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, February 28, 2014

because of love...

Starting my day... even before the covers come off... praying for those... hurting... struggling with life... in need of healing...

Name after name... coming to mind... taking them before Him... socked feet still tucked in...

Morning routine underway... and I ask...

Why do some people have such trouble in their lives...? So many things... one after another...?

He answered quickly... surprisingly...

Because I love them...

Hmmm... how is that love...?! I wonder to myself... not directed to Him...

Discipline... He answers...

And immediately I know... it's not the punishment kind... it's the training kind... the loving-parent kind...

And have you forgotten the exhortation 
that addresses you as sons?
"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves
and chastises every son whom he receives."
Hebrews 12:5-6 ESV

Getting to the treadmill... a bit later... in my reading I find this...
God's great love and purposes for us are all worked out in messes in our kitchens and backyards, in storms and sins, blue skies, the daily work and dreams of our common lives. ... God deals with us where we are and not where we would like to be.
--- Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places
There it is... God's great love... for us... worked out in messes... in storms...

The messes of the world... brought on by the rebellion of its people... leading to sin... brokenness... death... difficulties... in every area of life... God uses... to reveal His love... working out His purposes... bringing each one of us back to Him...

Could it change your attitude today... regarding a difficulty... challenge... mess... or storm... if you receive it as a token of love... from your heavenly Father...?

He treats us no differently... than He did His one and only begotten Son... whom He loved...

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Hebrews 2:10 ESV

Lord... remind me in the difficulties... challenges... and pain... 
it is all... because of love...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

it's not my job...

The needed reminder of yesterday... led to Truth... today...

And I am sure of this,
that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6 ESV

It's not my job... to complete what He began... it's His...

My job... trust... obey... persevere...

Let perseverance finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.
James 1:4 NIV

His job... fulfill...

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Psalm 138:8 ESV

Thank-full... that it's His job... not mine...

I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
Psalm 57:2 ESV

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

needed reminder...

Considering this post...
sun setting...
day ending...

I got nothin' Lord...

Feeling this way... in more than one area of life... and ministry...

He promptly reminds...

Stop looking at you... and look to Me...

A much needed reminder...

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the author and perfecter of our faith...
Hebrews 12:2

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

like the morning and evening...

You make the going out
of the morning and the evening
to shout for joy.
Psalm 65:8 ESV

Lord... make me... 
like the morning... and evening...
each day...

Rising... and setting...
going out...
with shouts... of joy...!

Monday, February 24, 2014

fear based joy...

The power of joy I witnessed... came as a response to prayer...

Prayer for joy... and respect for others... a binding up of greed... and pride...

A prayer for a right focus on Him...

And you see... as I prayed... my heart changed too...

The anxiety of watching a son compete... was not present... there was a calm... no real disappointment... with each point lost... or the exuberant pride... at a point won...

There was joy... for me too... no matter the score...

And what I recognized today... found in the treadmill read... the joy experienced... was based on fear... fear-of-the-Lord...
..."fear-of-the-Lord." It is the stock biblical phrase for the way of life that is lived responsively and appropriately before who God is, who he is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
--- Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places
A right attitude to His Sovereignty... even on a court... a right attitude toward an opponent... made in His image... one to be respected...

A right attitude toward the potential for spiritual warfare... and His place in overcoming it...

Fear based joy... born of a desire to obey... and glorify Him...

The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
Psalm 19:8-9

Sunday, February 23, 2014

the power of joy...

Joy... I saw its power yesterday... in the life of a loved one... seeking to glorify Him... in all things...

Not just in studies... and relationships... but competition too...

How do I glorify Him... and try to win...?

Joy...

Joy... in Him... win... or lose...

Joy... in the game... the opponent... the ball... the effects of gravity... and laws of physics...

J... O... Y...

