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Showing posts from September, 2009

EASY

I prefer things to be easy. Will I never learn? Effortless, carefree subsistence ultimately leaves me empty, shallow, selfish and without purpose. It is the daily grind of keeping a steadfast heart that produces the genuine joy found only in faithful obedience to God. Lord God, Fountain of Truth and Wisdom, another day, another lesson, oh joy...no really...OH JOY ETERNAL! My heart is inclined to learn.

FIRM FOUNDATION

“On Christ the Solid Rock I stand.” Words of the great hymns are resounding in my heart today. I have been in an earthquake; it is deeply unsettling when earth shifts, that which has always been stable heaves beneath. These are moments of authentication. Rock of Ages, You are the only Firm Foundation. Lord, plant my feet, all other ground is sinking sand…all other ground is sinking sand.

PRETENSE

Living by pretense is no life at all. The raw, straightforward simplicity of the Gospel rips away pretentiousness. Christ’s example of love, obedience, truth and power awakens virtue and exterminates fraud. Lord God Almighty, shine Your blazing Light of Truth in me today. Illuminate the dark corners of my soul with Your brightness and strip away every veneer.

DIVINE AUTHORITY

We sometimes confuse DIVINE AUTHORITY, which is a gift of grace, with being an AUTHORITY ON THE DIVINE: confidently condemning those not like us. From there it is a slippery slope. Discernment has great value, but we often move into judgment and dec...larative pronouncements that bring division. Lord, help me to discern, think and speak things ONLY bathed in Your love.

FEAR OF GOD

Fear of God delivers us from every other fear. It contains no trepidation, anxiety, panic or horror, only reverential respect and deference to His nature and will. Fear of God opens our understanding, fills our lives with true praise, grants peace in a storm and empowers us to love others. Forgiveness is rooted in it, holiness and kindness too. Lord, I fear You Alone, my heart is at rest.

MORNING SUPRISE

Today I arose late. Extra sleep, what a nice gift. Then a beautiful morning surprise: the river glistening, golden sunlight, abundant greenery, azure sky blotted with wispy clouds and a double rainbow ground to the heavens to ground. I stand amazed. O Lord my God, You shout Your glory in all that You make. You clothe the day with exquisiteness, then place two strands of jewels over it. I begin in awesome wonder.

PAIN

Pain has a unique way of capturing all of our attention. Life without agony of some variety seems impossible. I must not let sorrow of any sort have more than momentary notice or it will sequester everything around it. Giving, loving, serving require doing so THROUGH pain. Lord I believe; those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. Harvest comes. I rejoice.

HOLY TENSION

Jesus declares "Come Unto Me." Jesus declares: "Go into all the world." There is no confusion in these juxtaposed commands. I must learn to live obediently, constantly in this holy tension. I cannot offer to others out of an empty well, I must not hoard for myself that which belongs to the world around me. Lord, teach me to come…teach me to go…my life, for you.

NO FRAUD

A relationship with God must be real. In our other interpersonal connections we are accustomed to holding back, doling out our true person in controlled spurts. There can be none of this with God, He KNOWS us; we cannot fool Him. No fraud. What deliverance and freedom we can know in unrestrained surrender! Lord, You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb, I am Yours.

BEYOND COMPREHENSION

My mental grasp of God is unnecessary since His greatness is beyond human comprehension. I don’t have to wait for more understanding of His works and ways to praise Him. He is worthy of outrageous, extravagant acclamation and adoration NOW. Great is the Lord and worthy of all honor and glory! My heart and mouth are full of praise to You my God and my strength.

ARRESTED

Striving to enter rest, the daily paradox of the soul. It seems that most of my energy is exhausted in resistance, only to find rest in abandon. What sweet whisperings await the submitted heart! Lord, arrest my body, soul and spirit. Teach me to succumb to Your promptings BEFORE running headlong into walls. Constrain me to “Come Unto” before I ”Go Therefore.” At Your feet is the “better part.”

MERCY

The mercy of God requires no conditions. By the time we need mercy, nothing more CAN be done, that is why we need it. We who know little of unconditional love struggle with the very idea that God offers mercy of this nature. Don’t get me wrong…grace and mercy are murderous. Every last strand of selfishness will succumb to their work. Most Merciful and Gracious God, do your holy work in me today.

IMPEDIMENTS

Will God SPEAK to the depths of a heart not OPEN to His voice? Can I expect God’s guidance in issues closed to His counsel? In His love He DOES speak through humanly held barriers, standing just outside the door knocking. Holy Father, I seek hope that only You may bring, uproot every impediment to Your voice within me. I long for Your words my Lord. Your words.

THANKFUL

I woke up thankful today. Thankfulness floats close to the surface for me, but it is usually not my first reaction. Constant, auto-response gratefulness requires a level of surrender that still eludes me. Typically I must first navigate through a maze of my own thoughts and emotions BEFORE I reach the bliss of thankfulness. Today, I am there; thank You Father for the early gift.

