Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2012

THE HOLY CITY

I awoke with Jerusalem on my mind this morning. As surely as the mountains surround the Holy City, the LORD surrounds His people. Though the proud and deceived wish to destroy her, she will forever be held in God’s hands. Lord God Almighty, Lover of My Soul, I pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the safety of its hallowed streets. I pray that Your people remember Your promises and superintendence.

TIDES OF LIFE

Tidal waters have always fascinated me; they are constantly rising higher or diminishing. So it is with everything in life. As one friendship strengthens, another dwindles. Youthful growth turns into retreating health. Treasured things deteriorate and unimagined new things emerge. Foolishness shrinks away and wisdom takes its place. Father Above, You are the Eternal Constant and that with every loss You provide a tidal deposit as a parting gift.

SETTING SAIL

When I look back at my life it is easy to see God’s mighty hand at work. He has carried me through oceans of blessings. Yet, as I stand at the edge of a sea of opportunities ahead, I mostly see churning waves and dangerous obstacles. I hesitate to cast off for the horizon. Heavenly Father, only Your Word and Spirit will turn my gnawing apprehensions into solid faith. Help me today to navigate past my doubts and trust the helm to Your guiding touch.

FATHER'S FINGER

When guiding a child through a delicate passage a father’s finger in a tiny fisted hand is sufficient. Learning to trust the guidance, paying attention and holding on firmly are the tasks at hand for the child. I thought these were lessons learned long ago, yet today I will do the same. And so my Lord, when I need direction, intervene with Your finger. When I am in danger make Your Voice heard. You are my guide, my shield and comfort.

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.

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.

SPEED BUMPS

I loathe speed bumps. Understanding their purpose and safety value doesn’t seem to help. I have devised numerous workarounds to avoid them or limit wheel contact. Commentary on their size, placement, justification and frequency is obligatory. Slowing down when I’m ready to roll just bothers me. Father, I get it. Thank You for the necessary slowdowns of life. I will not resent Your placement of required pauses.

THE GIFT OF TIME

Not one moment is trivial. Time is a gift from God therefore it is holy; The Lord Himself is within it. I should “discern the times” with great care. Past discernment will not do since I must discover the mystery within THIS moment and allow it to unfold completely. Lord Eternal, who was and is and is to come, deliver me from turning mysteries into formulas. Teach me to patiently take it all in.

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 devoid of affection, with no eagerness, no passionate mission, 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.

BLESSINGS

Blessings come in many forms. Some are HUGE and obvious, but most are simple and come unannounced: a thought, a smile, a taste, a touch. It strikes me how unpretentious God is. He can work on any scale, yet stoops to craft a constant stream of unembellished blessings into our lives. Lord God of the Universe, Source of All Blessings, The Majestic One, I praise You for Your humble affection.

SOLID

Things are easily taken for granted. I know this because when something to which I am accustomed is no longer is available, I always feel surprised and disappointed. Presumption, it seems, is a constant nemesis and a headlong path to exaggerated self-importance. God’s answer? Shifting sand, nothing in this world lasts forever. Lord, upon You the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Thank You for the reminder.

PRESENCE

Time invested in considering the life-transforming power of God's PRESENCE is time well spent. Bidden, or not bidden, He is present, but awareness of His presence is a major game changer. Upon awakening, acknowledge God’s Presence. Throughout the day, practice disciplines that cultivate God’s Presence. At the close of each day, rest in God’s Presence. Dearest Lord, grant me GRACE to acquiesce.

EARTHLY TO ETERNAL

My daily challenge is to glorify the greatness of God while still imbedded in human frailty. Each sunrise presents both opportunity and dilemma. Will I, this diurnal passing, move farther from wrongdoing to devotion, from earthliness to heavenly freedom? Father, I praise You for Your grace to be delivered from the thick darkness of doubt. Grant me new faith to walk more perfectly in Your promises.

SAY LESS, DO MORE

We live in an era when there is a growing chasm between words and actions. There is no duplicity in God, what He says, He does. He ”watches over His Word to perform it.” It is time to say less and do more. Lord of Truth and Action, help me to live by deeds rather than mere words. Purge from me all that is false. May my love for others be honest. May I find Your grace to take bold and steady steps.

SO GOOD

I marvel at the goodness of God. He uses us for good in spite of our limitations and failures, then allows us to enjoy the fruit of our efforts that are only successful because of His grace. As the hymnist wrote: “I stand amazed in the Presence.” Oh Lord My Helper, thank You for your kindness. May I be ever aware of Your work in me and through me. Use me as You will. Lord, You are Good.

