I Think I Know

I think I know what I am going to do.  I never really considered a writing career.  I thought you had to be one of those gifted types, but as I have watched, read, and listened to friends, emails, facebook, myspace, and myriad conversations, I see that it is something I must do.  I refuse to believe that I cannot do it just because I don’t have the “proper” training.  I write simply because.  Who said I have to have a reason, rhyme, or method?  No one.  And so here I go again, God didn’t call me to mimic, be like, look like, or live like anyone else.  He simply said to be holy as he’s holy, to love Him, to love others, and obey His commands—can’t get more simple than that.

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I Corinthians 12:12-27
One Body with Many Parts

 12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

 14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

 18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

 27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

 

A Very Good Plan

A Plan To Prosper
When life “feel” hopeless, I love when I remember God’s promises. We are not a people without hope. One of my favorite life verse passages comes from Jeremiah 29:1-14. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”I suppose we keep faithing it, clinging to Jesus no matter what. I don’t know how the heroes of the faith held to God, but somehow they did–through thick and thin, sickness, death, loss, bankruptcy, poverty, and all sorts of yuck. I guess that’s where the rubber hits the road–when the fires of life test our faith, and we have to believe in spite of circumstance. We may say to ourselves that God is bigger than this mountain even though we may feel small. Nothing is difficult for our Great God. This is what I must remember when turmoil arise without and within.

And the answer is YES…… God can cause me to prosper even in the desert places. He can cause me to prosper in the wildnerness. He can cause me to prosper in pain. He can cause me to prosper when hope seems lost. He is not without hope. He is not without goodness. He is not without faithfulness. He is not without love. He is not without hearing. ALL His promises are yes and Amen–whether in the valley of the shadow of death, or high on the mountain, God has not left us as orphans.

To all of you on walking the journey, keep faithing it. We know God’s word is true and the He–God–is NOT a man that he should lie. What he has promised, He WILL bring to pass. THIS I must believe.

Psalm 34, 116
Hebrews 13:5
Psalm 23, 27
Isaish 54:17

Truth for Today

God Hears

September 8, 2008

Life is often crazy. I have found that though I should pray more during these times, I usually don’t. I might barely offer up the “emergency toss up prayer” and go on about the business of living; but this is not living the abundant life in Christ. God cares about the every-day-ordinary-mundane events of our lives. Nothing gets past Him, and nothing goes unnoticed; so it would make sense then to tell Him everything; but I don’t always do that. I suppose it’s human nature—that whole “old man” nature that doesn’t want to really believe that God hears all, sees all, and provides all even when my circumstances may scream otherwise. How God longs for us to simply believe the truth of his Word. His desire is for us and not against us. It all comes back to faith and believing the God is who he says he is and that he does what he says he can do.

Today, I live in the light of another of his truths—GOD HEARS. He listens when I talk, pray, nap, nod, work, and sleep. All that is in me, he is aware of, and nothing is hidden from Him. At first glance, that may seem unnerving, but think about this. What would happen if our God could not hear the silent prayers and cries of our hearts? What would our lives be like if God didn’t anticipate our need and provide accordingly in ways that brought him glory and were beneficial to us? Is there any other god who can do such? Is there any other god who keeps his promise? Is there any other god, who knows us by name and initiates relationship with us? Is there any other god who relentlessly pursues us? No. I know no other god but the God of the bible—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I know no other God who keeps his promise and loves without condition.

So today I am thankful. I am grateful. I am broken—conceding my life (without grudging or complaint) to God alone, submitted to His will. Today I can tell you that we walk by faith and not by sight. Today I can tell you that the Word of God made flesh is alive in us and through. Today I tell you God’s word is true. Today I tell you we each will come to a place where we will literally live the Word of God and know its truth, and we will know God is in us.

God’s truth for today is this… Trust me. I hear you when you call. I hear the silent cry of your heart that no one hears. I hear the prayer that your heart cannot speak. I am a loving and good God. My word is always true. I never lie, and I can be trusted. I hear you when you call. I hear you when you cry. I see you when you fall. I do not leave you helpless or alone. Trust me because I AM God. Let me show you. My Word is true.

Psalm 34

Numbers 23:19

Romans 8:27-28

Matthew 6:7-8

1 Peter 5:7

Hebrews 4:14-16 (

written Sept. 2008)

A Little Hope for Today

Hope for Today

Yesterday morning I read from 2 Corinthians chapter 1. Mind you, I am not in the habit of reading my bible every single day, though I should—but thankfully, God is not legalistic. It’s only man who makes such assumptions about what service to God should look like; but I digress.

