Monday, August 31, 2009

Κύριος Notes


What a wonderful Maker
What a wonderful Savior
How majestic Your whispers
And how humble Your love
With a strength like no other
And the heart of a Father
How majestic Your whispers
What a wonderful God.

Scripture Reflection:Luke 18

31Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. 33On the third day he will rise again."

For these men who were follow you Lord this was the last thing that they wanted to hear. It was exactly the wrong direction, the wrong reason and outcome.

Are there things that you would tell me Lord that I am not willing to hear? Where are the places that what you are saying to me is just not where I can go right now? Lord Jesus teach me to listen closer even when the message is hard to hear.

34The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

The prophets fortold of your birth and of your ministry...they told of the suffering servant that died, as we look back on it now it seems too clear and so evident. Yet not on street level, for these people who loved you so much that they put their lives on hold to...or maybe better yet...they changed the course of their lives to follow you, they could not see it.

Was this hidden from them because it would hurt too much? Was this hidden from them because they just refused to see it, or to listen to what you were saying.

Lord, Thank you for your mercy that does not reveal all of the things that might be coming down the road. This morning Lord Jesus thank you for the things that are hidden. You are the wonderful maker. You make the course of my life, you for the channels that determine and you formed the challenges,help me to see your hand in them and to praise you.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Savior, please take my hand .
I work so hard, I live so fast.
This life begins, then it ends.
And then I do the best that I can,
but I don't know how long I'll last.
I try to be so tough,
but I'm just not strong enough.
I can't do this alone,
God I need you to hold on to me.
I try to be good enough,
but I'm nothing without your love.
Savior, please keep saving me.
Scripture Reflection:Luke 18

28Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"
29"I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."

As I read this Lord Jesus I am moving the remaining household items from the Glens Falls house. I realize that I am closing a chapter on my life, that by your call I am now living in Saratoga for good. As I reflect I realize that I have lived in places that you have called me to for so many years. We originally move to Glens it was at your call, it was a place that for many years you gave me a place, a home, a sense of rootedness and a place where my children could remember as home.

I know that Your disciples at this point had to make much the same choice. They left all that they had known or had been able to establish to follow you. It was a scary and difficult transition.

They hoped to see you establish you kingdom on earth...they would have loved to see the Roman's pushed into the Mediterranean Sea...the sea that the Roman's owned...that they call their own. I am sure that they were thinking about those hopes even as they heard you to speak to this rich young ruler and invite him to discipleship and what that would mean for his life.

I know that you have a plan that you are working out here in this place even as I close for good a chapter of my life I have left hanging for a time. You have called you will sustain, you will bring hope at the needed times, you will provide all that is needed to accomplish your will in your people.

So my prayer this morning is simple and yet is scary to pray knowing that you will have to work out its impacts with grace and determination in my wandering and wondering heart.
Savior, please help me stand.
I fall so hard, I fade so fast.
Will you begin right where I end?
And be the God of all I am because you're all I have.
Hallelujah! Everything you are to me is everything
I'll ever need. and I am learning to believe
cause you're the one who's saving me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Κύριος Notes


It's all about You, Jesus
And all this is for You
For Your glory and your fame
It's not about me
As if You should do things my way
You alone are God
And I surrender to your ways

Scripture Reflection:Luke 18
18A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
19"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 20You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'"
21"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

Lord Jesus this was a person who had been raised right. He had been instructed and had an understanding of the law. He was someone who was interested in the message that you were preaching. It could be that internally he had a sense of the impending change that was about to occur with your coming. He was a rich man who made the journey to see you.

I can so easily get intimidated by power and by people who have it and know how to use it. Thank you Lord Jesus for the example of telling truth to power. Even when Your message was last thing that power wanted to hear.

22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

This young man could have been the thirteenth disciple? Here is an invitation that was not extended to many. It was a select few who were offered this chance. The entrance fee was to leave behind what constraining and limiting his ability to follow.

