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, June 30, 2012

James 1: thoughts... part 4

Read James 1

There are parts of James that have stumped me... not really quite understanding what he was saying... for instance...

...if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror.
For he looks at himself, goes away,
and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
James 1:23-25
HCSB
(my emphasis)

Cryptic... how can you really forget what you've looked at... immediately...? An odd example... or so I thought a few weeks ago...

But unfortunately... I've seen this Word made flesh... in a loved one...

Painful to watch... wrenches the heart... watching one live a forgetful life...

Either forgetting the sin revealed... the grime... the dirt... not recognizing the urgency of the situation... the need to clean up...

Or... forgetting who he is in Christ... able to stand against temptation... holy... strengthened...

But... I also have to admit... after seeing this Word in another... at times... I am guilty of the same... forgetting... what I've seen... who I am...

But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works --- this person will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:25
HCSB

Lord, I pray for the forgetful... my loved one... me...
teach us to look intently into Your Law...
the one that gives freedom... enable us to persevere...
soften hearts to receive conviction... By Your grace...
transform the forgetful hearers... into blessed doers... 

Friday, June 29, 2012

James 1: thoughts... part 3

Read James 1

The firstfruits of my sunflower crop...





The only seeds to mature in an attempt to plant a cutting garden... many seeds planted... only a few grew to produce...

In James... a verse to memorize has stuck... gives insight...

By His own choice, He gave us a new birth
by the message of truth so that
we would be the firstfruits of His creatures.
James 1:18
HCSB
(emphasis mine)

How many thousands of years did He wait... for the firstfruits from His planting in the Garden...

Amazing to think... we... Believers in the Son... are firstfruits... His crop...

So many seeds planted... so many failed... but now is the time of harvest...

firstfruits... from a Garden planting... God the Gardener... the One who makes things grow... the One who knows the patience of waiting... for the firstfruits from the Son...

Do you bear the glory of firstfruits...?
Do you see the joy you bring the Father...?

Be glorious... for you are the result of a long awaited crop...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

James 1: thoughts... part 2

Read James 1

The life cycle of death...

...each person is tempted... by his own evil desires...
after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin...
when sin is fully grown,
it gives birth to death.
James 1:14-15
HCSB

Our natural desires... give birth only to death...

desire... sin... death...

The state of all mankind... since the Fall... the result of rebellion against the Creator... the Father of lights...

By His own choice,
He gave us a new birth
by the message of truth...
James 1:18
HCSB

A new birth... one that leads to life eternal... an undoing of death... a grace undeserved... a love beyond understanding...

What kind of God... makes a way... for rebellious creatures... to be redeemed...?

One worth serving... One worth giving your life to...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

James 1: thoughts... part 1

One thing I've learned about eating the Word... is to take note of words that repeat... connecting one book to another... echoing throughout the Whole... connections that add insight and deepen meaning...

Read James 1

Last week... a word from the trail... on the not quite right day... connected with a word in James...

...wither... according to Webster's... to become dry and sapless... to lose vitality, force, or freshness...

The Word from James filling my thoughts...

For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass;
 its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed.
In the same way, the rich man will wither away
while pursuing his activities.
James 1:11
HCSB
(emphasis added)

Now... before leaving the trail... I knelt... opened the small Bible I'd taken from the car for the walk... just to see if there was one more thought to take home...

Matthew 13... the sower... the seed that fell on all sorts of ground and the outcome of those seeds...

The connection...

Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil.
It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched,
and they withered because they had no root.
Matthew 13:5-6
(emphasis added)

The thought struck... deepened... the rich man... connected to... rocky places, where [the seed] did not have much soil...

Those who are rich... [and of course in the world-wide economic picture... anyone reading this is rich...] make rocky ground for God's Word... no place for roots to take hold...

The rocks... could they be... material possessions... distractions... pursuit of entertainment... pursuit of more... ?

...the rich man will wither while pursuing his activities...

He has a personal agenda to attend to... we have personal agendas... no room for God's Word... for God's Way...

