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, May 30, 2014

He is into details...

The reading through of Exodus... brings me to His plans for the tabernacle... and the garb for the family of priests...

I wonder at the details...

And you shall make it according to all that I show you, 
the pattern of the tabernacle or dwelling 
and the pattern of all the furniture of it. 
Exodus 25:9 Amp

He gives plans for... the ark... the mercy seat... curtains... utensils... bowls... garments studded with stones... a turban with blue and a plate of gold... on... and... on... the materials to use... and the construction of each item...

A look at His creation... filled with tiny details... codes of DNA... defining all that grows... reveals this aspect of His character...

He is into details...

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
Romans 1:20 ESV

Pictures from the porch... reveal details of creation...






He has the capacity to care... for each sparrow that falls... and to know... the number of hairs on each head...

His capacity for grace... amazes... for He knows... each sin... from greatest to smallest... each causes offense... each creates a debt... yet each has been paid for... with the life of His Son...

Yes... He is into details... 

And I am thank-full... for His infinite love... care... and attention... to each one...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

when it's all done... lay it down...

Today I completed a commitment... one I believed He called me to...

A teaching on prayer... encouraging others to pray for those they serve... being prepared for and open to the Spirit's call to ask...

Can I pray for you today...?

As I finished... relief flowed... but as the minutes... hours... passed... the temptation to critique... commend... question... What if?... crowded my thoughts...

The only thing to do... when the call is complete... the commitment all done... is to lay it down... before Him...

For the Savior reminds...

"...Whoever abides in me and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing. ..."
John 15:5 ESV

And so I pray...

Father God... I lay down today's teaching before You...
use it how You will... You know it was prayerfully prepared...
and I trust... delivered as You desired...
It is not mine... it's Yours...
Thank You for the opportunity... 
the privilege... to serve You...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

sometimes... the fastest way forward... is backward...

It just feels like I'm going backwards...

The words of a frustrated loved one... his current situation... leaves him with an option... he feels is backwards...

God reminded me of some words... from one of His own... CS Lewis...

I spent today hunting them down... in order to share...
We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. We have all seen this when doing arithmetic. When I have started a sum the wrong way, the sooner I admit this and go back and start again, the faster I shall get on.
---CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
Praying for this loved one to see that backwards... is not necessarily bad... as a matter of fact... it may be the only way... forward...

Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5 ESV

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

the reason to rejoice... in moving forward...

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith --- more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire --- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1Peter 1:3-7 ESV

Moving forward... means moving toward... an inheritance... imperishable... undefiled... unfading...

An inheritance kept in heaven for us... who are being guarded by God... through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time...

This eternal inheritance... is what we are to rejoice in... as we move forward... even in the face of trials...

An inheritance to come... a deliverance... into His kingdom...

The Israelites lacked faith in God... and grumbled through the desert... to their Promised Land...

But we... in Christ... need to learn from their lack of faith... and trust Him... to guard us... deliver us... into our imperishable... unfading... undefiled... inheritance... with joy... no matter how many or varied trials grieve us along the way...

Don't look back... look forward... with faith and joy... to Him...

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind
and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 ESV

Monday, May 26, 2014

moving forward... into unknown territory...

The reading through of Exodus has me considering the fear involved in moving forward...

Forward... brings unknowns... tests... trials... and for the Israelites... going back to slavery... back to Egypt... seemed better... than freedom...

"Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
Exodus 16:2-3 ESV

All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water to drink." And Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?" But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?"
Exodus 17:1-3 ESV

Looking back... is where paralysis... fear... takes hold... because we don't know... what comes next...

The past... its endings all neatly tied up... we've been there done that... it's familiar... known...

And I wonder about this... my mostly grown children all home for the weekend... an event that doesn't happen so often anymore...

As my children continue to make their own way... these times become more precious... because... Will there be another...? with all the dangers and unknowns in the world...? will there be another...?

But I remember... 
He is not in the past...
He is in the present...
and the future is in His hands...

Good times... or trying... familiar ground... or unknown territory... they are all a gift from Him... and the reality is... we never know what's coming... even in the most blessed and comfortable time...

Trusting Him... to lead and guide...
no matter what comes...
resting in His unfailing love...
is the only way... to move forward...

