Friday, October 31, 2014

Staying in the Light

The sunlight was peering through trees the other morning as I was jogging around the pond with the crisp cool air surrounding me. The leaves were thinking about changing colors, but not completely sure.

The path was pretty bright in the spots where the sun shone through. Yet it was darker and not illuminated in the shadow
where the sunlight was blocked by the trees.

Stay in the light.

For where the light is, there is life.

You may need to reposition yourself.
While standing in the shadows of the tree, sunlight pokes through and streams around. But it requires you to take a couple steps to the left or to the right to be standing in the light.

Trees of trouble, 
trees of thoughts and doubts,
trees of frustration,
casting shadows, blocking the light.

Move to stay in the light.

I find myself standing in the dark part of the path all too often. 
Positioning again. 
Moving to the light, a couple steps over, is oh so easy, yet oh so difficult. 

Staying in the light looks like standing on the promises of God's word to me, whether His written or His spoken word. Reminding myself of what He has done. Meditating on who He is - good, faithful, and kind. Full of grace and mercy. He is love. When I make this shift in the path of my thoughts, clarity comes as I am in the light

For with you is the fountain of life; 
in Your light, we see Light
Psalm 36:9

Staying in the light means choosing life. In His light, I have life. I want to walk in the the light. Not choosing darkness, nor death. Speaking life and truth about situations, people, and events. Everything I say and do - a conscious choice to 

...but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, 
and the blood of Jesus His son cleanses us from all sin." 
1 John 1:7

Standing in the light brings warmth. I want to bask in His warmth. And His illumination. And His truth. Standing in the shadows brings a darkness and a clouding to everything I look at and do. My thoughts spiral and I view life with a critical eye.

Staying in the light means choosing to focus on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue . . . anything worthy of praise. 


The One who shines, who makes manifest by rays of His majesty and glory.

Jesus spoke to them again saying, "I am the Light of the world; He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." John 8:12

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Grace and the Gold Medal

My youngest son won a gold medal at his karate tournament last weekend. His first tournament and he wins a medal. A gold medal. He was so excited to have that shiny object placed around his neck! 

He entered the tournament and showed up.

There was no competition in his division at his age group. 

He chose to compete a level up for a chance at winning another medal, but he was guaranteed the gold for his division. Just by virtue of showing up.

Reminds me of receiving grace.

The feeling that you didn't earn it, which is true. 

"Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind," says Matthew Henry.

There's no formula for grace. This isn't math class where a + b = c. Or, if you do a certain task, then you receive grace. 

There's no rule. If you try hard enough, you receive it. 

You go into the fight, the competition, or the life situation with the readiness and expectation to work hard. You are ready to "give it all you've got" and fight tooth and nail, if need be. 

The question is, "Am I going to be content?" Content when I get the medal without much effort; content when I have to fight hard for it. And I might watch my friend struggle and fight for their gold medal when all I had to do was show up. Next time, the roles may be reversed. I'm doing the fighting; they are just showing up. They get the grace. Content.

These were my son's thoughts, too, as he voiced to me that he just showed up. "It's not like I earned it. There was no one to compete against." True, young warrior, very true. How much wisdom in your 11 years. But sometimes all you have to do is be willing to show up. The medal is still awarded to you. It is yours. It is grace.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wandering eyes

When my eyes start to wander
As I look around to another
What they are doing?
Where they are going?

I start to lose my step, my way
I'm sinking quick,
please help!

I've wandered off the path
sidetracked by the noise and flashing lights
I've lost sight
of Your face,
and Your eyes

The One who whispers to me
This is the way - walk in it
I am the Way
This is the road I have for you:
Delight in me.

-from July 2014