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence their is fullness of joy... 
Psalm 16:11 ESV



This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                               Genesis 21:8-34
Tuesday                               Genesis 22-23
Wednesday                          Genesis 24
Thursday                              Genesis 25
Friday                                  Genesis 26

Friday, February 21, 2014

more on arks...

Building an ark... is the building of faith...

And when I talk about arks failing... I'm not talking about the Ark... Jesus... He never fails...

Where we fail... is in the building of faith... the practice of faithfulness...

His love is unconditional... but His promises conditional... blessings... based on obedience...

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; 
whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, 
but the wrath of God remains on him.
John 3:36 ESV

believes... in the Greek... pistueo... means... to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance (Louw Nida)...

Clearly believe... implies obedience... if the opposite is... does not obey...

I think some are surprised... by life's storms... because they don't know Him... haven't spent time with Him... in prayer... in His Word... coming to know the Truth...

Their faith built not on the Rock... but on their own understanding... of who He is...

Our own understanding... imagining... of God... reduces Him to... a god... made in our own image...

I can't believe in a God who let's bad things happen...
What kind of God kills His own Son...?
No one can change this situation... or that person...

The truth is... we are born into a broken world... one we broke... and God uses it... to capture the attention of the lost... and refine Believers into the image of His Son...

Though He was God's Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him...
Hebrews 5:8-9 HCSB

So... if you find yourself rocked... by a storm...
water rising in your ark...
house toppling in the wind...
you might check to see...
exactly who... or what... you have faith in...

By faith Noah, being warned by God 
concerning events as yet unseen, 
in reverent fear constructed an ark 
for the saving of his household.
Hebrews 11:7 ESV

Make sure you've placed your faith... in the Truth... and exercise your belief... moment... by... moment... through obedience...

Your life... your entire household... depend on it...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

passion...

Passion...
I was told I had it...
but I didn't feel it...

Today...
God stirred it anew...
reminded me... yes... I was... am... passionate about prayer...

What about you...?
What passion has He fired up in your heart...?
Have you let it smolder...? lie dormant...?
Ask Him to fire it up anew in you...

Passion... it is a gift...

Lord... You give us our passion... 
for the building of Your kingdom... 
the encouragement of Your people... 
Fan the flame anew...

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God...
2 Timothy 1:6 ESV

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

translating... patriarchs...

The reading through... brings me to another patriarch... Abram... renamed... Abraham... who laughed at 99 years of age... when the Lord said he would have a son... by Sarai... Sarah... who was 90... she laughed too...

The Lord... He did not laugh...

Is anything too hard or wonderful for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son.
Genesis 17:14 Amp

With these words... my mind turns back to the ark... pregnant with life... waiting the appointed time... for delivery...

I'm still Noah... reaping wisdom from Abraham... and from one traveling with me... on The Journey...

She said it last Sunday... a response to my being Noah... floating... trusting... no control... waiting...

...he worked a long time... building the ark... 100 years...

100 years...?! ...that's what I heard her say... but a long time... yes... years... yes... many years...

And today... I think of that ark... and the One who delivers... and realize... faith... obedience... years of the daily... are what build an ark...

When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete). And I will make My covenant (solemn pledge) between Me and you...
Genesis 17:1-2 Amp

Noah too... before Abram... walked with God... in habitual fellowship...

And I look at the work... the faith... I put in the loved one who struggles... hope it will hold through the storm... I only had 18 years... not 100...

And my own ark... the one pregnant with me... is there enough faith... to hold it together... waiting...?

When the storm comes... and the water rises... will your ark hold...? Will you trust it...? Will you forsake it...? Will a tree trunk floating by... look better than your ark...?

The building of an ark... like the building of a house... takes time...

It must be done in fair weather... building on the Rock... listening... seeking... obeying... finding Him a firm foundation... trustworthy in the small... leads us to trust Him with the large... and... looming...

And I wonder... and wait... for the day of delivery... His appointed time...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

shield... a prayer...

The first verse  of the reading through... here is where I sit...

