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, January 31, 2014

afraid of the dark...?

Do not fear the shadowy places. You will never be the first one there. Another went ahead and down until He came out the other side.
---N.D. Wilson, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

Jesus... He's gone ahead... into the darkest places imaginable...

I find the darkest today... in the reading through...for The Journey...

So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged (flogged, whipped) Him. And the soldiers, having twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and threw a purple cloak around Him. And they kept coming to Him and saying, Hail, King of the Jews! [Good health to you! Peace to you! Long life to you, King of the Jews!] And they struck Him with the palms of their hands.
Then Pilate went out again and said to them, See, I bring Him out to you, so that you may know that I find no fault (crime, cause for accusation) in Him.
So Jesus came out wearing the thorny crown and purple cloak, and Pilate said to them, See, [here is] the Man!
When the chief priests and attendants (guards) saw Him, they cried out, Crucify Him! Crucify Him!
John 19:1-6 Amp

And the one who found no fault in Him... had Him beaten... scourged... ridiculed... tormented... just to prove it...

And the world... cries for the crucifixion of its Creator...

And does it get any darker than this...?

The treadmill read reminds... there is no darkness... where He has not gone first...

The Word reminds... He is trustworthy in the shadows...

And the Light shines on in the darkness, 
for the darkness has never overpowered it...
John 1:5 Amp

Even here... where the Light looks doused... the darkness of death... does not overpower...

They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,
but God raised him on the third day...
Acts 10:39-40 ESV

He faced deepest darkness... head on... willfully laying down His life... for the glory of His Father... and the salvation of many...

"... Greater love has no one than this,
that someone lay down his life for his friends. ..." ---Jesus
John 15:13 ESV

And He came to show us... Do not be afraid of the dark...

"... I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." ---Jesus
John 17:33 ESV

Because He has... we can...

Consider him who endured from sinners 
such hostility against himself, 
so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 
In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted 
to the point of shedding your blood.
Hebrews 12:3-4 ESV

Lord Jesus... no matter what darkness we face today... no matter what dis-ease... remind us to fix our eyes on You... consider You... trust You... as the Light... which will NEVER... be overpowered...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

real... firmed up... reality...

Then on that same first day of the week, when it was evening, though the disciples were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace to you!
John 20:19 Amp

This verse... this incident... where the resurrected Jesus... walks through a solid door... enters the room without turning a knob... has always challenged my understanding...

Doors... in this world are... SOLID... and the only things that pass through without opening them are... less than solid... gas... spirit... ghost...

So to consider Jesus... flesh and blood... walking into the upper room... without the use of a doorknob... has been hard to reconcile in my mind... (not to mention the whole Ascension... and standing at the right hand of God thing...) until today...

The current treadmill read... which has me spinning... set the reality of what happened more firmly than I ever could...
When Christ rose, He rose in the flesh. He was no ghost, and yet He walked through walls. The walls were the ghosts, and so are we.
--- N.D. Wilson, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl 
And with these words... many truths I knew... melded into understanding...

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV

These are a shadow of the things to come,
but the substance belongs to Christ.
Colossians 2:17 ESV

The law is only a shadow 
of the the good things that are coming ---
not the realities themselves.
Hebrews 10:1 NIV

Jesus... perfected through suffering... now reveals the world... for the facade... shadow... that it truly is... by walking through a door...

The supernatural world... the unseen... the eternal... God's Kingdom... has always been the place of reality... and Jesus made the Way for us... to enter in...

I'm struck by the reason... the disciples hid behind that door... FEAR...

From lack of faith... and understanding... they hid in FEAR... and I remember an acronym... revealing fear for what it is... 

False... Evidence... Appearing... Real...

Even this teaching... feels more real... and why fear of the Lord is the only fear to embrace... because He's the only One that's truly REAL...

Now don't get me wrong... I'm not going all Scientology on you here... or implying that only the spiritual matters and not the flesh... we are creatures of flesh... and can only live out Truth in flesh... just like Jesus...

And in this flesh... we have fears... only God tells us to be courageous... because we can trust Him with REALITY... 

The things we fear often do not flesh out... but even when they do... it is not a surprise to Him... nothing is... and from it He will bring real good... and real glory... just like He did with Jesus...

Forgive me... if this sounds like babbling...

It's always a struggle... to fit spiritual truths... into mere mortal words... thus the reason for the Word becoming flesh... and dwelling among us...

