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

Monday, March 31, 2014

looking forward...

Words from retreating... come back to mind today... as brokenness in the world... abounds...

Look forward... with anticipation... and joy...

A reminder to choose hope... 
look forward with expectation... wait confidently... 
for His timing... His purpose... His plan...

Through [Jesus] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given us.
Romans 5:2-5 ESV

Sunday, March 30, 2014

hope-full words...

I just feel lost...

Hope-full words...

"... For the Son of Man has come
to seek and to save the lost." ---Jesus
Luke 19:10 HCSB

Remembering... You alone... Lord... 
seek... and... save... the... lost...

Praise the Lord, O my soul, 
and forget not all his benefits...
Psalm 103:2


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                            Job 3-4
Tuesday                            Job 5-6
Wednesday                       Job 7-8
Thursday                           Job 9
Friday                               Job 10-11

Friday, March 28, 2014

the wonder of... something out of nothing...

The question of faith... has moved to wonder...

Wonder... over God... who makes something out of nothing...

...the universe was created by the word of God,
so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Hebrews 11:3 ESV

He... calls things that are not... as though they were...

...God ...calleth those things which be not
as though they were.
Romans 4:17 KJV

And I look at the things... that be not... and hope... I've heard Him calleth things... as though they were...

For nothing is impossible with God.
Luke 1:37 ESV

Lord... work this truth into my life... my heart... my spirit...
Let me rest... in Your ability to bring something...
out of nothing...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

a question of faith...?

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 NLT

Is it really a question of faith...? this cynicism... rooted deep...?

Faith = confidence that what we hope will happen

I have very distinct hopes... 
but confidence that they will come to pass...?
not so much...

Where's the line between faith... and presumption...?

Shallow faith...? is that really what's at issue...?

By faith we understand 
that the universe was created by the word of God, 
so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Hebrews 11:3 ESV

This I can do... 
understand that the universe was created by the Word... 
visible made from invisible...

Perhaps I need to return to the beginning...
become grounded in the Truth...
God makes things visible... out of the invisible...
nothing needed... to create... what is hoped for...
the power of His Word... enough...

Perhaps I need to emulate the father of the faithful... 
take lessons from Abraham...

We call Abraham "father" not because he got God's attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn't that what we've always read in the Scripture, God saying to Abraham, "I set you up as father of many peoples"? Abraham was first named "father" and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.
Romans 4:17 Msg

Lord... if I can believe... have faith... that You created the entire universe... and everything in it... out of nothing... then I can certainly... believe You can bring my hopes... to reality... even when there is no sign of change... Lord... I believe... in the power of Your Word... Amen...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

more on cynicism...

Yesterday... digging through a box of old journals... I find Scripture... written... highlighted...

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love...
Psalm 90:14

And I realize... cynicism... this doubting... eye-rolling... mocking... fear... flows out of a dissatisfied heart... disappointment... making itself known...
dissatisfied...expressing or showing lack of satisfaction: not pleased or satisfied...
satisfy... (the fourth definition...) convince... to put an end to (doubt or uncertainty): dispel
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.)
There... I see me... disgruntled... dissatisfied... unconvinced... a cynic... in certain areas of unfulfilled desire...
Jesus calls me to surrender and there's nothing like releasing fears and falling into peace. It terrifies, true. But it exhilarates. This, this is what I've always wanted and never knew: this utter trust, this enlivening fall of surrender into safe hands.
---Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts Devotional
Can we have hope... without trust...? and how does a cynical heart... begin to trust...?
We take the moments as bread and give thanks and the thanks itself becomes bread. The thanks itself nourishes. Thanks feeds our trust.
---Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts Devotional 
Thanks... being thank-full... for each and every moment...

A person cannot receive even one thing
unless it is given him from heaven.
John 3:27 ESV

Can I be thank-full... for setbacks... delays... hurts... pains...? Is it possible to receive them as grace... gift... from heaven...? Can I trust the One who says His love is unfailing... steadfast... that in ALL things... He will work for the good of those who love Him...?

It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace.
Hebrews 13:9

Hmmm... I need to see more fully... more clearly... His love...




His unfailing love... the foundation... for hope... and trust...

The Love that stoops down... empties Self... of divinity... majesty... glory... to rescue... redeem... restore...

