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

Friday, May 31, 2013

a week of feeling disconnected... comes to a close...

Distractions rooted in preparations for travel... two weeks away... and posts written early scheduled to post without me... arriving at destination two days behind others... while leaving one at home... then dealing with illness... pain... seeking distraction and solace... from meds... and TV... intermingled with feeble efforts to connect with Him... identify with Him... in the pain... left me feeling disconnected...

Finally... this week closes... with reconnecting...
feeling better...
finding extended time to spend with Him...
recognizing His care... through the beloved spouse...

A time away... starting off a little stormy... but even amid distractions... and disconnections... I look back and see... my faith... was not rocked... my emotions... not tossed...

My spirit... just accepted what came... looking to Him... as best I could...

For me I see... unexpected change... where previously I would have been undone... by expectations not being met... I see His grace... His faithfulness... His presence...

Where weather still borders on stormy... my soul... for the moment... is not...

Give thanks to the Lord of lords;
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever. 
Psalm 136:3-4

This past week's focus came from a waking thought... Psalm 136... a Word needed for a week of distraction... a reminder that He is Love...

Next week continues with me away... a wi-fi nomad... posts will be accordingly... and by His grace... as always...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

waiting in darkness...

waiting... in illness... pain... whether... emotional... physical... spiritual... or soul-sickness...

He is present... waiting... in the dark... behind the dark... to break through...

waiting for us... me... you... to turn to Him...

waiting to reveal... His...  Magnificence...


Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:26

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

boldness in waiting... no fear...

Fear... can deter obedient waiting... fear of man... fear of failure... fear of humiliation... so many to choose from...

Each a stumbling block to faith... His Word... required... to embolden... encourage...

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever. ...
to him who led his people through the desert,
His love endures forever. ...
to the One who remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever. 
and freed us from our enemies...
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136: 3, 16, 23-24
(my emphasis)

He is a God who is sure... trustworthy... leads... remembers... and... frees... even in our low estate...

The most excellent waiters were those at a wedding... at Cana in Galilee... where Jesus did the miraculous...

Read John 2:1-11
[no Bible near...? place the cursor on the Bible reference... and click...]

What waiter... in his right mind... would serve what he knew to be water as wine... (this before the Messiah revealed... this the revelation)...?

What caused them to trust...? did they act without fear...?

They just obeyed...

Why... when what they saw being done... had never been done...?

They were bold... to say the least...

That's what waiting on Him is all about... living boldly... without fear...

We who serve the One we know defeated death... who came that we might live... FULLY... joy-fully... thank-fully... should boldly... obey... without fear...!


So why do I continue... to allow fear to steal...?

It goes back to love...

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears ins not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18

The heart transformation I need... increased love...

Father God... perfect my love for You... Yours is already perfect for me... help me believe... embrace... live fully... by... and... in... Your love...

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God,
and God in him.
1John 4:16

What about you...? Do you wait... serve... obediently... without fear...?
How well do you love Him...?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

waiting... with thanks...

Unknowns... they create a challenge for me... stir anxiety... make faith feel weak...

Again... I turn to reminders... from His Word...

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

Because He is good...

Because He is motivated by love...

We can give thanks... live thank-fully... in the waiting... amidst unknowns...

Our connected culture... the one that strives to be risk free... decreases our ability to wait... increases insecurity in the unknown...

Cell phones with instant connection to loved ones far away... and text (even more instant and reliable... so I hear)... imparts a sense of control... security... 

Our connection... decreases opportunities to exercise faith... trust in Him... in the unknowns... because the unknowns are decreased...

Imagine travel... during Jesus's day... no way to contact family while on a trip... no way to know if loved ones survived the travel... except through letters... delivered by hand... or word of mouth... from other fellow travelers... or until they did return...

Prayer was certainly greater in that day... seeking... trusting... God... and His goodness... there would be no other way...

For all our seeming self-sufficiency... we are fragile... dependent... solely on Him... 