Father God... thank You... for continuing to teach and reveal Your Truth... and firming up... the truth of reality... for me... Help me to live in reality... and not be led astray by lies... and incongruent shadows... trying to pass themselves off as real...



[Note: To those who are worried about my grip on reality... I'm off to clean my really dirty bathroom...]

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

fear vs faith

Fear is the opposite of faith...

I said it last week... it's not an original thought... several times I've heard it and read it...

The first emotion expressed by fallen humankind was fear (see Gen. 3:10). Fear of anything other than God is mutually exclusive to faith in God.
--- Neil Anderson, Victory Over Darkness 

The comment, however, has echoed... or rather haunted... because of the way it was received... or interpreted... as meaning: if you fear... you have no faith...

Now... I'm not saying... feelings of fear and worry... mark you as devoid of faith... faith-less...

To me... it simply means you are not living out of faith... you are exercising unbelief... rather than belief...

I have a lot of experience with fear... worry... anxiety...

For many years these emotions ran my life... and it all began after I took my step of faith... threw it all in with Him... began to walk the Way...

I can tell you the exact moment... fear began to corrupt... cripple... my ability to live by faith...

It began with an irrational choice to give into an inexplicable fear... rather than stand on the truth of what I knew... I let a feeling override my experience... I believed a lie...

Fear and anxiety entered... and began to grow... taking over more and more of my life... but faith did not leave... I just lived as if I didn't have any... acting as if His Word wasn't true... and He wasn't enough...

I lived that way... a... long... time...

It occurred to me this week... in the midst of this haunting... that to live with fear... as a Believer in Jesus... one of God's adopted... is to be like a very wealthy individual who lives as if they are very poor...

Do you know anyone like that...?

I do... it can be very frustrating... to see someone so well-off... fear and fret... over pennies...!

The Word tells us we have everything we need... to live a life of faith...

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing
in the heavenly places...

This verse begins a passage that I encourage you to read the rest of... (click on the Scripture reference above to go to the full chapter online if you don't have a Bible handy...) 

Paul expounds on the riches of His grace... the guarantee of the inheritance... and then he reveals his prayer for the faithful... 

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV

Even though Paul knew of their faith... and love for the saints... he prayed for their spiritual eyes to be enlightened... to the truth... of their glorious riches... and power... in Christ...

Paul knew... it was important to know the Truth... because fear... is always ready to feed you a lie...

God began to work in my life... little by little... showing me where I was living in unbelief... not by faith...

I didn't believe He was who He said He was... or who I was... because if I had... I wouldn't have been so fearful... I would have trusted Him and lived quite differently...

Fear of the Lord... is the beginning of faith... and the key to leaving behind paralyzing fear...

People around the world are paralyzed by fear of anything and everything but God. Chuck Colson said, "For the church in the West to come alive, it needs to resolve its identity crisis, to stand on truth, to renew its vision... and more than anything else, it needs to recover the fear of the Lord."
 --- Neil Anderson, Victory Over Darkness

We are so susceptible to fear in this broken... troubled... world... but over and over... the Word tells us...



Live in the Truth... not according to a lie...

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Psalm 62:8 ESV

So today... I pray for Believers struggling with fear... and anxiety... I pray as Paul prayed...

May God bless you with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation... that you may know Him better... trust Him more... and live by the riches of your faith... and by every spiritual blessing you have already received... Lord... open the eyes of their heart... to Your truth... love... power... and grace... in Jesus's name... Enable each one to live as the truly well-off... and not the bankrupt...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

too much...

Some days... He's just too much... for me...

Too gracious... to this broken mess...

Too generous... with insights into Himself...

Too many for me to grab... capture... secure...

Too much... for me to absorb...
understand...
know...

My spirit says... There's not enough time to get to know You... not enough days... for me to know You the way I want...

He replies... You have all eternity...

And the psalmist... echoes in my heart...

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me...
Psalm 139:6 ESV

Yes... Lord... You are... too wonderful... to... me...


Have you seen the wonder... of His too much... today...?

Monday, January 27, 2014

undone...

A full day...
leaving me...
feeling undone...

Trusting Him...
to hold it all together...
Amen...

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

Sunday, January 26, 2014

grace-full days...

Each day...
a picture of...
audacious grace...

"... For he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. ..." ---Jesus
Matthew 4:45 ESV



This week's readings... for The Journey...
Monday              John 13:21 - 14:31
Tuesday              John 15:1 - 16:4
Wednesday         John 16:5-33
Thursday             John 17:1 - 18:24
Friday                 John 18:25 - 19:16

Friday, January 24, 2014

quiet blessings...

