Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Light Broke Through

This will probably be my last entry before Christmas--quite possibly the last for this year. Although I haven't definitely committed myself to taking off until January 6 or 7, the idea is very appealing. Partly because my blog ministry seems to be suffering from the same problem that plagues most of my life (work and leisure time alike)--a largely self-imposed "obligation overload" manifesting itself in a constant sense of "hurry up and finish this so you can rush on to the next item on your list." Which tends to spoil enjoyment of the present moment and often sabotages the current task by impeding concentration.

Thousands suffer from similar problems--thanks in large measure to the voices of society. It's not just advertisers who bombard us with "you need this" messages until we go crazy trying to keep up. The average American is advised by doctors, pastors, authors, and experts of every stripe to get seven hours of exercise a week; pray for an hour or two each day; read at least a dozen good books a year; take four or five business courses annually; give some eight hours a week to assisting church ministries or charities; perform regular maintenance on a hundred things that keep home and auto functioning; spend at least half of any remaining leisure time actively building relationships with family and friends; and maintain active "Goals" lists in six or seven categories of life. Small wonder that we work as hard at our "time off" as in our jobs. Most readers--currently in the thick of Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, Christmas guests, and Christmas dinner--probably nodded in rueful recognition there; but the point will apply equally in six months as we include our laptops in vacation packing or rush about trying to see a city's worth of tourist attractions in four days.

Despite "peace and serenity" images of the first Christmas, Bethlehem that day was probably as hectic as any modern airport on a holiday weekend. The town was jammed to capacity with long-distance travelers grumbling about the inconvenience of the trip and the unfairness of the tax census that necessitated it. Jesus was born in a stable because every available guest room was taken. Even the shepherds who first received news of Christ's coming were "out in the fields" because they were working, "keeping watch over their flocks at night" (Luke 2:8, NIV). It could be hard, unpleasant work, no doubt, but at least they knew the routine. Then, suddenly, a light burst out of nowhere, and they nearly panicked. Here was something new and unfamiliar, something far bigger than the busyness of everyday life.

God's light rarely shines on people so obviously or so spectacularly. When it comes in more subtle ways--in a human need or the beauty of a wildflower--we're prone to ignore it, or if that's not an option, to complain that it interrupts our schedules. Still, there are moments when "ordinary" things are appreciated even by the overworked and jaded. After the weather has been gloomy for days, as often happens at this time of year, people who frequently take the sunlight for granted welcome its return with the enthusiasm of someone greeting a long-lost friend.

Many of us are going about with darker clouds in our hearts than the weather ever visited upon anyone. Now, as we prepare to celebrate Christ's coming, is the time to live according to Paul's words in 2 Cor. 4:6:

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Two thousand years ago
A man lived life in darkness, blind from birth;
And then one day
A Man stepped up and rubbed blind eyes with earth,
And when those sightless eyes
Were washed and cleansed, the dark gave way to light;
For on that day
The man who was born blind received his sight.

Through years and years of time
Earth's people lived in darkness, slaves to sin;
And then one day
A Man stepped forth to die, and thus did win
Salvation for all souls
Who would believe, who would receive God's light;
And Heaven still sings
Each time a heart born blind receives its sight.

And so it is today:
All who live life in darkness, blind from birth,
Can still receive
The Power of Him Who came from Heaven to earth:
His gift of endless Love,
His bringing of new life, His gift of sight:
Just let Him in,
And He will turn your darkness into light.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Greater Is He Who Is in You

When asked what he did upon meeting temptation, one man replied--bitterly, not with humor--"I yield!"

Sometimes temptation does seem near impossible to resist. It can range from the more-or-less insignificant--"I know I decided not to waste my time with computer games, but what else is there to do while sitting in front of the monitor waiting for a poky connection to be established?"--to the coward's way out--"I don't want them thinking I'm a fire-and-brimstone type; I'll be a more effective witness, anyway, if they get to know me as a person before seeing me as a Christian stereotype"--to the plunge into outright sin--"I realize sex is wrong outside marriage, but she's so beautiful, and we're alone; surely it can't hurt anyone just this once." Some people even blame God for their own actions: "If He doesn't want me to do this, why did He let me get into a situation where it seems the only logical recourse?"

