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Archive for February, 2012

Luke 19: 1-10

26 Feb

This is the story of Zacchaeus.  

The story begins as Jesus is entering and passing through Jericho.  Zacchaeus, a very rich man and chief tax collector, wanted to see Jesus; because he was a very short man, he climbed into a sycamore tree to get a glimpse of Him.  As Jesus passed under the tree, He looked up and spoke to Zacchaeus by name, telling him to hurry down because He, Jesus, would be staying with him.  Zacchaeus hurried down joyfully.; however the people whispered between each other in verse 7, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”  In his defense Zacchaeus replies that he gives half of his goods to the poor and returns four times the amount  if he takes something from someone wrongly.  Jesus responds to the situation by stating that as of that day, salvation has come to his house.  Then in verse 10, Jesus repeats, “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  This message was written for you and me!

Let’s look at the facts.  Zacchaeus was Greek.  He may actually have been dwarfed because the verses make a point about him being short of statue, which would have made him someone to laugh at and ridicule.  Next we learn that he was very rich and the chief tax colletor.  Most tax collectors were hated because they cheated the people in order to be rich.  Tax collectors worked for the Romans, which was considered sinful for a Jew.   Think about this:  in spite of what others thought, Zacchaeus sought to see Jesus.  Hated and abused, seen as a sinner, too short to see through the crowd, he was willing to climb a tree just to see Jesus.

Another amazing part of the story, at the very moment that Jesus passed under the sycamore, He looked up and spoke, by name, to Zacchaeus.  What made Him look up?  Did Jesus know him?  There is no indication of that.  Why did Jesus change his plan to pass through Jericho and decide to stay with Zacchaeus?  Jesus notices us, no matter how small we feel!  Jesus knows us, even when the world ignores us!

In verse 5, Jesus asks him to hurry down because Jesus must stay at his home.  Notice that Zacchaeus made hast, which could not have been easy, came down and received Jesus with joy.  Jesus called to him and He calls to us, no matter what we have done or how we are seen by othersJesus invites Himself into our lives, even when we feel unworthy.  Do not let guilt or shame keep you from answering Jesus’ call.  The reward is salvation, Jesus has come to save us!

When you’re up a tree, scramble down and invite Jesus to dinner!  Have a blessed week.

 

 

PROVERBS 18:24

19 Feb

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” 

I just spent the last couple of days with five of my high school girl friends.  What a wonderful time we had laughing and talking, cooking and eating, crafting and shopping.  We all knew each other in high school, some were closer friends than others, but at our forty year class reunion we reunited what has grown into a wonderful friendship.

How many years we have missed what is now a uniquely special relationship and support system.  There is no relationship that can leave so many memories on our hearts as the special friendship between girl friends. It can be the most vicious and hurtful relationship you have as a teenager and/or it can be the very thing that gets you through life’s ups and downs, but more than anything it can become our support system for the future.

Over the years, I have learned the value of a ‘true friend’.  She is the person who can yell at you and you still love.   She is the person who you can yell at and will still give you a hug.  It can be thirty years between visits and the friendship is still strong and enriching.  She will call for no reason and give you space when you really need it. 

Proverbs 17: 17 tells us that “A friend loves at all times…”  And, may I add, accepts us with all our imperfections and inspite of all our mistakes.  My heart is full, thanks to this special weekend with my special friends and all the joy we shared.

I pray that each of you recognize the value of the special friendships you are creating right now and the value that each of them will bring to your lives over the rest of your life.

There is a prayer that expresses our love and friendship with Jesus; but also shows us the value of our true friends and gives us a guide for becoming a special friend to them.

A Perfect Friend

Thank You, Jesus, when I am lonely, You give me love.  When I am guilty, You grant me forgiveness.  When I doubt, You give faith.  When I have a searching mind and heart, You give direction.  When I feel empty, You fill me with joy.  God, You never fail me.  You are here now.  You are saving me by Your grace.  It will be a joyous day.  Amen

Robert Schuller.. Prayers for Positive Faith

Thank you to my special friends!

Take the time to let your friends know what an important part of your life they have become.

 

Priorities

16 Feb

I cannot believe how fast time is flying by right now! I blink and two weeks have passed! Priorities are on my heart right now. My little guy has had an interesting week at day care- he’s suddenly very territorial toward his day care provider. For example, he throws a fit if her own child sits on her lap! What?! Who is this tantrum throwing, “noooo” yelling, hitting little boy?! It’s been bothering me quite a bit, lately.

While it’s probably somewhat related to this stage in his life, I realized a couple of days ago that maybe it also has to do with how busy we’ve become over the past few months. Everyday, all week long, he’s at day care. Most evenings we are at home and get to spend a few hours as a family, but one night we have worship practice and if both my husband and I are scheduled, then into the nursery goes baby. Saturdays are usually great family time, but come Sunday morning he’s back in the nursery for practice and service! Five minutes a day is a great plan… IN ADDITION to the time I should already be spending with him.

This week I had to/am having to take a hard look at what I’m investing in and whether or not they are priorities. It’s been and is going to be a struggle for me, but I know that with God’s help I’ll be able to get a good balance of business and family time. Please send any prayers, ideas, suggestions, or thoughts my way- I can certainly use them!

Have a fabulous, blessed week!

-CJ

 

ENJOY OUR GUEST POST

12 Feb

There is nothing I can say or share from the Bible, that our ‘Babyboomerdiva” has not so elegantly shared below in her Valentine Day Post.  Read her post, take her challenge and watch Ps. 139.  Bless you Mary for your wisdom and your heart for God and for each of us.   Happy Valentine Day, see you next Sunday.