Monthly Archives: March 2014

Tenderly You Turn…

Lord God, tenderly you turn…

Oh how tempted I can be
Not to turn to you
Not to see
The glimpse of grace
Upon your face
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

And the courage I so need
Just to turn to you
Just to see
The glimpse of grace
Within your eyes
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

But the mercy I receive
As I turn to you
As I see
The glimpse of grace
Despite your tears
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

Oh the forgiveness I can know
When I turn to you
When I see
The glimpse of grace
From the cross
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

Psalm 36:7a is repeated as reminder that Lent is a time to remember how precious the steadfast love of the God is to us.  May we all turn to receive this precious love each new day!

The Best Place to Wait

As I drove to the airport, I considered the best place to wait until my daughter’s flight arrived. I could go to the cell phone lot. Or the Starbucks just a few exits away was another option. There was a time when I could have walked up to the gate and watched her get off the plane. But the world changed. Now, we “drive thru” the airport and pick up our precious family and friends curbside just like we do food and prescriptions.

But this particular day, I decided to wait at the airport the “old-fashioned” way. I parked in the lot across across from the Delta terminal, walked past baggage claim and then stood near the security checkpoint. As I did, I considered the Psalmists words:

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
(Psalm 33:20-22 ESV)

During Advent we wait for the Lord’s birth. But during Lent, we wait for Jesus to change our realities and turn our world upside down, just as He did miraculously so long ago. Personally, I have noticed more gladness in my heart when I take the time to truly wait because I am less dependent on myself and more dependent on the Lord for help, healing and hope.

This Lent may we know that the steadfast love of the Lord is indeed the best place to wait.

Confusion or Confession?

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:1-5 NIV)

The little girl playing “charades” with us walked aimlessly around the room with a bewildered look on her face. Then suddenly, with a guilty look in her eyes, she started impersonating a child getting caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar. Because of her persistence and excellent 9 year old acting abilities, we finally guessed confusion but later noticed the card read confession.

Confusion or confession? What could I learn from the misreading of the card and our game? As I prayerfully considered my own life, I thought about confusion and the need for confession, about Lent and forgiveness, about Psalm 32. Trying to cover sin with silence and deceit requires constant management of the confusion wrong choices create.  How draining!

However, Psalm 32 invites us to stop walking aimlessly around in confusion. Confession restores order because God is more than able to reorganize our lives with us, for us and inspire of us. Moreover, the Lord’s help and healing provide such hope it is no longer necessary to apologize for our confusion because in God’s eyes it is no longer noticeable.

Lent reminds us that we have a choice to make. Confusion or confession? With confession comes the blessing of forgiveness…freedom from confusion. Thanks be to God!


A Blessed Journey

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalms 1:1-6)

Several years ago, I spent the days of my journey through the Holy Land reflecting on these verses of Psalm 1. Standing near an olive tree, I asked God to help me yield fruit for the sake of others. As I watched wind-blown tall grasses from the tour bus, I realized I too could be swayed by the culture back home.

The metaphors of Psalm 1 remind me how easily my humanity can get in the way of my spiritual life. I long to meditate on Scriptures day and night, but excuse myself from nighttime prayers because I am too tired. There are times when I stand or sit too long in discouragement rather than in the encouragement of the God’s word.

Ash Wednesday invites us to take an honest look at the metaphors of our lives, and then to choose to give up what most sways us.  But more importantly, we humbly ask for the grace to be more firmly planted in the very dust of the ground we have come from and will return to one day (Genesis 3:19).  Apart from God’s grace we will find ourselves perishing in our own human attempts.

Today is the beginning of our journey through Lent. May we be blessed daily by grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).