Yesterday's unexpected shower of blessings...
turned to unexpected showers of snow...

An unusual treat for this part of the country...
waking to a world wrapped in white...
silent... still... quiet transformation...




His blessings... they sometimes come quietly...
like the first shoots of Spring...
erupting from what looks dead...


From his abundance we have all received
one gracious blessing after another.
John 1:16 NLT

What blessings has He quietly showered on you...?

Take time to thank Him here... at the table... 
Let's join together... in thanks...

[Let us know your quiet blessing by adding it in the comment box... to get to the comment box click the post title... either on your email... or on the blog... at the bottom of the post you'll find the comment box...]


Thursday, January 23, 2014

blessed... by unexpected blessings...

A hug... and a prayer...
from one with her own pain...

An encouraging word...
for writings that leave me unsure...

An update from a loved one...
offers laughter... and assurance...

A day of unexpected blessings...
signs of God... and His care...

I will send down showers in season;
there will be showers of blessing.
Ezekiel 34:26 NIV

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

each day... evidence of a diligent God...

The world lives in the changing of the day. The day has its own existence, its own form, its own power. . . . The day was God's first creation, something miraculous and mighty in the hand of God.
---Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I Want to Live These Days With You

The day... God's first creation... evidence of a diligent God...

The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Psalm 50:1 ESV

Steady in what He has created...
sunup... sundown...
morning... evening...
each promises to follow the other...

Each with a promise of renewal... mercy... grace...

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

A diligent God... steady... earnest... energetic...

Evidence found... in... each... new... day...

From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!
Psalm 113:3

How will you praise Him today...?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

being diligent...

Words heard on bended knees...  have continued to echo... throughout each day...

Be diligent...  steady... earnest... energetic...

And I begin to notice... each part of the definition... the characteristics... of being diligent... speak to different aspects of my being...

Steady... speaks to my emotional being... not easily disturbed or upset... constant in feeling... principle... purpose... or attachment...

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. 
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV

A peaceful countenance...
Steady relationships...
Steadfast feelings for His Way... His purpose... His people...

Circumstances... storms... don't stir up hearts... when He is the foundation...

Earnest... speaks to my mental attitude... a serious and intent mental state... serious... sincere...

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition, and the elemental forces of this world, rather than on Christ.
Colossians 2:8 NIV

Pay attention... to what is said... and what I say...
Test everything... against the Word...
Be sincere... not flippant... put aside sarcasm...

Confusion... doubt... easily confronted... when anchored in the hope of Truth...

Energetic... speaks to my physical being... operating with or marked by vigor or effect... marked by energy...

For I can do everything through Christ,
who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 NLT

Do not procrastinate... tap into His energy...
Be full of vigor... with each call... no matter how ineffective I feel...
Do everything... to the best of my ability... strive for excellence...

Weakness... that tempts choosing complacency... becomes power... in the sufficiency of His grace...

Be diligent... emotionally... mentally... physically...

Being diligent... an exercise... spiritual discipline... that encompasses my whole being...

Monday, January 20, 2014

hard hat required...

Prepare the way for the Lord,
make His beaten paths straight.
Every valley and ravine shall be filled up,
and every mountain and hill shall be leveled;
and the crooked places shall be made straight,
and the rough roads shall be made smooth...
Luke 3:4-5 Amp

Preparing the way of holiness... the paving of the journey... continues to come up in my readings...

And I think... about preparing my own way... I see a lot of work that needs to be done... heavy work... road construction...

How much work is involved to fill a valley... or a ravine...? That's a lot of shoveling...

Leveling mountains...? is this where we get the filler...?

Straightening crooked places... requires cutting new paths... forging a new way...

Smoothing rough roads... the detail work... may require continual maintenance...

The potential for landslides... and avalanches... is great...

And I see John... out in the wilderness... preparing the way... not only for himself (through his obedience to God's call)... but for others... preaching...

Some gratefully receive...

Some harangue and harass... 

Perhaps this road construction... preparing the way of hearts... requires a hard hat...

I think about Ezekiel... whom God blessed with a hard head... to go along with his call... to a rebellious people...

I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock!
Ezekiel 3:9 NLT

Speaking truth... is dangerous... risky... and may require a hard head.... but it cannot be done... with a hard heart...

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV

So if you're feeling called to speak truth... prepare the way for the Lord... in the life of a loved-one... family member... friend... co-worker... be sure to put on your hard hat... the helmet of salvation... or pray for a hard head... but be tenderhearted... kind... compassionate...

