Monday, June 29, 2015

To My Bible Club Kids Who Are Now American Adults,

You placed your hand over your heart and you said that historic pledge along with us.
                One nation under God,
                Indivisible . . . 

I wonder if those Saturdays were the only days you heard our nation and our God honored together in one singular statement.

Did you realize what you were saying?  

America is “one nation under God.”

We didn’t tell your young minds what we knew you would discover.

That leaders and broken people and broken laws despise that honored position.  

You would grow up and hear lies. You would join in. You would break laws. You would forget God.

You’ve probably forgotten.

America is “one nation under God.”

Did you hear it in the stories we told?  Stories of proud rulers humbled, nations conquered, the kingdoms of this world unable to stand in their pride.  God-honoring people protected, one tiny nation preserved in answer to a divine promise.

Did you hear between the lines of those stories that this God America is under has the government upon His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6)?

Nations are under God, under His control and carried on shoulders strong enough to carry every government all at once.

The America you live in now doesn’t want you to believe this truth we taught you.

America is “one nation under God.”

Your forefathers fought for it, your grandfathers died for it, your family celebrates it every fourth of July.

And you eat watermelon and apple pie and set off fireworks like you did when you were a kid.

And America continues to tell you lies by what it allows.

I pray you will believe what we told you back then.

That the statement “one nation under God” isn’t just flowery, patriotic words.

We wanted you to see that the governments of the world are on His shoulders.

He is greater than any nation, any lie, any good gone sour at the hands of godless men.

He can carry the weight of your world on His shoulders.

Look to Him and teach your kids.

America is “one nation under God.”

Monday, June 22, 2015

When Daily Grind and Eternal Hope Collide

John Piper once wrote:
                God is not so distant or even so ‘religious’ that He only cares about what happens at church and during devotions. Every square inch of this earth is His and every minute of our lives is a loan from His breath. He is much more secular than we often think.”

Faith is the “evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)

So we fix breakfast, brush our teeth, throw a few towels in the laundry, and go to work.

And we live by faith that there’s an invisible God who cares about this daily grind.

‘The Lord lives!” Psalm 18 has shouted since King David’s time.

He lives, and He loans us breath, and we walk the dog and turn on the dishwasher and we buy eggs again.

Because surrounding this daily grind is an invisible hope we cling to by faith that eternity is waiting.

“It is the long view that helps these shadowed days.” – Amy Carmichael

The mundane keeps us hoping.

Because this daily grind is lived in the presence of the God who lives.

He is there when we grab a shopping cart – always the one with the wobbly wheel.
He notices the empty sink, the wiped-down mirror, another Sunday casserole put in the freezer.
He tells us to pray for our daily bread.

He is “much more secular than we often think,” because He lives and always will, and living is daily grind, not a string of monumental moments.

Because He lives, we will live also. (see John 14:19)

Eternity will still be living.

And living, even with today’s daily grind, is breathing in the presence of the God who lives.

One day, eternity will collide with our daily grind.

And the truth of His presence will no longer be invisible.

"I go to prepare a place for you . . . 
that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:3)


Monday, June 15, 2015

Lying Limp in His Lap

Her grandma-heart rejoiced as her grandson chattered away, telling her the news of his three-year-old day and trying to stay awake.

As his grandma listened, his eyes dropped from the weariness caused by this day he couldn’t stop talking about.

Suddenly, he snuggled close.

Then lay limp in her lap.

Her eyes brimmed with tears.

This grandma saw herself mirrored in the weary child who suddenly transferred his weight to this woman he trusted.

Her love for him held him close—this limp little body of weariness.

And she knew this was prayer.

Coming to a stop, laying aside all care, trusting another, and leaning close.

Lying limp in His lap.

“Casting all your care upon Him,
for He cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7

Monday, June 1, 2015

That Which Teaches Us to Take Off Our Shoes

Elizabeth Barrett Browning once wrote:
                Earth’s crammed with heaven,
                And every bush afire with God;
                But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
                The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.

Many of us went up to Mt. St. Helens on Saturday. We joined with others who were awed by its beauty and stilled by the memory of what happened on May 18, 1980.

“The mountain peaks belong to him.” (Psalm 95:4)

Thirty-five years ago, the Lord saw fit to send one of those mountain peaks into the valley beneath it and awaken the world to the awesomeness of His power.

Mt. St. Helens 35 years following the eruption

Our God is often quiet.

His mountain peaks are a still place.

But “earth’s crammed with heaven and every bush afire with God,” Elizabeth Barrett Browning once said--whether His world stands in silent beauty or is awakened by a merciful, powerful Hand.

Whether we’re standing in awe at the evidence of God’s creative hand or walking the path of life He chose for us, we can either be those who pick blackberries around such a sight or see it as an opportunity to remove our shoes.

“We are walking on privately owned land.” – Edward Welch

“In Him we live and move and have our being.” – Acts 17:28

This world and our lives along with it are owned and ruled by a quiet yet powerful Hand.

His children—the ones who see the Creator behind the creation—take off their shoes.