Develope a Palate

Develope a Palate
Daily intake of the Word nourishes the Spirit. Jeremiah's Menu is an exercise in recognizing God's Word made flesh in and around me. Eating the Word in a way that supplies the spiritual nutrients needed to grow. The Menu is offered with the hope of inspiring you to taste and see that the Lord is good. Bon Appetite!

Receive Jeremiah's Menu by Email

Quote Du Jour

Quote du Jour
Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all feel alike, we can all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. At the table of fellowship with Jesus we are one bread and one cup. As the loving cup goes round we pledge one another heartily therein. Get nearer to Jesus, and you will find yourself linked more and more in spirit to all who are like yourself, supported by the same heavenly manna. ---Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Monday, December 31, 2012

a day of endings...

The end of a year...
the completion of a reading through...
the last full day on mission with youth...

From beginning... to end...
He has been...
and will be...
faithful... to fill...

He said to me: "It is done. 
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the Beginning and the End. 
To him who is thirsty I will give to drink 
without cost from the spring of the water of life. ..."
Revelation 21:6

Each ending... the eve of a new beginning... of life... with Him...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

still on mission...

The wonder of weariness... from the week of service...
defenses low...
the Word reaching wounds... ones I thought healed...
vulnerable to the message...

Weariness... it makes you more... real...

Last night in worship... the challenge was given to be real... recognize... the hard things we all deal with...

Some hard things obvious... they're in your face every day...

Others... they're hidden... beneath masks... they are hard places we hide...

Places we would rather forget... sins we thought we'd gotten past... ones we have under control...

But today... when confronted with a Word... in a state of weariness... there was no energy to mask... pretend...

A scarred wound... came to the surface...

Weariness... makes us... more... real...

Perhaps now... is the time to seek healing... the wound feels fresh again... a scab removed...

The Word says...

"...For I will forgive their iniquity,
and I will remember their sin no more."
Jeremiah 31:34
ESV

In Christ... I am forgiven... He's forgotten my sins... but for me there's a wound... that effects my relationship with Him... in ways I don't even realize...

Weariness... revealed the need... for more healing... until it's completely gone... no more scab... no more scar... leaving a heart free to receive His touch... His grace... in all its fullness...

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Psalm 32:1-2
ESV

The blessings of a week of service... freely given... through love... continue...

So full a week of blessings.... days have become confused... Wednesday seemed like Monday... Saturday like Thursday... so amidst the service... I forgot to take a rest from posting... so most likely... Tuesday... will be a rest day... the day to pack up... and return home...

Praise Him... from whom all blessings flow... weariness... and all...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

doxology... springing up... from a mess...

This morning... still on mission... began with a hard call...

A job no one wanted to do...
a job I didn't want to do...
a job God called me to do...
an invitation to exercise my freedom... not to satisfy my flesh... but to love another... through service...

A clean up job...
a mess I didn't make...
a task not found in the job description of "kitchen lady"...

Knowing it would be me... I began to consider... how the task might be handled... prepared to offer myself... I went to the one who the job might fall to by default... and said... I will... God's grace... and provision shown through... by providing another... to help with the task... grateful there would be two... we gathered supplies...

In the hardness of this call... I found His strength... where I had none... I found a new... deeper... understanding of my Savior... and what His followers are called to do...

He... who freely came... to clean up a mess He didn't make... my mess... your mess... did so through love... without complaining... or arguing...

Today... a newly solidified Word made flesh... birthed... in my heart... one I do not want to forget... one I desire to treasure up... as Mary... with the wonders revealed through shepherds... and a babe in a manger...

Jesus... He becomes flesh... in a mess...

In the mess... I became more aware... of what He did for me... what I am to do... for others...

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.
But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh;
rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Galatians 5:13
NIV

Freedom to serve... one another... in love...

Honestly... the love with which I served today... was not for the neighbor who made the mess... but for the One... who cleaned up my mess...

The Truth revealed... the key grasped today... knowledge of Him... leads to love for Him... in increasing measure... and in turn... for neighbors...

" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart 
and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 
This is the first and greatest commandment. 
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'..."
Matthew 22:34

Loving God... whole-heartedly... is like... loving your neighbor... as yourself...

