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milky wayLook up to the skies above, and gaze down on the earth below. For the skies will disappear like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a piece of clothing. The people of the earth will die like flies, but my salvation lasts forever. My righteous rule will never end! 

My younger brother had a thing for garage sales. Every weekend would find him scouring through other people’s cast offs for ‘bargains’. When his life on earth ended suddenly as the result of an accident, those of us left behind had the task of going through his things. Apparently, my brother had a thing with shoes, tennis shoes in particular. All of us has that pair of shoes that are full of holes, worn out, and…comfortable. You know the kind. The kind you hate to throw away. My brother had boxes of them. We can only imagine that the shoes that many wives finally convinced their husbands to sell at a garage sale ended up in my brothers garage!

Nothing lasts forever, right? We outgrow that favorite sweater; get tired of the shirt grandma gave us; walk one too many miles in that pair sandals, or spill on that Easter dress. What’s true for clothing is true in other areas of our lives as well.

The flame in our marriages gets drowned out by bills, kids and familiarity until the honeymoon is a distant glow on the horizon. The new job becomes as full of monotony and drudgery as the old one. Our mid-life crisis car becomes the victim or cancerous rust.

Nothing keeps it glitter forever, right? But what about our faith? As I write this, I’m looking out my window at a Maple tree blazing with fall color. I’m reminded of the seasons and how they never change. Tonight the stars will shine brightly just like they’ve done for centuries and tomorrow morning the sun will rise above the horizon…just like always.

And, one more thing. God’s love for me will be the same for me tomorrow just as it was yesterday and will be for me for eternity. Eternity never grows dim. Eternity never loses it’s luster. Eternity never says, “I’ve had enough.” God’s love for us is eternal. So, while our love wavers from day to day and circumstance to circumstance, one thing, and only one thing, remains the same. God’s love will never fail.

Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” That favorite pair of shoes in the closet? You’re going to have to throw it someday, but you’ll never lose God’s love for you.

PRAYER: Father, there are so many times I take you for granted. So many times this temporary life clouds my realization of your eternal love for me. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for loving me so well. Amen.



Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. Romans 8:18

I remember family reunions at Thanksgiving. Gathered around the table with bowls of delicious food.  We kids would eat well, but always left room for grandma’s pie. The food was great. Dessert was better.

Looking back, I didn’t realize how truly blessed we were as a family. At that time no one we knew was touched by divorce, cancer or had been lost in the war. How easy it is when times are good to lose sight of the way things are for others.

Those who are born into wealth never have an inkling of what the rest of the world has to deal with. Their security has never in jeopardy. Yet those of us born in relative poverty struggle and strive for something better. For some of us we toil and spend, running up a debt we can never repay to have toys we will never fully enjoy. Others work a lifetime to build up a retirement account that gets washed away in illness or political and financial collapse.

What’s true in the financial world is true in the spiritual world. Some of us live with our debt hanging over our head. Even in the good times we are constantly aware of possible impending doom. In our physical lives we live paycheck to paycheck; in our spiritual lives we live sin to sin, always focusing on our failure, rarely living in the victory Jesus already fought to give us. Others of us run headlong into life, living on grace but never realizing the ultimate cost. We enjoy this life but fail to realize the full benefit of living wisely.

Those who live with eternity in mind are well aware of God’s benefits. Though the struggle now is great, they endure and enjoy the struggle and wait in eager anticipation for what comes ahead. Time and again I am amazed at the joy some have in the midst of sickness and poverty. They live a secret we often forget: ‘It gets better’. While we walk this earth we may never experience the comforts of the wealthy, but we are children of a king and someday we’ll receive our inheritance and the memories of the struggles here on earth will be washed away in the glow of Jesus’ face.

PRAYER: Father God, there are so many times we get distracted by the ‘wants’ of this world and fail to remember that this world is not our home. Help us to live as citizens of heaven and not as slaves of this earth. In Jesus name, Amen.

I pray that the Lord, who gives peace, will always bless you with peace. May the Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally.

This is the phrase that came to me as I was pondering what it meant to be truly at peace. We live in a world where peace is merely spoken of as a wish, a dream, a hope we know deep inside of us will probably never come. We have just come out of the Christmas season in which we speak of “Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Men”. We look forward to a new year in which we always hope for life with a stronger economy, more solid relationships and better health.

True peace, the kind of peace God promises us isn’t dependent on circumstances, nor can it be taken from us by other people. True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. True peace, God’s peace is best exemplified with the Hebrew word SHALOM. SHALOM peace reaches to the very soul. SHALOM peace encompasses the seen and the unseen, the things I can control and the things I can’t.

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. While True peace is initiated by God, I must make a decision to make that peace a part of my life. The great enemy of our souls wants us to believe two lies. One is that we can’t do anything to change ourselves. The other is that the only way we can get better is to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and try harder. Both lies have partial truths in them. We must make decisions in our lives that will lead to healthier living spiritually, emotionally and physically. One day Jesus met a young man who was unhappy with life. Jesus told him the best way to gain the fulfillment he sought was to give away all he had and follow Christ, Christ alone. The man had a decision to make. He chose to walk away.

