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Showing posts from September, 2012

THE VIEW

The view from the top is breathtaking, exhilarating, fresh, majestic. The lowlands? Earthy, organic, unremarkable, commonplace; where life happens. I am enamored with the mountaintop, but crops grow best on the valley floor. Lord God in the Highest, teach me faithfulness in the mundane, the undistinguished ant Thank You for the transfiguring moments of the heights. In either case, You are Good.

ENDS OF THE DESERT

Flying over the Sahara Desert, the world’s largest at 3.3 million square miles is an amazing and daunting sight. It seems to go on forever, but every desert has its boundaries; it does not go on endlessly. God’s love and provision are limitless, carrying us through even the most extensive wasteland. Lord, Your goodness and mercies accompany my journey and green horizons await me. Selah.

STEPS

At some point we must each give up the childhood game of attempting to walk in someone else’s footprints. It does me no good to compare my steps with those of others. I must fulfill God’s appointed destiny. In the final analysis every step forward, no matter the size, is a step forward. Dearest Father, You have promised guided steps for those seeking You. May Your will and wisdom guide my every step this day.

THE MASTER

That God is a Master Artist and Architect is beyond dispute. The incredible beauty of nature, the combinations of colors and textures with which He strokes the sky, the use of light, shade and dark; there are not enough words to describe His exquisite work. How comforting it is to know it is The Master who is working in me! Lord, I trust Your brilliant creativity and steady hand. My life for You.

HIGHER THAN I

With the Red Sea ahead and the dust-filled sky above Pharaoh’s army in hot pursuit, God’s counsel seemed impossible: “Do not be afraid…the Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” Seriously? Be still? Every human instinct is to try to mitigate circumstances such as this. Yet, when all efforts fail we are not without recourse. We may still rest in God’s hands. Father, lead me to the Rock that is HIGHER THAN I.

LOVE AND HATE

Love and hatred are similar in one way; they both have no limits. While we have each felt at least a bit of the all-consuming power of hatred, we have almost no experience with unlimited love. This is why we struggle so with the amazing love of God. Could He really love without limits? He is love. To limit His love would be to deny WHO HE IS. Lord God Almighty, I so want to understand the depths of Your love and offer it freely to others.

TEN THOUSAND THOUGHTS

Today I will think ten thousand thoughts. I often over-think problems, knowing from the start that the answers I seek come from God alone, in His time. But, if I can just mull it over once more, ponder, reflect, get advice, ruminate; will I never learn? O Fountain of Wisdom, help me stay in perfect peace as my thoughts are steady upon You. When my mind drifts away, pull me back to You.

THE HOLY GRIP

It is incredibly comforting to know that I live in the firm grasp of God; His grip on me is much firmer than my grip on Him. His Word clutches the strings of my heart, His Will clings to my own, I cannot simply pull way.At times I struggle against His embrace, only to be pulled tighter by His Holy Hand. Father, You are the The Lord my Keeper, thank You for Your encircling Love. Your love has no limits, Your kindness has no measure.

SHINE

To think that God uses any of us for His purposes is stunning. We are the only source of the image of God many have. I have no appreciable brilliance in myself, yet the Glorious One shines so brightly that when reflected only slightly, His Beauty is as dazzling as a full moon on a dark summer night. Father, shine on me; may Your brilliance cover every flaw, may others see You in me.

THE POWER OF PARDON

Why do we choose to remain tortured in a prison of indignation when we can run free? We each have a right to resentment; no one can take it away without our permission. Therefore, I may stew in a self-generated caldron of bitterness as long as I like or I can cancel the debt. Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a conscious decision. Lord, You forgave us me of so much, help me release the power of pardon to others.

LOVE STANDS GUARD

There is no evidence that things which troubled me yesterday will not return with even more intensity this day. Yet I awaken anew with the joy of knowing that God is good and His power is not depleted. The Almighty’s love stands guard over His creation and His provision feeds the birds of the air and clothes flowers with beauty. Father, banish from my heart every vestige of doubt that You are Lord of All.

STRIPPED

The Savior was beaten and stripped by His Roman tormentors. He was lifted high for all to see him fully exposed, but never lost his covering. He remained clothed with dignity, surrender, purpose, forgiveness, power and the love of His Father. When all that is earthly is torn away, what will others behold? Heavenly Father, may You be revealed to me, in me and through me by any means You choose.

THE SLIGHTEST TOUCH

The slightest touch of a rudder can change the course of a vessel. The same is true of my soul. While I often seek something colossal to shift my course, God mostly uses small things to guide me into His best. Scripture warns us to not despise “the day of small things.” Every great oak begins as an acorn. Father, remind me to pay attention to the smallest touch. May Your gentle hand direct my path.

