Page 340 began the winter adjustments to accommodate the cold and snow — the alarm clock was set half an hour earlier so I would have time to clear the walks in addition to the building cleaning and I dug out the “long johns” for the season. Unfortunately, they were the clothing “long johns” and not the kind from the bakery. 🙂 As I headed into work early, I found that the sidewalks didn’t need shoveled as the snow had mostly melted, but I did put ice melt down as the melting snow had frozen to make ice-covered sidewalks. As I did my morning cleaning, I spent time in prayer and listening as I haven’t fully settled on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day sermon texts. There are a few ideas rolling around in my mind that I believe are from God, so I’m confident He will gel the messages together when the time is right.
Once the building was ready for the day, I settled into my Monday morning routine of spending time with God to put together the next week’s prayer guide. My mind seemed to have more difficulty that usual in coming up with the next topic. As I prayed and considered a few topics that just didn’t connect with my spirit, a couple packages were delivered to my office. It was as if a light bulb went on in my brain. The rest of the morning was spent in prayer putting together the next prayer guide that will be focused on some of God’s promises, that have been fulfilled in Jesus, to send a deliverer who would rescue His people from their sins. So as the prayer guide came together, we will be praying next week about some things God delivers us from as well as the nature of how God delivers us.
With the early start to the day, by mid-afternoon I was hungry and tired. One of the packages that arrived this morning was a new-to-me camera that will become my “bird” camera with an ultra zoom so I grabbed some lunch and headed to the Riverwalk to try out the camera and get some exercise. As I started off on a three mile walk, one of my first opportunities to try out the camera ended up as the photo for today’s page. This beautiful duck was standing on a partially submerged branch just watching the water flow by. In fact, he was so picture perfect that if I didn’t know better I would think someone had put a decoy out and he wasn’t even real. As I thought about it, it made me wonder how we present ourselves and whether people view us as being real or not. Sometimes we become so skilled at putting up a front that is so good, people know that it is just a front. But what if it isn’t a front? What if we allow God’s Spirit to fill us to a point of overflowing such that God’s presence is all that is seen in us? What if the righteousness we wear isn’t a front but is the result of being clothed with the righteousness of Christ? How amazing would it be if we resembled Jesus so closely that people did a double-take when they saw us?
I pray that you and I would spend time listening to God and trust Him to lead us in the way that we should go. I pray that we would recognize God as our deliverer and live as those who have been set free. I pray that we would offer a message of deliverance to the people around us. I pray that we would live a life so deeply buried in Christ that He is all people see when they look at us.