Friday, January 15, 2016

Father's Joy

     Elisha John has arrived! His family and oodles of friends are thrilled. A new life has to be one of the greatest reasons ever to rejoice. Jesus said there is joy in heaven over every individual born into God's kingdom. (Luke 15:7) Whatever brings joy in this life is only a smidgen of its counterpart in the spirit.

     Think of what could make a dad about ready to explode with joy. To see the first smile; to hear the first word; to see the first wobbly steps taken; then each new achievement as that little one grows... all of this assuming that the father and child share a loving relationship.

     Indifference is not a possibility where our heavenly Father is concerned. He loves each one of us more than we can begin to understand. Should a child choose to shut Him out of his or her life, Father God will never turn His back on one of us. More than any earthly dad could hope, He has dreams and provisions for His children.

    God watches, waiting to see each son and daughter take that first step toward grasping His outstretched hand filled with every good thing we could possibly need to live in victory. And joy is positively one of them. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that His joy is our strength. His joy... so not an emotion that depends on our circumstances, but joy that is ours regardless.

     What could tickle a young one more than seeing his parent's delight with his accomplishment? Father God's joy is way beyond that of a proud dad cheering in the grandstand. His would most likely be considered undignified by folks in this age.

     The Lord Jesus confessed clearly that He and His Father are one. (John 10:30) Before His crucifixion He spoke words of comfort to His closest friends, He knew it would be a time of great sorrow, but He assured them their sorrow would pass and they would receive joy that no one could take away. (John 16:20-22) Paul said it was because of the joy Jesus knew would be His that He endured the cross. (Hebrews 12:2)

     God is love. His joy and love are bound together. Whether we mature to be everything our Father hopes or not, His love is the same. He is above and beyond any proud papa rejoicing over every one of His children.

Friday, January 1, 2016

NEW PLANS

     2015 has passed. We are just hours into the new year of 2016 - a leap year of 366 days. What will it be? We are free to dream, imagine, pray about our future. The things which we plan are subject to so many variables. There will be factors beyond our control. Still we set a course to achieve a desired goal plotting the steps that need to be taken to see it fulfilled.

     One morning last week a friend and I visited the Victor Trading Company in Victor, Colorado. The couple who own this business produce candles, tin ware, and cookie cutters, all uniquely displayed in their shop. But it was the brooms and their broom-making set up that captured my interest as we walked in.

     The proprietor was working with his antique foot-powered broom winder and stitching vise to create the product in which he takes great pride. Inspired by the work of craftsmen in Amana, Iowa, he sought out instructions, materials, and equipment to learn the craft of creating corn brooms. He persevered, doing what was necessary to achieve his dream.

     Father God is the Master of new plans and goals. His very nature is to create. From Genesis to Revelation we can read of the new things He is doing. His desire for us is the same, that we will continually move forward, progressing toward His best for each one. 


     There is a God-given desire within every unique individual, the dream a person can realize as he or she seeks His guidance. He won't lead us to attempt anything He is not willing to equip and enable us to do. Man's common limitations are not part of the equation when we are blessed with the God-factor.  

     Jeremiah 29:11 says, "I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV) We can ask Him to help us with any left over bits that need tending to from the close of the last year.

     An old idiom says, "A new broom sweeps clean, but the old one knows the corners." There may be loose ends to tidy up in the corners from past months. If we ask, Father God will help us set things in order and make the preparations needed for a fresh start on plans for the new year.