Monday, November 30, 2009

The Titus Touch

"...God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus." 2 Corinthians 7:6

Friends are so valuable. Titus was God's gift to Paul at the perfect time.

"...the arrival of Titus." Titus just showed up. "His presence was a joy..." vs.7

Sometimes God allows someone to just "show up" in our life as well. Just when we think we can't go another day, a phone call, a note, the doorbell and God's presence is evidenced in a personal way.

Maybe today you could give or receive the Titus touch.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Never Ending Story

"Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This 'letter' is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts." 2 Corinthians 2:2-3

It's funny the things that can get me reminiscing about the past. All of a sudden an aroma, a word, a song, a touch invades my thoughts and my mind drifts back to a memory held forever captive in my heart. That happened the other night for me.

I was watching a movie when an event depicted had me journeying back to a moment in my childhood. The Mom portrayed in this film was explaining to her adopted, illiterate daughter the joy of reading. My heart beat quicker with each adjective. I was one who lost herself in books as a child.

My parents took my sister and I to the Children's Library every Saturday and I can recall the anticipation of choosing stories that would transport me to another world. A land where I would become heroine - a girl of outstanding nobility and courage. I would travel to exotic places. Slay dragons. Capture thieves. Love and be loved.

I'd close my eyes and breathe in the scent of books. I would come home from the Library with my treasure, my arms holding hours of wonder and adventure. I would inhale each word. Let the book become a part of me. I would laugh, cry, turn pages in eager anticipation. I would read by flashlight under the covers when bedtime came too early and a tale still had to be told before this little girl could close her eyes and rest.

I've had a passion for words all my life. Watching "The Music Man" at every opportunity, I dreamed of becoming "Marion the Librarian". I wanted to surround myself with sentences, phrases, conjunctions, dotted "i's" and crossed "t's". Should a handsome man find me there, amongst the pages, as one found Marion, that would be wonderful too.

My dream became reality almost 30 years ago when my first job was working as a Library Clerk at a Children's Library. I thoroughly enjoyed each day of the twelve years I was employed there. In between doing the clerical jobs that were my responsibility, I was able to share my passion of the written word with children. Storytimes and reading clubs allowed me to remain a child myself, far past what the years would allow, opening up the hearts of children to the delight of reading.

The other day I purchased a new book - a Bible study. I lingered over the artists cover design. I opened it so carefully as if holding gold, turning each page tenderly, feasting on the truths unveiled. The Scripture passages take me down roads, into far away towns. I share in the lives of Kings and paupers. I weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh. I read of great joys and unbearable sorrows. I meet a baby whose birth has changed my life forever.

Then, this Author, who holds pen over my life, continues to write sentences over me. Sentences will become paragraphs. Paragraphs becoming chapters. A never-ending story that will continue for all eternity. Do the pages of my life rise as a sweet aroma to Christ? (2 Corinthians 2:15) My life is to be a letter from Christ, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on the tablet of a human heart.

Tomorrow is a blank page, a clean slate. Words wait to be written. An award winning novel, a best seller, a captivating love story between a Princess and her King. Your life is the most beautiful story being written. Surrender to His plot. Trust His conclusion. I can guarantee it will be happily every after!

(As an aside, my son's school is presenting "The Music Man" as their musical this year. My son is playing the keyboard part in the Pit Band. As I listen to him practice, the music is stirring so many memories. Can't wait to see the production in the Spring.)

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Saturday, November 28, 2009


"...we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God...We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety." 2 Corinthians 1:9-11

My son and his "friend girl" often refer to one another as "FROG" friends. They encourage one another to Fully Rely On God.

Fully - to the greatest degree or extent; completely or entirely; in full; without lack
Rely - trust: have confidence or faith in; fully satisfied of the veracity, integrity, or ability of persons, or of the certainty of facts or of evidence; to depend

There is no 'me', 'myself' or 'I'. No place for doubt or despair. No room for worry or wasted energy. Complete and total trust, not in ourselves, but in our God.

Where do you need to trust Him? Finances? Relationship? Plans? Guidance? Health? Job? A prodigal? Anxiety? Decisions? _____________?

We can rely on God in everything. Sometimes the wait is long, but He can be trusted. "For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding 'Yes!'". 2 Corinthians 1:20

I have a very dear friend who trusted the Lord in a journey that lasted over four years. She never lost hope. She cried many tears, but she still trusted. She never stopped looking towards the horizon and the dawning of a new day. She never stopped checking her mailbox or eagerly answering her phone. She never allowed exhaustion to detour her as she filled out more paperwork. She never stopped preparing, believing that her day would come. She celebrated with others who's dreams became certainty long before hers became reality. Twenty-five days ago her prayers became sight. On that day, her precious little daughter from China was placed in her arms.

Here are just a few pictures of the joy to come when we fully rely on God.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

A Not So Simple Song

"If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." Romans 14:8

I have a friend, Deanna, with six children who all have been blessed with amazing musical ability. Their harmonies are absolutely gorgeous and they have recorded two CD's. They call themselves, "simplesong", the name of their title track, a song Deanna's daddy, Ross Seabrook wrote. The lyrics say:

"Come and sing a simple song of Jesus
Sing it like you never sang before
Tell it everywhere; He is alive and cares
Give no place to doubting anymore

If I live, praise the Lord
If I die, praise the Lord
If I live or die, my only cry
Will be Jesus in me, praise the Lord."

I can't tell you the number of times I have pulled that CD out and listened to this song when life was going well. It requires little effort to sing the lyrics loudly when the living is easy. What about when uncertainties are scattered on the path? Can my voice find volume? Is this still a "simple song"?

At times along our journey we have to come face to face with this truth. Can I say with Paul in Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain"? Although we can reason that truth in our heads, the struggle to surrender still comes. Yes, "in acceptance lieth peace".

