Solo – Write a letter to God

2 06 2009

In my devotion time this morning, I read the passage of Jeremiah 20:7-10. It talked about how Jeremiah was God’s mouth piece and how he was ridiculed for obeying God’s will. In the application portion of the devotion, the action said to “write a letter to God.” The letter should be completely honest and raw about the good, bad and ugly in how God is a part of our life.

Never really thought about writing a letter to God. He wrote a series of letters and stories for us and that is how we got the Bible. But, that is our instruction manual, love letter, story book, center of truth and the list continues. What would a letter of us pouring our heart, thoughts, dreams, frustrations and feelings toward God look like? Would it be simple or deep?

Here is a thought. Write that letter today. Better yet, write it tomorrow and the next day, too! In fact, we do write a letter to God when we have a relationship that is vibrant and ongoing. Notice I did not say “happy, sad, positive and negative.” Our relationship should not be on one side of the spectrum because it has to be genuine and real. When we can be real with God everyday, then we can truly write a letter to God each day of our life that reflects a true sense of who God is to us. And, all around us get to enjoy a good, God book!


Solo – New Name

26 05 2009

Isaiah 62:2-5

“…You’ll get a new name straight from the mouth of God…”

Great passage of scripture out of Isaiah. It talks about how God delights in you and is happy with you. One of the exercises the devotion tells you to do, is to answer this question, “If you were to ask God for a new name, what would it be?” Wow! What a phenomenal question!

If you had the opportunity to give yourself a name, what would you do with that? Would you focus on the what you feel on the inside about yourself? Would you look at making a statement of who you are or want to be? Would you be about other people or centered on your own identity? Would you seek input from others to see how they see you?

This is a lot deeper than a name – this is a journey into seeing yourself as God sees you. We will never meet the total love for ourselves that God has for us. Either we will over inflate our view and elevate ourselves to a place of self importance. Or we will under appreciate who God created us to be and walk in a self imposed limitation. So, if God was standing in front of you and asked “What do you want me to call you, what would you say?”

I don’t even have an answer for myself. I am taking it to my prayer time…not for an answer. Instead, I want to journey on this thought for a while. There is so much for depth to me beyond a name and I guess, God is taking me there. But to be known as … well, that is pretty cool too.

Solo – Like the back of my Hand

12 05 2009

Isaiah 49:16 “Look, I ‘ve written your names on the back of my hands.”

Recently, I was watching a show where a paramedic was called in to take care of a contestant. Out of all the things the paramedic did, the one thing that stood out to me was something very small – and it intrigued me. On his left rubber glove, he had written some numbers and scribble. Now I was hooked. I was trying to read it and figure out if it was blood pressure, pulse, etc. I realized that when the segment was over, I hadn’t listened to a word he said – I was glued on his hands.

Why did he write that stuff on his hands? For sure, it was so he had the information right at his fingertips. (Ok, bad pun.) But in reality, yes, he wanted that information in the easiest place to access it. It was so important that it put in a place that at a moments notice he could get to it.

Our scripture today tells us that we are in the same place with God. He wants us so close that he is willing to inscribe our names on the back of His hands. It is also interesting to note that He has already put us there. Which leads me to a question – why do we feel distant from God. Who moved? We move, not Him. We need to realize how important we are to Him. We are like those statistics for the paramedics only this time, we are not just numbers. We are lives that the Lord wants to have complete access to in a moments notice.

Why? So He can say, “I know you like the back of my hand…”

Solo – The Incomparable

6 05 2009

Isaiah 46:1-2, 5
“The god Bel falls down, god Nebo slumps. The no-god hunks of wood are loaded on mules and have to be hauled off, wearing out the poor mules. Dead weight, burdens who can’t bear burdens, hauled off to captivity…So to whom will you compare me, the Incomparable?

I am pleasantly surprised when I read a passage in the Bible that I feel like I never read before. I have been a Christian since I was in seventh grade and never heard God’s name as “the Incomparable.” Once I get past the big, blond character out of the Disney movie, the Incredibles, it just sinks in. This is one of the most amazing names ever ascribed to God. The line after it in the bible asks, “Can you picture me with reducing me?” Simply, “no.” I cannot picture God or his abilities without the human filter of human limitations.

