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Showing posts from April, 2012

HURRY UP AND WAIT

I like to be busy, but is it not equally important to be ready? While it is required that I obediently do what I know to do, I must simultaneously learn to wait, to be ready for what is coming. There is always more happening than I can perceive; busyness can be the enemy of effectiveness. Dearest Alpha and Omega, You hold all things in Your Hands, grant me grace to do and to not. Help me stay ready.

FRIENDS

Friendship brings pleasantness to one’s life, but the greatest treasure is the earnest counsel that springs from a true comrade. While all advice must be properly weighed and measured, even the wounds of a trusted friend lifts and blesses our soul. Earthly love always comes laden with imperfection, but when authentically offered, leads us to God’s amazing, perfect love. Father, thank You for my friends.

FATHER'S SHOES

As a child I would kidnap my father’s shoes and walk in them. It was clumsy, awkward, adventurous and a bit perilous. It still is. Now that my daily pursuit is to walk in my heavenly Father’s shoes, I often feel the same; too small, amateurish, inelegant, vulnerable. No longer a child, I realize that I am being groomed for purpose. Lord, I am still learning. Risk is reward when taken in pursuit of Your highest.

FAITH LIFE

The life of faith does not require complete suspension of human reason. The mind is an integral part of faith and is essential to good judgment, obedience and creativity. However, since I only know in part, every thought must be brought under the guidance, cleansing and dominion of the One who knows everything. Father, may my thoughts only be those which reflect Your will. Help me keep my mind set on the right things.

OVERCOMING ATROPHY

As with muscles, my giftings and abilities grow stronger as I use them; so my best strategy is to get busy and put them to the test. I can ignore the daily opportunities that God grants me or I can step into the challenge and man up. I could grow today, make a difference, become more effective, please God. Father, help me move farther in, deeper down, higher up, farther out. Awaken my soul to You.

BEYOND THE CLOUDS

My family lived in Costa Rica and on several occasions we visited Mt. Poas, an active volcano. We were amazed at the spectacular view of the huge, steaming crater. On a couple of visits we never saw more than clouds; its incredible power and girth shrouded by something as fleeting and inert as vapor. Father, forgive me for allowing temporary things to cloud my view of Your Awesomeness.

NEW GRACE FOR TODAY

Having suffered a painful trial in the past does little to take away the sting of a new trial, even if it is similar to ones passed through long ago.Prior grace will not relieve the dark night of the soul; fresh grace is the sole relief. I must return to the foot of the cross and behold the Son.Grace for today is given freely to those in renewed surrender. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, yes to You, no to all else.

FREE FROM DELUSION

The heart that understands the unmerited grace God offers will not fall victim to a superiority complex toward others. If we are still under the delusion that we are blessed because of our moral rectitude or exceptional behavior, then prideful judgmentalism is assured. Godliness produces sound judgment and develops a servant’s heart. Lord, have mercy on my prideful ways and make me like You.

GLADNESS OF HEART

My attempts at self-planned happiness are utterly useless. Humanly engineered enjoyment is a short-lived, pitiful substitute for the Joy of the Lord. God’s joy is strength giving, shout invoking, song releasing gladness of heart. Father, How great is the joy of Your Presence; Lord, You are my joy and my delight. Forgive my failed attempts to find fulfillment anywhere but in You.

POSTURED TO RECEIVE

When I take an honest look at the distracted unreadiness of my soul I realize why God’s blessings so often delay. It is the goodness of God to withhold divine action until I am properly postured to receive. The reliable discipline of the Great Shepherd prepares me for still waters. I am not ready when I want to be ready; I’m ready when He says I’m ready. Father, I get turned around, but You lead me in THE WAY!!

USELESS, CLINGING THINGS

Springtime, brilliant colors abound. Yet, my driveway still gathers a daily collection of dead leaves. A large oak tree continues to shed its past. New leaves sprout, pushing away old ones that lost their primary purpose long ago, but held on nonetheless. I had not even noticed how many still clung on. Dear Father, show me today those useless, clinging things in me that still must be shed. I pray for new growth.

REPUDIATION OF DOUBT

I am far more familiar with the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” than the “Mountain of Transfiguration”. Apprehension is the constant companion of faith; each step forward is a repudiation of doubt. Ultimately we must learn that faith does not rely upon circumstances and that its fullness is often developed in the darkroom. Lord, take my hand as I step through the shadows, in You do I put my trust.

THE QUIET STOUTS

The quiet shouts, 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. New beginnings. 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 others today.

MIXTURE

My love for God and the people He loves is authentic, but still contains a polluting mixture of conditional, selfish, human love. While at times I wish to be entirely free of it, I know it is only a half-hearted aspiration. Yet, progress is being made and for every millimeter forward I am grateful. My Lord, My God, forgive my recklessness. Help me to be vigilant to not mix selfishness into Your perfect love.

PAINFUL PROGRESS

Pain has a unique way of capturing all of our attention. Life without agony of some variety seems impossible. I must not allow sorrow of any sort to have more than momentary notice or it will soon sequester everything around it. Giving, serving, or any act of selfless love requires doing so through pain. Lord, I earnestly believe Your words: “those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy”. My harvest is on the way.

GOOD HANDS

Sunset, daybreak, the steady hand of God turns the earth through another day. His grip is sturdy, forceful, capable, secure; my life is firmly in His grasp. As the Master Artisan of the universe, not one detail is missed as He rotates His object of love in His hand. Lord God, Father and Creator, I am at peace; You will finish the work You have begun in me, through me. before me, behind me and around me.

DISCARDED LINEN

Morning Mist, Rolled Stone, Empty Tomb, Folded Napkin, Discarded Linen, Seated Angels, Bewildered Disciples, Resurrected Savior, Redeemed World, Descended Champion, Defeated Enemy, Recovered Keys, Unrestrainable Rejoicing, Redeeming Pardon, Eternal Life. He is Risen Indeed!!! Christ the Lord is risen today; Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!! Happy Resurrection Day to all.

JOY IN THE MORNING

How must have the disciples felt on this dark Sabbath? Their Savior's broken body lifeless in a grave, dreams shattered, overwhelming disappointment, confusion. They had no idea that this day of horrid sorrow was to soon pass; a brilliant new beginning was just hours away. Lord of Life and Hope, help me to see that the sorrows of today, in fact, enable me for greater things ahead; joy comes in the morning.

WHAT LOVE DIVINE

Surrender amid sleepy disciples. Betrayed by the disillusioned. Taken captive by the powerless. Judged by the ignorant. Abandoned by the lonely. Stripped by the unclothed. Crucified by the lifeless. Redeeming wounds suspended between heaven and earth. Forgiveness freely given. What majestic Mystery. What Love Divine. Good Friday? Yes, very good; indescribably good.

PEACE

On Palm Sunday I walked the Via Dolorosa through the streets of Jerusalem; a city where religious cultures collide and hats and head coverings are political statements as much as they are symbols of spiritual commitments. Nested atop Judean mountains the “City of Peace” knows little of it. As both Passover and Resurrection Sunday approach, Lord I pray for the peace of Jerusalem.