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Showing posts from September, 2011

TRUTH IN LOVE

We are commanded to “speak the truth in Love.” In fact, most of what we pass off as honesty is grounded in fear. We typically tell the truth only when we are reluctantly exposed, or feel it necessary to protect something we value. This fare of “honesty” rooted in selfishness bears almost no resemblance to honesty motivated by love. Lord, You are impeccably honest, yet Your truth bathed in love makes me free.

ATTTITUDE

My attitude is a lens through which everything around me is viewed. We are commanded by God to keep our mind "stayed" on Him. How different would the world look if it were not filtered through a migratory frame of mind? Each emotion, each attitude, each thought surrendered reveals something amazing; the view instantly changes. Lord of Peace, may my attitudes be humbly yielded to You.

LETDOWNS

Life is replete with letdowns. Some are truly consequential, but most are petty. Yet, the small ones often stick together, mushrooming into something more ominous. If not diminished, discouragement will set in. Learning to cast our disappointments into the sea of God’s love is vital to spiritual advance. Father, may Your unfailing love be my comfort. Fill my heart with Your joy and teach me to console others.

ETERNAL THINGS

Everything we see and touch in this life is earthbound; nothing from this world may be carried into eternity. So why spend so much time each day in pursuit of temporary things? A shift of focus is in order. How we learn and grow, the good that we do, and most importantly, the love we express to God and others are eternal things. Lord, help me live with my heart beyond the veil. Keep my eye on the ball.

PASSION

Like a fire, love must be fed. If not regularly fueled, passion will eventually grow cold. Sadly, a heart cools so gradually that it is not easily recognized until it is nearly frigid. A life with no affection, no eagerness, no devotion is no life at all. Interestingly, awakening love for one thing often sets ablaze love for many things. Lord of Love, fill my heart with passion for You and help me love others purely.

LIMITLESS DOMINION

The murky confusion of black of night is instantly transfigured by the entry of even the smallest light. Many tremble at the onset of darkness in any form, but evil can be confronted without fear and done so bathed in vanquishing love. Demons flee in the presence of the Savior and destitute souls find deliverance, healing and peace. Father of Light, limitless dominion belongs to those who know You.

SURROUNDED

Some people seem inwardly wired for discipline; that is not the case for me. One of my lifelong challenges has been to keep my heart committed to restraint. When I have a clear goal in mind, disciplines become a bit easier, but I cannot afford lack of focus. Thankfully, God has me surrounded. He keeps me hemmed in. Glory to You oh Lord, thank You for daily purpose, for people with need and for a call to excellence.

DIAMONDS

Diamonds on my driveway. Passing by the front window at daybreak I looked out to see beautiful sparkles spread across the otherwise dull concrete. Upon further examination, it was dew on small leaves reflecting a combination of moonlight and dawning sunlight. Again, God had transformed the ordinary into something resplendent with beauty. King of Majesty, I stand amazed in Your Presence.

DAILY EXAMINATION

Succumbing to human frailty is a constant reminder that I must press into God’s hands. So often I confidently act on what I think I know only to be tripped up by ignorance or self-deception. God alone is completely devoid of the blinding fog of falsehood, nothing being hidden or unknown to the Almighty. I am therefore dependent upon divine guidance. Great Physician, I welcome Your daily examination.

READY

Life can come at you very fast. Things change, that’s it. It sometimes feels like I am again a five-year old with my arm out the window of a car trying to grasp the wind; lot’s of action and movement, little but the immediate experience to show for it. Having a Solomon moment here, so the conclusion: ”Fear God and keep His commandments.” Lord, that is enough. I am ready for another day.

DIVINELY COMPOSED

The salt marshes along the southern coast can be tricky to navigate. However, leaving the safety of the marked channels opens endless fishing, beautiful wildlife and a serene sense of privacy. Constantly changing tides and a kaleidoscope of colors from the diurnal passing of Sun and Moon seem divinely composed. Lord, remind me to explore the opportunities around me. Teach me to seek the unseen.

WELCOME AS A TOOTHACHE

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.

FRONT LOADED

Each and every day is front-loaded. God has already stocked today with valuable lessons, opportunities, blessings, experiences, spiritual insights, discipline. Today will leave behind a unique, powerful substance of experience that is divinely orchestrated. Dearest Alpha and Omega, Thank You for today. It is holy, for You have brushed Your fingers across it. Lead me to what is right and good.

COMMEDABLE FRATERNITY

Much of what we learn is accomplished by imitating others. Since we are predisposed to this, it is vital that we choose carefully those to whom we cast more than a glance. Covenant friendship, godly fellowship, spiritual brotherhood; all these provide needed guidance to our associations. Lord, You direct my steps; lead me into commendable fraternity. Use me to rightly influence others.

TAKE HOLD

Needs are easily overestimated and blessings underestimated. Laughter, opportunities, work, challenges, friends, children: considering the multitude of blessings I enjoy, I realize how truly wealthy I am. Forgive me Lord in those moments when I abandon the splendor of thankfulness, to roam the squalor of cravings. Strengthen my resolve to ignore the temporary and take hold of the eternal.

SAVED

A recent conversation with someone who had just experienced the inward transformation of his initial spiritual surrender transported me back to my own. I recall with pristine clarity the wonder of that holy moment when every attempt to intellectually grasp is finally exhausted and the heart takes you in. Lord, after all our failed attempts at self-improvement, at last, You say the word and we are spotless.

HEART SURGERY

A wise heart accepts commands, but a stubborn heart is a fool’s heart. So how do we develop a tender heart? One step of obedience at a time. Foolishness can be easily overthrown with steady effort. Each successive surrender tenderizes; soon commands become daily bread. Lord, help me to lay aside rationalizations and cover-ups.  Soften my heart to Your promptings that wisdom may prevail.

THE DIVINE GRIP

No one can claim to have found God; our pursuit of Him is always preceded by His pursuit of us. He bends down to us. His love descends and awakens our love for Him. Heaven comes down; glory fills our soul. Lord God, Lover of Our Souls, Your grip on me is much stronger than my grip on You. I am humbled and amazed by Your love pursuit. Forgive me for trying to struggle away from Your grasp.

LIVING INTENTIONALLY

Life must be lived intentionally. If I had put forth as much effort into choosing the right thing as I do making excuses, I would be much farther along. Yet, I have another shot; the sun rises upon a new day and wisdom is calling out. Blessed is the person who listens. Yes Lord, I hear Your whisperings. Guide my choices; Your instruction is more precious than rubies and nothing in this world can compare.

9/11

9/11/01. 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 at work than our own. Lord, Your sovereignty will prevail. I have no fear.

FORWARD

Forward progress always includes letting something go. Everything in life, including life on earth itself, will eventually be swallowed into eternity. Looking ahead to what God is unfolding helps to ease the pain of current losses. Recognition of the goodness and wisdom of God grants peace in the process. Lord, keep me from getting uncorked when things change. I know that You work it all out for good.

ASSURANCE

My mind is upon past memories today. Most are good, but we each have our regrets and losses. Human experience is replete with personal and public pain. Deaths, wars, floods, crop failures, there is no shortage of grief. For those who know their Shepherd, there is escape from the ravenous thieves of life and peace.  Father, You heal our grief and reassure us in our pain. I rest assured in my Saviors clutch.

AWAKEN

The temptation to simply drift along a lazy river of complacency is persuasive. The volume of life’s complications can cause us to disengage from active pursuit of the will of God. Past disappointments pile up; the desire to take risks smothered, divine purpose becomes a mere shadow. Father in Heaven, awaken my heart with daily passion for Your will. Make me, mold me, fill me, use me.

STUBBORNNESS

Self-regulated stubbornness is like deep darkness; it causes us to keep hitting the same obstacles over and over, yet never understanding what makes us stumble. The path of those with submitted hearts is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Divinely infused wisdom accompanies the soul of the determined, yet surrendered. Father, not my will, but Yours.

RADIANT LIGHT ON THE WAY

Pitch blackness shrouds the early morning as thick as a blanket; low hanging clouds blocking any light from seeping through. It seems as though darkness has prevailed, but I know better. Radiant light is crawling around the earth and soon all that is around me will be resplendent. Father, those who put their trust in You are never left in utter darkness. Let Your light shine through me today.

DEPENDENCE

Mankind was not made to go it alone. Our dependence upon God and others is wired in at the deepest level of our being. While it is true that we can build walls around our heart, pull in the drawbridge and consider all others intruders, to do so is to condemn ourselves to a self imposed prison. Father of Freedom and Purpose, help me to tear down the walls. Incite my heart to openness and love.

REST WHILE RUNNING

Today’s calendar is already overstuffed. Yet, the One who is Alpha and Omega, He who can hold the sun still, is already present in every approaching moment. I can squander this knowledge and be exhausted by overwork, or I can find oasis; rest in the tempest. Lord of All, You are busy, but You ARE Peace. Assist me this day I pray, to rest in You as I run. May Your peace flow through me to others.

MIRACLES

Miracles happen every day; I must consecrate myself in preparation for the amazing things God will do. Should I wait for signs of something happening before making preparatory changes? Absolutely not! Consecration anticipates the wondrous works of God. Lord of Wonders, I yield to Your will and ways. May my heart and mind anticipate Your glory. Help me to prepare for Your works.

ROOTED

A trip to East Texas was surprising and sad. In place of hilly, green vistas, drought and an unrelenting heat wave was killing thousands of trees. I noticed that around a large lake, even a long distance from the shore, the trees stood tall and green. The biblical promise to all who delight in God’s Word comes to mind: “He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.” Father, You nourish my soul.