Friday, April 29, 2016

The Next Moment

The next moment is as much beyond
our grasp and as much in God's care, 
as that of a hundred years away.
Care for the next moment 
is as foolish as care for the morrow...
The next moment is nowhere 
till God has made it.
George MacDonald

The principle of “not worrying
about tomorrow" applies to each
moment that has not yet arrived.
He holds each one in His hands
until its time is come.
Then He releases it to us. 

He has given us keys for next moments.
One is trust; the other is prayer.
Fear, anxiety, worry, and fussing
are not keys; they are thieves.
They rob the present.
The most beautiful thing I can do right now--
if there is nothing else I am to do--
is trust in the living God.
It makes the common holy
and the present sacred.
Trust is an expression of my love
for His eternal, moment by moment,
goodness in my life. 

The holy, sacred, present moment
is all that is ever guaranteed to me.
My prayers can help shape the 
next moment that He is creating.
My trust can shape the peace
that this moment is offering.

Grateful for this beautiful life, and
the goodness and mercy of our God. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Anxiety Toss

You can throw the whole weight
of your anxieties upon Him,
for you are His personal concern. 1Pet. 5:7

We live in a world where the knowledge of
good and evil bombards us all day long.
A young mother is brutally murdered, 
another earthquake strikes, terrorist cells are
exposed, the political scene is a mess...
our kids, our finances, our careers, our health.
There are endless sources of anxiety
even if we try to avoid it with all we have.

But, there is also knowledge “too wonderful for us."
It comes from going to the tree of life.
We are each His personal concern!
Right now. With anxiety. Wrestling with our day.
He wants to be actively involved with us
getting rid of every anxious thought. 
He wants us to throw them to Him
that He might catch and carry them.
The incredible love of our Father wants us to
take what we can’t handle and throw it to Him.
The most loving things we can do--
both for ourselves and those who need to see
the love and peace of God work in real life--
is to toss the weight of our anxiety on Him.

The more mindful we are of our thoughts,
the faster we can throw the anxious ones to Him.
I am getting better at this, but it takes practice
and being aware of what I am thinking.
That muscle gets stronger each time I use it.

If I am not actively checking my thoughts,
I can get off pretty quickly. By like a mile.
"You are His personal concern."
That truth builds our trust, fuels our faith
and releases our peace.

I am putting that on repeat all day long.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

When a Community Shatters

I haven’t written much for Up is Better recently.
Let's just say this has been a challenging season.
When churches fall apart, we are left with  
shattered communities.
And shattered communities can walk around
with shattered hearts and shattered faith.

People say that if your faith is shattered 
because of a church, then your faith was
never in God. It was really in man.
That is simply not true. Not all the time anyway.

We were a group of people who loved Jesus,
and wanted to be expressions of His love.
We gave and gave all we had. We counted the cost
and decided there was nothing He didn’t deserve.

So when the community was shattered,
we didn’t just lose something peripheral.
We are wired for community.
We lost heart. We lost connection. 
We lost one another.
I can remember, as a child, being out in the ocean 
and a huge wave would come and take me under. 
I would be tossed, knocked upside down, 
held underwater by the sheer force,
and finally allowed to come up out of it all, 
gasping for breath. This has felt a lot like that.

I have had to “get out of the water" for a bit
to sit and recover from that all that tossing.
The good news is that these times cause you
to sort out what is true and what is Truth.

Jesus. His love, His mercy, and His grace.
These I know to be Truth.
He is so faithful to us, so patient and so kind.
He has sat "on the beach" with me the entire time.
His love is so real and I want to love like Him.

To those who have been reading Up is Better,
thank you for the number of times you have
blessed me with your encouragement and your love.
May His love and His mercy meet you today
everywhere you turn. 
He is faithful, patient, and so very kind.
Truth.