Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trash Removal

Litter. Lining the roadsides. Litter. Lying on beaches. Litter. Piling up in parking lots. In fact, every place that I have ever been, from the most beautiful to the most remote, has been tainted by trash. God's creation has become to some nothing more than a receptacle for rubbish. As Christians, we are servants, and servants keep things clean. Recently, I was encouraged by a friend who stopped to pick up a plastic bottle as we walked together, and I was reminded that I should be willing to do small things for Jesus. If we find ourselves tripping over trash before we'll stoop down to pick it up, then maybe we need to ask ourselves if we've become too proud to do the humbling job of trash removal.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Getting In

"I wanta get in," Jesse said, lifting her tiny toes toward the pages of her Jesus Storybook Bible. I smiled, realizing she was trying to climb onto the sand where Goliath of Gath had just fallen, smitten by the stone from David's sling. Oh, Lord, I thought, how precious that she wants to be there, among these ancient words, living the story instead of just hearing it. And what a lesson for me not to just read this beautiful Book, the Bible, but to imagine myself in each scene, meditating on what it might have meant to have been a small shepherd boy facing a giant or an Israelite seeing victory from the sideline. Father, may the words that we've read and reread come alive as we see them anew through the eyes of a child.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eternal Rewards

"Where are you from," I asked the friendly man making my sandwich. "The Philippines," he answered, smiling. "Oh, we sponsor a child in the Philippines. Do you know what I mean?" "Yes, and because you have said this to me, I will tell you a story. I, too, was sponsored by a couple. I grew up poor and abused, but because I was sponsored I was able to get an education and eventually to come here to America." "So, do you know Jesus?" "By God's grace, yes!" Graciano continued to tell us his story, how he came to know Christ through the love of these two people who had supported him not only financially, but spiritually and emotionally as well. He saw them as parents and told us that they had stood as such at his wedding here in the United States. What an incredible return on their investment: a life changed for eternity! For $38.00 a month, a child can be sponsored through Compassion International. That may add up to several thousands over the course of their childhood, but one more life loving Jesus and spreading a passion for His name: that's priceless! "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:19)