It’s getting colder & the days are getting shorter as we begin to move towards Winter. In the southern hemisphere, they’re approaching Summer and it’s getting warmer there & the days are longer. So it depends on your location on our planet, in approximation to the sun, whether you’re getting warmer or colder, more or less light. By default, heat & light also have a direct impact on how much life there is. Where there is less light & more cold, life is less abundant.
Let’s make the same parallel for Jesus, God’s Son. When we revolve our lives closely around the Son, we have more light, greater warmth & consequentially, more life. We can also consider that perhaps there are some areas in our lives that need to be around Jesus more – particularly if we recognize the absence of light, warmth & life. Jesus says that He’s come to give us life & life more abundantly – so let’s stay close to Jesus in every area of our lives!
I always think that Easter is a sunny day, but in Colorado, that’s not always true. Our weather can be quite unpredictable, regardless of the weathermen & their best forecasts.
No matter what the clouds do, we can have light in our hearts because Jesus is the light of the world. And celebrating His resurrection this weekend, is the exclamation point to living in light & love! I can totally appreciate that we go through seasons & struggles that can darken our mindset or discourage our hearts. But let’s remember that Jesus, the light of the world, lives in our hearts & His lights can illuminate any darkness or discouragement in which we may find ourselves. Today can be a sunny day my friend 🙂
Mood lighting seems to be popular – candles, track lighting, dimmer switches, etc. Supposedly, this kind of light can be soothing & soft. The main problem, however, is the vision obscurity that dim light can facilitate. And if we can’t see well, then we increase our chances to make mistakes & even hurt ourselves.
As a follower of Jesus, I want to be known as a child of the Light. This means that I want to live in light, not hidden, nor controlled by obscurity. I want to bring light & love wherever I go, expressing healing, freedom & redemption. Let’s turn the light up rather than dim the light.
There’s plenty of darkness in our world & lots of that darkness comes from letting hate & apathy into our hearts. For example, my friend was telling me about a brothel in Bangladesh where the underage workers are forced to take bovine steroids to force their bodies to develop & be more appealing to clients. Obviously, the steroids have very negative results on these girls’ bodies to say nothing about the babies born & toddlers raised in this environment. Truly, brothels like the one I described are dark & deplorable.
Enter nightcare with Saving Moses. In Cambodia, we have four nightcare centers where we look after the babies & toddlers of prostitutes while they work. These sex workers have no way to look after their babies or toddlers while they work, so our centers are essential to the nurture, upbringing & worldview for these lovely treasures! Jesus talks about caring for Him when we look after “the least of these” in Matthew 24.
Be sure to watch my blog over the next week as I visit Bangledesh to bring love & light to the least of these!
I recently read about how Jacob tricked his dad & brother to get Esau’s birthright & blessing – definitely shifty for sure. Whenever I read how Jacob’s mom put him up to being deceptive with his dad about getting his dad’s blessing, it makes me twitch because of the smoke & mirrors manipulation scheming. I find it positively revolting that Jacob & his mom would be so deceptive with their family, conniving, tricking & undermining trust. It’s repulsive to me because their actions totally sabotaged any trust & ultimately intimacy / connection they may have had with their family – maybe this trust never existed in the first place.
Nevertheless, for me an important take away is that when people are shifty & deceptive, there’s no real or grounded connection with them. Ultimately, it’s all just smoke & mirrors.
I just returned last night from Cambodia, celebrating the grand opening of our second nightcare – so much goodness! Nightcare is our initiative with www.savingmoses.org
where we take care of the babies & toddlers of prostitutes while they work. Without nightcare, these babies & toddlers are at work with their moms – every horror you can imagine & more. The hopeless part is that I can get overwhelmed by the needs, atrocities & unimaginable devastation occurring every night in these neighborhoods without nightcare.
Hopeless happens in our lives when we stop moving forward, when we fixate on what is dark & evil. Hope is taking a step, doing something positive & loving genuinely. Love rescues us from being hopeless. Genuine love gives the escape
Sometimes we can be in really dark situations or seasons in our lives. Darkness can be lots of different things: bad environments, yucky people, wicked things that happen to or around us & lots of other things ( I’m reminded of one of the neighborhoods that I walked in for a possible new nightcare location in Cambodia with www.savingmoses.org – a totally evil & wicked place that was overwhelmingly dark even during the day).
With that being said, lets be mindful to keep Jesus as the Light in our hearts – dont let the darkness seep into your thoughts or emotions no matter how strong it may seem. Darkness never overcomes Light so lets stay full of Jesus in our hearts so that we can bring light, hope & genuine love to any darkness that could be in our lives 🙂
I think that we generally prefer light over darkness and yesterday this was really obvious to me. Here in Cambodia, I have a program with Saving Moses called nightcare. With nightcare, we take care of the babies of prostitutes while their moms work. We give them a safe, warm & loving environment.
Darkness is the contrast because these babies live in hellacious environments. Yesterday, I saw places where babies live, places so dark that I’m still struggling to figure out how to describe them. And with babies in this darkness. These places have a desperate need for nightcare & I’m still spinning from the experience & the darkness.
I want light, I want to live in light & I want to be an agent of light because in my thinking, light is one of the ways that genuine love is expressed.
Can i just say that i’m completely amazed by God & here are some reasons i am continually discovering that increase the amazement factor:
God knows me really well – He totally gets how i think, even better than me
provision – God gives me what i need, when i need it (often not earlier); either He provides the actual resources or the wisdom to match the need. Astounding
Trinity – there’s enough w just this one word to keep my brain fully engaged until i die & better than that, enough of the Trinity to sustain, fuel & even overwhelm my heart, brokenness & inadequacy
darkness cannot hide from light, no matter how hard it tries
Another reason i’m amazed w God is from what Jesus tells us in Matt 6:22-23: our eye is the lamp of our body & if our eye is clear, then we will be filled w light. If our eye is bad, then our body is full of darkness & that’s ALOT of darkness. So let’s consider some things we may use as “light” to illuminate our daily living (read through all of these to get the gist):
if your light is food, then possibly fasting is darkness
if your light is sex, then abstinence is darkness
if your light is wealth, then poverty is your darkness
if your light is education, then ignorance is your darkness
if your light is relationships, then alone is your darkness
if your light is your self, then maybe an empty heart is your darkness
While this list isn’t comprehensive & none of these things are bad by themselves, they become darkness for us, if we allow them to be a core value or motivation in our daily living. Let’s be sure that Jesus, the Light of the world, is THE Light who illuminates the entirety of our lives for each day.
I have a really cool eye dr. I’ve gone to him since i was in high school – so that’s a good amount of time. He’s always the same – nice, cordial, polite . . . . He never changes, even when i forget to make an appointment for a check up for 7 years or so. Whoops! Nevertheless, your eyes are really important. They allow you to collect visual information to be processed by your brain. If your eyes start messing up, then the information sent to your brain can be faulty & therefore the conclusions that your brain makes can easily be flawed & you can make some very poor decisions.
Jesus talks about the importance of your eyes in Matt 6:22-23, basically saying that if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness & if your eye is clear, then your body will be filled w light. If you’ve made some poor decisions, then consider the information on which you made such decisions. Perhaps the information you were using had shades of gray, maybe you were trying to keep a foot in the light & still dabble in some hidden areas. Traffic experts tell us that the most common times for auto accidents are during twilight.
Live in the light – the light of Jesus & don’t try to see with compromised light. Come into the light. Stay in the light. Live in the light.