In the unknowns... in the realization of our helplessness... we need to recognize the opportunity to exercise faith... give thanks... that He is GOOD... overflowing... with... EVERLASTING LOVE... 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7

Take time to embrace the unknowns in your life...
acknowledge your dependence on God...
thank Him... for His love...
praise Him... for He is good...

Monday, May 27, 2013

reasons to wait... joy-fully... on the Lord...

The desire... to wait on Him... in all things... at all times... in all places... continues to challenge... needs reminders... and reasons... to transform a mind... conformed... to the world...

His Word... provides the truth... the impetus... to renew... redeem... a wayward thought life...

Read Psalm 136... 
[no Bible at hand...? place the cursor on the Bible reference... and click...]

Do you see what's interjected between every line...?

After every character trait...? after every action...?

His love endures forever.

Other translations include...





The Hebrew... hesed... according to the Dictionary of Biblical Languages... is defined as... loyal love, unfailing kindness, devotion, i.e., a love or affection that is based on a prior relationship...

...everlasting lovingkindness... enduring mercy... steadfast love... unending devotion... 

Every aspect of His character... every action... is motivated... flows from... His unceasing love... for His creation...

His unbelievable love for us... is the reason... to wait joyfully on Him...

Our joyful response...

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

Where have you recognized His love... mercy... today...?
Thank Him...

Even if it's been a bad day... a really bad day... could you by faith... thank Him... for His love... that endures... forever...? trust... His love... even when you don't feel it...?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

distractions...

Preparations... they lead to distractions... it's hard to hear when you're mind is preoccupied with the things of this world... rather than the things above...

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:1-2

Taking time to be intentional in worship is essential...
stop...
get low...
face down on the floor...
makes way for a heart to hear...

From such a position... He begins to share... the posts for the week... at least a few... the first few days... the rest... may just be rest...

So posts may be sparse... over the next couple of weeks... we'll see...

I wait eagerly for the Lord's help,
and in his word I trust.
Psalm 130:5

Friday, May 24, 2013

preparations...

On the heels of waiting... preparations... for two weeks away...

No word yet on how these posts will come about...

One of those unknowns... another waiting...

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
Psalm 130:5

Thursday, May 23, 2013

evidence...

What if... the attention we receive from the enemy... could be seen as... evidence of His great love for us...?

Who does not have the attention of the enemy...?

Who does not deal with temptation...?
trials...?
problems...?
heartache...?
dis-ease...?
both small and great... alike...?

The enemy... is part of the unseen realm... and being part of such... he sees... what we can't... God's love... for His creation...

Evil longs to keep us blind to the Truth... to the evidence of grace... mercy... forgiveness... and faithfulness... so he attacks... diverts attention... whispering lies... If He loved you... this wouldn't be happening...

The lies... they blind... but all we really need to see... is the attack itself... the enemy's attention... is evidence of God's love... otherwise... he would leave us alone...

Every single person ever created... is... loved... by the One who is Love...

"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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. ..."
John 3:16-17

He did not come to condemn... any condemnation is a lie... or self...

He only came to save... to show His love... to pour out mercy and grace...

Trials... they come as discipline... from a Father who loves...

"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
Endure hardship as discipline;
God is treating you as sons.
Hebrews 12:5-7

God is Sovereign... no trial allowed... the enemy unable to act... without permission...

Who can speak and have it happen
if the Lord has not decreed it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that both calamities and good things come?
Lamentations 3:37-38

The enemy's only desire... is to kill... steal... destroy... those loved by the Father...

And those loved by the Father... will have trouble... but it is intended for good...

What if... we could see trials... attacks... 
as evidence of God's great love for us...?

We would not doubt His love... for troubles... large and small... abound... and perhaps... we could come into agreement with James... and his command...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, 
whenever you face trials of many kinds...
James 1:2

Do not listen to the lies... from the one whose mind sets on the things of this world... it is our Father God whom we are to believe... and trust... fill your mind... with His truth...

