I am excited to announce that in the coming year, I will be offering general words of encouragement called “Rays of Life” with at least one coming every month. In these, I hope to provide thoughts, stories, and/or experiences that will inspire, provoke, enlighten, and potentially lead you to seek more with Jesus as you journey together. I anticipate making these available using several outlets, but if you would like to personally receive these in an email or via postal, please let me know. I would be happy to put you on my direct mailing list. To find them on our website, click Writings
The end of the year brings opportunity for real reflection. The following represents a picture of this time in my own heart. May it bring hope to you as it does to me…
I stand upon a small knoll overlooking a large valley below me. The warmth of the sun is at my back, as my outline casts a small shadow amid the vastness of the scene before me. Two contrasting images mark the landscape, each capturing an event in my life the last year. One image, colorful flowers, dot the valley in both pockets and in sparse spacings. Intuitively, these represent events or experiences of joy where life has been filled with hope, peace, love, faithfulness, fulfilled expectations, and so on. The other image, sharp and dull stones, represent those times in the past year of loss, pain, challenge, weakness, failure, and the like.
My first gaze into this reflected scene of 2015 in my journey causes me to flinch with disappointment and sadness. The rocks are more numerous than the flowers. Indeed, this past year held many difficult circumstances and realities. But even in this truth, I cannot overlook the presence of flowers and the number of them. As I think back, the memories of these desired moments also flood my heart evoking feelings of deep gratefulenss and happiness. I also notice that the flowers were not only of differing colors, but they were also of differing sizes. My eyes were drawn to see smaller ones hidden as they were amid the stones. Their coloring was just as bright and exquisite, helping me realize that even in the midst of pain, life was growing and happening inside my heart.
Surveying this scene, I didn’t notice a growing shadow being cast upon this valley. All at once I snapped out of my gaze to realize its intrustion. Taking a moment for me to conceptualize its outline, my knees gave out as I fell forward to the ground. A flood of tears began to flow, both washing my soul and expressing without words the brokenness of my heart. Not a brokenness of failure, but rather a brokenness of transparency of one before a greater power than the sum of my life. Slowly turning to behold behind me, my eyes were able to make out a massive, blood-stained cross. Undone, I dug my fingers into the soil, realizing the clarity of its message in this moment. All that 2015 represented in my life, both the joys and the pains, the successes and the failures, the fulfilled and unfulfilled expectations, it all took its place under the power of that special cross which held THE Son of God. Meant for me, His sacrifice released the treasured gift of Heaven…Eternal Love given first so that I can in return love again.
Consumed in my thoughts, I hear a thunderous roar all around me. Looking up from the ground, a pure river of glowing water is rushing around me flowing into the valley of my life experiences. Everything is covered, stones and flowers in all, and once consumed, the light that appears is so bright that I cannot continue to look out. Turning my head to look behind, I’m awe-struck over the reality that the river is flowing from the Cross. Again, revelation captures my heart…the cross brings the meaning of my life to the forefront. I am not my success nor my failures…I am an adopted, flawless, son of the Resurrected God Man King, having received the gift He offers of restored relationship as I bend my will to His.
The impact of this revelation is massive, yet such that I struggled to hold it all. I can never be more than I am today in His Presence simply because of Jesus’ righteousness which marks my life. Nothing I experience reigns greater. The cross, its power for redemption and restoration, completes the expectation of Heaven for renewed relationship. Humbled, overwhelmed and hardly able to breath, I hold on to this scene for as long as I can. The moments pass and its vision begins the fade. However, its impact is like a fire — uncontrollable and consuming, touching every part of my life. Words begin to fail, but undescribable hope grows. The Surpassing greatness of the Cross has no match. Nothing I can offer can compare; nonetheless, may He recieve my gratefulness.
We recently initiated a 7 week class titled, “Heart-Style Warfare: Walking in the Opposite Spirit.” In this time together, we are exploring the depth and impact of Jesus’ command to respond in opposite to what we encounter spiritually around us…love for hate, blessing for cursing, etc. While we have already started, its not too late to get involved. Please contact us for details.