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Heave and Be Healed

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Sitting here with our son who just fell asleep after a few rounds of vomiting. Our little ones are resting… There is a moment of calm in the storm.

There is something about holding your son as he begs, “Make it stop. I can’t take this. Make it stop…”

“I can’t make it stop baby. All I can do is hold you while you hurt.”

Catching puke in buckets.

Picking up a crying baby whose backside and thighs are oozing with diarrhea… Too much for a diaper to hold.

Washing them.

Giving them fluids.

Covering them with covers.

Cleaning toilets with bleach.

Knowing full well… You are too close to this. Too close.

But those who love get close.

And isn’t that what Easter is all about?

A God who got close, reached out, touched, held, healed by essentially catching what we are so heavily infested with – sin.

And I was watching this little boy heave into a bucket, knowing full well that some things simply have to be heaved.

That healing can’t come until we heave out what is causing the pain.

“It needs to come out baby. Don’t try to hold it in… Let it go.”

What are you holding onto today? What is causing your pain?

Perhaps it is heaving time.

Perhaps it is healing time.

And I am convinced today that Jesus cries for our pain.

I am convinced that this “job” of His was not his job but his joy.

Convinced that our faces are more precious to him than the most beautiful, heavenly places.

He is with us.

Holding us.

Saying, “Don’t hold it in…”

Go ahead. Heave child of God. Heave into the hands of Jesus and be healed.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in What Matters Most

 

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Joseph of Arimathea: A Holy Week Devotion

A rich man bought his burial place.

He had it set and ready for that fateful day knowing full well it would come.

Death comes to us all.

So he spent a small fortune for his resting place,

Only to find himself standing one day on a hill,

Face to face with a bloodied, crucified man.

Some claimed the hanging man was a fake, a hypocrite, the son of the devil, a blasphemer fully deserving of death.

Some claimed that hanging man was a prophet, a teacher, a good man, but surely not divine.

But the rich man…

The rich man begged for the crucified man’s body.

Pulled a bloodied, beaten, shredded, speared and lifeless body down from a cross.

Wrapped the man’s body in clean linen and placed him in his very own tomb.

Why?

Because that rich man beheld a body that should have been his.

And he pulled himself down from a cross.

He felt the wounds that the years of his own poor choices had made.

He wrapped himself up in a cloth, saw every wound covered and made white as snow.

He felt the love of God wrapping around him.

He felt the weight of his own body, dead in sin upon his shoulders.

He felt the love that faithfully carried him and continued to walk him on.

He reached his very own tomb and laid in it himself.

And all his riches were worthless, reduced to nothing in the presence of the body of the One worth everything.

No, Christ was not the only one crucified there.

He was.

And I was.

And so were you.

And Christ was not the only one resurrected there,

He was.

And I was.

And so were you.

Hidden in Him.

Made new in Him.

Our heart forever laid to rest.

The greatest treasure now obtained, eternal life through faith in Him.

(A reflection from our morning devotion time today. Scripture reference: Matthew 27:57-60)

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in What Matters Most

 

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Making Easter Meaningful

Making Easter Meaningful.

 

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2014 in What Matters Most

 

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All is Well Here

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This little girl melts my heart. Our potted plant was not looking well. In an attempt to help it, our daughter and I planted it here in a patch of dirt by our back door. Sweet baby girl watched me planting it. As I kneeled there, gently folding new dirt around the fragile roots, leaning a rock against the stem that wanted to bend… she randomly took back off into the house. She returned with this little “Get Well” balloon in hand. The same balloon that was given to me when I needed to get well. She insisted we place the balloon by our little plant. Moved by the gesture, I agreed. I planted a balloon in our garden… Once again motivated by a child to do the seeming ridiculous. I watched her today as she whispered “Get well,” to the little plant, touching its flowers so gently.

I don’t know whether or not the little plant will get well. I hope it will… I hope it will live longer, grow stronger… But even should it not… This little, sickly plant, has caused compassion and hope to bloom in our little girl. Love has grown here- in our daughter and in me. Incredible purpose is felt here, flooding over all that is not well.

How is that God can do that? He can take all that is not well to birth all that is: Compassion, love, hope and a faith that leans on the Solid Rock.

All is well here.

All is so very well.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in What Matters Most

 

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That’s Crazy

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On Monday night my mother kept our kids so hubby and I could enjoy a wonderful date night. We sat talking and enjoying a meal at a local seafood restaurant. Being that we were both eating fish, a certain passage that the kids and I had been reading the day before in Matthew came to mind. Hubby and I talked about that famous story of the fish with a coin in its mouth. Do you remember that one? It is found in Matthew 17:24-26.

