Monday, June 8, 2020

From Strength to Strength...Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet

Dear Friends,

As the world…and these United States…begin to open up from Covid 19, it becomes more and more apparent that “…(we’ve) not passed this way before.”  (Joshua 3:4)
Experts are at odds regarding the order of lifting restrictions, the speed with which to proceed…even the paths to be taken.  Not only are leaders and caretakers exhausted from overwork and decision making, but now they are overwhelmed facing a very unknown and uncertain future.  If this is you please take a moment to be reminded of a truth:

Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness.”  Psalm 112:4
​Pictured here are a pair of well-worn sandals, replicates of those that could have been worn by Jesus during His sojourn on earth.  The Scriptures reveal that He and His followers walked literally thousands of miles during those three (or so) years: from Nazareth to the wilderness of Judea; from Jerusalem to Tyre and Sidon; from upper Galilee and possibly even Hermon (the Transfiguration) to Bethany…and back again to Jerusalem – multiple times.  Even as an Infant His earthly father would have taken the little family pretty much on foot from Bethlehem to Egypt and then returned with them to Nazareth.  
Putting all this in perspective is mind boggling …and sitting with it brings other Scriptures more into focus.  What is seldom thought of in this centering process is the importance foot coverings would have had.  And…what is pretty much overlooked is their “evolution” according to need.  Did you know that ancient sandals (more like moccasins) dating backward from David to Moses to Abraham and beyond, incorporated a small spout type of receptacle in the toe area to hold oil and a small wick?  They not only provided protection but also provision to see the next step.  Literally, only the next step on the path was lighted. 

Friends, be assured that our Father has given a lamp to light our next steps just as He ordered the footsteps of Jesus.  Walk circumspectly with His Word and the Holy Spirit during these dark times as you seek the truth and make decisions…for yourselves, those you love, and those you are caring for.
 And remember knowing only the next step may be all you need. 

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”  Psalm 119:105

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

From Strength to Strength...Lights in the Windows

Good morning fellow traveler, 

Have you ever been starting out on a journey when the darkness seemed particularly intense or having to push through on a really dark stretch of road? 

What was your response to seeing a warm and inviting light ahead?... approaching a house with lights on…bright and welcoming?... better yet, lights in the windows inviting you to warmth and safety?

Years ago, while having to attend some 8:00am seminary classes, a very early start to the hefty drive was required.   I remember my need of strong resolution as I set out, especially during those icy winter months.  There was a particular house on that journey that always flooded me with sense of safety and encouragement.  I would round the bend and there it was: bright, warm, and beckoning with candle lights in the windows.  I remember my tension always releasing with a sigh and my breathing relaxing with consolation and confidence.  My sense would be:

  • There’s my safe place in case I need help!
  • Yes, those people are awake!  They would welcome me.
  • Daylight will soon be coming.  All will be well.

I have always placed candles in my windows for that reason.  That is the image, the message I desire to emanate because it’s Him, the Jesus I represent. 

How about you fellow traveler?  What has been your experience traveling this world’s dark roads?  How are you placing lights in your windows to welcome the lonely, the least, the lost?

We’re on one of the world’s darkest roads now ….Covid-19.  Recently a pic was posted on Facebook of a similar window with a similar candle …a  reminder of an ancient practice of Christians signaling and welcoming fellow Christians to a safe shelter. 

Put a light in your windows Christ follower…both actually and spiritually.  Reach out in your neighborhood, grocery store, workplace -even digitally.  Be that Christ light of peace, assurance, and safety to those who are frightened and lost.  Be Christ as only you uniquely can.  Be light and life to those around you, where He has uniquely placed you.

“Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men.  That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.”  John 1:4-5

Your light will not be overcome. 

On the journey with you,