The scorching... does it come from lack of trust in God... trusting wealth... more than the Savior...?

Jesus explains to His disciples...

The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places
 is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.
But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time.
When trouble or persecution comes because of the word,
he quickly falls away.
Matthew 5:20-21 

The rich... the rocky... too much stuff to take root... no time to grow deeper in relationship with the One who brought joy... When trouble comes... does he return to his own way... to his own form of security... or is he the one who bought into the whole prosperity gospel... thinking God does not allow trouble to come to those He loves...? No time to pursue... and seek... the true God...?

It makes me think... do I know some who deceive themselves... thinking they are rooted... but distracted by their own activities... am I one...? Are we all just withering... not planting anything eternal... ignoring His call on our lives... too busy... too important...?

The rich... those who appear to have much... are rocky... lacking... no place for spiritual roots to grow...

Just a thought...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

thoughts...

Looking forward to the hoped-to-be trip began thoughts regarding what to do about the spiritual practice of Jeremiah's Menu... the six-day-a-week daily posting...

My thought: no posts...
Leave with an explanatory-post for the lack of posts over the next few days... after all I didn't even know if the hoped-to-be would be...

New thoughts entered my mind... thoughts that certainly couldn't have been my thoughts... thoughts for posts written in advance... posts centered on the study-with-sisters... James... thoughts stirred by the practice of memorizing... an exercise turning my thoughts to Him...

The thoughts of posts became an assurance that the hoped-to-be would be... even when doubts entered in...

Writings began to take shape for the days away... even before destination and reservations became fixed...

After the hoped-to-be became a plan... James seemed the logical selection for the next set of entrees to be served on Jeremiah's Menu... even though abc's had been on my mind...

But... thoughts from James... are really more like hors d'ouvres... appetizers... little bites from a book full of spiritual nutrition... So with each thought offered, take time to read the whole chapter... before tasting a bite... an exercise to stir your thoughts...

The first four parts are set to post automatically... an ingenuous tool on blogger... so while I'm gone Jeremiah's Menu will continue... the beginning servings of thoughts... James chapter one...

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 139:17

Monday, June 25, 2012

preparing: a prayer

Lord... You know all that needs to be done...
deadlines to meet...
chores to do...
plans to be made...
appointments to keep...
all to prepare for the blessing You've provided...

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us ---
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17

Amen...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

unexpected change

Unexpected change... in me... the introverted-perfectionist... the one who easily stresses over the unexpected...

Among the changes with the move-in of the elder... came daily weekday help... the kind of situation that makes an introverted-perfectionist feel... exposed... someone from outside... in my space daily...

The exercise... practice... of letting someone outside... enter daily... has forged humility... transparency... or at the very least highlighted subtle changes that God has been working in me over the long-haul...

This week an unexpected call... unexpected company... the perfectionist-introvert barely flinched... no anxiety... no frustration... just did what needed to be done to offer hospitality... comfort... a warm welcome...

Unexpected changes... no one else may see... but in me... it feels very different... surprising... a transformation I would not have foreseen amidst all the changes I knew would come with the move-in of the elder...

Praise God... from whom all blessings flow...

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits...
Psalm 103:1-2
(my emphasis)

Friday, June 22, 2012

battling doubt

The hoped-to-be trip planned! ...but not without struggle... one internal... triggering the external... frustrations revealed through attitude and voice... the inciting emotion... doubt...

Doubt that it would come to pass...
doubt that we would find a place...
doubt that we would both agree...

From the study with sisters... the word made flesh...

For the doubter is like the surging sea,
driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:6
HCSB

The tossing and surging in my soul... heart stirred... doubt driven... a sharp tongue... a negative attitude...

How easily I drown peace and joy with doubt... a struggle to keep trusting... rolling... rolling... rolling...

Thank You, Lord... for Your faithfulness...
even when mine is imperfect...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

more opportunities to trust

The last few weeks... and the move-in of the elder-in-law... have offered opportunities to practice rolling my way onto the Lord... and trust...

