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!

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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, November 29, 2013

continued thanks...

Thank-full for...
those who pray...
hearts prepared...
words and grace...
in the face of hard...

We now have this light shining in our hearts,
but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars
containing this great treasure. This makes it clear
that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
2 Corinthians 4:7

Thursday, November 28, 2013

gathered up... joy...

The joy... of family... gathered up... in faith...

Thank-full for that which is seen...






And those things unseen...
love...
joy...
faith...
Him...

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights...
James 1:17

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a prayer... for thanks giving...

For those who face difficulties... of wide and varying degrees... hard places from which to give thanks... on this thanks-giving eve...

Father God... You are Most High...
Good and Loving toward all You have made...

I pray for those who need to know Your presence... Lord...
Your love for them... this moment...

A blessing of grace... the ability to sense... 
in some way... Your love for them...

You are the One who intends all things for good...
and the saving of many lives...

I pray for those waiting in the face of death...
show Yourself as Life...

For those who need healing... 
physical... 
emotional...
spiritual... 
relational...
show Yourself as as the One who heals...

For those who are lost... wandering...
reveal Yourself as the Way...

I pray for those trapped in darkness...
emotional...
spiritual...
literal and metaphorical...
show Yourself as Light...

I pray for those in deep despair...
show Yourself as Hope...

For those who need You... those for whom You've come...
the sick... the lost... the sinner...
bring healing... hope... forgiveness...

May each recognize Your presence....
Your righteousness... O Most High...

Bless each with the gift of faith...
to offer a sacrifice of thanks... 
and know Your peace...
no matter what they face...

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
Psalm 145:17-19

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

pondering... Psalm 62...

Setting Word to memory... causes one to ponder... seeking meaning... understanding... to help retain...

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2 ESV

Why do we wait... for God alone...?

Why do we need a fortress...? a defense...?

Because we have... an enemy...

How long will all of you attack a man to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse.
Psalm 62:3-4

This enemy... is not flesh and blood...
he is spiritual... invisible...
he prowls... waiting to devour...
deceptive in all his ways...

This enemy is the reason... we are commanded... test the spirits...

Beloved, do not believe every spirit,
but test the spirits to see whether they are from God...
1 John 4:1 ESV

The enemy... whispers in our ear... with lies... that lead to our own destruction...
his one desire... divide us from the Father... our high position in heaven...
he delights in the lies... inflating self-centeredness... pride...
all the while... intending all as a curse...

The battle to discern the difference between good and evil... lies at the heart...
the willingness to die to self... the key to overcoming...
the wholehearted surrender... to the Truth... even when it sounds to good to be... frees...
but the battle continues... and it's hard to see...

So often we are blind... to what is happening... drawn in... to draw away...

How long will all attack... batter...?

Until the King returns...

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. ... He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Revelation 19:11, 15

How long will we lean... totter...?

Until we stand firm... in His strength... take up His full armor...

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 
Put on the full armor of God so that you can 
take your stand against the devil's schemes.
Ephesians 6:10-11

Heartbreaking... to see the raging battle in a loved one... when they are blind... and you feel helpless...

Here is where I sit and wait... in silence... on Him... 

Monday, November 25, 2013

choose today...

In this world at war... it's a struggle... every day... to stay focused on Him... and His Way...

In the reading through... a phrase catches my attention...

"So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. 
Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped 
when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. 
Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, 
then choose today whom you will serve. ..."
Joshua 24:14-15 NLT

...choose today... whom you will serve...

A way to focus... a decision to make... every day...

Choose... today... whom... you... will... serve...

Perhaps before getting out of bed... first thought of the day... a choice needs to be made...

Today... I choose... to fear the Lord...
 and serve Him wholeheartedly...

Tomorrow... this will be the first choice I make...

What about you...?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

practicing... Psalm 62...

This morning I awoke all stirred up... for the one who appears stumped...

Feeling the need to act... take control of the situation... help... fix... as if I could...

Seeking guidance before acting... I bowed low... before the only One who has control... can help... fix...

Reminded... to cling to a psalm... one being set to memory...

