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Showing posts from October, 2012

BEYOND THE COMMON COURSE

The salt marshes along the southern coast can be tricky to navigate. However, leaving the safety of the marked channels opens endless rewards; great 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 beyond the common course.

TRIUMPH

The life of faith is not a matter of imagined outcome. Biblical faith reaches for concrete, yet unseen reality; each step ignited by divine spark. Only actions first bathed in Holy Promise will be sufficiently purged of the darkness of doubt. Father, teach me to rest assured in Your Providence while straining toward Your will. You alone kindle true belief and You alone can carry me safely to triumph.

INFORMING GOD

I find myself praying as if I were a reporter, informing God of currents events. Prayer should never be an attempt to enlighten the “Greater One” who knows all things. Rather than pointing to circumstances, my prayers should allow circumstances to point to me, to what needs to change in my heart and actions. Lord, shine the Light of Your Presence upon that which You desire to transform.

NEVER ALONE

Why give in to the convenience of discouragement? Despair offers no reward. The path of trust is much steeper, but grants still waters, restored soul. The Lord is ALWAYS our Great Shepherd, even when we are wholly unaware of it. In the deepest, darkest valley I never trod alone. Oh Shepherd of my soul, from sinking sand, You lift me, With tender hand, You lift me, all is well.

FLOPPY BRANCHES

Another hurricane is scraping by. The real danger is to our north, but its outer bands are spewing rain and trees are dancing wildly in the wind. Palm trees, with their long, slim trunks and floppy branches perched at the very top, seem fragile until these moments. Actually, they handle the tempest better than stately oaks. Father, I get it, what often appears as strength is not. Help me stay firmly planted in You.

CLOUDS OF RELUCTANCE

I must ultimately surrender to God alone. My own will or even the best intentions of others will never do. The most difficult discovery is just how much resistance is imbedded in our souls. We were each created by God’s love for purpose and destiny; to ignore the will of God is to deny His exquisite love and all-knowing brilliance. Lord of All, forgive my insolence. May Your intent for my life never be shadowed by clouds of reluctance.

SEIZE THE DAY

A new day, another shot at obedience. Complications, diversions and agitations are always present, but the chance to serve God THIS day will not return. As compelling as distractions might be, I must let them fall behind. Today I will seize the day by pursuing the opportunities that God presents. Dear Father, deliver me from disorientation, direct my steps. Thank You for divine focus.

CAST ANCHOR

Comfort zones quickly become dead zones. God reveals His ardent love by propelling me into the joy of breaking through again and again. Would I ever step out in faith without His prompting? Would I cast anchor without approaching storms? I will never know, for His love never ceases. King of Glory, thank You for Your Divine impulse, Your compelling love, Your relentless pursuit.

WORDS

What comes out of my mouth has more effect on my life than most anything else. As powerful as we know that words are, we carelessly spew them out to our own harm or that of others. On the other hand, we often fail to release the power of life that words contain. Simply stated, life and death are in the tongue. Holy Father, my lips are Yours. Make my mouth a portal of life, not death; blessing not nuisance.

THE INCONVENIENTLY SURRENDERED LIFE

Walking with God is inherently inconvenient. It cannot be done consistently without constant rearrangement of personal priorities and commitments. Daily infusion of Word and Spirit are vital, but no less so than openness to hear and obey. I am not significantly better at this process now than when it began in my life, but I am still making progress. Lord, Your relentless pursuit and unmitigated love are my strength and hope. Help me knuckle under.

DISCERNMENT

There is no dependable substitute for divinely guided discernment. We need good judgment to distinguish between inspired thoughts and selfish fantasies; they often appear the same at first glance. The immature mind, driven by personal desire, can be easily confused. Imagination is a gift from God, but must be brought under obedience to God. Lord of Creation, teach me to truly submit my thoughts to You today.

MORNING LIGHT

The transformation between the dark of night to morning light never loses its fascination for me. Some days easily, others reluctantly, like metal to magnet I am drawn to its power to awaken. There are so many parallels between sunrise and the way God pulls me into His will. Each day He quietly moves into my darkness, His resplendent Presence renovating my soul. Lord of Light, I welcome Your approach. Yes, this is good.

