(The latest iPod Devotional from theFish.com. A new one is available each Monday at theFish.com)
It is summer in Texas and that means one thing. It is hot. In fact, it is so hot that…
…farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs.
…you learn the hard way that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
…you discover that in July, it takes only 1 finger to drive your car.
…hot water now comes out of both taps.
All of those are true because someone’s uncle checked them on Snopes. Really. Some guy told my friend that and somebody else said he was trustworthy. So forward those “facts” to everyone.
When summer hits it is always nice to be able to retreat from the heat. This summer’s escape was to Southern California to take a little sea cruise and hang out with some dear friends. And while I acknowledge that it was refreshing to drop thirty degrees from the Texas temp it was more refreshing to be with friends who are grace-misters. Yep, our friends Ed and Judy Underwood are like those giant misters you see at ballgames and amusement parks except they spray out acceptance, love and grace.
There’s a place that I love to run and play
There’s a place that I sing new songs of praise
Dancin’ with my Father God in fields of grace
Being with fellow believers who love you as you are and not for what they want you to be feels like running in a field of grace. Telling trusted friends everything that is true about you and being loved even more is running in a field of grace. Sharing impossible dreams without fear of ridicule is running in a field of grace. Feeling the freedom to be exactly who you are all of the time is running in a field of grace.
There’s a place where religion finally dies
There’s a place that I lose my selfish pride
Maybe that is why the time with our friends is so special. It is about Jesus and not about agenda. It is about relationship and not about religion. It is about giving and not about getting. It is about community and not about control. Those are the things that make you want to dance and run through the fields of grace.
I love my Father, my Father loves me
I dance for my Father, my Father sings over me
And nothing can take that away from me
I am sure I will soon crash from this spiritual high. I know that life and broken washing machines (currently waiting for the repair guy) and other mundane hassles will try to steal my joy. But I hope I remember the joy of running through the fields of grace with our friends. The Message puts a little different twist on the familiar words of Jesus from the tenth chapter of John.
My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. (John 10, The Message)
So that is my focus this day. Life happens but I know this to be true. I love my Father, my Father loves me. No one can take that away from me because it is promised in God’s Word. And even in this Texas heat I can worship and run through fields of grace. Even after someone e-mails to tell me sternly that those statements above are not confirmed on Snopes.com.