At such times, the Scriptural truth, "The one who is in you [that is, God the Holy Spirit] is greater than the one who is in the world [that is, the 'god of this world,' the devil]" (1 John 4:4, NIV), can be tough to remember and even tougher to believe. But it's never true that a person "had no choice" but to do the wrong thing. Many affluent Christians, especially, are major wimps when weighed on the "scale of suffering"--from ridicule to ostracism to physical abuse to death. Never seriously considering the possibility of having to go all the way to the end, they are afraid even to see out the first stage. How unlike the early Christians, who were not only willing to suffer for Christ but considered it a privilege (Acts 5:40-41).

Those first disciples were strong because they kept constantly aware of Christ's nearness and because pleasing Him meant more to them than did anything else. If we appreciate Christ's power in us, we needn't yield to the temptations of the world around us.

Though temptations from all sides assail us,
Though the world mocks our faith and heaps scorn,
Though all things that we trusted may fail us,
Though we be left distraught and forlorn,
Let us not cower in fear from the hater,
Let us not turn away, lost to doubt:
For the God Who is in us is greater
Than all powers of the world round about.

Though our flesh may be prone to temptation,
Though our selfishness pull us away,
Though our courage have strong reservation,
Though our hearts tend to lead us astray,
Let us not leave the battle for "later,"
Let us not doubt our power to withstand:
For the God Who is in us is greater
Than all strength of the flesh and its brand.

Though the demons of hell rise against us,
Though all evil seem bent on our doom,
Though the devil himself work amidst us,
And assault with dissension and gloom,
Let him find us unwilling to cater
In the least to deceptions and lies:
For the God Who is in us is greater
Than all powers that from hell can arise!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Upon awakening in the morning, how do you greet the new day? Do you get up eagerly, praising God for the new opportunities He has waiting for you? Or is your first thought, "Oh, no, do I have to get out of bed?"

I'm not talking about "early birds" versus "night owls." Although the latter may start the day as grouches when forced to conform to 8-5 schedules, when self-employed or on weekend time they may well bounce straight out of bed upon first awakening (even if that's at noon). On the other hand, some people are ready to drop by 10 p.m. on Saturday night and nonetheless spend twenty minutes convincing themselves to get up after a full eight hours' sleep. I frequently fit into the latter category--a natural "morning person" who nonetheless greets the morning with dread rather than joy.

Such cases are rare among children, who are usually out of bed and raring to go the second their eyes open. It's the physically mature among us who tend to see the average day as bringing in not endless possibilities, but drudgery, futility, and reminders of dreams we never expect to fulfill. No wonder it's so tempting to hide under the covers and wish the morning would go away.

Perhaps it's as an antidote that most experts recommend morning for "quiet times." If remembering God is our first priority of the day--chronologically as well as in terms of importance--we're more likely to see the day with His clearer vision. Provided we approach quiet time with the right attitude: starting with praise; asking (with a genuine ear for the answer) what God would have us do; and only requesting strength to face our duty after we remind ourselves that He never sends anyone to do anything without providing strength for the task.

Those stuck in I-dread-getting-up ruts might benefit from memorizing and daily reciting Lam. 3:22-23:

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (NIV, emphasis added).

In the morning twilight,
Just before the day
Comes in all its brilliance,
Chasing stars away,
Now, before the hustle
Of our work begins,
Now we ask, our Father:
Keep our ways from sins.

As the sun is rising,
As each sleeper wakes,
Some will get up groaning,
Dreading all it takes:
But let us, God's children,
Greet the day with joy,
Glad to serve our Master,
Strong in His employ.

As the dark is fading,
As the sunlight spreads,
Let us start each morning,
As we leave our beds,
With a time of worship,
Strengthening for the day,
That our Father's blessing
Send us on the way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God Has a Mission for Each of Us

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you," God said to a reluctant Jeremiah in calling the prophet to his life mission. "Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jer. 1:5, NIV).

"He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth," said the angel Gabriel in predicting the coming of John the Baptist. "Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:15-17).

For each of His children, God has a unique mission in mind from the beginning.