This is the Way... we all grow... as we journey together... making the way... for Him...


[Apologies... for having forgotten to include the readings for The Journey on yesterday's post... ]

This week's readings... for The Journey...
Monday             John 9
Tuesday             John 10
Wednesday        John 11:1-44
Thursday            John 11:45 - 12:26
Friday                John 12:27 - 13:20

Sunday, January 19, 2014

be diligent...

I hear it this morning...
on my knees...
asking for guidance...
to face the week ahead...

Be diligent...

So I go to the dictionary... and the Word...

diligent... steady... earnest... energetic... 

And I remember... my brokenness... making me a sieve... 

How do I remain steady... energetic... when all just flows through...?

Only in Him... the One who provides... streams of living water... from within...

Diligence... comes from a steady focus... on Him... constant filling from Him...

The Word... it says...

"Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.
Deuteronomy 4:9 ESV
(emphasis added)

diligently... translated from the Hebrew... mâʿod... meaning... might... force... abundance... muchness...

... take care... keep your soul... with muchness...? 

How does this happen... when I feel like not such a much...?

And I find this particular Hebrew... in another verse... and make it a prayer... 

You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame, 
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
Psalm 119:4-6 ESV

Lord... You call me to be diligent... on this journey...
Oh... that I would be steady... in walking Your Way... keep my eyes... focused on You... provide the muchness... needed...


This week's readings... for The Journey...
Monday             John 9
Tuesday             John 10
Wednesday        John 11:1-44
Thursday            John 11:45 - 12:26
Friday                John 12:27 - 13:20

Friday, January 17, 2014

one way... not one thing...

I don't believe there is one great thing I was made to do in this world. I believe there is one great God I was made to glorify. And there will be many ways, even a million little ways, I will declare his glory with my life.
---Emily P Freeman, A Million Little Ways

And yes... I believe there are a million little ways for me to glorify God... each day... but this book... this author... goes on to talk about our desires... as part of what we were created to do...

She says... what we want to do... is what we were meant to do...

Could it be possible that the thing you most long for, the thing you notice and think about and wish you could do, is the thing you were actually made and are being equipped to do?
Could it also be possible that somewhere along the way you got the message that to follow desire would be selfish, when really, it would be the opposite?
---Emily P Freeman, A Million Little Ways

This thought... it challenges... and yes... I wrestle with desire... wondering if what I want to do... is really what I am supposed to do... is it what He wants me to do... not just what I want to do...?

And I've wrestled with choices... even though I know...

...it is God who works in you to will and to act
according to his good purpose.
Philippians 2:13

Other translations actually use the word desire... in place of will... 

So... perhaps... He does work within our will... desires... because He put them there in the first place... knit them into our being...

And I've wrestled with a verse... working to make it say something different than it does...

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
"This is the way; walk in it."
Isaiah 30:21 NIV

I want the voice to say... Turn right here... no... left there... but it says... This is the way... whether I turn right... or left...?

The understanding I believe He is beginning to reveal... as I learn about this journey... is that my choice... of right or left... the direction I choose... the desire I pursue... isn't what matters most... it's the way... I walk in it...

There is a freedom here... in this journeying... that I've never really felt before... the freedom to pursue... my desire... 

Could it be true...?

Our desires... they have a tendency to be perverted... by sin... our hearts called deceitful above all things... how can we trust our desires...?

I believe... we are called to trust Him... and once we have surrendered our lives... taken His crucifixion as our own... He gives us a new heart... and as long as we focus on Him... abide in His Word... and His Way... our desires... will be in line with His...

So the lesson I hear... take hold of...

No matter whether you...
write or illustrate...
bake or bank...
teach or sell...
dance or march...
doctor or firefight...
build or demolish...
whatever you desire... do it His Way... the One Way...

Either way we turn... right or left... there is only One Way to follow... the Way of Holiness... and His voice will guide us... saying... This is the way... walk in it...

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk in that Way.
Isaiah 35:8 NIV

Thursday, January 16, 2014

more resisting... the overwhelming...

And today... it's not schedules... not to-do's... that threaten my undoing... it's brokenness... not mine... but others'...

Pain... physical... and emotional...
relational... and spiritual...

Stories heard... in just the past 24... 36... hours...
failing health...
failing marriages...
children left behind...
promises broken...

They threaten... to overwhelm...

Wondering how to be like Him... Bethesda... House of Mercy...