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
Psalm 37:5
ESV

Two desires planned... or in the hoped-to-be-planned stage... before the impromptu blessing of the move-in occurred...

1) The eight week study with sisters... in my home... something desired for years... but this was the first time the elements seemed to fall into place for it to happen...

2) The hope of having a few days away with my husband... an anniversary trip... somewhere new for both of us...

The needs of the elder-in-law made each seem questionable... yet the study was already advertised... and by faith... I acknowledged that God knew all this was coming when He made the way... I went with it... commited my way to Him... trusted... and waited for Him to act...

Within two weeks of the study... help was in place to be present with my father-in-law during the study... but the week before... the help's son had chest pain that led to open heart surgery... the sure help seemed unsure... still I did not cancel... did not reschedule... I waited for Him to act...

He did... help in place... and the study joy-full...

The trip... however... still not settled... no reservations... some help in place... less than a week to ETD... but... I'm choosing to trust... other times I would have rather canceled then withstood the uncertainty... I would have driven my husband crazy with prodding to choose... manipulated myself into a tizzy...

Yet today... I see another opportunity for Him to act... the signs are in place... joy and excitement in my heart... instead of frustration and anxiety... prompts from God on how to deal with the daily posts of the menu... surely He is at work... so I continue to roll and trust...

The doing of this exercise... the implanting of this word... has begun to grow a peace and trust that has been absent most of my adult life...

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
Psalm 33:4

What word have you implanted lately... in your heart... in your life?
Have you seen the fruit of implanted word... experienced transformation?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

errors in judgment

God is busy dismantling my propensity to judge others... assess character based on others' words... or anecdotal evidence...

Twice this month... my estimation of character found to be unfounded...

A clear teaching... given in the gentlest of manner... gracious beyond belief...

By His grace... He set times and appointments to reveal the truth of my error... my sin... let's call it what it is...

No great conviction... no crushing condemnation... just revelation of truth through conversation with those misjudged...

But oh how I deserve to be judged...
so wrong... so arrogant... so sinful...

Lord, Jesus, thank You for Your gentle teaching... Your correction with grace so undeserved... Thank You for revealing... the one's I thought lost... odd... incompetent... as spiritual family... a sister... a brother... Continue to remind me of this truth... Only You know the heart... I am incapable of judging correctly... I choose to be open to Your truth... to Your revelation at the proper time... Teach me to judge with grace...

"Do not judge, or you too will be judge.
For in the same way you judge others,
you will be judged, and with the measure you use,
it will be measured to you. ..."
Matthew 7:1-2
(my emphasis)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the trail of a not quite right day

not quite right day led to a walk down a Prayer Trail...

At the beginning of the trail... just to the right of a large wooden cross... a painted paver rested... a scene of orange and red... a tribute to His everlasting light...

A walking prayer begins... Your light is everlasting...

Trees along the trail bear signs... signs of the Word...


Signs turned to prayers... In the beginning You created heaven and earth... 

Mosaic pavers sat to the right... multicolored... glass tile...


A verse I know... You love Your creation...

Along the trail... multiple benches... memorials... named with those who placed them... in my spirit... I hear Him warn... Do not get distracted by people...

From that point... I look only for the Word... resist the temptation to read each stone... each marker... I wait to be drawn... to what He has to say...

Standing... a breeze blows into my face... soft... warm... Your Spirit is in this place...

Moving forward... other words seen...

Believe

on a cross...

Christ is Risen

 another tree with a Word...


and... visible from the same spot...


The walk requires repentance... Forgive me for seeking man's permission rather than trusting You...

A verse from the study with sisters comes to mind... cryptic... one I can't quite get my head around...


Understanding begins to dawn... There is no variance with You or shadow cast by turning... You cast no shadow because You ARE light...

From the same study another truth... Drawn away by my own evil desires... drawn into the shadows...

Where I stand... the sun is at my back... casting a shadow on the trail before me... creating a metaphor for a spiritual truth... a lesson from the Everlasting Light...

