"We must trust, though we seem alone, there are others walking with us."

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 364: Wedding plans

Today's Reading: Revelation 19-22

My daughter and I are huge romantics.

My daughter and I love weddings, or perhaps better said, we love to think about planning the perfect wedding.

We've thought about the perfect place decorated to the T.

We've thought about the perfect music and the musicians who would do the music justice.

We've thought about the perfect colors.

We've looked at dresses.

We've picked out tuxedoes.

We have a menu in mind and a place for the reception.

We've thought about the perfect day and hour.

We've even concocted the perfect bridegroom from a variety of our favorite leading men.

But none of this even begins to match the marvelous wedding we will be attending and being a part of in heaven: the wedding of Christ and the Church.

God is a bigger romantic than either my daughter or me.

And that is saying a whole lot.

Day 363: Bowls of Heaven

Today's Reading: Revelation 12-18

How many prayers have you prayed?

I cannot begin to imagine the number of mine.

Some of my prayers were simple.

Some were complex and deep.

Some were wordless and filled with tears.

It is amazing to think that all the prayers of the saints have been saved in bowls. Big, humongous salad bowls of prayer.

To think God values our prayers so much that God would keep them, the way I keep love letters, my children's kindergarten art or poems.

I think this is amazing.

Day 362: Heaven's Math

Today's Reading: Revelation 6-11

The number in heaven saved
12 x 12
10 x 10 x 10

2(12) x 3(10)

2 = faithful witnesses
12 = the people of God
3 = the trinity
10 = the perfect law

Those people of God
who heard and became
faithful witnesses
to the perfect law
of our God.

Day 361: Listening to the Spirit

Today's Reading: Revelation 1-5

We have these two things on our heads...ears.

We have this major organ in our body...heart.

We have a huge area in our torso...gut.

These are three major conduits for listening to the Holy Spirit.

Our ears allow us to catch the wave notes. Our heart allows us to catch the rhythm of God's pulse. Our gut allows us to respond in compassion and courage.

The voice from heaven calls to us.

Listen to what the Spirit is saying to the church.

Remember your first love of Christ.
Be faithful unto death.
Change the way you think and act.
Stay away from the things of Satan.
Be alert and alive in the Spirit.
Pay attention to God's word and claim his name.
Be either hot or cold, no lukewarm icky-ness.

Tall order.

Did I get that all down?

Day 360: Trinity of Values

Today's Reading: 2 John, 3 John

John likes three things...talks about them all the time.

I think if he were writing his mission statement, these would be his opening words: Faith, Truth and Love.

He puts truth above hope.

Paul likes the hope word, probably because of all of his persecution and suffering.

John likes the truth word, probably because of his focus on love.

Love without truth is really not love at all. A lot of us withhold truth from people we "love" because we think it might "hurt" them. But without truth, we are really deceiving ourselves.

Truth without love is a killer. It is cold judgment no one can hear. It grates on the very one who needs the truth.

It takes a lot of faith to speak the truth in love. We have to want more for the one we love than for ourselves.

And that is always hard.

Day 359: Real Love

Today's Reading: 1 John

One day, I am going to know unconditional love.

And you will, too.

Until then, we have to deal with people deciding upon whether or not they love us based upon our looks, our temperament, our bad days, our production level, what we can give them or how they feel.

Pretty rotten, eh?

Problem is, we do the same thing.

The other day, in the airport, I saw a man, sloppy, dirty, unshaven and pimply. It was hard not to judge him as someone I devalued without even speaking to him. I decided I didn't want to know him. How shallow is that?

How I long to love unconditionally.

To not even have to correct my first impressions of judgment.

Until I fully realize God's unconditional love for me, I will never be able to love others.

And there are so many people who need love.

Me included.

A friend sent me this song which says it all.

As you listen to it, let us pray for more love today.

And tomorrow.

Day 358: Everything we need

Today's Reading: 2 Peter 1-3, Jude

"Are you sure you have everything you need?"

This is my usual question to my children as we pack to go visit relatives or to go on vacation.

Toothbrush and paste.

An appropriate number of underwear.

Clothing for all possible weather.

Shoes--fancy and practical.

A good book.

"Do you have everything you need?"

This is a good image as we journey in faith.

What's in your suitcase?

Most of us pack our own bags with extra heavy stuff we might not need. We might leave out the essentials.

It is a good thing we have a heavenly parent who makes sure to provide everything we need. This is the joy of the journey.

If you forget an essential, God has packed extra for you.

So relax.

It's all good.