The Parable of the Daffodils

We inherited a home with lots of Daffodils and have planted more each year. While we’ll never be Wye Mountain or P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain in terms of volume or varieties, we enjoy them immensely. This year some of the Daffodils started sending up their shoots way too early during the midst of unusually warm weather in late December. Then it got cold. Really cold. And although they weren’t quite as perky during the cold spell, they quickly bounced back and are handling the nightly sub-freezing temperatures like it’s spring time. Daffodils can do this because they are bred to be resilient. And so can you. In part because this is how God has created you. Even more importantly because the Holy Spirit has your back. So even if today is tough and you don’t have a lot of hope, take it on with the confidence that you will bounce back. Because you will.

Polly

Her name was Contessa Pollyanna Isabella Frappicino. She was a longhaired Calico cat. She was my buddy during some of the toughest times in my life, somehow knowing exactly when to share her healing balm by climbing up on my lap, purring and offering me the privilege of petting her. Polly came to the end of her 17 years with me yesterday. And while my heart is sad today because I’m grieving, that’s not a bad thing. Actually, it’s a good thing. Because grief grows out of love. And love is a gift from God. And this ability to love is at the very heart of what it means when Scripture says we are created in the image of God. So today I will continue to grieve. But I will also do everything I can to love more and more and more. 

The Sun and the Son

The sun rises every morning. Sometimes it’s easy to spot because the sky is crystal clear. At other times it’s obscured because of heavy clouds. Then there are those instances when it floods the sky with spectacular colors through broken clouds. But regardless of what you see or don’t see on any particular morning, you know the sun is going to rise. The sun is a lot like the Son. Jesus is always with you. Sometimes you clearly sense his presence. At other times he’s obscured because of things troubling your soul. Then there are those moments when his grace floods your life in spectacular ways with exactly what you need exactly when you need it. So regardless of how much or how little you see Jesus today, live every moment of today knowing he is with you.

A Whole Lot More
A Whole Lot More

Winter was my favorite season when I was a kid in Kansas. I loved skating on lakes completely frozen over, sledding, and all the snow and cold. No wonder I’ve always assumed this is what winter should be like. At least until I moved south of the Mason-Dixon line, and had to come to grips with the fact that winter is not a monolithic season defined by a single set of characteristics. It’s actually made up of varying climates and divergent days. Winter can be warm and sunny. Winter can be rainy and cool. And yes, as occasionally happens, winter can still be cold and snowy. In other words, winter is still winter even when it doesn’t seem like winter to me. The same thing is true with God. It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that God just happens to act only in those ways that fit right into the middle of your comfort zone of how you think God should act. But, frankly, that’s not reality. And it’s certainly not faithful. Which is why it’s important to spend your life following Jesus. Because this is the journey that will help you discover there’s a whole lot more to God than you ever imagined possible. 

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

As apparently did much of America, I watched NFL football this weekend. The games were fun, filled with high drama, close, and two of them involved the taking down of a couple of legends perceived by some to be villains. Great passion was evident in all four games, whether it was the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. But especially in the weekend’s finale between the Bills and Chiefs. And like so many, I was caught up right in the middle of it. This morning, I’m doing some Monday morning quarterbacking as I reflect on a perplexing question that simultaneously intrigues and disturbs me: Do I become as excited and passionate about sharing God’s love as I do watching a good football game?

A Sunday Prayer

Lord,

Today may I be aware of Your presence.
Today may I dwell in Your grace.
Today may I listen to Your voice.
Today may I follow Your Son.
Today may I be a fount of Your love.

I pray this in the strong name of Jesus.

Amen.