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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

thoughts on... restoration...

The problem with restoration... physical... emotional... relational... and cosmic...
it takes longer than expected...
it's messier than expected...
it costs more than expected...

Going a little farther, [Jesus] fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." ...
He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."
Matthew 26:39, 42

it calls for patience...

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2Peter 3:8-9

Are you willing to pay the price of restoration... emotional... spiritual... relational... waiting... patiently... in a daily mess... that costs a lot...?
am I...?

Friday, March 30, 2012

suffering and salvation...in Christ...

And when you suffer, you may be completely in the dark about the reason for your own suffering. It may seem as senseless to you as Jesus's suffering seemed to the disciples. But the cross tells you what the reason isn't. It can't be that God doesn't love you; it can't be that he has no plan for you. It can't be that he has abandoned you. Jesus was abandoned, and paid for our sins, so that God the Father would never abandon you. The cross proves that he loves you and understands what it means to suffer. It also demonstrates that God can be working in your life even when it seems like there is no rhyme or reason to what is happening.
--- Timothy Keller, King's Cross

Whatever the degree of your suffering... God is faithful to His Word... it is why Jesus could do what He did... God's faithfulness... and the joy... not in the moment... but set before Him...

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2
(emphasis mine)

It's not that we have to be happy with... in... suffering... but trust God's Word... His faithfulness... to restore...

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and,
grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:12

Lord... as we approach the cross... Your crucifixion... fill us with a willing spirit... to endure suffering... trust Your faithfulness... and reach for the joy...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

hurt... reconciliation... restoration...

It started several weeks ago... a small group study ... a reconciling community... a spiritual exercise to reconcile: pray for one who hurt you...

During my prayer... a Word from God came to mind...

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten --
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm --
my great army that I sent among you. ..."
Joel 2:25
(my emphasis)

The promise to repay... restore... prepared my heart to reconcile...

Lately... in the face of persecution... deserved and undeserved... spiritual and emotional... the phrase... I will repay what the locusts have eaten... continues... making way for reconciliation... healing fresh hurts... before they scar...

God... in His sovereignty... takes credit for the army of locusts... in the eating away... there is purpose... ultimate good... beyond here... beyond now... waiting... in the new heaven... the new earth... creating the silver lining of hope... in a cloudy season...

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1Peter 5:10-11

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Psalm 119: Qof

Moving along with Psalm 119... we come to the nineteenth piece... the nineteenth of twenty-two... drawing to the end... we come to Qof (rhymes with "loaf"... pronounced: koaf)...

Read Psalm 119:145-152

Qof stands for "call"...

I call with all my heart; answer me, O Lord...

...with all my heart... the call of the psalmist... every part of his being... calls to God... cries out...

We know from following his song... he has tested the Word... he knows the Promise... it's true... but here we see our Hebrew friend... desperately calling on God... answer me...

Our friend sounds lost... in a state of consternation... at his wit's end...

It seems... obedience... should bring prosperity... that's what the world teaches...

But God's Way... the righteous Way... is met with hostility in a broken rebellious world... obedience... draws persecution... injustice...

For me... persecution brings confusion... having believed God's Word... tested for myself... found it true... I too... cry out...

...answer me...

To believe I've grown... only to be accused of what I thought I crucified... brings consternation... dismay... doubt...

Have I deceived myself...? 

...OR...

Has a transformation occured...?

To the lost... am I an aggravation... a new sort of stumbling block... like the Cornerstone...?

"A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense."
They stumble because they disobey the word...
1Peter 2:8
ESV

I don't know... today... I call... cry out... to God for Truth...

Hear my voice in accordance with Your love...
Psalm 119:149

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

when the pressed down... increases...

Today... the pressed down... increases... just a little...

I sit amidst reminders...




Waiting... to spring to life...

When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who know my way.
Psalm 142:3

Monday, March 26, 2012

a children's prayer [republished from

Sunday... a prayer to God... following the children's message...

...be the Fingers that squeeze us that we might spring to life...

The illustration... a spring... pressed down... released... flying free...

Thoughts jump to the stumbling week... the me... too big... needing to be pressed small...

Maybe... God's fingers are gently pressing... now... prodding... nudging... to a new level of growth... even more new life... maybe... this is a good thing... a grace... as Ann Voskamp teaches...


But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
2Cointhians 4:7-11

Lord... help me receive Your pressing down... Your discipline... with joy... help me recognize the grace and the good behind each squeeze... the revealing of You in me...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Psalm 119: Tsade

So... here we are... the eighteenth letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet... Tsade (tsah-dee)... the eighteenth stanza of Psalm 119...

