Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Heart Center

My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "LORD, I am coming." Ps. 27:9

My meditations yesterday after exercise led to my heart. As I listened to it beat, and imagined the blood flowing in and out, around and around, I saw the Cross in my heart. There are four chambers in your heart, and the walls between them form a cross. But more than that, I saw the cross that was written on my heart when I was baptized.

When we are baptized, the sign of the cross is made upon our forehead, and sometimes our chest. It's not a mark that is easily seen by others. On Ash Wednesday, we trace that baptismal cross in the ashes of our mortality. For a day or so, the mark of our salvation is visible. It reminds us every time we look in the mirror, it may give us chance to invite others into the conversation, if they ask about that black smudge on our head.

What about the other 365 days of the year? Does anyone see the mark of your salvation? Do you see the cross in your own life?

Take a moment, if you can, to sit back, relax, and listen to your heart beat.
Imagine the blood flowing in and around the arms of the cross,
In with the good, out with the bad,
Cleansing and renewing with each breath.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord, and let me see Jesus, Amen

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Sun was warm today!

In my attempt at finding next week's readings for study, I stumbled across Malachi 4:2; "But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings."

Yesterday, the sun felt warm on my shoulder on the way home from Church. It had not felt warm for at least a week, as temperatures around here struggled to rise above 0 degrees F. Even on the sunniest days, which were usually the coldest, the sunshine didn't feel warm.

I hadn't noticed that I missed it, until it came back. Sunday's temperature hovered above freezing, and allowed the warmth of the sun to penetrate the van window on the drive home.

The warm sun felt good, and right.

God's Sun of Righteousness comes to heal and to warm. Jesus was the light of the world.

Only in our modern times have we been able to create light without heat.
Our days get dark, and cold, sometimes because the jet stream dips down from Canada, sometimes because things happen that cloud our heart. We shut down, shut out, and shiver in our loneliness and hopelessness. Somedays are cold and lonely because a loved one is gone, a relationship is crumbling, or health is failing. Even though we can look out the window and see the sun, we can't seem to feel the warmth.

Keep looking! Even when the thremometer dips below reasonable temperatures, the sun is still warm. In Minnesota, it won't ever be too long before the sun shines warm!

Even when we sit in darkness, we can be sure that the Sun is out there shining for us!

Are you sitting in the darkness, surrounded by light?
Is it so cold in your heart that you can't feel God's love?
Are you so lost that you think you'll never be found again?

May the Sun Shine warm in you, around you, and for you.

May the Spirit wrap you in the comfort of her wings.

May God gather you up like a little lamb and let you go free. "leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture"


Friday, January 18, 2008

growing in the light

For Christmas this year I received an amaryllis bulb and a pot for the flower. The poor bulb followed it's internal clock and started growing inside the box before I even opened it up. In the dark, this living bulb grew about six inches worth of flower bud and stalk, but it was white.

White is the color of mushrooms and asparagus grown in the dark. Since there is no light available to transform into food by the chlorophyll, the chlorophyll just doesn't appear.

Now, I opened the box, moistened the soil and planted my bulb. I have set it in a window and in just a day or two it turned green. The stalks are straightening up and growing toward the light outside. Dear plant doesn't realize it's below zero out there, it's just sunny!

If we live in the darkness, there are loads of gifts and talents that remain dormant, like the chlorophyll in the amaryllis. Sure, it was growing, but wouldn't reach it's full potential in the dark.

In the light, in Jesus' light, we grow to our full potential.

We are prophets and priests, healers and leaders, speakers and interpreters. We bear fruit of kindess, gentleness, self control, and peace.

In the light of God's Son, and the water of God's Spirit, God grows a great people.

Walk wet, living in your baptisim every day.

Walk in the the light of Christ, and let your gifts bloom.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


What's your New Year's resolution?

Loose weight? Gain health?

Make friends? Destroy debt?

Find time for God? Loose yourself in leisure?

Why is it that the best things for us either taste bad, or hurt? This New Year's Day, my family and I got a membership at the new local YMCA. It's part of our get fit, and get moving resolution. The first day we went swimming in the family leisure pool with all three kids. It was hard to get them out of the water. Then we tried working out upstairs on the bike and eliptical machines. Yesterday I got into a Yoga class, and this morning I'm still "feeling the burn!"

God never promised us an easy ride. Jesus was born of a woman, and judging from my own experience, that hurts! Mary for sure, but probably Jesus as well.

Jesus was noticed and worshiped by the Magi, and Herod came to kill all his cohorts, all the toddlers in Bethlehem. Jesus escaped but lots of people got hurt.

So much pain surrounding a Savior.

Two verses to think about :
Mt. 16:24;Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

When we pick up our cross, or it is given to us, it is good to know that Jesus knows about it. Whatever the cross may be, He's been there, and heard about it, and probably lived through it.

But also: Mt. 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Seems rather contradictary to me. But God's not in the business of pain for pain's sake. God's way is straight forward: Love God and Love your neighbor, pass it on.

Sounds easy enough!

So did Yoga!