After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your Shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great.
Genesis 15:1 Amp

Who are You, Lord?... a question in the exercise to process the reading through... clearly answered...

...I am your Shield...

The word... Shield... leads me on a chase... to a definition that spoke...
Shield  Designed to provide a barrier between the body of a soldier and the weapon of his foe...
--- Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Who are You, Lord...? 

You are the barrier between Your people... 
...and the weapon of the foe...

The weapons of the foe... our enemy... include... lust... pride... arrogance... lies... greed... just to name a few...

But I believe the primary weapon... the enemy's weapon of choice... is fear... in all it's various forms... anxiety... panic... agitation... dread... consternation... worry...

This weapon paralyzes... prevents Believers from moving forward... causes faith to fail... trust to waver...

Here is where a loved one sits... battling... struggling... recently lost a round...

So today... I pray... intercede... on his behalf...

Father God... You know the heart I pray for... the one currently struggling... be his Shield... protect him from the weapons of the evil one... be his Barrier... against fear... anxiety... dread... cover him... with Your shield of shalom...

Monday, February 17, 2014

filtering me...

What I find most difficult... about writing... teaching... and life in general... is filtering... me...

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 in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

There's the broken me... and the me Christ created me to be... and the two... they have it out...

Too often the me who is dead... slips out... with her self-righteous arrogance... forgetting any righteousness comes only from Him... forged on a cross...

The fear-full me... who thinks worry... is a way to control... tries to shroud my heart... this one forgets... I am safe in Him... He is for my good... and His glory... through all He allows...

And there's the me who thinks I'm not enough... and what He provides... is not enough... she forgets... the always more than enough... of bread... and fishes... and words...

Each step... each moment... of this journey... requires... filtering of me... for Him to create... what's new... free... unbound... and unwound...

Trusting Him... to filter me... as needed...

Wretched man that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:24-25 ESV


Sunday, February 16, 2014

translating... Noah...

And the waters prevailed [mightily] upon the earth or land for 150 days (five months). And God [earnestly] remembered Noah and every living thing and all the animals that were with him in the ark; and God made a wind blow over the land, and the waters sank down and abated.
...
And the waters receded from the land continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had diminished.
...
And Noah went forth... 
[after being in the ark one year and ten days].
Genesis 7:24-8:1, 3, 18 Amp

Noah... I came upon his story in the reading through this past week... and identify with him... floating... without control... not knowing... when he will get to go forth...

The flood came... as a result of God's resolve to clean up evil on the earth... start anew...

And what I see in these verses... is a problem taken care of... reined in... but the waiting... the abating... of what was required... took a long time... [a year and ten days... according to the Amplified]... before he and his family could freely live in it...

My hope... is that a problem... in the life of a loved one... has been resolved... the initial flooding... bringing grace... for a new start... but the signs are unclear... some things look the same... and still... I have no control...

Like Noah... I test the waters... sending out doves... none returning... no clear evidence of change... only floating... waiting... trusting His faithfulness...

Today... I'm Noah... trusting Him... to remember... to continue blowing... His Spirit... His Breath... over the waters... of the unknown... trusting the journey... to end on dry ground... and going forth...




This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                        Genesis 13-14
Tuesday                        Genesis 15-16
Wednesday                   Genesis 17:1 - 18:21
Thursday                       Genesis 18:22 - 19:38
Friday                           Genesis 20:1 - 21:7

Friday, February 14, 2014

greater love...

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

Greater love...
I'm so far from this love...
highlighted on these days of expectation...
like Valentine's Day...

Greater love...
Not think about what I want...
lay down... to begin with... expectation...

Lay down my life...
Put aside my desire...
let others choose...
consider them better than me...

Lay down my life...
Convicted recently...
of taking the best for me...

My love...
still needs translating...
into something... greater...

My love...
still learning... to hold a word... that could wound...
receive what's given with grace...

But what I have found... in recent months...
a shift...
a result of His healing...

