Let It Shine!: Color My World

 “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” 

The words of this children’s gospel song, written in 1920 by Avis Burgeson Christiansen, are simple and their message far reaching. What child hasn’t sung it? What adult doesn’t remember it?

But the more important question: do we hold true to its mission?

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16, KJV


Color My World

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” 

John 12:35-36, NIV

Shine,_Day_1,_Photo_1In 1961, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color premiered on television. Founder and creative genius Walt Disney opened the color broadcast with these words: “The world we live in would look pretty dull if Mother Nature used a black and white palette and painted only in shades of gray.” But while some viewers watched the show in Technicolor, our home—along with a majority of others—continued to watch in black and white. Though color was available, we remained locked in worlds of gray.

I was surprised to learn from a website about blindness that some who are blind, if given the opportunity to see, wouldn’t trade their worlds of darkness for a world of sight.

One man stated, “I’ve been blind since birth, and I can honestly say that the thought of suddenly getting the vision I’ve never had would scare me to death. I don’t know if I could make the adjustment. I’m secure in my blindness.”Shine,_Day_1,_Photo_2

Another said, “If I could have surgery that would give me sight, I wouldn’t do it. I’m happy with me and who I am. As a totally blind person, I function well. I just wouldn’t want to start over.”

For these individuals, the fear of change is greater than the fear of darkness.

Those of us who can see find it hard to comprehend how anyone could acclimate themselves to a world of darkness, but in reality, we have. We’ve conditioned our minds, hardened our hearts, and closed our eyes to the moral decay of our society. Sin that once shocked us now mocks us. Actions once forbidden now strut unhidden. Laws once protected now are rejected―masked in a smokescreen of tolerance and inclusion.

As today’s text reveals, two days before His death on the cross, Jesus warned of the peril that would befall those who chose to walk in darkness. Rejecting Him and the light of His Word would result in spiritual blindness and death. It was a harsh truth then and remains a harsh truth now.

However, in Christ’s love and mercy, He followed His solemn warning with liberating words of hope for us all. The Light of the World is still with us and is available for all of humanity. By believing in Jesus, we can all become children of light. No one needs to remain locked in a world of gray.

Don’t permit your fear of change to be greater than your fear of darkness. Color your world with light and rejoice in this truth: The darker the night, the brighter the children of light.

Let it shine!


Fearful to Fearless: Things That Go Thump in the Night

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 6:31, NIV

From Genesis to Revelation, God exhorts believers not to be afraid. Join me this week as we venture to be fearless in a world packed with reasons to fear.


Things That Go Thump in the Night

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” 

Proverbs 3:24, NIV

“Burglary! Burglary! You have violated a protected area! Leave the premises immediately!”

child-666133_640Our alarm split the stillness of the early morning air. All too familiar with the drill, my husband grabbed the gun and checked the area indicated by the motion detector. I groggily gave our password to the voice on the line at Central Station. The good news―it was another false alarm. Forever a mystery. The bad news―it wasn’t even 5 a.m., and I was wide awake again. I surrendered to the adrenaline pumping through my veins, hit the switch on the coffeemaker, and reluctantly conceded defeat.

Clutching my coffee mug, I sank into the couch on the landing―my favorite place to greet the day―and noticed that our daughter’s bedroom door was still shut. Her room was dark and quiet. Had she even flinched as the 120-decibel alarm screamed overhead? If she had been awakened, she remained unrattled by the morning’s chaos. Her composure was the epitome of trust in us, her parents, the ones responsible for her protection.

Do I exhibit this same level of trust in my heavenly Father, who is sovereign over all that threatens to harm me? Do you? I’ve never thought of myself as a person plagued by fear, but as I become increasingly aware of the evil that prevails in this world, I can sense an uneasiness hovering just beneath the surface of my thoughts. Fear of the unknown. Fear of threats. Across our nation, we are growing more and more apprehensive concerning terrorist attacks, the economy, unemployment, retirement, health care, and the upcoming elections. If we dwell on catastrophic events, our vulnerability as a nation, or persecution worldwide, we can conjure up an incredible amount of fear―fear that will hold us hostage even when the alarms are false.

As responsible parents and citizens, it’s wise to invest in measures to secure the safety of our homes and our loved ones. But what about those things over which we have no control? Do we react to them with fear and anxiety? In life, it’s impossible to know all we’ll need to overcome, but it is possible to know the Overcomer. Scripture tells us that the God who watches over us neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:3). If we have a relationship with our heavenly Father and trust in His love and protection, we’ll be less disturbed by the alarms from without or within. As we rest in His care, our Father can be trusted to handle whatever threatens to invade our positions of peace.

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety”

(Psalm 4:8, NIV).

Sleep tight!


Fearful to Fearless: Hide-and-Seek

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 6:31, NIV

From Genesis to Revelation, God exhorts believers not to be afraid. Join me this week as we venture to be fearless in a world packed with reasons to fear.



But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Genesis 3:10, NIV

“Come out, come out, wherever you are!”


These were the words of the person designated “it” in the game of hide-and-seek―a favorite after-dinner game in the neighborhood where I grew up. After counting to one hundred as fast as he or she could, the seeker would try to find those who were hiding. The goal was to hide so well that you couldn’t be found. The last one found was the winner, and then that person was it.

Being it was fun, but for me, the challenge of stumping the person who was looking for me was more fun. I hated to be found.

Today’s text is the first conversation recorded between God and Adam in the garden of Eden. Adam’s response to God’s “Where are you?” was “I was afraid … so I hid.”

Adam and Eve’s sin created a barrier between them and their Creator. The loving fellowship they’d shared in the garden was now broken. Sin not only brought a sense of shame to their lives, it birthed fear. And humankind has been afraid ever since.

Our sin separates us from our Creator and breaks our fellowship with Him. Just as Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves, we make foolish attempts to hide our sin from an all-knowing, all-seeing God. We strive to justify our sin with human logic, good works, and even silly humor, hoping to make it acceptable. God isn’t swayed by our logic, nor is he impressed by our works. He is not laughing. Instead, He longs to restore us and renew our fellowship with him. No matter how far we stray, God always comes looking for us.

Have you ever played hide-and-seek with a young child and left just enough of yourself visible so that you could be found? Chances are when you were discovered, you responded with laughter and a big bear hug. The fear that has dogged us all our lives is a lie—that God does not want us. Instead, He loves us. We should long to be in His presence, for being found out is not fun, but being found is freeing.

God went to extreme measures to restore fellowship with a fallen world. The blood of His only Son was the ransom that covered our sin.  Are you hiding and afraid? You have no reason to fear the One who loves you and longs to be with you. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NIV).

Come out of hiding. Make yourself visible. I once was lost, but now I’m found.

I love it when I’m found.