When we turn our back to God... the Light of the world... all we see is shadow... the dark... the hard... the tempting...

But when we turn... into the Light... all we see is Light... the shadow is behind...

A truth to share with sisters in study... the wrestling of the Word... the counting of all trials as great joy... only makes sense in the Light... the Light that redeems... heals... offers hope... and promise...

Our choice on how to receive trials... with our back to God... living in shadow... seeing only shadow... or... seeking His face... His light... where there is NO variation... or shadow cast by turning... all is good... all from His hand... for the perfecting... maturing...

But to stand in such light is hard... eyes squint... heads turn... the shadow seems gentler... kinder... it makes more sense to the flesh to hide and take solace in the dark... trials... pain... how can that be counted as joy?

Only by standing in the Light... do we have any hope...

My final words of prayer on the trail... When I am in You, Jesus, I am light! I cast no shadow... teach me to live in You!

Remaining trees on my walk bear truth...


and... a prayer fitting for the end of the walking...

Monday, June 18, 2012

why not to stress when things don't go quite right

Today began with plans for the son just graduated to go to camp... needed to be at church at 8:30am for an ETD of 9:00am.

Around 6:00am... I heard: Mom...

Went to see... I don't feel good... a stomach ache. Checked him out... medicated him... and told him not to worry about camp. It didn't look like he would be going today.

9:26am... on the porch with daughter, the wannabe camper emerges... I feel better...

We waited to make sure his recovery wasn't masked by meds...

11:30am... I feel fine... test the healing with a sandwich and a brownie...

12:30pm... calling camp to check out procedure for bringing a camper late... the coordinator will have to call back...

3:58pm... call from coordinator... Bring him on... the sooner the better!

The work begins... finding directions online... finding someone to come and sit with the in-house elder...

4:30-ish pm... out the garage and on the road...

5:30-something pm... arrive at camp... check-in... drop off son... off toward home...

On the way out, the head of the Prayer Trail catches my attention. That pressing of the heart begins... a call from God... walk the trail...

There is no place to park but on the side of the road. No one around to ask if it is OK... drive by... turn around... walk the trail...

The discussion with God begins: What if they don't want me to stop and walk? I should really go ask someone. Make sure it's OK...

Back up the road, past the main office, u-turn back to the main office: You know it will be closed... it's 5:45pm... in the parking lot, out of the car, into the office... no one there...

On my way out the door a man walks across the parking lot... I introduce, explain what I would like to do... Of course you can...

Well... of course I can...God told me to... when will I learn to trust Him rather than ask man for the OK... when will I learn... that He has a reason for all things... timing is His...

Earlier in the day would not have been good for the walk... a son without a ache would not have led me to this place...

So... why not to stress when things don't go quite right?

He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17

He has a plan and purpose in it all... the not quite right day... put me in the exact right place for a walk. A walk that provided insight, encouragement, and a blog post for tomorrow!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

disconnected...

The no words from yesterday... revealed today... as a disconnect...

This morning, studying for my time with sisters, regarding steadfastness and temptation, led me to see I neglected a practice I thought was a habit... a joy... I wouldn't forget...

But yesterday, an odd day. Loved ones off work for a tournament, taking time to play. The day was off from the beginning, the need to leave early left no time for the habits I thought ingrained...

I neglected my first morning practice of giving thanks... the challenge of One-thousand Gifts... my own list of one thousand. A hard practice for the thankless and self-centered me, the one looking at the half that is empty rather than the half that is full... Just this week, on the list...

447. God's help in continuing this practice

The practice of journaling each morning the graces and thanks from the previous day was the thought behind the listing: Yes, God is changing my heart... thanks giving... identifying gifts... is becoming a part of me...

Then the no words of yesterday...

As I studied the lesson of temptation, steadfastness, sin, and the truth of our own desires... I connected the disconnect to a lack of habit... my steadfastness not so fast...

How easy habits can be neglected... those needed for life!

For two days now I have missed the exercise needed to keep my health issues in check.
The thanklessness of yesterday, so easily forgotten in the busy and out of ordinary day.