Learning to rely on His love...
for me...
recognizing Him... as all I need...

Trusting in... relying on... believing in...
His greatest love...
for me...

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us...
1 John 4:16-17 ESV

Do you know... believe... God's love for you...?

Allow Him to begin... healing in you... 
translating your love... 
into something greater...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

translation of a sunrise...

Early this morning... my husband's voice reached my ear... the sunrise is pretty this morning...

And sure enough... it was one I thought glorious...


Seeing it fleshed out before me... the Word came to mind...

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
Psalm 19:1-2 ESV

Sunrises... sunsets...
a language... I believe... only human eyes can translate...
a glory... only we can see...

Set in the sky... as part of His plan...
to reveal Himself... 
to those He knew would rebel...

He was not surprised... that the elements He spoke...
created brilliance...
at the beginning and end of each new day...

He knew a day would come...
when those would want to explain it away...
by particles... pollution... and light traveling through...

But those... who seek... who long to know Truth...
will recognize His glory...
and see His handiwork...
being voiced... through the skies...
and translated... by faith...
in those who believe...
to songs of praise... and thanks...

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

translation...

I read it Monday... chasing Scripture references... in the reading through...

Reminded of it today...
as yesterday's gray...
gives way to a bright sunny day...

The Genesis walk of Enoch... right out of this world... into God's... sent me to Hebrews 11... the hall of faithful...

Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he received testimony [still on record] that he had pleased and been satisfactory to God.
Hebrews 11:5 Amp

...he did not have a glimpse of death... 
...because God translated him...

And King James... says it like this...

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death;
and was not found, because God had translated him:
for before his translation he had this testimony,
that he pleased God.
Hebrews 11:5 KJV

translation... according to Webster's... to bear, remove, or change from one place, state, form, or appearance to another... transfer... transform...

A definition I thought I knew... always having to to do with language... understanding... but no... it goes deeper... translation... of form...

The gray... and drizzle... of yesterday...
with temperatures hovering around freezing...
left many of the raindrops... up in the trees...
branches... leaves... pine needles...
coated... with... ice...
hanging...
frozen...




But today... gray giving way...
sun shines...
temperatures rise...
and I see...
and hear...
translation...



Rain frozen on trees...
sounds like showers...
as it releases the freeze...
translation...


Rain to ice... ice to rain... continued its journey... to the ground...

And this transformation sends thoughts back to Enoch...
the first... to be translated by God... right into eternal life...
by faith...

And He sent the Word... to translate more hearts... lives...
that they too... might miss the glimpse of death...

I begin to see... translation... anew...
the translation that comes through the Word...

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

"...Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word
and believes him who sent me has eternal life.
He does not come into judgement, 
but has passed from death to life ..." ---Jesus
John 5:24 ESV

Translation... it comes through the Word...
weary... to rested...
hungry... to satisfied...
thirsty... to quenched...
translation...

In Christ... we step right through... 
into eternal life...
by faith...

And all life... it comes from Him... 
but here in the dark of the world... 
we need translation...
dark... to light...
death... to life...
in order to continue... our journey... back to Him...

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
into this grace in which we now stand.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1-2

Father God... translate... me...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

humbled... by His wonders...

There are times... all I do... feels foolish...
and it seems... time to quit...

Struggling for words...
feeling inept after interceding...
straining to hear Him...
wondering if it's all just me...

Then... He reminds... it's not me...

Encouragement comes...
thanks for a remembered prayer... offered years earlier...
thanks for words written... that spoke... in the midst of a storm...
a comment... naming me a blessing...?

Each humbles... to... tears...

And I wonder... how on earth... He finds uses for me...
and give thanks that He does...
and I resolve... to feel foolish no longer...
because really... I'm just disrespecting Him... and His call...

So today... Lord... help me remember...
Your wonders...
and put aside doubts...
help me stop looking at me...
and be glad I'm a fool...
Your fool...
Who beyond wonder of wonders...
finds uses for me...

