Monday, May 31, 2010

Notes to the Lord: Not...or maybe so...



The teaching of the cross must always be framed within the context of execution, within the framework of the law and within the context of curse.

Lord Jesus you became a curse for me.


Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

Peter could not stand to think of You, Lord as becoming a curse. He wanted with all his being for You to be his King...to rule from Jerusalem and to restore Israel to what it was called to be.

22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"

Lord Jesus--There are teachings that You bring that hit me right where I live. My immediate reaction is...not that. Why do we have to go there, Jesus? Any place but there, Lord. Peter listened to this new teaching and in his heart he instinctively knew that this was a turning point. He knew that his dreams of your earthly kingdom in Jerusalem with the Romans kicked into the Mediterranean Sea was not going to happen. I can relate to that...dreams die hard. Sometimes restoration begins with rubble.

23Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Lord Jesus--This is one of the more stinging rebukes that Peter gets in his walk with you. Just a point of context...it is not the last. There would be others...Peter do you love me? Feed my sheep. Then there would be the words that hurt from Paul that ended up being the Galatians incident. Peter got in trouble at a fellowship dinner right over the roast pork...I mean over the fact that he was not eating kosher.

Peter and I could have hung out. I can get into trouble standing still in the back yard all alone on a sunny day. Sometimes sorting out the things of man and things of God gets very confusing. Peter had trouble with it but somewhere along the way it got clarified. As time went on, clearly he integrated and clarified why the wait, why the need go where he didn't really want to go.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.


Lord Jesus--Peter knew of your patience...I know of that same patience. In this day remind me of lessons learned, of grace received, patience experienced. Lead on in this Day Lord Jesus to the places where we need to go.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Surprised?

Scripture Reflection:Matthew 16

21From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.


Lord Jesus--The reaction of the people to your ministry resulted in the cross...could it have been different? I suppose that will be a question that will have to wait for heaven. But in my heart I have to believe that each of these leaders who rejected you could have chosen differently. If there is anyone who has free will everyone must have it.


But the reaction that these leaders had to your ministry was an attempt to control You and when that w
as not possible to kill You. Lord Jesus, I don't want to make the same mistake. I want to follow You where ever You lead. Not to attempt to control but allow you to guide me to the place where control is not an issue...to a place that defines my life but doesn't confine my life...a place where authenticity rules my heart, my mind and my actions.

For You to be fully in control there has to be an end to meandering in my following you...this journey of faith isn't always a walk in the park on a sunny day, or a stroll though the pines on a summer evening. Sometimes it is a forced march, with danger on either side headed to a place that I would not choose to go to if I were the one doing the choosing. But a place where I can be Yours and where I am needed, where I am uniquely prepared...a p
lace of ongoing surrender. Keep my feet following yours Lord Jesus...

A line of a worship song keeps going through my mind...


Please take from me my life
When I don't have the strength
to give it away to You Jesus

Up close and personal today...

The cross did not surprise you, Lord Jesus. Your will for my life is not a surpris
e to you, even if it is for me at times. The giving away must happen each day... in the giving there is hope and safety ...there is the faith of a child. Keep me safe in your care today.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Bed Rock Foundation

Scripture Reflections: Matthew 16

18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.


Lord Jesus--I am not quick enough on the up take of this word play...it is lost in English. Peter is not really the focus. It is more like...You are a chip off the old block but on the bed rock of this confession I will build my church.


The confession of You as Lord, the son of God, Messiah, and savoir of the world is what everything else in the church is based. The implications of the Your Lordship is something that will take me the rest of my life to work out the implication of. This confession will stand the test of time and nothing even Hell itself can not overcome the results of this confession.


Lord Jesus--When my world shakes, and it does from time to time. Your Lordship is what I put my hope in. When everything around me seems trite, cheap and time limited, I can be sure that you are still Lord. When the waves crash and bring down the things that though were permanent in my life...your Lordship stands like rock.


19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.


Up close and personal... out of this passage:
You are Lord, Christ, Messiah Son of God.Your church will not fail and not even the gates of Hell are a match for what you are doing in the world.Your church has responsibility to work out the implications of that Lordship over a life time. It seems to me that over time that demands or requirements...change, morph and demand continued growth. Can I depend on you in this new situation...that you are Lord and that you will lead, guide and protect? That is question that leads me on...today.
Jesus be Lord of this day.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It Is Really Pretty Simple




Scripture Reflections: Matthew 16


13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."


