Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've been thinking alot about snow lately, probably because I have been completely surrounded by it for almost 2 weeks now. I grew up in Southern California so snow is not something I am terribly familiar with. Now that I live where it snows, I am hoping the novelty of it never wears off. Snow amazes me. I am bewildered by the fact that something can be at once so delicate yet so powerful. But the thing I am intrigued by the most is a single snowflake. I was 19 years old before I actually saw snow falling from the sky. As I looked at my glove that first time, I was surprised by what I saw. I had no idea that snowflakes really look the way we are taught to cut them from paper in school. I now have a book sitting on my coffee table filled with the most beautiful pictures of snowflakes. I could look at it all day long. But the thing that touches me the most is that of all the billions and billions of snowflakes that fall, no two are alike. Is there any better evidence for the existence of God? Who but the Master Creator could come up with all of those amazing designs?

But there is something else about snow that blows me away and that is it's pure whiteness. There is nothing so breathtaking as looking out the window after a snowstorm and viewing the untouched snow. When the sun is shining you have to shield your eyes from the brightness. Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come now, lets us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your skins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool." And as I look out at the vastness of the snow surrounding me, I imagine that each little snowflake that falls is one of our sins which God has transformed. And not only has He turned them white, but He has turned each one into something new, something beautiful. No longer is it a red mark against us to condemn us. It has been transformed to reflect His glory. He takes our weaknesses and shows the world His power through His forgiveness.

I see this reflected in my own life. I was a sinner. I did some things I am ashamed of. And though I still sin, that is not what defines me anymore because Jesus died for those sins and He has made me a new creation. It continues to astound me. The person I am now would be unrecognizable to the person I once was. It is something I could never have done on my own. Only the Master Creator could have done it. Just like the snowflake, I am unique. He has given me gifts and talents that nobody else has and just like that snowflake, they are beautiful when used for his purpose.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I love lists and schedules. For me, there is little as satisfying as seeing my to do list at the end of the day with everything crossed off. I love that visual evidence of a productive day. Sometimes, if I complete a task that wasn't on my list, I will add it just so I can cross it off. I know, it's kind of a sickness. But, sometimes in my quest to get things done, I forget there is more to a job than its completion. Sometimes the satisfaction of a task is in the task itself.

Jesus' main complaint with the Pharisees was that they were simply going through the motions of following the law. There was no true motive beyond their zealousness other than the satisfaction at the end of the day that they had done what they were supposed to do. But there was so much they were missing. They were missing the intent behind the law. They were missing the love behind the law and they were missing the fact that the law was designed to change their hearts and make them see their need for a savior. As a result, they missed Him when he was standing right in front of them.

This makes me wonder how much I miss with my zeal to cross things off my list. Sure, I get my Bible Study done, but do I take the time to really absorb what I am studying? I feed my family dinner, but am I feeding their hearts and their souls? The house gets clean but am I cleansing my soul daily? There are many days I need to slow down. I need to throw out the list and remember what is important. Maybe we will eat pizza for dinner, but my son will know he can come to me anytime for homework help. Maybe the dishes will sit in the sink but my daughter and I will enjoy some cuddle time. And maybe I won't get my Bible Study done today but my husband will feel he is a priority.

I will always love my lists and schedules. They are the things which help me maintain control. But as I write these words, I realize that is the very thing God is trying to teach me. He is in control, not me. I need to trust that and look for the ways I can serve Him, even if it's not on my list.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Over and over in scripture we read the Lord will come back like a thief in the night. The gospels show Jesus telling his disciples and all of us to be on our guard and be ready.

Are you ready? If the Lord were to show up on your doorstep this minute would you be ready or would you be thinking, "Wait, I was going to work on this problem and I was going to forgive that person before you came." My answer to the question is, "It depends on the day." Sometimes it depends on the hour. I may be ready one minute and not ready the next. But Jesus tells us we should always be ready.

In Luke, Jesus uses a parable about a servant overseeing his master's property. When the master is long in coming back, the servant becomes complacent and begins to slack off on his duties. I can so relate to that story. Sometimes, I honestly forget the Lord is coming back and I get consumed with the things of this world and neglect the things I should really be working on. But I don't want this attitude. I want to be ready.

As I thought about this, I thought of a person who always has a clean house. Surely you know someone like this. You can show up at her house with no notice and everything is spotless as if you called weeks ago to announce your visit. These are the same people who take your glass and put it in the dishwasher before you've even set it down after your last sip. You know what these people have going for them? They're always ready. It may be alot of work to keep their house clean but they are willing to do the work because the payoff is huge. They can entertain on a moment's notice. They can relax on the weekend because there isn't an entire house to clean.

I want to be like that with my spiritual life. A couple of years ago, I studied the book of Acts. Before studying this book, I was a bit put off by Paul's attitude. I thought he was arrogant and proud, always telling us we should act like him. But after studying Acts I realized the reason for this. Paul was always ready. That doesn't mean he was perfect, but he was always examining himself and asking God where he could improve. He kept short accounts with God.

Keeping short accounts with God is like the woman with the eternally clean house. Why is her house always clean? She is constantly cleaning up small messes. Something spills, she cleans it up. The mail comes, she sorts it and throws out the junk. We can answer Jesus' call to always be ready if we will apply the same concepts to our spiritual lives. When we tell a lie, we immediately ask for forgiveness. When we disobey God, we go to Him right away. We are going to screw up from time to time, not one of us is perfect but if we will remember to spend time each day, confessing our sins to God and asking Him to show us where we can do better, we will keep those short accounts with God and we will be ready.