CHANGE!

Posted in Devotional Thought, Poems with tags , on April 17, 2014 by Lee

CHANGE!

A missed potential. Forgotten. Put aside. Never considered. Almost. What should have been.

This is the description of my past; the shaping of my reality.

An armful of regret and self apology. Baskets and baskets full of “if only’s”, “do overs”, and “not good enough’s.”

This is the lenses of my eye; the color of my self-portrait.

A shrinking and crumbling. A wasting a way. Decomposing. Rotting. Drying up. Bleeding out.

This is the feel of my existence; the experience of my soul.

God enters the scene. The tear of a curtain. CHANGE!

A love with out condition. Remembered. Looked at. Complete. Achieved.

This is the description of my redemption; the renewal of my reality.

An unmerited grace and forgiveness. Baskets and baskets full of “come to me”, “I make all things new”, and “your are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

This is the lenses of God’s eye; the brush strokes of His portrait of me.

A consuming and completing. The rise of dry bones. Resurrecting. Fruit bearing. Spirit filling. Life giving.

This is the truth of my existence; the salvation of my soul.

CHANGE!

LMF – April 2014

Generosity is Expensive – Yet Free

Posted in Devotional Thought, Generosity with tags , , on February 25, 2014 by Lee

coffee mugWent to Starbucks today to pick Rhonda up her favorite coffee. I placed my order and pulled up to the window. At the window I was informed my order had been paid for by the person a head of me. A recurring phenomenon at Starbucks. I remember thinking, “Wow! Free coffee!!” But also surmising I did not want to be the person to “break the chain” of generosity in the Starbucks line. No telling what kind of Starbucks scrooge list I would end up on if I did. So I quickly responded with – “OK, I will take care of the person behind me.”

As those words left my lips my eyes glanced into my review view mirror to notice there were 4 people in the car behind me. Immediately, the cash registrar in my head began to run possible totals – as the Barista returned to vocalize the actual total confirming my estimations. My tall white chocolate mocha with soy – just became an expensive cup of coffee.

I reached back into my wallet and pulled at the rest of my cash thinking, “there goes Subway for 4!” As I drove off all I could do was smile and laugh. But as I continued on my commute to deliver this temporary object of my generosity, I noticed something else going on in my heart.

I did not feel any regret, guilt or anger about the amount of money I just spent on coffee. But I did feel free. Not because my coffee was free – but rather because of the expression of generosity, both toward me and from me.

I think a great benefit from generosity, when you receive it and offer it, is freedom. I have felt this way before. Matter fact, it happens every time I give. There is so much freedom in the giving. Freedom for the object of generosity. A burden is lifted, a need met or a stressful reality put to rest. And freedom for the generosity giver. The blessing of being part of lifting the burden, meeting the need, or changing the reality.

This is not a natural tendency. Some have a better capacity for it – but it is not natural to operate in the generous. But we are called to live “in humility consider others as more important than yourselves; to look not only for our own interest but also for the interest of others.” (Phil 2:3-4)

I hope I can get better at living in the generous. Generosity is expensive – but the freedom it brings is worth every dime it may cost.

Are you getting comfortable?

Posted in Blogs I Frequent, Discipleship, Leadership, Links to others, Mentions of other Post with tags , , , on May 19, 2011 by Lee

Here is a post I came across today by Seth Godin. It is a brief one – but I found it a powerful reminder and a bit convicting.

Take a look at it HERE.

At Your Word – I Will – Part 1

Posted in Bible Reading & Study, Christ, Devotional Thought, Expectation, Family, God's Will, God's Word, Jesus, Luke, Trust with tags , , , on January 28, 2011 by Lee

I actually outlined the next two post a few weeks back – I am finally getting around to writing them.

My family and I are on a journey through the Gospels over the next 40 days. (Our pastor at Paul Ann Baptist has challenged the congregation to read through the Gospels in 40 days.) We are a couple of days behind – but we are having a good time doing it – at least I am anyway.

A couple of weeks back during his sermon, our pastor called our attention to Luke 5.

Jesus has been teaching the people, the crowd begins to press in on him to “hear the word of God.” (Luke 5:1). Two boats are near by, He (Jesus) hops into one of the boats (the one belonging to a fisherman named Simon Peter). He asked Simon to push him out a little from the land. Jesus sits down and begins to teach the people.

Simon and other fishermen were near cleaning their nets from a previous fishing effort. Jesus, “when he had finished speaking” says to Simon. “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5:4).

Jesus request of Simon the use his boat for the sermon of the day so to speak and then ‘invites’ Simon to go fishing in his own boat. Talk about inviting yourself over!

