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DAILY READ: Covenant Relationships

But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with y...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

9/11 & KATRINA TRIBUTE - Repost From Newsletter

Hi Folks!

Well, it's two days away from the official release of AIJAN and I am experiencing a sense of anticlimax.

It probably has something to do with the 9/11 anniversary, about which I feel so much, I can't even put it into words. One stark memory is attending the wake of a church sister. She'd just graduated from college working F/T and going to school at nights. She was about thirty-eight, in her prime. There was no body for the casket, just a graduation picture of her proudly holding her degree--you see, there was not enough of her found to fill a casket, just an arm.

I remember thinking--how unfair! Just as her life was starting to take off. I remember questioning God about it. I don't remember His answer, but I do know that I found peace in the thought that she was fully persuaded that Jesus was the answer. She was enthusiastic, down-to-earth and a joy to be around. I guess her purpose here on earth had been fulfilled.

I continued on with my life, and as each day went by, it became easier to forget 9/11 because other things happened in my life and in the world, KATRINA for instance. I'd like to think that I played a part in helping out, but whenever is the assistance enough in situations like that?

Again, I continued on with my life, and it was not till last August that it really dawned on me how I could ceaselessly continue to assist others through the catastrophic disasters that can become one's daily existence. Said catalyst was a worship service I attended at another church in which a young woman of the congregation was shot by her boyfriend because she attempted to break up with him. She'd just given her life to Jesus and was cleaning out the clutter in her new existence and then she was cut down.

Again I remember thinking--how unfair! Not only that, I remember being grateful that it wasn't me. So many times in my search for love, I've not always made sound choices, but God's grace and mercy preserved me. Why?
Because my purpose was not yet fulfilled. I'd like to think that I now make better choices, that I love and see myself as God sees me--but some days I regress--but resurgent was the burning desire to reach out to my fellow sisters (and brothers) to encourage, caution, enlighten. We have freedom of choice, let us use it, even in our search for love.

I want to thank each and everyone of you for your feedback, support and prayers.

Here's a quick bit of prose poetry I just composed on the fly, dedicated to the victims and survivors of 9/11, KATRINA and the ever present, perpetually silent--walking wounded among us:

We Can Choose

We can choose to be happy
or incessantly be crappy
We can choose to share
or be cluttered with despair

We can choose to care
or remain unaware

We can choose to forgive
or regret the life we live

We can choose to let go
or hold on to what we know

We can choose to move away
or suffer the pain and stay

We can choose to help others
or consider it a bother

We can choose to speak out
or forever have no clout
We can choose to ask for help
or continually count on self
We can choose a good mate
or settle--then self-hate

We can choose to live in the present
or consider days reminiscent
Or we can choose to live most prescient,
give honor to those who've gone before--
like Jesus the Christ, He is no folklore!


Monday, September 11, 2006

DAILY READ: The Way of God

If My people would but listen to Me.... ~ Psalm 81:13

God has a specific training ground for leaders. There are three patterns of preparation that have been common among most of God's leaders. First, there is a time when the leader is separated from his old life. Consider Moses, Joseph, Abraham, and Paul. In order for God to mold and shape them into His nature, it appears that He had to remove them from the life of comfort. A teacher once said, "You cannot go with God and remain where you are."

Next, there is usually a time of solitude. God often brings leaders into a time of solitude in order to speak to them without other distractions. Hosea 2:14b says, "I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her." Paul was sent to Arabia for two years for a time of solitude. Joseph spent years in the solitude of prison. Moses spent 40 years in the desert herding sheep.

The third characteristic of God's preparation for leaders is discomfort. The setting in which the preparation takes place usually is not a place of comfort. Abraham traveled through the difficult deserts. David lived in caves fleeing Saul. Paul was frequently persecuted.

Are you ready for the classroom of leadership preparation? If God chooses to bring you into this class, you may have one of three reactions to the events. First, you may say, "I don't need it." Perhaps you know intellectually that you do need this, but God wants you to know it in your heart. Pride prevents us from entering this classroom. The second reaction may be, "I'm tired of it." You decide you've had enough. If so, this will disqualify you from leadership. Finally, God's desired response from us in this preparation is, "I accept it." To accept it with joy is the place of maturity in Christ. God often keeps us in these places until we come to accept and agree that Jesus is enough. Is He all you need?

Like the people of Israel, I think we have something to do with the timetable of our education. "If My people would but listen to Me, if Israel would follow My ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes!" (Ps. 81:13-14)

Are you ready for the process required for being a godly leader? Ask for His grace to willingly embrace these times of preparation.

Copyright (c) 2006 by Christopher Donaldson, Sr.