This has been a rough week. It seems like a lot of challenges whether physical, spiritual or even emotional. The scripture in verse two really hit it home – “Dead weight, burdens who can’t bear burdens.” That is exactly what they are – weights who have purpose to bring me down with no added value. They are just weights. Burdens which bear no fruit. The more you focus on them, the more I become the mule who get worn out.

These two passages are perfect contradictions. Do I want to carry a parasitic weight around whose whole purpose is to slow me down? Do I really want to serve a God who is bigger than all that I can imagine? Will I continue to carry the weight? Will I continue to put him in a box?

When it comes to the Incomparable….there is no comparison.

Solo – You are Mine

4 05 2009

Isaiah 43:1-4

“Don’t be afraid. I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called you by name. You’re mine.”

This verse has a great place in my heart. All three of my children are very special to me. Each of them are unique, colorful and vibrant in their own way. Each of them have a talent in music and get to express their gift in different ways. I remember the first time I heard one of them sing this song in a church service. It is a song by Mutemath and the chorus is simple – “You are mine.” (over and over again). It struck me so powerfully that the song expressed not power driven ownership but instead, a humble expression that says, “I am totally head over heels in love with you and paid a price for you.” It is exactly how I feel about my kids – as many times as they do great and bad, I am passionate about their being everything God wants them to be. For every success and mistake, they will always be in my vision of love for them.

On the flip side, it is the same heart that God has for us. It says in Isaiah, that God says the same thing about the children of Israel. God is speaking to you and I through this passage. He is a jealous, ardent God who paid the price for you so he could say, “You are mine.” You know your victories and your challenges and yet, He still loves you as a complete package. You will always be in His vision of love.

You can almost hear him whisper….”You are mine.”

Solo – Living in the Moment

6 04 2009

Ecclesiastes 11:9, 12: 1-7

Today’s scripture is a marvel. The book of Ecclesiastes is like life perspective of the irreverant. It says things that many times, people would be a little hesitant to say. Not that it isn’t true, just a tad uncomfortable. Vs. 9 says, “You who are young, make the most of your youth…If something looks good to you, pursue it. But know also that not just anything goes; You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.” Jump to vs. 6-7 in chapter 12, “Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful ends. The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.”

All true – just enough twist to feel a little twinge of “yikes!” So, if it is all true and we know that, how does it challenge us to live today? I am no longer a youth but I am not old either. Like the scripture says, I know I have to answer for every bit of my life and I live it accordingly. But the end seems so far away that I don’t think it is anywhere time to pack it in. Today, I will live in the moment. Whereas I cannot change yesterday and I am not promised tomorrow, I will live today for all that it offers me today.

There is the answer…

Solo – Staying Alive

2 04 2009

Ecclesiastes 9:7-10

Vs. 9 “Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one!”

In the movie, The Last of the Mohicans, the the protagonists are trapped under the waterfall and the antagonists are about to capture them. Hawkeye tells the young lady he loves, “Stay alive – I will find you.” Then he jumps through the waterfall to live on and eventually, reclaim the young lady from the indians. I always thought that was a funky scene. But it makes sense. He knew they would kill him right there or be captured and his chances of saving her would be greatly diminished. Only by staying alive could he actually be in a position to help the rest of the group.

I have seen way to many motivational talks on 24 hours in a day. I love this devotions thought – “the hard work of staying alive.” Life is hard – physically, mentally and emotionally. Already this week, I have met with people who are dealing with marriage struggles, health issues, child situations, personal problems, etc. I have realized again that we are all broken people. When the Bible says, “there is none that are perfect, no not one,” it is accurate. We are all products of a sinful disposition, in a sinful world with an enemy who continues to try to thwart us. Depressing – no! It is life and it is worth working hard to stay alive. With all that is against us, look at what is for us. God is for you and will never, never leave you nor forsake you. His Word gives us His promises to live by that will give us victory in defeating situations. People – yes, broken people – who can come alongside us and help us grow. And blessings – love, joy, peace in a world searching so desperately for all three.

Today’s assignment – Stay alive! Whether hanging on by your fingernails till the calvary comes or continuing to live attacking the hurdles of every day. Stay alive – and the struggle will give way to victory.