Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Blessing

Last Sunday morning, Zion and I sat outside the church after a rough morning chatting about God, life and choices.  We created this soft scene on the hard cement while God softened the hard places in us.

Shall we reach across the minutes and miles to pause and greet each other amidst these holy days of celebration, as we welcome the Christ Child?  Let us lay down our sorrows, fear, hopelessness and hard heartedness.  With humble hearts fueled by confession and forgiveness, let us free ourselves and the people we love from dependence on  humanity and earth to fulfill our deepest longings, and trust the God of the Universe to rejuvenate our spirits through grace.  The loving arms of Jesus are held steady and strong, wide open in ready embrace.  For He knows our intimate struggles, every need and burden and loves us to the core of our being.

Come brothers and sisters, with hands held in kindred spirit desire, let us kneel in faith and lift our eyes in the belief, that He holds us and this precious earth on which we dwell in sovereign love and compassion.  As the days gather quickly to finish the year in which they were designed to serve, let us not linger in what has been, but rejoice in what is to come!  God is still creating!  We do not know all that is to be, but we know the Author of Life, who did not spare His only Son, but gave Him in ransom for our wickedness and the sins of all.

As 2015 calls us to a fresh year, let it be one in which our unity, love and the outpouring of the light of Jesus into this dark world raises up the broken and reaches the lost.  We are here with a purpose, fueled by His love, and equipped to serve for the "role-call of eternity"!

I am thankful for each of you, your willingness to read my words and the lives you lead beyond this page.  May God bless you and keep you as His face shines upon you and may Joy be your companion as you walk the path set before you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

# Love

I searched through scripture to find a strong verse for Malachi's project, one that would represent our family.  I suggested Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (NIV)  Malachi furrowed his brow, 'Oh no Mommy, it must be the love verse, because no matter what, it's always about love, that's how our family is.'

I was struck by his answer.  As the oldest of the youngest five, it is clear that the rambunctious, challenging, wild siblings often drive Malachi crazy, as he does to them as well!  Yet, denying none of the chaos and conflict, or difficult days, Malachi knows that LOVE is our center.

In the midst of our racial conflict currently causing great upheaval in many cities in the U.S. I wonder what words fuel our passions.  Perhaps a few of them are vindication, justice, and revenge.

Walk with me Friends, hear what I hear, see what I see.  As a Caucasian mother of Hispanic, Bi-racial, African and Caucasian children, you would be amazed at the responses I am given from all races at some time or another, ranging from kind to cruel. The hurtful words and mean spirited attitudes often stem from a bad experience, ignorance or fear.  My response can bless the speaker or add to their preconceived ideas, causing disunity and separation.  I refuse to give into the Enemy's plans to destroy the human race with his seeds of hatred.  I must kindly address hurtful attitudes, to uproot the weeds of racism, and then I must fill that gaping hole with a seed of love.  My words must be spoken to heal not to widen the crevice we create with our suspicious, self-protecting taking of sides against another.

Jesus said, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."  And by them he meant me and you.  Forgiveness is the beginning of love and love is the seed of healing.

Malachi was also asked to use a picture for his project to represent his family tree.  Under the picture below, he wrote, "With adoption, our family tree is a forest!"  One tree, standing alone, cannot endure the storms of life quite so well as a forest!  To blend adoption with diversity under God's incredible gift of family is to walk first hand into the beautiful garden in which he intended us to bloom.  Drought and pestilence, seasons and pruning are all part of our earthly lives, and they are difficult to endure.  Our country is under a weighty struggle now.  But we, these trees that we are, rooted and grounded in love, can survive hard things together, not with weapons of divisive words, but through cultivating all that love represents. And we know well, that we are an exquisite landscape because of our unique characteristics and differences.

Do not allow anyone to tempt you to believe that one race is against another!  We have one enemy and he is the enemy of love.  Racism is not a tool unique to any race.  It is a knife hurled from the hand of the one who would seek to destroy us all, by separation and wounding.

It is the love verse, Malachi's wise choice, that will heal and guide us through these treacherous days. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have faith that can move mountains, but have not LOVE, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not LOVE, I have nothing.  LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  LOVE does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  LOVE never fails."
1 Corinthians 13: 1-8a (NIV)