Thursday, April 24, 2008

Walking humbly

The Word of God instructs to "walk humbly with thy God." This is quite well known to a Christian and is a reminder to keep us aware of God`s constant presence in our lives.

Continuing on the subject, we are always moving in a direction. We are always walking. We walk with others as we build relationships. We may even find ourselves in awkward or difficult situations as we walk out our lives before believers and non believers.

Reflecting on my personal experiences over the years I have learned that I cannot
change people with my will. I have learned that walking humbly with God also brings humility into the other relationships in my life. I have learned to mediate on this when I run into disagreements with others.

Pray for conviction and avoid condemnation.

No one is condemned into the Kingdom of God, only Christ will condemn those out of it. The hypocrites, deceivers, and such will have their time.
People are entreated and loved into God`s Kingdom, whether it be by family from a young age or friend, or even a stranger.

We see the evil around us and our conscience triggers. Our anger may rise or our thoughts may pool around the subject.

What do we do in a world like this!? What do we choose today as our strategy? Do we pray for the Holy conviction or condemn everything unfit of our approval?

God`s Spirit is mighty and will convict the world of wrong, as we shine before men. This is our hope! Our hope being that men would praise God and give him the praise due to His name, that one day all will shine with the glory of God!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Legacy of Love

There are people in our lives who love us. Perhaps we don`t realize it. Perhaps we think we are not loved at all, but the chances are that whether we know it or not...we are loved.

I am astounded when I think about it.

Sometimes we don`t realize how loved we are until that person is gone. Sometimes we don`t realize that love until we have someone to love.

Love is a generational blessing. When our parents love us we have an abundance of love to pass to our children and grandchildren and so on. My grandparents loved my parents and in so taught them to love me. Love is a legacy that endures. The Bible talks about love being the greatest attribute one can have.

Recently my grandma passed into the loving arms of Jesus. Her love was strong and it will endure throughout generations. This is because she had God`s love in her heart. I am truly grateful for her committment to love others, especially her family.

More than any achievement or mark of success, a legacy of love should be our life`s goal. Remembering that we look to the one who "first loved us" to make this possible. Without God`s love we cannot hope to love to the utmost those around us. If we are in need of love today, it truly is available to us. We simply have to make ourselves available to receive it. I know for myself there are many days I need to reflect on this and even put myself in the place of prayer for this specific need.

May God`s love fill you making you able to overflow with love into the lives of others. Let this be your "Legacy of Love"

In loving memory of Betty Barrett

Monday, April 07, 2008

Open Doors

To be honest I struggle with evangelism.
Yet I am reminded by preachers and teachers to not neglect it.

Paul prayed for an open door for his ministry, for the gospel, for the news of God's kingdom to go forth!
Think about it for a moment. Is an open door difficult to go through? When the key is unlocked one does not need to struggle to open a door. One simple walks in as intended. So it is when the Spirit of Almighty God speaks through us as a mouthpiece, beckoning and entreating a man or woman into His kingdom.

When we go through open doors we are not arguing or straining. We are simply extending an invitation. It is an irresistible message of grace tempered with the loving truth.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A time in America

We have just finished our three week stay in America. It has been much more than I imagined. I left Japan thinking it was a time to rest and to take care of green card stuff, but it revealed itself to be more.

It was a time to introduce a Japanese young man to America for the first time and to see develop relationships with godly individuals. He got to spend an Easter Sunday at church and experience the American life for a week.

It was a time to think about the future of ministry and get reconnected. It was a time to get a new vision and motivation for the coming year.

It was a time to meet people from my past and play the game of baseball that I have missed so much.

It was a time to see my daughters run around the house, playing in the pool, chasing the dog, rolling in the dirt, climbing, dancing, singing, and grow in relationship with my family here.

It was a priceless time in so many ways and I am truly grateful for it. I am sad to go back, but I know that there is a season of purpose and potential waiting for us.

Even as I hug my daughter, Anna, under the cool dark sky in the back yard I know it will be hard. I hold her and tell her I love her and say to her, "It has been so fun to watch you run around and be so happy here."

The tears are sometimes hard to hold back...

Goodbyes are always hard and as they come closer I become more aware of reality of separation. May God keep our love ever strong as a family and lead us to a good place. Amen.
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