For God alone my soul waits in silence; 
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall not be greatly shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2 ESV

This verse... became prayer... 

For You alone... my soul waits in silence... at rest... still...
From You... comes my salvation...
You only... are my Rock and my salvation... my defense...
I shall not be greatly shaken...

Peace descended... the need to act set to rest... before the One who will act...

Trusting Him... with the one so loved... the one for whom a heart aches...

A prayer returned to... multiple times today... 

One that will  be repeated... again... and... again... as needed...

Thank-full for the opportunities... to practice silence... be still... rest in Him...

Friday, November 22, 2013

hope... in a stump...

I see a loved one... whose life looks... like a stump... seemingly cut down to size...

I wonder... Is this how he feels...? stumped...?

There is hope... to be found in a stump...

Jesus rose out of the stump of a messed up nation...

Cut down in pride... arrogance... rebellion...

The cutting down seemed hard... complete... hopeless...

But God... He had other plans...

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him ---
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord ---
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
Isaiah 11:1-3

From the stump of a people... came the Savior of the world...

Only He didn't come in a fury... He didn't come with vengeance...

He came as a tender young shoot... from a broken down stump...

A fragile babe... God made flesh... laid in a feed trough...

Filled with compassion and mercy... 
love and forgiveness... 
grace and truth... 
He brought healing... redemption... and reconciliation...

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out..."
Isaiah 42:103

The Savior... does not break... what's already bruised... 
He does not snuff out... that which smolders...

From failures... brought on by self-deception and pride... the greatest victories can shoot up... if we graft our lives to His... live by His wisdom and understanding... His counsel and power... His knowledge... and fear of the Lord...

"... If a man remains in me and I in him, 
he will bear much fruit..." ---Jesus
John 15:5

Things aren't always what they appear to be... 

Hope... shoots forth... from a stump...

Father God... may the one who is stumped... 
find his hope in You...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

learning to live... shame-less...

Shame-less... free from shame...

For so long... I've been walking under the influence of shame...

Uncomfortable... with His call on my life... self-conscious...

How awful... to be so uncomfortable... with what He calls me to... simply because I would prefer a person to call me to the task... validate... what I do...

It's much easier to explain the why of the doing by saying: So-and-so asked me to... rather than... God asked me to...

Minimizing His call in my life... like it's not enough... like it's a stigma...

How truly shame-full... is that...?!

Worrying whether others think I'm raising myself up...

But now... this pouring out... this humble act of self-promoting... has begun to free me... from the fear of man...

Freeing because... to self-promote... I must die to self...

I see now... REPENT NOW... of my shame-full attitude... of the works He has called me to...

The act of obedience... telling others... at His prompting... has revealed my shame of Him... in all it's glory... and has taught me... to release the fear of man... fully embrace fear of Him... and be shame-less...

Thank-full for the lesson...
His grace...
His forgiveness...

Really... it's just too much...

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
Psalm 145:3


[Related fare...


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

thanks... giving...

Thank-full... overflowing with thanks... even though many things still unfinished... much unchanged... from yesterday's unsteady...

So it really is odd... to feel so full... of thanks...

Thank-full... for Fall...


and trees in transition...


Thank-full for the 93 years... and his son...



both who have birthdays this week...

Thank-full for His faithfulness... in trials... and tribulations...

Thank-full for friends... to love...

Thank-full for sixth graders to teach...

Thank-full for much to do...
and confidence that He will complete it...

Ridiculously thank-full... as this month has flown by...
the end of the year fast approaching...

But mostly... just thank-full... for Him...

That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalm 30:12 NASB


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

feeling unsteady...

A day when footing feels unsure...
struggled... to stay awake... in the midst of ministry...
too much to do... not enough time...
loose ends... not coming together...
questionable choices... made along the way...
but still I sit... near the end of the day... praising Him...
trusting Him... to not let my foot slip...

When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
your love, O Lord, supported me.
Psalm 94:18

Monday, November 18, 2013

a day filled... with His faithfulness...

God's faithfulness... it shows up unexpectedly...

In the glowing countenance of a sister who studies at my table...

In the provision of a grant for ministry funds neither asked for or applied for...