Within your temple, O God,
we meditate on your unfailing love.
Psalm 48:9

Father God... let Your love shine through every trial... remind me... I am only a target... because of Your love...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the insidious nature of fear...

It crept up... like a prowling lion...
leapt into my mind... like a wild banshee...
unexpected... uninvited... unsolicited... heart-stopping...
FEAR...

A comment to the desk clerk upon checking out from a hotel we've stayed in many times over the last four years... a clerk whose face is familiar... who we've seen work her way... from graveyard shift to day...

We won't be back... our daughter graduated...

A cheerful good-bye... given as I hurried out the front door with joy... a need for closure of a relationship with a woman whose name I do not remember... but whose presence has been constant in our visits over the last four years...

As soon as the words left my mouth... the automatic doors not yet shut behind me... the thought entered...

Oh... you might be back...

These words accompanied by images of a number of incidents... accidents... offenses... that might  bring us back... harm to the beloved daughter... resulting in the need to identify... and collect remains... or sit vigil... at an ICU bedside...

Horrible images... that sucked the life... out of my joy...

The temptation to worry-away anything bad... if I dwell... worry... it won't happen... loomed large...

Then... I recognize... these thoughts... they are not mine... they are not Him... they are from the enemy... straight out of the dark... from the one who lies... whose main objective is to steal... joy... life... security... through...
False...
Evidence...
Appearing...
Real...

For whatever reason... fear has been a stronghold in my life for many years... one that has mostly been removed... not nearly so great as it used to be... not nearly so much since God has been leading me to freedom... but that enemy... he lurks... prowls... waiting for an unguarded moment of joy... to taunt... and steal... peace... and trust... in Him...

A Word came to mind... one God brought to my attention... while the son was overseas... a Word to remind...

He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Psalm 112:7
(my emphasis)

A steadfast heart... trusting in Him... the cure for fear...

Along with the Word... a song of praise came to mind... to hum... to sing... to keep a heart steadfast... to return a heart from fear...


God... there is NONE LIKE YOU...
You are greater...
You are stronger...
You are Higher than any other...
You are Healer...
Awesome in power...
You are Sovereign in all things...
Purpose-full...
Fully trustworthy...
In You... I have NO FEAR... of bad news...
With You... it's all GOOD...


[Related fare...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

joy's... ups... and downs...

A time of celebration... filled with... ups... and... downs...
the travel out of town... three hotels... in three nights...
(really four... with some complications...)
ceremonies... hours long... weary legs... and patience tried...

But at the heart... a graduation completed... a degree bestowed...
Joy... for a mom... and dad... plus the brothers...

Each high... seems to be followed by a low...

The oldest... education complete... makes a mom realize... just how much she's grown... and is really about to make it on her own... a moment of joy... and an odd sense of loss...

And through it all... ups... downs... high... lows... joy... loss... I see His faithfulness... and mercy...






Lots of hours... of travel... fun... frustration... and close quarters... make those of us wrapped in flesh... struggle... even in the times of joy...

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:15

You Lord... are the One who holds us all together...

Monday, May 20, 2013

thanks... giving...

Thanks... giving...
for the son's return from overseas...
for safe travel farther west...
for celebrations of completions...
for my whole family together...

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Psalm 118:1

Sunday, May 19, 2013

much waiting...

Today... and the days to come... involve much waiting...

Waiting... for a son... to return... from across the ocean...

Waiting... for a daughter... to walk... through graduation ceremonies...

Waiting... for plans to solidify... unknowns to be revealed...

In all... is the challenge... to remember... I'm waiting on Him...
in all things...
at all times...
in all places...

Father God... may I bring You glory... in the waiting...

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV

Friday, May 17, 2013

security in waiting...

We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us,
O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:20-22

At times... people say and do things... intentionally or unintentionally... that pierce our hearts... hurt out feelings... wound our spirits...