23When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!

I wonder if this man ever changed his mind? I wonder if in the years ahead somewhere along the road did he ever make the changes that he needed to make?

25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
26Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"
27Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

Lord Jesus this rich man who rejected you that day...only eternity will tell if he changed his mind...if he had another chance at redemption. Sometimes impossible things happen rich men change, sometimes rebels repent, sometimes the truth seeps into where it did not have entrance before.
Salvation costs the same for everyone...acceptance of a free gift unearned and undeserved. Dependence on You Lord Jesus for our value and not on the things we have or earn or even learn. Salvation depends on radical dependence.

Lord Jesus in this day lead me in your ways. Help me to say yes to you as soon as you ask ...lead me in the way of your way everlasting.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Jesus, lover of my soul
All consuming fire is in Your gaze
Jesus, I want you to know
I will follow you all my days
For no one else in history is like you
And history itself belongs to you
Alpha and Omega, You have loved me
And I will share eternity with You

Scriputure Reflection:Luke 18

15People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Lord Jesus at a time when children were not important you elevated their importance. In fact I need to come to you as a child...childlike.

Open, vulnerable, teachable and able to identify wonder all are qualities that children have. That is at least a part of what you were getting at...but at the same time not childish...inmature, changeable, limited attention span...are some of the issues that come to mind.

So recieving the a little child...I need to be open to your leading...and teachable. Lord you know me so well there are times when I am open and teachable and vulnerable and then there are those places and times where I close in and circle the wagon train and hunker down for the attack.

Lord in this coming day help me to sense those times when I need to recieve from you hand in an open vulnerable and childlike way what you are giving. Help me to resist the circle the wagons mentality except when it is your will and way. Help me to follow you all my days...with childlike faith and seasoned endurance.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Open the eyes of my heart, Lord

Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You

I want to see You

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You

I want to see You

Scripture Reflection:Luke 18

9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

By external standards it seems as if this gentleman has it all together. He prays, he fasts, he tithes his income.

Yet in the middle of these good things he is comparing himself to the people that surround him. When it comes to spiritual disciplines it one of the most counterproductive activities that can be engaged in to compare. For all his efforts, he ends up a self rightouess, judgemental , foolish man.

I am called to follow. What does it matter how you work with others? It has nothing to do with me. Sometimes it doesn't seem fair, but you didn't say it would be fair. In fact I am eternally gratiful that you were not just with me, Lord Jesus. If you were just it would be incredibley fair but I would be without hope, and without grace.

13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

I have only the prayer for mercy that I can the middle of this life that is so complex and twisted on its head...all that I can say is "God have mercy on me a sinner!"

14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

So the rule is humblity bring exaltation...I come to you Lord in need of forgiveness again and again and I know that only through you mercy can I hope to find the grace that I need.

Lord Jesus in my moments and my days teach me the ways of humility and grace. The strange thing Lord is I can't see from my perspective always which of these people I am. Open the eyse of my heart Lord to see my enduring need of you everyday and every moment.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Κύριος Notes

Open our eyes, Lord
We want to see Jesus,
To reach out and touch Him,
And say that we love Him.
Open our ears, Lord
And help us to listen.
Open our eyes, Lord
We want to see Jesus.

Scriputure Reflection:Luke 18

1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up

Even to the disciples you used parables...on occassions. Prayer needs to be something that there is commitment connected to...something that is not just a whim, but that is backed up with action.

2He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.

Lord Jesus even in your day people ended up in power that just were not the kind of people who ever should get power. It is not new but it is unfortunate. It can be something that is frustrating. We are left with no recourse but prayer.

3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

Powerless people have limited options. They can either give up or continue to quietly but persistently continue to ask that there need be addressed. Gandhi comes to mind...Martin Luther King comes to mind...

The one thing that she could do she did. She kept coming back to this judge. As much as she might not have wanted to...she kept coming back to present her case.