This hard call... this experience... I look at now with a humble heart... seeing how I could have easily missed this grace... the flesh repulsed... and desiring to flee the mess...

From the other side... I can only praise the Father... Son... and Holy Spirit... filled to overflowing... amazed by His love... for me... for others... His incomprehensible grace... leading to such a choice... of His free will... to serve... to the death...

What has sprung up to fill my heart... doxology... words... song... glorifying... praising... Him... with joy...


Lord Jesus... continue to enable me... to use the blessing of freedom ... to serve... through Love... and let my self go...

Friday, December 28, 2012

long days... short nights... in Love's presence...

Today it was noted... that we had not yet been here... on mission... two full days... not until 4:00 pm... feeling like we have been here... two full weeks...

Days long... filled with activity... cleaning... cooking... shopping... worship... feeling our way through the new... in bed after midnight... up by six...

My sister in service... said she woke this morning... with a joy hangover...

Up late... talking of God... His Word... His love... His broken heart... over our rebellion... and the cure He paid for... with His life...

The worship... singing of His love poured out...
through hands... and brow...
Wrestling with the cross... and grace... love... and sacrifice...
Transformation... through His wounds that heal... He... broken... because of our sin...

...how I have been broken over their whoring heart
that has departed from me and over their eyes 
that go whoring after their idols. ...
Ezekiel 6:9
ESV

He... with His freedom... through love... allowed Himself to be broken for our sin... broken on a cross...

Here... challenged to break habits of self-indulgence... and complaining... challenged to serve with joy... not in my strength but His... pushing past the need for sleep... holding back words that seek to wound... learning... to remember... that Love is here... wrestling... for us... and with us...


His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence...
2Peter 1:3
ESV

Lord Jesus... help me to know You better... to know You are here...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

freedom... love... service... (and wi-fi)

The Word... entering a week of service... deepened during the worship with youth...

For you were called to freedom, brothers.
Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:13
ESV

...called to freedom... by the One who is ultimately... and completely free... called to use freedom... through love... to serve... enslave... yourself to others...

Why is this the call... of Believers...?

Because Believers... follow... the One in whom they believe...

Jesus... the Son of God... emptied Himself of His divinity... His power... His freedom... in order to serve... the ones He loves...

The whole Word becoming flesh... the pouring out of God... into a baby... is what Christmas is all about...

He used His freedom... to serve... rescue... redeem... the creation... He created...

Do you see...?

He asks us to do no less... than He did Himself... to the infinite degree...

So here... this week... sleeping on the floor of a church... (maybe a sofa)... helping to feed... and serve... 100 others... youth and adults... who have chosen... to use their freedom... to serve... through love... a community... in need... I am challenged... to solidify... this teaching... this Truth... in me...

How do you use your freedom...? 
self-indulgence...? 
or self-enslavement...?

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters;
only do not use your freedom as an opportunity
for self-indulgence,
but through love become slaves to one another.
Galatians 5:13
NRSV

(And yes... with access to wi-fi... the blog continues... by His grace... and hopefully... His glory...)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

a last thought on service...

As I prepare for the mission with youth... gathering up paper... pens... on which to write thoughts... I find a Word... that needs to be tucked in my heart... for such a week...

For you were called to freedom, brothers.
Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:13
ESV

Freedom... an opportunity to serve others...

And scrawled below this verse... was a definition...

serve... the Greek meaning... to be a slave... serve... do service...

To serve... with love... free to enslave oneself to the needs of others... is the only way... to serve...with joy... and without complaining... or grumbling...

Lord Jesus... here's to a week... of service... through love... and with joy... this is only possible through the freedom found in You... help me to walk in that freedom...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

the end of a day... the beginning of a week...






A day to remember... the beginning... of a plan set in action... the redemption of the world...

A day that begins the last week of the year... and a plan to serve... for the remainder of 2012... a mission trip with youth...

Being unsure of access to internet... posts for the next week may not be... we will see...

In any case...

Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philemon 1:3

Monday, December 24, 2012

waking thoughts on Christmas eve... what Christmas means to me...

 and made his dwelling among us... 

The Word... 
by whom...
and through whom...
and for whom... all was created...

