Chosen to Be A Friend…

friends

Jesus reminds us that He no longer calls us slaves, but friends…

Friends…

Therefore, is not our greatest calling…our mission in life…to live as a friend of Jesus?

He chose us to be His friend…

We may have memories of being chosen….for a role in a school play, as a member of a sports team, for a new job…

We also may have memories of not being chosen…a spouse has an affair, a friend betrays us, the loss of a job…

We have memories of being chosen…we have memories of being rejected…

But Jesus CHOSE us to be His friend.

Do we ponder this invitation?

Do we respond?

William Shakespeare states, “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently, allows you to grow.”

Jesus CHOSE us to be His friend

Do we ponder this invitation?

Have we responded?

A New Invitation…

picture credit: J Jackson

picture credit: J Jackson

Suppose as you woke this morning, as you first opened your eyes, an image of Jesus with an outstretched hand was before you.

His outstretched hand reaching out to you in invitation…

How would this affect your day? Would you live your day differently?

Specifically, what would His hand outstretched in invitation say to you personally?

COME WITH ME…

In your fears of the day…in your worries…in your trials…in your concerns…in your difficult moments

I AM WITH YOU…

In your joys of the day…in your ponderings…in your prayers…in your conversations…in the movements of your day…in the everything of your day…

 I AM WITH YOU…

And yet, each day is a new beginning, filled with new graces, a new calling, a new invitation to take hold of His hand and walk…a new day with Him, Lord and Savior.

Yes, this day, Jesus with His hand outstretched to you in invitation is truly before you…

How will you live your day differently?

A Cheerful Giver…

sad

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said…

“When I see someone sad, I always think, she is refusing something to Jesus.”

This quote has really touched my spirit. I think of the little annoyances throughout the day…or the larger trials all of our lives are punctuated with, and I think how easy it is to become sad or discouraged. Isn’t this an indication that I am trying to do things my way?

She goes on to say…

“Cheerfulness is often a cloak which hides a life of sacrifice, continual union with God, fervor and generosity.”

God loves a cheerful giver…and it is in giving to Him all that befalls us, that we discover deep and lasting joy. And it is this joy that is our strength. May this day we live the joy that is the fruit of the “blessedness of submission”, refusing nothing to our God… even our daily annoyances.

Impossibilities Turned Possibilities…

picture credit: julianne jackson

picture credit: julianne Jackson

I always love finding signs of the impossible in my daily life…like this blooming flower, with buds mind you, bursting forth from between the cracks of concrete. It seems fitting to begin my Monday week with this image. With God truly all is possible…His grace makes it so. May this day all your impossibilities turn into possibilities in Him…He is a God of Surprises!

Everywhere You Go…

kindness

A friend once told me that one of the most lasting lessons of wisdom her father taught her was,

“Everywhere you go, leave it a better place”

This has always stuck with me. What if we all adopted this mentality? …

Everywhere you go leave it a better place”.

What would this look like? Remembering to say thank you to someone who has assisted you in any way, smiling at those who cross your path, pausing to say a kind word to someone whose day is troubled, offering to help when an extra set of hands is needed, really listening to another without any distractions, telling someone you love them when they least expect it…leaving everywhere you go a better place could take on so many different directions. It’s certainly something to think about…

“Everywhere you go, leave it a better place”

I challenge you today!

Risen…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Deeper than feelings is the conviction that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior…

A conviction not just spoken but lived…

This is the core of the peace beyond all human understanding we carry within…

For we are immersed in Him…the Great I AM.

He is risen today so that we may have life.

A Glorious and Joyful Easter to all!

Walking Into the Son…

picture credit: from the heart of j

picture credit: from the heart of j

Early morn…first day of spring…nip in the air…

I began my morning praise walk beseeching the Lord to “open my lips and let my mouth declare His glory.

The sun was bright as I walked into its warmth…

And I thought…a  perfect posture as Holy Week begins…

Walking into the “Son”.

Walking into the presence of the Son as the steps of His passion are retraced…Walking into His light…Walking into His warmth…Walking into His Love…Walking into His mercy…walking into His glory…walking ever deeper into the Heart of He who is Our Savior.

May we all walk into the radiance of the Son this Holy Week and let the glory of His love for us change us ever new.

Break Down or Build Up…

change

In the face of major, unexpected change…

whether within a significant relationship, a place of employment, within a family…

in the midst of all the emotional turmoil and chaos that results…

one is asked…

Will you be a part of the break-down or the build-up?

As Christians we are called to build up the kingdom…those who persecuted Jesus chose to be part of the break down.

In this world of unpredictable change and instability…have you asked yourself…

Am I part of the break-down… or the building up?

What does that look like?

“Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3: 14

Emptiness turned Openness

empty

As Lent continues, I am coming to a deep understanding…

the giving up creates room in my heart…

an emptiness…

So many of us live in a culture of such fullness within our hearts and minds…

Have we become like the innkeeper who shouts, “There is no room here!” shunning the Lord?

To know God requires an emptying of self and yet cannot emptiness become openness?

It’s in the way we envision it…emptiness or openness.

Emptiness transformed by grace becomes an openness in which the fullness of praise can erupt.

Lord, I seek you in my emptiness…and I find you Lord in the openness.

Restful Waters or Turbulent Tides?…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“Beside restful waters He leads me…” (Psalm 23)

I like to close my eyes and imagine these restful waters by which the Lord leads me. They bring me to a place of calm in my mind. However, in real life, it seems I walk beside high surf and waves. The type of water that seems to draw you into the rip tides of busy–ness and self.

Perhaps this is what you long to reveal to us, Lord. With you there ARE restful waters…the turbulence of the crashing waves we feel as we sink in the midst, is our own stirring of the waters through pride, our “my way is the best way”, our sinfulness, and the echo of accumulated evil in the world.

You long to lead us by restful waters…those streams of everlasting life that flow forth from Your side…however we often choose the rip tides. Save me Lord from my foolish following of the high surf and lead me to that place of repose…restful waters and verdant pastures…immersed deep within Your heart and in align with your most holy will for me.

Ah…restful waters…a beautiful meditation for this next week of Lent.