Friday, February 24, 2012

Way Lost!

Lost In a Maze
Lost In a Maze, image courtesy of peacefulprosperity.com

Although I didn't write this as prose, I wanted to remain in this month's theme of The Condition of Being Lost. Some of you may view this as a prayer, and that's cool. Some may consider it a thoughtful personal reflection. Some may consider it just what I needed to read! Whatever your thoughts are, I'm glad you're reading it. Perhaps you'll pray and share it with someone you know. I hope it's viewed as a humble encouragement, not a condemnation of anyone.

Lost in a maze of confused thoughts and ideas,
    with no answers to summon from my experience.
I remember an old man talking to me about Christ;
    but at the time, it made no sense to me.
I was too smart for religion!
I was too cool to be “spiritual”.
Now that all my options have failed,
I hear those same words echoing in my mind.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
    and I will give you rest.
    Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
    for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
    and you will find rest for your souls.
    For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
1
Could it be this simple?
What did that old man quote from the bible?
“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    Nor are your ways My ways,
’ says the Lord.”2
Will God hear me after all this time?
Why would He listen to someone who never listened to Him?

Jesus, I don't know if You're listening; I hope You are.
I never believed You were important to someone like me.
Someone with his own set of ready-made answers.
I was wrong.
Everything I valued in life has come up far short of my expectations.
My relationships, health, behavior, thoughts, desires, and goals...
    all are gone now.
All that remains, are the tattered remnants of a chaotic life.
I don't know what to do.
I've run out of answers.
I am in need of guidance and help.
I see now that I must change, but I'm incapable of changing myself.
If it were as simple as losing weight, I would change my diet.
If it were a matter of clothes, I would change my wardrobe.
If it were just a matter of locale, I would relocate to another place.
But it goes much deeper than that...
I need changing from the inside.

That old man quoted another scripture,
I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy,
    to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
    holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
3
I don't even fully understand what that means, but I'm willing to do that now.
I want to learn at the foot of the cross.
It's not acclaim I seek, I want forgiveness, peace and reconciliation.
I want this endless loop to conclude.
I would like to walk in a direction that actually leads to a true destination.
I remember that old man quoting a scripture,
In My Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you.4
Have You really prepared a place for one who never considered You?
Today, I place my life upon the altar of Your cross Jesus.
Whatever You do for me, is far more than I deserve; but I gladly accept what You offer.
You offer me forgiveness, life, love, joy, contentment, and peace.
These priceless gifts cannot be bought, and yet You give them to those who humbly ask.

I want to thank You Jesus for hearing me.
Somehow, my life already seems different.
I'm not looking for a way out; I'm looking to You.
That old man said, “…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…5
My life is in Your hands, do with me what is right in Your eyes.
I trust You.
I don't want to betray this trust, so I ask that You help me trust in You.
Saying, "Thank You" may seem low key to the hollywood version that "puts on a show",
    but I am so thankful, that You hear me, that You answer me, and that You saved me.
Help me see life through Your eyes.
I want to let this mind be in me that is also in You.
I want to have ears that hear; not ears that itch.
I want my words to be acceptable and pleasing to You.
I want to touch and agree with the heart and attitude of faith.
I want to be filled with the outpouring of Your Holy Spirit.
I want to take hold, grasp, and embrace You as firmly...
    as Your gospel of salvation has taken hold of me.

Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays

Footnotes:
  1. Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV
  2. Isaiah 55:8, NKJV
  3. Romans 12:1, NIV
  4. John 14:2, NKJV
  5. Hebrews 12:2, NKJV
References:
  1. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  2. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  3. New King James Version, by Nelson Bibles, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., PO Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee, ISBN-13: 978-0840713704
  4. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA

Friday, February 17, 2012

I'm So Lost!

The Lost Sheep
The Lost Sheep

Lost:
There are one hundred sheep.
So call me…
    one of many.
All the sounds I make,
    But do you hear any?
I would stray here, then stray over there,
    all you do is watch.
Do you even care?

Finally, one day,
    I just wandered away!
To answer the question Why?
Well, I just couldn’t say.
I couldn’t say why…
    that would mean telling the truth.
You say, give it a try.
I say, What’s the use?

So now I’m lost!
Lost as could be.
I’m so lost and alone,
    no one can see me.
How is it I ended,
    up in this place?
A sheep on his own…
    afraid and disgraced.


The Lost Sheep Found
The Lost Sheep Found

Found:
I number my sheep.
I watch them each day.
Their trust is in me,
I lead the right way.
If one gets lost,
    he won’t remain gone.
I’ll look til I find him,
    and bring him back home.

I’ll leave the ninety,
    and nine of my sheep
I’ll look everywhere…
    I won’t even sleep
I’ll look far and wide.
I’ll look high and low.
I’ll find my lost sheep
Yes, that’s what I know.