4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

The reason that this judge acts is out of sheer desire to have this quiet but persistent, polite but unchanging person out of his court room.

6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

So there needs to be persistent ongoing prayer that brings the request before the Father again and again...with persistence and patience. But there is clarity about what the request that is being brought to the Father...the request is for justice for God's chosen ones. So even before your death you are saying there will be a need for prayer about this issue...and disciples will I find you faithfully engaged in this process when I return?

Lord Jesus in this day help me to be faithful to your call to prayer and action. Make this day a day that is founded on you and on your grace. Lead me in this day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Κύριος Notes


I Wish We'd All Been Ready

Life was filled with guns and war,
And everyone got trampled on the floor,
I wish we'd all been ready
Children died, the days grew cold,
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold,
I wish we'd all been ready,
There's no time to change your mind,
The Son has come and you've been left behind.

Scripture Reflection: Luke 17

30"It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32Remember Lot's wife!

When it is time to is time to go. The problem with Lot's wife was that she loved her hometown so much that when it was time to leave she just wanted one more good look at the old place. When specifically told not to.

Your return will be for those who are ready, for those who have accepted your free gift of salvation. Nothing other that being with you really matters anyway Lord Jesus. I doubt we will need any of the usually things that we worry about in crisis situations. Identity papers will not be need, your know our hearts. Emergency supplies will not be needed...

The preparations are done on the from the inside out.

33Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left."

It is all about your life alive within me Lord Jesus. As I let go of attempting to keep my life...I find that you are preserving it in a way that I never would have thought of. Preparation for you return does not revolve around stores of food and bottle water. Ir revolves around letting you have all there is of days and nights, my dreams and ambitions, all given over to your control.

Lord Jesus be in this day that begins even as I write this. It will be a busy day filled with things that need doing. May I let go of my way for this day and embrace your way for this day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king. would die for me
Amazing love, I know it's true
Its my joy to honor you
Amazing love how can it be?
That my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it's true
Its my joy to honor you
In all I do
I honor you

Scripture Reflection: Luke 17
25But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

There were great changes that you brought that were massive just not the way that the people in power at the time were looking for. The changes that you brought Lord Jesus was just like the changes that came when Noah was building the ark. Life was normal...right up until the rain started. Just like every other day that was lived. Lord Jesus you want my everyday. Help me to give it to you today.

28"It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

It is deceptive this life that you have called me to. From the outside it looks so deceptively normal. And yet it is not....when you are revealed in power the change will come in a moment. Until then help me Lord to live as you would have me to...honoring the everyday. Each day is an opportunity to trust, serve and be guided by you. At the same time, I need to live in light of the fact that you are returning.

Lord don't let the normalcy of life lull me to sleep, you are at work and you have called me to a task. Keep me on task living each day as an opportunity to honor and glorify you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Κύριος Notes


From The Inside Out

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
my heart and my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Scripture Reflections Luke 17

The Coming of the Kingdom of God
20Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

Lord Jesus--Why is it that I would love to see the big signs of the time of your coming. I don't know something over the top...something that just makes it abundantly clear that you are coming soon in the clouds as the conquering king?

When I am thinking and waiting in that frame of mind I miss the essence of what you are trying to say to me right now. The religious elite of your day were looking for the external and you were always pointing to the internal.

So while they were looking for the Kingdom in the latest movement or rebels from the Romans...or maybe Masada in a few years... they were missing the real inside work that was being done. I am the same way sometimes.

22Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. 24For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.

I wonder if John and Peter remembered this line... I am sure that You brought it to their mind on those times when from the Mediterranean heat of Rome or Patmos they would look back on the days in the Judean hillsides with the Master. I am sure that it was with the longing for a long time gone friend...that they would think of those days of teaching and of being with You Lord Jesus.

Today Lord there is a constant vigil by those who love you of the places where there is a sense of your presence and work...we long to see revival anywhere and everywhere and chase all over the countryside looking for You. But really you are right here...right here as I write these few lines.

