Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sticking Together (A Lesson from the Bees)

Our building recently had some visitors outside of a coworkers window. They were bees in migration. Instead of wasting energy building a nest, the bees cling together to form a hollow structure for a few days to rest from their travels. 

I couldn't help but think of the church as we continue to bring the news of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Knowing where we are going we WILL need to cling together in our common love for Jesus, supporting and helping in the big picture. 

May we not get lost in our own small stories, but gain a vision and willing attitude to complete a task that involves every believer doing their part.

Your sister, your servant 

~ Kendra

P.S. My boss took the pictures. They are for real! There's nothing supporting the nest other than bees. You can throw a rock at it, and they all break apart. (And probably chase you - My other boss and his teen sons/friend decided to test it out one night. After throwing some rocks and taking off in a sprint, one of them slammed into an in-ground electric box during his panic flight from the bees. Hilarious! He lived, but limped the rest of the way. When they all piled into the car, they realized that none of them actually hit the bees and they remained undisturbed.) 

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When God Draws Near (Guided Meditation #2)

The nearness of God brought change for all of us. By stepping down to earth, Jesus humiliated himself to give us life. But that humiliation was not the end. Exaltation follows. Let these verses be a thinking guide to the person and work of Christ:

And the Lord appointed a great fish… (Jonah 1:17)

…“I called out of my distress to the LORD,
And He answered me.
I cried for help from the depth of Sheol;
You heard my voice.
For you had cast me into the deep…
So I said, ‘I have been expelled from Your sight.
Nevertheless, I will look again toward Your holy temple.” (Jonah 2:2-4)

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40)

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19)

…“you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.” (John 16:20)

Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” (Mark 16:2-3)

…“They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” (Luke 20:2)

…and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings… (John 20:5)

And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw… (v.6)

But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw… (v.11)

…“Why do you seek the living One among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)

…“O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” (vv. 24-26)

Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (John 20:16)

“See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” (Luke 24:39)

…So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. (John 21:7)

…The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (John 20:20)

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me? ...Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” (John 21:17)

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority on heaven and earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit...I am with you always..." (Matthew 28:18-20)

“In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” (Acts 6:11)

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3)

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:18-20)

And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting...and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:2-4)

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer...And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. (Acts 2:42-45)

So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily. (Acts 16:5)

While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and in hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)

“You will be hated by all because of My name…” (Matthew 10:22)

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance…for while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:3-6)

…to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. (Romans 16:27)

Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:20)

…To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. (2 Peter 3:18)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. (Jude 24-25)

“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (v.11)

And they sang a new song saying, “Worthy are you to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (5:9)

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (v.12)

…“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” (v.13)

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them...And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light... (Revelation 21:3, 23)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Covering removed.
A generation exposed
Howls at the moon.

Cover us, Lord.
Gather us in.
Your robe to shelter,
Foster life therein.

No boundaries drawn.
A generation distracted
Revels 'til Christ's dawn.

Cover us, Lord.
Draw us near.
Holiest of Holies,
Fill our eyes with tears.

Glory through word and deed.
A generation humbled
Buttresses a revolution of redeemed.

The loss of protective spiritual covering leaves a generation stripped - in family, in community, in culture. Now a shepherd among God's children, I see and once knew about living without God. Limited to humanism as a life philosophy, man is degraded to the whim of his own carnal desires and hopeless existence - like an animal. To weaken them all the more, our world entitles young generations to immediate gratification, but offers them no boundaries as a guide.

May God continue to break our hearts for the lost. They are without HIM. Let us continue to gather them into the protective spiritual covering in Christ, speaking the good news...and welcoming as many as will come into the community of the redeemed!

(c) 2008 by Kendra Hinkle.

Friday, March 07, 2008

When God Draws Near (Guided Meditation #1)

When God draws near, things change. Natural laws of science bow. The earth quakes. People prostrate themselves. Yet, in the record of human history God is also compassionate and desiring of intimacy with us who He created. In mercy He develops relationship and causes His great name to be known. The following is a guide for meditation, the first of two for Easter. Not all of the details are given, but each Scripture is meant to cause your mind to remember its context and God's place in the moment. Take time to think, to remember, to mull over who He is and what He has done.