The One who said...
and it was...

The One not bound...
by time...
or space...
infinite in majesty and glory...
emptied Himself...
and entered a virgin womb...

He experienced life...
as His own creation...
Author... entering the story... a two-dimensional character... ink on paper...
Potter... entering the inanimate... clay on wheel...

From the first division of cells...
He... Creator... lived life...
conception...
birth...
death...

The Divine...
Father... Son... Spirit...
showed the way...

The way we were meant to live...
from the beginning...
In community with Him...

The Son... this baby Jesus...
lived at the direction of the Father...
by way of the Spirit...
never his own will... but God's alone...

The same relationship we were created to have with Him...
until the Fall... the one rule... the one law... 
broken...

The law that broke relationship with a holy God...
The law that birthed pain...
and sin...
and death...
into a world that was good...

The reason the Son came...
Emmanuel...
God with us...

He came to restore...
redeem...
repair...
what was lost...

The one thing we... His beloved...
were created for...
relationship with Him...

God... Almighty... Glorious... Uncontainable...
emptied Himself...
into a dark... lost... world...

A world where He was born in a barn...
and laid in a feed trough...

A world where His own...
did not recognize Him... 
even when He healed...
freed...
raised...

A world who rejected...
beat...
spit on...
crucified...
though He was without sin...

The Son... He became flesh...
made His dwelling among us...
sacrificed Himself...
to bring ultimate...
restoration...
healing...
life... everlasting...



A second thought...

I love when He breaks into my waking thoughts...speaks to me in that moment before... full consciousness... speaking thoughts that stay with me throughout the day...

I pray... that He will speak to you... this holy-day Season... speak of His Son... and His love for you... 

Merry Christmas...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

glorifying God...

A question... to the explanation of question one... of the Westminster Shorter Catechism...

Q. How must we glorify God in our religious worship, and other acts of obedience?
A. By doing all that we do in the name of the Lord Jesus, Col 3:17; worshipping God in the Spirit, rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and having no confidence in the flesh, Phil 3:3.

We glorify God... by having no confidence in the flesh...

A flesh I feel... and know to be... sorely lacking...

Emphasized today... by a report... the one who received the transplant... continues to have complications... a tracheotomy placed yesterday... a leaking lung today... more procedures... and prayer... necessary to save a life... or at least the flesh that fails...

How do we glorify God... with broken...failing flesh...?

Trust Him... with all that comes...
Believe Him to be... the loving... Sovereign Father... He claims to be...
The One who cannot lie... is Faithful... and True...

Therefore let us be grateful 
for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship,
with reverence and awe...
Hebrews 13:28
ESV
(my emphasis)

We glorify God... with thanks... and worship...

Friday, December 21, 2012

a way to deal with pressure...?

In my reading through this morning... already feeling the pressure of time... having difficulty staying focused on the Word... to-dos and time invading thoughts... I read these words...

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober,
having put on the breastplate of faith and love,
and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
1Thessalonians 5:8
(my emphasis)

Sober... to be unhurried... calm...
Just yesterday... I described myself as hectic... characterized by activity... excitement... confusion... the antithesis to sober...

My activities yesterday... as I faced a to-do list... were disjointed at best... finishing one task...without being distracted by another... seemed... impossible... hectic...

So today... according to the Word... I will attempt to dress appropriately for the day ahead...
Guard my heart with faith... trusting Him... and love... the kind that looks outward...
Guard my thoughts... with the hope... assurance... of salvation... deliverance...
in order to be sober...

After all... this is the Season... of calm... and bright...

Father God... guard my heart with Your breastplate... wrought from faith... and love... guard my mind... with the hope found in Christ... the assurance of salvation... deliverance... from all things hectic...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

pressed...

When time presses...
sing praises...



Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
Psalm 98:1

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

what do you say... at the end of a full day... that's not yet done...

No time for words...
busyness... crowds...
failures... emerge...
finding a request... I forgot to pray...
my strength... far from enough...
mentally... physically... fatigue seems to win...

So what do you say...?

As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!
Psalm 40:17
ESV

Lord Jesus... You say... when I am weak...
You are strong... help me... 
I am poor and needy...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

blue Christmas...