Read Psalm 119: 137-144

Tsade is for "righteous"...

Righteous are you, O Lord, and your laws are right.
The statutes you have laid down are righteous;
they are fully right.
Psalm 119:137-138

God and His Word are never wrong...
He is always right... His Word... always... right...

Test it... the psalmist assures us they have been proved...

Your promises have been thoroughly tested...

found trustworthy...

...and Your servant loves them.

But in a broken world... a world bent on rebellion... it's hard to find righteousness... it's hard to find those who appreciate righteousness... there are plenty who want to be right... but to be told what is righteous... leaves us wrong...

My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore Your words...

Our Hebrew friend... worn out... consumed by his passion to see God's righteous Word upheld... what he loves... the world dismisses... disregards... rejects...

It's hard to be righteous... to stand for right... when everyone else ignores...

You are left feeling weird... an outsider... or... maybe... despised... ridiculed...

Trouble and distress have come upon me...

Loving what's right... in a wrong world... exhausts... however... I was reminded by a friend this week... that I am not where I belong... neither are you...


"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


Friday, March 23, 2012

preparing an entree...

Today... I began to think about the next passage of Psalm 119... the eighteenth Hebrew letter... reading about its heritage... its lore... I came across this phrase...

..."making yourself less in order to make others more"...

Perhaps it caught my attention because of all the stumbling of late... it's harder to trip over a small rock...

..."making yourself less in order to make others more"...

too much of me... making another... less...

..."making yourself less in order to make others more"...

It's what God did... Jesus... emptied... from infinite... to embryonic... from renowned Rabbi... to crucified criminal...

..."making yourself less in order to make others more"...

As followers... it's what we're called to do...

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. ...
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:3-7
(my emphasis)

..."making yourself less in order to make others more"...

Its what I've been stumbling over lately... the call to be less... that others might be more...

Lord Jesus... help me remember...
truly... truly...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

when thoughts go astray...

Today... a funeral... and frustrations... thoughts going astray... asking...

Why...? Why...? Why...?

A dangerous place to go... thoughts that lead to stumbling...

What do you do...?

... take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2Corinthians 10:5

Lord Jesus... take captive my thoughts... make them obedient... to You...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

burdens and expectations...

A burden for the widow... a need to fill...
believing I'm called to be the offering... only to find out I'm to provide the offering...
not what I expected...
but willingness to be... provided the need...

Listen for the call... respond to the burden... be prepared for it to be something different than you expect...

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

what makes a stumbling block...

The makings of a stumbling block... revealed today... hidden... in plain sight... in yesterday's writing...


Timothy Keller... has had much to say... on my treadmill of late...

When Peter hears that Jesus is going to Jerusalem, which will entail suffering --- almost certainly not just for Jesus but also for him --- he's furious. Why? Because he had an agenda, and his agenda led from strength to strength and it didn't include suffering. When he sees that Jesus is not working from his agenda, he rebukes him. If your agenda is the end, then Jesus is just the means; you're using him. But if Jesus is the King, you cannot make him a means to your end.
---Timothy Keller, King's Cross

Peter... serving Christ... had his own vision of what... and how... the Kingdom would come about... Jesus's truth... clashed with his view... in response...

... Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
Matthew 16:23

Peter's desire... created a stumbling block to Jesus...
...my own desire... your own desire... put ahead of Jesus... even while serving Jesus... becomes a stumbling block to His work... in your life... and the life of loved ones...

After years... His chipping away... still... enough of me... to make others stumble... to be a stumbling block to Jesus... and His work...

He must become greater; I must become less.
John 3:30
Taking up your cross means for you to die to self-determination, die to control of your own life, die to using him for your agenda.
--- more of Timothy Keller 

Time for self-examination... time for a heart-check... if my desire is anything but more of Him... than I am a deterrant... a stumble waiting to happen...

What desire are you still clinging to... looking to Him to fulfill?
What makes you a stumbling block?

Monday, March 19, 2012

stumbling blocks

Today... I discovered I am one... a stumbling block...
a stumbling block to Jesus's work in the life of another...
the opposite of what I am supposed to be...
a stumbling block to my own desires...

Thankful... that Jesus said...

"...I have not come to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance."
Luke 5:32

Today... I hear the call to repentance...

Jesus... show me the way to go from here...
show me the way of repentance...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

a reminder to give... with love...

A comment at the wedding...

I have no recollection of opening gifts...

The reference... Christmas Eve 2011... my siser-in-law hosting... along with my brother/her husband... both hosting... their 4 children... 3 spouses... 7 grandchildren (all 8 years and under)... plus  another brother... me... my husband... and 3 children (ages 18-22)... 19 guests in their home... 21 people total... for dinner and gifts...

