Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pressing in for the Good Stuff

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. (Matthew 5:1-2)

Maybe you know what happens next…Jesus gives one of the greatest sermons of all-time, The Beatitudes. These words are written everywhere, crocheted on wall hangings, gracing church bulletins. Even many people who do not subscribe to Jesus’ teaching at least are familiar with the words.

But this wasn’t a sermon delivered to thousands. This was a teaching shared with the few that were committed enough to follow Him beyond the crowds. Anyone can sit in church week after week being spoon fed by their pastor. How many will go after the meat that so few seek to eat from the hand of Jesus Himself?

Lord, I want to press in for more of You – for deeper revelation of who You are, and of who I am in You. I want to know what’s on Your heart to share with me.

This is what he said:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drive you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that – count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What is means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable…”
(Matthew 5:3-11, The Message)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Moses Meets His Match

Joy of him finally being matched...Hope for a good life together...Sadness of never seeing him again...Wonderment of the pup who was so fiesty actually leading a blind person safely...It's difficult for me to put into words the mix of emotions I am experiencing this morning as I think about the meeting I had with Eric, the man that Moses will guide for the next several years.

Moses has been in training since December of 2005. When I dropped him off at Leader Dog, he still looked like a lanky puppy with the goofy face. Last night, before me was the serious face of a grown up dog. He leaped and pawed at me, giving me a little consolation that he, too, remembered our year together.

A couple answers to prayer...Eric loves dogs. That was my hope that Moses would guide someone that would also desire his companionship as well as his work. Eric is a Christian also. I would raise a pup for anyone, ofcourse. But how delightful to hear that Moses will be attending church! In Eric's words, "I got me a holy dog!"

The meeting brought the experience of raising Moses full circle. So now is the time of truly letting go...of finishing the scrapbook...of letting go of hope (and dread!) of him not making the cut...of filing him under "Dogs I have loved."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Changing Seasons

The leaves have not yet begun to change, but the cool undercurrents in today’s breeze betray Fall’s stealthy approach.

I am ready. Having lived in a four-season climate my entire life, my body, mind and spirit cooperate in eagerly anticipating the next season. I am sick of my summer wardrobe and am looking forward to turtleneck sweaters and bulky scarves. I am tired of the hot sun and even ready to let my tan fade into winter-white chicken skin. I am ready for flannel sheets and apple pie.

Oh, for the day when my spirit is as discerning and anticipating the next season of God for my life! The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (3:1). There clearly are many seasons in our lives. Looking back we can chronicle them in photo albums and journals. We pass the stories over holiday meals.

But how do we know the next spiritual season is coming…and how do we prepare?

As strongly as I sense the imminence of Fall’s approach, so, too, do I sense a new spiritual season is around the corner. I’m ready because I know God is preparing me for it, even in ways I have yet to see. Until I see it with my eyes, I will rest in You and move faithfully day by day, according to Your Spirit, Lord. For in You I live and move and have my being.

My destination is sure,
The journey, exciting.
I will enjoy the ride.