So what would you be telling me if you were sitting at the table with me right now?..."Kurt keep to the work. My word is word is true. I will come someday in the Eastern sky and all will know but for now...Keep to the work. Be content with the progress that is being made incrementally in the body of believers I am drawing together in this place. Remember the call in the middle of the details. The work is internal and yet it can be seen...if you just have eyes that are looking for it..."

So shine Jesus from the inside out. In this these days as I travel on the blacktopped superhighway of my days...remind me again of your hope, your love and your mercy which reaches me right here in Saratoga in August in the early morning hours.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
And his righteousness,
And all these things, shall be added onto you.
Alleu, alleuia.
Ask and it shall be given unto you,
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and it shall be opened onto you.
Alleu, alleuia.

Scripture Reflections Luke 17
11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosymet him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
14When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.
15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

There is a fundamental difference between being healed from a sickness and being made well.

There is something in the act of gratitude that fundamentally changes who I am. To be gratiful to God for his many meries is the begining of a new way of life. It isn't just about recieving what I am asking for, but more the act of realizing all that this on going relationship changes in my life as I move along.

Lord ...So that leaves 9 ungrateful people who having been healed headed by home and to the life that they had left behind. One out of ten stopped long enought to say thank you to the Master who made that return life possible... not great percentages. The law required that people demenstate to the priest as a public health measure that they were without disease. Priest impies temple and it maybe that from where they were home was just closer. The sad part is that these 9 people missed on the blessing of your benediction on their whole life and not just on the sick part that had been healed. It brings into focus the reality that actions speak louder that words and a few extra miles walked on healed feets and legs would have spoken volumes about the value of the gift that they has just recieved.

Lord Jesus I wonder if I am at times just like the 9 men who went home without a word and there by miss the biggest impacts of your activity in my life. In this day help me to see the things that I have to be thankful for and to express it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Purify my heart
Cleanse me from within
And make me holy
Purify my heart
Cleanse me from my sin
Deep within
Refiner's fire
My heart's one desire is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord.
I choose to be holy,
Set apart for You my master,
Ready to do Your will.
Scripture Reflections Luke 17
6He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.

Lord I am your servant.

It is clear that faith like a mustard isn't a whole lot of faith to be talking about...even small amounts of faith nurture over time can see changes in the world and in me.

7"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? 8Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? 9Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "

So what are you saying Jesus? The point of this parable is that doing what the servant is expected to do is nothing to write home and tell Mom about. It is what is normal and it is not extraordinary.

So when faith has taken root...and is growing that is what should happen that should be a normal process. Thank You Lord that your process continues in my heart and life. I am not looking for the extraordinary, but so many times Lord I settle for substandard...I guess I understand what you mean...I remain an unworthy servant who is sometimes successful at doing what clearly is my duty.

Faith and living up to it's duty in my is something that is a progressive moving target. It is dynamic and calls for more from me each time, nurturing my spirit as the challenge increases. I also notice that the risk increases as the challenge increases.

Lord Jesus I want to see some mulberry trees moving location in my life and in the life of Living Springs. Lord I believe help my unbelief...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Purify my heart Lord,
Let me be as gold and precious silver.
Purify my heart Lord,
Let me be as gold, pure gold.

Refiner's fire
My heart's one desire is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord.
I choose to be holy,
Set apart for You my master,
Ready to do Your will.

Scripture Reflections Luke 17
1 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.

Lord Jesus I live in a time and culture where the limits are always being pushed. You know the way it is better than I do.

There was Alice Cooper who is now and Christan...there is Ozzy Osborne who jokes about the occult while drunk living on a television "reality show demonstrating his dysfunction family for everyone to emulate and think is normal. We have gone from Ozzy and Harriet and the Nelson family to Ozzy Osborne.