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2 ESV

Monday, February 10, 2014

processing... life...

Processing continues... causing distraction... and stirring up desires to live well...

Two books... one author... the reason for much of the food-processor activity in my thoughts...

N.D. Wilson... Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl... and... Death by Living...

Both have me desiring a new perspective... but... just like the processing... there are no tight... concise... quotes... found in either book which wrap up the feelings stirred...

The books themselves... a process...

Life... cosmos... turned upside down... the order of this world defines success as living life on your own terms... comfort good... pain bad... poor pitiful... rich enviable... avoid any unpleasantness...

But the Author of Life... He says... follow Me... lose your life for My sake... blessed are the poor... and those who mourn... take up your cross... undergo self-crucifixion... willingly...

This world-order... all out of order... according to the world... but to the Creator... this is the Way... to life eternal...

The Word... He said...

"...You will be sorrowful,
but your sorrow will turn to joy...."
John 16:20 ESV

This turning hinged... on His resurrection... here is where I want to live... NOW... not later... 

I've been sorrow-full... I'm ready for joy...

Here's a taste of the crazy... world-view of Wilson... and the living it out...

On exiting an international flight... his two-year old began vomiting on him as he carried him down the Jetway... his eldest son walking behind sympathy-puked... the puking continued... splattering a trail all the way to the concourse... he writes...
Holding one human fountain and dragging another, I commanded Rory not to watch his brother. It didn't matter. My oldest son polka-dotted that Jetway with pizza (imported from Seattle) at least every ten feet.
And I began to laugh. Hard. And very, very alone.
My wife and the girls were out. The crowd behind us diligently admired abstract space with glassy eyes. Dozens of business-traveling Brits attempted to erase us from existence with flat faces, but their Jedi tricks couldn't touch our hard reality.
We Wilson boys were there with flesh on, and we were hilarious. Two of us were throwing up. One of us was wheezing laughter beneath the spatter.
I laugh... hard... with him... and he goes on to share a lesson...
When faced with unpleasantness (trouble) there are only two ultimate responses (with many variations). On the one hand, "The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord." On the other, "Curse God and die." Variations on the latter can include whining, moping, self-pity, apathy, or rage. Variations of the former can include laughter, song, retellings, and an energetic attack of obstacles.
---Death by Living
The former... that's the way I want to process life... but my default is the latter...

You will be sorrowful... 
but your sorrow... will turn to joy...

Because of the Resurrection... my sorrow... can be joy... NOW... because this world is NOT my home... I'm on a journey... and the Guide... He chooses the paths... the obstacles... to get me where I'm going... and to who I'm becoming...

To receive whatever comes... as from the hand of the Father... a loving Father... presenting a gift... to help me grow...

Sounds crazy... and again... easy to say... when not in the midst of trouble... sorrow... a storm...

But this is where... how... I want to live... joy-full... even... in... the throes of trouble...

Father God... You are the Taker and Giver of all good things... the One who works all things for good... help me to begin now... facing the little troubles... with the attitude of Your loving hand behind it all... so when the larger storms arise... I will be prepared... to trust You... the power of the Resurrection and the Life... to see me through... and turn... my sorrow... to joy...


[Note: A new Quote Du Jour has been posted... take a look just under Receive Jeremiah's Menu by Email... another small taste of N.D. Wilson... ]

Sunday, February 9, 2014

processing...

My heart... spirit... soul... are in the process of processing...

A message preached... and readings from two... three books... four if you count His Word... all seem to be connected... pointing to His presence... the importance of waiting... and my identity in it... but it still feels... formless...

Processing... it's messy... (which became clear as I tried to voice it here...)

It's too much... and not enough... all at the same time...

Too many pieces... not enough clarity...

Led onto a path of prayer... I opened to these words...

But I am the Lord your God 
from the land of Egypt;
you know no God but me, 
and besides me there is no savior.
It was I who knew you in the wilderness, 
in the land of drought...
Hosea 13:4-5 ESV

...then turning back to my reading through Genesis... the words come out as psalm... along the path...