Lord Jesus--Your ministry was not over looked or missed by the people, that is a good thing as far as it goes. They could change at a moments notice. They saw the miracles, but their understanding of the events and teachings was another thing. They put you in a good group of people...a group of people who would have had to have been resurrected. A whole new meaning to the the term...the Grateful Dead....correction...Elijah was the only one not offically dead. He had been taken by God to heaven. You were a part of a crowd that divine intervention would have been required to have made your presence possible.


That is a good start, but as is usually the case, just not exactly enough. In their minds you were a sound bite, a picture frozen in time in their thinking, a step beyond a physician, but not the Son of God. For these people, you were a part of the past but not the embodiment of the future.


15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.


Lord Jesus--Peter had such ability for insight and such a capacity for messing it all up. Here he got it exactly right. He saw you for who you are. The Christ is the annointed one of God, the Messiah, the one sent from the Father who would do for us what we could never do for our selves: save us from our sins.


Lord Jesus--It is really such a simple thing...it is with the help of the Father whenever I can see the world the way that you do. Give me that ability today.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Notes to the Lord: Being a Slow Learner Spiritually


Scripture Reflections: Matthew 16
5When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6"Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 7They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread."

Lord Jesus--The disciples found themselves knee deep in conflict that they did not fully understand. There were political forces that were at work within the nation arraying against your ministry which the disciples had not worked out the full implications of. You understood the full ferment of Pharisees and Sadducees thought process. You understood that they were more concerned with the agenda of their pressure group than anything else. They had come to the place where spiritual formation was not the point, power was the point...attention was the point.


The disciples heard you mention yeast and they thought literally and you were to speaking of yeast metaphorically. They were in the slow reading group spiritually. How many times have I been there? Some place where I have all of the data but just can't put the pieces together to make the puzzle work.


Lord Jesus when I am in that place it is not always because I want to be or intend to be...sometimes I get stuck on the simple things. But then you already knew that. It almost always has something to do with the way that I am able to get a hold of the idea of faith worked out in the real world where I need to eat and where the pressures of meeting deadlines get in my way.


8Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread?


Lord Jesus--You will not let me off the hook, just like you confronted the disciples. It is all about faith. The issues is not bread, or any of the everyday needs that have to be filled to make a living. You were able to feed the masses, the inference is ...don't you silly little boys think that I can feed you when you need to eat?


But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.


Lord Jesus--It is in the simple things of trusting you in the everyday things of life that the implications of faith are worked out. The teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees was more about power and retaining power than about spiritual formation and of coming face to face with God in everyday life. You do not need political pressure groups watching out for your political agenda. You did not need that then and you do not need that now. Spiritual formation is not something that is about power bases or the politics, it is instead saying yes to you in the everyday choices that are right in front of me.


Lord Jesus--Forgive me when my lack of faith for the simple things gets in the way of the spiritual formation that you are waiting on me to catch up to...forgive me for my slow learning spiritually.



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Faith in the MIddle of Signs and Wonders


Scripture Reflections:Matthew 16

1The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

Lord Jesus--When I read this I want to feel superior...I am not someone who is looking for you to do signs and wonders. But the truth is I am looking for the miraculous in my life.

Lord Jesus I guess I understand some of the what the leaders of these pressure groups were asking for. Maybe a difference is that their question were a precondition to being willing to follow...my desire to see the miraculous at work is more a validation that I am where I need to be.

2He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky i s red,' 3and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.


Lord Jesus--The times that I live in are much like the times that You found Yourself living through, times of transition and change. Times when it is easier to predict the weather than who you might agree with in politics...the combination of pressure groups that came to question are interesting. These represent the liberals and the conservatives joining forces to meet a mutual foe.


4A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away.


Lord Jesus--The sign of Jonah was a prediction of your death. Jonah was in the belly of the beast three days...You were in the grave three days.


