What Is In The Name?

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Pale honey was the color I carefully chose. Anything would have been better than the color we inherited from the previous homeowners. The main bathroom made a statement with bright red sponge-painted on stark white walls.

Pale honey was not an easy decision. I explored color palettes and imagined. I taped paint chips to the walls. I purchased samples and painted swatches to see the actual colors in my actual room. I literally pondered the decision for months as the project slowly moved up in priority on our to-do list.

My husband remarked that I was giddy in anticipation. It took washing, spackling, sanding, two coats of primer and two coats of paint to re-do the bathroom walls. Now that all the walls are pale honey, it looks more yellow and less pale honey in my eyes. The lighting and room configuration affected my perspective. I am a little disappointed as I had to adjust my expectation to a slightly different reality.

Has that ever happened to you in your faith? We read, study, hear, and talk about Jesus. In our minds, we form expectations for who Jesus is and can be to us up-close and personal. We apply Jesus to our lives and can still feel disappointed by the results.

If you have ever felt this way, my advice to you is to persevere. We know that God is the giver of all good gifts. The Father’s best gift to us is Jesus Christ. God does not change like shifting shadows. It is our perspective that needs to be adjusted to His timing and His means.

God leads us into His newness. We choose to let go of the old. God’s Word challenges our human thinking. We choose His truth through faith in His Son Jesus. God takes us by surprise. We choose to embrace the adventures along God’s path. God requires more than we feel capable of giving. We choose to endure because Jesus endured the cross.

The name that changes and defines our life’s makeover is Jesus. For Jesus is the sweetest name that brings the brightness of the Son into our homes, lives, minds, and ultimately our hearts.

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

 

Acts 4:12

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like a Rolling Stone

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Upper Peninsula of Michigan (July 1998)

Upper Peninsula of Michigan (July 1998)

I remember one of our favorite family vacations to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We stopped near Munising and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We waded into Lake Superior and jumped the waves. As we walked along the lakeshore (and dodged the blackflies), we picked up rocks as our take-home souvenir. My oldest son exclaimed that the pebbles looked like, “Pulled-off lollipops.” They truly did. The edges were worn smooth through constant tumbling in the waves and the water made the rocks shiny with color.

Like that pebble, God intends the storms and the waves of our lives to soften our rough edges. In the tumbler of life, God shows us that by submitting to him, he can use our struggles for his purpose. The result is a refined beauty that is genuine and not only eye-catching, but heart-catching. Do we continue to resist? Or do we allow all of God to wash over us in anticipation of who we will become in him?

 

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

James 5:11

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.  You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.