Stoops... to the point of death... death... on... a... cross...

Here is the love that satisfies... the love that is trustworthy... feeds hope... and for which I can be... thank-full...

Thank You... Lord... for Your stooping down... for me...
for the elaborate gift of grace... wrapped just for me...
Remind me each day... Lord... 
Satisfy me in the morning... with Your unfailing love...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

cynicism...

A dying moment... Jesus... What do You want me to die to...?

Cynicism

I wonder... What exactly is it...? I have a vague idea... but... Do I have it...?

I must or it would not be asked for... I give it to Him... speaking it out loud... taking it in words... to the foot of the cross...

Later... I look it up...
cynic... <SPECIAL USAGE> a person who questions whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile... <DERIVATIVES> cynicism
 --- The New Oxford American Dictionary
The definition reflects the hidden sin... emotion... revealed the day before... during a time of meditation...
lack of trust...
impatience...
loneliness...
fear it won't come to pass...

The hidden doubt and fear... wrapped around specific desires... ones I've been waiting for... for a long time...

Sharing this retreat experience with a friend... she says...

We use it to guard our hearts...

Cynicism... the barricade erected... against another possible disappointment...

What battles... tears down... this stronghold of cynicism...?

Hope...
HOPE An expectation or belief in the fulfillment of something desired. Present hurts and uncertainty over what the future holds create the constant need for hope. ... Biblical hope is hope in what God will do in the future. At the heart of Christian hope is the resurrection of Jesus. ...
---Tyndale Bible Dictionary (emphasis added)
I hear Him speak to me... in the same manner He did to those He walked alongside on the road to Emmaus... those who had lost hope...

O foolish one... don't you know what the Scripture says...?
Look forward... with anticipation... and joy...

The journey... is to be one of hope... an expectation... belief... in the fulfillment... of something desired...

A study of hope is called for...
an exercising of hope...
a tearing down... handing over... of cynicism...

What about you...?
Do you find yourself guarding your heart with cynicism...?
What desires are you protecting... from disappointment...?

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:25-26

Monday, March 24, 2014

significant...

Yes... three days... 72 hours... is a significant amount of time... a lot can transpire... in three days...

Abraham... on his journey to the mountains of Moriah... the place God called him to sacrifice Isaac... his only son... the son of promise... had three days to think... three days to wonder... reason... consider... his act of obedience...

He considered that God was able 
even to raise [Isaac] from the dead...
Hebrews 11:19 ESV

These days of preparation... consideration... secret time in God's presence on the journey... brought him to the place where he could say to the servants traveling with them...

"Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."
Genesis 22:5 NIV
(my emphasis)

...and to his son... who saw the wood and fire... but no lamb... 

"God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering..."
Genesis 22:8 NIV
(emphasis mine)

Jonah... (not Noah)... blessed with three days of seclusion inside a great fish... three days where only God knew where he was... only God could hear... 

Jonah had time to be...

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God 
from the belly of the fish, saying, 
"I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, 
and he answered me; 
out of the belly of Sheol I cried, 
and you heard my voice. 
... 
Those who pay regard to vain idols 
forsake their hope of steadfast love. 
But I with the voice of thanksgiving 
will sacrifice to you; what I vowed I will pay. 
Salvation belongs to the Lord!"

Time to reconsider... repent... 

And the Lord spoke to the fish,and it vomited Jonah out upon dry land. Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you." So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.
Jonah 2:10-3:3 ESV

Jesus... three days buried... after declaring...

"It is finished."
John 19:20 ESV

Three days... known only to the Father... in which He began the process of redemption... the good news still hidden in the earth...

For Christ died for sins once for all, 
the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
He was put to death in the body 
but made alive by the Spiritthrough whom also
he went and preached to the spirits in prison
who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently
in the days of Noah while the ark was being built
1 Peter 3:18-20
(emphasis mine)

After three days... He is risen... good news unwrapped... 
the power of the revelation continues to this day...

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4 ESV

Three days... a significant time for retreating...
a journey... to consider... all the possibilities...
secluded... to receive revelation... and a need for repentance...
a re-membering... of the resurrection... and newness of life...

A lot can transpire in three days... I expect it will take longer to process what has been worked in... but what I do know...

