Corners

You never know what is on the other side. Different is good.

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One Man’s Art…

Is probably something that other people will get a kick out of. Last week I visited the Art Institute of Chicago.

I am amused (and so are others) by the room with all the armor. But like anything it was a way of life. Which means you make accommodations for your head and your children…

When You Think He Is Done

He is just getting started. Naomi thought her life was over. Her husband was dead. Her sons were dead. There was nothing left to live for. She went home to die.

Instead she found a daughter-in-law who would not desert her. She found a God who would not desert her. He made her later years better than her beginning.

Sound Of Heaven Touching Earth

As we sang this song yesterday during worship it was actually happening. Heaven was touching earth. It is a regular thing that we take for granted, but I was reminded during the song that amazing things happen when Heaven touches earth.

For instance in Texas during a hot dry summer when the grass is brown and dead looking, a good rain will make your lawn look like the weeks of heat killing never happened.

Yesterday Heaven squelched heatwaves across the country. But is also brought some destruction. We try to think of Heaven as this gentle peaceful place instead of powerful and mighty.

I mean what happens when powerful and mighty meets weak and unworthy? When permanent meets not permanent? When holy meets unholy?

But think about this: if Heaven contains a mighty and powerful God, why wouldn’t what comes out of it also be mighty and powerful? Why wouldn’t whatever comes from Heaven have transforming power?

Perhaps this week we should examine what happens when Heaven touches the earth. It changes what it touches.

Even When He Knows We Will Fail

He gives us a chance anyway. Saul looked like he could fit the role. But the important things Saul needed, he lacked. God knew Saul’s character flaws but gave him a chance anyway.

Saul ruled Israel for 40 years but never really understood the role.

He failed miserably. God knows when we are going to fail. He always gives us the opportunity to turn to Him. Those who do find redemption.

When God Calls Your Name

make sure you answer. God first called Samuel’s name when he was a young boy. It changed everything for everyone around. Samuel listened for God all of his life and had an incredible journey from anointing kings to advising them. Again, this is a drawing based on work by photography by James C Lewis.

I Double Dog Dare You

I remember it was in between the first and second service when the worship pastor pulled out a flip chart in the center of the worship team. It was not what I was expecting. Normally we do this thing where everyone checks in and tells what God is doing in their life.

He said to us, he wanted to do something a little different because he cared about our relationship with God.

He drew a circle. He placed an x inside the circle. He placed another one outside the circle.  He said many people do church like this.  The X on the inside represented people who came to church regular. Served and participated. They were doing good works. They were checking things off the list of the things they had been taught to do. 

People on the outside of the circle were not into serving or coming every time the church was open. They were not considered one of the in-crowd people. They were thought to be far away from God.

On the other side he wrote God. He put an x close, then one far away. He drew arrows pointing the x toward God. He said it is not so much that we are serving but serving is good. He asked are you doing what you are doing with a heart for Jesus or checking things off a list?

He asked if we had a heart for the things God has a heart for. It was more than coming to church every Sunday. It was more than serving and giving. It was about what kind of heart do we have for God. What heart motives our relationship with God?

He challenged us to check our heart’s motives. Is our life and service drawing us closer to God?

As a result, I have been asking God about my heart towards Him. He has been answering. I have found him in places I wouldn’t have under ordinary circumstances. In revisiting old things, He has shown me Himself in a new way.

This past week, I watched the movie Paul, the Apostle of Christ again. One thing this movie does well for me, is shows how to love in a hard space. Watching Christians being burned alive or sent to face wild animal attacks in Nero’s circus reminded me that true Christians never have it easy.  Yet what absolutely sold me was the word of God being an active participant.

Now the only thing that changed in my second viewing of this film is me. I watched as Paul continued to stress this love. I still don’t understand it, but I know it is important to God.

My challenge to you is that there is something stirring deep within you. Ask the Holy Spirit to change your heart for Him.  God has promised that his love is longer, deeper, wider, and much higher than anything we can imagine. There have been moments this week His love has taken me into the stratosphere.  There have been some moments when it just wrecked me. His love is great.

I double dog dare you to ask God to show you His love.

James C Lewis, an international photographer, created a series of images of people from the Bible.  I was inspired by his images and have drawn the ones that I like the most. This month we will turn back time follow some of mt favorite bible people. The first one is Jesus.