Published: Monday, 24 September 2018 16:17
Written by Don Goulding
But you have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant … Hebrews 12:22-24 (NETFull)
In rural Pakistan I watched girls playing with primped Barbie Dolls. The incongruity of brown children bending white dolls was forgotten as I gawked at the Middle Eastern layout of their dollhouse. Cardboard boxes were separated inside a miniature wall. The Barbie-mother was all beauty as she entertained royalty on a mat in the courtyard.
It dawned on my ethnocentric brain that of course the home would be fashioned like an extended family compound, what else had the darling builders ever known? Barbie didn’t notice anything was amiss as she carried out her perfect life like she does in every child’s world.
Humans are born with a universal capacity to indulge in fantasies of love, battle, and heroism. Boys envision battles while girls dream of romance. Even our music and art reflect our imaginings of grandeur. We crave something more than this monochrome life.
Because of Christ, we no longer need to deceive our hearts with science fiction or dime store romance. Our yearning for a bigger life is actualized. Instead of milking drama from the television, I am named as a character inside the most riveting storyline to ever exist. The Christian faith lets me intertwine with ultimate beauty and bring monsters down by prayer.
It turns out that old, insignificant me is not so boring after all. My truest existence really does include unearthly dimensions, heroism, and victories. Reaching for full life in Christ thrusts me into the most epic of life dramas.
Prayer: Valiant Jesus, with you the fantasy is real.
Published: Sunday, 16 September 2018 22:51
Written by Don Goulding
“Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are?” (Matthew 6:25-26 NET_FL)
Food and water, check. Sleeping bags and pillows, check. Extra toilet paper, check. Our first mission trip to Mexico we were nervous about food, beds, and toilets. For mealtimes we ate from tin cans. At night we crawled into our van and shut the doors. And we wrinkled our noses at the bathrooms. The orphanage children must have thought we were loony. It resulted in needless worry and limited opportunities to engage the Mexican cherubs in their world.
Now I travel for months with only a knapsack. I’m learning my bond with Jesus is defined more by my trust in his provision of basic life needs than it is by success in leading revivals.
If I live on more than $2.50 per day, then I’m ahead of one half of the world’s population. There is a trust that develops with the contact of living directly out of God’s hand. The half of us who have more than $2.50 miss that primal relationship.
To live out of God’s hand means I pray through needs instead of fixing everything with money. It means I know my value to my Father, embrace his faithfulness, and wait on his generosity. Taking each morsel from his hand reminds me his touch is near. I can rely on him for breakfast this morning, money to pay bills tomorrow, and life in the full through eternity.
Perching on his hand also infuses me with courage to help the other half of the world.
Prayer: Loving Father, may I trust you today like the birds of the air.
Published: Monday, 10 September 2018 17:00
Written by Don Goulding
For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! Romans 5:15 (NETFull)
An inventor excitedly rubbed his hands over his creation. He had discovered a way to make intelligent robots that self-replicated. He added a second unit and grinned as they began their task of building offspring.
An enemy sidled up to tinker with the prototypes. The inventor waited to see how his creations would defend themselves. They engaged with the evil one who infected them with a virus that spread through their subroutines. They were still functional but glitches made them lash out at one another.
The defunct coding was passed on to the progeny. Androids with twisted limbs and destructive habits appeared. The inventor had become attached to his robots, so he devised a plan for repair. First, he let the machines learn how broken they were.
A smile tipped the inventor’s mouth when he introduced the cure—his greatest genius ever. It was another prototype and this one had a piece of his own living tissue embedded into the microprocessor. The living DNA wired into this special unit passed on the creator’s essence. The improved coding could delete the virus.
While his DNA-enabled units multiplied, the master-creator went to work on his ultimate future project. He snatched up robots and analyzed their programming. Those without the antivirus were tossed onto a scrap pile where their circuitry snapped and fizzled. Those with the DNA fix were painstakingly given mega-processing chips and refitted with titanium bodies. Now he had perfect, unbreakable offspring to celebrate through all time.
Prayer: Father Creator, use the gift of Jesus to complete your purpose in me.