Surrendered Worship: Lessons from Jonah Part Two

“What was I thinking?” I asked myself. I don’t like talking to strangers, yet I’m on my way to walk into the hospital room of someone I don’t know and pray for them. “Maybe I shouldn’t do this. I can’t be the right person for this job. Give me the words, Lord. Open my heart to listen and show Your care.”

God answered my prayer that day. And every time I surrender my natural inclination to avoid strangers and instead offer them the love of Christ. No need to make conversation, just a willingness to listen and offer compassion.

It never gets easier for me. Continue reading “Surrendered Worship: Lessons from Jonah Part Two”

Want to Simplify? Surrender to God

Simplify your life! A new mantra for a world filled with too much to do. The constant striving to have it all doesn’t bring the happiness we thought it would. Instead, we run from one thing to another until we’re exhausted, stressed, and grouchy. And so we get on our computers and search for ways to simplify. Find ways to strip away the hustle and find meaningful. Continue reading “Want to Simplify? Surrender to God”

Destination Surrender: Lessons from Jonah, Part One

Refusing to Surrender to God’s Destination

No matter my destination, GPS makes my life easier. Since I have no sense of direction, using GPS makes getting somewhere less frustrating. I don’t have to turn around nearly as often. Notice I didn’t say I never have to turn around. Sometimes I miss the street the lady told me to turn because I also struggle with distance. Is this street the one in 250 feet? Or is it the next one? (Now you understand why I taught English and history instead of math.) Patiently, she doesn’t yell but plays a little chord of music and adjusts the directions. No matter how many times I need to make a change, she lets me know the next step. As long as I listen and follow her directions, I get to my destination.

Jonah didn’t need GPS. When God called him to Nineveh, he knew exactly where his destination was and how to get there. While he agreed with God’s assessment of Nineveh’s wickedness, Jonah boarded a boat going in the opposite direction. Continue reading “Destination Surrender: Lessons from Jonah, Part One”

Surrender 2018: Retirement Adventure #6

Surrender the New Year

The new year sits like an unwrapped gift. 365 days waiting to be opened, each one filled with possibility. I look at the calendar sitting open on my desk, already a checkerboard of appointments and events scattered among the blank, white squares. What retirement adventures await in 2018?

Always a planner, I look forward to what 2018 holds. The new things God has for me. This year, the first full year of retirement fills me with excitement. And just a little trepidation. Continue reading “Surrender 2018: Retirement Adventure #6”

Come Let Us Adore Him: The Beauty of God’s Promise

Since I’ve never lived anywhere except within seventy miles of Los Angeles, Van and I try to take a little time here and there to explore our new home state of Arizona. Sunday, after dropping my sister off at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, we saw a sign for the Agua Fria National Monument. Curious, we stopped. Rocks, dirt, and dead vegetation stretched for miles. A cold wind howled, cutting through our inadequate jackets, so we didn’t linger. The guide post promised wildlife, but we didn’t see even a sparrow. According to the brochure we picked up before we jumped back in the car, “if you look close, an intimate, living and vibrant landscape appears.” Maybe later, we decided. We do plan to return in the spring and see the hidden beauty promised but it wasn’t worth staying in the late afternoon.

Over two thousand years ago, wise men, also known as Magi, studied science, mathematics, astronomy, and astrology. They were the go-to guys of their day, their wisdom, and advice sought by rulers and the wealthy. When they saw a new, bright star, they left the prestige of their world and traveled hundreds of miles to look for a foreign king. A king of a people in captivity.

Hundreds of years earlier, Daniel’s prophecies promised a King who would be different than any other earthly ruler. The Wise Men wanted more than their lives offered, and the beauty of God’s promise propelled them to travel a long distance. Continue reading “Come Let Us Adore Him: The Beauty of God’s Promise”