Which plane are you?

This week I made some time to get alone and walk around the lake. Rather than the birds or flowers, my attention was drawn to the sky. It was a beautiful and clear expanse with just a few puffy white clouds in the distance. The reflection in the lake made the blue seem even deeper. During my walk three airplanes appeared and gave me pause to think.

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If I not been looking up to catch a glimpse of movement I never would’ve even seen it. This plane was going by without a noticeable trace. Unless I had been looking right at it, I never would have known it was passing overhead.

 

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Soon after, noise drew my attention back to the sky. Another plane. The rumble of its engine could be heard from quite a distance. I could discern its path with my eyes closed.

 

 

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The third plane flew so high that in its wake, a glistening streak was left behind to trace its majestic flight from one edge of the horizon to the other. Anyone who lifted their eyes heavenward could see the route by which this elevated traveler had passed.

 

In our Christian life, are we marking our presence for others to see?

Like the first plane, are we even noticeable? Or are we trying so hard not to offend anyone, or “rock the boat” that people have to be looking right at us to see us?

Or like the second plane, are we traveling so low to the world in our priorities and attitudes that our rumbling and grumbling is loud but unproductive evidence of our existence?

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Hopefully, our Christian walk would take us higher, above the busyness and frustrations of the world to be more like Christ. Hopefully, our attitudes, words and actions would take us on the highest road, heavenward, where our own majestic flight would leave a glistening streak to encourage others. We can choose, through God’s grace, to live like we’re in heaven, here on earth.

It is well worth the effort it takes to seek and gain that godly altitude that earnestly walking in the Spirit gives us. Then that contrail produced will give heading and encouragement to others looking up!

How about it? Which plane are you?

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Snowflakes

snow-1848346_640Snowflakes: drift down aimlessly from the bright, white sky.

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Birds: titter and hop from branch to branch to feeder to ground where seeds have spilled down onto the white, mounding snow.

 

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Trees: which must have taken decades to grow up from tiny seeds drinking in moisture and pushing through the ground cover of leaves and nettles and dirt, hold arms extended, reaching out to catch a line of snowflakes that imperceptibly pile on top of their outstretched branches.

Crisp cold air: visible only when man or beast passes by, exhaling huffs of clouded condensation, chills everything, adding a clarity to the reality of this poetic scene.

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Light: distinctly noticeable as the sun breaks through the overcoat of clouds, adds a shimmering and warmth in its momentary passing presence.

Overall: peace, a sense that this is exactly as it should be. For this time, for this place, God’s complete intention is fulfilled.

And I stand here in awe of this blessing; grateful and humbled to be a witness to the completeness of this scene before me in this moment.

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Amazed at the direction and diligence of the Master’s hand that created and placed all these elements together for this moment of perfection. The Master: who grew trees from tiny seedlings over years, decades;

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birds from eggs in nests for generations to be here right now; who creates snowflakes and controls the weather; who prepared this moment for me so that I would bear witness.

 

Philippians 1:6 confirms to us that “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it” and I can only have confidence in a God who can orchestrate moments like these, to orchestrate the events, relationships and circumstances of my life; through me, because of me, even in spite of me to do exactly as he promised.

What a mighty God we serve!wintry-2993370_640

Through Nature – God Speaks

The air was still, and cold enough to make your breath visible. There was a crispness in the crunch heard underfoot. The panorama of clear blue sky, bright shining sun, frigid lake and majestic mountains lay ahead like a still life watercolor. The one newly added element of beauty: a crystal, sparkling cover of frost on everything close to the ground.

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Just yesterday, each individual blade of grass stood erect at attention, solid in its color, shape and form. Broad leaves on the grapevine fanned out, completely concealing clusters of heavy, ripe fruit. Tiny blossoms on the ground cover delicately looked up to form a carpet of color.

Beautiful? Yes. But this morning, the frost gives a fantastic surreal quality to the whole scene.

frostgrassThe cold has caused everything to bow down.

