Don’t panic. If you’ll be celebrating Mardi Gras next February, there’s time to shop for your mask. Or you could always make do with the one you wore for Halloween. The one that wowed the neighbors and frightened all the pets on your street.
Why are people so attracted to masks? Is it the anonymity? The temporary rush we get from the notion that we’re getting away with something? Or is it a deeply embedded dissatisfaction with how we see ourselves?
The remarkable man who introduced Jesus Christ to Europe wrote to his fellow believers in Rome, “I ask you not to think of yourselves more highly than you should.” He wasn’t recommending low self-esteem. On the contrary, he was encouraging them to see themselves as God views them and us, i.e., supremely loved and completely forgiven. Our part is to embrace that priceless pardon by receiving this gift as a willful act of faith.
There’s no need to put on a happy face, or a scary one. Relax and be the you God created you to be. Let’s “faith” it; He made a masterpiece when He made you.
Would life be worth living were it not for promises?
A promise is a commitment, a pledge, a guarantee to do or not do something. In effect, it’s an IOU. At the bar of justice it’s an agreement, sworn upon the Bible as the ultimate expression of Truth. In a marriage ceremony it’s a solemn vow of love and oneness under all circumstances.
A promise creates a perception of certainty, of hope. What’s the most foundational promise that propels you to get up each morning and face whatever the day may bring?
The One who loves you most said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Is your life based on His promise?” If not, on what?
As Summer slides into Fall, what feelings rise within you? Has our atypical warm, dry weather tempted you to move to the always-sunny South? Or do you secretly long for cooler, cloudier, drippier days that embrace you like a snug-fitting glove?
The Creator of seasons has a specific purpose for you as you “play the back nine” of this year. What is His plan, the one with your name on it? Would you be better off to focus on and follow it? Or to strike off on your own?
A wise king had this counsel: “Put your total trust in the Lord. Don’t rely on your own intelligence or intuition, but in all your thoughts, words and actions give Him first place. Then He’ll take your hand and lead you along the path He designed just for you."
What does it take to convince people to be pro-active?
A recent New Yorker article, “The Really Big One,” says the Pacific Northwest is long overdue for a monster earthquake triggering a Stars Wars-sized tsunami that will wash away everything west of Interstate 5. Yet only 25% of Seattleites are stocking up or even have a survival plan.
In Revelation, at the end of the Bible, gargantuan upheavals are predicted that will devour millions of earth’s inhabitants. Unimaginable devastation will accompany God’s judgment for mankind’s sin.
But in Psalm 91 God promises those who have a faith relationship with Him need not fear. “Because you love Me, I will rescue you. I will protect you because you know My name. When you call to Me, I will answer you.”
Your preparedness kit has been pre-paid. God’s lines are now open, awaiting your call. And it’s toll-free.
Surely June is the year’s busiest month. It’s #1 in weddings and births (and commission checks at Hallmark). Students scatter for family vacations, summer jobs or European hostels. Winter duds are stored. Sunglasses and lotion are pried from some bottom drawer.
And a certain blush of emancipation from our normal “earning or learning” routine is our parole for being so responsible the rest of the year.
What three actions could you take in June that would make this your best summer ever? If God whispered His three in your ear, would they mirror your three?
While your mental mainframe is searching and evaluating, why not jot them down now? June is gone far too soon.
Each year we honor the courageous souls who sacrificed everything while serving in our nation’s armed forces. Until 1967 it was known as Decoration Day, originated to salute the 600,000 troops who died in the Civil War.
Although Memorial Day is not a religious event, it conjoins the grand themes of death, sacrifice and rebirth. We do well to set aside this hallowed time when human blood was shed to purchase our freedom.
Oh that our land would pause to recognize the death and sacrifice of our God’s only Son, making it possible for your spiritual rebirth and mine.
“America, America, God shed His grace on thee.” The day you accept the free gift of His grace will be one worth remembering until the end of time and beyond.
“May” is one of those versatile words that can be molded into several meanings.
(1) “Mother, may I?” is asking for permission.
(2) “I may if it rains” denotes possibility.
(3) “May it be so” indicates desire.
(4) “May" is a girl’s name.
(5) And there’s “the merry, merry month of May.
May I suggest that the following use of our spotlighted word is the one with which each of us will ultimately be held accountable?
(6) “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.” This may asserts certainty.
This is 1 John 5:13 … in the event that you may want to see it in its natural setting.
It’s not true that here in the Pacific Northwest we know it’s spring because the rain is warmer. Against our year-‘round curtains of elegant evergreens, late March delights us with an explosion of colors. Japanese cherry trees arrive in fresh whites, pinks and blues. Daffodils yawn and push skyward, hoisting their golden crowns. Luscious, lavender lilacs chime in. And acres of multi-hued tulips blossom in such abundance that their bulbs are sold to Holland!
It’s as though our Creator has entered our darkened bedroom, rouses us and throws back the curtains to reveal a sun-spangled, new day, teeming with wide-eyed possibilities.
How can there not be a divine Designer behind the seamlessly choreographed change of seasons! When faced with the futility of taming the chaos in your life, relive Solomon’s reminder: “Everything that happens in this world happens when God chooses.”
If we can trust Him to keep the entire universe on schedule, which elements of your world would you consider leaving in His care?
When you and I were just rugrats, little did we know that one of our childhood games would be a harbinger of our time on earth. Remember burying your head in the living room couch pillows, counting to a hundred while your playmates scampered to find their own obscurity? As you reached “…90, 91, 92…’ you amped up and sprinted to “…99, 100!” so you could shout, “Ready or not, here I come!”
1965 gave us “People, Get Ready,” recorded by some of music’s top soul singers. What are you getting ready for? What are you hiding from? What are you seeking? What will prepare you for what’s coming?
The One who loves you most, and proved it by laying down His life for you, said, “Behold, I come quickly.”