In the peace I find in the midst of a very full day...

God's faithfulness... a glory all its own...

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love
and your faithfulness!
Psalm 115:1 ESV

Sunday, November 17, 2013

seeing the Father... in the midst of worship...

Sunday morning worship... in the midst of singing... I Surrender All... I see it... in a pew... just across and down from where I stand...

A father standing next to his daughter... she just 5 years old... he stroking her hair... looking down at her from time to time... standing at her side...

I sense my Father saying... He does the same to me...

Then I see... on the opposite end... of the same pew with the father stroking hair... a grandfather holding his granddaughter... perhaps she's three...

She cradles his face in her small hands as he sings... her smile wide... she snuggles her head on his shoulder... arms around his neck... he holding her firmly... securely...

And I sense my Father say... This is how I carry you...

The hymn continues... I surrender all...

And I wonder... How could I not surrender all... to the One who made the Way... for me to get to my Father... who stands at my side... and carries me close... with His love...?


Friday, November 15, 2013

pouring out...

Pouring out... releases the outcome to Him...

This book... The Heart of Bethlehem... and its promotion... have been a process of pouring out... an exercise in humility...

A drink offering... poured out before God... went on the ground... into the dirt...

In the Holy Place you shall pour out a drink offering 
of strong drink to the Lord.
Numbers 28:7 ESV

The product of the vineyard... seemingly wasted... unenjoyed... by the one who produced...

For me... to pour out this book before God... is to release any potential benefits... or risks... for the flesh to Him... any accolades... any criticism... any royalties... they are not mine... but His... to do with what He pleases...

I've had to crucify my flesh... throughout this process...

You see... when I first believed... He had writing in store... a book to be published... through me... I had one view of how that might happen... through people... publishers... agents... who saw something special... and wanted me to write... work... to produce a book...

But as I listened... and tried to obey Him... attending conferences... meeting with editors... showing samples... mailing a proposal to an agent... entering a book contest... all that came back were critique... rejections...

Nobody... no person... desired me to write... for them...

God... He kept pressing... and brought before me an opportunity to step out... and self-publish an eBook...

I only moved forward... because I believed... this was a working out of the Word in me...

Every putting out deep... requires the work... of pulling up the net... to see what's within...

So I did the work... published the piece... now trying to listen... and promote... as He instructs... trying to be shameless... in this call...

What I see... is Simon Peter's putting out deep... after the miraculous haul... the great number of fish... Simon Peter saw his sin... confessed... then walked away from the catch... to follow Him...

And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
Luke 5:10-11 ESV

The point of the whole exercise... was not the financial gain... the temporal benefits... the catch... it was the act of obedience... the humbling of self... and the looking to Him...

Solely looking to Him... pouring out... releases me from the anxiety of the outcome... releases me... from the fear of man...

As thoughts of self... repeatedly try to creep in... I remember the pouring out... in my mind a great clay jar... pours out its contents... an act of confession... my fear of man... and the release of the outcome to Him...

What's received... in the pouring out... is the joy found... in following Him...


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Thursday, November 14, 2013

sin...

I came across it this morning in my current treadmill read...
In its simplest definition, sin is hatred of God.
--- Dr. Dan B. Allender, Bold Love
Quite a shocking definition... considering we are all sinners... even after salvation... we continue to sin...

Believers are first and foremost... commanded to love God... with all our heart... soul... mind... and strength... so how can we hate God... even when we sin...? Hate feels like such a strong word...

 So... I wonder... Is this really true...

The opposite of hate... love...

This is love for God: to obey his commands.
And his commands are not burdensome...
1 John 5:3

If loving God is obedience... and sin is disobedience... the opposite of obedience... then to sin is to hate God...?!

The author went on to say...
Sin, or hatred of God, is a defiant movement, sometimes unwitting and other times quite conscious, which refuses to depend on God for His direction and strength. In that sense, we become enemies of God whenever we seek to find satisfaction for our deepest longings apart from relationship with Him.
How often... how many times a day... do we seek solace apart from Him... intentionally... or unintentionally exclude Him from our life...?

...sin... hatred of God...

That's something to think about... meditate on...