A crossroad of decision. A resolute position taken. Ofen times through tears. Singing today a not so simple song.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Groanings to Guidance

"And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:26-28

Not being able to sleep, I climbed out of bed, picked up my Bible and began to read. I wasn't very far into today's reading before I came to the passage above and tears began to flow. That's exactly where I am. I am weak. I don't know what God wants. I'm wordless. But, God is working.

Not knowing the undisclosed will of God, should I be praying for relief or endurance? As some of you know, I went for my yearly physical this past Thursday. I was feeling great going into the exam. During the internal something happened. I have been in much abdominal pain over the last five days. Going back to my Dr's office on Monday, he wanted me scheduled for two different ultrasounds. The receptionist called the clinic and I was scheduled for Tuesday, December 8th in the afternoon. (I'm speaking at a Ladies Christmas Tea in the morning.) Without any prompting from me, before hanging up the phone the receptionist asked if they ever have cancellations and could they call me if something came up sooner. Do you know that my cell phone was ringing as I pulled in my driveway minutes later? Could I come Thursday morning at 8:30am instead? That's today! That's God! Before we call He answers. I honestly don't know how I would have lasted another 12 days of being in this much discomfort without someone doing a further exam. (Just to clarify the word "discomfort". I have a very high pain tolerance. My appendix almost ruptured years ago because I wasn't demonstrating that I was in enough pain. So, "discomfort" to me would probably translate to severe pain for someone else.)

Although I am so thankful how God has brought today to dawn, I'm scared. If you read yesterday's post, you know the evil one has been attacking my mind with endless worry. The verses above have spoken to my heart. God's timing is perfect.

I am so thankful that the Spirit knows what I do not know, namely God's revealed will. When life is against me, God is for me. The Holy Spirit is praying and interceding on my behalf. Times of deepest perplexity are times of deepest communion. The Spirit translates my uncertainty with divine certainty, making my confusion exactly what I should pray. The will of God is being taken to the heart of God on my behalf.

God is good all the time, but everything is not good all the time, yet He is causing everything to happen according to His purpose. I do believe that nothing happens accidentally. In all things God is working out His plan. God is not working for those, but to those, on those. God cares about Christlikeness, not convenience and comfort. He is calling me to trust Him in this.

This health concern may appear to be ruining my life right now, but it is ramping up God's plans. God foreknew, pre-destined, called, justified and He will be glorified, even in this circumstance. I must walk forward today, confident in Christ. God will not allow anything to get in the way of how He is conforming me. When I pray God's will, I know He hears me, and if He hears me, He has the answers I truly long to receive. It's not knowing what to pray that is important, but that I pray. I will go from groanings to guidance.

Lord, help me not to waste nasty, unexpected circumstances. You can use them to reveal Jesus in me. Sometimes God doesn't remove a 'thorn' because we can experience the perfection of His power in us and show God off. What God allows is often challenging, but we know He loves us and He is still in control.

Take my prayers God way so that God can take my life Christ way.

(Many thoughts taken from a sermon I heard back in the summer of 2006, Pastor Rick Baker)

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

War of Worlds

"So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace." Romans 8:6

A war has waged in my mind today. A war between panic and peace. A war between sin and Spirit. Worry has caused my heart to walk a path of death today instead of life.

"Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not." (Aragorn, Lord of the Rings)

Open war is upon me. The thief has come to steal my trust, kill and sacrifice my life and destroy my spiritual progress. Demonic opposition is delivering oppression. Hell has been enraged and satanic forces are hurling their mightiest weapons.

It's not peaceful in the invisible. A war of worlds is being fought. The evil one has a plan and an army behind the scenes and he's looking for an intentional attack moment to terrorize, torture and immobilize. He knows my weakness and the battle for my life is raging with intensity. Ground zero has been my mind.

Health concerns and medical appointments tomorrow morning have caused concern. My mind is racing to possible what if's. It hasn't helped to read today of being called to share in Christ's suffering (Romans 8:17), and encouraged to rejoice in trials (Romans 5:3).

Lord, I pray you will bind satan from further assault. Father give victory. The powers of darkness and spiritual forces of evil are wielding weapons at my mind, but they cannot stand against You.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


“…Abraham’s faith did not weaken…” “Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” Romans 4:19-21

Didn’t weaken. Never wavered. Grew stronger. Brought glory. Fully convinced. Is able.

Each of these couplets characterized Abraham’s faith. I'm jealous of such faith.

Faith that holds on. Faith that trusts an invisible hand. Faith that knows God is at work. Faith that says, I cannot change certain circumstances, but I know You are in the midst of them. Faith that sees beyond the perplexities to the promises. Faith that resists doubt and discouragement. Faith that isn’t hindered or handicapped, frustrated or fearful. Faith that accepts without understanding. Faith that takes root and grows in the soil of our soul. Faith that meets triumph and trials and treats both the same. Faith that sustains through silences, silently. Faith that stands and stays. Faith that perseveres personal loss and public misunderstanding. Faith that pivots destiny. Faith that sings at the midnight hour. Faith that hears the songs still to be written. Faith in the lot and little. Faith in the much and the more.

“Faith that believes in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Philip Yancey

Lord, today I pray for such faith. A faith that says, through tears, I trust You even in this. Hold me. I surrender again to all Your plans for me. I want my life to bring You glory, whatever path that will walk. Not my will, but Thine be done.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Grammar Lesson

“…Paul felt compelled…” “…God has given us the privilege…” “…I am eager to come to you…” “…I am not ashamed…” Acts 19:23, Romans 1: 5,15,16

I was captivated today by some adverbs, nouns, adjectives and verbs.

