Today’s blog is dedicated to the memory of Jonathon E. Perez. He passed away yesterday morning after battling cancer and it sent a ripple of sadness through our Sunday morning church services. Jon was truly a very special person in so many ways. His heart was bigger than most, he served relentlessly, he smiled unceasingly, and lit up whatever room he entered by his mere presence. As I took my place at the table yesterday at Liquid Church to teach a class to new believers, I realized this was Jon’s class. He was the one who always taught this particular class - the go to guy for getting people excited about God! I thought of that this morning as I read from Psalm 19 about how the heavens display who God is and the work of his amazing hands. Without a single word the clouds, sky, raindrops, and stars point us right back to God and his awesome ways. I thought to myself, “that’s what Jon did. He pointed us to God in all he did whether by word or deed.” A friend at church said to me that he didn’t know Jon that long but somehow he had a profound impact on him – he left a mark. Yes, he had a contagious magnetic love that made you feel like God was in the room. I pray that we could all leave a mark on those around us that points them to God and his grace and mercy. We love you Jon and hold on to the hope that someday we will see you again making everyone in heaven laugh a little bit more!
The Observation Deck
Yesterday I was driving home from church listening to a CD in my car. A certain song struck me – it spoke of getting closer to God and doing everything possible to get to Him. It occurred to me that heaven’s throne is open. That’s right, the sign on the door says OPEN FOR ALL. It took me a moment to wrap my head around that concept. There are no qualifications, no secret code, and no experience necessary to access the greatest power in all of the universe. Picture this, the God of that very same universe is standing with open arms waiting to embrace each of us and have us check in with him. He offers to listen and provide whatever we need. It’s open. Yes, the throne of God is open today, right now! How often we race right passed it or ignore it and continue with our busy, broken lives without even stopping to take a look. I pray we can each pause today and step into the presence of God. The throne is open and God is waiting for you.
**As a side note, the song I was listening to was called Gotta Get To Jesus. Ok, I wrote it which makes it doubly awkward to write this but God sometimes uses our own words to minister to us. Here’s a link to the tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZwm4k3BkY4
2016. It’s got a nice ring to it. Nice even numbers. Makes me feel at ease, happy, safe, and comfortable somehow. Yeah, it’s just a number – has anything else really changed? Well that part’s up to me isn’t it. We want the world to change, the co-worker in the next cube to change, or maybe some of our family or friends, but we got nothing that can make that happen – nothing! All we’ve got is our perception, our outlook, and our attitude and those are things we can turn around, wrestle with, and stumble over until we realign the looking glass. It’s true. I can’t control anyone – how they think or react – but I can certainly do something about my thoughts and actions. Some people’s words and actions have this way of penetrating our skin and holding us hostage – time to put on the rubber suit and let them bounce away. I’m not responsible for what someone else does or says and they’re not responsible for what I do or say. Good. Okay, we got this. So let’s make 2016 a year of becoming the best we can be by changing the things we can!
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things that I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”