And when I find him,
    I’ll tell all my friends.
Come see who is found,
    and home once again.
Celebrate with me,
    this sheep who was lost.
His value to me,
    is worth any cost.
Poem by MTJ


Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).
Lord Jesus,

I was that lost sheep. Alone, afraid, and yet unwilling to call out to you for help. Pride and arrogance have ruined many lives; it ruined mine too. Today, I can look back and see how You intervened in my life; rescuing me from a path of self-destruction. Thank You Jesus for saving me, helping me to see my purpose is in You. Sharing the joy of salvation so that others have the opportunity to acknowledge their sin and be saved from a path of destruction. May each of us who call You Lord, truly reflect Your life. Jesus, you are our light and glory. I offer intercessory prayer for those sick and afflicted; they need Your healing touch Lord. I pray for those who have a family crisis; bring peace, reconciliation, and renewal in their midst. I pray for those who seek employment, and those who struggle in their business. There are families who are on the verge of losing their home, and there are those without food or shelter. There are so many needs Jesus, but You are The Good Shepherd. Even now, You sit on the right hand of The Father, making intercession for us. Thank you Jesus, for all You've done, what You're doing, and what you're preparing on our behalf. Amen.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Where Are You?

The Lost Coin by James Tissot-Overall
The Lost Coin by James Tissot-Overall (Brooklyn Museum)

When it comes to money,
    I don’t have much of value.
All I have are ten silver coins,
    but they all belong to me.
Although each has the same value...
    they are unique, you see?
And now I’ve lost one of them.

Looking…
My eyes search the room...
    for the coin which I have lost.
Now hidden from my view, I ask...
    What's happened? Where are you?
I ask the question why, but really...
    How can my lost coin reply?

Tracing…
Back my recent steps...
    to where my coin could be.
But still no memory, I can recall...
    of how my coin lost me.
Could it be under the table?
Or in a corner of the room?


Illumination…
I fill the house with light...
    enough for me to see.
I’ll search each corner of my home,
    to where my coin could be.
Where are you little coin of mine?
Please, come back now to me!

Sweeping…
Floor boards covered in a layer of dust...
    the broom swings back again.
I hear the whishing sound of bristles...
    when will my efforts end?
I’ll sweep this floor until its clean...
    so I can find my friend.

Puzzled…
As I look around,
    searching high and low.
I’ll look until I find my coin...
    I won’t give up, I know.
Where are you little coin of mine?
Let your silver show.


At last!
I found you, hidden there
    right before my eyes.
Call my friends and let them know,
    my happiness and pride.
Let’s celebrate my found lost coin...
    the joy I feel inside.
Poem by MTJ


Father God,

The thought of angels in heaven rejoicing when a person repents fills me with joy. I recall that day I repented and gave my life to Jesus Christ, so I join with the angels who rejoice over one who was lost. So often, You ask of us, "Where are you", but do we really hear Your voice? Do we truly understand the depth of Your love and concern for each one of us?

Today, I pray for that lost coin, the sinner on the cusp of a life-changing decision. Give them clarity of mind to choose spiritual life. May that person find support from the body of Christ, local Christians who understand that each of us is saved by grace and not by works. Salvation is a free gift we receive from You, not something we earn. Let each of us who call Christ our Lord and Saviour, encourage the newly repentant that they grow in grace and truth. Amen.


Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lost and Found

The turning point for the Prodigal Son
The Prodigal Son's Turning Point, Luke 15:11-32, NIV

It’s quiet now, at the break of day,
    not a sound, except my thoughts.
As I drift back and think of all,
    the evil works I wrought.

I want what’s mine, I’ll have it now!
    Give me what I’m due!
My father stood there, listening to,
    the vile things I would spew.

So he gave it all to me,
    my inheritance.
I then went off, so far away,
    til every coin was spent.

Women, parties, drunken nights,
    I was a Jew gone wild.
I was that fool who didn’t know,
    he was a prodigal child.

Soon my belly craved to have,
    food I could not buy.
I went to those, I thought were friends,
    their words just made me cry.

I took a job, far out from town,
    feeding the farmers swine.
The slop they ate, it looked so good,
    I’ll eat it just this time.

As I prepared, to eat that food,
    a thought came suddenly.
How better off the hired were,
    they lived far better than me.

And so I left, and headed back,
    to my father’s home.
I’ll seek forgiveness from the one,
    that I had never known.

While I was, still far away,
    my father spotted me.
He ran up close to where I was,
    to finally set me free.

A robe, a ring, and sandals too,
    forgave me for my wrongs.
The fatted calf was also killed,
    a feast was held with songs.

My son was lost, but now he's found,
    he’s now come home at last.
He’s learned the lessons of right and wrong,
    I forgive him of his past.
Poem by MTJ


Father God,

The song writer said, "Amazing grace how sweet the sound... that saved a retch like me...I once was lost, but now I'm found... was blind but now I see."

How lost I am without Your Spirit to guide me! What can I do? Where can I go? What can I say, that exceeds Your lovingkindness extended to me? Do I need thee? Yes, Father God, I need thee! Every hour, I need You. You are the Great and Mighty I Am. The Sovereign God who chose to give His Son, to redeem us from sin and death. I rejoice in Your goodness. I'm thankful that I have salvation in Jesus Christ. Guide me with Your Holy Spirit, that my life will testify to the power of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer who lives and reigns as King of kings, and Lord of lords. In the depth of my despair, You found and rescued me. May the life I live, be pleasing in Your sight, Dear Lord. Amen.


Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).