He must increase,
but I must decrease.
John 3:30 ESV


Thank You Lord... for three days... 72 hours... to retreat...


[Note... Yes... there was a significant error on the post... retreating... Noah was NOT in the great fish... Jonah was... it has been corrected... goes to show how much I needed to retreat... thank God for His grace...]

Sunday, March 23, 2014

looking... to be...

Look at your week ahead...

What are you doing... striving with or for... where maybe... you should just be...?

What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving
with which he labors under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 2:22

Ask Him to show you what you need to release... in order to be...


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                   Genesis 45
Tuesday                   Genesis 46
Wednesday              Genesis 47-48
Thursday                  Genesis 49-50
Friday                      Job 1-2

Friday, March 21, 2014

let it be...

What can you let go of today... and just be...?

"In him we live and move and have our being..."
Acts 17:28 ESV


Thursday, March 20, 2014

retreating...

retreat... an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable... a place of privacy or safety: refuge... a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director...
--- Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.) 
I'm going on one... the spiritual sort...
Three days... to be away...

Withdrawing from... doing... which has been overshadowing... being... to a place of refuge... for a directed time... of prayer... meditation... study... instruction...

Three days... a significant amount of time...
Abraham's journey to sacrifice Isaac...
Jonah's time in the great fish...
Jesus's days... entombed...

Don't know if they'll be significant for me...
just a journey... in letting go... and... being...

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death,
in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4 ESV

Seeking newness... of life...


[Note... even though I'll be away... pre-scheduled posts will appear... reminding you... to be...]

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

blessed by beauty

Retreating to the garden... sunlight fading...
Seeking words to end the day...
Eyes opened... to beauty all around...




Not only for the eye...
A cool chill... on the face...
Birds sing an evening song... and flutter wings...



And I wonder at the beauty...
evidence... of His divine nature...

His power... goodness... far outweigh the brokenness of the Fall...
The one who only steals... kills... destroys... 
can't overcome... the abundance of  Life...

Beauty... that overcame... crucifixion... death... on... a... cross...

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11 ESV

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

who's watching...?

Thoughts from Sunday... trigger thoughts here... for today...

Therefore, since we are surrounded 
by so great a cloud of witnesses, 
let us also lay aside every weight, 
and sin which clings so closely, 
and let us run with endurance 
the race that is set before us...
Hebrews 12:1 ESV

Believers... we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses... that these watchful eyes... should inspire the laying aside of everything dragging us down... and sin that binds...

In context... this verse follows the great list of faithful... the witnesses referred to here... those done running... successfully lived out lives of faith... endured... and they should encourage us to run well too... but I just wonder... 

Who else is watching...?

A world of unbelievers watches... our performance in the race reveals the validity of what we say we believe... 

The most important of these unbelievers... our own children... grandchildren... nieces... nephews... those running after us...

No one comes into this world believing (with the exception of Jesus)... we all must come to a point where we decide what we believe based on the evidence laid out before us...

What have your children witnessed in your life...?
What about neighbors...? coworkers...? friends...?

It makes me squirm... just a bit... to consider what others see in me as evidence of faith...?

Have I laid down every weight...? fear...? anxiety...? 
These things I used to power lift...
Have I replaced them with trust in Him...? 

Oh... and sin... that which clings... entangles... 
What is seen...? selfishness...? sarcasm...? words that bite...? arrogance...? (That's as far as I'll go here...)

Have I been growing in holiness...? 
Do I walk the walk...? or just talk the talk...?

Who is watching...?

He's watching...

Fear of the Lord should definitely inspire endurance... 
but most of all... 
His love... 
the love that motivated Him... 
to endure... 
for the joy set before Him...

So how do we run... surrounded by onlookers... witnesses...?

... looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross...
Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Let His love for you... 
ignite love for Him... 
and in turn love for others...

You can't run the race... any better than this...

Just keep asking yourself... Who's watching...?

Monday, March 17, 2014

learning to keep silent... and tread lightly with words...

Too many times lately... my words... have stopped conversation... or triggered a defensive retort...

Too many times... I speak... when silence is required... a question better than a statement...

Learning to discern where people are... is more important... than sharing what you know... or have learned...

Lacking good role models for conversation... I find myself at a loss...
Lectures loomed large in my growing up... little room for conversing...
There was doing... and instructing... but not much heart to heart...