Beside the pool... of the same name... Bethesda... He shows me that's who He is... as He heals the lame man... who had no one to help him in the healing water of the pool... the flowing water... everyone else... too busy with their own aches... to notice one lame for 38 years...!

Jesus shows me... He is the Living Water... the House of Mercy... who heals with a word... and I hear Him call... Follow Me... be the same... a house of mercy...

All I have to offer is prayer...

Me... an empty vessel... a fragile jar...
my own brokenness turning me into a sieve...

I bring them to Him... offer prayer... hope for the immediate... miraculous... healing... just like the man lame... just out of reach... from the pool named Bethesda...

But I'm not Him...

He calls me to be... a house of mercy... like Him... but I have no power... but what He gives...

My words... don't calm storms...
strengthen legs...
bind broken hearts...

My own heart breaks...

So... I pour out pray...
like the widow... before the judge...
hoping He'll hear...
hoping He'll pour out mercy...
hoping for the miracle...

And I wonder... Does it really make a difference...? if I pray...?

All I find... is an opportunity... to exercise faith... waiting in the not-yet... trusting in the why-not...

More choosing... to let Him overflow... rather than sink... beneath... the overwhelming...

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable
to show them that they should always pray
and not give up.
Luke 18:1

...pray without ceasing...
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.
Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers
for all believers everywhere.
Ephesians 6:18 NLT

The end of all things is near.
Therefore be alert and of sober mind
so that you may pray.
1 Peter 4:7 NIV

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith
and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves
in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
that leads to eternal life.
Jude 20 ESV

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation,
be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12 ESV

Devote yourselves to prayer 
with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Colossians 4:2 NLT

Lord... I choose... to trust You... to wait for You... 
I will not be overwhelmed... but will overflow... with prayer...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

trusting His overflow...

On a day when I'm tempted to be overwhelmed...
I choose to trust... in His overflow...

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:5 ESV

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

resigned to the mystery... that is Him...

The gift of the artist doesn't only rest in the hands that sculpt but in the eyes that see. Seeing the not-yet in the midst of the now is a perspective the artist has to carry. And so we ought to pray not only for skill but for sight.
---Emily P Freeman, A Million Little Ways

Jesus... the ultimate Artist... Creator...
He saw all... before it was...
Even now... in the midst of the middle...
the brokenness... the rubble...
He sees... clearly... what will be...

This is a mystery to me...
the mystery of Him I wish I had...
certainty... vision... of things unseen...

Resting in the unseen work of Him... is work... the work He calls us to...

This is the work (service) that God asks of you:
that you believe in the One Whom He has sent
[that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in 
His Messenger].
John 6:29 Amp

Matthew quoted Jesus as saying...

"Let your light shine before men in such a way
that they may see your good works, 
and glorify your Father who is in heaven. ..."
Matthew 5:16 NASB

And Paul told the Ephesians...

For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works...
Ephesians 2:10 NASB

This work... is the work of faith... sure of what we hope for... certain of what is still unseen... this is the work that glorifies the Father... the work we were created for... trusting in... relying on... cleaving to... His Son...

Embrace the mysterious, invisible work of Christ even when it seems like nothing is happening.
 ---Emily P Freeman, A Million Little Ways

Today... I resign myself to the Mystery... that is Him...
His vision...
His plan...
His promise...

Lord... I ask for the blessing of vision... to see the unseen... as You... I ask for the blessing of faith... that I might fully rest... in the work You're about... in me... and in others... I trust You... as the One who sees... and knows... Amen...

Monday, January 13, 2014

overflow vs overwhelm

I said it yesterday... in response to a question... How are you...?

Overflowing...

The second meeting of The Journey... had just concluded... and in preparation for this class... I was overflowing... with information... learnings... insights... I wanted to share...

Clearly... too much for the time frame... and I'd said it twice that morning... I wish I had an hour and a half...

The 45 minutes... it flew... and overflowed... and I saw where this class too... overflows...

One member she asked for the schedule of reading to send to a friend... he's doing it too... she said... this reading through with us... on this journey... someone she texts during the week... working through the Word together...

So gladly... I let this overflow... and others... not able to be in the class... they ask for schedules to read along... Yes... Yes... let God's Word overflow... out of this class... into the world...

The sharing of schedules... leads me to think about my schedule... overflowing... several new things about to start... or restart... and the potential to be overwhelmed... seems a real danger...

And this picture comes to mind... an overflowing jar... only becomes overwhelmed... when you try to cap it off... take control...