So the up close and personal edge, is simply this: Your resurrection from the grave is the center of my hope. It is the sign of all signs, it is the miraculous at work within my heart and soul. You take death and make it a sign of the power of God. It is in following where ever the will of God leads that radical faith and miraculous results can occur. It is so easy to loose the point right in the middle of doing your work and following Your call Lord Jesus.


Lord Jesus--Lead me in the day that will begin very soon. Help me to follow you today and to see the signs all along the way of your grace, your glory and your watch care over your own.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Notes to the Lord: Need meets Intention

Scripture Reflections: Matthew 15
32Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way."

33His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?"


Lord Jesus--As I write this it is the middle of the night and I am awake again...reading, and writing and talking with you while music plays in the background. Insomnia is something that you knew a little about...you stayed up all night to pray.


As I think of these people who were all around you...they were surrounding you with need. You could sense their need. You had healed their sick and now the hunger of the crowd was so thick in the air that it could almost be tasted. You could not see those eyes that were newly opened and so full of hope come to harm for lack of food at this moment.


You did not send them away without meeting their need...there had been celebration in the air, but now there was immediate need...hunger. Lord Jesus--you knew thier need that day in that deserted region between the Sea and the mountains not too far from Magadan. You remind me tonight that you did not turn these people away in their need nor will you turn me away in my need. Lord Jesus speak to me tonight.


Lord Jesus--You fed these needy people even though these two incidents of mass feedings became the 1st century equivalent of a sound bite repented endlessly out of context and twisted in a knot and stood on it head. Thank you that you still met their need even knowing what it would ultimately cost you. The road to the cross runs right straight through the feeding of the five thousand and the four thousand.


34"How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked."Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish."35He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.


Lord Jesus--You were thankful for the far too little bread and fish for too large a group. I see the little and you see the possible...forgive me Lord for allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the little in the middle of the very place where faith has enough room to work.


37They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. 39After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.


Lord Jesus--There are those who believe that the real miracle was the you helped people to share what they all already had...if that was what happened that would have been a pretty big miracle. But that leaves the miracle in the hands of the people. I have no idea how you met the need that day on the lake, it overwhelms me that you care about the needs that confront me. I know with out a doubt that you are able to meet whatever need is waiting for me in tomorrow light.


Lord Jesus continue your work inside me.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Praise That Can Not Be Contained


Scripture Reflections: Matthew 15
29Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down.30Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.

Lord Jesus--The sea in the background and the mountainside rising behind you, there might have been a slight breeze in the air that day as the people came to you. You sat down and the people came. They were drawn by the reality of the power and miracles that were done at your touch and at your command.

They brought their loved ones to you, those who might have been kept at home in the background up to this point. After all they were not perfect and there was the implication that physical limitation was the judgment of God. Blind people saw for the first time with the lake and the mountain surrounding them. They felt the sea breeze as it played on the lake. The lame walked for the first time on the side of the mountain. I wonder if they wandered with free feet along the sea shore wading in the water...running along the beach.


Lord Jesus--You still care just as much for the people that surround me, and there are just as many people who keep in the background because of less than perfect lives, some with hurts and limitations in body and mind. Your willingness to heal has not changed, nor has you ability to touch lives.

31The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

The reaction of the people was to praise the God of Israel...to praise the Father. It must have been music to your ears to hear the people...ordinary people changed by grace not being able to contain their praise. People who had not had the use of language, using their new found abilities to praise the God who was moving with power in their bodies. It was worship and water and praise rising up to the halls of heaven.

Notes to the Lord:Crumbs are Enough


Scripture Reflections: Matthew 15
21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."


Lord Jesus even in an area where you had not been engaged in ministry people followed you because of the miracles that were happening all around you. This women was reaching out to you even through you were not of her race and even though she may not have known all that she was asking...still she asked. She saw the impact of evil
on her daughter, she could identify the demonic.

23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her
away, for she keeps crying out after us." 24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

Lord Jesus--You were sent to the lost of Israel and yet because of the rejection that was already f
orming in the religious elite of your day salvation to people like this women and people like me was made possible. Thank you.

25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. 26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." 27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." 28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.


Lord Jesus--Faith that moves mountains also can heal little ones that have been given up as lost. Faith in the power of your grace to transform the situations of my life is the center of what it means to know that you are at work.


