Thursday, February 3, 2011


Ice crystals form on the limbs and twigs of trees in a forest.  A beatiful blue sky adds the back drop as the light from the sun makes the ice shimmer adding the appearance of movement, of welcome.  Walking in a perfect blanket of virgin snow through a woodland of ice encrusted trees leads the imagination to picture a crystal palace that nature has built just for you. 
Cool refreshing air in the lungs
Birds singing
A winter paradise

"For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands" Psalm 92:4

More freezing rain
Ice builds on burdened limbs
Twigs, branches and trees lay broken on the snowy forest floor.  Their jagged ends betray their violent demise. Once proud limbs carrying buds and leaves and fruit skyward are now litter on the once white snowy carpet.  Once vibrant with life now icons of death, food for insects, marked for decay.

"They were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith.  Do not be arrogant but be afraid" Romans 11:20

Decay enriches the soil
New life leaps from places where once decaying mounds of old trees and leaves lay.  New trees and branches take the places of the old ones and carry buds and leaves and fruit skyward.
A creator smiles
Life from death
"It is good"

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11

A beautiful garden
Only love
Only happiness
A man and a woman wearing only the worth bestowed by intimacy with their creator.  Walking daily with God.  All needs lovingly met by His presence. 
No sickness
No dying
No pain
God wipes away all tears.

"To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life"
Revelation 21:6

A serpent
A lie
A bite
Forbidden fruit shared. Realization of corruption, of sin, of betrayal.  Shame felt for the first time.  Awareness of nakedness, awareness of distance of a gulf between the man and woman and their creator.  "Why are you hiding?", "The woman did it!"  "The serpent did it!"

"He will crush your head and you will strike His heel" Genesis 3:15

Shepherds in a field
A starry night
A light
An angel
A Savior?
A small stable.  A small town.  The creator of the universe, God, Yaweh enters flesh and then enters the world.  Mary, Joseph, Could this be the one to save Israel, the one to save the world, to save all of mankind for all time? Ministry, miracles, kindness to the poor, confrontation to the self-righteous.  Disciples, teaching, loving.  A final supper, the washing of feet, a prayer in the garden.  Betrayal, accusations, "Crucify him!".  A hill, a cross, nails, screams, suspended between earth and sky. "Father, why have you forsaken me?", "It is finished." Death. Burial in a borrowed tomb.
A new dawn
A stone rolled away
"Why do you seek the living among the dead?"
He lives!!
Salvation to all who receive him.
A creator smiles
Life from death
"It is good!"

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

A young life
A night on the town
Friends all around
"What's this?" "Try it." "Just one won't hurt you." A drink, a smoke. Guilt, shame. More drinks, more smokes, "Here try this."  More guilt, more shame but no turning back now. Parties, sex, new friends, new things to try, "It doesn't get any better than this!"  Lies, deception, "who called the police?" Have you been drinking or taking drugs?"  More lies, "Blow into this," "Fill this cup."  Exposed, guilty, conviction, jail, probation.  Parents broken'hearted, loved ones disappointed and angry, old friends surprised, talking, shaking their heads.

"The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit...He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 34:18, 147:3

An old friend
A true friend
Late night discussions
"Come to Church with me." A sermon, a scripture, the words of Jesus "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."  God loves you, God wants to forgive you, no matter what you've done.  He died for you and promises heaven for those who will confess their sins and give themselves to Him. The gift of grace laid out inviting, forgiveness availed.  A heart touched, tears flow, surrender. A silent prayer, "God, I can't do this alone.  I need your forgiveness, I need you to put my life together again."  Sins washed away in water, rejoicing.  A fresh start with God at your side, awareness that even at your worst, he never left you.  He was always there, loving, pleading, protecting and calling you home.
New life
A destination
A creator smiles
Life from death
"It is good"

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me." Revelation 3:20