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. The false part of the enemies lies is that the outcome depends on us. The outcome never depends on us. If it does we are destined to failure. The power to change our attitudes, actions and reactions can’t come from us. It must come from the power of Christ in me. The Apostle Paul tells us “Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. (Philippians 4:7) Our minds are guarded from defeat not because of our own power but because of the power of Christ that protects, strengthens and guides us.

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. The ‘eternal thinker’ realizes that the trouble of this world, no matter how devastating, is temporary. Everything we can see, touch, hold, hear and taste ends at death. But our heart, our soul lives on eternally. The ‘eternal thinker’ spends his/her energy on things that build for eternity. Jesus says, “I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.” (John 16:33)

PRAYER: Father God, as I move into a new year, let me live a life of true peace. True Peace that begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. Amen.

From this time on we do not think of anyone as the world does. In the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks, but we no longer think of him in that way. 2 Corinthians 5:16 (NCV)

When Jesus walked on earth he didn’t see men or women, he saw his very own creations. He showed everyone his unconditional love. He invited all to be healed, to be filled, to have their wounds anointed with the healing oil of his touch.

When Jesus walked among us he was, no doubt, uncomfortable with our sin. He, and only he, had the unique ability to look at our sin as God does, yet fully understand the frustration of living as God wanted us to live.

When Jesus walked the dusty roads ofPalestinehe was tempted. Tempted just like you and I. Tempted to worry. Tempted to be full of lust. Tempted to be angry or offended. Tempted to have the respect and status he deserved. We may not like the thought of it, but Jesus may even have looked at a young couple in love and wished he could have that. Remember. He was human as well as God.

The Apostle Paul tells us that we are to see others as Jesus saw them. One of the hard truths of Scripture! To see others as Jesus did? To look past how they have hurt you? To look beyond how they have desecrated the faith you hold so dear? To turn the other cheek when they offend you. To work towards restoration when you would prefer revenge.

In essence, Jesus calls us to look at people as he did. Jesus sees Jesus sees people who are one breath away from eternity with him or one breath away from eternity separated from him. One breath away from eternal bliss and contentment or one breath away from eternal torment and anguish. One breath from being perfected in Christ or one breath away from being rejected by Christ.

There are really only two kinds of people in the world. Those we need to pray for so they will find Christ, and those we need to pray for that they will continue to grow in their faith.

The world judges according to gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, status, race, beauty, wealth and a whole list of other requirements. Jesus uses two, those that know him and those that don’t. Both groups are one breath away from eternity.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus forgive me for judging others as the world does. Give me your eyes to see others as you do. Give me the urgency to pray for those who need you as lord and savior. Empower me to show them the way.

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace. 1 Chronicles 29:15 (NLT)

Some things in life seem like an eternity. Waiting room while  loved on is in surgery; waiting for the doctor’s results; waiting for a phone call from your child (at any age); waiting for the decision by a bank, a judge or the woman you want to marry; waiting for the storm to pass, the waters to recede, the screaming to end; the abuse to stop.

There maybe nothing that is harder than waiting. It won’t make the wait any easier but think on this. God measures time in years, we measure it in minutes, hours and days. The Bible describes our time here as a journey, a pilgrimage in a foreign land where people don’t understand our language or our culture. We are all minorities as Christ-followers.

Our lives are described as but a shadow. The shadow of a mighty oak on a sundrenched day goes slowly, almost without notice. The shadow of a passing plane, bird or wind-whipped cloud goes swiftly and sometimes without notice. All are temporary. All are empty representations of what is real. Some offer comfort and protection, for a time. Others are ominous and warn of lurking danger. But they are all empty representations of what is real.

Take heart weary pilgrim. Though your journey seems long and pointless, your Father sees you and knows the struggle and pain of your journey. The frustration of youth, the concern of middle age, and the struggle of old age will soon pass. They are, as God sees them, a drop in a bucket, a moment in time.

Someday the shadows of our lives will disappear and we will see reality. Someday the wondering and hoping and worrying and questioning will be replaced by the reality of eternity with him. We may never know why our journey takes us the places we go, but we can know that this life is temporary and as Christ-followers, what awaits us is so much better than anything we’ve ever experiences before.

Follow Christ. Live in his grace and forgiveness. This journey you are on, complete with shadows and struggles will soon open itself to eternity with Jesus!

PRAYER: Father God. Sometimes life seems so hard. There are so many questions I have for you. So many times when everything I do seems to run into dead ends. I’m tired of waiting. Tired of worrying. Tired of failing because of my own insecurity. Encourage me with your presence. Empower me with your Spirit. Help me to live my life in the reality that as much as the pain hurts, it’s only temporary. In Jesus name, Amen.

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