Archive for the Devotional Thought Category

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.

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)

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.

What song are you singing?

Posted in Devotional Thought, God's Word, Psalm, Psalm 16 with tags , , , on January 30, 2010 by Lee

Have you been watching American Idol? My family and I are not necessarily die hards. However, we try to avoid the trash of the opening auditions and watch the top 25 compete. It’s fun to watch the talent develop over time and see the cream of the crop rise to the top (in most cases).

As I have watched, I have discovered there are many threads that weave a good performance together. One key thread is song selection. A contestant choosing the wrong song will find themselves under a barrage of comments from the judges – “that is not the song for you.” Picking the right song becomes as important has singing it well.

Life is a song. (Can I say with out it sounding like a cliché?) But this song is sung with the way we live life. The lyrics are written by behavior not just words.

King David sang songs. He recorded several of those songs and they are found in the book of Psalm. One on my top 20 countdown list is Psalm 16. The inspiration for the lyrics in the psalm appear to be life itself. It is not uncommon for song writers to find the words for a song from the life they live. David expresses that here.

“Preserve me, O God,”; “You are my Lord, I have no good apart from you.” David found his life in the person who gave him life. He knew anything good in him did not come from him but from God.

“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” David knew the good things from life, the ‘blessings’ were from God.

So he “set the Lord always before” him so he would not be “shaken” or beat down by life. David sang about God “making known to him the path of life” and finding “joy” and “pleasures” from God.

I wonder what song you are singing today? Do the lyrics reflect the grand presence of God in your life or does your song fall flat?

God is at work, right?

Posted in Christ, Christianity, Devotional Thought, Faith, God's Will, Obedience, Trust with tags , , on July 25, 2009 by Lee

God is at work. A statement I am sure many who claim a belief in God would agree with most of the time. It is one I believe in whole-heartedly. Or do I?

It is easy to believe when I hear the story of a friend who returns from a mission trip or conference. The experience has been life changing and the results of the trip are amazing. This gives proof to God being at work, right?

Here are some examples for me this week. A friend shares about the things God has been teaching him over the last few weeks as he read and studied his Bible. Another friend calls and shares about the amazing mission trip she has been on and gave specific examples of what God did during her visit. Or how about this example: A person post on facebook how God spoke to him this week through the message of his pastor. Are these not proof to the reality that God is at work? I would have to say YES, it is!

But today I find myself asking, is God only at work in the villages we visit in Africa or in any location we take a mission trip? Is he only at work in the heart of the one who reads and studies the Bible? Is God only at work in the midst of those who hear His word being expounded from a pulpit or in a small group meeting? I would have to say, no. No, He is not?

If I really believe God is at work I have to believe He is possibly working in the hearts of people I randomly meet by “chance” or mere “circumstance?” Could God be at work in the heart of the girl who checked out my groceries at the store today? Could God be working in the heart of the guy who helped me find the auto part I needed? What about the person who served me my sweat tea today, is God working in Him? Or what about the people who worked with my kids this month in the summer program they participated in? Or how about the school teachers my children interacted with this past school year? Is God working in their life? How about my vet, my doctor, co-workers or even my own family? Could God be up to something in their hearts? I would say the odds are pretty good – He is.

I think the question needs to change. It’s not “is the hand of God working?” It should be “how and where is the hand of God working?” I don’t know of every place God is at work – only He knows. But I can trust He is at work drawing men and women to himself. I can trust I have been commissioned by God to go to the ends of the earth and all points in between making disciples in God’s name and under His authority. The reality of His hand moving and the commission of going given makes the odds pretty good God is at work in the hearts of those I will come into contact with each day I am given to live. Therefore, my actions need to scream, “GOD IS AT WORK!”