But... in addition to the crowd... it rained all day... less than two hours before church... the Christmas Eve service... a funeral in the rain... burying her long-time black Lab... who died on the porch that day...

Who would remember?

So today's offering... a memory jar... for my dear sister-in-law... in hopes of sparking the neurons that hold the treasures of Christmas Eve 2011...






video








video

I hope this helps... a reminder... to remember... thanks for such a great time... and please know...

I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3

Friday, March 16, 2012

a reminder... the most important truth

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life. ..."
John 3:16

Thursday, March 15, 2012

reminded... i hate death...

Today... death struck suddenly... unexpected... dreams crushed... future plans destroyed...

A dear friend... suddenly a widow...

I hate death....

Sudden... unexpected... death... reminds me how horrible it is...

Too often... whether from chronic illness... or old age... death masquerades as a relief... an escape...

It's not... death is death... the ravages of a sin-full world... the product of a rebellious people... a reminder of the broken world in which we live...

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through  one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned...
Romans 5:12

Reminded of death's origin... sin...


Reminded why Jesus came to die...


I hate death...

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Corinthians 15:57

Thank You, Jesus... You made the way for life... defeated death... thank You that my friend's husband knew You... thank You for Your love... mercy... grace... thank You for Your victory over death... use this death to bring Life to those who do not yet know You...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

a reminder... of God's perfect timing

This morning... I woke impatient... waiting becomes tiresome... especially after years...

Questioning my faith... delayed desire due to my disobedience? ...my brokenness?

Out of bed... straight to my knees... try to cling to the prayer: whatever... fighting emotions... unloved... not enough...

Again... treadmill reading... God shows up with words for waiting... words of patience... and love...

God's sense of timing will confound ours, no matter what culture we're from. His grace rarely operates according to our  schedule. When Jesus looks at Jairus and says "Trust me, be patient," in effect he is looking over Jairus's head at all of us and saying, "Remember how when I calmed the storm I showed you that my grace and love are compatible with going through storms, though you may not think so? Well, now I'm telling you that my grace and love are compatible with what seem to you to be unconscionable delays." It's not "I will not be hurried even though I love you"; it's "I will not be hurried because I love you. I know what I'm doing. And if you try to impose your understanding of schedule and timing on me, you will struggle to feel loved by me." Jesus will not be hurried, and as a result, we often feel exactly like Jairus, impatient because he's delaying irrationally, unconscionably, inordinately.
--- Timothy Keller, King's Cross
(emphasis mine) 
Reminded... again... God's timing is perfect... He has a much bigger plan than I can see... He loves me and will not forsake me... my peace is not found in my circumstances... He is my Peace...

So today... not only for me... but for you...

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullnes of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:16-21 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

a reminder... when things don't go my way

Today... feelings of discontent... things not going my way... little things... nothing big... but each feels big... stirring my flesh... making me grumpy...

A reminder... I have far to go... my brattiness exacerbates my discontent... high-lighting my self-centeredness... so stiff-necked... frustrated with myself that I still reside so far from having...


Yet... God... in His grace... provides a word... a reminder that stills my heart...

Treadmill reading...
The Bible says that our real problem is that every one of us is building our identity on something besides Jesus. Whether it's to succeed in our chosen field or to have a certain relationship -- or even to get up and walk -- we're saying, "If I have that, if I get my deepest wish, then everything will be okay." You're looking to that thing to save you from oblivion, from disillusionment, from mediocrity. You've made that wish into your savior. You never use that term, of course -- but that's what's happening. And if you never quite get it, you're angry, unhappy, empty. But if you do get it, you ultimately feel more empty, more unhappy. You've distorted your deepest wish by trying to make it into your savior, and now that you finally have it, it's turned on you. 
Jesus says, "You see, if you have me, I will actually fulfill you, and if you fail me, I will always forgive you. I'm the only savior who can do that."
---Timothy Keller, King's Cross
(emphasis mine)

My discontent... anger... a reminder that I am not abiding in Christ... I have stepped away...  out of step with the Spirit... trusting in tiny... empty... saviors...

My mind goes back to a warning from Samuel... read yesterday... in my reading through...

"Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. ..."
1Samuel 12:20-22
ESV
(emphasis mine)

Today... I did not even post what I wanted to post... but in this I'm content... a gracious God... who longs for me to abide in Him... this is gospel... good news...
A gospel is an announcement of something that has happened in history, something that's been done for you that changes your status forever. 
Right there you can see the difference between Christianity and all other religions, including no religion. The essence of other religions is advice; Christianity is essentially news. Other religions say, "This is what you have to do in order to connect to God forever; this is how you have to live in order to earn your way to God." But the gospel says, "This is what has been done in history. This is how Jesus lived and died to earn the way to God for you." Christianity is completely different. It's joyful news.
--- more Timothy Keller, King's Cross

Thank You, Father God... for the reminder of Good News... thank You for grace and forgiveness... for Your name... for Your glory... amen...