To take control... of the overflow God brings... causes one to be... overwhelmed... upset... submerged... overcome...

But the overflowing... of His Spirit... His work... in your life... it flows like a fountain... living water... continually running out of its bounds... brimming over... out of you... into others...

And I think back to the morning's reading-through... the feeding of the five-thousand...

Jesus... He took the five loaves... and two fish... and fed a multitude...!

A meager lunch... it overflowed... with His thanks... and filled more baskets after the filling of thousands of bellies... than it would have before...

Jesus... He is not bound by limits... He overflows... colors outside the lines... breaks the barriers of what seems humanly possible...

So I resist... the propensity to look... and be overwhelmed... sunk... by a schedule... and choose to let Him overflow through me... however.. and whenever... He sees fit...

"... Rivers of living water will brim and spill out
of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way,
just as the Scripture says." ---Jesus
John 7:38 Msg

Sunday, January 12, 2014

journeying...

Journeying... going...
here... to there...
beginning... to end...
sunup... to sundown...

And I read it... earlier this year... in Bonhoeffer...


Wondered at the time if it were true...


I see now... it is...
Every day is a completed whole.
---Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I Want to Live These Days With You, January 4 
Every day... a completed journey...

Lord... I want to live these days with You... journey... with You... 
Lead me that I might journey well...

God said, "My presence will go with you.
I'll see the journey to the end."
Exodus 33:14 Msg


This week's readings... for The Journey...
Monday             John 6:1-21
Tuesday             John 6:22-71
Wednesday        John 7:1-31
Thursday            John 7:32-8:11
Friday                John 8:12-59

Friday, January 10, 2014

He holds it all together...

A week of joys... and battles...
starting anew... continuing on...
ups... and downs... pressing up against one another...

In all... I'm challenged to remember...
I am His...
His unfailing love...
and that He holds it all together...

A mosaic... of dark... and light...
rebuke... and restoration...
struggle... and peace...

We are made in the image of God and are being remade inside the person of Jesus Christ. He holds all things together even when it looks like they're falling apart. His grace fills in my lack.
---Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways

The treadmill read... continues to remind... I am art... His workmanship... created for good works... and for His glory...

A mosaic... held together... by grace...

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

Thursday, January 9, 2014

preaching... Psalm 62...

The memorization of the psalm continues... and I remember the psalmist... who began with such surety...


But I come to the place... after attack and battery wear the spirit... deception cracks the foundation of faith... and I hear the singer of songs... belt out a verse... preaching to his own soul...

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Psalm 62:5-7 ESV

The world... with all its troubles... the enemy's lies... and the broken believers who walk alongside... has the potential to shake... rock our world...

These are times... when by faith... with much bravado... and volume... we need to follow this psalmist's lead... and preach to our own soul... reminding self... of the Mighty Rock... who is our Refuge...

 For God alone... O my soul... wait in silence...
...my... hope... is... from... HIM...

And His hope... well...

Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us,
for God's love has been poured out in our hearts
through the Holy Spirit Who has been given us.
Romans 5:5 Amp

What better reminder could there be...? one of hope... love... refuge...?

In struggles of late... the echo of the psalmist... rings through the heart... and I too... belt out a verse... to encourage waiting... instill hope... and remind... that He sees...

For God alone... O my soul... wait in silence...

Consider putting this one to memory... just in case... you need to give a sermon... to self...


[Related fare...
practicing... Psalm 62...
pondering... Psalm 62...
humbly... reminded...
waiting... like Jesus... ]

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

the test...

The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.
John 3:19 Amp

...the test by which men are judged... love of darkness...? or... love of Light...?

And... what shall I do...? Love Light...

But the darkness... it presses... both within... and without...

A conversation in the kitchen... finds me with eyes rolling... 

Standing in the Light... loving the Light... requires that I recognize this interior darkness... an unbelief... a judgmental cynicism...
and the Word echoes... 


Time to straighten out... something crooked... 
confess... 
repent... 
allow Him to work...
in me...

The exterior darkness... presses... and my flesh... it wants to let go... sensing danger... I have plenty of my own darkness to deal with... do I really need to take on that in the world...? and I remember... 

In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men.
And the Light shines on in the darkness,
for the darkness has not overpowered it...
John 1:4-5 Amp (emphasis added)

The darkness... never... overpowers... Light... therefore there is no need to be afraid of exposing darkness... either within... or without...

He is my Life... my Light... and He will not... be overpowered...

