moral outrage. But maybe it would be better if we can all take a breath and ask ourselves why poverty is a wrong to be righted and just what should be done to deal with it.

Going to the Bible’s account we find that Jesus was all for us giving to the poor. When he was approached by the rich young ruler and asked about eternal life Jesus said,

If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.            Matthew 19:21

Jesus absolutely saw great value in a no strings attached giving to those in need. But coupled with that command was a higher call, “Come,follow me” Alleviating suffering was only a part of life’s journey, but the goal was farther up the road. Life’s purpose could only be discovered after giving, if we take up our cross and follow Him.

When a man came to Jesus who asked Him to to judge fairly about the division of wealth, Jesus responded quite differently than a person who simply aims for social justice.

And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth  Luke 12:15

In Jesus’ view, the central issue of life had less to do with economics and everything to do with relationship to God – the creator of life. No amount of money, education or ability could compare to the value God placed on a single strand of hair on our heads.Nepal and India 260

The mission of Christian work will always minister to human suffering wherever it is found, but success cannot be measured by meals given or vaccinations administered. Success is when a single human heart is awakened to the immeasurable love of God. While the world all around us seems continually to demand we do, say or give something of value, God comes to give true worth. The worth God has placed in us can only be measured by the sacrifice of His only Son on the cross. He sees beyond our small horizons of pain, poverty and hurt and looks to the finish line of this life and into the vast reaches of eternity safe and warm at His side.