human tendency is to construct habits or circumstances with which we feel
comfortable. These “comforts” are a trap, constricting, compressing and
confining us. Comfort zones quickly become “dead zones”, stealing away true potential. 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 and Your relentless pursuit.
World, then the first level of real world consciousness, eyes open, repeat,
repeat, alert—that was hard. I’m fully awake now. On the Mountain of
Transfiguration the disciples were very sleepy and they too slipped into the unconsciousness
of deep sleep, but “when they became
fully awake, they saw his glory.” At times I slide into a sleepy state in
my spiritual walk as well, only vaguely seeing God’s image in me. Fully awake,
see His glory, this sounds very good. Lord, AWAKEN me, ALL of me. Let the
brightness of Your dawning bathe my soul. Leave nothing untouched. Joy in the
impossible to think myself out of being offended. Actually, the opposite is
true; the more I mull over offenses and discuss them with others, the more indignant
I become. Our fuming deliberations deepen the pain, entrenching us in sullen exasperation
and excessive defensiveness. Forgiveness is the key to turning our sorrows into
joy since it places the situation into God’s hands; letting go of the wheel is
the only sure path to healing. O Lord My Keeper and Defender, into Your hands I
commit my heartbreaks. Keep me out of the way of Your divine work so Your Mercy
been through many small tremors, but only once through a genuine earthquake.
Having already lived in Costa Rica for a couple of years I had become so
accustomed to small tremors that I didn’t even notice the big one until the
ground began to truly heave. It is disorienting to discover that everything can
be shaken at once and it can last for such a long time. 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
daily actions should be viewed as the worship of God as much as the sacrifice
of the altar or the work of the high priest when he went within the veil. God
calls us to do whatever we do in faith and obedience to Him. Even the most
routine, mundane things of life become holy when done “unto Him.” There is no
secular versus spiritual for the true believer; there is only surrendered
obedience and faithful stewardship. Lord, you carefully formed me and placed me
in this world. Keep me in a right frame of mind as I live before You. Do not
let me swerve into false a dichotomy. Father, there is only You.
doors in my life are creaking; the front door, back door and car doors.
Lubricant should clear this up easily, however, it does no good for it to be
present but not applied. This chorus of creaking is now a crisis and I can bear
it no longer. Maintenance is mandatory. My inner life is no different; I often allow
spiritual creakiness to become a crisis before taking action. Again, the
solution can be present yet remain unapplied. Father, grant me grace to act.
May dryness of soul have no place in me. Thank You for the oil of joy, which bathes
and penetrates each part offered to You.
is but another word for God’s love in action. Why is it so hard to offer mercy
to others while we cry out for it for ourselves? Somehow, we justify our own
need as worthy of mercy while disqualifying others. When God is merciful to
those we feel are unworthy of it, we are perplexed and offended. Honestly, there
are many times when I do not understood why God allows things to unfold as they
do, but how is it that I still rise up in such defiance of His Mercies? Loving
Father, forgive my insolent demand that You deny Your very Being; You ARE love.
Grant me grace to walk in Your Merciful Kindness.
Street, U.S.A.” is based on Walt Disney’s boyhood memory of a small town in which
he lived in the early 1900’s. Rows of gingerbread-styled homes and businesses,
American flags, a train station, horses and music combine to make it a magical
stroll into Fantasyland. It is fun entertainment, but it is all a facade. It seems
convincing enough, but it’s nothing but an imaginative veneer. Much of what we
seek in life is propped up with facades and imaginations. As architects of our
own fantasies we see what we want to see, then truth comes rolling in like a
romping rhino in a china store; reality is a game-changer. Lord of Truth, I
have many delicate things balanced on flimsy shelves. You knock down fantasies
and facades so spiritual realities can break through.
often fallen into a trap of feeling something was urgent or desperate, when in
fact, it never was. I have wasted innumerable hours trying to think my way past
problems only to later discover they never existed as I had perceived them. It
is wise to be on our guard, but anxiety drains away life and is in direct
contradiction to God’s command: “Do not be anxious about anything.” Instead, we
are to let prayer and praise reshape our worries into expectation of God’s
intervention. Lord, I cast my cares upon You. You are the answer to every
question, the provision for every need. All is well; I am safe in Your Hands.