Blue... not considered a color of Christmas... but one that can blanket a heart in the middle of a holiday season...

This evening... a service to acknowledge... pain... heartache... anger... in the midst of a month infused with jingle... jolly... and joy...

A walk lined with blue votives... glowed... outside the church...
Prayer stations... lined the rail... reminders of...
the Lamb who reigns...
the Rock who steadies...
the One who shelters with His wing...
the Light who shatters darkness...

Reminders... of why Jesus came... entering a world... that received the Son of God in a barn... no room for Him at the inn... a world that killed Him in the end... hanging Him from a cross...

A God intimate with pain... physical... emotional... spiritual... and rescues... restores... makes whole... by His own wounds... 

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

Monday, December 17, 2012

finding Truth... in a dark world...

Pilate said it... What is truth...?

How do you discern between two parties... both bent on twisting truth... to their own benefit...?

Six days... I spent in a courtroom... trying to find truth...
10 hours... spent wrestling with 6 others... regarding the truth... trying to follow instructions... set by a judge... who does not judge...

Feeling uncomfortable with the verdict reached... feeling scammed... and violated... I seek cleansing... and comfort... from the One Judge... who one day will judge... and do so with purity... righteousness... integrity... and Truth...!

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
Revelation 19:11-13

Sunday, December 16, 2012

when expectations aren't met...

Expectations... set you up for disappointment...
in relationships...
to-do lists...
in roles...

Unmet expectations...
reminders...
that I am NOT in control...

Thank God...
I know the One who is...
the One who meets...
and exceeds...
ALL expectations...

Taking the five loaves and the two fish
and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and 
broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples
to set before the people. He also divided the two fish
among them all. They all ate and were satisfied,
and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls
of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men 
who had eaten was five thousand.
Mark 6:41-44
(emphasis mine)

Thank You... Lord... when I can't... You can...
when I'm not enough... You are...

Friday, December 14, 2012

joy-full... a word that fills the season...

joy...
A quality or attitude of delight and happiness, which is ultimately grounded in the work of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. ---Dictionary of Bible Themes
But the angel said to [the shepherds],
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you:
You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Luke 2:10-12 

Opportunities for joy... abound this time of year...
giving... to those who could never... give back to you...
receiving... the wonder of His Love...
resting... in His Sovereignty... no matter what...

It is a choice... to rejoice... the only option... when the Truth of grace... becomes reality in your life...

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Psalm 100:1

Thursday, December 13, 2012

loved... a holy-day word...

love...
Unselfish, loyal, and benevolent intention and commitment toward another. ---Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16
ESV 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

blessed... words for the season... keep coming...

blessed...
held in reverence: venerated; honored in worship: hallowed...
The Hebrew... literally...  to kneel...

A word to consider... this holy-day season... 

On coming to the house, 
[the Magi] saw the child with his mother Mary,
and they bowed down and worshiped him.
They opened their treasures and presented him with gifts
of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
Matthew 2:11

The Word... He became flesh...
He stooped down...
that we might be saved...

Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is salvation. 
Selah
Our God is a God of salvation,
and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.
Psalm 68:19-20
ESV

Consider blessing the Lord today... find a quiet place... alone with Him... bow down... low... on the floor... before Him... praise His holy name... offer Him... your gifts...

Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore!
Psalm 113:2
ESV

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

anointed... another Word...

anoint ...
...to cover the body or an object with oil or ointment. ...a means of investing someone with power... signify the consecration of someone or something for a holy purpose.    ---Harper's Bible Dictionary
 ...a sign of joy and thanksgiving... ...used as an emollient in healing... ---Eerdmans Bible Dictionary

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed, 
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
Then [Jesus] rolled up the scroll, 
gave it back to the attendant and sat down.
The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him,
and he began by saying to them,
"Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Luke 4:18-20

Jesus... the Anointed One... came with power... for a holy purpose... with Him came joy... thanksgiving... healing... and an anointing for all Believers...

Anoint... another word... for the season...

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.
He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us,
and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit,
guaranteeing what is to come.
2Corinthians 1:21-22
(emphasis mine)

In Him... we too... have been anointed... 
to preach good news... 
proclaim freedom... 
restore sight... 
release the oppressed...