At these times... it's important to remember... that as... we wait on... hope in... the Lord... He is... our shield...

In Christ... we are the temple of God...

Do you not know that you are God's temple
and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
1Corinthians 3:16

Today... as I wrestled with a hurt... He graciously reminded me... His temple... is the most secure place to be...

Ezekiel... had a vision regarding the temple...

After that, the man brought me into the sanctuary of the Temple. He measured the walls on either side of its doorway, and they were 10 1/2 feet thick. The doorway was 17 1/2 feet wide, and the walls on each side of it were 8 3/4 feet long. The sanctuary itself was 70 feet long and 35 feet wide. 
Then he went beyond the sanctuary into the inner room. He measured the walls on either side of its entrance, and they were 3 1/2 feet thick. The inner room of the sanctuary was 35 feet long and 35 feet wide. "This," he told me, "is the Most Holy Place."
Then he measured the wall of the Temple, and it was 10 1/2 feet thick. ...
Ezekiel 41:1-5 NLT

Walls 10 1/2 feet thick... protected the inner sanctuary... in this plan for the earthly temple... but if you go on and read... there were additional walls... 8 3/4 feet thick for the outer courts... The Most Holy Place... was physically secure...

Now for Believers... our hearts... are the Most Holy Place... the dwelling place of God's Spirit... and if His plans to protect an earthly temple were so fortified... how much more fortified will our hearts be spiritually...?

His... unfailing love... rests upon us...

Remember... as you wait on the Lord... He will keep you secure... do not let others define your worth... do not let your feelings lead you astray...

Waiting on Him... is the most secure... place... to... be...


Related fare...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

serving on the sly...

As I've tested this concept of... waiting on the Lord... for renewed energy...

...those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength...
Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

I've discovered... another benefit... a change in attitude... when serving others... on the sly... in secret...

Jesus taught...

"...But when you give to the needy, 
do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 
so that your giving may be in secret. ..."
Matthew 6:3 ESV
(my emphasis)

It is a humbling... spiritual discipline... to practice giving in secret... humbling... because you can't tell anyone what you have done...!

Have you ever tried to give... do... serve... in secret... without telling... ANYONE... ?

It's been hard for me in the past... the flesh longs for accolades... NOW... I want to be lifted up... thought well of... patted on the back... for service... to others...

Is it just me...? Or do you struggle too...?

Today... I've noticed an ease... in doing secret service... since recognizing... that I wait upon Him...

The serving I do... is directed by Him... I have been crucified with Christ... and I no longer live... but Christ lives in me... the life I live in the body... I live by faith... so I can't really take credit for what I've done... it wasn't my idea... it was His...

I see this serving in secret differently... as one who serves Him... waiting on Him... it is His work... that He sees... and HE KNOWS... what it is I've done...

And from this knowledge... I experience a joy... a peace... a satisfaction... in serving Him... and totally feel... and understand... the rest of what Jesus said... about secret service...

"...And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
Matthew 6:4 ESV
(emphasis mine)

The reward... for now... is an increased intimacy with Him... a new knowledge... of what it means... to... wait upon the Lord... and... freely serve... in love... sharing a secret... with the King...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

a breezy way of life...

A friend reminded me today... about the nature of a Spirit led life...

"...The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." ---Jesus
John 3:8 ESV

That's how it's felt lately... thinking my day will go one way... planning out when I will do what... and having things change... as unexpectedly as the direction of the wind... my day falls out differently...

At this point... right now... I'm wondering... 
When will I get to the grocery store...? 
How will everything get done...? 

And then I remember... I'm waiting on God... not on me...

The plans made... I've made with an ear toward Him... the commitments made... I've made believing His call was at the heart... so ultimately... it's His to take care of... His to direct and guide... and bring to completion...

Me... I'll listen... look attentively toward Him... waiting for the Wind... to provide the time... and direction...