You alone form heaven and earth...
You alone form faith...
You alone define and name...
beginning with light and dark...
You alone transform...
You are the only God I've known...
even when I didn't know...

So I wait... for Him to take these pieces... and form... define... transform... thoughts that feel like a mess...

As I write... wondering... Why share this messy process here...?
I look out and see... Him painting the sky...
blue...
purple...
pink...
and hope the processing... when done... will look as lovely...

The earth was without form and void,
and darkness was over the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God was hovering
over the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:2 ESV

Waiting for His Spirit... to bring form... and light...

Have you experienced the process of processing...?
How did... does... it make you feel...?


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                       Genesis 5:1 - 6:8
Tuesday                       Genesis 6:9 - 7:24
Wednesday                  Genesis 8-9
Thursday                      Genesis 10:1 - 11:9
Friday                          Genesis 11:10 - 12:20

Friday, February 7, 2014

storms...

The sermon from last Sunday... brought my attention to storms... and their lessons...

I look at how Jesus handled storms... before He quieted them...

He walked on the waves... stirred up by the wind...

...the boat by this time was a long way from the land,
beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them.
And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them,
walking on the sea.
Matthew 14:24-25 ESV

He slept quietly... as the boat filled... with the raging sea...

...the waves were breaking
into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.
But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.
Mark 4:37-38 ESV

How do I translate this to my life...? and the handling of storms... both large and small...?

Walk with Jesus... atop the waves... eyes fixed on Him alone... giving no thought to the wind... whipping... raging...

Rest... quietly... trusting Him... the One who knew the storm's approach... knows how long it will last... and to what end...

Each storm... an opportunity to know Him better... a moment to exercise... faith...

And saying this is all well and good... when you're not currently in the midst of a storm... your own personal hurricane... but I know some who are...

The report of a new squall rising... prompts these thoughts to be written...

The Word... it says... consider Jesus... examine His life... so we don't lose heart... grow weary...

He faced some storms... one ultimately killed Him... yet He was sinless... and loved by His Father...

We too... who follow Him... are loved by the Father... and because of Jesus... are justified before God... dare I say sinless...?

So why... would we expect not to face storms... or believe storms come only because of sin... or God's lack of concern... and love...

We are His workmanship... His poem...

The storms He allows are no surprise to Him... He's allowed them... to shape us into the work of art He has in mind... just like His Son...

Now, Jesus... He struggled with the final storm... sweat blood... over it's coming... but in the end... He chose to trust the work of His Father... and say... Your will be done...

If you're facing a storm today... or see one forming on the horizon... go to your Garden of Gethsemane... bring it to your Father... wrestle with Him... and come to the point... of surrendering it all to Him... fix your eyes on Him... and rest... as best you can... telling yourself...

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
Psalm 13:5

Thursday, February 6, 2014

a lesson on worship

What have you learned about worship from your reading of Luke?
---William H. Willimon, Making Disciples: Mentor's Guide 

An exercise... in preparation for confirmation... mentoring a student... on worship...

Just nine chapters into Luke... and I wonder... What have I learned...?

Or really... reviewing my Luke Journal... I see what can be learned...


And I find God worthy of worship...

For with God nothing is ever impossible
and no word from God shall be without power
or impossible of fulfillment.
Luke 1:37 Amp

Also... those who worship... they follow... seek to get near...

And all the multitude were seeking to touch Him...
Luke 6:19 Amp

But the thing that really caught my attention... 

hearts must be prepared... 

And all the people who heard Him, even the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God [in calling them to repentance and in pronouncing future wrath on the impenitent], being baptized with the baptism of John.
But the Pharisees and the lawyers [of the Mosaic Law] annulled and rejected and brought to nothing God's purpose concerning themselves, by [refusing and ] not being baptized by John.
Luke 7:29-30 Amp

John... the Baptizer... came to prepare the way for the Lord... offering a baptism of repentance... and forgiveness... a preparation of hearts... to receive... and believe... and worship... the Messiah...