The tall blades of grass, still firm at their bases, are bent low in their length, all in a similar posture. The grape leaves droop from the stem, revealing bountiful clusters beneath. The small flowers, already low to the ground bend in humble submission. And yet, in this portrait of prostration, this vista of genuflecting humbleness, there is an exalting of each individual entity.

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The frost has covered and completely encased each blossom, each leaf, each blade of grass, redefining its shape and form in glittering beauty. The special uniqueness of each stands out and is magnified in glistening profile by the sun! What a picture of being humbled, but exalted, of bowing low, yet being lifted up!

Scripture tells us that one day every knee will bow, and for those who humble themselves in the sight of the Lord, He will lift them up. This very scene is played out in nature for us to see and appreciate.

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It’s as if the plants represent us, bowing in the presence of our Lord. The frost is like the Holy Spirit on those who are believers. His light will shine on us and define us with a beauty that surpasses our own and exalts us in His presence.

This magnificent scene, so uplifting in its beauty, was short-lived; lasting only a few minutes before the heat from the bright shining sun took its toll on the icy beauty..

The image it created in my mind of what is to come will be with me always. I remain grateful that through nature…God speaks.

My Life

person-371015_1280My life is borrowed, ‘tis not mine

I cannot hold it selfishly

But give it to the One above

Who gave His all, His life, His love

That I might one day see

 

lanternI see with light that is not mine

I cannot make one star shine bright

Yet through the holes God makes in me

His Spirit shines, so I can be

A lantern, glowing Holy light

 

adventure-1868255_640This light alone will light my path

It is a course I do not choose

My way, my will I give to Him

Who walked this earth and knew no sin

With Him I cannot lose

 

And so, my life, my light, my path

Are not for me, but God alone

No pain or sorrow come to me

That I am not assured will be

Exchanged for glory – at His throne

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A CHRISTMAS Prayer for you

C – Christ

It is my prayer that Christ would be the focus of your Christmas. May you not be waylaid by all the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, baking, doing; but have moments of simply acknowledging the sacrifice of the King and Creator of the Universe, who came to earth in the fragile, vulnerable package of a tiny baby to live on earth and make the supreme sacrifice for us to have the option to spend our eternity with Him.

He is The Christ – The Messiah, The Savior, The Deliverer, The Wonderful Counselor, The Prince of Peace. May He be these things for you all year.

When all the presents have been unwrapped, the food is all eaten, the relatives have all returned home, may you take the generous gift of Christ’s love with you into the new year. May you be mindful of how very much He loves you each day of this next year. May your eyes be opened to the tangible ways He shows you that love every day. May you praise God, each day, from whom all blessings flow; keeping Christ in every day of your year.

 

H – Hearing

It is my prayer that you would hear God; that your ears would be opened and attuned to God’s voice speaking to you. Perhaps not in a real-world audible kind of way – but that you would, nevertheless, have the experience of knowing what He is saying to you. God speaks through His Word, the Bible, through the Holy Spirit in prayer, through the circumstances in your life and through godly people.

May you hear His voice clearly, without the distractions of the world around you or the flesh within you. These voices speak so loudly we often allow them to drown out the spiritual guidance Jesus would give, if we would but listen. I pray that when you hear, you will listen with an open mind and heart. I ask that God would give you clarity and understanding of all He shares with you. May our Lord remove whatever ‘cotton’ has been stuffed into your spiritual ears.

It is hard to love a God you do not know. And it is hard to know Him when there is no communication. May this be a year of growing to know Him more deeply by hearing His voice as He teaches You, leads you, guides and directs you, encourages you, and rejoices over you with singing!

 

R – Revelation

May you receive from God a revelation of how to use your gifts and talents this year. May He tell you and show you how to spend your energy and time this year in ways that will satisfy you immensely and bring honor and glory to Him.  God made you unique and special – He puts it ‘fearfully and wonderfully’. You have very specific gifts and talents wrapped up with a personality and passions, and having had personal experiences that create a one-of-a-kind You! May our Lord reveal to you how to unwrap that gift that is uniquely you. And show you how to share the gift that you are with the world.  And may that Revelation inspire and direct your path.

