Sunday, December 19, 2010

What Is Christmas About?

It isn't about black Friday or consumer spending.
It isn't about tinsel, garland, or decorated trees.
It isn't about Santa Claus.
It isn't about a snowy white day.

It is about the birth of the Son of God.
It is about the Lord Jesus Christ, and no other.
It is about a revolutionary new covenant that reconciles mankind with God.
It is about the light that Jesus brings in a world of darkness.

It isn't about sugar cookies, homemade fudge, or peanut brittle.
It isn't about holiday parties or velvet dresses.
It isn't about covered casseroles, eggnog, or hot toddies.
It isn't about the number or cost of the gifts that we give.

It is about letting His light shine in our lives.
It is about living the change that He's made in our lives every single day.
It is about the rising, irrepressible joy in our hearts knowing that
It is about the Savior who is coming again.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Live Expectantly

By Charlotte Lowrie

Since I began following the Lord, there are many days that I am astounded by His work in my life and His work in the world. But in a recent conversation with the Lord, I learned that being astounded is something that belongs in the beginning of a walk with the Lord, but over time it should change.

The Lord taught me that, "As long as you are astounded, you do not experience the power that is available to you as you walk in the Kingdom day by day. Astounded is for the beginning of the walk."

Rather, He explained, I should, "Expect in faith all that I can do every day. Be expectant." He emphasized again, "If you want the power of the Kingdom, move beyond being astounded. Be expectant."

And so while I am still in awe of all of His creation, it serves to remind me that He can do everything, and I can expect Him to work in my life far beyond my imagination.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving the Gift of Praise

On some days, I am so filled with joy and thanksgiving that I want to sing, write poems, and do anything and everything that I can to praise God. On one of those days, I thought about praising God, and I realized that any ability I have to praise comes directly from the God I'm praising. And this idea began a conversation with the Lord. Here is what I learned.

Everything good within us comes from God. There is no beginning and no end; there is no separation. While I wanted to give Him a gift from me, I had to wonder if it was really a gift if it came from Him in the first place.

The answer to that was that "He desires back what He has given to you, for that glorifies Him."

The expression is ours, but the Source is God. Simply stated, praise flows from Him to us, and then back to Him for His glory. So praise is yet another gift from Him. Our part is to: "Accept it. Expect it. Embrace it." And we should expect it every single day, and, of course, to give it back to Him every single day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Alway Enough Time

If you're like most people, there never seems to be enough time to do what needs to be done, much less enough time to do what you want to do. If there is a common answer to most questions that come our way, it most often is, "I don't have time."

Not long ago, I was given a writing deadline that astounded even me. In recent years, I've worked on short book deadlines as a matter of course, but when I saw the deadline for a new project, I thought that it was a typo. I quickly learned that it wasn't a typo. I protested and resisted without success. Then I prayed. The Lord assured me that there was time. Because I know that He knows, I put away my resistance, and I got to work. To my astonishment, there was time. Maybe not all the time I wanted to polish the project, but there was, indeed, just enough time.

Just as there is God's "perfect enough," there is also God's "time enough." For God, there is only the infinite, divine Now. His yesterday is His today, and His tomorrow is His today. Time was made for man, and the Lord is not bound by it. So when He gives us work to do, there is also time enough to do it. No rush—but time enough. We are in the unique position of walking simultaneously on earth and in His Kingdom, so we, too, are on divine time.

When we stay focused on Him, there it time enough to do all that He would have us do.

Monday, May 31, 2010

More Insights from Prayer

One of the beautiful things about walking with the Lord is His way of teaching me every day just exactly what I need to know. Sometimes I have the urge to understand everything about a problem, concern, or even an area of interest that is on my mind. But the Lord reminds me that He shows me the way as I need to be shown.

I know myself well enough to also know that even if He showed me everything at once, I would likely not remember it all. But when I’m shown what I need to know as it relates to my situation, then I remember it well. His way is always perfect.

And here are some recent insights from prayer time that I hope will be helpful and encouraging to you.