sometimes surprised how quickly my mind attempts to take a blessed moment and
turn it into a point of pride or personal advantage. A lifetime of divine
dealings has not rid me of unbecoming ambitions. While progress has been made,
selfish desires still lurk within, rising to the surface when stirred. Only by
the charitableness and longsuffering of God, combined with unrelenting truth,
can every vestige of unsurrendered soul be overcome. Father, I know You will
finish what You have begun in me. Forgive my attempts to mix my earthly desires
with Your heavenly ones. Lord, purify my heart and ways.
who manage dams do not take cracks lightly. Leaks do not self-repair, they must
be addressed or they will only worsen. The same can be said of the soul. When
life’s pressures build, even the most spirit-filled heart can be drained. I must
consistently seek fresh infilling and simultaneously take care of issues that
siphon away God’s Presence. No one else can guard my heart; I must take
personal responsibility to remain filled. Glorious God and Father, open the
windows of heaven afresh. Grant me wisdom to recognize and attend to things
that deplete my heart of Your Glory and Work.
A flock of geese lives nearby. Each one acts very
independently and they all seem to argue a lot, still they remain together. Geese
mate for life and when they fly as a group they do so with precision and
perfect order. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of
him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The point? They go 70 percent farther together. Clearly
there is a lesson here for me. In spite of the complications of living and
working with others, there is far more benefit in mutual cooperation and love
than in going it alone. Lord of Life, help me be faithful in relationships and
teach me to be a good team player.
I feel like an observer as I listen to myself speak. At times, words overloaded
with emotion and selfishness tumble out, yet sometimes, I hear God speaking.
Our Creator places a powerful instrument on the front of our faces. The mouth
can be a fountain of blessing and encouragement or a spirit-crushing hammer.
The tongue of the wise spreads wisdom and life, but the mouth of the simpleton
foolishly spews destruction. Blessed Father, help me speak only life, never
death. Purify my heart and mind so only truth-empowered love exits my lips.
Holy Spirit, govern me, guide me, and use me.
Life would seem pretty hopeless if
it were constricted to man’s ways. To
limit God’s promises and power to what we can now see or conceive is foolish
indeed. The person of faith does not ignore facts, they simply see beyond them,
looking ahead to what God is bringing forth. I cannot glimpse forward with my
eyes on the past. I cannot look ahead with my eyes fixed on where I am. I can
only peer beyond the horizon by lifting my eyes to heaven. Oh Lord My Helper
and Redeemer, You are the Beginning and the End at once. Beholding You is to
see what truly matters. I lift my eyes to You.
not want to be a world-class shadow boxer nor an off-course runner. Each of us
has stewardship of time, talents and treasures, limited resources to be
invested in what really matters. Too often I have settled for less than God’s
best, pulled off course by inward deception, a wandering heart or the influence
of others. Strong finishers do not follow the crowd; they set their pace for
the prize. O Lord My Guide, keep me on course. Have mercy on me and do not
permit my mouth to grow calloused to the bit. May I remain tender to Your voice
and the slightest pull on the reigns.
attracts a crowd. I am not talking about being featured on the local news for a
random act of kindness, I am referring to a much more meaningful crowd. A
cluster of other divine characteristics crowding in surrounds genuine kindness;
tenderheartedness, forgiveness and mercy always accompany kindness. One godly act
breeds another, and so on it goes. Kindness should not be random at all; it
should be central to our approach toward others at all times. Lord God, You are
kind beyond measure, help me be like You. May kindness be the centerpiece of
Your work through me.
each spun round and round by the everyday swirl of life. It often 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 still resist? My failed attempts at shaping myself should be evidence
enough to yield to the Potter’s hands. The spinning wheel of life is an
instrument of blessing in the hands of my Maker and Redeemer. Father I thank
You for Your blessed work. Have Your way, I am yielded clay in Your hands. Mold
me and make me into the vessel You desire.
openly invites us into His secret chambers, but only fools rush in. Nonchalant
pride should never characterize my approach to the Holy and Mighty One. Carelessness
is an uninvited companion that sometimes accompanies my intimacy with God. His
kind invitation to commune with Him must be accepted with face-to-the-ground
humility. Lord God, forgive my presumptuousness and cleanse my heart and mind
of lingering conceit. May I never abuse Your Goodness by an inappropriate sense
of entitlement. High and Lofty One, King of Majesty, You are Great and
heart solely focused on one’s own desires, over time, becomes barren, empty,
and sterile. Compassion and concern for the needs of others releases a flood of
creativity, fresh ideas and productivity. God formed us to “multiply and
replenish” the world around us. The person who hoards love will, in the end, lose
what little they have. The one who opens the treasures of love freely to others
will be filled with an inexhaustible supply. Lord of Love and Life, point my
heart toward what pleases You. Deliver me O God, from sin-rooted selfishness
and move my heart by what moves Yours.