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.
Psalm 13:5-6




[Note: Forgot again... to put the week's readings for The Journey on Sunday's post... here they are... I'm gonna have to think of a different way...]

This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                  Exodus 21:33 - 23:9
Tuesday                  Exodus 23:10 - 24:18
Wednesday             Exodus 25
Thursday                 Exodus 26-27
Friday                     Exodus 28

Sunday, May 25, 2014

signs of growth...

Signs of growth... the opening of a blossom... bring joy... hope... and thanksgiving...

Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord's name;
they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.
Isaiah 55:13 NLT


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                  Exodus 21:33 - 23:9
Tuesday                  Exodus 23:10 - 24:18
Wednesday             Exodus 25
Thursday                 Exodus 26-27
Friday                     Exodus 28

Friday, May 23, 2014

only He makes things grow...

The treadmill read... shared insightful words... words depicting... why we need to rest in Him... and in His timing...


No, it is not yours to open buds into blossom.
Shake the bud, strike it,
it is beyond your power to make it blossom.
Your touch spoils it.
You tear its petals to pieces
and strew them in the dust,
But no colors appear and no perfume.
Oh, it is not for you to open the bud into blossom.
He who can open the bud does it so simply.
He gives it a glance and the life sap stirs through its veins.
At his breath the flower spreads its wings
and flutters in the wind.
Colors flash out like heart longing,
the perfume betrays a sweet secret.
He who can open the bud does it so simply.

--- The Indian poet Tagore, reprinted in The Ragamuffin Gospel
by Brennan Manning


An encouraging reminder... for this one who waits... desiring growth... tempted to tear...

Without Him... our best attempts at good... are atrocities...

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags...
Isaiah 64:6

The poet's words... a beautiful picture... of His truth...

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,
but only God, who makes things grow.
1Corinthians 3:7

Father God... help me wait on You... to make things grow...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

a day full to bursting...

My waking emotions hovered around anxiety... in anticipation of a day so full... I was really unsure how it would all get done...

As the morning advanced... placing trust in Him... remembering this is all His and not mine... settling into a thought pattern of... What's next Lord...? This is Your day... I want to do it Your way...

Each step... trusting in Him...

And I find myself surprised... by an unexpected emotion... no more sense of anxiety... but a heart bursting with joy... in anticipation of how He will get it all done...!

Bursting seams... to bursting joy... trusting in Him... in every little thing...

If I say, "My foot is slipping,"
Your faithful love will support me, Lord.
When I am filled with cares,
Your comfort brings me joy.
Psalm 94:18-19 HCSB

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

broken... a place for grace to flow...

Getting honest with ourselves does not make us unacceptable to God. It does not distance us from God, but draws us to Him --- as nothing else can --- and opens us anew to the flow of grace. While Jesus calls each of us to a more perfect life, we cannot achieve it on our own. To be alive is to be broken; to be broken is to stand in need of grace. It is only through grace that any of us could dare to hope that we could become more like Christ.
--- Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
I see a loved one... struggling with what he sees... when he comes into His presence... overwhelmed by the darkness revealed in His Light...

The initial response... run... hide... protect the heart with pride...

But the proper stance... is to stand in the Light... trust His forgiveness... and let grace flow through...

Praying for those who are broken... to trust Him... draw near... and let grace heal...

For by grace you have been saved through faith.
and this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God...
Ephesians 2:8

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

what can we do...?

She asked me...


What can we do...?

... in response to evil creeping in... ultimately revealing itself... in big ways...

Like Hitler in Germany...
rampant corruption in government...
divisive deception in the Church...

And I really didn't have an answer... because when evil gets that big... that embedded... it's overwhelming...

What can we do...?

It struck me... the next day... doing laundry... and pursuing other things He calls me to... things that don't necessarily seem productive to some... but little steps of obedience followed for years... in prayer... in writing...

Obeying even when it felt foolish... futile...

But then I see... His preparation... for me... and those in my sphere... happens through small steps of faith...

Just as the enemy creeps in... little by little... so does holiness...

What can we do... against the forces of evil...?

Exercise faith in holiness... separate ourselves from the world's ways... day by day... little by little... following Him in the small...

Each small interior battle of faith... He uses to prepare for the greater battle of darkness He knows is coming...

What can we do...?

Consider nothing small... nothing trivial... when it comes to His call... on your life...