Compelled. Privilege. Eager. Not ashamed.

Have I ever felt compelled to do something for Christ?

Do I view sharing what God has done for me a privilege?

Am I eager to tell others about Jesus?

Can I say I am not ashamed of the Good News?

My life needs to be so much more than words. Desiring to live in the active, not passive voice.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


“…stand firm…” “be strong and immovable.” 1 Corinthians 15:1, 58

"Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you’ve had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you stand,
Then you stand"

(Rascal Flatt's "Stand")

Interesting that Paul starts and ends this chapter with a reference to our footing. Much content that has found it's way to the table of debate and discussion fills the 56 verses inbetween.

When struggles come how sure is your anchor? Sometimes storms come to see if you’re sea-worthy. A ship is sent out, not to see if it will sink, but float. Trials come, not to necessarily test our faith, but to see if we have faith. Paul gives voice to this in 1 Corinthians 15:34, “For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.”

We are being admonished here to not give in under pressure and not give up our faith. The resource for standing firm is available to us. God’s Word says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able to bear, but with the temptation will make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.” God Himself is our Resource. He will supply the strength to stand firm and be strong and immovable.

Does anything we experience exceed the power of God? Standing firm and holding ground is most often not a physical battle, but a mental and spiritual conflict. God’s power is the same during times of crisis and times of calm. As Christ followers we know that something within us is immoveable.

Stand firm, giving loyalty to Truth.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Random Thoughts

"On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.' In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant between God and his people - an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.' For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again." 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The Lord's supper. God is both the host and the sacrifice.

"A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other." 1 Corinthians 12:7

The gift is given for the good of the church, not necessarily the good of the individual.

The Spirit could be removed from many churches these days and nothing would be different.

Although my random thoughts tonight are scattered, slow and sleepy, their pupose is sure.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Precept or Preference

" sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong..." 1 Corinthians 8:12

This verse is powerful. To me it means that we must hold to the convictions that God has placed on our hearts, but not condemn or criticize others with contrary preferences. Yes, there are some absolute truths that cannot be negotiated, but so many of the differences believers face do not fall into the precept catagory. Most often we struggle with personal choice.

If the Lord places a conviction on my heart in one area, I must be true to the standard that God has called me to hold. If my sister in the Lord has a different view in that area, I must accept her opinion and honour her committment to the Lord. Trying to encourage anyone to go against their belief before God is wrong. We all must be obedient to the Lord's voice over our lives and not be the cause of another's stumble.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Than Words

"For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God's power." 1 Corinthians 4:20

Talk is cheap. The words come easy. The doing is hard.

For those of us who like to write, the verbal finds voice effortlessly, but the follow through is often difficult.

How much of my walk is talk? I speak "Christianese" well. Immersed in this tongue since birth, the dialect is familiar. Well educated and well read, I have no problem filling in the blanks with the right answer, but it's the "fruit" that gives evidence my life is more than words.

The power of God is available to those who possess the presence of God. The presence of God always proceeds the power of God. God's power is the benefit of relationship. Am I practicing His presence?

One way to know if I am living by God's power is the degree I am experiencing hardship and opposition. My Pastor shared in a message a couple of years ago, if the enemy isn't attacking, probably nothing of God is going on in my life. When I'm moving on God's power, Satan attacks. He knows who is real in practicing His presence. When we are living in God's power, we become a threat to the prince of darkness.

Yesterday I passed up an opportunity to live by God's power. Lysa extended an invitation to her reader to join her on a crazy adventure of 37 days of kindness. My response came quickly. Words do that. But, I discovered something moments later. I want "comfortable kindness". I want to do something every day that's within a circle of ease. I mean, 'kind' doesn't have to be hard. I don't have to look outside the walls of my home to find loved ones who need to see acts of kindness.

Yesterday morning I read Lysa's invitation to 37 days of kindness. I agreed. I prayed for an opportunity. I shut down the computer and drove my son to school. On my return trip as I was almost home, I saw papers blowing all over the road. It was garbage day and obviously someones recycling bin was releasing it's contents. Then I saw a woman frantically trying to gather up the papers. My initial thought was, "pull over and help her", but as quickly as that thought came, so did the many others to counteract and convince me such an action was foolish. I pulled in the driveway moments later with an opportunity lost. As I walked into the kitchen to make breakfast the Lord brought the story of the "Good Samaritan" to my mind. I passed by. I reasoned kindness away. I didn't want to pick up garbage. It was cold out. We'd have never gathered all the papers because the wind was too strong. It would have messed my hair and I was going out for coffee with a friend shortly. It would have taken more courage than I possessed. I chose to live from my personality, not God's power.

I don't want comfortable kindness. I want the Lord to stretch me. I don't want my life to be good intentions and words. I want to live in God's power.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009


"As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Acts 19:5

Another powerful sermon was drawing to a close. An invitation was extended. An invitation not necessarily for a first step, but a next step.

I bowed my head, praying for all who would respond. Praying for those who were feeling the Spirit’s tug, yet resisting. As people near me started to stand and make their way to the altar, tears flowed unhindered. All around me, divine encounters were taking place and hearts were surrendering. Most were answering the call to follow Christ right then in the waters of baptism. As my brothers and sisters in the Lord went away to ready themselves for the next part of the service, I silently wondered what was going through my son’s mind. He had asked Jesus into his heart at a tender age, but had not as yet made a decision to be baptized. He wasn’t sitting with us that morning as he was part of the worship team. Did he want to answer the call, but feel he couldn’t leave his responsibility at the keyboard? At 15 years of age he certainly understood the symbolism and significance of baptism.