Lord... I commit my way... my day... to You...
Guide me... in each step... bless me with a willing spirit...
to follow You... despite... my plans...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

hope... for those who are tired...

From those living in my house... I hear...

I'm so tired...
I'm just tired...
Why am I so tired...?

I feel surrounded by a weary lot...

Now these weary ones... get more sleep than I... and are much younger... they should not be weary... so today... when I heard...

...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

...it caught my attention...

Those who hope in the Lord... 
will... not... grow... weary... 

Could weariness... be a sign for Believers... that they have misplaced their hope...? ...trusted in the wrong thing...?

Biblical hope... qavah in Hebrew... is also translated... wait... in many versions of Scripture...

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...
KJV
(emphasis added)

Wait... may seem like a sedentary word... but really... it is quite active... both mentally... and physically... just think about the last time you were waited on... by a waiter... at a restaurant...

A good waiter... is focused on you and your needs... watches... and arrives with the pitcher of water... before your glass is empty... they expect you to need them to serve... they constantly return... Can I get you anything...? Do you need something...? Can I serve you...?

In the same way... we are to... wait... on... God... this is a picture of placing hope in Him... a state of expectant waiting...

Looking to Him... attentive to His call to serve... perhaps intermittent prayers... How can I serve You today...? How can I serve You here... in this place... at this time...? What can I do for You...?

I look up at the blue sky... white wispy clouds crossing... imagine... the throne room floor... the earth His footstool... and me... waiting upon... Him who sits...

A feeling of anticipation... expectation... wells up... What can I do for You...? How can I serve You...?

Who could be tired... when focused on serving the King...?

A self-serving focus... makes one tired... but to hope... expected... to be called on by the King... that is something... to be prepared for...

Do you find yourself tired... today...? Unable to find the energy to do...? 

Perhaps you need to check... where you have placed your hope... who or what... are you waiting on...?

Try waiting... on... Him... see if energy... rises...

He promises... it... will...

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage;
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Psalm 27:14 NKJV

Monday, May 13, 2013

some days... things just don't get done...

Today... Monday... the beginning of a week... when things should get organized... for the rest of the week... but some days... just need to be interrupted...

A daughter home... celebrating completion of a degree... days to rest before graduation... a mom... just has to rest too... a great reason... just to be... together... doing... whatever...

Having lunch... watching a movie... talking over decisions to be made... searching His Word... listening... enjoying... one another...

I see evidence of times like this... in His life too... with family... friends... just being... after a significant moment in life... His first miracle... water to wine... to keep a wedding party going...

After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
John 2:12

Some days... are just days... to be... together...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

long distance realization

A mother's day call... from the son who took the international flight... asking us to get online to Skype...

An amazing thing... to see one so far away... and speak face to face...

11 pm there... 4 pm here... a difference that highlights the distance...

The talk of continually hearing a foreign language... making his heart sick for home... reminds that we are literally in different lands...

The son looks tired... the call comes to a close... the separation... by hours... and time zones... oceans... and cultures... makes a mom's heart... homesick for her son...

My thoughts turn to a friend... I saw today... one who lost her son in a car accident a little over a year ago... a separation... Skype can't span... a separation... that from this perspective... seems eternal... my heart aches... for her... and I wonder... if I could stand such a loss...  I wonder at her smile... on this Mother's Day...

But I am reminded... in Christ... Believers are connected... and even the separation of death... is temporary... a barrier He crosses... a Paradise... He prepares... for those who believe...

I call on Him... pray for my son... remember that we are Spirit-connected... in Him we are one... no distance... too far for Him to span... to encourage hearts...

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 ESV

And all Believers... in Him... are one together...

For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body... and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
1 Corinthians 12:13

So... Father God... today... I thank You for Skype... but mostly I thank You for Jesus... through whom we have access to the Spirit... all who Believe... connected to You... and to each other... all waiting... and ultimately longing... for You...

Friday, May 10, 2013

every one... is... some one...