Lord Jesus today I believe that you can make changes in the world that surrounds me. The crumbs from your table were more than enough to heal this little one. What can crumbs do today? Work Lord Jesus

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Notes to the Lord:From a Heart that Continies to Look For You


Scripture Reflections: Matthew 15


10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand.11What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "

12Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"

13He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides.[e] If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

15Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."


Lord Jesus--The original question was about hand washing which had become a ritual that needed to be done exactly for anyone who really wanted to be religious. There had grown around the Jewish insights about God a legalism that had made the whole quest after God into something that was list of behaviors.


There have been those times in my life when I thought that the quest after after you was found in so many silly things...none of which were really bad, just not ultimately effective. Seeking after You is not so much about education as application, not so much about "don'ts" as it is about "do's." Following You is about discovering I can grow anywhere as long as I follow where your lead.


I grew up in a culture that thought of itself as christian but thought that chrisitianity was about behavior. Many times we missed the point that the real issue was the heart. Are behaviors important? Sure, but you see the heart of me, before I do. You separate intent from action...continue the work of Your Holy Spirit in my heart Lord.

Lord Jesus--Seeking after you has more to do with what comes out of my mouth than what goes in...words that heal or words that hurt...intentions given voice that push myself and those around me closer to you or further away from you.


16"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "


Lord Jesus--The things that really matter come from the heart, and as they come to the surface they also form my heart. That is the tricky part...that is the part that continues to be a moving target in my life, how do I continue to let you work with freedom. I need to allow you the room and the freedom to continue to change my heart and mind. I have noticed that you speak sometimes at the most surprising times to my heart...and through people that I would never expect.


The promise is that spiritual formation will happen as I give you the room you need to make that happen.


Romans 12

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritua act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


Help me in this day that will begin in just a short time, to focus on the things that really matter.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Notes to the Lord:The Steps Lead On

Scripture Reflection:Matthew 15


3Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' 5But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' 6he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.


Lord Jesus--You are not content with those who follow you to stay on the edges. You do not allow me to remain in control...it is a required course to confront my control issues.


You will not allow me to avoid the truth. You call me again and again to the heart of the matter...obedience to your call. To obey the command, but not to in the obedience loose sight of the very roots of the intention of the command in the first place...you call me to heart obedience, not just tradition.


7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8" 'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.
"


Lord Jesus--So where are those places where I give lip service to obedience and yet fall flat on my face in real heart of the matter? It isn't about washing hands before a meal that is the most important issues to be concerned about. Hand-washing was the issue that started this teaching triggered by the Pharisees. Nor is it about giving instead of honoring parents...the issue is control.


It is amazing how a simple question can trigger so much...this was the harding of opposition to Your ministry Lord Jesus. These men questioning sensed the radical call to obedience that Your ministry implied and they were not ready to follow.


The central question since the garden of Eden has been who is in control. Or put more personally...will my wandering, wayward heart follow your call? Your call which not so much a state of being, but instead an ongoing call to follow the soft sandal clad footfall of your steps through the days of my life.


Lord Jesus keep my feet moving with Yours.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Looking for the Edges But Avoiding Going the Dotted Line




Matthew 14

34When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.


Lord Jesus--There is this reoccurring theme in your word of almost a kind of a stigmatism of the soul...being able to see the edges but missing the most important parts.


It happened with the healing ministry that you had with the people. They wanted to touch and be touched at the point of their need, but somehow not let that touch impact they rest of their lives. They focused on the edge of your cloak instead of the person who was in the cloak. They wanted to be healed and changed in one touch and yet not have to do the work of change in those areas in their lives where healing took work, attention and an approach that went right down the center of the road head on.


Matthew 15

Clean and Unclean
1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"

Lord Jesus--This is really the same theme. The teachers of the law wanted to know why the externals of the law were not being taught in the middle of missing the essence of duty, honor and care to those who need it the most. It is wanting the edges and not the very point of what a relationship with You is all about.

So where are the places where the center needs to seep and sweep into my heart and life? Where is it that Living Springs is focusing on the edges and missing the whole picture of your grace?

