Sweet Feet

Yesterday I crossed off another item on my “bucket list.’  For the very first time – ever, I had a pedicure.  For years I have listened to friends raving about the wonders of having your feet and legs massaged and your toe nails painted.  I am here to tell you they did not exaggerate at all!  I sat in that chair with one foot in the warm, bubbling water, while the pedicurist worked on the other foot – trimming, buffing, massaging.  It was a little piece of heaven on earth.  Soon I was making quiet, little “happy noises.”  It seems, however, my “happy noises” were louder than I thought because the pedicurist jokingly commented on my moaning.  I guess one person’s “happy noise” is another person’s moan.

My dear friends, I would so love to invite you all over to see my massaged, relaxed, happy feet.  They are a thing of beauty!  I can’t stop admiring how lovely my “California Raspberry” colored toe nails are.  I do indeed have “sweet feet!”

In the process of enjoying this pedicure, I can’t help but be reminded of the words in Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”  Now those really are beautiful feet!  They are feet that are willing to go to the ends of the earth and bring humanity the good news of God’s grace, a grace that fills our deepest longings and needs.  Those are the kind of beautiful feet I really want to have.  Just consider what an honor, what a privilege, what a blessing it is to get to be the one who boldly stands on their feet and proclaims the good news of Jesus Christ.  It should fill us with awe, wonder, and delight that WE are the ones chosen by God to have beautiful feet.  There is so much need and heartache in the lives of people around us.  Just think about the difference we can make if we choose to have beautiful feet……

To the lonely we bring good news that God will never leave or forsake them.  His presence is constant.

To the sorrowful we bring good news that weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

To the discouraged we bring good news that God is faithful.  All we need to do is hold on tight to Him and persevere.

To the overwhelmed we bring good news that all who are weary and burdened can find rest in Him.

To the anxious and distraught we bring good news that they can stop being anxious and cast all their cares upon Him and He will give them peace that passes all understanding.

To those who feel the burden of guilt we bring the good news of complete forgiveness and redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ.

To those who are covered with shame we bring good news that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  God has set them free through the cross.

To those who feel rejected we bring good news that God accepts them just as they are.  He delights in them.  He rejoices over them with singing.  He welcomes them into His presence.

To those who are lost we get to bring the good news that God is watching, waiting for them to come to their senses and accept the free gift of salvation in Christ.  They will no longer be lost but belong to God’s family.

To those who are hopeless we get to bring the good news of hope that is poured out into their hearts by the Holy Spirit.  In Christ they have hope for today and hope for all eternity.

To those who are frightened we get to bring the good news that God is their refuge and their strength, an ever present help in time of trouble.

To those who are insecure we get to bring the good news that there is nothing that can separate them from God’s love.   We can assure them that they are chosen by God to be His masterpiece.

To those who feel powerless we get to bring the good news that our God reigns and is all-powerful.   We can assure them that Philippians 4:13 is true – we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

To those who feel unloved and unlovable, we can point them to the ultimate good news – the cross of Jesus Christ where the love of God is most evident.

Ephesians 6 talks about the importance of putting on the whole armor of God.  Verse15 reminds us that our feet are to be “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”  So I invite you to join me in striving to have “beautiful feet” that  are ready at all times, willing to go to all places for the purpose of sharing the good news of peace and salvation – to scream from the roof tops, “OUR GOD REIGNS!”  By the way, you’ll be able to recognize me.  I’ll be the one with the “sweet feet.”

 

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Wisdom

A number of years ago I attended a Youth Specialties Convention.  To give you some idea of what it is like at one of these conventions, I encourage you to try to imagine five thousand energetic youth pastors – most of whom have ADD – in one place for five days.  The majority of them are extroverts.  They are young.  They are hip.  They are cool.  And they are eager to get their hands on the latest technology and ministry opportunities.  Now try to imagine adding to that mix a handful of older, less energetic, not so cool people like myself who are befuddled and confused by new technology.  The “hot” item of interest that year was a video game called “Guitar Hero” that allows participants play a guitar like a star.  Well, that’s the idea.  These young men and women would get up there and play the guitar as if they had just returned from a world tour with the latest rock band.  Some of my friends dared me to try it.  If I had been a wise woman I would have listened to the voice of wisdom that told me not to do it.  But this was one time when I threw caution (and wisdom) to the wind and listened to the voice of that middle school boy who lives in my mind which told me to go ahead.   You don’t want to know the degree to which I embarrassed myself.  Why didn’t I listen to the voice of wisdom?

I’ve been thinking a lot about wisdom after Dr. Mast’s sermon two weeks ago.  He encouraged us to seek wisdom and ask God for it.  He reminded us that James 1:5 offers this powerful promise, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  Like you, I’ve read that verse many times and have asked God for wisdom in difficult situations, but I have not asked God for this precious gift on a daily basis.  Every morning I ask God to open my eyes to His glory and grace so I can live in gratitude.  As I surrender myself to His will for my life each day, I ask Him to give me acceptance with joy for whatever He brings my way.  I offer myself as a living sacrifice and ask Him to use me to be a blessing to at least one person that day.  I ask Him to hold me close to His heart so I can worship Him without ceasing.  BUT I have not daily asked for wisdom.

Needless to say, that has changed and the difference that one small request has made in my life has been nothing short of astounding.  I have experienced God’s wisdom giving me clarity about situations that have been plaguing me with confusion, hurt and fear.  The result has been greater peace, greater joy and greater contentment.  Two things amaze me: 1) how much God loves to lavish gifts of grace upon us, and 2) how often we miss the gift because we don’t ask or refuse to accept.  Let’s agree to stop missing the blessings of wisdom.  I encourage you to join me in boldly asking God every day for the gift of wisdom…….

Wisdom to make career choices

Wisdom to handle difficult people in your life

Wisdom for when to act and when to wait

Wisdom about who to date or marry

Wisdom on how to be a godly, loving spouse

Wisdom to keep a good balance in your life

Wisdom on how to deal with temptation

Wisdom for dealing with the demands of college or grad school

Wisdom to deal with aging parents

Wisdom to handle grief, loss or disappointment

Wisdom on how to grow more like Christ

Wisdom on how to deal with past hurts

Wisdom on how to live gratefully, boldly, and confidently for God

Wisdom on how to use our spiritual gifts to bless others and bring Him glory by building His kingdom

Wisdom to……you fill in the blank.

As I said, God longs to lavish His wisdom upon all of us.  All we have to do is to ask.  If only I had thought to do that before I tried to play “Guitar Hero.”