Over the next few minutes, it was thrilling to listen to so many testimonies and share in so many impromptu steps of obedience. When the service concluded my husband and I said goodbye to our son who had to stay and play for the second service. Once in the car we began to pray again for God’s Spirit to move in the following service. We prayed for our Pastor to preach with passion and for hearts to be prepared and ready to receive the message. We prayed for those who would respond, that God would give them courage.

Almost two hours later our doorbell rang. Immediately upon opening the door my eyes were drawn to the smiles on the faces before me. My older sister had given my son a ride home and their countenances declared joy unspeakable and full of glory. A wet head also gave witness to the water’s welcome and our son's surrender.

Tears and hugs. More tears and hugs. Prayers of praise and thankfulness.

That evening, back at church, several people approached my husband and I after the service, wondering our reaction to not being there to see our son baptized. In all honesty I can say that the delight in knowing he had taken this step of obedience on his own, far surpassed any longing to have been eye-witnesses. We were so thankful that the fact we weren’t present didn’t restrain our son from responding to the Holy Spirit’s hand on his life and God’s call. As soon as he heard, he was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


"They asked him to stay longer, but he declined." Acts 18:20

Everything is going well. Paul loved the people of Ephesus. The door was open for further ministry. Yet Paul declined their invitation to remain. His life was surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The driving force behind his response was not his own desires or rationalizations. Although he may have longed to remain, he surrendered to the Lord’s leading.

Do you have a difficult time saying ‘no’ when a request is presented? Children don't struggle with this word at all. My twin sister and I are exact opposites when it comes to responding to these inquiries. She is quick to say ‘yes’. I’m quick to say ‘no’. Neither is correct. So often the longing to please people, or please self, takes preference over God’s priorities.

One thing I have learned over the last few years is that just because a need exists, doesn’t mean God has called me to fill that need.

When a request seems honourable and good, we assume God wants us to step in and say ‘yes’, but have we even spent time seeking His will in the matter? What about when we’re presented with a great opportunity? We still must be convinced the open door is meant for us. We must continue to seek God’s heart and trust Him when circumstances seem to be guiding us in new directions and things appear to be a perfect fit. Our ‘yes’, or ‘no’, must be God’s answer.

We’re going to see in tomorrows reading that God had already planned who would fill the ministry position that Paul’s vacancy opened. God had His next chosen person in place. May this serve as a warning for us not to respond too quickly just because a need presents itself. If the Lord is prompting our spirit and we know we must answer the call, then do so with God’s blessing. But, if we have any hesitation, let’s be careful to be in prayer, listening for God’s confirmation, before we take a position that God designed specifically for another. If it's in obedience to God, don't be afraid to say 'no'.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Size Small

“Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4

It began with excitement. A pure gesture of love. A kind act of friendship to express shared happiness from the heart.

Then a phone call. Words exchanged. Suddenly it felt like the gift being given was part of a competition for acceptance and affection. What was originally intended as a beautiful offering became a contest. I was a player without my knowing and without my consent.

Suddenly my motive changed. Something within me responded. Responded negatively. Insecurity surfaced. I had choices before me. I could follow a couple of paths. My decision would send a message, but now my motives were so wrong. Irritated I became impulsive. Fuelled by confusion, anger, fear and frustration, I had this longing now to “win”. Win a game I didn’t even want to play. Feelings of conniving, manipulation and retaliation surfaced. What had been precious and special was reduced to rivalry. I needed bigger and better.

Fighting envy I tried to back off and walk away, not wanting to be involved in this game, only to find myself a pawn met with a counter-attack and a voice crying, “Queen me”.

Lord, any move I make right now is being interpreted incorrectly. Every word, every action is being judged and analyzed. How did something so lovely turn so ugly? Lord, in my hurt, put a guard on my tongue. Keep me from saying things, that although truthful, arise from a root of revenge. Diffuse the bomb waiting to explode and help me not to waste any more time or energy on this matter. Protect me from overreacting and looking to gather team-mates for my side. May I not fixate on faults, but give grace. Help me not to respond by my mood, but with my mind. Bring every thought captive and bind the evil one from profoundly and destructively influencing my thoughts. May I not be trapped in mental torment and forfeit joy for futile speculations.

“You can tell how big a (woman) really is by the size of the problem it takes to infuriate (her).”

Today I’m feeing pretty small.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blessed Interruption

"What must I do to be saved". Acts 16: 30b

It was very early in the morning. My husband had just left for work and I was sitting on the bed, Bible open before me, journal resting on my lap, pen in my hand.

Suddenly the scamper of little feet drew my attention away from the peaceful shroud of silence. I must admit to momentary feelings of frustration as I realized my coveted time in His presence was about to end. Looking towards our bedroom door, the sweetest, little cherub appeared and entered our room. At three years of age it was still a challenge to crawl up on our big bed, but he managed it without too much difficulty, as one accustomed to this daily routine.

Before I could even say 'Good morning' or draw him into my arms for a cuddle and embrace, he looked up at me quite seriously and asked, "Mommy, how do I ask Jesus into my heart?"

So many thoughts instantly and simultaneously invaded my mind. 'Where did that come from?' 'Did he have a dream that provoked this question?' 'Was there a Sunday School lesson that had preceded his inquiry?' 'Oh my goodness Lord, he wants to ask You into his heart. He's only three years old'. 'Father, help me explain salvation in a way he can understand'.

With God guiding me, and my precious little boy beside me, we bowed our heads and prayed a simple prayer of confession and invitation. I will never forget that moment.

That was just over fourteen years ago. He was 'Christopher' then, but he's 'Chris' now. His spiritual birthday is a highlight each year, complete with a special dinner, birthday cake and a small gift of remembrance. Sincerely the scripture is true - there is no greater joy than to know that our children walk with God.

As the verse above has caused me to ponder those memories today, my thoughts are captured with several wonders.