How will you live it out... as you celebrate the miracle of His birth... and remember your anointing...?

Monday, December 10, 2012

today's Word... redeemed...

redeem...
to buy back: repurchase; to get or win back; to free from what distresses or harms: as to free from captivity by payment of ransom, to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental, to release from blame or debt: clear, to free from the consequences of sin...
A Word... for the Season...


"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people..."
Luke 1:68
ESV

Sunday, December 9, 2012

opportunities to trust... rest in... Him

Over the past week... plans have changed... what I thought I would be doing... in the final weeks of the year... I am not doing...

Schedules readjusted... help enrolled to care for the needs of the elder-in-law... so I can serve...

Two very different opportunities... but each a service...
each filled with the potential to glorify Him...
in very different ways...
in very different settings...

Facing both these unexpected opportunities... gives me a chance to exercise... the lesson learned... to relax... to trust... to be sensitive to His touch... trusting His presence... and provision... without care... concern... or the need for control...

A new facet... of the freedom... enjoyed... in Christ...

Oh, I'll guard with my life what you've revealed to me,
guard it now, guard it ever;
And I'll stride freely through wide open spaces
as I look for your truth and your wisdom...
Psalm 119:44-45
Msg
(my emphasis)

Friday, December 7, 2012

a lesson... in what it feels like... to trust...

Today... I had a massage...

A completely relaxing experience... I hadn't been so relaxed in a long time... if ever... at least not consciously...

She moved my arms... each completely loose in her hands...
Head... neck... shoulders... rested fully in her hands... as she pressed... lifted... rotated...

And yes... I enjoyed it... even as she pressed... on painful... tender... knotted.... muscles... I didn't flinch... or tense... knowing the end result would be... good...

Near the end of the hour... He began to speak... Why do you trust... relax... in the hands of a complete stranger... but you do not fully rest... in My hands... with My call... on your life...?

Tears... welling... conviction... stinging... the therapist finished... Take your time getting up...

Left alone... on the table... relaxed... resting...
I confessed... to being tense... stiff-necked...
at the touch of His hand...
Repentance began... searching a heart... that doesn't trust... and cringes when He presses... on painful places... in need of healing...

The heart of a scripture came to mind... remembering the meaning of the Hebrew... but not the word... I got up from the table... and dressed...

In the car... Bible in hand... I turned to Psalm 37 and saw the word underlined in verse 4...

Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Delight... the Hebrew... it means... soft and pleasing to the touch, or sensitive to be touched... according to the Dictionary of Biblical Languages... and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance says... the primitive root... means... to be soft or pliable...

My understanding... and experience... leads me to my own translation... a Word made flesh...

Make yourself sensitive to the touch of the Lord... be pliable in His hands... delight... in the work He is doing in your life... and He will give you... the desires of your heart...

I wonder... how many desires... have I delayed... or lost a chance at all together... because of my stiff-necked... worrisome... fear-filled... argumentative... nature...?

Lord... forgive me... teach me... to rest my life... my spirit... in Your hands... to delight... at Your call... and touch... trusting You... and the good... You promise... 

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength...
Isaiah 30:15

Thursday, December 6, 2012

aging relationships...

After spending time with a friend... whose relationship with a parent is changing... effects of age stealing away  what was... I hear these words...
And for those who do not want to win the friendship and love of another person --- who do not expectantly open up their soul to the soul of the other person, until friendship and love come, until they make their entrance --- for such people the deepest blessing of the one life of two intertwined souls will remain forever hidden. For the greatest most profound, tenderest things in the world we must wait.  ---Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger, Week 1, Day 2 *
A healthy... mature... loving... relationship... between a parent... and adult child... is one of the greatest... most profound... tenderest... things in the world... one that requires the longest wait... and one that time... steals away... too soon...

Death... has already taken my parents... each loss... painful...

But I see something different... between me... and the elder-in-law... it is age... that has drawn us close... without the wearing away... we would not be building... growing close...

With loss... and growth... there is Love in the midst...

Each loss filled with lessons to learn... and growth to be had... drawing me to Him... beginning... and growing an eternal relationship...

The wearing away... of the elder-in-law... made the way for Love... to work His way in...