would a wispy dragonfly lightly perch on a leaf, wisdom can land in the most
delicate of hearts. Wisdom tears through thorny thickets and boroughs deep into
rocky soil. There is simply no heart God’s wisdom cannot reach. Yet that is but
half the equation. A heart must be willing to accept divine infusion. Once
allowed to enter she brings all her clan: prudence, discernment, knowledge,
good judgment and much more. Lord of Wisdom and Truth, grant me a wise and
understanding heart. Help me acknowledge You in all things that Your wisdom may
enlighten every corner of my soul.
Osprey, a hawk as big and beautiful as an eagle hovers, swoops, and delicately
plucks a fish with his talons, gracefully flying away. The pelican, an even
larger bird pauses, drops like a rock, headfirst, full speed and mouth
opening as it hits the water. Sitting on the water like a dazed boxer on the
canvas, he spits out water and swallows the fish. Both the osprey and the
pelican feast at the same table, one with graceful poise and the other with
seemingly clumsy grit. Lord, thank You for my daily bread by whatever means You
provide. I am genuinely grateful for Your constant care.
encouraged to know that I am living according to a divinely guided plan directed from outside of my circumstances. The purposes of God are unaffected
by the daily challenges this world presents. He simply works everything out according
to His will. God never panics, never feels incapable and is never confused
or deceived. Why would I ever want to run things without Him? Strangely, after
many self-generated disasters, I still prefer to direct things myself. Blessed
Lord, help me accept Your ways and means. Cure my folly and lead me to full
surrender to Your sovereign authority.
dependent on fresh manna each and every day. Like the ancient Hebrews traveling
through the desert, I too, must have constant nutrition provided by God;
imagination, entertainment or self-driven efforts are inferior, dangerous
substitutes. The eternal impulse only God can give brings lifeblood to every
moment. Religious devotion has its place, but an active relationship that leads
to daily obedience to my created purpose is vital. Father Above, take my life
and let it be all for you. Clothe me with Your Presence and guide my thoughts
and desires into Your perfect plan.
Front Range winter wind is howling past my window and reminding me; something
as inert as air becomes extremely powerful in the right conditions. Our voice can be as well. For the most part my voice is merely one tool among many used to
express myself. Until, that is, one of those moments when it carries a message
from the Almighty. When my voice becomes His Voice it changes everything.
Speaking faith and love embodied in truth can move mountains. Father, You gave
me the gift of voice. Put Your coal of fire to my lips and fill my heart and
mouth with what matters.
The accessibility of travel has dramatically changed over my lifetime,
bringing home a simple point: I can get practically anywhere from where I am.
It is easy to feel stuck in life, but with determination, we can move forward
from wherever we are. The belief that we CAN is vital to taking the first
steps. The words of Paul ring loudly: “I CAN do all things…” Equally important
to belief is the rest of Paul’s message: "through Christ who gives me
strength.” Surrender to the Person, Power and WILL of God is key. In other
words, I am limited only to God, nothing else. Lord, thank You for pointing to
the means and direction for pursuing Your best.
is personal; each heart knows its own bitterness. Smiles and laughter often
masks inward grief. To the one who truly knows God as Father, those times
become uniquely precious. In times of intimacy with the Great Shepherd sorrows
turn to joy that no one else can share, mourning becomes dancing, grief becomes
gladness and pouting becomes praise! Just the mention of His name declared in
bedrock belief shatters the darkness and opens the heavens! My Lord, my God,
You are Awesome, Powerful and Beautiful! All Glory and Majesty are Yours
forever and ever amen!
The journey from the Western Hemisphere
to the Eastern requires an overnight flight. A long night of restless sleep is
the norm, but so much happens while I doze. On these global treks busy pilots
navigate through dangers, flight attendants take care of passenger’s needs,
powerful engines strain against gravity, all the while I am mostly unaware of
the scene around me. So it is with life in general. Each day I live mostly
unaware of how dependent I am on heaven’s helping hand. Lord, forgive my brutish
presumptuousness. Thank You for safely carrying me through.