The following chalk art was created by my imaginative 6-year-old daughter. It used to adorn the sidewalk in front of our home. Knowing that the lawn sprinklers would soon wash this masterpiece away, I made sure this was digitally preserved. This artwork, from the heart of a 6-year-old, inspired the following poem. To God be the glory!
Through death to Life, You give me hope. Through dark to light. I can now cope. For the cross rises above this broken world and life rises from within. I now have hope and strength for through Jesus Christ eternal life now begins. The sun shines, The flower blooms, Oh Lord my God my final place is not the tomb. And now my heart leaps for joy, I just can not contain it. My face radiates with love, Something that will never quit. So may the cross brightly shine, A hope for the world to see. My sins have been wiped away. That is Your loving decree.
The following is something I wrote for our July 21 Sunday bulletin; a section called, “Pastor’s Corner”. I thought I would share it with all of you as well…
While on vacation and visiting my parents, my children were treated to multiple golf cart rides with grandpa. On our last day, grandpa took each one on a ride, and as it turned out, to the grocery store. Upon their return, I could see a big smile on their face while they held a plastic grocery bag. Inside was a treat that grandpa spoiled them with. One cannot help but to smile at this. But don’t confuse a relationship like this with your relationship with God. He doesn’t take you to the “grocery store” to give you your heart’s desires, but rather to show you His. It is not about what you want but what God wants for you. But when you align your heart to God’s, through faith in Jesus, you will always return from the “store” with a smile because you will have received the desires of God’s heart, which will be your desires as well. Seek His will, not Your own, then and only then will you get want you want.
I thought I would share with you a portrait of myself drawn by my 6-year-old daughter. Notice my (out of season) Lenten stole (my daughter’s favorite color). Arms out-stretched (as I can be animated in the pulpit). And of course, “God is good“. Behind me is the cross (a very happy daddy here that my daughter included that). Apparently I am a ghost since I have no legs, but far be it from me to critique a 6-year-old’s artwork. I am not sure what the red is at the bottom. Maybe I am jumping out of the flames because the Holy Spirit is red hot that day. Who knows, but I love it. But the following is my favorite…
This one is titled (in her own words), “God’s radiance”. Yup, I like that. No further commentary needed.
During the week, I get the pleasure of waking up my children for school.
[I use the word “pleasure” very loosely here.]
Anyway, yesterday at 7 AM, I made my first attempt to wake up my 6-year-old daughter. There is usually protesting when I go in and so most mornings I end up giving her a couple extra minutes, but not yesterday. That morning was different. As I entered my daughter’s room, I noticed she was already in the process of sitting up. Maybe she heard me in the hall, I don’t know. Whatever the case, when I said, “Good morning sweetie.” She immediately reached out her arms and said, “Daddy“. I went over to her and she climbed into my waiting arms, buried her face into my chest and clung to me with everything she had. I reciprocated by wrapping my arms around her and carried her down stairs; enjoying the snuggle time. I could definitely handle that routine every morning. What a great start to the day. But regardless of the reception I get from my little girl in the morning, my love for her won’t waver.
Our heavenly Daddy also desires that routine every morning; waking up and immediately reaching out to Him in prayer saying, “Daddy“, and then falling into His loving arms. For you see, He loves you with an amazing love, even though you may protest and go to your phone first or the coffee pot or the refrigerator or whatever. Or maybe Daddy doesn’t even get a mention until later in the day. Whatever the case, His arms are waiting for you with an unconditional love that doesn’t make sense to this world.
Try it sometime. When you wake up in the morning, raise your arms and say, “Daddy” and then fall into His waiting arms. What a great way to start the day 🙂
Holy Father, Jesus said, “let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such as these belongs the Kingdom.” Oh God, may I have the child-like faith to run into Your holy arms. May I receive Your Gospel as a baby excitedly receives their milk. May I cling to Jesus as tightly as my children do to me as I try to leave for work. May I gaze upon You as a newborn does unto their parents. Holy Father, I thank You that You do not hinder me coming to You. I may stumble and fall along the way, but You are quick to scoop me up. Loving Father, here I am; hold me. My Abba. My God. Amen.