Let's not even mention Marilyn Manson...a stage name taken from a crazed mass murderer. Pop culture is such a collision of the bizarre and the horrendous with a bit of humor and light through in from time to time.

2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 So watch yourselves.

So what are You saying about those who glorify ,trivialize and who stylize sin? What would you say to those who make thier living off of poking fun at and trivializing faith? There will be a price to pay for a life lived in the shadow of the profane.

I would like to make all of the danger of this warning to be out there but the truth be known it is as close as my next breath...Lord Jesus help me as I live my life to be someone who realizes the importance of Your grace and the importance of the little ones who are watching.

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." 
5The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"

It is in the middle of relationships Lord where my faith seems so small. In the times that forgiveness is asked for and I just don't have what it takes to forgive that the realization comes crashing in on me. It is in that moment that the need for your work in my heart is so clearly visible.

It is in the middle of my life lived out in the context of the real world that faith is made visible. A life that You call me to live out Lord knowing that I am an example and that people will be impacted by what I say and I handle the need to forgive and the times when I need to be forgiven.

The disciples got it exactly right...increase my faith! Make the impossible possible.So the Refiner's fire burns bright in the context of relationships and I can feel the heat changing me and melting me...bringing me to the place where holiness is lived out.

Holy Spirit give me the grace to live this day as you would have me to...forgiving and being forgiven.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Farther Along
Tempted and tried we're oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long
While there are others living about us
Never molested though in the wrong

Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
We'll understand it all by and by

When death has come and taken our loved ones
It leaves our home so lonely and drear
And then do we wonder why others prosper
Living so wicked year after year

When we see Jesus coming in glory
When he comes down from his home in the sky
Then we shall meet him in that bright mansion
We'll understand it all by and by

Scripture Reflections Luke 16

19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

There eternal issues at stake in the every day things of life. Eternal issues in the way that we deal with poverty and the way that need is responded to. Lazarus outside the rich man's house is ignored. He is faceless, nameless, a non-person. His need is unnoticed, untended.

It is interesting that this rich man just does not get it...he finds himself in hell and he still thinks that Lazarus has nothing better to do than to help him out.

25"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
27"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
29"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
30" 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
31"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "

So what is the point Lord? The point of the parable is that eternity is a place where destinies have been determined. So what is the application for today, Lord? What do I take with me to work today from this scripture?

Lord Jesus you did come back from the dead and many still did not believe.

Everyone is important and has an eternal destiny. There are no beggars that you are not aware of and concerned about...there are no rich men who are beyond the need for grace. Belief and acceptance of the good news is a mysterious thing only possible by the grace of God. It is not based on income level, it is based on the simple yet difficult ability to accept my need and Your willingness to meet my need.

Lord Jesus I don't understand Your grace, but desire to live it out in this day that is going to begin in just a few hours. Help me to see need in all the forms that cross my path in this day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Draw Me Close

Draw me close to you
Never let me go
I'll lay it all down again
To hear you say that
I'm your friend

You are my desire
No one else will do
Cause no one else could take your place
I feel the warmth of Your embrace
Help me find the way Lead me back to you

Scripture Reflections Luke 16
16"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

The way that You defined Your ministry Lord was through the preaching of the gospel to the poor...
Matthew 11:4-5 Jesus answered, "Go back and tell John what you are hearing and seeing: 5 the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor.

The good news was being preached to people who were not within the normal listening range of the religious establishement. They were hearing for the first time that God loved them with an everlasting love. That it wasn't about power, control, influence or money. The kingdom of God is something so much more!

When You are involved the impacts on my life is transforming and liberating. Ears that have not heard music suddenly can hear, eyes that have never seen colors are amazed by the wonder of royal blue, the dead are raised to new life...and the Good News is heard by people once left out of the religious dialogue.

Who are the people you would be reaching out to in our community Lord Jesus? Who needs to hear the message...where are the people that need healing? Send them Lord and I wil depend on your power to effect change in their lives and in mine.

