Thursday, December 8, 2005

The One and Only

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

When my sister gave birth to my nephew a couple years back, I remember joking with my mom – "We can now call you Babcia too!" Her response was swift and immediate: "There is only one Babcia!"

How right she was. For those of you not of Polish descent, Babcia is the Polish equivalent of grandmother; for my family, that term of endearment will forever belong to one, and only one, person – my grandmother Dorothy. Sadly, the true meaning of that has hit home all the more of late with her serious battle with cancer, a fact that was confirmed a day before her 80th birthday celebration in October. It was a bittersweet day for me, knowing the sad truth that only my parents and I knew at the time, and yet being thankful to cherish every moment of that party all the more.

For me, just as there will only ever be one Babcia, there also will only ever be one Lord – Jesus Christ. What a joy it is to be able to lean upon the same being – the same all-powerful, never-changing, ever-loving one, over and over and over again. In Him, I have rest and great peace in knowing that this situation is in His hands; a more reliable place I'll never know.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Another Chance

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalms 9:10)

What a difference a couple months can make. On April 1st, I received a phone call I hoped would never come – that one of my parents was being rushed to the hospital. The next morning when I talked to my Dad at perhaps his lowest moment, I honestly didn’t know if it would be our last conversation. My mind started looking to record each word that was said - that I might be able to replay it for the rest of my life.

When I hung up the phone, a feeling of helplessness came upon me like never before. But thankfully, that feeling passed quickly as I knelt down before the Lord in prayer, and asked for his healing power to descend upon that hospital room in New Jersey. I prayed for another chance to see my Dad, for another chance to hug him hello, and for another chance to sing him Happy Birthday. It didn’t take long for the Lord to answer, as a few hours later I received the good news that my Dad was on the road to recovery. I knew that road was being paved by the Lord, and I lifted a thankful prayer to the heavens.

Four weeks ago I got another chance to see my Dad and hug him hello, this morning I got another chance to sing him Happy Birthday, and with each passing day I grow more in awe of the limitless love, mercy, and power of the one who knitted and formed him 77 years ago.

Friday, April 1, 2005

If I Died Tomorrow

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

It’s been a difficult month for Dee and I – a couple weeks ago we found out that one of Dee’s family members is fighting a serious bout with cancer, and just moments ago I received a call stating that my Dad was being rushed to the hospital. The news has quickly put things back into perspective, and again makes me realize how nothing under heaven is as precious to me as my family and friends…nothing.

Over the years, I’ve prayed that the eternal future of each and every one of my loved ones has been secured through the saving power of Jesus Christ, and at times like these, I’ll pray diligently all the more. I pray that each of you would ask yourselves the following question: “If I died tomorrow, where would I be?” If heaven is your answer, I pray that you would ask yourselves the following: “Why do I believe I am going to heaven?” If your answer is anything other than Jesus, I pray that you would re-examine your heart and consider the following warning from Jesus:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

It’s a sobering warning, but through the Lord’s mercy, we can have the blessed assurance of an eternal future with Him by humbling ourselves and turning our lives over to Jesus. If that is your heart’s desire, I ask you to pray the following and mean it with all of your heart:

“Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me. I confess that I am a sinner, and in need of your salvation. I want to turn from my self-directed life, and place my trust firmly in you. Fill me with your holy spirit, and come into my life as Lord and Savior. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!”

It’s amazing to think that a simple prayer can unlock the kingdom of heaven, but our part is really that simple; Jesus already did the hard part for us on the cross.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Isn't Easter Just Like Halloween?

This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
(Luke 24:46-47)

One of my favorite new weekly traditions is a Friday morning visit to Starbuck’s before work. Unfortunately, this past Friday (Good Friday), I wound up getting much more than my usual ‘Venti’ mild. Half way through the pouring of my cup, one of the workers stopped to talk about Easter and all the things it meant to her…chocolate, candy, and bunnies. She then topped off my cup, rung up the bill, and capped off the conversation with “Isn’t Easter just like Halloween.”

I wanted to climb over the counter and shake some sense into her, but thought better of it, and wound up just giving her $1.81 for my cup. My frustration cooled (as I blended in my usual three sugar packs along with a healthy sprinkling of Half and Half) and I began to pray for her. I asked the Lord to remove the veil over her eyes, and hoped that one day she too would realize the true meaning of Easter.

My soul is grieved at the thought of Christ’s death and resurrection being overshadowed (in the hearts of many) by the likes of the Easter Bunny. Hence, I pray that this Easter, all thoughts of dripping chocolate will get replaced by thoughts of Jesus’ dripping blood from the cross, and that all thoughts of an Easter egg discovery will get replaced by thoughts of discovering Jesus – His love, His grace, and His power.