Monday, December 28, 2015

The Hot Sun

Frosty the snowman knew 
the sun was hot that day
So he said, Let's run and we'll have 
some fun now before I melt away.

A shift in the atmosphere can shift everything.
Frosty saw that “the sun was hot that day.”
And he knew...he knew the shape
of things was about to change.

I know this seems a far fetched Christmas analogy.
But that song somehow helped things make sense.
It's been a long challenging season of change.
I thought the "snowman thing" was going to last forever.
But seasons change. And so does the shape of life.
It looked one way. But the "hot sun" changed it up.
There's many of us in this season...
maybe a melting away of a dream,
relationship, career, community, hope.
Things look like they have melted away,
but really they're changing shape. 

If  the “hot sun” has changed things up,
we rejoice still. His goodness, His peace, 
His life come anew during this season.
In the shape of a babe, a Savior was born.
He is continually coming into the world;
He is continually changing the shape of things. 
It's called resurrection. 
The Easter promise born on Christmas day.

As seasons shift, the melted away things 
are not the end of the story. 
The entirety of hope came
in the shape of a babe.
And that changed the shape of everything.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Season of Grace

Get away with Me 
and you’ll recover your life...
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I love this translation of Matthew 11:28.
We can learn the unforced rhythms of grace or 
live with the relentless demand of stress.
It’s our choice.

Getting quiet and hearing His voice
guide us to the rhythm of grace.
We can get used to the “push back,"
the stress that wants to force its way
into our lives. Every day.

Stress results from the tension that 
comes from living in this fallen world.
It’s how we can react to life’s challenges,
which come more often than we'd like.

The unforced rhythms of grace diffuse stress;
those rhythms help us recover our lives.

Being quiet helps our hearts beat 
in rhythm with grace.
Peace and grace spring from within, 
but they can’t help but flow out.
Maybe that’s what people are longing 
for this Christmas season--
incarnational grace and peace.
If we are ever to represent the gospel,
we must start there.

Becausemore than big screen TVs.
More than Black Friday deals.
More than discounted sheet sets.
People want to know that there is
mystery behind the swirl, 
something more than holiday frenzy.

It's not about saying "Merry Christmas."
It's about incarnating His grace, 
demonstrating His peace 
and expressing His love.
In the center of a world gone crazy,
He comes. Today as He did then.
It’s “the dawn of redeeming grace."


Let’s be that message this season.
 


Thursday, December 3, 2015

We Have Enough


"I am not being unfair to you, friend."
Matthew 20:13

In the parable of the vineyard workers,
those hired last received a full day’s wage.
When the owner called in those hired first,
they expected to be paid more.
They weren't, and they became discontent.

It appears they had been set up.
If they had been called in first,
they would have gone away satisfied.
But they were allowed to observe 
what the others received.

Oh, the problems that develop when
we look at what others get relative to us.
The employer could have made sure that
those workers didn’t see what the others got.
But he did it on purpose.
And hands that were content five minutes
earlier were suddenly discontent.  
In this day where everyone’s “blessings"
are posted and publicized,
we are often like those first hirelings.
Social media can set us up for comparison.
In the parable, comparison revealed the heart.
When we see the favor and blessings of others,
do we become discontent with our own scarcity?

“The opposite of scarcity is not abundance;
it is simply having enough."
Brene Brown, Rising Strong

This is a good season to remember that
we don’t need to have what others have;
we don't need to do what others do.
We have enough.

“He is not being unfair to us, friends."