So now... I desire to keep communication flowing... dam up my own wayward words...

I see... too late... in retrospect... within moments of speaking... what would have been better...

This recognition of better... it's improvement... growth...  but I long to do better in the moment... not just recognize a moment missed...

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalm 143:3 KJV

Thank You Lord... for opening ears and eyes to a better way... guard my mouth... teach me when to keep silent... and when to tread lightly...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

taking root... reaching out...

A week of rest coming to an end...
loved ones off again...
on their own journeys...

Me... taking root in Him...
reaching out to them...
as they freely go on their way...

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him,
strengthened in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

Lord Jesus... thank You... for each one You've placed in my life to love... Guide me in living and loving... rooted and built up in You... strengthened in faith... overflowing with thanks...


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                     Genesis 39-40
Tuesday                     Genesis 41:1-36
Wednesday                Genesis 41:37 - 42:38
Thursday                    Genesis 43
Friday                        Genesis 44 

Friday, March 14, 2014

hugging Jesus...

I confess... my attitude toward obedience has not always been great. A reflection of my feelings found reading Reliving the Passion:
Here comes Jesus, closer and closer to me. Ah, the closer he comes, the less I like it. His very existence threatens mine...
I've grown used to my way of life. I like familiarity. I know my place in society, my reputation, my rights and privileges, all of which are comfortable to me. I know what power I have and what responsibilities. I worked hard for these things and deserve to keep them. Behold, I am a person of some prominence --- small or large, it doesn't matter: I am! This is me. This is my identity.
But here comes Jesus... and all of this is threatened. 
--- Walter Wangerin Jr.
To come closer to Jesus is to change. Transform. Surrender. Die.

And [Jesus] said, "If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. ..."
Luke 9:23-24 ESV

It's hard to die to self. Daily.

A hard call... one that leads to discomfort... I usually receive with a heavy sigh... an Ugh!... and a pained expression. 

This I want to change. I want to see obedience in a brighter light. 

I know it's an invitation to intimacy... I know how I feel after completion... closer to Him... increased peace... and joy...

But in the midst of the struggle... discomfort... how do I receive dying to self with joyful acceptance...?

And it comes to me... anticipating an uncomfortable day...

Obedience is hugging Jesus!

An expression of love and intimacy... a warm hug.

Today... I'm hugging Jesus.

How can that not bring joy...?

And this is love:
that we walk in obedience to his commands.
2 John 6

Thursday, March 13, 2014

freeing others to journey...

The primary challenge of life for me these days is parenting adult children.

To watch them struggle and not be able to rescue is pain-full. Heartbreaking.

Reading in the woods... a Kindle by a campfire... I meet one sharing his challenges with a struggling child:
The best thing I could do for her was to stop trying to do anything. ...
The only way she would ever be well again was if and when she freely chose to be. The best I could do as her father was to stand back and give her that freedom even at the risk of her using it to choose for death instead of life. ...
If your daughter is struggling for life in a raging torrent, you do not save her by jumping into the torrent with her, which leads only to your both drowning together. Instead you keep your feet on the dry bank --- you maintain as best you can your own inner peace, the best and strongest of who you are --- and from that solid ground reach out a rescuing hand.
---Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets 
And my mind goes to journeys... and I realize... everyone has to travel their own... find their own way...

In trying to prod my adult children along their journeys, manipulating their course, I reveal my lack of trust in God and His presence with them.

My own journey... becomes derailed... when I'm too focused on someone else's...

I lose joy and peace.

I lose sight of His presence.

The Prodigal God... the One who pours Himself out freely... exemplifies the freeing of adult children to choose...

"There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.' And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. ...
Luke 15:11-13 ESV

Jesus's parable of the Father... reveals a God who allows each one of us the freedom to do what we will... and He does not interfere... but He is always present... waiting for each to come to the end of self and return...

Today, I feel the ache of the Father's heart in freeing loved ones to journey according to their choices...

The challenge... keeping my feet firmly planted in His presence... standing by... reaching out.... with a rescuing hand... waiting...

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

following after Christ...

