Found Jesus?

It’s one of those phrases you hear from time to time.  Someone will be referring to the formerly crazy life of another person.  But they are different now because they found Jesus.

My response – I didn’t know he was lost.  Where did you leave him?

Sure it sounds flip, but I have a point.  Saying that someone found Jesus makes it sound like there is some kind of cat and mouse game.  A game of hide and seek.  Count to 100 and see if you can find Jesus!  It’s only your eternal soul at stake.

But it’s not that way at all.  Jesus was never lost.  He’s not hiding from any of us.  He’s always there.  We are the ones who were lost.  We are the ones trying in futility to hide from God.

We are like helpless children wandering in the wilderness.  It’s dark, and we are frightened.  We’ve lost our way with no hope of rescue.  And then we see it.  The light of the world.

Found Jesus?  No child.  Jesus found you.

Mortality

It’s not what we imagine.  It doesn’t always play nice.

I shouldn’t have spent time today holding a dying woman’s hand while comforting her mother.  But sometimes it plays out that way.  Her mother shouldn’t have needed her daughter’s supervisor and co-workers to sit with her for so many of her daughter’s final breaths, but I’m so very thankful we could be there for her.

Her brothers are sitting with her mother now, but it won’t be long.

His ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts.

Oh God, bring us peace, comfort, and strength as we release her into your arms.  Comfort her mother and give her peace.  Strengthen her brothers to take over the care she once provided to them and their mother.

Heroism and Hope in Japan

My prayers are with the 50 brave men that braved radiation and fire to crawl through the reactors to prevent nuclear catastrophe.  They are there to pump seawater to cool the exposed fuel.  Full story here.  Pray for their success and safety.  Pray for strength for their families under such adversity.

And my heart is lighter with this news.  My friends, even in the darkness, there is always hope.  Hope is not an empty platitude.  No, this is what hope looks like.

Daily Mail

This little girl was swept out of her family’s home in the tsunami.  For three days, they feared the worst.  Soldiers had resigned themselves that the rescue work was really just a recovery mission.

And then they heard the baby cry.

The tiniest survivor was cold and wet and crying, but she is believed to have suffered no other injuries. Why she did not drown remained a mystery.

Apparently, God has bigger plans for this little girl. And she is only one of the survivor stories. As they say, RTWT at Daily Mail.

I pray also for the rescuers.  Their job is a hard and grim one.  I’m so thankful that their hopes have been renewed.

Prayer Haiku

For Japan

Prayers for Japan
In a time of dire need
You are not alone

For my friend

The cancer has won
Eternal home is ready
There you will have peace

For the rest

Our hearts are heavy
You know our cares and burdens
Heal us Oh Lord

This is part of my Lent commitment to devote time in prayer.  Regular content will be posted later.

Prayers For Japan

I’m stunned by the news today of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami. My prayers are with those affected by these disasters. So many across the Pacific are feeling the effects.

God who calms the waters.

Lord who has walked on the seas.

Grant your peace to these people.

Lent Day 2

Lord, you know the concerns on my heart today. You know what makes it heavy. You know my weaknesses and my struggles. Remind me that you are here. You also know exactly what my friend needs even though it seems no one can reach her. Remind her that in the darkness, she is not alone.

Ash Wednesday

Spent a lot of time at church today. The celebration of Don’s life was today. I mentioned him before here. His official obituary is here. The turnout was amazing. I’ve only ever seen the sanctuary that full on Easter Sunday. The Oklahoma Supreme Court justices came in their robes to pay their respects. The current Chief Justice even shared her remarks. The Governor issued a proclamation declaring today B. Don Barnes day. To say he touched lives is an understatement.

Don had a way of making you feel like you were the most special person in the world in that moment. He listened. He loved.

After his services, we came home and regrouped before heading back to the church for dinner. They serve dinner to everyone on Wednesday nights. And then we went to the Ash Wednesday service. I’m 32 years old, and this is the first Ash Wednesday service I’ve ever been too.

I’ve never given anything up for Lent. Just never really felt lead to do so. I mentioned that over dinner to the people we were sharing a table with. One girl asked if I had ever thought about adding something. I hadn’t. But maybe that’s my answer. Lent is supposed to be a season where we refocus in our walk with God. That’s the reason people give something up. Not to eliminate that but to remind them to make time for God.

So I’m going to take a page out of the praying judge’s book and devote time every day during lent to prayer. Before each case, Don would pray for the guidance and wisdom to be just. To get it right.

God,
Guide me. Help me. And forgive me. Be with my friends and family. So many are hurting and need your peace. So many are fighting illness and dealing with loss. Some are walking in financial uncertainty. And thank you for the many, many blessings in my life. I have a roof over my head and food on my table. I have friends that don’t hesitate to embrace me even without knowing why I might need it. I have friends that I’ve never seen face to face that I love and love me in return. Thank you for that.
Amen