Tuesday, May 28, 2013

God is good

When I was in seminary, I had a professor who began each class with a call and response.
He would start by saying 'God is good' and we would respond 'All the time'. Then he would say, 'All the time,' and we would finish with 'God is good.'

Then we would proceed to practice our public speaking (preaching) skills and do all sorts of weird breathing exercises that always made me feel like an idiot.

I didn't get much out of the breathing exercises and I have always been good at projecting my voice (some call it bring 'loud'), but I did take with me that call and response - the reminder that God is always good, no matter what. In fact, I can still call up any one of my seminary friends and start out that first line 'God is good' and they will immediately respond with the second.

It doesn't always feel like God is good. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like God is useful or interested in our lives, but He is, on both counts.

Most of the time when we can't find God or see His goodness it' because we are blocking him. There are times when God is silent, but even in the silence he is still present and good.  No matter where we hide, or how fast we try to outrun God, He will always find us and draw us back to him.

Chesney Szaniszlo

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

-Matthew 11:28-29

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.
Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor
    that God has to ask his advice?
Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
    Yes. Yes. Yes.

-Romans 11:33-36


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A little encouragement

You might feel alone right now. You might feel trapped in your marriage, in your home, in your career, in your life. You might think that you are failing at the one thing you wanted to do well. You might be grieving. You might be left behind by the one who promised to always be with you. You might be wondering what you are supposed to do next.

I want you to know that no matter what you have done, said, or where you have been. No matter how badly you have screwed up something here on earth. No matter how many times you have been told you are not enough.

You ARE loved.
You can start again.

Maybe not with the people around you, but always with God.

Chesney Szaniszlo

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8:39


Monday, May 6, 2013

Blessings and curses - short and sweet

We've looked at a lot of ways over the past month that we can choose blessings over curses, life over death; ways we can bless our community, our children, and our spouses. I think this passage from Colossians sums up the entire series:

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Colossians 3:12-14 MSG)

That's what it's all about - making choices that will honor God because it is those choices which lead lead us into life.

Chesney Szaniszlo