GREATER THINGS

Yesterday’s quota of bricks dutifully met, its residue is still with me. Mud and straw again before me, I am ready. Today? Greater things are yet ahead, prompted by the inexhaustible benevolence of the Greater One. Lord, teach me faithfulness through daily obedience, each moment submitted to Your care. Grant me grace this day to build an enduring legacy of submission to Your pleasure.

VALVE WIDE OPEN

God wants to love others through me; I sometimes cringe at His choices. There is pain in the offering, but there is no escape. To experience His love opens our heart to the surge of His love for all. While I mostly enjoy this process, there are moments when I wish to shut off the valve after quenching my own thirst. Lord of Love, forgive me for holding back. Take my life and make it Yours.

THE GRASP OF GOD

Having the steady hand of a teacher draped over my own as I learned to write never seemed confining. Actually, the opposite was true; I felt liberated to attempt what had been very difficult alone. And now, as a man, I do not resent the hand of God guiding my life. It is far better to fall into the grasp of Almighty God than into the hands of any other. O Lord my Protector, into Your grip I gladly yield.

A MORE EXCELLENT WAY

Disappointments are as much a part of life as breathing; reality rarely matches expectations. Dwelling on letdowns, large or small, can lead to discouragement and discontent. There is a more excellent way. Today I choose to lay hold of divine proclamation: “all things work together for good.” Lord I do love You and know that Your purpose is never thwarted by passing circumstances. It is well with my soul.

PERFECTION

Self-generated transformation is always too limited in its scope. Only God’s handiwork is sufficient to bring wholeness. Perfection is not just another a goal of God, it is His very nature. He is an exquisite finisher so I trust His Divine Work in me; I trust no other path. O Lord, You are the Beginning and the End. I rejoice in the knowledge that You made me, own me and will complete what You started.

UNFATHOMABLE

Though we constantly try, the unfathomable majesty of God cannot be measured or understood by human senses. He, whose greatness extends beyond the heavens on high and the depths below must be pursued by faith and revealed In His times and ways. Father, awaken the resplendent light of authentic, childlike faith within me. May my seeking be free from the shadows of self-reliance.

ANOTHER DAY

I often fail to appreciate the full value of the gift of another day. Over-thinking past or future events diminishes this day. There is divine rhythm, a holy mystery in each moment that is easily missed. Only sensitivity to the Spirit of God can unlock the constantly present treasury of wisdom, insight, power and comfort. Blessed Father, settle me down. Grant me entrance to Your secret place in each instant, day by day.

A CLEAN SWEEP

Living by pretense is no life at all. The raw, straightforward simplicity of the Gospel rips away pretentiousness. Christ’s example of love, humility, obedience, truth and power awakens virtue and makes a clean sweep of all fraud. Lord God Almighty, shine Your blazing Light of Truth in me today. Illuminate the dark corners of my soul with Your brightness and tear down every veneer.

FRONT-LOADED

Each and every day is front-loaded. God has already stocked today with valuable lessons, opportunities, blessings, experiences, spiritual insights; a chance to leave self behind. 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.

GOD FIRST IN EVERY HUMAN INTIMACY

It is hard to comprehend the power of the unseen; how something as docile as air can become a tempest of terror. I depend upon it for my every breath, yet in the wrong set of circumstances, it may take my life. Relationships are identical in nature. While they are vitally necessary and a cornucopia of blessing, they too, can be devastating. Gracious Lord, You must be first in every human intimacy.

GOD'S HOLY GRIP

I am well acquainted with God’s Holy Grip. When I press in it is gentle, soft but firm. In moments when I am being pulled away, or straining against it, I feel His Grasp tightening. There are startling moments of feet dangling over a precipice, yet I am still in held firmly in the Savior’s clutch. Father, thank You for Your Mighty Hand. You uphold, guide, prod, restrain and comfort me. Your love endures forever.

DIVINE DEPOSITS

The rise and fall of each tidal visit deposits treasures upon the sand. So it is with people that come in and out of our lives. I am convinced that God orchestrates friendships. In fact even the most painful relationships deposit value and wisdom into our lives. Even passing strangers, who just for a moment drop through can be a divine gift. Dearest Lord, thank You for the ebb and flow of people in my life.