I wonder...what if I had asked my son to come back later, after I finished my 'quiet time'. Would his desire have waned? Would I have missed that priceless opportunity of witnessing God tugging at a child's heart? What if I had sent him away, not wanting to be interrupted? How often in our quest for holiness do we miss the holy?

Christ's life was not without interruption. On many occasions He was detained or presumed upon by those who were unafraid to approach Him. Those with whom His spirit found entrance and they responded. Their need was greater than their trembling and their nerve stronger than their trepidation.

There was the woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her hair, pausing a meal to feed and nourish her soul. There was the man who was lowered down through the roof, disturbing a sermon for the sake of a message in healing. A woman who reached out believing a touch of the hem of Christ's garment would see faith honoured and rewarded. A father's earnest request on the roadside for his dying daughter that paved the way for resurrection. The adulterous, unharmed by stones, forgiven at the feet of the Solid Rock.

Interruptions. Some are demanding. Some a delight. All are divine. Some I receive, others I initiate. All fall under God's control. He is not caught unaware or surprised. Each phone call, each knock on the door, each diagnosis, each invitation, each casual encounter orchestrated by a God who views interruptions as intentional opportunities to grow in Him and share His love.

Rejoicing today that a blessed interruption changed a life for eternity.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Burden Bearers

“Share each other’s burdens…” Galatians 6:2

I know of someone currently who is carrying a very heavy burden. In silence. It is crushing and concerning. Yet, at the same time, when support is needed, they have chosen to withdraw into seclusion. Shame. Embarrassment. Pain. Confusion. Heartache. Pride. Why is it we so often feel we can’t turn to the church for our bandages?

“Restore him gently”, Galatians 6:1. Don’t rejoice and reveal the circumstance to everyone. Don’t ridicule and reject. Restore. The truest test of being a Spirit led Christ-follower is the readiness to restore the wounded. Restore is a word used to describe the work of a surgeon. Reduce pain. Promote healing and rehabilitation. It’s a word of grace, hope and health. Whether the wound has been self-inflicted, or they are carrying scars caused by another, the pain is severe. Often waking up each day is their greatest accomplishment. Beth Moore writes, "Sometimes life is so atrocious that surviving is its own great achievement and a strange proof of sorts that God must exist." Have you ever considered surviving in itself a crowning achievement? Maybe some of you reading this right now are all too familiar with this concept. Maybe you are hanging on by a thread, but at least you're hanging on. You have been dealt a bitter blow - one not expected, that hit you on the blind side. Maybe your loss has been great. Possibly you are walking a living death. A phone call. A letter. A financial setback. A betrayal. A prodigal. A separation. A health concern. Life can change in an instant.

God said, “I will rebuild it’s ruins and restore it…” Acts 15:16. We are those “ruins”. We are Christ’s building project. He rebuilds ruined lives.

Let’s remember we all have the same potential to fail or face difficult situations. He who thinks he stands, beware lest he fall. Wounded soldiers need help. Bearing another’s burden means standing with them in the mess. Let’s join our friends in the trenches. Let’s provide the safety they need of a listening ear and a silent tongue.

And, dear one who is weary in the walk, you don’t have to bear this alone. Allow the family opportunity of ministering to you.

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Friday, November 13, 2009


"They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God." Acts 14:22

Encourage. To infuse with courage. To inspire with confidence and give hope. To support.

One of the best ways to do this is to share a word of blessing from God's Word.

If you feel led today, would you visit my friend Kathy's blog. Her newly married daughter and her husband are feeling the winds of winter in their lives. I know it would breathe fresh strength into their hearts as they are trusting in Him.

"(Sisters), if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it." Acts 13:15

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Great Paradox

"When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed." Acts 12:16

Ah yes, the emotional paradox of believing and doubting in prayer. The church was praying for Peter's release, yet were amazed when the answer came. The doubting in this passage is not that God can, but God will. I love the truth that nothing weak in me can weaken God. My doubt that God may answer my request doesn't change God's answer. God can handle my doubt. No power can hold what God wants to release.

In Acts 12:7 it says, "the chains fell off his wrists." Peter was in prison up until the night before his trial (vs.6), but Peter wasn't really held there by Herod, but by God. There was a purpose for the "night before" intervention. God likes to take us to the edge. He's teaching us to keep praying in the face of heavens silence. The fact that Peter was SLEEPING!!! (vs.6) clearly shows Peter's trust and peace in the Lord, but what about those praying? We can't quit too soon, thinking nothing can be done now, it's the last hour. God is encouraging us to pray until the last night...the last moment.

Praying trains us in dependency, right to the edge, and that's where God wants us, with no other help or explaination in sight.

"Now I know without a doubt that the Lord...rescued me..." (vs 11 NIV).

Another verse I read this morning dealt with this too. "Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed." (Acts 14:9) Not only did this crippled man believe God could, but He would. Beautiful example of trust in God. Wonder what God sees when He looks straight at me and sees my faith?

James 1:6 says, "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." The word 'doubt' in this passage is doubting that God can. I have to believe that nothing is impossible with God, and pray believing, yet leave the answer to Him. If God doesn't answer the way I prayed, it is never because He can't, but because He has a different purpose. Praying doesn't guarantee my will, but when I pray, the cause of God will go forward. It's when I get to the point of not wanting more to move God with my prayer, but be satisfied in reaching God and resting in His results, that my prayer becomes an act of faith.

I also just want to mention a couple of other verses quickly.

"...if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it." Acts 13:15 What a blessing that verse is to me, as I was just asked to speak at a Christmas Ladies event. The Lord graciously put my speaking "on hold" over the last 8 months in caring for dad, and the timing of this invitation couldn't be better. This confirmation this morning is such a blessing.