While few Christians are called to be famous prophets or even megachurch pastors, most of us have some sense of being suited for a particular type of work. Not all our dreams are of God, of course--one danger signal is when we start thinking in terms of self-gratification, whether "health and wealth" or a sense of pride that we've done something great--but for every believer who makes his own plan and asks God to bless it, there's probably another who is too afraid or too lazy to follow through on a genuinely God-given vision. How many of us will spend our lives working at jobs we hate while dreaming of what we could be doing--and one day, like the lazy servant in the parable of the ten minas, will find ourselves trying to explain to God that "I didn't use what You gave me because I didn't trust myself--or You"?

Some people never even bother asking God what He wants them to do with their lives. Sad as that is, perhaps some of them are better off than those who know what He wants and keep putting it off. Or worse, who are willfully blind to it.

Worst of all are those who do ask--but who, consciously or unconsciously, have decided that they'll only accept God's answer if it fits their preconceived conditions. The Israelites in Jer. 42:1-43:7 were like that. First, asking the prophet for advice, they declared that "we will obey the Lord" no matter what He told them to do; then, when they got an answer they didn't like, they called God's spokesman a liar and proceeded to go through with their own plans.

Usually, God's overall mission for a life is related to things we enjoy doing--but in ways far grander and farther "out of the comfort zone" than we imagine. Are we willing to step out in faith, trusting that God's way will ultimately bring us more fulfillment than anything we could plan for ourselves?

God has a mission for each of us
Long before we set foot on earth:
He plans every life yet unconceived
And decrees each one's path at birth.
While some have been called to serve in wealth,
Some are rich in the Lord alone;
While some leave huge tracks in history,
Many labor obscure, unknown.

God has a mission for each of us;
Yet so many defy His will:
We make our own plans at our own whims,
And presume our own good or ill
Are best decided by we ourselves;
But the Lord of all lives knows best,
And to go our own ways brings only grief,
And will lead us to little rest.

God has a mission for each of us:
If we trust Him to guide our ways,
We'll do greater things than we'd conceive;
If we walk with Him all our days,
We will find our lives are filled with joy,
And when the final day does come,
Will find greater blessings await us still,
When He smiles and He says, "Well done!"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lost in Praise

Have you ever worshiped God so completely that for the moment nothing else matters? Much Christian "worship" is so monotone and unemotional that outsiders and insiders alike joke about the "frozen chosen." There is no shortage of church services where a single spontaneous "Hallelujah!" would get a person thrown out for creating a disturbance. One such person is said to have protested, "But I was just rejoicing that I've found the Lord!"

The usher replied, "Well, I'm sure you didn't find Him here!" Indeed, one wonders if God is as bored by some church services as the congregants apparently are.

Whatever the origin of the idea that worship must be super-dignified, it isn't recent. In 2 Samuel 6:13-22, King David was so full of praise for God that he expressed it physically, dancing about "with all his might" (v. 14, NIV). Latter-day disco dancers and break dancers probably could have shown no less enthusiasm. Presumably God was pleased; but not everyone was. When David got home from the celebration, his wife greeted him with a sarcastic scolding for his "vulgar" behavior.

Even if our temperaments or church traditions aren't conducive to exuberant physical worship, surely we can occasionally allow God's greatness and all He has done for us to overcome us with awe and gratitude. Too few of us regularly know the joy of becoming so lost in prayer or song that minutes and hours fly past unnoticed; we're more likely to keep checking our watches and to grumble if the sermon doesn't end on schedule.

If we find ourselves regarding church and Bible reading as dull obligations, and our prayer lives are virtually nonexistent, maybe it's because we are in effect hearing God's Word with deaf ears. Have "God created the heavens and the earth" and "Jesus laid down His life for us" become mere religious cliches in our indifferent brains; or do we ever stop to consider how wonderful such truths really are? Those who not only read Scripture, but make its real meaning the primary focus of their thought lives (cf. Ps. 1:2-3), rarely find worship boring or difficult.

In Heaven, we will worship God forever--and enjoy every bit of it. Why not start practicing right now?

To sing the songs of pure praise of God
And to lose yourself in the joy;
To pray with no sense of the passing hours,
And no wandering thoughts to annoy;
To set aside even your pet concerns,
And to see only God Himself:
This is surely to worship in spirit and truth,
To seek God and forget all else.

But weak mortal minds will fall ever short
Of the Heavenly realms' ideal;
Some earthly concern always will intrude,
And diminish our spirits' zeal.
It is only through Christ and His holy blood,
That was spilled for our own poor sake,
That we ever can hope to behold our Lord,
And of worship to Him partake.

