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Eeyore, the always negative donkey in the children’s story, “Winnie the Pooh” has an incredible knack for seeing the negative in everything. I remember chuckling at some of his statements while reading to my children. In his world there was nothing good. There was no hope. Expectations always fell short.

We can chuckle at this fictional character’s outlook on life, but reality is, it’s easy for us to do the same. It’s easy to live trapped by our past. I’m grateful for a relatively boring childhood, but many are still grappling with abusive homes, dysfunctional families and sometimes, as a result, mental illness or addictions. It’s been said ‘our past can kill us or make us stronger’, and while there is some truth to that, its easier said than lived.

It’s also easy for us as believers to lose hope when we look around us at the direction society seems destined for. Often our belief in Jesus Christ is construed by society as intolerant, out of touch and irrelevant.

Peter wrote his book to Christ followers in a society that, believe it or not, was more brutal to the things of God that the one we live in. Yet he wrote of great expectations. Not because of his past, but because of his future. Not because of who he was, but because of who Jesus is.

Don’t base your hopes, aspirations and expectations on who you are or what you can do. Don’t allow the actions and accusations of others deter you from expecting great and mighty things in your life. Success by God’s standards comes from a live lived rich in integrity and holiness. Success by societies standards is like flags in the wind, being tossed by every new idea. Jesus gives you stability in an unstable world and hope among the hopeless.


Light is an amazing thing.

On those bright sunny days we wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from the sun. Where I live, it’s especially necessary in the winter when the sunshine reflects off the bright snow. Almost unbearable light!

On the other hand, too little light is also a problem. For those of us with waning eyesight, low light makes it impossible to read. Driving at night is always more confident with high beams than low beams because you want to see the road ahead as well as any critters deciding to cross in front of you.

So, light appears to be relative to the person or the situation. That sheds a whole light on Jesus claim that he is the light of the world. (Yeah, I know. Bad pun. Live with it. 🙂 )

With Jesus as the light, he illuminates my life just the way I need it. Light should never be used as a weapon as some have done by beating people over the head with the gospel. Light should never be hidden (I don’t want to offend. Religion is personal business.) Since when is offering someone life saving measures a personal issue.

Shine your light in a way that is attractive, illuminating and beneficial. Jesus never wavered from the truth, yet he attracted those who were living in darkness.


I think, in all of scripture, the one passage that spoke to me most on my journey out of the self-imposed wilderness I was in was the passage in Luke 22 where Jesus predicts Simon Peter’s failure. But the story didn’t stop with his failure. Peter’s failure (by human standards) was God’s tool for greatness. Peter’s failure was the means by which his Heavenly Father made him the leader God needed to empower and encourage his church in the early years.

The best part of the story is that Jesus prayed for Peter. He didn’t pray that Peter would be delivered, he prayed he would be strengthened. He didn’t pray Peter would fail, he prayed that WHEN (not if) Peter returned, he would encourage us.

Peter’s spiritual failure didn’t make him perfect, but it gave him an new outlook on life; a new appreciation for grace and forgiveness; a new energy to reach out to the struggling.

Nothing much has changed. We still fail. Jesus still prays for our strength. We still have a ministry. I hurt when I think of all the wasted years; all the unwritten stories; all the changed lives that could happen if we realized God can use your weakness to be strong in him.

Have you failed? You are a valuable tool in God’s kingdom. Don’t stop at the sifting. Let the grace and power of Jesus Christ strengthen you for the work God has for you. Don’t live in failure any longer!


What are we here for as believers? What was the constant message Jesus tried to instill in his followers? What task did he leave for us? What parting prayer did he offer to the Father God before his death?

Judging from what I see in social media today and hear spoken from the pulpits of some of our churches, our goal is to defend God and his word. Now, before you stop reading, let me say that Paul and others are very adamant about standing firm on the Word of God. It’s not only important, it’s a requirement.

However, in reading today’s verse, it occurred to me that perhaps our error is not in the standing, but in how we stand; it’s not in the message, it’s how it’s delivered; it’s not in making things ‘right’ but in being God’s light.

Paul seems to be stating here (and I encourage you to check the context) that his goal, and ours should be to present people to God as perfect. I envision the opportunity to present to God a brightly colored package with your name on it. Here is ‘suzy’ God. I’ve shown her your love. I’ve used the wisdom you gave me to bring her to you. I’ve relied on your power to make the change within. She is my gift to you.

Jesus attracted people by the thousands because he showed them God’s love and God’s truth in a perfect balance that couldn’t be resisted. That’s why the woman at the well, when her faults were exposed, ran to the village and said come and see the one…!

What gift are you working on today?


Those who have been bruised know pain like no one else. They’ve experienced the rejection. They have endured the guilt. They have wandered the wilderness of loneliness. No two bruised reeds handle pain in the same way. Some explain it away; some hide it under denial, chemicals or pseudo relationships. Some wear it as a badge and look for some sort of comfort in letting others know about their pain. This works for awhile, until people get tired of hearing about it.

The smoldering wicks of our world die a thousand deaths every day. The unmet expectations of others constantly remind them of their failure and guilt. The constant attacks of their inner being shame them into the realization (in their eyes) that they will never amount to anything; that they were some sort of cosmic mistake.

Jesus brings justice if we will listen. Unlike the justice of our society, which is based on man’s external assessment of the situation, the justice Jesus brings is truth. Not truth based on societies standards. Not truth which will come at some point in the future, truth that is here today. Jesus tells us the real truth about us. He knows a thing or two because he’s seen a thing or two. He’s seen every bruise. He knows every crushed dream. He’s gentle with your past failures (including the self-inflicted ones) and seeks to fan into flame the potential he gave you when he created you in his image to be a masterpiece.

Jesus knows the truth about you and loves you passionately.

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