6 07 2011

We need rain. Badly. I live in south Texas, and we are in the middle of a major drought. Where I live, it has only rained once in the last 161 days. The grass has withered, the trees are dying, and the landscape has become a monochrome panorama of desperate thirst. There were no fireworks on the Fourth of July. The entire area is under a burn ban. Neighbors look at the sky, talking about the need for moisture. Fires blaze across farm land, destroying crops, homes, and dreams.

The land is thirsty. The ground is cracked and dusty. The leaves on the trees hang in weary frustration as they yearn for water. Record temperatures scorch the sky. The water holes have all dried up. Birds and animals are struggling in the heat. Growth has become impossible.

At this point, it doesn’t take an expert to look around the neighborhood and tell who has invested in watering their yard. Most of the lawns carry a dry, faded look. The grass crunches under your feet. There is nothing inviting or compelling about the landscape. A few yards, however, are emerald. There is a lushness about these spaces that draws your eyes and your soul. Plants are thriving, flowers are blooming, and everything looks healthy. The quiet stillness of these yards invite growth and send a longing straight through your heart.

“I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” – Psalm 143:6.

The drought-ravaged land has the ability to serve as a mirror for our souls. Does my heart ache for God with the same intensity as the land thirsts for rain? Do I look into the heavens for His movement as frequently as we scan the sky for rainclouds? Can others look at my life and see the evidence of God’s reign?

My Jesus Resolution today is to drink deeply of God’s living water. The ground around me may be parched and thirsty, but my soul can dive into the deep well of His grace. I want to claim the promise found in Jeremiah 17:7-8. Trusting in God will plant me firmly in His abundance and set me free from the fear and devastation of drought. I am going to let my longing for rain pull my heart deeper into His reign.


4 07 2011

Today America celebrates its independence. Freedom is a precious blessing. Our freedom allows us to dream, explore, dig deep, and soar to new heights. It encourages us to imagine new possibilities, listen to our hearts, and see the value of each human soul.

Celebrating our national independence should spur us to rejoice in the freedom we have in Christ. In Him, we experience the truest essence of freedom. In Jesus, we are free indeed.

Here are ten freedoms to be thankful for today and every day.

1. We are free from the grip of sin.

2. We are free to live in the immensity of His grace.

3. We are free to love and be loved.

4. We are free to be transformed into His image.

5. We are free to filled with His peace.

6. We are free to see His presence in each day.

7. We are free of guilt, shame, and fear.

8. We are free to experience the richness of His joy.

9. We are free to worship and live lives of praise.

10. We are free to dream about heaven and live in the reality of that hope.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be thankful for my freedom. Jesus promises that “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) I am going to celebrate the freedom that Jesus unleashes in my life. I want to keep my eyes open for all the possibilities that are mine in Him, listen to His encouragement , and step into the dreams He has planned and empowered me to live. Living in the fullness of His freedom means being free to shake off the world’s expectations and dwell in the center of His will. As you gather with friends and family, be thankful for the community of His love. Fill your plate with your favorite foods and be grateful for the feast of His favor and faithfulness. Raise the flag and remember the cross. Watch fireworks light up the night and celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. We are free indeed!


1 07 2011

Flowers floated in the air. The wind blew them off the tree, mixing them in a symphony of beauty that took my breath away. Petals carpeted the road. The sun peeked through the clouds, creating a luminous glow as the petals caught the sunlight on their way to the ground.

I was hesitant to step on the petals. I felt like a pink and white carpet had been rolled out just for me. Just for a minute, time stood still as the elements all came together to create a transforming moment of beauty. The landscape was transformed, but more importantly, I was transformed. It was a moment that reminded me of who I am.

There has only been one other time in my life when I walked on flower petals. Dressed in white, I walked down an aisle that was covered in petals on my way to new love, new dreams, and a new life. God used this morning and these petals to remind me that I am still a bride.

“Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready.” – Revelation 19:7

Christians are the Bride of Christ. We belong to Him as we make the journey through this world on our way to the wedding feast that will celebrate the moment when we move into the home He has prepared for us.

The neat thing about brides is that they have a singular focus. They can be found counting down the days, preparing for their special moment, talking about their beloved, inviting others to join them in joy, and tending to the details that will make them ready to see and be seen by their groom. Brides don’t get distracted. They don’t forget who they are, whose they are, or where they are going. Petals mark the path to the love they long to embrace.

My Jesus Resolution today is to remember that I am a bride. God used petals to remind me that I belong to Him. I am on my way to a wedding feast, and my job is to prepare for that moment. I don’t want to lose sight of the love and joy that is waiting for me. I don’t want to be distracted or forget where I am going. So on the way, He throws petals in my path – little reminders that beauty is not only my destiny, it is my reality because He loves me and can’t wait for us to be together.