Time... and death... it steals... but He overcomes...

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ---Jesus
John 16:33

The tears welling in the eyes of my friend... I feel... considering the short time remaining... for the relationship just beginning... with the 92 years...

I remember the Overcomer... the One death could not keep... the One for whom we still wait... and look forward to the greatest... most profound thing... when...

"...He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Revelation 21:4

The greatest relationship to work for... one that time cannot steal... is the one with Him... who was... and is... and is to come... 

Have you chosen to work... cultivate... grow... the one relationship you cannot lose... the one with  deepest blessing...?
Do you want... desire... to open up your soul... to Him...?

[*You too can download from ChristianAudio.com God is in the Manger... it is their free audio-book this month... December 2012]

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

more thoughts... on faith that works...

Previous thoughts... on faith that works... need to be fleshed out... clarified...

Faith that works is NOT busy-ness... it is not doing whatever you think you should do... what feels good to you... I heard it as a reminder on the radio yesterday...

Oh, how many of us Christians feel that we in the flesh can do something that will please God! Many believers who never find out otherwise become as busy as termites and are having about the same effect in many of our churches.     ---J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible

The works of the flesh... they destroy the church... eat away at it like termites... our own understanding and reason so skewed by sin... that what we do... believing it to be good... is not...

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags...
Isaiah 64:6

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.
Romans 7:18
ESV 

Faith that works... listens first... listens to God... not only the written Scripture... but the Living Word... the personal word He speaks... regarding your life... time... relationships...

Here is where we build relationship with God... through Christ... via the Holy Spirit... listening and learning His voice...

Walking the walk of faith... begins by listening...

Consequently, faith comes from hearing, 
and hearing through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17
ESV

...and when His Word comes... ACT...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

James 2: thoughts... part 6

Read James 2

Foolish man! 
Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless?
James 2:20
HCSB

A lesson to learn... faith without works... useless...

In a world where everything seems hard... we want... EASY...
Faith... believing... sounds like simple assent... agreement... all we need to do is accept with our mind... agree mentally... intellectually... and... voila... we have faith... which saves...

But James... he tells us...


Demons... those diametrically opposed to God... they believe He exists... so much so they shudder with fear... but they are not among the faith-full... the ones who will receive the gift... heirs of the kingdom...

Faith... the kind James speaks of... the kind his Brother taught... was... is ... faith that WORKS... revealing itself in action... the same seen among the fathers of faith... the heroes found in Hebrews 11... the faith chapter...

Abel... offered...
Enoch... walked so closely... he did not die...
Noah... built...
Abraham... obeyed... going... he knew not where...
Sarah... conceived...
Moses... led...

Each of these... and more... expressed faith with action... verbs...

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, 
but having seen them and greeted them from afar, 
and having acknowledged that they were strangers 
and exiles on earth.
Hebrew 11:13
ESV

Faith... is lived... to the end... believing... step by step... walking... looking beyond this world... one where we too are strangers... exiles... just like Jesus... who said...


Faith... it works... not for the here and now... but the yet to come... for... the joy set before...

Do not simply... believe... do not be deceived... work out your faith... with fear... and trembling...

Father God... do not let me be deceived... or deceive myself... keeping faith... belief... locked up in my mind... show me... grow me... to live... work... by faith... each and every moment... of every day...

Monday, December 3, 2012

evidence of transformation

Have you ever found yourself... in a new circumstance... that revealed something new about you...? ...something changed...?

Today... I found myself in such a place... surprised by evidence of that new creature... the one the Word says we become... in Him...

Evidence... of the work... being worked out in me... evidence that encouraged... after feeling out of sorts...

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory,
are being transformed into his likeness
with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, 
who is the Spirit.
2Corinthians 3:18
(my emphasis)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

when everything feels out of sorts...

A reminder that there is a reason to rejoice...
and strength to be found...

Though the fig tree does not bud and
 there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; 
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

Friday, November 30, 2012

James 2: thoughts... part 5

Read James 2

A transition... two sentences... seemingly singular ideas... yet in the memory work... in the reciting... again and again... a connection developed... for me...

