Lamp of Life – In the Darkness, a Light is Needed

Lamps Provide Light

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Do you need the light of a lamp in the dark? As I get older, I have discovered that I don’t see as well as I used to. This is especially true as the light begins to fade each day for it seems as if my sight fades as well. Many times, simply turning on the light makes an enormous difference in whatever task I might be doing. Even something simple like getting a drink of water is much easier if I turn on the light. There is just something about a lamp that suddenly illuminates the darkness making life easier. Lamps of light dispel the darkness. This is just like the lamp of God’s Word that can shine on our path in the dark times of life.

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Free- The Restricted Life of Independence

Celebrating Being Free

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The end of this week marks the declared Independence of the home of the free won by the brave in the United States. July 4th is the anniversary of the publication of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. It is still celebrated 244 years later as a day of freedom. But as we look around us and perhaps consider how we may celebrate being free, we must ask ourselves how free are we? Are we leading a restricted life in our declared independence?

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Moving to the Heartbeat of Love

Moving with Love Actions

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Are you living a life that is consistently moving to the heartbeat of love? It certainly seems that the world needs love more than ever before. And if we want to change the world, even our immediate world, then moving to the action of love is not a suggestion but a needed and necessary movement. It is only through love that we have the power to mend and build, whole and healthy communities. Christ teaches us that when loving people, all people, it takes a full-body experience using our eyes, ears, and hearts.

God is a God of love. He loves us all so dearly and wants us to know His full love. It is in this way that He desires us to return that love to others. As we love others, we can see and hear them, but it is the third step that gets the results, this is action. We can talk about it, ponder on it, listen to it, theorize about it, but until we take the step of moving into action it is fruitless. As Rick Warren said, “Love isn’t visible unless you are able to see it in action.”

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Clinging to the Old Ways – Finding Control in an Uncontrollable World

Having It Your Way

Having it Your Way, Clinging to the World - A Studio 1-37 Original Image

Do you find yourself clinging to the old way of doing things? It seems that life in this pandemic has us longing for the old way of doing things and clinging to a former life. But the reality is there is a new normal coming to town. Sometimes though we just insist on doing things our way. We cling to that life mostly out of comfort. For often new and different makes us feel out of control and unstable. But we’ve clung for a long time even though our clinging isn’t necessarily the best way. Why do we gravitate to the old when perhaps new and different are better?

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A colorful World – Seeing and Responding with Mercy

Mercy for a Colorful World

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We live in a beautiful created and most colorful world orchestrated by God. Perhaps, you remember singing as a child, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” or “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World.” The words to these songs make it clear that not only does God love the whole world but every represented color within it. However, it seems that as some of us transitioned into adulthood, the whole world became an individual world. And in these individual worlds, the colors faded. They became only select colors that we chose to surround ourselves with, therefore, losing the beauty of the colored world because we lost the need to see them all equally.

This is not intentional for most, just the effect of busy lives, different paths, and journeys. It is the result of following a life that includes only those that might be following the same route. But, unfortunately, it is in this that the colors of the world begin to fade. This is the place we forget the beauty and importance of all the colors as we selfishly continue on our journey moving aimlessly with blinders on that dims our colorful world.

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Trinity – Ready, Set, Go! Showing the World Christ

The Trinity Mystery

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This Sunday represents Trinity Sunday. However, the mystery of the Trinity remains as unexplained today as it did centuries ago. Attempting to explain it only reduces God to something our small human minds can grasp. And, in this case, we lessen God’s greatness. God’s magnificent vastness boggles our minds and understanding to the point that we put it to the side or even dismiss it completely. The Trinity however remains both a divine and beautiful enigma. It captures our hearts and imaginations completely, which is why it lends itself fully to beauty and art. So, what exactly should we do with our wonder of our God who creates inspiration and awe within us? Is there a place that we should go and if so, who should share it with us?

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Living a Divine Shaped Life

The Shape of Life

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If I ask you if you live a life shaped by the divine power of God, how would you answer? This is a daunting question, to say the least. Perhaps it is also one that makes us take a step back and think about the life we live.

Many things shape our lives. Sometimes the shape of our life is from the decisions that we make. Yet sometimes our life shape is from the decisions that others make. However, our life is also shaped by what we surround ourselves with. We can certainly control the first and come to terms to accept and work around the second. However, it is this last one, the environment we choose to surround ourselves with that often shapes us the most.

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Glory: Revealing the Christ in You

Are We in Glory Days?

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Many people are making a difference in the lives of others during the COVID-19 crisis. This week I read about children, as young as 10, receiving glory and affirmations about the innovations and ways their contributions are making a positive change. These young people, however, aren’t spurred to act to receive acclaims. Instead, they’re showing the world their true inner hearts that want to help others. The glory of goodness found within them is simply revealing itself to the world.

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Stories: How is God Working in Your Life, right now?

Listen to the Stories

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Have you ever considered the clarity of human emotions that the writers of Psalms depict as they tell their stories? These writings are often powerfully packed with the experiences of people. For even amid struggles, they find a way to praise God. True honesty describes the Psalms as these writers hold nothing back. Many times, the words reflect things that most of us might never voice aloud much less write down. Yet, they did, sharing their stories that connect with so many people. This is why they remain powerful even today. The words might be unfamiliar and ancient, but we can still connect to them because the world remains the same. The stories of the Psalms explain how God works in and through our lives.

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Worry – A Part of Life that doesn’t have to be!

Worry and Concern – What’s the Difference?

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Do you find yourself in frequent worry mode? Has your worry increased over the last couple of months? Our world has turned upside down with the world health crisis and for many, worry and anxiety have increased. When life spirals out of control often the first response is to begin to speculate on what might go wrong. This is the “what if” syndrome that can quickly gain a firm grip on our thoughts. Many aspects of life are simply outside of our control but how we handle them makes a vast difference in not only our personal life but those lives that are around us as well. We must learn to cope with life, not in worry mode but by approaching life’ s problems with concern. So, what’s the difference?

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