Monday, March 12, 2012

more reminders

Reminder on the mantle...

 

 A burning reminder...


  

Reminder of a vow...

 

Reminder of living hope...


 Lord, continue to remind me to eat Your Word...
that I might see the Word made flesh around me...
and be reminded...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

reminders work

The reminder from Christmas... Mary... Joseph... Jesus... I see them each time I go to the sink...


Mary and Joseph... said Yes to God... a Yes that made them outcasts among family and friends... a pregnancy out of wedlock... Joseph marries anyway... society assumes... judges... rejects...

I'm currently reading Luke... as a mentor for confirmation... the passage...


...runs through my mind... as I wash dishes... then I imagine the trail of gossip that surely ensued...

Who knows... let me tell you... 
they were engaged... but...
Mary was found to be...
can you imagine...
Joe married her... why...?
the families... so upset...
he must be the father...
or a fool...

Similar conversations... I've heard countless... been a part of way too many... chatter about others... judgmental... critical...

A reminder...  we don't know... we don't know what's in the heart... we don't know God's plan... the work He is up to in the lives of others...

We don't know...

But we do know... each life... precious to Him... a treasure worth dying for...

In truth...
every woman... a Mary...


every man... a Joseph... 


each life... one in which God longs for His Son to be born...

A reminder... consider others -- whoever -- with... grace... love... honor... God is at work...

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.
2Corinthians 5:16

Lord Jesus... forgive me when I drag Your treasures through the gutter of gossip... when I judge the work of Your hands... Your work in progress... My latest offense... a celebrity... lost... broken... yet still one for whom You died... and long to save... Transform my heart... to be like Yours...

Friday, March 9, 2012

reminders... from Christmas...

Recognizing failure as a reminder... spurs thoughts of other reminders...

A nativity from Christmas... still graces the shelf in my kitchen... intentional... not forgotten...



There to remind me of His presence in the world... the sacrifices made... Mary's... Joseph's... Jesus's... for Him to come...

To understand better... who He is...

 

naked... wrapped in swaddling cloths...

hungry... a newborn's cry to be filled...

imprisoned... the Creator confined...infinite to infant...

out of love for others... to save... rescue... redeem...

My goal... to know Him better...

...be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2Peter 3:17:18
(my emphasis)

...growing knowledge of Jesus protects from deception...

...the new self... is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Colossians 3:10
(my emphasis)

...the new self renewed in knowledge of Him... becoming more like Him...

Reminders set to set my mind in a position to know more... to know the Word made flesh...

Do you have reminders?
What are they for?
Do you have any focused on the eternal?

Remind yourself... grow in knowledge of Him...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

failure... a reminder...

Just yesterday... at lunch with a friend... the question...

How is it with your soul?

my response...

I feel like I'm failing... not doing anything well...

And here's confirmation... I failed to post... I intended to... blank screen set on the desktop... all day... Just like my life... it got covered up with other windows... forgotten... until this morning...

...failure...

A reminder of my fragility...

... for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103:14

A reminder of His grace...

From the fullness of his grace we have all received
one blessing after another.
John 1:16

Lord Jesus, today I trust in Your grace... I will not be trapped by failure... Your mercies are new every morning... thanks for the reminder...

Where have you failed recently?
Remember His grace...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

mentoring prep... explaining God: Father, Son, Spirit

Confirmation... the challenge... teaching thirteen lessons in seven weeks... my question in preparation... Do I devote a full lesson to Jesus and then the Spirit or can they be taught in one?

Last week... introductions and God... Creator... Father...
Shared the idea of Trinity... knowing what was ahead... a new concept for a new faith...

Today's treadmill reading confirmed the teaching of Jesus and Spirit in one...

Compelled to take King's Cross to the treadmill... a new book... unopened... inside... Timothy Keller ignited my mind with brain-bursting truths of Triune...

The Christian teaching of the Trinity is mysterious and cognitively challenging. The doctrine of the Trinity is that God is one God, eternally existent in three persons. That's not tritheism, with three gods who work in harmony; neither is it unipersonalism, the notion that sometimes God takes one form and sometimes he takes another, but that these are simply different manifestations of one God. Instead, trinitarianism holds that there is one God in three persons who know and love one another. God is not more fundamentally one than he is three, and he is not more fundamentally three than he is one.
--- Timothy Keller, King's Cross

Thoughts returned to last week's lesson... ideas to build on the question... what does it mean...