  • It’s important to walk strong in His victory—the victory won on the cross and with His resurrection. The Kingdom needs those who are strong—those who can walk strong in His victory.
  • Being “in the will of the Lord” means doing every day what He gives us to do. Very often, my daily work seems unrelated to Kingdom goals. But the Lord reminds me that I may not know how my work serves Him, but He knows, and that is enough.
  • “Our creativity works together—what I’ve instilled in you, and what I inspire you with. That is how the gift works.”
  • “Stay where I have placed you. Do not be anxious about other things, or you will miss what I have for you here.”
  • Do not crowd out your creativity with too many thoughts. Give it space and time. Let it breathe.
  • You are in only one place at a time. Be there completely and fully.
  • You forgive the person, not the act.
  • “In all things, I am able.” Amen.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Counting Our Easter Blessings

We are blessed--so very blessed. Through immeasurable and profound grace, we have a path to salvation. We have the privilege of a personal and daily walk with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. By the way of the cross, we are part of the Kingdom of God on earth here and now as well as through eternity. There is every reason for us to live the victory of His marvelous resurrection.

Let us do as the apostles did.

"With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all." (Acts 4:33)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Recent Insights on Following Christ

Periodically, I post snippets from the time that I spend every day with the Lord. I’ll continue that tradition with this post that includes some of the latest insights from the Lord.

  • Being a spendthrift goes contrary to the gift of giving. When I think that there is barely enough, it limits dreams and actions. He owns everything. There is always enough because the Kingdom is limitless.
  • Worry is useless. Rather, let the thoughts of the past fall away. “Walk forward in faith, trusting Me to provide all things. The burden is Mine, not yours, and I am able.”
  • I see my faults. The Lord sees how much He loves me. Together, the Lord and I always work through my shortcomings because the Lord concentrates on His love for me rather than on how short I fall. “Concentrating on love makes all the difference. And, likewise, you must also concentrate on your love of others, not their faults.”
  • If you know what “resting in His peace” means, then you know that it is a profound experience. I believe that resting in His peace is resting in the Source of life. Sometimes I think that tension is the glue that holds the events of the day together. But it’s not true. He is the glue that holds everything together. “In His peace, all things work together perfectly. There is no tension. Tension is the antithesis of peace, and of all having all things work together. There is no tension in His presence; there is tension only in the presence of man. In the Kingdom, there is only one struggle, and that struggle is against satan and his armies.”
  • It’s not how much we have, but what we do with what we have that’s important.
  • “You don’t have to take on the world-only what I’ve give you. Be where you are fully present, and that is enough.”
  • Are we near the end of times in human time terms or in heavenly time terms? “Both. Be prepared. Be doing what I’ve given you to do. Be watchful. Do not be surprised when the end comes, for it will come swiftly and without warning. Do not worry. Do what I’ve given you to do, and you will be accountable at the end of times. It means that you will have done what I gave you to do. Do it well. Lean on Me in all things.”
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

When Independence Is Weakness

By Charlotte Lowrie

For a good part of my life, I fought fiercely to be independent. I was determined that I would depend on no one else, and that I would always make my own way. Dependence was a sign of weakness, and I didn’t want to be weak.

Of course, after I achieved independence, I worried about maintaining my independence. I was watchful for anything that could infringe on me being able to take care of myself. When I decided to be self-employed, it was hard to concentrate on the current project because I always looking for the next job, looking for new ways to make money, and looking for ways to save money.

Then I accepted Christ, and everything changed. I remember one morning at my desk. I was smiling and full of His joy, despite not having a single paying project on the horizon. Somehow, it didn’t matter. As I saw and experienced His unfailing provision over and over, I gladly gave up my independence. His provision is so much richer and more joyful than what I provided for myself.

As a young Christian, one of the first things I understood is that everything belongs to Him. I am only a steward of the blessings that He has generously provided. More important, I know that dependence is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength as I cling to the Source of life. In Him are all things. In Him, I become strong. The Lord taught me that by not depending on Him, I cut myself off from the very source of life, and I become weak.

I learned that my talents are best used in His presence, for He is the source of all my talents. And I know that my talents should be used for His glory alone. Not my glory, but for His glory.

When I think about what He has given me, I know that I will never use the talents and abilities that He has given me unless I completely depend on Him.

Today, I know that independence is weakness. True strength is complete dependence on Him.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Gift of Giving

The gift of giving is one of the most powerful gifts that we have. The Lord gives without counting the cost or measuring the volume. All thing are His to give. And what He gives to us, we are free to give to others.

Our work is to give as He gives to us, without counting the cost. "Freely you have received; freely give." (Matthew 10:8 NIV)

That means that we give all things: material wealth, spiritual insights, His peace, and His joy. We paid nothing for them, and we are charged with giving them away that His work may be multiplied. It is an unending chain of sharing.

Enough is enough.
More than enough
should be given away.