This week... I sat through the credits at the end of a movie... one of those with an extra scene... you have to stay for...

Sitting in the dark... watching scores of names roll by... seemingly endless... wishing they would go faster... wondering why every one involved... even in the tiniest way... has to have their name listed... because it seems so boring...

It was in that moment... I heard...

They each have a name... 

I thought... Yes... they do...

My mind jumped to His Word... the books that contain lists of names...
Genesis...
Chronicles...
Matthew...
Luke...
(just to name a few...)

These are the sections we skip... (or at least skim really fast...) names we can't pronounce for the most part... names with no story attached... nothing recognizable... to learn from... yet God chose... to list them... include them in the credits...

The truth is... when it comes to names... each one... represents... some one...

Watching the credits... scroll... I thought...
Each one... was named...
Each one... longed for the recognition... to be listed in the credits...

Who would care about these names...?

The ones who named them...

A... mom... or ... dad... would sit... through the list I consider long... boring... with anticipation... excitement... waiting for their child's name to appear... receiving credit... for their part... in the making of a block-buster movie... They might even think... Why aren't the credits at the beginning...? Why did we have to wait to the end...?

But also... the Creator... who knows each one named... 

... for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men...
2Chronicles 6:30 NASB

Who died for each one named...

[God our Savior] desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all...
1Timothy 2:4-6 ESV

An unexpected joy... in the dark... an irritation... turned into an invitation... to intercede... for those named on the screen... the ones... loved by Him... some already... brothers... sisters... in Him... others... with potential to be...

EVERY ONE... is... SOME ONE...

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

In Christ... we should see... every one... through His eyes... with His heart... from a spiritual perspective... and the potential for redemption...

Whether the names appear in movie credits... or Scripture... the flesh is only interested in the important ones... the ones who were someone... the ones whose lives made a difference... but to Him... each name has significance... each known intimately... each one... He longs to save...

We... being transformed into His likeness... should be the same... 

Every one... is ... some one...
who is loved...
and has significance...
to their Creator...
even... you...
and... me...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

God reminds... instantly...

Frustrations with a loved one... one on whom I'm to pour out grace... but after weeks... months... there appears no visible change...

Driving out of the driveway... I yell a prayer to God...

I just want to beat him...
Will You wake him up...

The car radio on... as usual... and as soon as my tirade is complete... I hear...

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

An instant reminder... for a frustrated... angry... impatient... mom... a Word from Him... Philippians 4:4-7...

God... He knows what you need to hear... and will not waste any time... an instant reminder... the welling tears... the hard frown... replaced with a smile...

Yes... the Lord is near...

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 ESV

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

fellowship... friends in the same boat...

A life filled... is filled best... with fellowship...

Friends who share...
a heart for Jesus...
prayer...
His Word...
time...
troubles...
joys...

Kay Arthur... pictures fellowship... like this...

...fellows... together... in... the same... ship...

Traveling together... in the same vessel... sharing stormy seas... and calm waters... side by side... fellow-ship... really a picture... of the body...

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it;
if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
1Corinthians 12:26

Today... I've recognized... related to... been encouraged by... many fellow... shipmates... face-to-face... over lunch... on the phone... together in ministry...

True fellowship... in the body of Christ... a comfort... and... joy... 

God is faithful; by him you were called 
into the fellowship of his Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Corinthians 1:9 NRSV
(emphasis added)

Where... when... have you experienced fellowship... with Him... with His body...?
What encouragement... did you receive...? or give...?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

standing firm... in Reality...

Some things are just stress-filled for a mom... (at least this mom...)

Putting a child on an international flight...
when planes explode over oceans...
and terrorists roam...

The fight against fear... naturally kicks in...
False...
Evidence...
Appearing...
Real...

Knowing full well... REALITY... is found in Christ... and best lies in His hands... I move forward... with joy...

He's the one who's already determined each one's days... and when that final day comes... it comes...