Essentially this is what went down: The disciples had come to a certain city by the sea and after arriving, tax collectors went up to one of the disciples and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” The disciple then went to Jesus, who, in typical Jesus-style, answered the question with a bit of a parable, His final answer being, “… the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”

I have always loved the sheer craziness of this miracle. I can only imagine how Jesus’ voice and tone may have sounded as he gave those crazy and yet so matter-of-fact instructions for provision. And then, for the disciple who followed the instructions, casted out that line, and indeed caught the fish with a coin in its mouth… How crazy would that have been?

Hubby and I began discussing the question I have often pondered , “How exactly did that coin get in that fish’s mouth anyway?”

Sure, Jesus could have mysteriously and miraculously formed a coin from nothing, but I tend to imagine a different scenario. I tend to imagine a man out on some edge of the sea with a coin in his pocket. Perhaps it is his last coin. Perhaps it was just change from a recent purchase. Whatever it may be, there he is with this coin in his pocket.

Suddenly the man gets this crazy inclination from what he perceives to be God… A little nudging in his spirit to “Throw out that coin.” And he is standing there… Thinking, “That’s crazy.” Yet again, he feels it, “Throw our that coin.” He stands, wrestling with his thoughts, until finally he throws the coin. It sinks below the surface and is swallowed up by a certain fish.

He never saw the fish. He never saw anything at all, except his coin sinking down in a muddy sea and he walks away forever wondering and sometimes doubting, “Why in the world did I do that? How stupid. See, nothing happen.”

Ok- I know- how the coin got in the mouth of the fish was not recorded, but it does make one wonder, how did it get there? And what IF? What IF it did get there because one man, or woman, boy or girl, threw out a coin because of some “crazy” inclination.

What if God today or tonight gave you some crazy inclination to do something in order to provide for a need that you cannot perceive? Would you do it? And if you did it- that crazy thing- only to find after you have done it that it seemed entirely pointless- would you still believe?

What if crazy inclinations are indeed tied to crazy miracles? How crazy would that be and how essential could we all be?

Something to think about the next time you get a crazy little inclination.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in What Matters Most

 

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Every Job is Important

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I just watched my honey heading out on his first trip to fly a new plane for a new airline… I watched him walk off in his new uniform, rolling behind him was his official crew baggage. As I watched him walk off I could not help but smile as I considered all the many jobs I have seen this man walk into- and I mean MANY. I have watched him head out our door to head to construction sites where he would be laying tile and granite. I have watched him walk out our door to head to insurance sales meetings. I have watched him walk out our door in full camo, heading out for new ventures with the US Army. I have watched him head out our door starting the new venture of learning to fly. I have watched him head out our door to meet with advertisers and discuss new designs and layouts in the magazine he created. I have watched him head out our door to serve up tacos from a food truck that he bought, designed and personally upgraded. I have watched him head out our door with boxes of t-shirts designed and pressed by him in route to local marathon runners. I have watched him walk out our door to fly for the National Guard. Over the twelve years of our marriage, and over the nearly 20 years I have known him, I have watched him walk into many jobs… Flashbacks to the smell of plumeria flowers as we held hands walking to his job as a bagger for the commissary when he was 15… He has never ceased to work.

But there is a reason I wanted to share his many “jobs” with whoever may read this today- and it is this: I want you to know something that the Lord continues to remind me of through my husband:

Every job is equally important. Every job is part of a greater purpose. If you have asked Christ into your heart and asked him to guide you and lead you- Everywhere you step, Christ is stepping. Your “job” is so much more than a paycheck. It is a God-given opportunity to make a difference. My husband knows this. He reminds me of this. And in that knowledge is found the secret to having deep joy in any job.

Whatever job you may be stepping into today, I pray you will be encouraged and reminded that God is stepping with you. Some of you may step into new offices today, new countries and cities… Some of you may simply step back into the same kitchen to prepare a meal for the same little faces… Each job is equally important and infact, often the “least of the jobs” is where Christ is seen the greatest:

To the Walmart employee called to unclog the toilet… Christ is shining in you. To the trash collector grabbing hold of what no one else wants to even smell let alone touch- Christ is shining in you. To the foster parent taking in the hurt and angry child who curses you and “will never” see you as his or her parent- Christ is shining in you.

Whatever job God has called you to today- it is important. It is God-given. May you shine today in the job you do.

Love,
Charity

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2014 in What Matters Most

 

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When Plans Change: Dealing with Disappoinment

I got some news today that changed some plans that I was really looking forward to. Ever had that happen? It can be so disappointing. After doing the oh-so-godly thing of crying and sulking, a certain passage came to mind:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

Our plans are just that… Plans.

Sometimes they come to pass. Sometimes they don’t. We truly don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We don’t even know what the next minute will bring!

So what then? What are we left with? We are left with right now. Isn’t that an empowering thought? We can’t control what happens tomorrow… But we can control how we maximize the time we are given right now.

Sulking over.
Time to make the most of right now.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2014 in What Matters Most

 

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