Transforming Together: Authentic Spiritual Mentoring

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Resolve to Resolute

2010 is almost here.
Man, how did THAT happen?
Seems as though 2009 just got humming!!

So, how do YOU begin the New Year?
Par-tay har-tay?
Sleep it in?
Watch "the ball" drop in New York City on t.v.?

However you celebrate the New Year, one thing is certain:
It will come!

So, what are you "resoluting" this year?
Lose those holiday pounds?
Be a better person?
Visit Europe?

Whatever it is, it takes resolve to resolute!
You see, it's one thing to make a list (written or thought.)
It's quite another to actually have change occur!

What makes the difference?  Resolve.
Resolve is to PURPOSE, to WILL something to be.
Resolute is to make a decision that something needs to change.

We see Jesus doing that at the cross: He RESOLVED to BE the Answer for the sad
condition of humanity.  He PURPOSED, He WILLED to follow-though on what needed to be.

So, my friend, are you resolving to resolute this year?
Making that list?
May I encourage you to pray it though...give it thought....make it purposefully.

Jesus is already in 2010 waiting for us.
He will walk us through 2009 as we bid it farewell.

May we BE, in 2010, Who Jesus would have us be....
what this crumbling culture needs us to be.....

Resolved to resolute for His glory,


Monday, December 21, 2009

A "stable" Christmas

The stable.  Not too exciting, is it? Nothing real glamorous there.  A stable. A dwelling, part of the place that people then called 'home.'  A place of function and purpose hardly seems the right place to have a birth, let alone the birth of the King of kings!  And the stable was not a place to receive guests.  It was dirty.  It was smelly.  Functional.  A stable wasn't designed to entertain.  Its purpose was to ensure that the dailyness of the family was kept functioning.  The stable was where the hay and grain were kept for the animals, a place where they were protected from the elements, where garbage was placed, where tools were sharpened and hung for later use.  It was a place of storage, where supplies were kept.

It was for the family and no one else.

How inappropriate, how unacceptable...what a tragedy that this was where the King of kings was to be born....or was it?

We know that ALL things happened 'in the fullness of time'...."a just the right moment"......

GOD CHOSE the EXACT PLACE where He wanted Jesus to be born.
GOD DETERMINED that Jesus be born in a stable.  This was no celestial haphazard boo-boo.  God purposed, planned this, for God wanted the Temporal to interact with THE ETERNAL.  God wanted every human, each one, to know much God was identifying with humankind, how approachable God is and how much HE loves each of us.

The stable was the means to begin to pave the path from who we are to who He would have us be.  You see, by being born in a stable EVERYONE had access to Him!  Those who lived around and about could come and go as they pleased.  From the shepherds, the "untouchables", the "fringies" the "outsiders" the "trouble makers"....yes, the the those surrounding Wise Men from me......all.....everyone is welcomed, at the stable.

God entered the mess in the stable that night.  No mention of "cleaning everything up" is seen in the Scriptures.  No new hay was brought out, no mucking out of the stalls to sanitize the obvious scent of the animals.  God, through Jesus entered that stable.  Nothing else needed to happen, no 'cleaning up' had to occur before it was "worthy" of His holy birth.  For, you see, HE made the place worthy by HIS presence!!  It was holy because HE was there, not because it was prepared for Him to be there.  HE gave it value, gave that ordinary place purpose beyond itself.

The stable.  Available.  Open.  Filled with Jesus.

"Lord, there is room in my life for YOU."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Being Favored by God

 I was sitting in a coffee shop w/ a dear friend.  We were reading the account of Christ's birth from Luke.  There is was: the word "favored" twice.  It popped out at me, perhaps because, as a writer, I know a bit about the power of words, the choosing of words.  The repeating of a word is a way of highlighting whatever that thought might be.

Luke 1:28-30 Gabriel appeared to [Mary] and said, "Greetings, FAVORED woman! The Lord is with you!"  Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.  "Don't be afraid, Mary," the angel told her, "for you have found FAVOR with God!"

Wow!  Not only an angel came to her (which, by the way, would blow us all away!), he spoke to her.  He not only spoke to her but spoke AFFIRMATION to this young woman!  Again, Wow!

So, the musing came to me, 'How does one FIND favor with God?'

As with other musings, the Spirit kept me in HIS LIVING WORD for the response.

Elizabeth gives us the key. It's tucked away for us in Luke 1:45
There it is: Faith.

My, oh, my.

We're told in the Living Word of God that "without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God."
Not difficult, not hard, but IMPOSSIBLE.

So, putting those two thoughts together,  the one who is favored by God, the one who FINDS favor with God is the one who believes that the Lord will do what He says.

How are we doing?    Evidently faith among humans is a pretty rare commodity.  By definition it requires us to step out on to the INVISIBLE, NOT the NON-EXISTENT.... at first THEY LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME.....but one, faith, is strong and steady.

Take Mary.  She inquired 'how.' The angel replied.  She responded, "I am the LORD'S servant.  May EVERYTHING you have said about me come true."  No doubt. No detailing. No discussion.


May it be said of you, of me, that we, also, have found favor with God.  How? By believing what He says. Living, by faith, accordingly.  Being women and men, favored with God.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Spending or Investing?

We're hit, big time, these days with the importance of investing, aren't we?  I mean, we hear it on the radio, we attend seminars about it, we receive stuff in the mail encouraging us how to invest....

....And then the other shoe drops: Spending.  Every commercial, each ad in the paper, every occasion, all require that we, yes, spend!

So, what's the difference between spending and investing?  Is one better than the other?  Or perhaps, are BOTH needed?

At this time of year it is quite evident that spending is essential.  After all, there are gifts to buy, special punches and holiday dishes that require us to spend in order to have the ingredients needed, the supplies on hand, not to mention the "dailys" of living. Yes, spending is essential.

Could we say that we need to spend in order to invest?
We spend money in order to invest in our family: clothes, food, shelter, entertainment, education.... the list goes on and on.
We spend time, also, in order to invest in our family: Parent's adjust schedules to stay with, to take to, to pick that our children have that care, those activities, certain memories...

I guess my musing this time is to encourage us to do both: to spend who we are, what we have, wisely, investing in that which is most meaningful, most important.

Jesus knows the impact of spending and of investing.  He knows there is only so much resource, so many minutes to invest.  I believe that is why He encourages us to BE in Him, first, and then DO as a result of that BE.  Make sense?  When "spending" DISTRACTS us from "investing", when it OVER-RIDES its purpose, OVER-STEPS its boundaries, then Jesus gently reminds us that there is only "one thing worth being concerned about."

So, friends, may we all enjoy this most Holy of seasons, the time of remembering when Jesus invested Himself in us.  He spent all of Himself when He became human, squeezing Eternal into Temporal.

May His Investment be well Spent in your life, in mine.