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
Matthew 6:27

or... to the life of a loved one...

Like Shadrach... Meshach... and Abednego... whether He does... or doesn't... save... I will worship... and serve... the Lord Almighty...

"... If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
Daniel 3:17-18
(my emphasis)

I will NOT... let the enemy... steal joy... from me... or others... through me... even when a flight overseas... feels like a walk into a furnace... for a heart prone to wander...

Today... I choose to trust... in... TRUTH... and NOT... false... evidence...

Lord Jesus... because of who You are... I can...


Monday, May 6, 2013

additions...

An important addition...
to an important reminder...




You, my brothers, were called to be free
But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; 
rather, serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:13
(my emphasis)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

praying for joy...

In the midst of a busy season...
feeling stress...
longing for joy...

Standing firm... against the temptation to worry...
about unknowns... in an uncertain... dangerous... world...

Determined... not to sap joy...
from others' adventures...
accomplishments...
futures...
falling on my knees... both literally... and figuratively...
over the past few weeks...

Today I noticed...
a change has occurred...
instead of the longing for...
I find myself in the midst of...
joy...

A quiet... peaceful... trusting Him with what I don't know...
taking to Him... captive... my imagination's wanderings...
because He does know... joy...

Praying for joy...

Ask and it will be given to you...
Matthew 7:7

Friday, May 3, 2013

encouragement...

God encourages the hearts of His people...
in unexpected ways...
through Believers...
and unbelievers... alike...

Through timely... words...
from family... or friends...
through cards...
phone calls...
hugs...

You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry...
Psalm 10:17

How has He encouraged you lately...?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

running to broken cisterns... again...

Some days I come here... feeling like a broken record... lamenting the same woes... falling into the same pits... over and over... ad nauseam...

The stress... of life... the heaviness of heart... testing faith... at new levels... reaching a fracture point... this morning...

Frustration mounting... ready to be DONE... weary of doing good... tired of doling out grace... with NO RETURN...

(That's me... the one marked... NO DEPOSIT... NO RETURN...)

Empty... seeking a savior... in the wrong place...

Again... expecting my spouse... (the one fully empty himself...) to defend... rescue... from multi-directional attacks... as some of the arrows come straight from him...

As I fight the battle within... to keep from blowing up... giving in... to the anger... the hurt... the self-pity... understanding fully that... hurt people hurt people... (me being one who wants to)... the words they come...

...broken cistern...

A reminder... that... AGAIN... I'm running to the wrong well...

"My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me, the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water. ..."
Jeremiah 2:13

Is it a lesson I just can't learn...? Or is it this new level of stress... with live-in elder-in-law... and a live-in-rebel... and loved ones waiting... that reveal my tendency to still run to the wrong well when the refining fire is stoked...?

The words... broken cistern... a grace... a gift from the Spirit that's Holy... revealing... the root of my anger... the internal struggle... the selfish desires... the sin committed... the One forsaken...

A precious reminder to run to the Spring of Living Water...

But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again --- ever!
John 4:14 HCSB


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

hope for heavy...

My heart feels heavy... with concerns for loved ones...

Today... the end of student-mentor lessons... reminded me of the constant struggle... on this journey of faith...


A hard word... from a Savior who loves... promises His presence... in all things... at all times...

Faith... being sure of what you hope for... certain of what you do not see... in the trouble... (or even just the thought of trouble... looming in the unknown...) walking blind... this is faith... the struggle to resist the heavy... to shine light... in the dark... refuse to listen... to the doubt...

Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?... No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Romans 8:35, 37 NLT
(emphasis mine)

Remembering... seeing... staying focused... on this truth... is the exercise... the discipline... that keeps us moving forward... in faith... 

This truth... the hope... that lightens... the load...

I praise You, Lord! In faith... I choose to see that any potential calamity... does not mean rejection... or failure... In You... through You... there is overwhelming victory... on the other side... of whatever trouble... we may face now...