CARPE DIEM

A new day, another shot at obedience. Complications, diversions and agitations are always present, but the chance to serve God THIS day will not. As compelling as distractions might be, I must let them fall behind. Today I will "carpe diem" by pursuing the opportunities that God presents. Dear Father, deliver me from disorientation, direct my steps. Thank You for divinely guided focus.

ABIDING PEACE

Sunday Morning…mist, empty streets, Word, Spirit, peacefulness...check the clock, everything changes. Hurry up, finish dressing, get out of the way, through the doors, so many details, greet, greet, conversations, find a seat, the band begins, eyes closed...mist, Word, Spirit, peacefulness. Lord, teach me more about ABIDING peace. Today.

FULLY AWAKE

I awakened this morning working on something with real-world intensity. As it turned out, all my dream world labors were for naught. It FELT authentic, I perceived it as reality, but achieved nothing. Now I am fully awake, but will what I do accomplish something of lasting value? Lord of Truth, I confess my capacity for false perception. Grant to me authenticity that pleases You today.

DAWN

In the dawning light of early morning it is difficult to see details; familiar trees are shadowy giants. I know there is depth, beauty, life, but I can’t see it…yet. Another day, God’s light breaking through, revealing, life sustaining. What wonderful mysteries lie just beyond perception? Elohim, Giver of Life, with wonder and excitement I anticipate what approaches…today.

THE WORD

There seems to be no shortage of those willing to add weights to those struggling to stay afloat. However, when God speaks, even in discipline, there is LIFTING of the soul. Every word from God imparts life, blessing, hope; its sharpness surgical, not blunt, its effect liberty, not incarceration. Anxiety weighs down one’s soul, Lord, Your Word pronounces ascent. My cup overflows, I am free.

HOLY CONSTRAINT

God keeps me, He surrounds me like a wall, He hems me in. This has, at times, felt constraining. HOLY CONSTRAINT. What divine joy, what genuine FREEDOM!! I am eternally thankful that He broods over me. I cannot escape His persistent love. Holy Father, help me to let down my guard. Pry-open every hairline crack, every corner, leave no part untouched.

SEASONS

A seasonal shift, change in the air; almost unperceivable at first, then obvious signs emerge. I love how God works in both nature and in me. There is always something afoot, new seasons arrive unannounced. Grace for where I have trod recedes, grace for what is next appears. Lord of Seasons, acclimate my heart to what approaches, more of You in me…much more.

TRANSITIONS

The sun is rising in a glowing eastern sky, while a beautiful moon is still hanging in the silvery western horizon. The Majestic One never slumbers, He speaks loudly through that which He has made. He frames my yesterday, today and tomorrow. Darkness, sunlight, transitions…O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all…I praise You my Lord, I proceed into this day in safety and joy.

THE QUIET SHOUT

The silence bursts forth in quiet shout, morning is dawning. One day closer to forever. The darkness slips away and my soul awakens to another moment of God’s unfailing love. I haven’t been here before, so I must not presume that it is like any other I’ve traversed. Lord, show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Fill my heart with fresh expectation. Use me to lift another…today.

SPILLOVER

It is convenient to assign blame to everything else, but what comes out of me is merely spillover from what is inside. This is unsettling. After so much time and so many attempts to transform myself, I again must face the truth, I am still a work in ...progress and only God can finish the work. So there it is: Lord, clay to the Potter, mold me and make me after Your will, I am waiting…yielded and still.

ANTS

Will I never learn the lesson of ants? I generally do better in big crises than with relentless small annoyances. It seems that the SIZE of a difficulty elicits different responses in me. In BIG problems I easily realize that I must turn it over to God quickly. With SMALL ones I foolishly feel confident to handle them on my own, but the volume of leaking joy empties me. Lord, in to Your hands I entrust my ALL.

ANGRY NATION

We live in an angry nation and it seems to be worsening. I get angry fairly easily, a lifelong malady. Rage and bitterness have long since been expunged. I have learned to keep short accounts. But mild to spicy anger still arises regularly. Far too much is damaged in my relationship with God to cling to anger or unforgiveness. Lord, deliver me from selfish entitlement and grant to me humble kindness at all times.

DIVINE QULAITIES

People are God’s principle means of developing divine qualities in us. As we learn to be truly grateful for this process we make huge spiritual strides. How would God provoke me to change without others? Raw truth, without the test of practical application…loving, forgiving, blessing, lifting, would leave me fundamentally unchanged. Lord, thank you for the relentless test of walking in love.

CHEERFUL TRUST

I am not capable of mapping God's incredible will. I must trust Him to reveal it in each step of obedience. He has promised to guide the steps of the righteous. The steps. I prefer more foreknowledge, more advanced guidance, yet faith is developed God’s way rather than mine. Lord, I am pleased to do it Your way. Teach me the daily walk of faith and cheerful trust.