Whenever I am more concerned with style then substance I am stuck in the edges and not looking at things head on. Whenever I would prefer to look at the effects of your grace and not into Your face Lord Jesus I am on the edges looking in. Whenever I am worshiping the gift and not the giver of the gift I am focusing on the edges.

Lord Jesus help these hard to focus eyes to see you coming at me head on down the dotted line.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Notes to the Lord: A Walk with Jesus

Matthew 14
22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
Lord Jesus--You were awake in the night...alone with your thoughts, the Father and the Holy Spirit. You spent time on the mountain, the people were gone and the disciples sent away. It was time to reflect on the death of John, on the press of the crowd and their expectations, and the need for new connection for shifting the ministry in a different direction. Thank you for the example of time spent in prayer...time to reflect on all that was happening and would happen.

When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.


The fourth watch of the night was just before dawn, it was some time between 3 to 6 in the morning that You can to these struggling men in a small boat in the middle of a deep lake. You had spent most of the night in prayer and now it was on the water that you started across the lake. They had worked the oars all night in a fight against the wind and the waves. Somehow ironic, it sounds like the life I live sometimes.


Lord Jesus--In this incident You demonstrated that the normal rules of the way things work in everyday life can change as you direct and dictate. Faith is not bounded by the normal rules of solids and liquids...can the Master of the universe make water a solid? Sure...it is called ice. You can do it no matterwhat the temperature. Can you do what is not possible in the situations that I find myself involved in? Absolutely...work Lord Jesus.


As I write this I am preparing to leave for Jason's graduation from graduate school a time of transition and celebration. In very real ways this was a time of transition in your ministry and in the lives of the disciples.


You were asking them to see you and allow you to challenge them to new places in their experience of you. You were calling them to trust even when it is not comfortable and even when the wind is blowing all around them. You ask the same from me. A walk with you Lord is not always a stroll through the pines in the cool of the evening. Sometimes it is a walk that is surround by fear and wind, when it looks as if you are

a ghost to these eyes of mine. The real question is: am I willing to allow You to stretch the limits my soul?

26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were

terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. 27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." 29"Come," he said.


Peter could have just as easily kept his mouth shut...but instead he was willing to do what he had never done before. He asked for the wind and the water. I can stay in the boat. You allow for that in your plans for my life. I am sure that it would have been less messy if Peter had just stay in that little fishing boat as the wind played with their lives. But he did not stay seated...he got up and listened to your call.


Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"


Lord Jesus--That is always the question isn't? Why did he doubt? Peter, I know how it feels. Why do I doubt? Maybe it is the wind and maybe it is the water playing games just under my feet...maybe it is the nightmares that plays at the edge of my mind and heart. Maybe it is the fear that you will let me fall for no reason. Lack of faith expresses it self in so many ways in my experience...denial doesn't help when I am all wet.


32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Lord Jesus--In the middle of the moisture of my lack of faith I have real appreciation for the spirit of this fisherman Peter...he and I could have had some fun together. There is also the certain knowledge that even when I get my feet wet, it is always better to move than to stay in the safe boat. You can use my wet feet in your kingdom in a way and place that reaches me when I am in over my head.


As the wind dies down, there is worship even with wet feet and face, I worship the One who calls, sustains and blesses.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Notes to the Lord: A DInner With Jesus

Scripture Reflections:Matthew 14
15
As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."

16Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."

Lord Jesus--I wonder what the thoughts were that went through the minds of the disciples when they thought about this impossible request. Did you see the looks on their faces? Sometimes I think that I know how they felt...overwhelmed with no clue how to meet the need. Yet ignoring the need does not make it go away, nor does looking the other way when I know that it is there.

17"We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.

Lord Jesus--Each time when I turn around and look at the need it calls to me and my first reaction is much like that of the disciples. Here is what I have Lord, do with it what you will...and somehow that releases your grace in I way that I don't understand. It is almost as if somehow just beyond the reach of my fingertips your grace is able to operate. So why then is it so hard to let go of the too little resources to meet the need? Ok, so Lord the control issues are not as far away as I thought.

18"Bring them here to me," he said. 19And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Lord Jesus--You took what was available and met the need. Where are the places that you want me to allow you the room to work? Work with the dead fish that I have available to you in this day, make of them what could never be without your grace.