So fill up your mind with His Holy Word
And be ever seeking His will;
Think on His great works and His mighty deeds;
Bid your wandering thoughts be still;
And remember above every other thing:
It was He alone Who found you,
So place none of your faith in your own soul's strength,
But in He Who alone is true!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

There's a Blowout Celebration God Has Waiting

How many Christmas parties and holiday events are you planning on attending this month? Many of us are invited to, or hear of, enough possibilities to take up every minute of our spare time!

While too much celebrating can produce undesirable effects, such as bloated stomachs and no quiet time for rejoicing in the true hope and peace of Christmas, there is certainly no Scriptural warrant for the idea that having a good time is in itself sinful. Jesus Himself likened the homecoming of God's children to a party with feasting and dancing (cf. Lk. 15:22-27). If Heaven celebrates whenever one soul is saved, there must be a party like no other planned for the time when all the saints are gathered for eternity.

Some people, who perhaps have met too many dour "Christians" and who can't picture a good time without rowdiness and drunkenness, figure they'd actually enjoy hell more than Heaven. Perhaps you've heard the story--usually circulated as an e-mail joke--about the salesman who died, was told he could choose where to go, and was shown a vision of Heaven as an "okay" but rather boring place, and then hell as a barroom where everyone was smoking and drinking and having a great time. He chose the latter place--and was promptly thrown into a pit of fire. When he protested that this was nothing like what he had been shown, he was told that "as a salesman you should have known better than to believe everything you saw in a demonstration." Satan has many people falling for that "demonstration" in real life--and it isn't funny.

In the end, a self-centered striving for maximum pleasure brings nothing but misery. We only enjoy ourselves to the fullest when we share our happiness with God and our loved ones.

That's what Heaven is all about.

There's a blowout celebration God has waiting
For the time when we will see earth's troubles end,
For the time when death and every pain will vanish
And we'll gather for a party with our Friend;
At that time all true believers will be seated
At the table of our God and Lord and Host,
And we'll feast and sing and celebrate forever,
To the praise of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

There's a banquet God's preparing for consumption:
Heavenly Manna that will make a Living Bread;
Living Water flowing from an endless fountain,
Flowing from our Lord and God, our Living Head;
Wine of cleansing, squeezed by His own hands to fill us;
And the fruit that grows upon Life's holy Tree:
There's a blowout celebration God has waiting,
For the day He sets us all completely free.

There's a blowout celebration God has waiting,
One that never will see song or music end,
That will never know the tears and ache of parting,
Where no hurt or pain will ever come again;
There's a party where we'll celebrate forever--
Nothing that this world can offer will compare--
There's a blowout celebration God has waiting,
And I hope, when I arrive, to see you there.

Monday, December 8, 2008

True Freedom

"Freedom" is a wonderful word, but like many noble-in-themselves concepts, it has frequently been twisted to suit evil purposes. "I have a right to my freedom" is a cry common to the teenager protesting a curfew, the motorist grumbling about speed limits, and the employee unwilling to do one more minute of work than he was officially hired for. Not to mention the sexually active couple demanding abortion without restriction, and the Web site creator posting "false testimony against your neighbor" (Ex. 20:16, NIV). To many people, "freedom" means the right to be selfish without restriction.

St. Paul saw freedom somewhat differently:
  • "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness" (Rom. 6:18).
  • "Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible" (1 Cor. 9:19).
  • "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love" (Gal. 5:13).

Likewise, Peter writes, "Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God" (1 Pet. 2:16). And as for those whose idea of freedom is unrestricted sin: "they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him" (2 Pet. 2:19).

Anyone who has struggled with drug addiction or pervasive depression knows that one need not become the legal property of another person to be a slave. But even in everyday matters, freedom without limits leads to disaster. The new worker, told to "just do what needs doing," freezes in dread of doing the wrong thing. The aspiring violinist, who thought she had taught herself fairly well, is told that she'll have to spend years unlearning second-rate techniques. Traffic slows to a crawl as a stoplight breaks down and each driver is forced to use his own judgment on how to get through the intersection without denting any fenders.