Finally..."We are merely human beings - just like you!" (Acts 14:15) How easy it is to get caught up in following the man and not the message and the Messiah. I have to remember those who speak and teach well and get right to my heart, are just delivering God's Word, not the Deliverer. It's the Holy Spirit probing my heart, not the person speaking, writing etc... A good reminder to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and follow Him alone.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Against All Odds

"But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him." Acts 12:5

It didn't look good. From all appearances the situation appeared hopeless. The odds were against him. But God.

The church is praying against all odds. Prayer is an act of faith when all we see are prison walls. It's not so much to move God, but reach God and then rest on His results.

Situations seem impossible. Bars barricade, but can't ban prayers from passing through. Don't give up. Keep praying. Don't allow appearance to assume answer. God is able. Continue until you are released, either from the prison or from the prayer.

Today I am remembering in prayer those courageous men and women who have given their life for my freedom, as well as those who currently serve in active duty. I'm humbled by the sacrifice you have made. Thank you seems like such a small word.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


"Saul is my chosen instrument..." Acts 9:15

Ironic how God would take me from "Overlooked" yesterday to "Chosen" today. I'm starting to think that sometimes being overlooked is OK.

Longing to be chosen.

Wanting to hear my name, I stood waiting. I knew I wouldn't be in the first "draft pick" as the captains requested players for their teams. Not being athletic at all, I hated spring, gym class and baseball practice. By default, not decision, one poor captain would finally, reluctantly resign to calling my name. It was always said with such defeat, assuming that whichever team had me, had the loss. How I longed to be chosen.

Don't we all wave our hands, yelling "pick me, pick me" when some glorious opportunity presents itself? But, do we always want to be chosen?

Just today I've received messages from two moms. Both were chosen. One to walk a path of happiness, the other a path of heartache. One to walk a road of miracles, the other a road of mourning. One was chosen for a path of healing, the other heaven. One son returned. One son taken.

I'm not saying the choice of heaven isn't wonderful, but it is hard for those left behind. I'm sure this mom is asking, "Lord, why did You choose me for this? I didn't want to be chosen. I don't want to play this game. The weight of the 'bat' is too heavy and the 'ball' came too fast and unexpectedly. I'm running 'bases' right now, trying to hang on until the final inning, but I just want to be declared 'out' so I can go sit on the bench and have a good cry. My life has received a 'foul'. I'm jealous of the other mom who got her 'strike' and everyone is cheering and high-fiving. Why isn't that me? I want it to be me. Why was I chosen for the 'strike out'? Why?"

Beth Moore says that if God should choose us, or call us to a death that demands courage, then somehow death itself must be a great part of our destiny story. I believe that is true, both for those taken, and those who remain behind.

Will I surrender to whatever God may chose for me? Is my hand still waving in the air as I jump up and down repeating, "Lord, whatever You have for me, pick me, pick me."

Today I read, "Saul is my chosen instrument." For what was he chosen? Saul was not seeking salvation, yet he was chosen to receive God's free gift. No one can be saved apart from an act of God. No one is too far gone to be outside of God's saving reach. Saul was God's vessel of choice to go from destructive to instrumental. From self-promoter to God-presenter. From causing suffering to bearing suffering. Saul didn't decide for Christ, Christ decided for Saul. How encouraging this is for me as I have family and friends, who like Saul, want nothing to do with Jesus. Like Peter told Simon, God's gift cannot be bought. Salvation is a gift, not a commodity. It's about life-change, not life-insurance.

What path has God currently chosen for you?

Fill your name in the blank. "___________" is my chosen instrument.

Play on.

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Monday, November 9, 2009


"...their widows were being overlooked..." Acts 6:1

Do you ever feel overlooked, passed by, neglected, ignored, forgotten?

This morning, a post I read almost two years ago now is reminding me of truth. Many times I have held on to this sentence shared, embracing it through tears of disappointment. It has brought healing and hope when hurt threatened to harden my heart and leave me in despair.

"Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God." Lysa TerKeurst

Just four days ago, Lysa wrote another post entitled, "Chosen", echoing a similar message. God not only sees me, but has selected me. I am an object of design not default. I'm not the last alternative, but the apple of His eye.

Today, I am not overlooked. El Roi, the God who sees, has His eye on me. I can't ever allow feelings or circumstances to tell me otherwise. God's eyesight, unlike mine, has not grown dimmer with the passing time. He knows everything I will face today and all my tomorrow's. He has experienced the loneliness of isolation and the feeling of being forsaken. Although these emotions cannot be denied at times, I can deny their authority over me, for I have been chosen by the King of Kings.

"Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God."

Deliberately, individually touched by the hand of God.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009


"But Peter...replied,...'We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.'" Acts 4:20

My heart is overflowing with blessing this morning. I'll be honest. Some days I open my Bible and I miss God's Word to me. I don't know what I'll share here. Other days, like today, I don't know what to share here, but it's because I have so much I want to share. So I'll give some quick highlights then zoom in on one thing that totally thrilled me.

"...he asked them for some money." Acts 3:3 Sometimes we don't know what to ask. The lame man didn't ask for healing, but money. The Lord gave him, not what he asked for, but what he needed. Often we can't identify our deepest need. I'm so thankful that God knows and He will supply.

"...why stare at us..." Acts 3:12 It's not about us. Gaze at Jesus. It's not about our strategies, our faithfulness, our giftedness. It's about God glorifying Christ. Look past the saved sinner to the Savior.

"Now repent...turn...Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19-20. There is a prerequisite for refreshment. Now...then. One comes before the other. There is a reason we are dry.

"There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 It's about an exclusive Savior and the power of an exclusive Name. Jesus is the only Way.