HOLY MEDDLINGS

God’s viewpoint on what is important is quite different than our own. Things I considered enormous issues have turned out to be insubstantial. On the other hand, behaviors or attitudes I thought hardly worth mentioning have become His constant target. Such is the process of spiritual growth; it cannot be accomplished without heavenly directives. Lord, I am wholly dependent upon Your holy meddlings.

SHABBAT SHALOM

The Hebrews spent forty years on the move going nowhere. Chasing the CLOUD is not exhausting; there is an unexplainable rest in following hard after God. Cloud by day, pillar of fire by night; these are God’s endless invitations to go deeper. Lord, may I never substitute leisure for Your REST. Help me to lay aside my own notions of refreshment and cease from my efforts of renewal as I enter true Shabbat.

PURSUIT OF THE PERFECT ONE

The pursuit of the Perfect One while still bound by the imperfection of this life is our daily struggle. Like Lazarus, we are made alive inwardly by the mighty words of our Savior: “come forth”.The struggle to be free from the linens of death with which we were bound can only be accomplished in the same manner. Lord, help me to receive true freedom. Incline my heart to Your Word throughout this day.

UNFAILING LOVE

Though everything in this world can be shaken, God’s unfailing love never is. Truth administered in His unmitigated love is the only thing that can uncover what is wrong with me and the only thing that can fix me. Lord of Love, thank You for appointing your love to heal my brokenness and empower my actions. In Your hands I will pass through every tempest in confident peace as I walk in Your unfailing love.

WHEN ROACHES SCATTER

When the lights come on the roaches scatter. What seems so safe and delightfully satisfying when works are hidden suddenly becomes frighteningly dangerous when what has flourished in darkness is revealed. While many foolishly claim their darkness is light, a moment bathed in the Light of Truth tells all. You, O LORD, are my lamp; You turn my darkness into light. You blow away the shrouded night.

LINE IN THE SAND

The Hebrew people’s biblically recorded journey offers many lessons. There are climatic moments when a line in the sand must be drawn, darkness and evil exposed, lies confronted with truth, forgiveness offered to the repentant, instruction given for the ignorant. In those times cultivators of sedition and division must go, the recovery of lost ground begins and most importantly, hearts are opened to doing God’s will God’s way. Lord, grant us grace and courage when these moments unfold.

A CONTINUAL FEAST

Every life suffers losses, making it far too convenient to dwell on sorrows. Gnawing sadness will invade the soul of those who reside in the shadows of disappointments, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. A mere glimpse of the goodness of God melts away gloom and doom. Hope springs eternal to those who praise the Almighty. Lord, I lift You up, draw me nearer this day; You are the Crown of Life.

PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS

It is no bother at all to simply categorize someone we don’t like or understand under a cherished prejudice and ignore or even revile them. To mistreat, disregard or malign others is to show contempt for their Maker. I must never forget that the differences I sometimes resent have God’s fingerprints on them. Father, help me to love as You love. I thank You for confronting my preconceived notions.

BLESSINGS

We have a tree that hummingbirds visit regularly. I rarely see them come or go. I look, no bird, look again, there is one hovering. They come and go very quickly.God’s blessings are the same; whether I see it coming or not, the next blessing may be as close as my next thought, prayer, act of kindness or obedience. Lord, I’m amazed by You; Your ways are divine. Help me to stay alert to Your works.

ANGRY

We live in an angry nation and it seems to be worsening. Anger comes far too easily for me, a lifelong malady. Deep rage and bitterness have long since been expunged, 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 to others at all times.

WISDOM

Wisdom cries out all around, but I often rush on by. Even in moments of roiling, surging turmoil, God speaks. The rewards of listening are many; The storm itself may be calmed by wisely spoken words. There are no reliable substitutes for an ear open to God’s voice. Lord, You know my ways. Far too often I steam ahead without sufficient regard to you promptings. Forgive me and teach me to listen carefully every moment.

IDEAS

Ideas come from somewhere. Some are harmless while others inspired, still others, toxic. The mind is surely our most constant battlefield. Lord, teach me to recognize the difference between good ideas that emanate from You and bad ideas that come from other sources. Teach me to put good ideas into action to serve others. Grant me the patience to work in Your timing. I await.

TEMPORARY

There is an unexplainable freedom in the painful discovery that nothing in this life is permanent. The human soul, created to live in eternal covenant, longs to find it. So much so that we ignore the temporariness of this world, pretending earthly things are more transcendent than they can possibly be. Eternal Father, You alone are boundless. You have set eternity in our hearts that we may rightly measure this life.

WAR TACTICS

Deception is a primary tactic in both human and spiritual battles. Diversionary measures are used to cause the opponent to react to the wrong circumstances. Thankfully, in spiritual warfare, the weapons and war tactics granted to us by God are not fleshly, carnal weapons; they have God’s might with them. Almighty King of the Universe, You disperse darkness and cause the enemies of Your Kingdom to flee.