Who Do You Look Like?

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And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

I posted a picture the other day on Facebook of Kerry and me and one of my friends who has known me since we were teenagers said “Man, you look like your dad!” I never really thought that I bore a lot of my dad’s resemblance until I took a second and looked at the picture… ya, I DO look a lot like my dad!

I wonder how much we look like our Heavenly Father? I wonder if people as we grow older start seeing more and more of a resemblance to Him who loves us, sent His Son for us, and calls us to be more and more like Him every day.

I wonder if people who do not know me would take a look at me and say, “You must belong to God because as I watch you, your mannerisms are identical to what I see in Him and His Son Jesus.”

I know it takes a while. It takes more than a while. It takes a long time. A lot of dedication and determination to resist looking like ‘others’ instead and choosing to look like Him. And that’s why Paul calls it being ‘transformed’ into His image. It’s not supposed to be overnight. It’s supposed to take time. Not because it gives us leverage to do it gradually and ease into the transformation. But rather it gives us time to recondition ourselves and renew ourselves into His likeness; one day at a time.

So may I look like my Father the day after I post this more than I did today. The day after that… just a little bit more.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig

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THE POWER OF THE PLASTIC THINGY

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Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10 NIV)

You’ve probably experienced it too. Tearing open the wrapping paper, opening up the box, and there you have it… a WATCH!!! Maybe that doesn’t excite you. Some people like watches, some don’t… but that’s not the point here. It’s in what happens next!

You stare at this watch face that seems frozen in time. Hands ready to fulfill their purpose. Gears tucked inside that you cannot see that are just waiting to interlock and command these two small pieces of metal to circulate in such a specific way that for years to come the bearer of this watch will always know what time it is… except for one problem. You haven’t pulled off the plastic thingy. You know… the plastic thingy that keeps the battery from draining before you open it.

And that my friend, is how little you need to stop the flow of its power. And likewise, it only takes the smallest of barriers to bring one’s purpose and ability to accomplish so much to a grinding halt. Simply place something in the way of connecting with others and with God and voila… you are now stuck in time… just like that watch.

Every day is flooded with opportunities. Opportunities to do nothing. Opportunities to do something. Paul says here that we should take these opportunities that God has given us to ‘connect’ with those around us. Remove the plastic thingies in your life that keep you from connecting with others and do something good for those around you. Make their lives better.

I think you’ll be surprised to find out that as you make their lives better, you’ll end up making your life better as well. For you’ll notice that once you start connecting with others around you and touching their lives, you’ll find out that it was all part of God’s plan from the beginning… all you needed to do was pull off the plastic thingy.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig

DON’T TOUCH MY STUFF!!!!!!

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‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:22-24 NIV)

We all seem to love a great story where someone who used to profess to be a Christian comes back to church, turns their life around and gets their relationship with God back on track. Those are easy to cheer and applaud. We love these events because we get to see the redeeming Love of God in action right in front of our eyes; His Grace Unfolding.

But at what expense are we willing to participate in this Parade of Pardon? How much are ‘we’ willing to put on the line so that we get to watch the Mercy of God embrace those who were / are hurting, broken, and empty?

I ask that because when we look at this analogy that Jesus used (also called a parable), the father had two sons and divided the inheritance between them (to which the one son squandered it all away)… So you guessed it; all of the stuff the father used to celebrate the son’s homecoming… came from the other son’s inheritance! That was ‘his’ stuff!!!

The moment we think that what God has given us is for our sole benefit, we’ve lost the point of blessing. Inheritances are not earned, they are given. All that we inherit from the Father is not so that our lives can be now cushy and awesome, but that rather we have the resources available so that when the sons and daughters come back in distress to the Father we are ready and able to lead them back into a family who cares, accepts, and loves them.

The other son missed out on the party because he was having his own party… a pity party. May we always be out in the fields working our ‘inheritance’ with one eye on the work needing to still be done and the other scanning for the Father’s signal for us to come celebrate that another child has finally come Home.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig

Die Like You Are Living

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“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” – (John 11:35 NIV)

Death is a part of life. It’s truly an unfortunate part of life… but it’s part of life nonetheless. Some people are waiting to die. Every morning is another admission that their journey on this side of the grass is not finished yet. They wait, and wait, and wait some more. They wait, because they don’t see a purpose to their existence on this side of eternity.

But there are others who understand that ‘this’ side of the fence is simply just the first round of an eternity ahead of them. And these people choose to make the most of ‘this’ time instead of waiting for death to ultimately, and without exception, make its invitation to eternity.

I like that Jesus told us that through Him we find life… not ‘after they die’, but ‘even though they die’. That means that He is life now… in the present… at this very moment.

I like that we can choose to experience His Life in all that we do today, and tomorrow, and the next day… and each and every day that He gives us until His timing says that it is the appropriate time for us to experience the next wave of His life… eternity.

So today I choose to live my day in the Life that He alone can give. And I’ll choose to live life as long as my heart is beating. For death is only a ‘part’ of life; not the finality of it… so I choose not to live today like I’m dying… but rather die someday in the midst of fully living.

At least that’s how I see it,

Craig