Mysteries

santa-in-fireplace-clipartEver wonder as a kid how Santa made it to every home around the world in one night or how the tooth fairy got into your room and under your pillow without anyone knowing?  Probably not, until someone decided to reveal the “secret” that neither entity is real.

There’s a billboard in Times Square that suggests that the coming of Jesus is a myth.  I guess folks are trying to reveal their “secret” to the rest of us.  Why is this so important to them that they’d spend that kind of money to post their views for all to see?

Here in Newtown the vast majority of us are praying.  We want God to be with us.  We’re not ashamed or hesitant to cry out to God for help.

I’m praying to understand how I can be of the most help myself.  The answer I get over and over is to love as I’ve been loved by God.  If the thousands of us that live in this community would answer that call I believe we will heal and be strong in the face of evil.

Jesus came to bring good news. He came to proclaim that captives will be released, the blind will see, the oppressed will be set free and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.  He is doing those very things today by His Spirit and through His people.  Be one of His and show the world what He’s like.

Matthew 1:23
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”

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Transmitters and receivers

While producing an event in Manhattan we had seven wireless lavaliere (tie clip) microphones to manage. These microphones run on UHF frequencies and each system has a transmitter that is attached to the microphone and receivers that are attached to the sound board. The transmitter and receiver have to be tuned to the same radio frequency in order for the sound to travel from the microphone to the speakers. The challenge was all of the other radio frequencies that were in the air in Manhattan. It wasn’t uncommon to have interference (like a radio signal) heard in the room. It was a lot of work to get each transmitter/receiver system tuned without interference.

Communication between people can be very much like that. The person talking and the one listening need to be tuned into each other in order for the messages being shared to communicate effectively. It takes some work on my part to clearly hear what people are saying. It seems even more difficult for me to communicate with others in a way that they can hear clearly. In a perfect world we would love each other enough to make this a priority.

There are times where my “receiver” is not tuned into what God is saying. Other voices, who I believe God is and other priorities in life interfere with my ability to receive His word for me. When I care enough to know what He is saying I calm myself and sit in the most honest position I can to listen carefully.

God spoke creation into existence. Jesus said His sheep hear His voice. The Holy Spirit makes all of this clear for us. Listen carefully. You’ll be amazed by what you hear.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”

Inspired

I remember all too many times how I would despair over the endless work to do without enough time to do it. If the business wasn’t busy, I’d be busy trying to find business. If we were busy, I’d wonder how we’d get it all done in a way that would thrill our customers. Then, there were all of the items that needed attention around the house not to mention the quality time I knew I should be having with my family. Not inspiring thoughts. No songs being written here.

When I would finally hit an emotional low, I’d realize just how much time I wasn’t spending focusing on what is good and right. I’d be embarrassed to pray because it had been so long since I uttered a word of praise for the only One who is praiseworthy. The only hope I had was to change me. It was up to me to think differently and seek the LORD.

As an earthly father, I love to give my children good things. Our heavenly Father is far more loving and gracious than any man on earth. You and I can choose to believe He is good and be the people He has called us to be. It’s our choice. Be inspired.

Psalm 42:11 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

Partial view

Have you ever stayed at a hotel in Times Square? I remember one time where the view from the hotel room was a brick wall dead ahead and if I put my face up to the window craning my neck I caught a minimal glimpse of a lit up storefront. I thanked God for the dark room to sleep in but felt like I was missing something for all the money spent on the room.

I had a conversation with someone I’ve “known” for many years yesterday where a story was shared that revealed a dimension to their life that been previously obscured. My respect for that person escalated because of what was shared. It occurred to me (again) that we really don’t know what’s going on in another person’s mind or heart. We have a partial view.

God wants you to know Him. That won’t happen without heart to heart conversations. Conversations are meant to be bi-directional so, learn how to listen for His voice while sharing yours with Him. You can know the Father by reading the Scriptural accounts of His Son Jesus. The Holy Spirit will reveal the heart of God if you ask Him to. Get a good look.

Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Just cry out

Somehow, I convinced my father to go body surfing in Atlantic City some years back. He had invited me on this trip because he knew I had been hurting and thought this would help get my mind off of my emotional pain. There were signs posted warning us of dangerous conditions but, we dove in anyway.

Suddenly, I heard my father crying out for help. I thought he was joking at first. Then I realized he was fighting a fierce under-current so, I swam out to help him. After being beat up by the waves and fearing for our lives, we were finally saved by a lifeguard. Neither of us were praying men at that stage of our lives but, we gave thanks to God together that we were spared.

It’s easy for me to look back on this and many other situations in my life to see the loving and protective hand of God. It’s the crying out part that I’m hesitant to do today though. Only when I’m out of solutions and strength do I seem to get to the point of fervently seeking the LORD. I’m glad God’s love is NOT dependent on how loud I pray but I wonder why I’m often reserved in my praise and petitions.

God never takes His eye off of you. He cares more for you than you care for yourself. He is our Father, Savior and Comforter. Love Him in return.

“I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:18-19 NLT