For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn't shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
James 2:13-14
HCSB

The truth that... the one who hasn't shown mercy... does not receive mercy... jumping to... what good is it... to have faith without works... leads to a leap... 

MERCY... A WORK OF FAITH...

A word I've interpreted only as an emotion... a noun... I now see... as a verb... 

Real mercy... works... clothing the naked... feeding the hungry... caring for the sick... holding those who mourn... visiting prisoners... pouring out grace on the lost... treating all as bearers of His image...

A thought that has changed my perception of mercy... it not only feels... it works... by... faith...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

James 4: thoughts... part 7

Having completed the memory work of James... but unsure how to know when thoughts are complete... I've set a goal... 7 thoughts for each chapter... to be completed... hope-fully... before Christmas gets too much closer... so here goes...

Read James 4

James... he hits us with a reality check... 

But who are you to judge your neighbor?... You don't even know what tomorrow will bring --- what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
James 4:12, 14
HCSB

Who do you think you are...?
You don't know anything about your own life... much less about others'...
Just a puff of hot air... that's what you are... smoke... that evaporates... poof...

A reminder we all need to hear...
Hearts... they reveal the true measure of a person... a place only God sees... He... the ONLY Lawgiver... and Judge... 
Our command... love your neighbor as yourself... the royal law... no judging involved in loving... just humility... consider others better than yourself... 

James... throughout the letter... he tells us... do not show favoritism... do not discriminate... or practice hypocrisy... don't criticize... don't complain about one another... do not judge... 

Instead... offer mercy... grace... follow the Way... of his brother... his Lord... our Savior...

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

a full day

Prayer...
prep...
fellowship...
teaching... with thanks...
back home... with joy...
and all the ordinary...

A full day with...
family...
friends...
and Help...
recognizing His hand throughout the fullness of the day...

Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life. 
...
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
Psalm 54:4, 6
ESV
(my emphasis)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

James 5: thoughts... part 4

Read James 5

Come now, you rich people! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you. Your wealth is ruined and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your silver and gold are corroded...
James 5:1-3
HCSB

The rich... their future holds... ruined wealth... moth-eaten clothes...

Consider this contrast...

During the forty years that I led you through the desert, 
your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.
Deuteronomy 29:5

Moses... reminding the Israelites of God's provision... as they followed Him... dependent on Him for life... everything took on an eternal nature... their clothes... shoes... did not wear out...

But with the rich... who follow money... material possessions... for security... comfort... everything fails... falls apart... corrodes...

Only by following Him... looking to Him... for daily bread... provision... refuge... will anything last...

"I assure you, most solemnly I tell you,
he who believes in Me 
[adheres to, trusts in, relies on, and has faith in Me]
has (now possesses) eternal life."
John 6:47
Amp

Eternal life begins now... it is not a heavenly future... it is now...

Father God... may I no longer waste time... or energy... investing... pursuing... things that spoil... but pour myself into knowing... following You...

Monday, November 26, 2012

servants... they just obey... that's it...

In this morning's reading through... I was struck by the obedience of the servants... the ones at the wedding... where the wine ran dry...

[Jesus's] mother said to the servants, 
"Do whatever he tells you."
John 2:5
ESV

These servants... who did what He said... obeyed a guest... not their master... quite a risk considering they knew they were serving water... as wine... taking it directly to the master of the feast...

What made them do it...? trust Him...? His mother...?

That's just what's servants do... they obey... and when the master is Him... who is trustworthy in every way...  blessings flow...

The lesson became personal... as later I reviewed a study... for Sunday school... one I was unsure of when I chose it... except that it seemed to be the one He called me to offer...

There was another study... that I was drawn to... one by the same author... but more expensive... longer DVD sessions... too long for a 45 minute class on Sunday mornings...

So... I obeyed... ordered books... committed to the study... hoping it will be well received... hoping it is what we need... as a class...

On the treadmill (one of those holy places in my life)... I watched... and read... and what was revealed... was the heart of the message I felt should be shared next... the one found in the study I preferred... but here... in this study... one that fits... but I didn't know... He knew...

Suddenly... I related to those servants... because I obeyed the leading of the Spirit... without a lot of thought... or question... and here... I'm amazed... to find the wine of the other study... in this one that seemed more like water... praises... cast upward... faith... humbling the doubt... Amen...