17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
18"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Lord Jesus you fill up to over flowing the law and the prophets. Stuck right in the middle of this teaching on managment, honesty and fidelity you put in this small segment on marriage. It looks as if it is almost an after thought but it is all a piece of the same thought.

Faithfulness, honesty and trust are the same qualities...the same charactor traits no matter where they are found. In a sense marriage is the next logical place to touch on...marriage is a partnership that requires the same qualities lived out over time in the most intimate of surroundings. Small inflections on words can change the meanings. Fidelity of content can be lost so easily in the flow of the communication. Here in the middle of a call to absolute honesty lived out in life's context, you remind your audience of the need for a marriage to be founded on trust that does not allow for anything less than a life time of relationship lived out in plently and in sickness and in health...

So the implications of these two little verses in the middle of this teaching on trust, honesty and management in the middle of a crooked world is: Live out honesty and faithfulness in the little things and in the large things of out fidelity with intensity and grace in the middle of public surrounding and in the middle of the most private of interchanges.

Lord Jesus draw me close to you in this day and never let me go. May my thoughts and my actions be what you would have them to be. Ground me in honesty, faithfulness and fidelity in a world that sometimes is crooked and twisted.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Κύριος Notes


A Thank You

Thank You for this Morning
The light defused not radiant.
The night chill just lifting.
Light and warmth come with the Sun
Help me to turn my soul toward You in these few moments.
Scripture Reflections Luke 16
10"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
Lord Jesus it is the little things that count more than I realize, isn’t? Little things need to be superintended and watched over. Little things that need to get back where they belong. Help me be careful with the little things.
11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?
Trust is a building thing…it starts out in small almost insignificant tasks and issues and then progresses. It is over time that the trust grows. Lord that same spiritual principle is at work in the church isn’t it? Faithfulness in the small things…the details will result in blessing.

Faithfulness in the phone call or the contact or the email that you just impress on me to do…when they are done…you bless and the church moves forward.
13"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
There is a need to hold everything…lightly. Nothing except You and Your work within me is really all that important Lord. Help me remember that in this day…in the comings and goings that are a part of this life that you have called me to. Lord lead me to serve you with a clarity that can not be ignored.

14The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.

So where my heart is that is where I am going to be focused…where my attention is going to be…Lord help me to focus.

Sometimes it feels like I have ADD of the soul. Attention Deficient Disorder always on the lookout and never able to focus with clarity and duration. Lord Jesus, help me to focus on the truly important issues and to let the rest go.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Κύριος Notes

I Don’t Have It All Down
Mistakes and missteps dog me
The still small voice of your Spirit calls to me
I am who I am and yet I am not satisfied…are you?
I am not lost, but I do take wrong turns.
The journey is daunting and the quest important.
Don’t let me miss the mission in the middle of the details.

Teach me how to be yours in the middle of the managing mistakes.
Help me to be all that you would call me to be
Teach me to risk rightly for your glory.

Scripture Reflections Luke 16

1Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.'
3"The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg— 4I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.'

The goal of this manager was to have a safe place to land…a parachute in the middle of what looks like the end of a career.

You are the One Lord Jesus who has lead me to this point in my life. I know that you want me to be wise and skillful in the management of the resources that you put into my hand. Teach me the lesson of the shrewd manager…a lesson of picking out the gold among the rubble. This servant and an understanding that there was a future that he needed to plan for even when hard things happen.

What needs to happen in that kind of situation? I need to keep my head…manage the available resources to the best of my ability and trust you for the rest.

5"So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
6" 'Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied. "The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.'
7"Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?' " 'A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied. "He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.'
8"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.

Lord Jesus people of the world are able to understand the use of money in a way that does understands both the influence and the power of money to impact situations. Being mindful of the results of money...and the influence of resourcing is important, I need to assess and reassess the impact of money on my decisions. Money can not be the driving force in decision making the goal of the mission is always the most important.