What if we really believed that Jesus is present when people are broken, and the way he chooses to move and comfort will often be through the lives of fellow believers, journeying image bearers, living their broken lives with us?
---Emily P Freeman, A Million Little Ways

... journeying image bearers... living their broken lives with us...

Dare I accept... the brokenness... the darkness of others... as a benefit to myself...? more of that miracle of Him... who works all things for good...?

Here I am challenged to accept... embrace... that this journey... will bring me up against darkness... in many different ways... within... and... without... and He uses it all... to move... and comfort us... along the way...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

finding comfort in what He sees...

I read it this morning... in the reading through...
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said concerning him, See! Here is an Israelite indeed [a true descendant of Jacob], in whom there is no guile nor deceit nor falsehood nor duplicity!
Nathanael said to Jesus, How do You know me? [How is it that You know these things about me?] Jesus answered him, Before [ever] Philip called you, when you were still under the fig tree, I saw you.
John 1:47-48 Amp
 ... Before [ever]... I saw you...

Jesus... He sees... before ever...
Before ever... we were created...
Before ever... we knew Him...
Before ever... He saw us... you... me...

And this word... saw...  it captured... so I dug...

...saw... translated from the Greek... eido... meaning... to see... i.e. to turn eyes, the mind, the attention to anything... to pay attention, observe... to experience... to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive... to have regard for one, cherish, pay attention to...

Jesus sees in a way that looks deep... into the heart... and with love...

Jesus sees... and knows...

And I find this word... eido... in another place...

... your Father knows (eido) what you need before you ask him...
Mark 6:8

He sees... and He knows... but He doesn't look to judge... He looks for our needs... because He loves... and cherishes... those He's created...

He watches over... and here... I find comfort... 
my Creator...
my Heavenly Father...
He sees...
He knows... understands...
and loves...

Monday, January 6, 2014

affirmation... for the journey...

This morning began the first reading... of the three year reading through for The Journey... the newly embarked on Sunday school class...

Beginning with the book of John... not a traditional reading through (Genesis to Revelation)... but one focused on Him... Jesus... the Good News Gospel... the One whom the Whole is about...

One sojourner in class... asked about curriculum... (just as the pastor had...) I had to say... There is none... or I could have said... There will be... when we're done...

Our only curriculum... His Word...
Our guide... His Spirit...

"... It is written in the Prophets,
'And they will be taught by God.' ..." ---Jesus
John 6:45 ESV

With one ear open to Him... each time we open to read... we will ask as Paul did... on that road to Damascus (Acts 22:1-10)...

Who are you, Lord?
What shall I do, Lord?

I suppose I should have been more clear... in the promoting... given a warning...

I don't really know what I'm doing...

This journey... is truly one for me... a spiritual discipline... apparently in writing curriculum... for a three year reading through...

So in today's first reading... John 1:1-42... I asked the questions...

Who are You, Lord?...
I listed... the many things He is... as revealed in this passage...
The Word... 
God... 
Timeless... 
Conduit of Creation...
Life... 
Light...
etc...

But the one that spoke... the last verse I came to...

Andrew then led (brought) Simon to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, You are Simon son of John.
You shall be called Cephas --- which translated is Peter [Stone].
John 1:42 Amp

He is... The One who gives us our identity...

He names... identifies... His disciples... by whom He calls them to be... who He created them to be...

The world does not identify us... determine who we are... only The Word... does that...

Then the Word that spoke to my spirit... regarding... What shall I do?... 

Prepare the way for the Lord...
John 1:23 Amp

Come and see.
John 1:39 Amp

And I dug into those words... prepare... come... and both... they have to do with travel... with journeying... and I feel the affirmation... sitting a little dumbstruck... by what I find...

The Enhanced Strong's Lexicon... says the Greek... prepare... actually means... to make straight, level, plain... to lead or guide straight...

Then Louw Nida... translates the verse... 'make a straight path for the Lord (to travel)'...

I hear two things... from prepare the way...

1)  A challenge to lead well... take seriously... be wary... careful... in teaching... leading... I'm steering others in their faith... on this journey...

2)  Make my way straight... continue to strive for holiness... make a straight path for the Lord... He is in me... He takes on my sin as His own... my sin makes His way more difficult... make a straight path for the Lord... Repent...

And... come... Webster's alone... tells me... to move or journey to a vicinity with a specified purpose...

This journey... not only the word for a year... but a call... an identifier...

So here I sit... humbled in His presence... at the call... the journey... affirmed...

Come and see...


