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Come and See

Please, come and see.

The wise men came to see the baby, Jesus.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry scores of people, a blind man, a bleeding woman, a man seeking healing for his daughter, and multitudes more would come and see.

Countless came to see Him crucified.

After He defeated death, Mary came to the empty tomb, unknowing she was there to see Him.

Jesus himself invited the disciples to come and see where He was going.

This Christmas season we come and see all the lights.

We come and see all the shiny stores with a million gift options for every person.

We come and see all the parties and people dressed up to celebrate.

We come and see all the beautiful trees and decorations.

All of these are wonderful, and I love looking at them, but they are not the hope of Christmas.

We have gotten so far from the original intention of the season that it has also become about coming and seeing a lot of junk too. We rush, we hustle, we plan, we drive all over trying to locate that perfect gift while the deafening roar of a tight schedule is screaming hurry up you have to be somewhere. I am as guilty as anyone.

This Christmas I want to encourage us all, myself included, to come and see.

Come and see the elderly who are alone and shut in.

Come and see the orphans who have no stable place of belonging.

Come and see the sick, physically and mentally.

Come and see the hurting. The crying ones and the happy ones. Oh, the pain that a smile can mask!

Come and see the lonely and the poor.

Come and see the homeless, the hungry, the outcast.

Come and see the addict.

Come and see the widow, the divorced and the single mom or dad.

Come and see the grieving who have lost a parent, a grandparent, a sibling or a child.

Many who are hurting will not ask for help. Support manifests in many forms, but to come and see a soul; to genuinely recognize and gently touch the depths of their story is a gift that no amount of money can buy. It will transform two lives, theirs and yours.

Friends we were given eyes to see. Let us use them to see beyond all the distractions of what is alive and visible and into what is dying but viable.

This Christmas season may we all come and see, and in doing so be reminded that the center of Christmas is a Savior who came to see you and me, dying so that we could freely and without shame, condemnation or guilt come and see Him.

Come and See.

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Send Me. Use Me.

 

…meanwhile, Puerto Rico is devastated and may not have electricity for 6 plus months.  They along with residents of the Virgin Islands, Texas, Louisiana and Florida have lost everything.  Recovery and rebuilding could take decades in some areas.

Every two minutes somewhere in America someone is sexually assaulted.  Human trafficking is a thriving travesty.  Five to six children die each day as a result of abuse.  America’s numbers of homeless children and adults are in the millions.  Astounding!  Hundreds of school children in my city alone have no food on the weekends.  Every day scores of our people become widowed, terminally ill, addicted, lost, orphaned, homeless, unemployed, hungry and the list goes on.

Anxiety and depression is at an all time high even among our country’s children.  

Pornography is no longer a taboo topic, because it is a common place epidemic ravaging men, women and children.  Yes!  Children.

 Everywhere I turn I am tempted to grab a quick fix, whether it be food, fantasy or Facebook, to numb, deaden or make tolerable the pain all around me. We are a society of self-medicators, myself included.  

I have to look at myself and ask, where am I spending my energy, time and resources?  Am I busy complaining about the problems or contributing to the solutions?  

I reserve the right to protest peacefully, but I also acknowledge that I was ransomed the right to pray personally and that alone can accomplish more than any demonstration.  

I also regard the luxury (yes, it is a privilege afforded to me by many selfless men and women in uniform!) to respectfully disagree, but may I always remember that unless I am putting my concerns into productive action,  I am merely a purposeless reaction void of favorable fruit.

 Here I am Lord.  Send me.  Use me.

 

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He Chose Life For Us

7112e3e711238044def57b2f7aeefc8bThis is heavy on my heart this morning and I believe God calls us to be courageous about our convictions.  I know I have friends who will disagree.  I am not asking for a debate or argument.  I am not endorsing a party, but a person—Jesus Christ.  I do respect your right to have your own opinion.  That being said, I have been very bothered by a statement I heard in the VP debate the other night.  Having the right to choose to terminate the life of a baby is no different than having the right to choose to take the life of a person walking down the street.  As a country do we believe ALL lives matter or just the convenient ones? We are all orphans adopted by a merciful and loving Father.  I am so thankful He chose life for me!  Jeremiah 1:5 ~“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.”

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Here I Stand Ready


Jesus had piercing, beautiful eyes.   When he looked at someone his eyes penetrated through their broken exteriors and straight to their wounded hearts.   He fulfilled one of the most prominent desires of the human heart; to be fully seen and deeply known.

Last week I watched the new, modern version of the movie, Annie with my daughter.   I sobbed through most of the movie.   My daughter kept looking up at me with wondering eyes.

I cried because I saw a little girl who longed to be seen, known, wanted and loved.   She desired a safe place to belong.   Isn’t that what we all want?   In the busyness of life, it is easy to get so wrapped up in schedules and responsibilities that we do not see people well.   Orphans do not just live in homes for the homeless; they are all around us.

Ready to be Seen:

Here I stand ready to be me.
Here I stand ready to see the.
Here I stand ready for you to see me.

I dream of who I want to be.
I dream of great things for you to come to be.
I long for you to dream about me.

I love to smile.
I love you to smile at me.
I smile inside when past the charade you seek to see.

My heart is soft; it bruises easily.
I want to know your heart and how it came to be.
I long that my heart, you would fully see.

I want to love and live in harmony.
I want love for you plenty.
I want you to love me for what is inside of me.

I desire to be known.
I desire to know you that is true.
I desire for you to want to know me fully, too.

I yearn to give all of me.
I yearn to give vulnerably.
I yearn for you to give your heart a chance to be known completely.

I want to encourage with all that is in me.
I want to encourage you with the good in the.
I want to be encouraged by what God is doing within me.

I live for Jesus.
I live for Him your prize to be.
I live for you to see Jesus in me.

I bare a loving heart carved with sovereign hands.
I bare a desire to follow His commands.
I bare a dream for you to handle my heart gently, with a safe place to land.

Here I stand, how my soul yearns to be seen.
Here I stand waiting to be acknowledged by the.
Here I stand wondering, will you ever see the real me?

Father, give us perceptive eyes to see not just the outsides, but the deeply neglected insides of your people.   Train our eyes to be like Jesus, seeing past all the masks, smiles, accessories and facades. Enable us to see straight to the heart, and minister to wounded souls who long to be found.   Thank you, Jesus for loving us.   We praise you for seeing past our ragamuffin exteriors, and deep into our needy interiors.   Let us desire the sight of no other above you.   Bless us with community who pursue us with a deep vision, concern, and care.   There are so many invisible people, Jesus.   May we not overlook one of them.   Here we stand ready to be seen.   Let us feel your satisfied sight upon us most loving and gentle Savior.   Amen.