Then the LORD God...breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence...(Gen 3:8)

Noah was a blameless man, righteous in his time. Noah walked with God. (Gen 6:9)

And He took [Abraham] outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars if you are able to count them...So shall your descendants be." (Gen 16:5)

"Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel..." (Gen 32:28)

"God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by great deliverance." (Gen 45:7)

"...remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." (Exodus 3:5)

"...when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." (Ex 12:13)

Now Mt. Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire...and the whole mountain quaked violently. (Ex 19:18)

Then the LORD spoke to Moses..."you shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy." (Leviticus 19:1-2)

But when they arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon [a stone idol] had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. And the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold. (1 Samuel 5:4)

Then Nathan said to David, "Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you." (1 Chronicles 17:2)

One thing I have asked from the LORD...
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life (Psalm 27:4)

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
But to Your name give glory
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of your truth. (Psalm 115:1)

I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple... "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips..." (Isaiah 6:1,5)

"Do not rejoice, O Israel, with exultation like the nations! For you have played the harlot, forsaking your God." (Hosea 9:1)

"Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!" (Daniel 3:25)

When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter... (Esther 5:2)

Then you will know that I am the LORD when I have dealt with you for My name's sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds..." (Ezekiel 40:44)

"But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall." (Malachi 4:2)

For your husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the LORD of hosts;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5)

Behold, My servant will prosper,
He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted...
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many
And interceded for the transgressors. (Isaiah 52:13; 53:12) for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel,
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity. (Micah 5:2)

"Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And, behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus." (Luke 1:30-31)

"Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:20)

"...for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)

...magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2: 1-2)

The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. (Luke 2:40)

He had no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. (Isaiah 53:2)

And the devil said to Him, "I will give you all this domain and its glory...if you worship before me it shall all be Yours." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only." (Luke 4:6-8)

He opened His mouth and began to teach them... (Matt 5:2)

Jesus said to Simon, "Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men." (Luke 5:10)

"I have come in my Father's name..." (John 5:43)

And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." (Luke 5:13)

"Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal...This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." (John 6:27-29)

And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion;" for many demons had entered the man. (Luke 8:30)

And Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things." (Mark 11:29)

"Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)

"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." (Matthew 7:14)

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)

"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him do death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the thrid day He will be raised up." (Matthew 20:18-19)

Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:5)

While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28)

...And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood... (Luke 22:44)

"My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will but as You will." (Matthew 26:39)

...The one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceeding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. (Luke 22:47)

They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him... (John 19:17-18)

He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised,and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God and afflicted.

But He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him.
And by His scourging we are healed.

All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall upon Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth. (Isaiah 53:3-7)

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon the land, until the ninth hour. (Matthew 27:45)

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. (v. 50)

And behold the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom (v. 51)

Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:43)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Voice of God (Psalm 29 & Phil 2)

Psalm 29 says that your voice is powerful and majestic. It bursts the cedars, hews out flames of fire, and sets to flight your creation. The voice that spoke the world into existence can lay it waste by its magnificent essence. This is the voice I wait for. This is the voice I want, the cloak of royal might I want to be protected by.

But when Christ came, his voice was subject to weakness - to the place of creation. His flesh became like ours, yet without sin. His words were that of a friend, that of a man, that of a teacher. A voice rejected and trampled upon, few heeded its authority. His cloak surely felt like sackcloth and ashes compared to the robe of glory He left in heaven:

who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:7-8)

So which voice do I listen for in life?

Here is my assurance: I am clothed in the words and person of Christ. As a faithful servant I can risk mighty steps of faith to bring God glory, for Christ himself did so in the will and pleasure of God. Whether clothed by a voice of might or a voice of meekness, I am His.

(C) Kendra Hinkle 2008.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R). Copy right (C) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.