And I see... those who do not embrace their need... their wretchedness... their sin... will never worship... Him...

Acknowledgement of sin... the key to worship...

Accepting the impossibility... of self-salvation... required... for worship...

And I realize... no amount of teaching... or knowledge... can inspire one to worship Him... just look at the Pharisees... much knowledge... but He just filled them with murderous indignation... not songs of praise...

Self-righteousness... self-help... self-discipline... all useless... when it comes to preparing a heart for Him... only Truth... and Light... can make the Way... for worship...

Prepare the way for the Lord, make His beaten paths straight.
...
And all mankind shall see (behold and understand and at last acknowledge) the salvation of God...
Luke 3:4, 6 Amp

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

not just passing time... passing through...

Time is not running out. This day is not a sieve, losing time. With each passing minute, each passing year, there's this deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity.
--- Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts Devotional
I read these words at the start of this day... where before the covers were pulled back... a prayer for blessing on the pressing of time was felt full... and already had called out for His help... His calm...

A day begun by wondering where the margin was... and would He please increase it... because time it felt... as if it ran through a sieve...

And reading her words... it comes to me...

I am not just passing time, I am going somewhere.

Each day is a journey... an opportunity to gain ground...

Each choice... a step to go farther... 
along the Way of Holiness...
or... wander... off track...

Time... is the road on which I walk...

I am not just passing time... I am passing through...

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
Psalm 84:5 NIV

Father God... help me journey well today... 
moment... by... moment...
open my eyes... to the truth of each choice... 
in word or deed... being a step... along this journey...


[Note & confession... 
I remembered last night... but did not take the steps to correct... again... I forgot to put the readings for The Journey on the post from Sunday... and here it's already Wednesday... I'll put them here... and retroactively... on Sunday too...]

This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                   John 19:17 - 20:10
Tuesday                   John 20:11 - 21:25
Wednesday              Genesis 1
Thursday                  Genesis 2
Friday                      Genesis 3-4

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

feeling His grace...

Feeling His grace...
in the beauty of a cardinal on a dark dreary day...
in the fragrance and warmth of black currant tea...
through inexplicable peace on a day with much still undone...
through conviction of a heart too hesitant to offer grace...

Undeserved... the full impact of grace...
leaves me feeling...
humbled...
thankful...
and undeserving...

...Christ has brought us to this place
of undeserved privilege where we now stand...
Romans 5:2 NLT

Monday, February 3, 2014

and hope in Him... does not disappoint...

Only a faithful... loving... God... creates a camellia...

A plant that blooms... abundant... in the middle of winter...

I have two... and they haven't always done great...

But today... I noticed... blooms...
buds opening...
bright red blossoms...
in the dead winter landscape...




And I go to look closer...
and notice daffodil fronds...
more numerous... and taller...
than the quiet blessing... a couple of weeks ago...


In the shadow...
of yesterday's regret...
I think about His faithfulness...

Hope in Him... it never disappoints...

So... I hope anew...
in His grace...
His work...
His love...
His Word...

In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary --- we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Romans 5:5 Msg

Sunday, February 2, 2014

regret...

Regret...
I have some...
both large...
and small...

Reminded of one today...

It comes with temptation...
to stay stuck...
to blame others...
to run away...

should've... would've... could've...

There is no changing the past...
there is only trusting the One...
Who allowed... allows... freedom to choose...

The One in whom...
ALL things are made new...
and ALL things work for good...

Scripture reassures us, "No one who trusts God
like this --- heart and soul ---
will ever regret it."
Romans 10:11 Msg


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                   John 19:17 - 20:10
Tuesday                   John 20:11 - 21:25
Wednesday              Genesis 1
Thursday                  Genesis 2
Friday                      Genesis 3-4