Feb 232010
 

Eleven men. Suffering loss. Fearing for their lives. Looking at each other with distrust. Remembering power struggles, heated arguments, words dripping with jealousy and selfishness. Betrayal, paralysis, weakness…

Eleven men. Pushing fear aside. Lifting each other up. Forgetting petty differences. Focusing in a common direction. Worship, energy, strength…

What made the difference? The disciples finally answered Jesus’ prayer!

I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.   John 17

When they finally came together in unity, the power of the Spirit lit them up- literally! Pentecost. Purpose. Ministry. Mission. Through this small group, Jesus changed the world. We feel the effects of that power even today.

We find so many ways to divide ourselves. Race, language, economic status, religion, social status. Kids do it. Adults do it.

Two men sat in the freezing cold around a dying fire. One white, one black. Each holding a piece of wood. Each looking at the other with dislike and distrust. When they were found the next morning, someone remarked,” They didn’t die from the cold without, but rather from the cold within.”

Whether at home or at work or in the church, we are hamstrung, blocked from realizing the Spirit’s power in our lives. What lines do you draw that separate you from those around you? What prevents you from living in unity with your family, your coworkers, your church family? Father, help me look for more unity and less division, more oneness and less separation. Make me ready to be lit up by the Spirit.

shared in the workplace 2/22/10

Feb 202010
 

“There’s two opinions, yours and the right one!” Have you heard that one? There are many more just like it. We laugh about them because- because what? Because they’re true to how we think? What do we have against being w____? Friendships die, marriages dissolve, work relationships corrode, all because not one of us is willing to admit that we might have been what- unright?  Go ahead and say it- the “w” word- w-r-o-n-g!

Some time back, I was in a conversation with some colleagues and one made a critical comment about something I said. So, I claimed my “right” to respond unkindly. That was wrong of me. The actions of others, right or wrong, should never justify wrong actions on my part.

It took me several hours, but I finally listened to Spirit prompting that led me to apologize to the individual and to do so in front of the same group. That is rarely an easy thing to do.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

Is Jesus saying that asking forgiveness is more important than worshiping Him? Hmmm. One thing I know.  Jesus’ ministry was all about mending broken relationships. Relationships between Him and us. Relationships between us as humans. He knows that harboring ill against another, or causing another to have bad feelings against us not only blocks our earthly relationships, but can get in the way of our heavenly ones.

Jesus is Love. Anything that is not about love will prevent us from connecting to Him. Is there a fence that needs mending in your life? A wrong that needs righting? Remember that fault is not an issue here. Reconciling is. Don’t wait for the other person to act. You take the first step. Hit the PAUSE button on your day and reach out to someone with forgiveness in your heart. Do it today!

shared in the workplace 10/5/2009

Feb 202010
 

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

Jesus (Luke 15)

Friends, it’s not what you’ve done,

or shouldn’t have done.

it’s about whose child you are.

shared in family worship 2/19/2010

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