But it’s Simon’s response I find interesting. Luke 5:5 says, “And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Simon, at first, does what I do when I really don’t want to do something – protest. “We toiled all night.”

Ever offer your protest or excuse to God to his request of you. ‘I already tried that God.’ ‘That will never work.’ ‘I’m tired.’ ‘I’m too busy.’ ‘They won’t listen to me.’ ‘I don’t have the answers.’ We have a ton of them – excuses we use to justify our unwillingness to trust God “at his word.”

God calls us to many things specifically, but two things always – to love Him and to love others. If what we do fits into one of those two commands then we should be on solid footing.

But I find myself offering excuses and not stepping up to God’s command on me way too often.

However, Simon steps up and responds with, “I will.” Matter of fact, his statement is, “but at your word I will.” We don’t know for sure – but I’m willing to bet Simon was tired (from the earlier fishing excursion) and a bit frustrated (Jesus wanting to fish after the failed excursion and the nets were cleaned). But because Jesus requested so Simon said yes.

Simon exhibited a level of trust and expectation in his response to Jesus. Do you trust and expect God to do what He says He will do?

What do you think? (Part 2 – Later)

A Floyd Christmas Eve

Posted in Christmas, Conversations with Micah, Family, Personal Updates with tags , , on January 15, 2011 by Lee

Recently, Micah, was given a writing assignment at school. ‘How did you spend Christmas Eve?’ was the assignment. Here is what HE wrote:

My night before Christmas begins with me and my family coming home from eating out. We always go out to eat on Christmas Eve. When we get home my parents let me and my sister open one present. After that, we all gather around and watch “Holiday Inn.” By the time we get done with the movie it’s one in the morning so it’s Christmas day. We end up opening all my presents. And that’s how I celebrate my Christmas Eve.

Pretty accurate I must say.

Life is to be lived…

Posted in Bible Reading & Study, Christ, Devotional Thought, Humility, Jesus, Philippians with tags , , , on January 14, 2011 by Lee

A personal summary of Philippians 2

Life is to be lived at the will and for the glory of God the Father. Who through His Son Jesus, exemplified humble servanthood through the human experience of birth, life and death. And demonstrated sovereign power through the glorification of Jesus by resurrection from death to life on the throne as King of all kings. Life is to be lived with a selfless spirit toward others with the like mind of the Servant King – Jesus. I am to walk in humility seeking the interest, the good, and the well-being of others without complaint in order to stand apart from a world of people who live completely opposite so that the Servant King will receive glory.

Mercy not Sacrifice?

Posted in Bible Reading & Study, Christ, Devotional Thought, Family, Gospel, Matthew, Mercy, Sacrifice with tags , , , , on January 9, 2011 by Lee

The pastor of our church has challenged the congregation to journey with him through the gospels. So over the next 40 days we are striving to read through all four gospels. We (the Floyd 4) have been participating as a family. It has been a lot of fun reading and discussing together as a family. To see the M&M’s (my kiddos) interact with God’s word is really something.

Some nights go better than others. (Kids are not always so eager and honestly I don’t always have the energy by the end of the evening.) But most nights the attitude and spirit is good.

We are actually a day behind – but tonight we read Matthew 11-12. For the second time thus far in the book we have come across Jesus saying, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” (He states it in Matt. 9:13;12:8).

I found the statement odd at first. Why would Jesus not want us to sacrifice? Especially, when the implication and command to do so is found in so many places in scripture. But with closer examination we can see what Jesus is getting at.

Jesus is quoting Hosea 6:6, “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (ESV). (The word ‘steadfast love’ can also be translated mercy.) The ‘sacrifice’ referred to by Jesus is the religious ceremony and observations of the Pharisees (religious). They made a life of doing this and not doing that and observing the sabbath – a very religious, do the right thing kind of life.

However, their religious observance proved to be a cataract on their eyes – preventing them from seeing what was really important. The showing of mercy. The practice of good not just the appearance of goodness. The meeting of needs not obligations. And the practice of principles and convictions not the reading of the rules.

God desires to see the extension of mercy from His follows to those in need of mercy. The practice of our faith is not found in the Bible study, the church going, worship singing, community building or even our praying. The practice of faith is found when our doing of the above results in the pursuit and practice of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control towards those we come into contact with each day.

Being more concerned about church attendance/participation than about our neighbor puts us the road to Pharisaical success. To show mercy puts us in a place of redemption. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matt. 5:7 (ESV).

Lord help me be a person of mercy towards others – not just a man professing religion.

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