"...they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures." Acts 4:13. That just gives me such hope. I am an ordinary woman. I have no special training, but God can fill me with a holy boldness to speak, write and share His message.

"...the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years." Acts 4:22 Forty years. That's a long time. It was all the beggar's life. What has crippled me all my life? Jesus has the power to heal.

"When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God..." Acts 4:24 Just wondering. How quick am I to pray? When they heard, they prayed.

"...everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will." Acts 4:28 Lord, thank You for this assurance. All my days were ordained for me before one of them came to be.

"...'give us, your servants, great boldness.' After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:29, 31 Lord, shake my life. Don't make it easier for us, but give us boldness.

"He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount...'you kept...the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us but to God!' As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died." Acts 5:2-5 "You kept" seems to imply that some sort of promise had been made to God concerning these funds. Oswald Chambers writes, "If it is always discreet, always wise, always sensible, always calculating, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all." Have I ever done something lavish? Something impulsive? Where or what do I hold back something that I promised to God? Am I at risk of disciplinary exposure? God will expose sin either now or later.

My Pastor shared a story just last week of a married couple, living in two separate countries. The wife is earning unbelievably good money and they could live easily on the wealth supplied. Why have they chosen to live apart? The husband runs a Bible school, and his wife's income supplies the complete tuition for all the students to attend free of charge. They are giving sacrificially and lavishly.

"'We must obey God rather than any human authority." "We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him." Acts 5:29,32 Here I couldn't help but notice that obedience is connected with Spirit filling.

"If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!" Acts 5:38-39 Don't oppose a movement of God, even if we think it has some flaw. Time will tell the motivation and motivator of the movement.

"The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus." Acts 5:41 Grab the joy despite what tries to grab your emotions, so that others believe it is worth it. God is worth it.

Now for what gripped my heart the deepest this morning. Reflect back on my key verse at the very top. "But Peter...replied,...'We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.'"

What happened to Peter? In my reading today, his name was prominent.

Peter went (Acts 3:1)
Peter said (Acts 3:4)
Peter took (Acts 3:7)
Peter saw (Acts 3:12)
Peter taught (Acts 4:2)
Peter filled (Acts 4:8)
Peter replied (Acts 4:19)
Peter returned (Acts 4:23)
Peter asked (Acts 5:8)
Peter's shadow (Acts 5:15)
But Peter (Acts 5:29)
Peter's boldness (Acts 4:13)

From cowering to courageous. The man who denied, now determined and deliberate. The dabbler turned disciple. From hiding in the shadow to people seeking to stand in his shadow (Acts 5:25). From impetuous to intentional. What happened?

Powerful experience. Personal encounter. Pardon enjoyed.

No longer could he contain what Christ had done. When God's power shows up His passion is released. How has His power changed you? Passionately share with someone today.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Casting My Lot

"O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen..." Acts 1:23

Lord, just yesterday You heard a similar prayer from my lips. Needing to make two decisions, I was imploring You for guidance. How I hate the thought of moving contrary to Your will for me. I think the struggle comes when neither option is wrong or bad, but only one is Your desire. Father, see my searching, seeking heart. Know my longing to be in the center of Your will alone. With the information before me and a "multitude of counselors", (Proverbs 11:14), a choice must be made. Father, guide me I pray. If I somehow miss hearing Your voice correctly, please remember my burning desire to be obedient and forgive my waywardness. Would You close any door that would take me down a path You haven't planned for me. Again I am reminded that my job is to trust and Your job is to show the way. Lord, give me the assurance that You're walking ahead of me and purposefully leading. You "have chosen" and I wait to be shown. Father, I'm praying for Your heart, for Your glory. I am casting my lot. Throwing out my all. Waiting for Your will to be revealed.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Emmaus Encounter

“Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

This morning I am a child of the burning heart. So many truths have been opened, I cannot share just one. I have walked my own Emmaus road. Emmaus. The place where Jesus meets us. A place of recognition. A place of personal encounter.

As the two disciples walked the road they met a stranger with whom they shared all they knew about Jesus. How quick am I to share Jesus with those I come in contact with each day? Christ went from stranger to Savoir as they walked and talked and He could for those we meet as well, if only we would tell of all He has done for us.

“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid…” (John 20:19) Locked doors don’t deter or detour Jesus. Christ holds the Master key. What doors do I have locked? God comes through locked doors.

On the other side of the door Christ addresses unbelieving Thomas’s doubts. Christ will address whatever question we have. The honest seeker who wants to believe and asks God to show Himself, God will respond.

“Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the sea of Galilee.” (John 21:1) The fact that Jesus shows up in our life has to make a difference.

Simon Peter goes fishing. It’s his distraction. An escape from the pain. What is my ‘fishing’ or my diversion when life brings the weight of failure? No matter where we sail off to, Jesus waits patiently for us. “At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach…” (John 21:4) He’ll be there when we return. Waiting.

“He called out, ‘Fellows, have you caught any fish?’

‘No,’ they replied.”

This is the first miracle at the shore. They caught nothing. Not even one small minnow. Empty nets. Vain attempts without Christ. Our best efforts are futile apart from God. We can do everything right and not see results. “Apart from God we can do nothing.”

When the disciples arrived on shore they found breakfast prepared - “fish cooking over a charcoal fire…” (John 21:9) The only other time a charcoal fire is mentioned in all of Scripture was when Peter was sitting at a charcoal fire and denied Christ. Imagine the memories the aroma of these flames burned in his heart. I’m sure we all have similar ‘fires’ that ignite and illuminate recollections, pleasant and pungent. Christ helps us gently bring to mind memories that need to heal from the ashes of our flames.

Three times Jesus now asks Peter, “…do you love me?” Three times. One for each denial. After each time Peter responds, Christ says, “Then feed my sheep” (John 21:15, 16, 17). Jesus is confirming that although Peter faced failure, he is still the right man for the job.

