let:joy

I was in line at Starbucks yesterday and it was a Christmas extravaganza everywhere. Red, green, gold, gingerbread, peppermint, etc, etc. A canister of tea caught my attention the most, though. The name was simply “Joy.” Couple with that something my father-in-law said recently that has been bouncing around my heart: “The Scriptures say ‘let’ all the time – we have to get out of the way, relinquish control, and let.”

So I headed to my computer and began putting this together. A simple little treat for the eyes, ears, and heart to remind us to let this holiday (holy dayseason.

Music by Holley Maher via The Music Bed, Photos by David Heinlein.

Seasons Don’t Stay the Same

Seasons Don't Stay the Same

Everybody loves to love Fall. Me included. It makes it even more romantic to call it Autumn like my British friends. It’s beautiful and cozy and who doesn’t love all things pumpkin? Sign me up. As a matter of fact could I just snapshot a beautiful Fall day in New York City: clear, blue sky, temps in the upper 50s/lower 60s, Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks. How many people have I heard say, “I wish everyday was like this!”

But, as soon as I say that the Winter comes. Snow, then bitter cold. Then the amazingness of Spring, and then the fun and heat of Summer. Seasons don’t stay the same and neither do I. God’s love and His nature stay the same but His plans, purposes, and Spirit and always on the move. As soon as I decide to get comfortable God has to wake me up and tell me it’s time to go. And that’s okay.

It’s good. It’s wonderful.

He is doing a new thing the ancient prophets say. They saw it then and implore me to see it today. Can you see it? Can I see it? Here comes the next season and all its glories. And then, before I know it, it’s time for the next one. It may be harder than I expect, but I can be sure that God is there. The Holy Spirit in the midst making changes and doing things I haven’t even had the capacity to dream yet.

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 MSG)

Photo: Some rights reserved by OakleyOriginals

Go Public

going_public_blogThis passage of Scripture begins with the phrase, “Let me tell you why you are here.” Man, that’s what everybody’s looking for…I know I am. Here it is. When you become a part of the Body of Jesus, when you enter His kingdom you become a light. Bringing out God all around you. Some will be so grateful to you, some will probably be mad. That’s not your focus. Just be the light. Shine His light. Go public!

 

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 MSG)

Photo by David Heinlein

Love Like That

worship_extravagant
Oh man…this captivated me this morning. So beautiful, so powerful…love EXACTLY LIKE HIM! Not cautious but extravagant. So awesome.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Ephesians 5:1-2 MSG)

Photo by David Heinlein

Proper Place

proper_place_blog_blankLife: Chaotic. Crazy. Tumultuous. Full. Disorganized. Thick.

In worship, though, things begin to take their place. They find their proper place. When I place Jesus first – at the head – then all the other parts of me and my life find the place they were looking for. They say a collective, “Ahhhh, that’s it.” My heart says, “That’s what I was looking for.”

Jesus: Peace. Clarity. Hope. Things are looking up. Finally.

 

Colossians 1:15-20

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

Photo by David Heinlein