Stand Still

Stand stillWe sometimes wonder: how can God allow the world’s atrocities to occur? Why the suffering, killing, torture, and fear? I don’t have an answer, but I do offer a reflection.

Viktor Frankl was a WWII concentration camp survivor, psychiatrist, and writer. Early in Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning, he makes an astonishing statement. Frankl says that ALL the good people died in the camps. Every last one.

Here’s the reflection: The greatest evil is conquered by an even greater good.

So I imagine the scenario. The camp prison guard is approaching my group. I know that if I don’t move, I will be taken and executed. If I move, maybe even just a little bit, another person will be taken instead. What do I do?

Can I stand still?

For how much less do I move out of the line of fire in my life? How often do I flee to protect my ego and insecurity? Is this the life I want to save?

Father, give me the strength to hold my ground as did your Son. Let me lose my life. In obedience to you.

“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

Image source (modified).

An hour (or so) at the post office

Here in Argentina there are wonderful things to see and do. Waiting in long lines is not one of these things. When I took my number at the post office, it read “72”. They were serving number 43.  So I sighed and glanced upwards to heaven. From my perch, I observed:

A man who could not stop staring at every young woman that came into the post office. He looked each of them up and down several times. He was fidgety. I know this man. He has been in charge of youth groups and works for an NGO that helps the poor.

A woman wearing a revealing dress. I suppose she wanted everyone to see how great her tan was. (It’s summer down here).

An older disabled man. He held up the line for many long minutes.

A handsome young man, full of life and full of himself. He strutted around as if we should have applauded him.

A young woman lent the disabled man her pen. When her turn was done, she just left the post office and left her pen as a gift to the man.

A middle aged man who complained loudly about the heat and the weak air conditioning.

A pregnant woman smiling at her husband and young son who were waiting outside. Through the glass door she smiled and waved at them lovingly.

The post office worker, who despite the complaints, treated every single person with respect and a smile.

I saw kindness, vanity, lust, struggle, frustration and generosity during my wait. I reflected on my reactions to the actions and appearances of others.

Peeking into the lives of these people, what did I feel?

Did I feel mercy?

Jesus does.

For all.

Angels of light

Beware of the angels of light that invade and inhabit your world and your soul. These are the evil beings that appear beautiful and attractive, but they only wish to devour you.

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These angels prey upon the weak. Those who desire a world devoid of suffering are drawn to these false angels who promise a new age of glitter and joy but no substance. There is no effort to develop character, only illusion.

For others, the angels are the obvious deceits of power, sex, money or drugs.

But the most dangerous are the angels of light that dwell among the religious. If your religion is devoid of mercy, you are being seduced by a demon in disguise. Does your doctrine blind you? Do not be deceived.

Christ came to show us that life is always messy, always bloody – yours, mine, everybody’s. You are not guaranteed any special treatment or privilege if you follow him. On the contrary, you might end up being hated or persecuted or – depending on where you live – you might even be killed.

The Messianic promises are much greater than we realize. But to see them clearly we must get down from our spiritual high horse and sit at the Lord’s feet.

Do you judge the homosexual or the atheist? Do you condemn the adulterer, the addict or the criminal? Or do you present Christ to them?

True mercy understands others at their level. This miracle only occurs if we let God work in us and through us thus allowing our righteousness to exceed that of the scribes and pharisees (Matthew 5:20).

What is it that should outrage the Christian? That someone has never heard of the triumphant work of Jesus Christ upon the cross for all of mankind.

How well we transmit this message depends on knowing these keys to perfection: You are not better – you are forgiven. You are not exalted – you are loved.

Romans 3,24

 

Image sources: Woods: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SunShiningThroughDustInWood.jpg (I cropped the image and added the text.); Wolf: Attribution Some rights reserved by doublejwebers

Trust Him Today

Why is it that we lose sight of our faith precisely when we need it most?

Jesus said, “Be not afraid” and we tremble in fear.
He said, “I am the bread of life” and we look everywhere else to feed our hungry souls.

What is keeping you from being at peace? Why don’t you do something about it TODAY?

It’s not about emotions…. it’s about making decisions and taking a stand.

Grab your faith with both hands and hold on tight.
Then beat down and kick out the things that are holding you down or holding you back.

Trust Him. He will fight the fight for you.

Patience

How patient do I have to be? I have been praying for some things for a very long time it seems.

So I ask God, “How patient do I have to be?”

And He answers, “How patient am I with you?”

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

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photo credit: Ocean City NJ Sunrise 7-9-10 by David Saddler

You can amaze Him

Jesus is never shocked by your sin.

He already took care of that on the cross.

But he never stops marveling at your faith.

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Photo credit: Gerardofeganhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/29310420@N02/5440796379/in/photolist-9hMvd8-dhuUeN-9UQFGH-9vucmK-9xUY8T-9xUY4t-9xXWEd-9xUY3K-9xUY9X-9xUY78-9xXWwW-9xUY58-9xUYgg-9xUY3B-9xXWwC-9xUYhx-9xXWAW-9xUY6a-9xUYan-9xUYhc-9xUY8r-9xUYbe-9xXWN7-9y51Ub-9y23Ei-7SfkTD-8ijZqi-cbk3GY-aUBvpP-9y51Tu-9y23BB-9y51LY-9y51NQ-9xV5c8-9xV5gc-9xY3JW-9xV5eP-9xY3MA-9xV5dz-9xV5dP-9xY3N9-9xY3Hu-9xY3Kf-9xV5d6-bob2uG-9xUY9t-9hvc8z-dACDGa-7DNi2v-9Bxb3E-8UTeix

Nothing

nothingWhen you are left with nothing, when everything is gone. Everything. Who are you then?

What happens when you lose all your possessions? Your house, your car, your money… All your books and phones and gadgets… gone in the blink of an eye.

What happens then?

Your job… gone. Your family… gone. Even your clothing… gone.

That’s right. You might as well be dead.  In fact, you will be dead someday.

And it will all be gone.

You will stand naked. Alone.

Or not?

Will you wait until then to see you are God’s child?

A child he loves with the greatest love story ever told?

Why wait until you are dead?

Instead, live forever. Know that you are a child of God.

Jesus died. He rose again. For you.

praise

image credits: nothing: http://rootfun.net/wallpapers/animated-wallpapers-2013/attachment/i-see-nothing-wallpaper/

praise: http://www.klove.com/blog/post/2010/10/11/God-Rocks!-K-LOVEs-Day-of-Praise!.aspx