Concluding today’s reading was the great commission, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 The great commission, bookend by Christ’s power (vs.18) and Christ’s presence (vs.20).

As Luke writes in Luke 24:45, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Father, thank You for opening my mind this morning.

“But these are written so that you may continue to believe.” John 20:31 Jesus is saying, don’t just see an empty tomb. Don’t stop at the abandoned grave clothes. Continue on to believe in Me.

This morning I’ve had eyes to look past the empty tomb, as I’ve had an Emmaus encounter.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Still Moving Stones

"Early on Sunday, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found the stone had been rolled away from the entrance." John 20:1

The stone was rolled away.

Lord, there are places in my life where a stone needs to roll. Held captive and imprisoned by a stone too big and too heavy and I don't have the strength to remove it on my own.

Where there is fear, roll away the stone to bring freedom. Where I am bound by grave clothes of despair, unwrap Your joy. Where wounds still scar, bring healing. Where insecurity shackles, unlock confidence. Where desire has died, resurrect hope. Where pride controls, cover me with humility.

Thank You Lord that You still move stones.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Broken Heart

"One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out." John 19:34

Carrying His cross, Christ arrived at Golgotha. “King of the Jews” read the sign. King of the Jews? Oh no Lord, You are so much more. King of everything. King of all my thoughts and every desire. “King of my life I crown Thee now.”

Yet, You were royally mocked by priests, teachers, elders and criminals. Still You implored forgiveness for Your accusers. “Father, forgive them…” Words that must have pierced the soldiers just as forcefully as the nails they used to pierce You. Not only did You forgive, but You spoke a word in their defence, saying, “they don’t know what they are doing.”

A scoffing criminal taunts, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself - and us, too, while you’re at it!” Oh, if only You could. It was impossible to do both. You could save Yourself or us. Both was not an option. In selflessness You chose us and courageously remained on the cross. A cross that required abandonment as Your Father turned His face away. You were abandoned so that I would never have to experience such deep separation.

As a final act of scriptures fulfillment, one of the soldiers thrust a spear through Your side and immediately blood and water flowed out. Blood was expected. The flow of water was surprising. Some explain the water came from the rupture of the pericardium, a sac around the heart. It was not the crucifixion that claimed Your life. It was love. You died of a broken heart.

I know that was not the last time Your heart broke. Today, right this moment, is it breaking again? Wounded by those who still mock, reject, accuse and refuse. Father, forgive me for all the times I have been the one to break Your heart. Forgive me Lord. I have no excuse. I know what I am doing.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lesser Things

"His accusers didn't go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn't be allowed to celebrate the Passover." John 18:28

I feel like responding with a great big "Ahhhhhhhhh". Poor them. Fear of being defiled kept them worshipping Jewish law, while harbouring murder in their hearts. They were so concerned with ceremony, they were missing the significance. Satisfied with the mundane while bypassing the magnificient. Didn't want to miss the Passover, while crucifying the Passover Lamb.

C.S.Lewis writes, "Satisfied with mud puddles, when you could have had a day at the oceans."

So ironic. Yet we go there too. We can be so caught up in programs and plans, ritual and religion, we miss personal relationship.

Father, may I not be satisfied with lesser things. May the 'doing' leave me empty so the 'being' can fill my hungry soul. Lord, more than anything, I want You.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Following Afar

"Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance..." Mark 14:54.

Following at a distance. Following, but far. I just feel like I'm there today. A distant disciple.

It's not geographical position that necessarily speaks of distance. I have a friend in China today who's baby girl was just placed in her arms. My friend and I are oceans apart, but my thoughts couldn't be closer as I'm rejoicing in all that God has done for her. Maps may mark our location, but not our connectedness.

The same is true with God. I may appear to be close...attending church, leading Bible study, reading His Word daily etc... Look at Peter, he did eventually end up in the courtyard. Physically he was fairly close to Christ's presence, yet his denial speaks of his hearts true posture. Lord, I don't want to be content with the "courtyard". I want to be holding Your hand...all the way. Holding Your hand is more than's obedience.

Those following close walk on water...board airplanes...sit in front rows...respond to the Spirit's prompting...risk...

Mark 6:6 talks about hearts that are far from God.

I feel like I'm standing on the edge. A decision must be made. I'm living on the border of all God desires for me, when He's already given the "Promised Land". Peter had no trouble jumping into the water when emotions ran high, but it's in the daily moment-by moment dry ground we see how close we are truly following. I long to be walking so closely that I'm covered in the dust from His sandals. Dust that covers all of me with His grace as I live a life of heart bowed in surrender along with my knees.

Praying for the faith and the courage to take that step into His more.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Slap In The Face

"Then one of the Temple guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face." John 18:22

Did you see it?

"The first hand to strike the Savior was a religious hand." Ken Gire

Summoned, and now standing before the high priest, Christ is questioned concerning His teaching. His identity opposed by priests and temple officials. Men who were familiar with the Scriptures, but unfamiliar with the Savior. They knew the truth, but missed the One who was the Truth.

How often have I failed to see Jesus? Failed to hear Him speak to me in His Word? Have I raised a hand against Him by my actions or words? Touch is not the only way to slap a face. Ignoring His voice. Disobedience. Insult. Neglect. Pride. Each of these cause greater pain and leave a sting.

There in religious chambers, behind sacred walls, hostility raged.

Today as we enter holy halls of worship, lets honour Him with a tender touch. How could your hand reach his heart with love? Would it be through a step of faith? An act of surrender? A humble confession? Forgiveness sought or received? May the actions of the Temple guard act as a slap in our face to get our attention and awaken us to the ways we are mistreating our Savior.

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