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Showing posts from September, 2010

ANOTHER DAY

Some days are better than others, but each day we are given is preferable to no day at all. God’s offer of another diurnal passage portends unlimited possibilities. I am alive with purpose, His purpose. Joys and sorrows come unannounced; that they come is of less import than how I respond. Father, You care for us more than we can know in this world, I praise you for the joys and cast my cares upon You.

FRAGRANCE

It is a delightful mystery how an aroma can transport me to a different place. Fragrances bind with events, places, people; a passing scent can return me to my great grandmother’s home, awaken a lost memory, activate an emotion. God has bequeathed unlimited ways for us to learn, grow and experience fullness of life. O Lord my Creator and Sustainer, I stand in awe of You, I marvel at Your ways.

GUIDANCE

Every human heart needs a moral guidance system. A life without biblically informed principles is easily swept into the abyss of self-indulgent foolishness. Surrounding culture exerts daily pressure to assimilate. Principle-centered living provides continual protection and accurate navigation. Father, teach me Your ways. Awaken in me a deepening hunger for truth.

ENTHRONED

Catastrophes have a way of being all consuming; the worse the situation, the more absorbing it is. The beginning point for moving forward is to enthrone God in our praise. As we behold Him, the circumstances of life come into proper perspective. Praise validates the sovereignty of God in our soul. Soon, the effect of praise provokes us to proclaim His greatness to others. Lord, I praise You.

THRUWAY

The construction of highways through mountains has always intrigued me. Millions of tons of rock must be repositioned, much of it with explosives. A violent process produces a safe and peaceful journey for subsequent travelers. Only God’s Word can construct a highway through the mountains of confusion we face in this life. Lord, only You offer a thruway of truth and guidance through worldly obstructions.

BIG & SMALL

I generally do better in big crises than with relentless small annoyances. It seems that the SIZE of a difficulty elicits different responses. In BIG problems I quickly realize that I must turn it over to God. With SMALL ones I foolishly feel confident to handle them on my own, but the volume of leaking joy soon empties me. Lord, forgive my self-reliance. Help me entrust to Your hands things both large and small.

SELF-GENERATED ANARCHY

Selfishness is incredibly powerful. It can turn liberty into indulgence, freedom into irresponsibility. There can be no outward freedom without internal freedom. Mostly what binds me, what strips away my capacity to practice genuine liberty is my own wandering heart. Master, help me to love You first and always. Deliver me from self-generated anarchy. You alone are Lord.

PAINFUL PEOPLE

Some relationships are as welcome as a toothache. Yet, a painful tooth is a vital message: “something is wrong”. An unseen crack, decay, fractures, root issues, all reasons for pain, all reasons to get help. It occurs to me that God uses people to expose my cracks, decay, fractures and root issues. Father, thank You for sending people into my life to uncover my need for Your help and healing.

CHANGE

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. Everything else is subject to change. Life seems random. A bright summer day can quickly turn dark and dangerous. A thunderous storm can linger for days or clear away in mere minutes. The lesson? Be ready. A heart that is prepared for change remains at peace. Unchanging Lord, grant me a right spirit as change approaches.

GENUINE LOVE

I have run aground a few times, thinking I had sufficient draft. Surface appearances can be deceiving. In dealing with people, shallow love is useless; love must run deep. Every attitude that is contrary to true love for our fellow man must be exposed and replaced with godliness. Comingling of motives must cease. Father, teach me to love authentically, faithfully, consistently and tenderly.

FACES

Two little faces above a baby gate; I stopped and squatted to their level. These guys I know well, but we’re still at the “I know you” stage. Mostly silent stares, clunky questions, growing acceptance. Another face appeared; introductions, lot’s of smiles, conversation with a cute lisp. It was difficult to walk away. The hunger for connection we each have proclaims our longing for God. Lord, You are Love.

NOBLE CHARACTER

It is an oasis in the desert to be with someone of noble character. Instead of pulling you down, their presence lifts you higher, provoking godliness, inspiring greater things. I wish to be such a person. The effect of Christ on the disciples caused their judges to note “these men had been with Jesus”. Would anyone be able to tell if I didn’t say? Lord, make me into an engraved man; Your image on constant display.

