Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I like today!  I have to be honest, days like today just hold all kinds of possibilities.  LEAP DAY!  An extra day!  Today is one of the gift days where you make it what you want.  It has incredible possibilities!  I once knew a precious woman who eloped on this day many, many years ago.  She would tell the story and have me transfixed about how she and her boyfriend drove to a nearby town and got married and came home to tell their families before they realized what day it was.

What will this day hold?  Will it be a day of joy or pain?  Can a day of pain be turned into a day of joy?  Whatever way you find to make today special...make it God’s. 

On another thought...I was at the grocery yesterday and I walked through a bitchy little cat fight of female employees having words.  The snipping was mild, but getting ready to reveal the underlying hostility.  As I was leaving a man came up to me and demanded to know if I believe in teamwork.  I stood there with my mouth hanging open looking bewildered,but  I finally pulled it together enough to ask so intelligently, "What?"  To which he took the cart I was emptying and walked away yelling at me.  I chased 3 steps after him to say, "Have a nice day" and got more snippy yelling. 

The world needs a little joy....people need smiles, prayers, kind words and joy.  How will today offer opportunities for you to be a vessel of Joy?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

             The joy of receiving a handwritten note in the mail is a special treat in today’s world.  Take a moment and drop someone a note.  Maybe a home bound person, maybe a child, maybe a neighbor, maybe a sick friend or just the first name you think of for no reason what-so-ever.

Monday, February 27, 2012

             One of the joys of moving is the unpacking.  It’s like Christmas all over again!  I keep finding treasures I forgot about.  We have stuff from Michael’s family that we had kept safely tucked away for someday.  Now, we have places to put them and enjoy them.  So, I keep pulling things out like it’s Christmas.

Faith can be that way...I like to take my Bible and open it to a random place and read.  So many times I find something interesting or I read something old in a new way.  Often times I’ll end up reading more scripture than I intend.

Find the joy in opening your Bible today to a random place and reading.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday is a day of celebration.  In the 40 days of Lent Sundays are not counted.  For the Jews sundown Friday to sundown Saturday is the Sabbath.  The early Christians added a Sunday celebration as it was the day of resurrection.  Jesus rose on Sunday and so Sunday was the day to celebrate the Risen Christ.  So, Sundays do not count in the 40 days of Lent.  Go celebrate and give praise to God!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”12And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.13He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” Mark 1:9-15

What keeps you from hearing the Good News?

Friday, February 24, 2012

26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28

Spend at least15-20 in silence.  Find a comfortable place with as few distractions as possible.  Work on clearing your mind.  Count your breathing if you need to, but clear your mind of the to do list.  Let your thoughts wander to a place of serenity and calm.  Let the Spirit intercede for you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I started this blog last year as a Lenten discipline and loved it.  So, I'm starting again.

For those of you who had followed has been crazy since my last post...we bought a house! Let's just say this blog and several other things got lost in the shuffle of the chaos.  I'm glad this piece of life is back, though....I missed it.

For those of you who might have the paper copy of the devotional...this will contain that plus more.  So, if you're up to it...stick around and use both as you can.  If you're still reading this and you want a paper copy let me know...I'll mail you one!

My challenge for Lent is to find the joy.  When we are deep enough in our relationship with God we are in a place of love, grace and joy.  The little relationship slights that often sidetrack us and lead to needing forgviness just aren't.  They just don't play in the game when we're in a place of joy.  Joy can be a difficult place to find when chaos ensues, but when we center on our faith joy shows its beautiful self.

Our devotional begins with Zaccheus and his encounter with Jesus that produces a life changing joy.

He entered Jericho and was passing through it.2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich.3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way.5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.”6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him.7All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.”8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.”9Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”  Luke 19:1-10

Here’s Zaccheus...known in the community as a sinful person.  He’s a tax collector.  He’s not a person of good reputation and definitely not the kind of person most “good” people want to be associated with.  He’s probably used to being rejected and scoffed at by most everyone!  Jesus isn’t everyone.

Do you notice Zaccheus’ response to Jesus?  When Jesus comes along and speaks to him and invites him down there is joy.  There’s no fear...there is a joyful response of eagerness to be with Jesus.  There is a life changing excitement for Zaccheus.  He declares on the spot he will change...he will correct his mistakes...he will fix the broken relationships his sinfulness has caused.

This is what Jesus calls us to today.  To a place of joy and excitement that makes us want to correct our broken relationships.  During Lent this year we can do this.  We can find the joy of reaching out to someone we have lost and seek reconciliation.

Welcome to the journey of Lent!