It certainly makes me more thoughtful... about what it means... to follow Him...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

the miracle of the Body

The Body of Christ... His Church... His gathering... those who follow... listen... serve...

It's a miracle... the way it works... I get a glimpse of it on Wednesday afternoons... as part of an after school ministry to children...

A ministry that's grown... from 20 to 30 children more than seven years ago... to over 100 today...

To see the members at work... twenty or more... is really something...

  • van drivers with their riders... pick up children from five different schools...
  • several ladies in the kitchen... preparing snacks...
  • teachers who share their talents with others in one of half-dozen or so option classes...
  • teachers who share the Word... with those Kindergarten through 6th grade...
  • members who monitor... and assist... herd children... 
  • and one who creates curriculum... and oversees... coordinates... the controlled chaos...

...doling out love... all in the name of Jesus...

It's really quite a sight... from teenagers to retirees... working moms to grandmas... and everything in between... all members of this one Body...

So today... when the attendance reached a new high... 135... I was stunned...

Just this Fall... I've seen the numbers rise each week... from the 100-teens... 100-twenties... to today...

And I wonder... Why isn't it crazier...? How does it run as smoothly as it does...?

There is no one person who does it all... no one could... with so many... no one can take full credit... it's way too big...

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you
not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think,
but to think with sober judgment, each according to 
the measure of faith that God has assigned. 
For as in one body we have many members, 
and the members do not all have the same function, 
so we, though many, are one body in Christ, 
and individually members one of another.
Romans 12:3-5 ESV

Today... clearly brought into focus... the true miracle... of the Body...

Members giving... loving... however they are called... with whatever gifts they have been blessed... all to be a part of something bigger than themselves... all to be a part of Him...

A marvel really... a wonder... to see Him at work... through so many... all so the little children can come to Him...

Today... I see a miracle... and am humbled... blessed... thank-full... joy-full... at being part of such a thing...

Thank You Lord... for the gift and wonder of the Body... 
and the blessing of being a part... 

Have you fully participated as a member in His Body...? experienced the wonder...? 

If not... what holds you back...?

Consider asking Him where you are to function... as a member of His Body...

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given us,
let us use them...
Romans 12:6 ESV

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

needing Him...

I find myself... needing Him... more today...
than I did... yesterday...

Each step of faith... leads to another...

The Whisper...
continues to challenge...
stretch...
pull me... out of my comfort zone...

Offer to pray...

Go ahead and ask...

Ask if she wants to hear...

Just today... He speaks...
I listen...
lean into Him...
and obey...

Yes...
I need Him...
more... today...
than I did... yesterday...

I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you."
Psalm 16:2 ESV

Monday, November 11, 2013

a new release...

A New Release... A Step of Faith...

I've written these words several times today... taking the next step... sending emails... with fear and trembling... announcing The Heart of Bethlehem...

And I realize... I've recently embraced... a new release...

Releasing... fear...
by focusing... on Him...

And in the release... I find myself... strangely filled...

Releasing... my husband...
from expectations he could never meet... was not created to fulfill... has left me more fully dependent on Him... making the way for a more solid... peaceful... joyful... marriage for me...

Releasing... writing into the world...
removes fear... when I pour it out for Him... and not for me...

Releasing... my life... my heart... my hurts... to Him...
I find myself... at peace... able to rest with what comes...

Release... it is a step of faith... and growth...
a necessary step... to embrace...

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8

Sunday, November 10, 2013

taking the next step... with fear and trembling...

OK... here I am... at the end of a new... that leads to next steps...

The putting out into deep water... has brought me to this place... where steps are taken... with fear... and trembling...

I don't even know what words to use... so here it goes...

I've published a book...
and its available...
for purchase...

A Twenty-five Day Journey of Faith
for the Christmas Season

An e-book... so it's only available digitally... that can be found at...
WestBow Press...
and other sellers of books electronic...
Amazon...
GoogleBooks...
and hopefully more to come... before Thanksgiving...

Humbly... I come before you with this announcement... feeling vulnerable... exposed... and a little nauseated...

And I wonder... Why...?