Yes... servants obey... that's it... they don't question the Master... they don't worry if it will turn out right...

Servants... they just... obey... 

Listen to Mary... Do whatever He tells you...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

thanks giving... for every blessing...

Blessings of new life...
new challenges...
new journeys...
new joys...

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Ephesians 1:3

Friday, November 23, 2012

a thanks giving... continued...

Today... the elder-in-law... two days old... in Christ...

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
2Corinthians 5:17

The thanks giving... continues... as the elder remembers... the prayer he prayed...

Yesterday... a time spent with him in prayer...

Today... in prayer and the Word... I suggested we pray a prayer of thanks... he said... Yes... Who is going to pray with us...?

I rounded up more... my two oldest... we joined hands... and began a circle of prayer... each offering thanks... the round came to the elder-in-law... 

God... I thank you for everything we have...
I thank you for prayer... it is a new thing in my life...

A wonderful new thing... Amen... Amen...

The new for me... how to disciple to 92 years...? the one growing old... more child like each day...?

My prayer for him...

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13
ESV

Thursday, November 22, 2012

give thanks... a prayer request concluded

The earlier request for prayer... for my youngest's roommate's brother... the one who received a transplant over a month ago...

This week word came... the official count of the bone marrow... "NO LEUKEMIC CELLS!"

Ray Smith... he is healing... a few final requests...
pray for continued healing of his body...
that he will return home soon...
for his family to prepare the house for his homecoming...
pray for strength... and a good appetite...

Thank you to those who joined me in prayer... please continue to pray as God brings this young man and his family to mind...

And above all... give thanks...

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Psalm 105:1-3
ESV

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

an unbelievable... thanksgiving grace...

92 years... and two days... the time it takes for an unbelieving elder-in-law... to believe...

This afternoon... a conversation... that led to a prayer...

God, I submit my life to Jesus...

Follow up questions... offered to convince me... that he knew what he said... every answer...

Yes...

An amazing grace... one that leaves me stunned... afraid to rejoice... I hope he remembers tomorrow...

My husband... his son... one still unbelieving... says in response to my hope of remembrance... Will it matter...?

A heart surrendered... is a heart surrendered... and God knows... which is which....

"Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God
over one sinner who repents."
Luke 15:10
ESV

Thank You... Lord... for the work... of unbelievable grace... 
You are doing in my family...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

thanksgiving graces... so far this week...

A 92nd birthday... evidence of God's grace... one more year... one more day... to prepare a heart for Him...




A son home for the week... a time to connect...


A daughter who shops... for birthday gifts...


Preparation for Thanksgiving at home... with family... and friends...


I give thanks to my God always for you
because of the grace of God 
that was given you in Christ Jesus...
1Corinthians 1:4
ESV
(my emphasis)

Monday, November 19, 2012

grace strengthens...

It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace...
Hebrews 13:8

Not just receiving... but giving... grace...

Let brotherly love continue. 
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers... 
Remember those in prison... 
and those mistreated...
Hebrews 13:1-3
ESV

The way to strengthen a heart... while we wait... for the Lord... for precious fruit... is to practice grace... pouring out... on others... and self...

The Gospel isn't only what we believe in ---
because the Gospel is ultimately what we. live. out.

Strengthen your heart... with grace... live it... because the Lord's coming is near...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

learning

Learning to rest in redemption...


Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so...
Psalm 107:1-2
ESV

Friday, November 16, 2012

love passed down

A baby sweater passed down... one made for my first-born... by my Mom... aka Granny...

A token of love... shared with my niece... for her first-born... a reminder of Granny... who left us years before...

But yesterday... a great-niece to me... great-granddaughter of Granny... much older than a baby... she chose the sweater... to wear to school...



Love... it draws... wraps... warms... from generation to generation...

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
1Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, November 15, 2012

finding more reasons...

Why we need to continue to find reasons to rejoice...


death... corruption... decay... reminders of sin... and the longing for freedom from its effects...

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 8:22-23

This is why... we must continue... to seek... find... fresh reasons... to rejoice...




as reminders of hope... 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
2Corinthians 4:16
ESV