911

9/11. I was praying with a group of pastors when the North Tower was struck, South Tower, the Pentagon, Pennsylvania. We watched in horror, wondering what it meant. Then it came to me, those who know little of God’s love and supremacy will live in a constant state of fear. They don’t understand that there are higher laws than our own at work. Lord, Your sovereignty will prevail. I have no fear.

HAPPY HEART

While I have my moments of sorrow, I am thankful that God has gifted me with a happy heart. There is an unquenchable, unrestrainable joy nested in the heart of the willingly submitted. Hope abounds, outlasts, overcomes; corners turn upward, then sings my soul.  Lord of Everlasting Joy, thank You; thank You again, and again. There it is, joy has come in the morning, I’m smiling.

BATTLE

I live in a moment by moment battle. I wish that I could say that it was solely a four-star, gallant fight against dark forces in high places. While it is a spiritual fight, mostly it is a constant battle against selfishness. Self-love, self-indulgence, self-interest, they are always insidiously present, lurking within the shadows. Shepherd of My Soul, thank You for relentless conviction and unending grace. Victory!!

MANIPULATIVE OBEDIENCE

God cannot be manipulated by my obedience; doing His will must be an act of love and abandon, not a form of leverage. Self-righteousness postures us as feeling worthy of His favor and is the enemy of the true believer. It is the humble acceptance of His single act of redemption that invites unrestricted blessing. Father, Redeemer, teach me to trust in Your work and not my own.

I MUST HEAR

I must hear from God daily; thankfully His voice of wisdom, knowledge and discretion cries out by many means. Everything I hear with my ears, behold with my eyes, touch with my hands, or think in my mind can be used by the Ancient of Days to bring understanding. Enlightenment awaits the attentive heart. Lord God Almighty, blessed is the man who listens for Your voice, watching daily, camping at Your doorway.

CONDITIONS

Doing God’s will does not depend upon perfect conditions. In fact, negative circumstances are practically a requirement for things done in faith. Usually, I have only fragments of clarity, not the whole picture. Trusting God to pull the pieces together while navigating through troubles is both cleansing and exhilarating. Father, thank You for the unique joy faith brings. Grant me grace to love You more.

SPINNING

We are spun round and round by the everyday swirl of life. It feels as if I am a lump of clay spinning on a potter’s wheel. As a matter of fact, I AM. The Master’s touch presses in, reshaping me for His envisioned purpose. Why do I resist? My failed attempts at shaping myself should be evidence enough; yield to the Potter’s hands. Have Your way Lord, I am waiting yielded and still; mold me, make me after Your will.

HOPE

Hope is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. The kind of hope of which I speak is not rooted in this world; it is firmly grounded where translucent gold is pavement and background music is angelic chorus. God promises, hope springs alive, faith is awakened; everything changes. Father, You are the only source of eternal hope, teach me to abide in Your words.

TREMORS

I have been through a few tremors, but only once through a genuine earthquake. It is disorienting to discover that everything can be shaken at once. We don’t expect the very ground on which we live to convulse, but sometimes it does. In those bewildering moments, on what will I stand? Father, You have proclaimed: “The Lord will be your confidence”. Lover of my soul, You’ve set my feet on solid rock.

FATHER'S REBUKE

I do not resent the Lord’s rebuke. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like it at the time, but I realize that His discipline is a necessary expression of His unfailing love. I would surely settle for less than His best; He will have none of that. The Love of God chases us, pulls us back from ruin; He never lets go. Lord, You ARE my Father. Your hand of discipline proclaims Your delight in us as Your children. It hurts so good.

A WAY THROUGH

There is always a way through. It may be treacherous, obscured, laden with challenges and setbacks; but breakout is possible. Inward breakthrough precedes outward liberty. While circumstances are difficult to change, with God’s help, perspective can be transformed this very moment. Lord, You are the Way, the Truth and the Life; in You there is all that I need for my journey to complete freedom.