Friday, April 28, 2017

Let My Heart Be Broken

Let My Heart Be Broken
“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God,” wrote Mother Teresa in the flyleaf of her Bible. Her words have challenged me for years.

When I first read them, I thought of world hunger, corrupt governments, AIDS orphans, terrorism, and disease, but my view has broadened to include my neighbors who have recently experienced divorce, my mother-in-law’s loneliness, the frustration of a friend struggling with her wayward child, the weariness of a mom who patiently, tenderly cares for her special needs child, the hopelessness of another caught in addiction.

Sometimes I feel helpless in the midst of all this brokenness.

Saturday afternoon, I received a call from a neighbor disabled by Parkinson’s Disease. She’d recently had a mastectomy, and called to tell me her husband, her primary caregiver, had just had surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor. My heart broke. I offered meals and scheduled a work day to help keep up with their yard. It’s a short term solution. They need so much more help than we can give.

That evening, a friend called, pouring out her heart over a loved one’s struggle with addiction. “How do you help someone who doesn’t want help?” my friend sobbed. I don’t know. I only know that God is bigger than brain tumors and breast cancer and Parkinson’s, bigger than addiction and AIDs, bigger than our limited ability to help, and any solutions we can offer.

We want so often in our fast-food, drive-thru, easy-answer, instant-gratification culture to diagnose a problem and find an immediate solution. Sometimes, however, there are no easy answers, no quick solutions.

As I sat across the table from a friend recently, I thought, “She’s so strong. She tries to find the humor in what she’s going through, but her eyes speak what her words don’t.” It reminded me of the last lines of a poem I wrote in college entitled, Veiled Expressions: “Vermeer captures only what he sees,/And then her soul/Bleeds through to stain/Her likeness on his canvas.” My friend’s soul bled through her strong fa├žade, and broke my heart.

Perhaps it isn’t always what we can do, but how much we can love. Perhaps it’s more about walking with others through the pain than finding a solution for the pain. Perhaps it’s just our presence that soothes some of their brokenness. Perhaps that’s what keeps us from building another Tower of Babel. If we could solve all the problems, we wouldn’t need God. We would be God. Cindee Snider Re

Father, keep us humble and mindful of who we are. Remind us that we don’t need to have all the answers, for You do. There is nothing we experience that You do not know completely. There is nothing that is out of Your control. Teach us to accept our finite limitations, and to rely on You, and You alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Let's Get Away From It All

Let's Get Away From It All
Do you ever have the desire to be totally spontaneous? Grab the keys and cry out, let’s get away from it all! A change of scenery might be just what the doctor ordered. Statistics show that people who take vacations regularly live longer. The abbreviated R&R for those on active military duty is seen as crucial. Rest and relaxation recharges our batteries and renews our strength.

It is not a new concept. Jesus, the Son of Man often found strength in solitude, yet He never felt alone. He met his Father in prayer. He shared the importance of those times with his apostles. “After the apostles returned to Jesus, they told him everything they had done and taught. But so many people were coming and going that Jesus and the apostles did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said, Let’s go to a place where we can be alone and get some rest. They left in a boat for a place where they could be alone (Mark 6:30-32 CEV).” Don’t feel guilty to leave your work behind. You will do your best following some rest! PamFord Davis

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Blessed Easter 2017

Have a Blessed Easter!

Blessed Easter 2017

And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; 
you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, 
who has been crucified. He has risen; 
He is not here; behold, here is the 
place where they laid Him.

~ Mark 16:6 (NAS) ~

Friday, April 14, 2017

What Happened at the Cross


Copyright © 2014 New Creation Church, Singapore

What Happened at the Cross

Watch the video.

The Unexpected Cross

As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26 NABRE)

The Unexpected Cross
Our Lord had just been crowned amidst the chaos of political fears. The cacophony of voices added to the intensity of the time. Emotions were high. Our Lord’s heart was downcast, blood riveting down his face. Could He bear another moment of this agony? Out of the corner of His eye came help, in human form at that. Simon of Cyrene came face-to-face with an unexpected cross. He looked upon this weakened body, struggling to stand. Quivering hands reached toward him. In those eyes he saw Love. And as he hoisted the cross beams on his shoulders, it was Love he followed. Christ was before him as he walked the Way of the Cross.

Simon became the only human to literally carry the cross of Jesus. Angels were near, but a man was chosen. That day, Simon became our model, the personification of our Christian walk. Carrying the cross became the mark of an authentic follower of Christ. Jesus previously told potential followers in Mark 8:34, "Whoever wishes to come after Me, must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me."

Watch for Jesus in the crowds, in the chaos of life. Don’t be surprised by the arrival of the cross. It’s accompanied by the glow of Love within His eyes. Receive it. Endure it. Become a model for our time, an authentic follower of Christ, walking behind Jesus along our way. Karen Pourbabaee

Lord, help me to take up my cross and follow You. Amen.

Good Friday 2017

Remember Good Friday ...


Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, 
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 

Romans 5:1 (NAS)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Let's Fix Our Eyes on Jesus

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:2a NIV)

Let's Fix Our Eyes on Jesus
When I was in the work force I dealt with many customer inquiries over the phone. Often when I had finished dealing with the inquiry I would struggle to remember what I was doing before the interruption.

This also happened when I became a mother. In the middle of doing the cleaning, a child would need my attention. When I had dealt with the child I would look around the house asking myself, "Now, where was I up to?"

A similar thing happens in the Christian life. We commit ourselves to read a particular daily devotional or to pray through a prayer calendar or to a more disciplined Christian lifestyle. Then something interrupts us. We get behind in our daily devotions or we're unable to remember who we were praying for or just plain forget where we're up to. We seem unable to catch up or to return to it with the same vigor and often feel a sense of guilt.

What are we to do? We cannot plan for the interruptions, but we can remember "to fix our eyes on Jesus." Sometimes in my life God has allowed interruptions to make me realize that my commitment to him is more important than a commitment to a particular Christian discipline — no matter how beneficial that discipline might be. By fixing our attention on Jesus, interruptions will still come, but we don't need to feel guilty about getting behind because we know he is Lord, even Lord of interruptions. Susan Barnes

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