Thursday, May 28, 2015

Faith in the Moments




"A waiting person is someone who is present to the moment, believing that this moment is the moment."
Henri Nouwen



Affirmation of faith:
"We believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. He is the Lord of yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Lord over life and death.
We believe that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. With His help we can remain faithful when tempted, peaceful when troubled, and loving when opposed.
We believe that in all things we can be more than conquerors. For neither death nor life, neither the present nor the future, neither suffering nor trials can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen."

God's love finds us where we are whether we are suffering or shouting hallelujah's! Because God desires a relationship with us, He longs to share in our days, whether they are long and full or hurried and fragile or few and peaceful. God walks with us so closely that sometimes we can miss Him ~ especially when everything seems so easy, so good, so simple. I believe only God can make days like these.

From a familiar hymn, these words remind me to be aware of time:

Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.*


In the coming days, whatever comes, I believe we God finds us in these moments. Remain faithful to this Holy God and be aware of His presence! ~ dho
* hymn Take My Life, and Let It Be


Friday, May 22, 2015

Pentecost!

This Sunday marks Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts 2. This happened during the Feast of Pentecost, a celebration of the Jewish people which occurs "seven weeks after the second Passover seder". This Jewish celebration, known as Shavout, commemorates the "giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai" or what Christians understand as The Law (Ten Commandments) given to Moses. As Believers in Christ, Pentecost for us celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit, promised to come after Jesus' resurrection and ascension into heaven. Because humanity can never keep the law perfectly, God rescues us. Grace through Jesus completes us, restores us, and reconciles us to God in a way the law could not.

The following will be the last excerpt from my personal Lenten journal this 2015 season:
[Jesus said to His disciples] “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what He promised…in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5 NLT

After the resurrection, Jesus remains for forty days, appearing to the apostles and teaching the disciples. With a certainty of Jesus’ resurrection, their knowledge increases and a deeper understanding about the new promised power of the Holy Spirit evolves. At the end of these days, on the Mount of Olives at Bethany, Jesus ascends to heaven right in front of the remaining eleven disciples. Commissioned with making disciples of all nations, they now wait for the Holy Spirit.

Over the next days, the disciples continually meet and pray together with the other believers, “about 120”. They choose another disciple, Matthias, to replace Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks (50 days) after the resurrection of Jesus, with all the believers together in one place, God sends a mighty, rushing wind comes and then “flames of fire” appear and settle on each believer. All are filled with the Holy Spirit, fulfilling prophesy (Joel 2:28-32). The church of the New Covenant begins with God’s mission to reach all people in all nations.

Spirit of the Living God ~ When I boast of achievement and accept applause or cover my face in failure and weep, You re-define me, re-align my perspective. You open my eyes to truth, to my need for redemption, to Christ who is the Bread of Life. You are Counselor and Comforter. You are the breath my soul craves! Kindle my soul with Holy Fire. ~dho

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Crowd of Unbelief

a personal glimpse into my recent Lenten journey...As we are still in the season before Pentecost, my thoughts continue to reflect on the revelations the Holy Spirit during Lent!


The people began to murmur in disagreement… We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven?’ John 6:41-42 NLT

Unbelief denies even the possibility of Jesus’ divinity. Hostility towards Jesus grows even more during His last months on earth. How could this man, a carpenter from Nazareth, be the Son of God, come down from heaven? Strong rejection of Jesus’ revelation spreads through this crowd. What makes believing so difficult?

Some 2,000 years later, the crowd still struggles to believe in the authenticity of Jesus’ identity. The Good News remains the same today ~ Believe in Jesus and have everlasting life! Some want proof, others want more miracles. Many simply ignore the message, create their own truths. Hostility towards Jesus grows as the days until His return shortens. Christians do not know when Jesus will come back to earth or exactly how that will look, but we do believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Living Manna from heaven for a hungry world.

Lord, there are crowds wandering, murmuring unbelief, and its people suffer great injustices. Without everlasting hope, the possibilities are few and the disappointments are many. Starving spiritually and unaware, anger and rage take control. Lord, always give us this bread.” Help me feed this hungry world. – dho


Focus Point: Christians do not know when Jesus will come back to earth or exactly how that will look, but we do believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Living Manna from heaven for a hungry world.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

From Impossible to Possible!

a personal glimpse into my recent Lenten journey! Donna Oswalt/2005


Throughout the Bible, God does the impossible with less, the miraculous with little. Most of us seldom give sacrificially; seldom do we even give generously. Like feeding 20,000 people with a small boy's lunch, Jesus takes our sparse offerings and multiplies them for the blessings of others. Consumerism stands on every corner luring us to spend money. What a contrast between how much we spend on a TV to watch the world's news and what we give to share the Good News of Christ! With God, the impossible becomes possible! ~ dho