It's because our own sin-infected judgment is so poor, that freedom to do as we please equals serious trouble waiting to happen. Even our attempts to do right--even our attempts to follow God's law--go sour when we try to navigate on our own, leading us toward either despair or smugness. When Paul wrote "through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2), and elsewhere, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Gal. 5:1), he was thinking of the "slavery" that comes from the constant drive to "get things right," the drive that thinks in terms of "it's all up to me" and forgets that God is our true Source of strength.

And the only Master Who knows the real meaning of freedom.

Freedom to do all that's right in your eyes
Is life's cruelest slavery in disguise,
And freedom to have everything you wish
Bears the bitter taste of a poisoned dish;
For the more that you flout the rules God gives
And insist each should choose the way he lives,
The more you will find, as each day's race ends,
You are "free" of peace, and of joy, and friends.

When God made for us all the rules of life,
They were not, like the slash of a cruel knife,
Meant to ruin our fun and erase our smiles
And make life a highway of dull, dry miles.
No, God writes His rules with the pen of Love,
As His gifts that flow freely from above;
But we foolish souls cling like vine to tree
To the notion selfishness makes us free.

It is only when to God's will we bow
That we finally understand just how
Heaven's yoke of peace will relieve our strain
And to do God's work is the greatest gain.
There is peace and rest laboring for our Lord;
For the poorer souls there is rich reward;
And the truth that guides saintly lives must be:
Only slaves of God can be truly free.

Friday, December 5, 2008

"Thy Kingdom Come"

Anyone who has ever read the Gospels is familiar with the phrases "Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of Heaven" (one or the other of the two expressions occurs nearly 100 times in the NIV New Testament). And your church may well be one of the many that each week pray "Thy Kingdom come" as they recite the Lord's Prayer. Yet how many of us, living in today's free and prosperous societies, are really as eager to see the coming of the Kingdom as were the early believers? Is our honest reaction to the idea of Christ's return "the sooner the better," or do we secretly hope He waits at least a decade or two so we won't be kept from enjoying the dream trips or perfect retirements we're saving for? Do we really look forward to seeing all evil and pain permanently driven out, or do we harbor misgivings that a perfect world might be a little boring, devoid of drama and excitement?

In this current world (not to mention in any great work of fiction), success and satisfaction depends so heavily on winning against powerful odds that, notwithstanding the pleasure we take in a day to relax or a "happily ever after" ending, many of us find it hard to imagine permanent rest as an altogether good thing. Someone has even written an allegory where the hero goes after death to a place where every wish is instantly granted--and eventually comes to realize that he is not in Heaven but in hell. No, most of us don't really want to spend forever lying on a couch eating bonbons, or "sitting on a cloud strumming a harp."

But is that really all there is to Heaven? After all, there was work--presumably including some hard work--in the world before the Fall (Gen. 2:15). Nor does the thrill of competition and challenge require real enemies as opponents: ask any child who has had a wonderful day playing outdoors with friends. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the children and the childlike (e. g., Luke 18:16); wouldn't the experience of Heaven, then, be like a child's concept of the perfect day--full of freedom to play hard, to laugh with pure delight, to enjoy the company of friends and to make all the noise and expend all the energy one pleases? The eternal, dour church service many people imagine as Heaven--which seems superior to hell only in being the lesser of two evils--could hardly be more different.

We don't yet know many specific details about Heaven. But we can be certain that those who go there will never compare it unfavorably with the present life.

There are kingdoms of wealth
And kingdoms of power
And kingdoms where pleasure reigns,
But only the Kingdom
Beyond this world
Is free from the sin that stains.
Each of us would rule
As a king or queen
And would build our own throne of pride,
But the greatest Kingdom
Has but one King,
And we must be servants inside.

There are kingdoms of greed
Where deluded souls
Would see God grant their every whim;
There are "pinnacle kingdoms"
All built on show
And in going out on a limb;
There are kingdoms galore
Where for earthly gain
People bow to the devil's ways;
But let me fix my eyes
On the Kingdom of God,
Who alone is worthy of praise.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rejoice in the Lord Always

"Rejoice in the Lord always," writes St. Paul in Phil. 4:4 (NIV). "I will say it again: Rejoice!"

