Saturday, July 28, 2012

No Looking Back

Kristi and I spent the past few days with the folks in Cumberland, and enjoyed watching some of the olympics together. Saturday morning we watched the men's road race, a long distance route through London on bicycles. It was fun to watch, and we were captivated by the ending. Two athletes were in a neck-and-neck race to the finish line, far ahead of the pack. The man in the lead looked back for just a moment. The finish line was so close, but he was momentarily distracted and took his eyes off the end goal. In that moment, the other biker thrust forward to take the lead and win the race.

Did you see it? Did you wonder what made him look back? It cost him a win.

Here is the verse I thought of..... "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Discarded Regeneration

Dad  recently discarded  a Hosta plant that just wasn’t doing well where it was planted.  It was dying.  So, he did what anyone would do.  He got rid of it, throwing it into the rocky area behind some trees in the back yard.    A few weeks later he noticed that the plant had somehow re-rooted itself.  It’s like the plant wanted to prove it could survive even the toughest treatment and the injustice of being misunderstood.   The plant not only survived but thrived, like God had done a miracle of regeneration and renewal in the face of people giving up on it.  

Dad, in his mercy and grace, helped the plant.  It is now doing very well after being repotted in new soil by his generous hands.    Even after being devalued and disgarded,  it is flourishing in a new place, blossoming to God’s glory.    With new soil and a new setting it has become a beautiful plant, growing like it was totally regenerated.   It just needed a replant with change that granted renewed opportunity.
There are people and forces in the world who would like to see you deleted and discarded. You've been misunderstood.   People have sometimes given up on you, or someone you know.

Not God. 

Don't give up on yourself or others.

Be encouraged.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  (2 Cor 5:16-18)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Living Dead

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

The cross, made from some tree, represents death.

We have some beautiful trees at the B&B.   Diversity displayed by many shades of green.  Then there are dead trees with dead branches.    I'd get rid of them,  but the most wonderful songbirds seem to like the dead branches the best.   They perch on dead wood and sing to God's glory.

Kristi and I reflected about that during prayer one recent morning.   The contrast of beauty and glorious music upon dead branches.    There is something about that. 

Death to self brings forth new life.    We carry around the death of Jesus that HIS glorious life might be manifest in us (2 Cor. 4:10)....ushering forth some beautiful music.   Singing today.