...new faith understanding: how He imagined... He created...

The Potter creates a pot... forethought... intention... something completely outside Himself... different... but of Himself... in His image... what He imagines... emerges from the clay...

... theologically sound understanding: like Himself... He created...

The Author creates a story... characters... in His image... ones with whom He can relate... yet... completely outside Himself...

Creator... always greater than the creation...
Potter to pot...
Author to book...
A unique Being... a mystery to the created...

God created the entire universe... a three-dimensional creation... therefore He must be greater... more complex... multi-dimensional... something the created can never fully comprehend... something profoundly different... a mystery... the threshold for entering the gates of faith...

Pictures and words... building to explain the unexplainable... to new faith...

God's faithfulness never ceases to amaze...
a simple question...
an answer received... in an unexpected way...
a great God...

"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives;
he who seeks finds;
and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
---Jesus
Matthew 7:7-8

Monday, March 5, 2012

want vs need

Thoughts spurred by a question...

What do you want to eat?

A simple question... yet in me... it stirs the flesh...

What I want doesn't really matter... a condition restricts my eating... rules needed to keep me healthy...

Then a thought... Shouldn't I want what I need?

Why aren't these the same... wants and needs...

Lately... craving what leads to death... I begrudge what I need... what leads to life...

Isn't it that way spiritually too?

Wanting... craving... that which enslaves... that which leads to death...

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost -- also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"
Numbers 11:4-6
(emphasis mine)

That's me... resisting the call of the rabble... resisting the urge to run back... trying to remember...

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions -- it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:3-5

Father God... by Your grace... transform my cravings... make what I want... what I need...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

a full day of rest

Began the day writing... words of wisdom for a son... a letter to mail...
next a walk... 10K... more or less...
followed by a long hot bath...
tagged along with daughter... watched the soccer game of a friend...
lunch at a pond... four-fifths of the fam...
back at home... re-creating order...
plans to go to a play... the youngest sings a solo...
perhaps out to dinner... that would be my choice...
a full day of rest... set right between His shoulders...

"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves
rests between his shoulders."
Deuteronomy 33:12
(my emphasis)

Friday, March 2, 2012

whatever: a new perspective

The day spent watching my child compete...

My heart revealed... base... still so entangled in the ways of the world...

With each step toward the win... relief... joy... get 'em!
With each step toward defeat... heart clenched... disappointment... ugh!

My emotions tied up in a game... out of my control... like a roller coaster... up... down... up... down...

Stability... peace... came as I remembered the true identity of every Believer...

I am a child of God in the Kingdom of God...
The Kingdom is not in trouble....
I am not in trouble...

The heart of a teaching... The Good and Beautiful God ...Life ...Community... a study bent on replacing false narratives... with true narratives... Kingdom narratives... the ones Jesus lived by... a bent I'm trying to achieve...

And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
 for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
ESV
(emphasis mine)

In the Kingdom... all things... whatever... work for good...

In the midst of watching competition... I remembered... the same is true for my Believing offspring... I prayed...

Lord... my child is not in trouble... Your Kingdom secure... use whatever to grow him to be whatever You want him to be... for Your glory... for Your purpose... win... lose... whatever...

My heart changed... moment to moment... a new roller coaster ride... glimpses of truth... and a heart that still needs lots of work...

Lord Jesus... continue to move me into Your Kingdom... day by day... moment by moment...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

mentoring: a fresh perspective

Yesterday... I began a mentoring relationship... a new confirmation class... a new experience for me... I have never officially "mentored" before...

My confirmand... a lovely young lady... thirteen... seventh grade... her story unique...

Her only connection with church has been through friends... those over the years who have invited her along... no family connection to church... not one whose mother makes her go... she desires to be present... and... thankfully... has a friend whose mother brings her...

My new friend has blessed me with a new perspective... just one meeting... I see a heart beating for God... one ready to make a commitment to be a member... not because of family... but because of Him...

Together we read...

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

The question...

What do you think it means to be created in the image of God?

Her answer... (paraphrased)

That He created us just the way He wanted. According to the image in His mind.

A fresh perspective... born of fresh faith... I only thought... like Him... with His character... a creation with whom He can build a relationship... theologically correct...

But from this new friend... I gain another true perspective... one more personal... more intimate... We were not just created like Him... but just the way He liked... as imagined in His mind before creation...

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

Unexpected... a new perspective... from a new friend...

I can't wait to see what else I get to learn on this journey!