Our 5-yr. old daughter recently began, around the house, reciting the pledge of allegiance to the American flag. Next to hearing the great words "one nation under God," my favorite part is anticipating her pronunciation of "indivisible." That word's been in in my head for a few days now, making me think.
Steps. Progress. Change. Movement. Improvement. God is sharpening our mission to reach and lead people in a growing relationship with Jesus. I believe we are truly in a God-led time of building and rebuilding. And it should pull us all together in attention to what God is revealing to us. Paul used the phrase "progress and joy in the faith" to the Philippian church he pastored. I think that captures it well for us at HOPE right now too . . . seeking progress and living in the joy of Jesus shaping and using us.
This week dished us the interesting news bit on President Obama's casual salute to Marines with a coffee cup in his saluting hand. Dubbed the "latte salute" by some, it evoked some big opinions in the news centered on disrespect, indifference, and courtesy. But the President's recent gesture is not what this reflection is about.
If you are not a Christian, you get a pass on this. If you are a Christian, you probably want a pass on this. Or at least we live in some ways like we have a pass on this.
I will never forget the trip that Leah and I took with her family to Crater Lake in Oregon. We had just driven up he coast of California and into Oregon, where we stayed with Leah's grandparents. This, of course, meant a trip to one of the "must sees" known as Crater Lake! Crater Lake was, at one time, an active volcano. But now, it is this stable volcanic mountain with beautiful vegetation, lakes, and more.
If I were you, I'd . . . Let me give you some advice . . . Here's what I think you should do . . . Listen to me, here's what you need to do . . .
Unclear. Confused. Frustrated. Jammed. Bound. Stuck. I think we've all felt one or more of these. Probably more frequently than we'd care to admit. This life, this journey, we walk day by day is full of options, decisions, information, influences, and choices. It's enough to hold your heart captive and never really feel free. Not a great place to be at all, and if we're honest, we live this way a lot. Kind of like being held underwater.
There's a big difference between learning and hearing of something really great and then experiencing that same something for yourself and knowing it more personally, rather than just by report or theory.
Not too long ago I came across Psalm 84:11 and wrote it on a card to memorize and put on the refrigerator for our family to see & memorize also: "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless."
This past Sunday at HOPE was a powerful, memorable one . . . we're still praising God for that! Thank you to those who commented, letting us know how God worked in your life through that worship service. The life-changing truth of Romans 8:31-37 that God is FOR US and nothing can be against us was so moving to grasp together.