This is not a process that has been taken lightly... and has been a very long time in the making...

But to be here... in this place... with a self-published book... wondering what I was thinking... all the inspiration... the surety... of His guidance... and direction... seems to have been wiped clean from my memory...

So here... I find myself... in a position... where self-promotion... is necessary... to let others know... what He means to me... and how... they might know Him too...

The Heart of Bethlehem... a book of devotionals... December 1 through Christmas Day...

Scriptures to look up and read... walk the reader through the Nativity story...

Prayer to begin... and end... with thoughts to share in between... questions to consider...

Geared for both Believers... and those who don't...

Perhaps you will consider it... for yourself... your family... or as a gift to share with others...

At this point... there is time to review... and consider if it is worthwhile... to share with those who don't know Him... and why He came... as a babe...

And if you feel so moved... I invite you to write a review... on Amazon... or wherever...

I've already used more words... than I thought I would in making this announcement at this table of faith... but you who come here... you know many of my struggles... and my heart for Him...

All day... I've been contemplating... exactly how this would come out... and the only two words... that came to mind were... fear and trembling...

Looking for the verse... that uses these words... I discovered... they came right before another verse I often lean on... when in doubt...

...work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 
for it is God who is at work in you, 
both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
2 Philippians 2:12-13 NASB

Whatever will moved me to work for this to happen... by faith I'm believing it is Him at work in me... and pray that it pleases Him...

From you... I would also ask for prayer... as I venture out to let others know... that I would have words... wisdom... and an attitude centered on pouring this out... for Him... with thanksgiving...


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Friday, November 8, 2013

obedience... a source of power...

It caught my attention in the reading through...

The Lord utters his voice before his army,
for his camp is exceedingly great;
he who executes his word is powerful...
Joel 2:11 ESV
(emphasis added)

I looked again... at another translation...

The Lord utters His voice before His army;
Surely His camp is very great.
For strong is he who carries out His word.
Joel 2:11 NASB
(emphasis added)

powerful... strong... the Hebrew translated here means... 
strong, mighty, powerful, i.e., pertaining to a force potent to accomplish its purposes
--- Dictionary of Biblical Languages
To do what He says... to obey is Word... empowers...

Continuing my reading through... brought me to another passage... affirming... this truth...

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
Colossians 2:6-10 NLT
(my emphasis)

Acceptance... obedience... power... authority... 

In Christ... by the power of His Word... we have access to a potent force... to accomplish His purposes...

...he... who executes His Word... is powerful...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

resting in His grace...

Evidence of His faithfulness abounds...
gratitude... wells up in praise...

Still... there are moments...
when all I see is me...
flawed...
self-conscious...
unsure...

Far from the call to be fearless...
I look to Him...
reminding self not to set aside grace...

I do not set aside the grace of God,
for if righteousness could be gained through the law,
Christ died for nothing!
Galatians 2:21

And from there... I rest... in Him...


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

sanctification... an unbinding...

Sunday's sermon led to thoughts... (click here... to read them in full...)

John 11:32-44... the raising of Lazarus from the dead... the basis for the message...

The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
John 11:44 ESV

Lazarus rose from the dead still bound in his graveclothes... quite a contrast to Jesus's resurrection...

Then Simon Peter came... and went into the tomb. 
He saw linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, 
which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths 
but folded up in a place by itself.
John 20:6-7 ESV

Jesus left His shroud behind in the tomb... He walked out completely free...

The thought that we... in our spiritual resurrection... stand in Lazarus's place has left an impression... and I see the sanctification process... the growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ... as the way we become unbound... making the way for us to truly live as new creations... even though we find ourself in the same body... and in the same place...

The reading on the treadmill this morning... put words to this thought...
When people ask me what it looks like to follow Jesus, I usually say that following Him looks like dealing with all of the issues everyone else does --- disappointments, tremendous joy, uncertainty, the whole bit --- and having your mind change all the time as you learn how Jesus would've dealt with things. Following Jesus is about having your paradigms shift as you navigate a wide range of emotions while living the big life Jesus invites us into. Because I know Jesus, where I once thought of things in one way, now I think of them in another way. It happens all the time, every day.
--- Bob Goff, Love Does
We still deal with all the same issues as everyone else... but something is different... we begin to think about things differently... respond... even react differently... than we would have... we become unbound... loosed... from the ways of the world...

