Monday, May 23, 2011


Much has been said in many blogs and on Sunday morning around the country since "Judgment Day" passed by.  I read that Harold Camping intended to spend the hours preceding the rapture watching his television in order to see the events around the world ... I found that rather peculiar but it got me thinking about what it means to be "Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus ..." Titus 2:13. Along the same lines, what does it mean to "be alert?" Matt. 24:42

I suppose if I knew for a fact that he was coming today at 6pm my day would look a bit different but what should it look like when we believe He can come at any moment? I believe that "looking" is really all about "living". The Lord brings all sorts of activities, interactions, routines, tasks and opportunities into any given day - they have eternal value and bring glory to God when they are infused by His Spirit and offered to Him. When I am looking to the callings and tasks of my day as coming from Him, then in that day I have been "looking" for His coming. To "be alert" is to be alive to the moment, to see His activity in the present, to be aware of His working through me and around me especially in the daily routines.

So, when Jesus does return, I hope He doesn't find me staring up into the sky or watching for the end of the world on the television. He will probably find me doing some chore, studying for Sunday, talking with someone over coffee, driving my kids somewhere, taking out the garbage, shooting baskets with my son .... "looking for the blessed hope" is doing every activity in His strength, offered for His glory.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Today I begin my 4th day of a three month sabbatical. As the term implies, it is intended to bring rest on a variety of levels and the resulting refreshment of body and ministry vision that such a rest should produce. Although I have been looking forward to a renewal of vision, time with family and the opportunity to study, I had not given much thought to needing rest - I wasn't aware of  feeling tired on any significant levels.
                                                                my new home at home

   I was wrong! These first days of getting settled into a new routine, organizing a study area, and really  being with my family have have been a delight. The one word that describes what I felt almost immediately was "unburdened". Carrying any load or burden is tiring and yet I was going along unaware of holding a burden and not in touch that it was tiring me out. That's a bit scary - to be that unaware!

So what are the great "burdens" that I have been carrying? I think they are nothing more than the ones we are all tempted to carry - work responsibilities, family demands and schedules, finances, personal hopes and goals, daily chores - nothing out of the ordinary, as a matter of fact - they will always be there - they are part of the life the Lord has placed us in... The problem is that I have carried them - not the Lord. Having these burdens miracuously lifted in these first days has brought me to see that if I had left these for Jesus to carry - I could have been experiencing refreshment on a much deeper level not just on sabbatical but as an ongoing, daily reality prior to this time. Jesus said "... you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matt. 11:30

It is amazing that we can carry a very heavy load and actually grow accustomed to it, to mistake tired trudging for a free and restful walk with Jesus.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Prayer

The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett (1975)

"Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime, stars can be seen
from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine.
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley."