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Showing posts from January, 2012

UNRESTRAINED SURRENDER

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 and call me by name. I am Yours.

ALWAYS 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.

FRAGMENTS AND FAITH

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.

FULL SPEED AND MORE

I saw a small bird flying full speed with a hawk in hot pursuit. They swerved, rose and fell, then darted into a patch of trees. I don’t know the final outcome, but it seemed disturbingly familiar; I am often that little bird. While the chasing hawk seems destined to win, I am not without advantages. Lord, thank You that we each have more than we think. Help me run this race with speed and dexterity.

REACTION TO RECOVERY

I get rattled, but rarely shaken. Reaction turns to recovery quickly as I remember: God is my Portion, my Help in times of trouble, Wisdom in the midst of confusion, Strength when I am weak, Peace in storms, my never ending Reward. It is good to give thanks to Him Who was and is and is to come. Oh yeah. Lord of All, take my life and let it be for Your glory. Leave nothing untouched.

CAMPING ON THE DOORSTEP

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.

CHAOS TO CALM

Chaos seems to be standard equipment for human relationships. We most often make things far more difficult by jumping to conclusions or projecting motives on others unfairly while failing to examine our own. There is a place of rest God can provide in every life circumstance where we can breathe, listen, receive divine instruction, be empowered and have peace. Father, Your Presence gives life.

AS THE DIAMOND TURNS

Each time that I think I understand God’s ways and means He turns the diamond; new facets of His splendor emerge and my perspective is advanced. There is no settling in this life for the true believer, every pilgrim must progress. I am not only satisfied in this constantly changing status, I am thankful for it. Lord, though I struggle in Your arms, You never let me go. Keep me moving toward Your will.

A 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; lip’s 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.

INWARD QUIETNESS

Listening to God’s voice is central to keeping my heart on the right path. I am easily distracted, so there must be daily intent to hear. Inward quietness, which can be difficult to come by in such a busy world, is rooted in peace with God. Peace with God begins with acceptance of His ways rather than our own. Father, I rejoice in the hope of entering Your glory. I lift You high, draw me deeper

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.

THE POTTER'S HANDS

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 gently 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 own way Lord, I am waiting yielded and still. Mold me, make me after Your will.

HOPE ETERNAL

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.

MY ANCHOR HOLDS

An approaching storm may come so fast that there is no way to avoid it.  Captain and crew grow weary in the fight against the tempest. Hopeless exhaustion is just as hazardous as the sudden gale, making bad decisions a dangerous potential. Dropping anchor to get some rest can be the only salvation. Dearest Lord, my anchor holds within the veil, through the battering of the storm I rest in you.

UNRELENTING, EXTRAVAGANT PURSUIT

My weaknesses cannot be hidden from God. But why should they be concealed? Only He has the power to transform me. His approach is stern yet filled with infinite compassion. The Divine intent of our Maker and Redeemer is unrelenting and extravagant, pursuing every corruption that loads down our soul. Father, though my vain acts continue, Your great mercy and grace bring victory

TRUTH IN LOVE

Human honesty is often poorly timed. The reason is simple; the underlying motivation to "be honest" is grounded in selfishness rather than divine love. God speaks truth with pure motives while we do not. We mostly speak up when we are in fear of losing something or being harmed. Honesty in this case is no more than our intent to control our surroundings. Father, TRUTH IN LOVE, there is no other way.

NO FEAR

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 as well. Lord, I fear You Alone, my heart is at rest and happy.

UNSETLLING TRUTH

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.

PAINFULLY MOTIVATED

There is no viable evidence that life can be lived without pain. There is always an underlying reason that something hurts. Pain motivates me to make needed changes, protects me from continuing to ignore problems and teaches me avoid repeating damaging behaviors. While I never welcome pain, I have learned to see its value. Lord, You are my constant Joy in the unrelenting difficulties of life.

TRYING TO FOOL GOD

God cannot be fooled. It seems ridiculous to say it, but I have tried. Self-justification is such a part of the human condition that we are blind to its techniques. Strangely, we can see it in others, but all a man's own ways seem right to him. The triple punch of Scripture, Spirit and covenant fellowship with serious believers can purge us of self-deception. Lord, weigh my heart.

ON PURPOSE

Our created purpose lies deep within us. The value and benefit of drinking from its waters far exceeds the strenuousness of finding it. Whenever I stray too far the goodness of God pulls me back. He formed me to do His will and no other aspiration will endure. Every humanly endowed desire must align with His plan. Father You created me with purpose and an innate capacity to fulfill it; I so need Your daily grace.

FIREWORKS

Watching fireworks fill the sky, children squealing with delight, collective cheers of approval from the crowd, bright colors against the dark of night, I was curious. I wondered how hectic, how complex, how dangerous it was on the barge in the river from which the display was fired. We often ignore the hard work it takes for marvels to occur. Lord, please forgive me when I take Your wonders for granted.

PIVOTAL

It is truly heartfelt as I say: "Happy New Year to everyone." I do not mourn the close of 2011. Yet, I predict that many future blessings will be rooted in it. Perhaps it is the finish of the foundation on which greater things will later rest. Changes are in the air. Lord, into Your capable hands I entrust both the past and future. Please do not let me ignore the lessons that have emerged in this pivotal year.