Thank full... for the revelation of the day...

494. the James study that teaches

Now... to exercise...

And let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.
James 1:4
(emphasis mine)

Friday, June 15, 2012

at a loss...

No words...

But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him.
Habakkuk 2:20

Thursday, June 14, 2012

temptation

Temptation... a topic in the study with sisters...
a teaching for a loved one...
a test for me...

God's Word on the subject...

No one undergoing a trial should say,
"I am being tempted by God."
For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn't tempt anyone.
But each person is tempted when he is drawn away
and enticed by his own evil desires.
James 1:13-14
HCSB
(emphasis mine)

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted
beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will
also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1Corinthians 10:13
ESV
(my emphasis)

God does not tempt us... it is our own brokenness... the evil in our hearts... that entices... but God filters the degree of temptation... His Word says: He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability... AND... He provides an escape...

Therefore... the truth is... we should never give in to temptation...

In Christ... there is no temptation that is too great to resist...

Do you believe it...?
Do you look for the ever-present escape...?

Or is our truth... that we want what we want... evil or not...?

Do we believe God...?

Or would we rather... have what we want...?

The Truth says:

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted
to the point of shedding your blood.
Hebrews 12:4

The truth is... it takes energy... endurance... steadfastness... perseverance... to resist... to bear... to search for the escape... but in Christ... we can... He provides the strength... He has resisted to the point of shedding blood... so we don't have to...

Today... begin to practice... to resist... bear... the temptation... because the Word says... you are able...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

abc's

Considering the next entree selections for Jeremiah's Menu... I continue to be drawn to acrostics... in different readings... I discover new ones... other Psalms... and even the Proverbs 31 woman... an acrostic...

The aleph-bet-ical organization of God's Word... designed for memory... aligned... for easy recall...

Delving into an acrostic psalm today... I went to Logos exegetical guide... looking for each one of the twenty-two Hebrew letters... the ones of Psalm 119... I became stumped... one letter missing...

Much searching brought me to a commentary... noting Psalm 37 as... An almost complete alphabetic acrostic...

What do I do with that...? I don't know...

Were students of Psalms stumped... by the missing letters in the almost complete acrostic psalm... as they tried to memorize...?

And why do I keep thinking another acrostic is next on the menu...?

A Hebrew acrostic does not help me memorize... but maybe it's the thought... that these words are important... important enough for God to inspire as abc's...

Memory is also on my mind lately... attempting to memorize a large chunk of the Word... by faith... A feat I know I cannot do on my own... an inspired attempt... one my flesh would never choose... but the exercise... of memorizing... keeps me in the Word... when I catch thoughts going astray... I begin to recite... in my mind... the brief part I've learned... so far...

Another verse comes to mind... when I think of memorizing holy verse... one I memorized a while ago...

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11

Notice... this is a verse from Bet... in the Psalm 119... acrostic...

An important thing to remember... to know... hiding God's Word... by memory in your heart... decreases the tendency to sin...

Yes... abc's... they are important... and so is eating the Word... till it is hidden... deep in your bones... in your heart... where it is a part of all you do...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

eating joy

JOY... there is none like it... eating the Word with sisters...

Today the second week of study... women invited to my home... seated around the dining table... studying Scripture... sharing hearts... a beginning... of new relationships... new works of God... in the hearts and minds of His treasured possessions...

JOY... that is what I'm filled with... thank-full...
for each who said Yes to the invite...
for His timing in the offering...
for His empowering boldness in this introverted-perfectionist...
for His plan and purpose for this study at this time for these sisters...

JOY... for the opportunity to continue to invite... and encourage... more sisters... to eat...

When your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my heart's delight,
for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.
Jeremiah 15:16

JOY... of eating... multiplied... when shared...

Who can you share a table with...?

Monday, June 11, 2012

treasured truth

I heard it... in the background... during a phone call with an elderly aunt...

She's talking to a precious niece...

Her husband speaking to the home health nurse that just arrived...