[For those who want to read along... on the three year reading through... the passages will be posted at the bottom of Sunday's posts... (but here today... on Monday... since I didn't think of it til today)... Readings are M-F... five passages a week...]

This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday            John 1:1-42
Tuesday            John 1:42 - 2:25
Wednesday       John 3
Thursday           John 4
Friday               John 5

[And I wonder... at the audacity... of thinking I'll still be here... doing this... three years from now...?!]

Sunday, January 5, 2014

first steps on a new journey... surprised by joy...

Today... the first steps taken in a new journey... a new ministry of sorts...

A journey through Scripture... the whole... over three years... together with others... in a Sunday School class... aptly named...


The Journey

When the inspiration first came... I shared the thought... thinking the idea would be shot down by others who knew better... but no... it was embraced... encouraged...

Moving forward... presenting the thought to those who could Yea or Nay the proposal... and these several months later... the day to begin came...

What has struck me as odd about this particular call... is me... and the way my heart has responded...

Past calls... have left me feeling fear... No not this... Really...? responding with obedience... just because... I had no other choice... because He says so... I will...

So today... and the past several days... the overriding feeling came as a surprise... joy... accompanied by... excitement... no fear... no dread... (even though the Kindle was packed... just in case I found myself in an empty room...)

Something... has shifted... in my relationship with Him... something healed... redeemed... in my heart... because this is weird... this is not me... who faces a call... an unknown... with joy... and... excitement...

In this odd revelation... I find my heart... filled with song... literally...

You're altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You're my God


Praising You... for what You're up to in me...

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

Friday, January 3, 2014

waiting... like Jesus...

The thoughts came yesterday... folding laundry... thinking about one who struggles...

As a Believer... where is Jesus... when we sin...?

He never leaves us... or forsakes us...
There is nowhere... we can go from His presence...
By His Spirit... He lives in us...
We are His temple...

Where is Jesus... when we sin...?

With us...
Beside us...
In us...

Every sin... He takes as His...
He bore... bears... them all...
His blood... our justification...
Every sin... increases the costly suffering... born on the cross...

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
by his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:24 

Then today... not in my usual way... I turned on the TV while eating breakfast... surfing channels... I came to a man... sharing his testimony...

This man... unbelieving... pursuing the world's promises for fulfillment... found them empty... he then began seeking that which is Greater... open to Truth... he came to a moment of decision...

At the moment of his salvation... he heard God say...

I've been here all along... waiting... I'm so glad you've come...

Even for the unbeliever... He is waiting...

For ALL created beings... He waits... not wanting anyone to perish...

He died for all sins...

A reminder... He's waiting on those I love... He's there with them... in all... through all... and He calls me to wait... with Him...

The recurrent Psalm... it challenges... and calls... again...

On God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from Him.
Psalm 62:5 ESV

Lord... help me wait with You... on You...
Teach me to wait... like You...


[Related fare...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

feeling like a failure...?

I feel like I've failed...

The words of a loved one... looking back over Christmas break... his good intentions... gone undone...

I feel like I haven't done anything...

I look back and see... one who spent time filled with joy... pursuing relationships... and hear... the often repeated word... Fantastic...!

failure... a tough feeling... a harsh word... a word of condemnation... judgment...

The One who came... the One whose birth we just celebrated... did not come to judge... or condemn...

...there is now no condemnation 
for those who are in Christ Jesus...
Romans 8:1

He did not come to stomp... crush... our spirits...

"... A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out...."
Isaiah 42:3

The enemy... he taunts with words of failure... accusation... stealing joy... sapping strength... for the coming season...

"... The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..."
John 10:10

Now... it's not that Jesus doesn't rebuke... convict... when it comes to sin... but His voice comes with love... life... and an invitation to repent... an invitation... to something better...

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Mark 10:21

The enemy... tries to steal what has been given... for rest... growth... preparation... and use it to discourage... taint memories and blessings of a holy season...

Are you feeling like a failure...? as you look over the last year...? intentions... plans... gone unmet... undone...?

The voice you hear is not His... it's the one who wants to steal... what's been given...

Listen to the One who invites... who loves... and works... all things... for the good of those who love Him... who have been called according to His purpose...

Put away your intentions... and resolutions... repent... and hear His invitation...

Follow Me...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

a quiet start to a new year

A day spent... quieting my heart over...
things undone...
things unchanged...
things unknown...

A quiet start... to a new year...

Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
As a child that is weaned of his mother:
My soul is even as a weaned child.
Psalm 131:2 KJV