Daily & Divine

You & I have lots of responsibilities & things we have to do. Every day we have the “must do” stuff & even the daily mundane. Sometimes my days don’t seem very divine & yet when I’m attentive, I can see & sense God’s presence. When I ask God to help me in my daily living, I begin to be more aware of God & I see God doing stuff & catch glimmers of God’s influence.
Daily + Divine = Incarnation 🙂

masterpiece

picasso-blue-room-phillips

There’s been some interesting news lately about Pablo Picasso & one of his famous paintings, Blue Room.  In this painting, Picasso painted a woman, but art experts have found another painting behind the surface painting.  The image behind the woman is a portrait of a bearded man & experts are trying to figure out who the man was, along with many other mysterious & important details.  It appears that Picasso used his canvass for more than one painting (not an uncommon practice with artists).

Perhaps this is also true with the greatest Artist of all, our Creator.  Perhaps God has not only made the external masterpiece that we can all see on the outside of each other & maybe there’s also an internal masterpiece inside of us that God has also created.  Let’s be careful that we don’t get stuck in looking at the outside of people, but let’s allow God to show us the masterpiece inside someone & not merely the external painting 🙂

hot topic: Bowe Bergdahl

bowe
Over the weekend, Sgt Bowe Bergdahl  was released to US armed forces after being held in Afghanistan for almost 5 years. I’ve kind of followed this story from a distance & it’s becoming somewhat controversial. There have been concerns raised on many levels including the 5 Taliban leaders who were released from Guantanemo Bay in exchange for Sgt Bergdahl. There are also questions related to how Sgt Bergdahl became a hostage in Afghanistan.
My kids tell me not to believe everything I read on the internet & I think that’s wise advice. But as a follower of Jesus, how do I respond to things that seem shifty in our rapidly changing world? Are there timeless truths and unchanging principles? Absolutely yes. In Jesus’ life, we see that He demonstrated great love and generosity. Even as He hung on the cross He asked the Father to forgive those who were killing Him. Jesus personifies what it means to genuinely love in the middle of deception, intrigue, duplicity and betrayal.  Let’s pray for the Bergdahl family as they have some big challenges in front of them

look up

I was recently in Ethiopia & on a drive into the countryside, we took a pause to get out & stretch our legs.  As I was enjoying the nice weather, beautiful surroundings, listening to new bird sounds and taking in some nice fresh air, I quickly became alert that I needed to watch where I was stepping because of some conveniently deposited refuse from nearby wildlife (translation:  cow pies).  Nimble is a word that comes to mind as I write this 🙂

Sometimes we can get really focused in on our daily living and endeavoring the various “cow pies” that can unexpectedly jump onto our path.  Of course we must be careful where & how we walk (making wise & spiritual choices), but let’s also lift up our eyes & look up.  It’s really tempting to go through life looking for ways to avoid cow pies, but that’s never as rewarding as going through life with our eyes on Jesus, our Good Shepherd 🙂

jetlag

Oh the glories of waking up at midnight with complete alertness!  I’m currently in Ethiopia & it seems like this is a great opportunity for me to catch up with blogging, since my schedule presently is “unbooked” ,)  My internal clock says it’s around 4pm but the external clock here says its about 1am, or something like that.

With that being said, this trip to Ethiopia has really big personal significance for me.  It was here in Ethiopia about 5 years ago that God began to stir in my heart Saving Moses, having met twin newborn girls that had been abandoned on a field.  It has also been my experience that getting to minister in Ethiopia is an extremely unique privilege for me.  There’s something here that is deeply spiritual & personal for me so that whenever I get to visit here, I always seem to come away with greater awareness of God & God’s presence in my life.  So far, this trip has been very engaging & deepening for me with God.

I’ll try to keep you posted on what’s happening here, as the time & sleep allows, but in the meantime, as you read this, I pray that you will sense God’s deep and full love for you! 🙂

Hot Topic: Magic Johnson

I really like basketball & the recent racial disgrace with the NBA Clippers & Mr Sterling has been disturbing. Adding more fuel, there’s been some public comments about Magic Johnson & then Magic replying about these comments. The nature of the banter gives us a place to look into ourselves & consider our own actions & words.
Some things to consider:
*If someone verbally attacks you, do you attack back? Magic Johnson replied that he would pray for Mr Sterling after Mr Sterling made some questionable comments.
*If we expect perfection from public figures, we are indeed naive & perhaps our focus is misplaced
*Whats the high ground? It seems to me that all high ground almost universally includes forgiveness.
*If you’re looking for someone after whom to model your behavior & to idolize, pick Jesus 🙂

Open

There are more things that we don’t see & hear than we realize. If you think about it, our eyes & ears are designed to absorb a select range of frequencies. With that being said, we have to understand that there are sights & sounds happening around us of which we are unaware.
So let’s be careful that we don’t put all of our faith only in what we see & hear.
1Cor 2:9 says that there are things that our eyes haven’t seen & our ears haven’t heard, nor has entered into our hearts all the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.
Don’t sink your faith in natural thinking 🙂

after resurrection

Easter is a wonderful celebration of life, victory and genuine love!!  And it seems to me that there is often a little bit of a “let down” after Easter. – kind of like, “Whew!  Jesus rose from the dead, glad that He conquered death, let’s move on.”  This year, however, is a little different for me.

I’m reminded what Jesus told His disciples in John 16:7 that it was to their advantage for Jesus to go away so that the Helper could come & give us HELP.  When Jesus was raised from the dead, He breathed on His followers in John 20:22 and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit!”

So here’s the overwhelmingly GREAT NEWS about Jesus raising from the dead – not only did Jesus conquer death but we now have the great Helper with us in our daily living!  Let’s never minimize the importance of the Helper being with us!!

A Slow Trip

When I travel, I try to take the shortest routes hoping to spend the least amount of time traveling. For example, when I go to Angola with Saving Moses, I try to figure out a way to skip stopping in Europe so that my travel can be more efficient & more direct.
In contrast, I was reading in Luke 24 about how Jesus’ disciples were on the road to Emmaus & were unknowingly having a very engaging chat w Jesus. Once they arrived at their destination, they were enjoying Jesus’ company so much that they compelled Him to stay w them & share a meal. During the meal, Luke tells us that their eyes were opened & they recognized Jesus! As I thought about this, maybe they should have slowed down their travel / journey to enjoy Jesus’ presence along the way.
Slow down, Jesus is walking with you each day 🙂

Are You Puzzled?

My son & I finished a puzzle during Spring Break & I always enjoy the time with my son as well as the therapy of engaging in an entirely different kind of activity that promises a successful outcome. In my thinking, much of life is like a puzzle – sometimes there seem to be random pieces that don’t look like they belong nor fit. Let’s understand that God knows the big picture, how the pieces for together, as well as the middle, edges & timing for the most breathtaking outcomes beyond description. We are all masterpieces in the making!! 🙂

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