Extraordinary

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The sun shining through the trees…extraordinary!

O LORD make this an extraordinary day.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  John 10:10

Jesus didn’t come to just save us from evil, He came to give us an abundant extraordinary life.

What makes for an extraordinary life? Living this day to the fullness of God’s blessing. What is God’s blessing? His love for us in Jesus Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  Eph. 1:3

Life is not about fame, or power, or fortune, but living in, and through, and by the love of God.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Eph. 3:17-19

Stop for a moment an let the love God has for you build into a crescendo of joy. For one day of God’s blessing and love, at work in us, and through, and for us is worth a lifetime elsewhere.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;  Psalm 84:10

A Full Day

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The start of a new day

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10

This morning I come before God and ask for His help to live this day to the full.

“Lord, don’t let the thief steal it with anger, laziness, or in the pursuit of worthless things. Send Your Holy Spirit to overcome my weakness and transform this day to one that glorifies You––the fullness of life.”

Short Changed on Life

Looking up waiting for the bus.

Looking up waiting for the bus.

Monday morning waiting for the bus to work, wishing for the weekend. I thought of John 10:10: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” A verse better for a Saturday morning, not now.

Lord, why do I short change myself in you?

I do this when I want another day, instead of today with you.

I do this when I run through prayer to get on with my life.

I do this when I look at what stirs my lust, instead of love.

I do this when I seek my own glory, instead of yours.

I do this when running from fear and do not run to you.

I do this when I fill my life with things, instead of you.

I do this when I hold onto worry, instead of you.

I do this when I go my way, instead of yours.

When will I learn that you are all I need… all I will ever desire.

Lord, help me not to short change myself of life in you.

To look up while waiting for the bus.

Heaven and Hell Pictured

The heavens declare the glory of God

The heavens declare the glory of God.  Psalm 19

Being in the presence of God is wonderful beyond description. Sometimes a picture, or during special moments in prayer, I catch a whiff of what that will be like. Then it makes my spirit soar. But, I think, only when we are before the throne of God will we truly know what the abundant life is all about.

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

The absence of God is a horror of equal dimension in the other direction. Only those caught in Hell will realize the depth of this hopelessness. There is no picture I have to convey this, so I will only put forth the words of Jesus in describing such a place:

“But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” (Mark 14:21)

I Never Saw It Coming

Barestem Biscuitroot full of  suprises

Barestem Biscuitroot full of suprises

I looked at this Barestem Biscuitroot from all angles to capture the best picture. It wasn’t till I put the photo up on my computer that I noticed something that surprised me. If I had known at the time I probably would done things differently (like not roll around in the dirt). See if you can find the unseen. For the answer I have cropped the picture below for a closer look.

Life is full of unexpected surprises, things we never saw coming, some are pleasant surprises, unfortunately some very tragic.

A young woman came to my office, addicted to heroin, asking for help. In the course of our conversation she said, “I never saw it coming.” She was truly ashamed and shocked at her current state: using dirty needles to poke around her body looking for unscarred veins. Always fearing she might overdose, unable to care for her child, but unable to stop using. How could what started as fun end in such a hellacious web.

In life many things lurk around in the shadows of our choices, things we never see coming. The song, “I Did It My Way,” sounds good (especially when Frank Sinatra sings it), but it is misguided.

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows –
And did it my way!

That is the real decision of life, to do it my way, or kneel before Jesus and do it His way. Often I do not know the full consequences of my choices, so I choose to follow the one who does.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11

spider waiting

spider waiting