Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Constant

(I took this photo at the Denver Botanical Gardens 2012.)

A few years ago the word ‘intrinsic’ kept floating through my mind, to the point that I finally looked it up. I felt like God was talking to me about my intrinsic value. I was incredibly blessed to discover its meaning.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the value of human life, or rather, how little human life is valued these days. With abortion an accepted part of life-as-we know-it, we’ve all but erased the value of human life from our nation, and diminished it greatly in our everyday lives. The atrocities of yesteryear don’t even raise our eye brows now. We read of child abuse of epic proportions on a daily basis. Violent crimes become more and more violent, as man turns against man (or woman, or child).

Clearly, we as a people, not necessarily as individuals, do not place much value on human life. Though we are numbed by the news and oftentimes block out reality, God never changes. He’s the one constant. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” – Hebrews 13:8 (KJV) His values don’t change, His nature doesn’t change. Our intrinsic value is still the same, because we are made in our Maker’s image.

Over the years our own self-image changes. Whether we were raised to feel loved and believe in ourselves or we cowered in fear, wishing to be invisible and feeling unloved and unwanted, God’s love for us has never changed, the value He places on our life is constant because it’s intrinsic and His thoughts toward us are always good. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” – Psalm 139:17-18 (NLT)

Reflect on how valued you are; the worth placed on your life.

What does intrinsic mean? Read that post here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What's the Message?

(photo courtesy of

What if I said, “I don’t care about your dad? I don’t care about your son or daughter, your husband or best friend. I don’t care if they spend eternity in without God.” What if I even acted like I meant it?

Nowadays, we find ourselves hiding behind ‘political correctness’ and the busyness of our over-stuffed schedules, when the bottom line is the same as it’s always been; we dread rejection, perhaps even fear it. We show it in our actions on a daily basis when we shy away from sharing our faith with those around us.

My neighbors to the west don’t even know my name, but they’re somebody’s sons and daughters, someone’s sister or brother or mother or father. And that someone is praying right now, praying that God will use someone to reach their loved one with the gospel of salvation. Just as when we pray that God will use someone to embrace our loved ones, they expect those ‘someones’ to obey when God speaks to them.

Speaking honestly within your own heart, when was the last time you led someone to Christ? When was the last time you even tried to share His love with a nonbeliever? Now, ask yourself why? If you’re brave enough, ask God what He thinks is the reason. Then listen.

If, indeed, we’re feeling embarrassed or fearing that we’ll be rejected, know this; if rejection comes, they’re rejecting God, not His messenger. We hear the chiding, “Don’t shoot the messenger” when the memo bearer is anxious about sharing bad news. But, we’re here to share the Good News. We’re here to help provide God’s answers to prayer.

In our case, the Message and the messenger have become one. We are one with Christ, and one in Christ. In developing our relationship with Him, we grow more like Him every day; we can share His heartbeat and His passionate love for mankind.

Yet, on the flip side of this coin, in many cases, nonbelievers are rejecting the messenger, because we claim to be one with the Message, yet we make the Message look so undesirable. I’ve seen bumper stickers that say, “God, save us from your followers” - and hang my head, humbled.

The Message-giver and His messengers need to agree on the Message, and the Message is: LOVE. Without love, nothing else matters. Without love, no message means anything good to any of us.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”  Ephesians 4:14-16 (KJV)

Monday, September 16, 2013

What Are You Looking At?

(photo courtesy of
Have you seen one of these VW Bugs with eyelashes?

While driving home the other day I thought, “Lord, what should I blog about next?” There in front of me was a pretty Bug with eyes making me smile and ask, “What are you looking at?” And there I had my answer.

What are we looking at?
Do we see the rocks on the trail, or the flowers that adorn our way?
Are we looking for evidence for what we want to believe, or for reasons why we believe what we do?
Are we looking to our future with anticipation or carrying the weight of the conclusions that we’re bound to fail?
Are we looking for excuses to give up, or reasons to step forward?

There are so many directions to look, so many things to see in the various areas of our lives.

I think we generally see what we’re looking for, although occasionally we are surprised.
Sometimes when I reckon my checkbook, I may expect to be “in the red” but delight in finding out I’m not.
I may tentatively get on the scale, expecting to have gained a few pounds, but sigh with relief when I see that I haven’t.

But, if I’m looking for reasons to be lazy today instead of being productive and whittling away my to-do list, I’ll most likely be found sitting here playing on my laptop or perhaps even taking a nap. If I look to fail, I will.

Where is my focus? I’m focused on what I’m looking at.

When Dave and I go to the shooting range, if I’m not looking at my target, I’m not going to hit it. This applies to life in general, too. If I have no goals, how can I move forward? If I look at the television all day, nothing on my to-do list will get marked off by bedtime.

So, what’s the scope I’m looking through? At the shooting range, it’s easy; the scope is there on my gun. But, by what do I aim my life? Are there sights I can line up with; to live my life by?

Yes, indeed, I have available to me sights to line my life up within, a scope with which I can find my objectives.

God’s Word, commonly called the Bible, provides everything we need to live a life that’s filled with peace and will keep us in line to reach our goals, IF we apply what He says to us.

This is the scope through which we need to stay focused.

What are you looking at?

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him in his hand.”  Psalm 37:23 & 24  (KJV)

“Cast your burdens upon the LORD and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”  Psalm 55:22  (KJV)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Peace and Pleasure

We have peace AND pleasure!
When searching for peace, do we sometimes settle for pleasure?

Pleasure can seem to bring peace…..for a season. But sometimes it’s sin that brings that pleasure, though in the end it leads to destruction.

So when is pleasure a good thing? When it’s not brought on by sin, all pleasure is a good thing. God created us for His good pleasure, God loves pleasure.

But, when pleasure takes the place of peace in our lives, something’s gotta give. When we continue in sin simply because we find pleasurable, that destroys our peace.

If we seem to be fighting our way through life with no peace to be found, perhaps we need to search out any hidden (or blatant) sin in our lives and purpose to get rid of it. Repent of that sin – turn from it; separate ourselves from it.

I have friends who expect God’s “umbrella of protection” to still shield them while sinful behaviors dictate their lives. Peace isn’t going to be found there, whether you call yourself a Christian or not. Going to church doesn’t save us from ourselves, but submitting ourselves to Jesus and His ways will result in everlasting peace and eternity of complete joy and unspeakable pleasures.

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  (James 4:7 NKJV)  It’s a matter of the heart; our hearts. We can’t resist anything from Satan without submitting our hearts to God. His peace is forever, but yes, it’s conditional.

God’s peace is unique, it’s not the kind of peace that results from things going our way. Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  (John 14:27 NKJV)

This is one of my favorite portions of scripture, so I’ll share it with you here again:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”  (Philippians 4:4-8 NKJV)