He has placed something in you that is meant to be shared! Tell Him that you are ready to listen, and ask Him to reveal to you how to do it step by step.

 

I – Invigoration

I pray God will invigorate you in following the Revelation you Hear from Him. That means placing ‘vigor’ in you! ‘Vigor’ is robustness, potency, strength! May He fill you with the energy and power you need to follow through everywhere He leads you. May God give you the invigoration and inspiration to excel at all the opportunities He brings your way this year.

May He also give you the ‘vigor’ to meet any challenge He allows into your life this year. Some days will flow easily, almost effortlessly, and you may not be aware that He is the One empowering you to be able to accomplish all you do. Other days, you may have to audibly call on Him to muster the energy and strength you need. May He always answer your call with strength equal to the task. May you rest in the knowledge that God has prepared you for whatever happens. Nothing ever takes Him by surprise! May He help you and guide you through whatever comes along.

May He invigorate you: body, mind and spirit.

 

S – Someone

May God bring Someone alongside you who will be a godly presence. One who will be like iron sharpening iron in your life. One who will help you keep Christ the focus of your life. One who will remind you to listen to God’s voice, hold you accountable to be obedient to Him, and joyfully give thanks to Him with you. It may be someone you already know, or it may not. It may be someone you expect, or it may not. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. May you be open to His choice of a helper for you, for this time and for His purpose.

 

T – Time

May God show you, teach you, how to take authority over your time. Ask Him where to set limits, what to make priorities, and how to stay disciplined in those areas. May God show you how you are currently spending your time, and where you need to make changes. Ask Him what to let go of so you can make room for what He is showing you is important. May you not be a slave to the ‘tyranny of the urgent’, but make time to do what is important, not just what seems ‘urgent’ at that moment.

May He help you appreciate His perspective of time, understanding that He often works behind the scenes in ways that are invisible to us at the time. When you need to be patient, may God show you how to wait patiently, prayerfully. May you let God help you find the right balance in resting and doing, knowing both are important.

 

M – Mirth

May God give you times of laughter, merriment – complete and utter joy – that override your circumstances or attitude. May joy come, renewed, every morning. And may there be laughter in each day that brings strength to your bones and healing to your body! May our Lord God, give you the focus you need to be able to enjoy everyday moments, and see life from His perspective so you can appreciate every blessing He abundantly showers on you. And may He give you the ability to laugh, even in the face of trouble, as you rely on Him, the Author of your faith, to carry you through anything that comes along; knowing that God will never ever leave you or forsake you. As laughter is good medicine, may you be well medicated all throughout the year!

 

A – Attitude of Gratitude

I pray that you would see all the things in your life that are blessings from God. I pray He would open your eyes to understand that even things you take for granted, are gifts. May you be thankful for every morning you wake up and the sun is shining, for every step you take in your own strength and power, for every breath you draw in and exhale. May you appreciate being able to think clearly, and speak audibly, and move freely. May you thank God for the times you live in – not cave man days, or covered wagon days, but right now, when we enjoy so many modern day miracles and life-saving medical advancements and transportation and communication technological wonders. May you appreciate the fact that you live in a country where we are still free to become whatever we want, and purchase what we need for life and comfort, and worship God as we please. May you voice your gratitude for your friends and loved-ones who pour into your life, and allow you to pour into theirs. May you fully acknowledge God’s hand in the seven wonders of the world: to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to think, to laugh, and to love.

May you thank God daily for the beauty you see around you, the blue of the sky, the brightness of the sun, the sparkle of the stars, the glow of the moon, the colors of the sunset (or of the sunrise if you happen to wake before it), the mountains or trees or flowers, the wrinkles of laughter, the smiles of friends, the furry pets who love unconditionally.

May your attitude of gratitude overcome even the difficult days. And when it would be easier to complain, may you be able to rejoice in giving thanks.

 

S – Safety

May you enjoy safety and security in your home, in your travel, at work, at rest, and at play. May God safeguard your health; not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.

To use words from Psalm 121: May your help come from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. May our God not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He will neither slumber nor sleep. Our Lord watches over you and will be your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; He will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Amen.