GRATEFUL PAUSE

They stand at their post as forgetful beneficiaries sleep peacefully in their beds. They tread among explosives, dance under fire, pine for their loved ones, trade pleasures for weapons, merrymaking for freedom and precious time for succeeding generations; life bravely surrendered for the sake of a nation. We the people give grateful pause. Lord, bless our airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines. Receive into Your eternal care our fallen.

MAKE SPACE

I am hard-wired for incessant enterprise, my mind requiring almost constant occupation. In prayer, I heard two words: “make space.” Like a muddied spring or a polluted well, a cluttered mind is functional, but not beneficial. Many whisperings of the Almighty are lost in the din of mental noise. Father, help me to rest in You. Deliver me from relentless mental activity that impedes Your Voice. Teach me to be still.

HIGHBORN NOBILITY

I do not have to make a choice between being a blessing to others or being blessed myself. Choosing to refresh and help others opens the windows of heaven to both the receiver and the giver. Selfishness is a sure path to gnawing sadness and loss of purpose. In sacrificial generosity of time, talent or treasure we discover highborn nobility. Father, You love, You give, You reign; I want to be like You.

SOARING

A kite soaring high while still bound to earth put me thinking: the disciplines that tie me down are designed by God to lift me higher. Left to the wind alone, a kite will fly but soon crash. The string that holds it back actually gives it lift as it is let out slowly, the wind carrying it to dizzying heights. Father, thank you for the commitments I sometimes resent. With Your binding hand and lifting breath, there are no limits.

MORE TO THE STORY

Concerning the work of God in our lives, there is always more to the story. Whatever we see as we face difficult or complicated circumstances is never the full picture. The divine purpose behind every moment far outweighs whatever temporary discomfort we feel. In these occasions there is no substitute for knowing God’s love and promises. Father, Lover of My Soul, I praise You for Your faithful care.

FICKLE FEELINGS

Today’s disappointments often overshadow a lifetime of blessings. Clouds may temporarily block the rays of light the sun provides, but even in the darkest storm sunlight still brightly shines above. I must remind myself to rise above the tempest of temporary letdowns and to remember God’s goodness and mercy. Father, forgive my fickle feelings. I will forever praise You and exalt Your Name.

THERE IS GOD AND I AM NOT HIM

Here I am again acutely aware of a simple fact, there is God and I am not Him. Why then am I still surprised when His choices are not my own? I must now turn my attention to what I definitively know: God is good and perfect in all His ways. So, I plod ahead, trusting the future is firmly in the Almighty’s hands. Father, acknowledging the limitations of my earth-born nature, but taking courage from Your awesome perfection, I declare I am blessed in all things.

DAY OF DECISION

Making hard decisions is a major inconvenience. While every serious decision requires a viable process, certain decisions require even more. Today is a seminal moment for the direction of America. The world’s future will be impacted by the decisions made across the fruited plain. To fail to decide is to let someone else decide for you. So, here it is, if you have not already: PRAY, LISTEN, THINK, COMMIT, GET OUT AND VOTE.

GENTLE TOUCH

One of life’s greatest gifts is a reassuring hand on the shoulder. It is almost miraculous how, in the blink of an eye, a simple gesture can wipe away concealed pain or encourage a step of faith. How often have I missed the opportunity to offer something so valuable, yet easy to give? Father, help me today to be Your hand extended to someone’s moment of need. Thank You for Your constant gentle touch.

GRACE TO KNUCKLE UNDER

There is no substitute for the supremacy of Christ. He alone must be enthroned in my heart. Most of my troubles are rooted in stubborn attempts to pull away from His dominion over the length and breadth of my life. Until all that is mine is conceded, all that is His will elude me. Oh God my King, I acknowledge Your Lordship, help me to relinquish every portion. Grant me grace to knuckle under.

FREEDOM

I am marveling in my freedom today. It starts deep in the soul and moves outwardly. Still, many deeply embedded obstacles stubbornly resist the liberty God grants, yet I am increasingly free to choose to whom I yield. That’s right, freedom is not independence, it is the ability to choose whom you serve, to obligate oneself without unsolicited interference. Dearest Lord, I am Yours. My all for You.

LOVE LIFTS

Whether being given or received, love lifts. What a gift! I can change my daily experience even when I have limited power to change my circumstances. A deeper understanding of God’s love opens the floodgates and empowers us to pour it out to others, even to the most unlovable. Lord of Love, use me today as a downspout of Your love. Help me offer it without limitation. I already feel the lift.

SWIMMING IN A CURRENT

It is as if I am swimming in a steady current. I can swim with it and move faster, or I can swim against it and go the opposite direction, but, as I fatigue, the current slowly moves me again. In spite of my resistance, God is working in me and moving me toward my created purpose. This is at once comforting and exasperating. Father, I get it, yielding is the only solution. Thank You for keeping me on course.