2016: Page 132

Page 132 began with a widespread hazy fog that did its best to hang around as long as possible.  I’ve found that the “early to bed” part of the old adage makes the “early to rise” part much easier as I began my work day at 6 AM.  While the early morning work is often rather routine, and I prefer it that way, it does give me good quiet time to spend with God as I clean bathrooms, hallways, floors, and whatever else needs done to have the building ready for the day.  With a cool dampness hanging in the air, I decided not to start the mowing after the morning prep was done.  The forecast is a little more hopeful for drier weather the next two days so I’ll wait and mow on one of those.  So instead of mowing, I decided it was time to clean my office.  Well, that job looked too big so I decided cleaning off my desk would be a good start. 🙂  With all of the writing projects God has been giving me, MJ thinks I ought to clean off my desk every time I start a new book — I think that would be overdoing the whole thing.

The cleaning process is difficult for me because I typically know what is on my desk and an approximate location in the pile to find it.  Cleaning means that I have to figure out where to file each item in a manner that I can retrieve it when needed.  In addition to the cleaning, I worked on more writing as well as sent titles and descriptions in for the workshops I will lead this summer at the National Student Conference of the Association of College Ministries.  I will have the privilege of presenting two workshops; “Developing a Lifestyle of Prayer through Listening” and “Developing a Lifestyle of Prayer in the Real World”.  In addition to the workshops, one of my current writing projects is a 31-day devotional journal that God put in my mind based on the theme of the conference, “Not Home Yet”.  I appreciate all prayers offered on behalf of the conference and for my work in preparing the workshop and devotional material that I will share.

As I worked at cleaning and putting together info for the conference, a beautiful bird flew by my window and landed in the brush nearby.  When it first flew by I thought it was a cardinal, which are plentiful, but then I noticed it had black wings.  After doing an online search for red birds with black wings, I’ve concluded that it was a scarlet tanager.  While its color made it difficult to hide completely, it seemed to do its best to avoid being out in the open long enough for a good clear photo.  I don’t know if it was deliberately hiding or had simply found a food source in the brush that it was enjoying, but even surrounded by the green foliage I couldn’t help but notice it.

As I thought about this bird and my current writing projects, I began to consider how impossible it should be to hide the presence of God’s Spirit within us.  We ought to stand out as a bright light in a very dark world.  Wherever we go, whether trying to be unseen or simply surrounded by the foliage of the world, the essence of Jesus ought to be so vibrant within us that it remains visible at all times.

I pray that you and I would always let our light shine in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.  I pray that we would realize that we represent Jesus wherever we are and that His light within us cannot be hidden.  I pray that we would have a desire to make Christ known with our entire being through all that we do.

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