9I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

What does this mean Lord Jesus? Do I trick people in money deals? “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves” does it work.
It is clear that You are not asking me to go out and cook the books...but the point seems to be...that money is an always means to an end and not the goal.

Wise as serpents and harmless as doves…was aiming at much the same thought

The goal should be eternal always with managing money. The goal should be to manage the money that comes my way in a shrewd way...a useful way but not to be managed by it. It is always to be understood in the context of the mission and the quest…that there are lives that can be changed by the wise and shrewd use of money.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Κύριος Notes


Thank you Lord for hope that is beyond my limited view.
Thank you for the reality of your life experienced in me.
Thank you for the peace that comes from a life given to your care.

Scripture Reflections Luke 15
25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

Lord Jesus--This almost reminds me of a meanwhile back at the ranch story...this is the older sons story. It is a story that every prodigal should listen to and understand.

There are many ways to lose track of what is really important. There is the far country way. A way that I have traveled Lord...a way of bad choices and bad company...a way of pain that leads you to a dead end in some pigsty or another.

There is also a way to lose track of the important by just staying home and working and doing the right thing by the people that matter. It is a way of work and a way of resentment for the work. It is a way of anxious activity without the sense of any good thing being accomplished. It is a way of little rejoicing but many thoughts of what the far country must be like.

28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

There is anger here Lord...anger of a son that is a hard worker. It is the anger of an older brother that just does not get the value of relationship. It is all summed up in the simple reference to his brother as "this son of yours." Those words must have hurt and hit with such a force.

31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "

There is reason to rejoice over the return of the lost. The far country Lord is still just a place of pigstys and lose. Sometimes I wonder about the places that are the far country in this time and place. Lines like "What is said in Vegas stays in Vegas" comes to if there was a weekend pass when it comes to living the life that You have call me to.

Does Vegas look attractive? Yes sometimes...The part I miss is the parting words to the older son..."everything I have is yours."No Vegas is a place of broken dreams and illusions that look like wealth. They vanish in a mirage of pain to those who think they are real. In the middle of doing life the way you want me to Lord there are times of celebration don't let me miss them like the older brother.

Lord Jesus Thank you for this day help me to focus on the grace and the goodness and the mercies that you have showered on this prodigal come home. Thank you Jesus for your grace to me today.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Κύριος Notes

Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble?
Did you feel the darkness tremble?
When all the saints join in one song
And all the streams flow as one river
To wash away our brokeness
And here we see that God you're moving
A time of Jubilee is coming
When young and old return to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord
Written by Martin Smith

Scripture Reflections Luke 15
21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'

Far from home these are words must have rehearsed many times. These were difficult words and honesty words. The words that face the truth and are real many times hurt to say. They are words that do not avoid the reality of sin, that know the damage that has occurred to a relationship that may never…will never be just the same.

The fact that the relationship will never be the same is no reason not to attempt to repair and restore it. The sad truth is that this father and son can restore their relationship but it will always have this scare. Your grace Jesus reaches me, but it can not take the scares of the past away. You can restore and you can forgive, but the scares remain until we see you face to face.

This son did not expect to be considered a son anymore. He knew the need he had for grace. The grace that could be extended to a servant or a slave that had run away was what he was looking for. That was enough for him.

The impact of sin and the scares that are left, are real…Time that can not be restore, opportunities that are missed are gone forever. The are no match for your grace, mercy and your arms wide open for the lost to be found.

22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

Lord Jesus this is a picture of unconditional love…of love that is looking for the son and runs to meet him with open arms of a father, with celebration in mind…with a ring, a robe and a feast on the agenda.

There were no buts that this father said to his son…there were no conditions made on this son’s return from the far country. Teach me to have arms wide open for those who need your grace…learning their hurts, ready to demonstrate grace.

Lord Jesus the darkness trembles at the love that reaches out to the lost. The darkness knows that it is defended by a cross and an empty tomb.