Jesus... He's the one that loosens what binds... following Him... and allowing Him to work in and through us... dying to our own ideas and the ideas of the world... is how we become freer and freer... to be who He calls us to be... who He created us to be...

This unbinding... begins in our minds... learning to look at things... and react to things... as Jesus does...

... be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 ESV

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

picking Him...

The idea of a God who romances His people... reveals a God who wants to be chosen...

The treadmill read... affirms this thought...
As Joshua was about to enter the land God promised him, he met an angel with his sword drawn in front of him. Joshua must have had some lawyer in him because he asked the angelic warrior something I would ask: "Whose side are you on?" No doubt, Joshua was hoping that the angelic warrior was for them. That's what I'd hope for. I love the warrior's answer to Joshua's question. It was simple: "Neither. Take off your shoes." The angel wasn't interested in picking sides; he wanted them to pick God. The angel told them to take off their shoes because they were on holy ground, just as we are today. Perhaps God doesn't want us spending our time picking sides or teams and trying on jerseys either. He wants us to pick a fight, and He also wants us to pick Him.
--- Bob Goff, Love Does
Picking God... the One who romances us... means choosing to fight for the things He cares about... it means joining Him... in truth... righteousness... mercy... compassion...

If you have recognized the One wooing you... and come alongside Him... then it's time to choose what He chooses... do what He does... love... without compromise...

Maybe... this is the key to romancing our Creator...

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1

Monday, November 4, 2013

romanced by Him...

The current study with sisters introduces a beautiful... but challenging... thought...
Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you from the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. God's version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners comes in the form of sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying trees, lush gardens, and fierce devotion.
---John & Stasi Eldredge, Captivating
God is a the Great Romantic... and He is pursuing you... and me... with a passionate love...
What is it that God wants from you?
He wants the same thing that you want. He wants to be loved. He wants to be known as only lovers can know each other. He wants intimacy with you. Yes, Yes, he wants your obedience, but only when it flows out of a heart filled with love for him. ...
You. You are meant to fill a place in the heart of God no one and nothing else can fill. Whoa. He longs for you.
 ---John & Stasi Eldredge, Captivating
This thought it challenges... How can God have a place in His heart for me...? He doesn't need me to be fulfilled...?!

But the Scripture... His Word... it says...

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT

God carved out a place in His heart for us... even before He created the world...

He made the world... the universe... in response to His love for us... even before we were...

Quite a thought...

The sisters in study... we have been sharing the ways He has romanced our hearts... through creation... and gifts... help... and a new name...

So the thought today... How can we romance Him...?

How would you romance the One who made you...?

Think about how to run after Him... and do it...

I believe as you run after Him... you'll run right into Him... running after you...

Dear Lord... show me how to romance You...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

waiting... an exercise in patience...

Patience... the not hasty or impetuous kind... is what I exercised this week...

A particular situation... where I could have acted in any number of ways to get a desired result more quickly... required patience...

Even though my flesh... wanted to move ahead... my spirit felt the Spirit saying... Wait...

And so... I waited... and things lined up better than I imagined... and the outcome double... what I had desired...

An important exercise... and encouragement... for the other situations... on which I am waiting...

An important reminder... to listen... and wait... for His direction and way... to not follow my heart... but His...

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains.
You also, be patient. Establish your hearts,
for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
James 5:7-8 ESV

Friday, November 1, 2013

a love that never lets go...

The impressions they come...

From the study with sisters...
In the spacious love of God, our souls can lie down and rest. This love from him is not something we must struggle for, earn, or fear to lose. It is bestowed. He has bestowed it upon us. He has chosen us. And nothing can separate us from his love. Not even we, ourselves.
--- John & Stasi Eldredge, Captivating
A refrain... rising in my heart...

Oh no, You never let go... Lord, You never let go of me...


The Word... that came to mind...

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

Truly... a spacious love... in which to rest... a love that never lets go... Amen...