Maybe Paul found it necessary to say it twice because we so easily forget. Things--little things and big--go wrong every day; and when they do, human nature seems to temporarily lose all ability to see anything good in life. Many of us let a rude clerk, a honking horn, a long wait, or a bumped elbow ruin the next several hours. Even a real tragedy often gets more emotional energy than it deserves; most of us have met people who are still crying or sulking over something that happened thirty years ago, and who have long since used up everyone else's sympathy.

Nor do we necessarily rejoice properly when things go exceptionally well. The employee who has just received a raise and an extra week's vacation with pay, the lottery winner, the newly engaged couple may all be bubbling over with delight: but how many of them are actually rejoicing in the Lord, rather than in the circumstance? Most of us actually forget God faster in the good times than in the bad. When everything is going wrong, we cry out for help; after we get it, we say a quick "thank You" and go back to enjoying life's gifts with hardly a thought to the Giver. Few of us are as spiritually mature as the young man who said, "I prayed for months that my mother would be healed of cancer, and now that she has been, I intend to spend an equal amount of prayer time thanking God."

For too many of us, our level of what we call joy always matches life's circumstances: up one day and down the next. If we want to achieve consistent, deep joy, we have to get our minds off circumstances and onto the Lord, Who never changes and Who is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).

When life fills with obvious blessings,
And vigorous health is your lot,
Content yourself not with mere pleasure,
But rejoice in your Heavenly treasure,
Lest the Lord, Who gives all, be forgot.

When life is a maze of frustration,
And everything seems to go wrong,
Do not whine that you deserve better,
But praise God, Who released your sin's fetter,
And rejoice in His grace with a song.

When tragedy ruins all you hoped for,
And life seems too heavy to bear,
Do not let despairing consume you,
But rejoice in the Lord, Who renews you,
And Who has better answers to prayer.

No life is an endless vacation;
We all climb a boulder-strewn trail.
But, whether in laughter or weeping,
Find your joy in the Lord, Who is keeping
Heavenly blessings that never can fail.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Rainbow Song

According to Genesis 9:12-15, God created rainbows to signify His covenant of mercy, as a promise to never again before the end of the world send as catastrophic a judgment as the Great Flood. Centuries later, Ezekiel saw the glory of God "like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day" (Ez. 1:28, NIV); and the book of Revelation (4:3; 10:1) portrays rainbows as surrounding the majesties of Heaven. Even without fantastic visions, those glorious bands of colored light, seeming to form a bridge between earth and sky, have long served as a means of raising human eyes to the Creator.

Although rainbows have received some bad press in recent decades because of their popularity as New Age symbols, the fact that some people "exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator" (Rom. 1:25) does not nullify the fact that " everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving" (1 Tim. 4:4). This is especially true of natural beauty, which can move our hearts in special ways--if we let it. Many people miss the rainbow because they are too busy watching their feet, trying to avoid the puddles left by the rain. Worse, many people keep their eyes so firmly fixed at ground level that they hardly know whether the weather is sunny or cloudy.

If you've been one of those people, try making a conscious effort to look up more often. You may be amazed at some of the views God has waiting for you!

(He in fact has a pretty good one scheduled for early this very evening; read the details here.)

There's a band within the rainbow that's as red as any blood;
And God, the great Creator, is the Source of all that's good.

And God sent our Lord Jesus to make us pure and free;
Light and water make the rainbow, that great sign for all who see.

There's a band within the rainbow that's as orange as the fruit;
And Jesus, our great Savior, sprang to birth from David's root.

And God sent our Lord Jesus to make us pure and free;
Light and water make the rainbow, that great sign for all who see.

There's a band within the rainbow that's as yellow as the sun;
And we all are fit for Heaven through the work our Lord has done.

And God sent our Lord Jesus to make us pure and free;
Light and water make the rainbow, that great sign for all who see.

There's a band within the rainbow that's as green as any tree;
And Jesus, our Great Savior, gave His life for you and me.

And God sent our Lord Jesus to make us pure and free;
Light and water make the rainbow, that great sign for all who see.

There's a band within the rainbow that's as blue as any sky;
And Jesus, our great Savior, loved us all enough to die.

And God sent our Lord Jesus to make us pure and free;
Light and water make the rainbow, that great sign for all who see.

There's a band within the rainbow that's as purple as deep wine;
And Jesus, our great Savior, is our power-inducing Vine.

And God sent our Lord Jesus to make us pure and free;
Light and water make the rainbow, that great sign for all who see.