The church of Jesus Christ stands before God vicariously by following after Christ under the cross. God is a God of bearing. The Son of God bore our flesh, and for that reason he bore the cross; he bore all our sins and through his bearing achieved reconciliation. So too are disciples called to be bearers.
---Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I Want to Live These Days with You 
This morning's Bonhoeffer sent me back to the devotional read last evening...
It is the experience of genuine grief that prepares for joy.
You see? The disciples approached the Resurrection from their bereavement. For them the death was first, and the death was all. Easter, then, was an explosion of Newness, a marvelous splitting of heaven indeed. But for us, who return backward into the past, the Resurrection comes first, and through it we view a death which is, therefore, less consuming, less horrible, even less real. We miss the disciples' terrible, wonderful preparation.
---Walter Wangerin Jr., Reliving the Passion
How are we... to follow after...? after Christ's ministry on earth...? after His life... death... resurrection... behind us in history...?

How can we ever hope to experience that same loss of Him... as the first disciples...? bear the full impact of real time betrayal... loss... crucifixion...? an unknown future...?

How can we experience even a glimpse of the wonder... awe... joy... of resurrection... in our following after Christ...?

Suffering... grieving... loss...
Suffering the humility of repentance... truly looking at who we are apart from Him...
Suffering the crucifixion of self... denying our own logic and understanding for His...
Suffering obedience...loving our enemies... blessing those who curse us... praying for our abusers... a laying down of ego...
Suffering through fasting... putting aside our wants for His...

And the joy...?
It only comes in the wake of suffering...
His resurrection... into our lives of death and sin...
His Word of love... to our lost souls...
His forgiveness and grace... the filling of our spirit by His...

Following after Christ...

How do you make it real...?

I want to know Christ ---
yes, to know the power of his resurrection
and participation in his suffering,
becoming like him in his death
and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection
from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11 NIV

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

finding joy in resting...

A day of taxes... tests... and things going undone...
but in it all... I find... joy... resting in Him...

In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
Psalm 33:21

Monday, March 10, 2014

declare a blessing on me...?

The reading through of The Journey finds me camped out in Genesis... this last month spent looking into Beginnings...

I come to Jacob... wrestling with God... face to face... a place I'm familiar with... a place where I see every Believer's calling... privilege... as a son of Israel... great-grandchildren of Abraham...

God... through His Son... gives us the privilege of wrestling with Him in prayer... bringing doubts... fears... just as Jacob did on returning home... to face the brother he cheated...

We... adopted into this family by grace... invited into a wrestling match with our heavenly Father... the Creator and Keeper of our souls...

But today... I'm caught by the audacity of Jacob...

But Jacob said, I will not let You go
unless You declare a blessing upon me.
Genesis 32:26 Amp

Then I think of the blessings found in the Beginnings... they are blessings that define a life...

Adam and Eve... Noah... Be fruitful and multiply...

Abraham... Isaac... I will bless you and make your name great... in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed...

Jacob... Be lord over your brothers...

Esau... By your sword you shall live... you shall serve your brother...

And here is Jacob... demanding a blessing... believing he could hold the God of the universe captive... force Him to bless... audacious...

Then I wonder... Have I ever asked Him to bless me... define my life... by His blessing...?

I don't think I have... but here I find myself inspired... as a God-wrestler... to seek... beg... a blessing...

Lord... bless me...
What is Your blessing for me...?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

feeling thirsty...

O God, you are my God;
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
as in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1 ESV

Taking a break... from much of ministry this week...

A week at home with family...
a time to untangle from doing...

Hopefully... a time to reconnect with Him...
be filled by Him... the fountain of Living Water...

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


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                    Genesis 32-33
Tuesday                    Genesis 34:1 - 35:15
Wednesday               Genesis 35:16 - 36:43
Thursday                   Genesis 37
Friday                       Genesis 38

Friday, March 7, 2014

keeping quiet...

Feeling the need to keep quiet...

This is what the Sovereign Lord... says:...
...in quietness and trust is your strength...
Isaiah 30:15

Thursday, March 6, 2014

feeling caught up...

Feeling caught up in doing...
finding it hard to rest in the waiting...

Retreat to the garden...
feeling a bit beaten...
like the daffodils after days below freezing...




Coming to rest in His shadow...
under His wing...
blue sky...
sunshine...
cool breeze...

Waiting...
to be loosed...
from my own expectations...
and the pressure of time...