I can only tell you that the Word of God saturates mind, body, and spirit and brings refreshment for the soul. So here it is…the Message version is so poignant, gets me every time….

2 Corinthians 1
The Rescue
3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no, more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

6-7 When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.

8-11 We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And, he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.

12-14 Now that the worst is over, we’re pleased we can report that we’ve come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world—and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. But it wasn’t by any fancy footwork on our part. It was God who kept us focused on him, uncompromised. Don’t try to read between the lines or look for hidden meanings in this letter. We’re writing plain, unembellished truth, hoping that you’ll now see the whole picture as well as you’ve seen some of the details. We want you to be as proud of us as we are of you when we stand together before our Master Jesus.

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So why these verses? What is this hope for today? Just this…in the eye of the hurricane, and in the middle of the storm you can have hope—and not same waning, spur of the moment, fleeting hope. I’m talking lasting, let you sleep through the night; cause you to wake up refreshed hope. Only God gives that kind of hope.

The other day I saw only doom and gloom. I had an overwhelming sense of being closed in to despair. For a moment, a night, I thought the Lord would leave me to the darkness till I had no options and was hopeless. Its’ too bad that I didn’t read my bible before I actually went to sleep, for it was restless, wearisome, and uncomfortable; yet sovereign God is ever so merciful. I awoke in the morning knowing I needed God, his Word of hope, faith, and promise. I knew I needed my mournful night to pass into joy. I awoke and knew I needed a better diagnosis and not a death sentence—or at least what spiritually felt like one. That’s when I came to “The Rescue.”

When hard times come, there are often no explanations. We may have pain, sorrow, stress, depression, despair, sickness, heaviness, or some other ailment of heart, mind, or soul. In these times, it feels as though the darkness is pressing in on us. It feels as though we just won’t make it to a place called peaceful. We may feel the fingers of despair trying to choke out the abundant Life in us. Oh, what a painful, restless, shaken, and broken place to be; but I tell you there is HOPE for today. That broken, torn, and hopeless place can be our turn-around moment. We can focus our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith and realize that our God of hope does not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear. He will not leave us as orphans. He comes to rescue. He lifts us up. He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He walks with us. So let’s not accuse our good and holy God of forsaking us. Our God is a God of light, and he is with us in the darkness. He brings us through. Our lives will tell the story to someone else in need. They will read the story of our lives and be encouraged. So, it was with Paul. He saw that God was his rescuer and using that moment to be with him and lead him to come alongside others in their darkest hour.

Have hope for today. God doesn’t leave us where we are. He moves us forward. He completes His good work in us. He affirms us, makes us, and leads us. Our good and great God confidently and strongly keeps us and surrounds us. What looks like death now can be life waiting to happen and hoping to spring alive.

Psalm 91: 1-2, 11-12
Psalm 34:7
Psalm 118:17-20
Philippians 1:3-6
Philippians 2:12-16

(written Sept. 2008)

Idols from Your Own Hands

What have you created?

Jeremiah 24

Have you made an idol today by your own hands? You know the crafty kind. They look so beautiful to the eye, and are perfect in everywhere. Yet, their charm is deceitful, if not vain. Has your idol drawn you from the heart of God? Has your idol become your mouthpiece? Has your idol become your dream, your all, your everything? That job you want, the marriage you desire, the friends you have…have they become your idol—made by your own hands. God’s word as much to say about putting anything or anyone else before him; but oh how our great God is long-suffering, patient, and kind. He even repeats himself throughout the ages, and the message is always the same—“Will you return to me?” Who could resist the call of love? And yet so often because we are tied down by the weight of the world or our own desires, we cannot hear, or we miss hearing him. We pursue lives outside of Him who gave All because we have what we suppose to be our “fire” insurance. Yet, God is still in pursuit of man. Yes, He’s pursuing me, and He’s pursuing you.  Can you give up your idol? Are you willing to let it go so that you can have more of the abundant life?

God, our Abba Father, does not desire our harm, but our good. He desires relationship with us, but he will not force himself; at the same time, he will not knock on the door of our hearts forever. There will come a day, a time when we must make our final accounting with him. We either choose Him, or we don’t. We will either spend eternity loving him in close proximity, or we will be forever separated from Him because we sought our own good apart from him. The choice is yours.  Choose life

It’s just a little something to consider for evening.

m.

Thoughts on living by just being authentically you – that is the driving impulse of humanity…