“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8
He made James faithful and John devoted,
Timothy proved loyal and Peter emoted.
Martha got it done and Mary took it in,
David grew heart-broken, and Paul determined.
He created Moses a leader and Ruth a follower,
Joseph rose a dreamer and Esther an interceder.
Each one granted a purpose to fulfill,
These heroes, the faithful, who do his will.
Each of us has a purpose to fulfill. It’s that reason to get up in the morning. May we all find it, or die searching.
“This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:10
Love is not based on our love for God. That foundation would be unstable at best because it’s based on human capabilities. Love is based on what God did for us. He sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. All other love springs from that foundation…or is it an ocean?
An ocean deep,
Is the well of God’s love—
where springs begin
and rivers flow—
it’s endless depths
no man can know.
On shores of sand
yet tides of mercy pull
and waves of grace call—
God’s ocean reverberates
for one, for all.
“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” I John 2:6
So, how did Jesus walk?
Jesus broke bread and fed crowds; he fried fish for his hungry friends. Jesus broke tradition and spoke with a Samaritan woman. He did not condemn one caught in adultery. Jesus put mud on a blind man’s eyes and welcomed little children. He accepted an extravagant gift of perfume and wept over a good friend’s death. Jesus dipped bread with a traitor and died for sins he didn’t commit.
That’s how Jesus walked.
He walked in humility. He served others. He fully accepted God’s call on his life. Jesus came to connect with people and provide a way to God. He became the bridge to God.
Am I a bridge to God? A connector? I wonder if others find the way to God when they see my life, or do they see barriers that send them in another direction. Would I be willing to break with tradition or muddy my hands if it meant becoming a bridge?
Lord, push barriers away, that nothing keep others from coming to you. Help me walk as you walked.
May others find their way to God
When on my path they trod.
May barriers be pushed aside—
An open bridge beckon wide.
“Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.” James 3:3
Ever notice how some people always seem to have the right words to say? I know someone whose very presence speaks grace, love, and acceptance. Her words steer the attitude of the room in a good direction.
As a small rudder steers a big ship, so the tongue steers the direction of life. Control the rudder and control the ship. Control the tongue and control life’s destination.
It sounds simple enough, but how do we control the unruly tongue? Only God could do such a thing.
It seems we must get to the source of the flowing spring of words—the heart. Change the heart and change what streams out of it. Change what streams out and chart a new course for the day, the relationship…the life.
Then yes, Lord, change my heart. Fill me with your compassions and mercies. May they flow freely and guide this ship through an ocean of grace.
“…For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34
“For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14
Here I sit, a pile of dust,
Bending to the potter’s touch.
From inside out I yield,
Living water, beget me fusible,
Shape me into a vessel…usable.
May something beautiful churn,
From the wheel’s steady turn.
Remember always that I am just,
A pot created simply of dust.
“Hatred stirs old quarrels, but love overlooks insults.” Proverbs 10:12 (Living)
“Your own soul is nourished when you are kind…” Proverbs 11:17 (Living)
Ignore the arrow
look past the jab—
be the one to move on.
Leave the low road
choose the high road—
let love cover past wrong.
When extra portions of relatives are served in multiple courses strung out in all kinds of settings, yesterday’s quarrels can simmer on the back burner—waiting to be stirred.
What keeps us picking up the puckering persimmon? It’s the emotion we’re embarrassed to admit, yet find so hard to leave on the shelf. Hatred is a stirring spoon that feels good in the hand, but dishes up a bitter aftertaste.
Here’s a dare to lay down the agitated stirring spoon and pick up a ladle of love. Love that overlooks insults. Love that spoons sugar into the green beans and dollops whipped cream on pumpkin pie. Love that satisfies the palate and says, this is good. Serve the kind of love willing to take the high road and overlook insults—allow them to fly by unaccepted.
Be the one to set a table full of kindness. Kindness that offers a seat and helps carry the load. Kindness that settles, soothes and despite cutting the pie into enough pieces to go around, manages to remain whole.
Because kindness somehow sneaks back into the giver. It boomerangs into a nourishing balm for one’s own soul and is always needed. Always.
This Thanksgiving, may love and kindness be served in abundance
and may they start with me.