"Les is talking about you. You are a precious niece," she said to me... she continued... so proud... you're parents would be proud... your dad...

Tears well... throat tightens... so unworthy of these words...
My mind fills with all that I know of me... all that God knows... all that He's forgiven... unknown to most... the pain I've caused... my Savior... others... so unworthy...

Hard to hear... when I know who... what... I've done... and been...

One of my struggles... to accept the name... God has given me...
Treasured...
So hard to believe...

But I see it... in His Word...

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8
(my emphasis)

... Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
 Mark 2:17
(my emphasis)

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
Deuteronomy 7:6
(emphasis mine)

Hard to believe... to accept... but I must... it is true... all else... lies... from the enemy... meant to kill... steal... and destroy... the life He has prepared for me...

You... do you believe a lie...?
One that says you are unworthy...?
Today... choose to believe Truth... you are... treasured...

Whatever was past... has been made new... in Christ...

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
2Corinthians 5:14

Believe... and live...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

open eyes

You'll be disappointed when you get to heaven and it's not there...

Words of the lost... in response to my study of the Word...

A secret that not even God could keep... he said...

My thoughts to God... a prayer... what do I say... what do I do...

I wonder... How much more grace do You have for the one whose already had 91 years... and still doesn't see...?

In the silence... the tune of a hymn begins running through my head... then one line... open my eyes that I may see...

To Bing I go... humming... seeking the rest of the words...
Words that speak to me... as a prayer... for the 91 years... and for me...


As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man
or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus,
"but this happened so that the work of God
might be displayed in his life. ..."
John 9:1-3
(my emphasis)

Lord Jesus... may Your work be displayed... in the life of the 91 years... open his eyes... that he might see...

Friday, June 8, 2012

settling in

The blessings of change take time to settle...

An elder in-law... finding his place... in our home...

his cat... among our two dogs and a cat...

constant help... in the house... learning where dishes go...

a displaced contemplative... finding a new space...

Some blessings... unexpected... but already evident...
new structure...
more purpose...
increased margin...

A new normal... settling in...

Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Psalm 106:1

Thursday, June 7, 2012

stirred and distracted

It started last night... continued into the morning... a stirred distracted heart... mind, will, and emotions... stirred up over things out of my control... of course... really nothing is in my control...

As I tried to settle... tell my heart to rest... the prompting to read more of Job... from my reading-through... entered my thoughts...

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. ...
Job 38:1

God speaks in the storm... the whirlwind... of distracted and stirred hearts... My desire to impart wisdom on others... wisdom and understanding that lead to action... new paths... returning... repairing... was answered by...

"... Who has put wisdom in the inward parts
or understanding to the mind?..."
Job 38:36
ESV

Reminded... only God gives wisdom and understanding... I cannot...

Why get frustrated with those who don't get my words of wisdom... those who don't do differently in response to words... which is exactly what stirs...?

Brought again to the truth of battle...

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the cosmic powers over this present darkness,
against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12
ESV
(emphasis mine)

My frustration... my wrestling... is not with the flesh and blood loved ones... it is with this present darkness... the one ruling over... those unseen... who have deceived...

So the challenge for me... to rest... and to not wound... the flesh and blood... deceived by the dark...

Return, o my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Psalm 116:7
(my emphasis)

I know this from my own experience... my own darkness... obliterated by light... so now... I wait... and trust... for Him to deal bountifully... with those I love...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

important talks

It's a pretty important thing.

The words of one with doubts... concerning faith in God...

Yes... it is a pretty important thing... one worth talking about to those who doubt...

Yet... those conversations are the hardest to start... the ones about God... and faith... conversations with those who don't believe... or those you don't know what they believe...

But... it's a pretty important thing...

Giving invitations to a Bible study... one at my house... prompted to ask neighbors... Hard to invite when you don't know... awkward... for an introvert... maybe for one extroverted too... when it has to do with faith...

Still... I asked... invited...
One attended... one who purchased a Bible to come... she did not have one of her own... but she does now...