Free to be still...
and know Him...

"Be still, and know that I am God. ..."
Psalm 46:10 ESV


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

obedience overflows...

And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, "By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son. I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you obeyed my voice."
Genesis 22:15-18 ESV
(my emphasis)

Obedience overflows to blessing...

In the last 24 hours... I've seen my obedience overflow... and bless the life of another...

And another's obedience... has blessed me...

Blessings I expect... to overflow... to families... and who knows... how much farther... 

Be obedient... be a blessing...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

prepared...

...be prepared in season and out of season...
2 Timothy 4:2 NIV

I spent the last few weeks preparing... for a teaching... but it did not come about...

The season not quite right...

His timing perfect... and He wastes no preparation...

This time of preparation... in a busy season... stretched my faith... and revealed His faithfulness...

As I prepared... He blessed me with His Word... and His people... even when He knew it wouldn't come about...

A time of preparation... but not for what I thought...

He used the time... to further prepare me... for Him...

Lord... thank You for the weeks of preparation... 
the things learned... and Your encouragement... 
to be prepared... in season... and out...

Monday, March 3, 2014

immersed in creation...

I found myself... immersed in creation... 5 p.m at Wal-Mart... wall to wall... creation...

A world-view shift... one God's been working in me for over a year now... triggered by a story I'd read before... and came across again today... in the treadmill read...
Several years ago one of my students who lived a distance away and rode a crowded bus to college each day said to his wife as he went out the door one morning, "I'm just going to go out and immerse myself in God's creation today." The next day his parting words were the same. On the third day, she called him back, "Don't you think you ought to go to class today? A couple of days of walking in the woods or on the beach is okay, but don't you think enough is enough?"
He said, "Oh, I've been going to class every day."
"Then what," she said, "is all this business about immersing yourself in creation?"
"Well, I spend forty minutes on the bus each morning and afternoon. Can you think of a setting more thick with creation than that --- all these people created, created in the image of God, created male and female?"
"I never thought of that," she said.
"You mean you've never read Genesis?"
--- Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places
People... male and female... God's greatest creation... the only ones bearing His image...

A shift... to consider the masses in Wal-Mart... or those on a crowded city bus... as creation...

The evidence that they are the most beloved... of all creation... is the brokenness... the woundedness... the scars from the many inflictions of the enemy... no other part of God's creation gets that kind of special attention...

These... people who cross our paths... block our paths... are the neighbors... we are commanded to love... as we love ourselves...

How about you... do you love Wal-Mart at 5 p.m....? Or overcrowded public transportation...? Do you recognize God's greatest workmanship... when you see it...?

Jesus said... Whatever you did for the least of these... you did for Me...

This is a verse with which I struggle... seeing Him... in the least... the grumpy... the rude... the everyday masses... in Wal-Mart at 5 p.m....

Perhaps I need to make a point... to go shopping more often at peak Wal-Mart hours... intentionally immerse myself in God's creation... ask Him to open my eyes... my heart... to what He sees... and feels...
If we are going to enjoy and celebrate and live this gift of place in which the Lord God has placed us, we are going to have to embrace the people around us with the same delight as we do the hawks soaring above us and the violets blooming at our feet. Men and women, children and the elderly, the beautiful and the plain, the blind and the deaf, amputees and paralytics, the mentally impaired and the emotionally distraught --- each a significant and sacred detail of nature, of God's creation.
--- Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places
 Lord... help me see Your image... in each of Your creations...


[Note... Yet again... I failed at posting the readings for The Journey on Sunday... so here they are a day late... but will sneak back... and add them to the bottom of yesterday's...]

This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                              Genesis 27
Tuesday                              Genesis 28
Wednesday                         Genesis 29:1 - 30:24 
Thursday                             Genesis 30:25-43
Friday                                 Genesis 31

Sunday, March 2, 2014

blessed by His promises...

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV

Resting in the blessing of His precious promises...
finding peace... and joy...
Amen...

Take some time yourself... and rest in this passage of promise...
Pray it... meditate on it...
What do you sense...?


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                              Genesis 27
Tuesday                              Genesis 28
Wednesday                         Genesis 29:1 - 30:24 
Thursday                             Genesis 30:25-43
Friday                                 Genesis 31