Tag Archive | transformation

Darkness Dispelled

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes from a one-word prompt, without heavy editing, and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “darkness.” 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5 ESV).

It’s Christmas time, obviously. I love it, and I don’t love it so much in some aspects. I hate the commercialism. I love the lights and the pretty decorations. I hate that sacred songs are used to try to sell stuff. Although I do know that many “sacred” songs were taken from old bar songs and other not-so-sacred arenas.

I also know that we have taken other celebrations from the secular, and even pagan, into our stable of Christian holidays. And I’m really OK with that, for the most part, because I know that when God came into my life, He changed me. He brought His light and it dispelled the darkness.

So taking something that was once used for pagan rituals and making it new follows the gospel narrative, does it not? So when what once was a bar song becomes remade into a hymn of praise to God, I think God smiles.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Transformation, that’s what it’s all about.

star lights

So Jesus, coming into the world and bringing the light of life to a dark and musty home for animals, transforms everything He touches. The dirty become clean, the broken become beautiful, the dark become infused with light.

That’s the gospel. That’s the message of Christmas. That’s what the beautiful lights represents.

Darkness is dispelled.

FMF button

My Journey to Jesus

I remember the day clearly. A group of us junior-highers were in the beautiful redwood forest of California, not too far from where we lived, for a weekend spring retreat at a Young Life camp. The year was 1975. The day: April 19.

Maybe my memory is not so clear, because I don’t remember the name of the man who spoke to us that weekend, and I don’t remember all of the fun activities we enjoyed, but I do remember this: God met me there that weekend.

I had been a church-goer all my life. I knew who Jesus was. I knew He had died on a cross and been raised from the dead. What I didn’t realize, though, is that He had done those things for me.

The speaker that weekend, at the end of one of his talks, challenged us to go out by ourselves around the camp and talk to God about what we had heard. I think it was the first time in my life that I truly, from my heart, talked to God. I finally realized that, good as I was, I was still a sinner. That evening, sitting on a big rock out in the middle of God’s glorious creation, I finally surrendered my life to Jesus. I no longer wanted to be in control. I wanted to be made clean and accept that gift of salvation that He offered. I was reborn. And it was glorious.

Did I see fireworks and feel a dramatic difference that night? No, the process of transformation is life long. In fact, not entirely sure about what I had just done, over the course of the next several months, I doubted my sincerity and asked Jesus to come into my heart many more times. I have a feeling He just smiled at me and said, “Child, I’m already here.”

What a relief to not be in control. Though I must say I do try to wrest that control back every once in a while (OK, more like all the time). Love, joy, peace, patience; all of these are fruit of the Spirit now living within me. Where would I be today if not for His grace?

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

Thankful today for:

210. hdtv

211. working internet

212. an approaching weekend


“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I woke up this morning to the song “Shine” performed by the Newsboys. I’ve never been able to fully understand the lyrics, so I decided to Google them. They’re very weird, but oh so true about how only the love of God can transform people.

Look at the Apostle Paul, or Chuck Colson, or Nicky Cruz (of The Cross and the Switchblade fame). Those are famous examples of people who were transformed by Christ, but I can look at my own life and be very thankful that Jesus also transformed me. I was a liar, self-centered, fearful, a people pleaser, never finding satisfaction in anything I did. When Jesus came into my life, He began the process of transformation, which will continue until I am with Him in glory, but the signs of which you can get a glimpse on a daily basis.

Here are the words to the Newsboys’ song:

Dull as dirt
You can’t assert the kind of light
That might persuade
A strict dictator to retire
Fire the army
Teach the poor origami
The truth is in
The proof is when
You hear your heart stop asking,
“What’s my motivation?”

And try as you may, there isn’t a way
To explain the kind of change
That would make an Eskimo renounce fur
That would make a vegetarian barbecue hamster
Unless you can trace this about-face
To a certain sign…

Make ’em wonder what you’ve got
Make ’em wish that they were not
On the outside looking bored
Let it shine before all men
Let’em see good works, and then
Let ’em glorify the Lord

Out of the shaker and onto the plate
It isn’t Karma
It sure ain’t fate
That would make a Deadhead sell his van
That would make a schizophrenic turn in his crayons
Oprah freaks
And science seeks a rationale
That shall excuse
This strange behavior

When you let it shine
You will inspire
The kind of entire turnaround
That would make a bouncer take ballet
(even bouncers who aren’t happy)
But out of the glare
With nowhere to turn
You ain’t gonna learn it on “What’s My Line?”

Make ’em wonder what you’ve got
Make ’em wish that they were not
On the outside looking bored
Let it shine before all men
Let’em see good works, and then
Let ’em glorify the Lord

Thankful today for:

204. mlb.com

205. other people’s cooking

206. a breeze through open doors and windows

207. modern dentistry

208. a good testing week so far

209. blossoms on my spathiphyllum (aka peace lily)