Monthly Archives: January 2015

Face Plant

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There’s a potted plant on the table, next to my chair where I spend my early mornings reading my Bible, thinking, praying, and wondering if there’s another way to arrange the furniture in this room. The plant sits in a cobalt-blue glazed pot with good drainage. It’s been fed, watered, cleaned, given sun, given shade and generally coddled. I’ve defended it through bug invasions and cat attacks. In spite of this, the plant has never thrived.
This morning, while staring into space, waiting for the screen in my brain to flicker on, my eyes came to rest on this plant. I noticed, as if for the first time, it’s sad condition: bedraggled leaves, branches leaning over the edge of the pot as if getting ready to heave after a night of bingeing. Just a pathetic sight. Into the silent morning, I muttered, “You STU-PID plant. I am throwing you out”.
That kinda woke me up. I started thinking about other things in my life that I nurse along, justify and feed, when in actuality, I need to let go, throw away, and clear a spot on the table. Like a bad movie watched to the lousy end (because there must be some redeeming quality), I hold on to a grudge, an indulgence, or “best-kept secret” thinking it enhances my life, when iin reality it’s taking up space, time and energy, and-maybe most significantly- God has said, “Give it up”.
So today, I start cleaning. The plant’s gonna go, to make room for the Tree of Life.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Phil. 3:7 (NLT)

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The Other Word

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Others make me uncomfortable. I want to squirm, hide, and run. I’m talking about the Others mentioned in the last part of Hebrews 11; right after the list of those who “…received promises, stopped the mouths of lions (vs. 33), quenched fires, escaped the sword, overcame weakness (vs. 34) …and women who received their dead back to life. Others were tortured (vs 35)…” Stop- right there- THOSE others, others who were tortured, written in small print- not in my Bible, but certainly in my heart; who were also mocked, beaten, held in chains, imprisoned, stoned to death, cut in two, tempted, slain, destitute, afflicted, tormented… These Others, who do not experience healing, deliverance or any sense of victory- these are the ones who need us today. These are the others we are to “Do unto” what we’d want done if we were in their bed, their prison.
I’m saying this by way of confession. At the beginning of the new year, when I asked the Lord what He’d have me do this year, the word “Others” in this chapter stood out in neon. Every day since, though I’ve tried to dissuade that Still Small Voice by calling attention to my list of more tasteful tasks, the message has remained the same: “Delete Selfie, exchange for Others”.

“God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one complete whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.” Hebrews 11:40