Archives

Sunday grace

The trees in the yard take their own sweet time bringing forth. Some already have leaves of lovely spring green. Some still wait.

101_1415

It is the same each year. The autumn olives leaf out early while the oaks stand tall and naked, just recently dropping last year’s dry growth. The evergreen cedars are unchanged, their forest green looking dull against the hue of this season.

101_1401101_1404

We all grow and bloom at our own pace, so why do we compare ourselves to one another? Comparison kills relationships and stagnates us as we try to be like someone else.

Your strengths balance out my weaknesses. Your gifts bring blessing to the family of God. Your uniqueness is just what the world needs.

The saplings stand near the 30 foot maple. The small flowering fruit tree is so close to the elm, their roots must intertwine. All are in different stages of growth. Their bark, leaf shape, fruit, and root systems are diverse. Yet there they stand, together, offering me their beauty, a protected nest site for the birds, a jungle gym for the squirrels.

101_1413

How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity, accepting one another in love, using our talents and gifts as the Holy Spirit distributes them according to design and purpose.

The body functions best when all its parts are functioning as they should, strong and healthy.

Let nature take her course in our little woods. Let God have His way in each of us. He is the author of our lives, the One who perfects us and finishes what He started. He will complete the work just as He planned it.

Be who you were made to be, the irreplaceable creation of the Creator. The real you. Honoring the God who gives you life.

Let all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  And may we live to the praise of His glory.

Sunday grace.

101_1405

 

Letting go in the new year

January ignites something in me.  Clean out.  Sort through.  Cast off.  Organize what’s left.  It compels me to look in every drawer and every closet.  It’s amazing, or maybe not, how much can accumulate in a year.  More clothes than I can wear.  Gadgets a plenty.  Books I haven’t had time to read.  And let’s don’t even talk about the junk drawer.

100_3333100_3332

It’s a freeing experience to fill the box for Goodwill and let things go.  I see space when I open the closet, the drawer, and that is a good feeling.

So it shouldn’t really surprise me that as I am reading 1st John preparing for a Bible study soon to begin, the tender nudging of the Holy Spirit wants to open an area in my life.  It’s something I’ve been dealing with for too long. Struggling to let it go.  Wanting to be free of it but still clinging to the “I’ve been wronged” part of it.  My so-called righteous indignation that I was accused falsely, that my motives were questioned stirs up hurtful words and cutting remarks from years ago.

I thought I was over it.  Apparently not.

The clever enemy who knows my weak points, prods with reminders.  “Remember that time . . . ”  And I give in and pull it out, examine it and let it stir up old feelings.  The junk drawer of my life.

So tender are Jesus’ whispers, reminding me this is not the best use of my life.  Old feelings are taking up room where He wants the fresh breezes of the Spirit to flow freely.

When confronted with Truth, what else can I do but bow the knee.  And so I confess.  Again.  God wants me to experience the full forgiveness.  Freedom.  It’s something only He can completely provide.

So I pray to forgive once again.  I confess and ask for His healing work in me.  I cling to the assurance of John’s beautiful words:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I’m done with this clutter in my heart.  I clearly expect there will be more promptings to deal with other areas.  God works like that, taking me as I am but never willing to leave me there.

I want a clean heart.  I want space for the good work of God in me.

A fresh start for the new year.  It’s a good way to begin again.