Another conversation... with a doubter...
over cookies and coffee...
I offered thanks to him for talking with me... he responded with thanks for talking to him... saying...

It's a pretty important thing...

Yes... it's a pretty important thing...

"...The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for
"'In him we live and move and have our being';
as even some of your own poets have said,
"'For we are indeed his offspring.'
Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."   Acts 17: 24-31 ESV

Heavenly Father... do not let me miss another opportunity to talk with others about the only thing that is truly important... Jesus... 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Psalm 119: Tav

Here we are... at the end of the long buffet that is Psalm 119! Twenty-two letters... twenty-two stanzas... the final letter... Tav (pronounced "tov")...

Read Psalm 119:169-176

Tav is for "mark"...

Literally... the meaning... of the 22nd letter's Hebrew name... tav... means "mark"...

The word "mark" conjures up many images... a distinguishing feature or sign... good or evil... fortuitous or ominous...
a target... don't miss the mark...
a grade... he made a bad mark on the test...
an impression... that'll leave a mark...
but... also... a signature... perhaps an "x"... marked by someone illiterate...

As we come to the final eight verses... of the longest psalm in Scripture... our psalmist friend signs-off... leaves his mark...with a prayer... asking God to let His Word leave a mark on his life...

Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
give me understanding according to your word!
Psalm 119:169
ESV

Mark me with understanding...

My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
Psalm 119:171-172
ESV

Mark my speech with praise... for You teach me... You are right...

Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
Psalm 119:173
ESV

Mark my life with Your help... for I choose Your way...

Our Hebrew friend... delights in God's Word... in it he finds the path of salvation... deliverance...

May our journey through God's Word... leave a mark on us...
May we desire... the impression of His Word on our lives...
Knowing His Word... is the only way we know we are lost... the only way... we recognize the Shepherd when He comes to seek us...

I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.
Psalm 119:175

We may never write an ode to exalt the Word... but I hope we will take it to heart... long to be marked by the Word... for His glory!

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession
-- to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:13-14
(my emphasis)

Monday, June 4, 2012

preparations

The blessing of change... leads to... preparations...
for a space...
for a study...
for welcoming...
for sending...

You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

The path of life... guarantees... the blessing of change... to do so in His presence... makes the way one of joy!

Thank You, Lord... for Your presence... Your guidance...
Your peace...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

a great start to a day

I love waking with thoughts of God... like this morning...

Rest in His name... His character...
that is the place to wait...
with all your weight...
resting on Him...

Thoughts accompanied by a song...


What a great way to start the day!

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Psalm 116:5-7
ESV

Friday, June 1, 2012

a reminder from the bulletin board

Waking this morning... thoughts turn to the armor... God's... and the need to put it on... reminded of a chain of note cards pinned to my bulletin board... thoughts and revelations... revolving around the armor... I thought I would share it with you...


Ephesians 6:11-12

11) Put on (verb) the full armor of God so that you can take your stand (verb) against the devil's schemes.

[I have a role to play in the battle and responsibilities.
"put" on the full armor of God and to "stand"]

put - to place in a specified position or relationship
stand - to support oneself on the feet in an erect position; to take up or maintain a specified position or posture

armor of God - Ephesians 6:14-18
  • belt of truth - surround yourself with truth
  • breastplate of righteousness - cover your heart (mind, will, emotion) with righteousness of Jesus
  • feet fitted with readiness from the gospel of peace - stand firm on the gospel, it is your foundation of peace and readiness
  • shield of faith - lead with your faith, grow your faith by exercising it; extinguishes lies
  • helmet of salvation - fill your mind with the message of deliverance and freedom found in Christ.
  • sword of the Spirit = the Word of God - know it and wield it with the guidance of the Holy Spirit
  • pray in the Spirit - stay connected with God through prayer.
put it on, keep it on, maintain it and stand firm

12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

[Do not get distracted --- remember who the enemy is ---
do not be deceived.]





Thoughts from months ago... reminders... waiting to be noticed...
Hope-fully... help-full... to you...