Monday, May 16, 2011

GOD'S YEARBOOK

I just finished perusing the boys' yearbook from Franklin High for this year.  Now that we've lived here long enough to know lots of the kids it's fun to scan the entire thing.  In times past, I've merely flipped to the back and looked up the page numbers for my sons' pictures.

I remember in high school when the yearbooks were handed out.  While I didn't expect to be the star of the yearbook, I always hoped that I would have made one of the "extra" pages.  You know those sections where there are random photos of students doing amazing/crazy/smart things - the ones that aren't posed and placed for a specific club or school activity.  The pictures from chorus or the school play were great, but to make those random pages? I don't know.  I guess those folks were people you identified with who the school was.  Sometimes those folks were even quoted!

Malachi 3:16 talks about God's "yearbook." 
Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.

Wow, God's got a yearbook! Imagine us all in heaven after we've been there for a couple of million years.  One of you runs up to me with a big book in your hand.  "Have you gotten your copy of the yearbook yet?"  I race through the crowd, eagerly claim my own, then sit down by the crystal river to check it out.  It'll take another thousand years to get through it, but who cares? As I scan the first pages I see many people I fully expect to see - those who "represented" God in amazing ways on this earth.  Knowing myself well, I will flip to the table of names to see just how many pages I made. 

Sure, I'll be in the choir pictures, the drama pictures, the mission trip pictures (tying rebar!), the worship leader pictures, and most importantly I'll have my picture in the class of 1972, the year I surrendered my life to Christ.  Some of you might be surprised to see me in the picture for church softball!

But my heart's desire is to make the random pages.  I want to be among those who were put in some "these people represent my heart" pages.  I'm not sure whose faces will appear there.  Maybe in some form or fashion we all will.  I'm guessing He'll reserve those pages for those who represented all He stood for.  Maybe it will be for those who loved as He would love.

My high school days are long gone.  I won't be in another yearbook on this earth.  I've still got time to make a few more pages in God's memory book.  You never know what page I'll turn up on.  How about you?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BE PREPARED

Last night at worship team share time, Scott asked us what message we needed to share with people who are coming on Easter (the only time some people EVER come, so our one shot to really share the Gospel).  As the conversation continued, I was convicted about the passage where Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" He then asked Peter, "Who do you say that I am?"  (Peter's answer was "the Messiah," but a short time later he denied knowing Jesus.)  We were talking about how to express who Jesus is in our lives.  It's not easy to communicate.  But the Word clearly tells us in I Peter 3:

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

So, this morning I'm asking myself and my ladies at Bible study, "Who do you say that Jesus is?" We really need to be prepared to give an answer - a gentle, humble answer.  Why would you say that others should follow your Christ?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

DOUBLE VISION

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2

I know that I'm not getting any younger, but I'm praying that God will preserve my eyesight! It's already where I can't read without my glasses.  I'm asking that He'll stop it at that! I want to take in His creation, read His word, and enjoy the faces of His children for as long as I live.  He is such a creative genius and I can never get enough of His glory!

There's another type of vision that I am constantly losing on my own, and praying that He'll keep shifting back where it should be.  That's my vertical vision.  I'm talking about keeping my eyes fixed on Him.  It's the opposite of horizontal vision.  That's where I start looking at the situation around me and begin to despair in a huge way.  When I'm looking around, my feet slip off the path and I find myself lost and in unfamiliar territory.  Only when my eyes are fixed - stuck like glue - on Him am I able to navigate, not only without tripping, but with joy and peace and hope in this journey.

Sometimes, it feels like He has to jerk my chin up and look me dead in the eyes to remind me that He has my map laid out for me.  There's no need to look around.  This is not all there is and my future is with Him on high! So, while I may grow old and develop double vision on this earth, I pray that my spiritual, vertical vision grows stronger every day!