Behold! God is mighty, and yet despises no one
nor regards anything as trivial;
He is mighty in power of understanding and heart.
Job 36:5 Amp

You too... regard nothing as trivial... He will prepare you to face what is to come...

And what if... we all followed with holy diligence... faithful Believers...?

Would evil have a chance... even to get a foothold...?

Monday, May 19, 2014

the life changing choice... that brings freedom...

Life change is as simple as changing our choices, and transformation is fully possible when we form our decisions differently --- form them into the image of Christ.
---Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts Devotional
Transformation... it's the foundation of freedom... and is based on the way we make choices... form decisions...

How did Jesus... make decisions...?

Really... He only made one choice... to do whatever His Father willed...

"...For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will,
but the will of Him who sent Me. ..." ---Jesus
John 6:38 HCSB

He only did what the Father did...

Then Jesus replied, "I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way...."
John 5:19 HCSB

He only said what the Father said... 

So Jesus said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. ..."
John 8:28 ESV

To be a disciple of Jesus... is to choose as He did... and to do so freely... freely losing your life... laying down your rights... your emotions and desires... for His Father's...

"... Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. ..."
Matthew 10:39

Jesus allowed Father God to lead Him on the path of freedom... that He might make the way for us... to be freed from the slavery of sin and death... 

He forged the Way... that we might follow Him... through the wilderness...

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.
Luke 4:1-2 ESV

...or head on into a war...

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.
Luke 22:39-44 ESV

Life changing freedom... comes in the form of one choice...

Not my will... but Yours be done...


Sunday, May 18, 2014

the way of freedom... war or wilderness...

Freedom... in a broken world... does not come easy...

The reading through of Exodus... brings insights on the way of freedom...

When Pharaoh let the people go, God led them not by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was nearer; for God said, Lest the people change their purpose when they see war and return to Egypt. But God led the people around by way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.
Exodus 13:17-18 Amp

God alone sets us free... He leads us out of captivity... but the way out... often comes down to two choices... war... or... wilderness...

He knows our hearts... He knows what we can handle... emotionally and spiritually...

He leads us in the way... we are most likely to stay set on our purpose... freedom...

We must remember to follow Him... trust His leading... whether we face a battle... or... a wilderness walk...

Sometimes the way is circuitous... seemingly longer than it needs to be... but perhaps... it's the best way... for us...

As you move toward freedom... expect resistance... either through war... or wilderness... but remember... He will provide... all you need...

The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
Exodus 13:21 Amp

Lord... help me to trust the way You choose for me...
as You lead me toward ever greater freedom...



This week's reading for The Journey...
Monday                 Exodus 15
Tuesday                 Exodus 16
Wednesday            Exodus 17-18
Thursday                Exodus 19-20
Friday                    Exodus 21:1-32

Friday, May 16, 2014

another day... of testing new...

Continuing to test... consider... a new call... a new opportunity...

Continuing to ask... Is this for me...? Is this where You want me to be...?

Each time we sense something new... whether it's about Him... or an open door to walk through... He expects us to test... seek confirmation... find out if it is from Him...

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

Another day... testing the waters... 
praying...
listening...
waiting...
desiring... to follow Him...

Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8 ESV

What about you...? anything new you're testing these day...?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

the wonder of new...

He revealed new attributes... concerning Himself...
Fresh...
Straight...
and I wondered... Is it true...?

Pursuit of the wonder... led me on a search... a testing... a finding... that Yes... it's true...

A new call...
a new opportunity...
fills me with the same sort of wonder...

Is this for me...? Are You sure...?

Today... first steps taken...
and I think... Yes... it might be true...

You are the God of great wonders...
Psalm 77:14 NLT


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

He is straight...

Another interesting attribute...

Seeking Him... for how to praise Him... in preparation for ministry... He says...

Straight...

A word I heard... but almost dismissed... it came so quickly... quietly... and yes... seemed odd...

So I decided to go to the psalm he reminded me of earlier... to see what it said about Him...

Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
Psalm 33:3-4 ESV

The word... upright... it catches my attention... especially since it refers to His Word... and I go to the original Hebrew...
yashar... straight, upright, correct, right.
---Enhanced Strong's Lexicon
I tell Him... OK... You are straight...

Seeking more on this aspect of His character... leads me to Merriam-Webster's (11th Collegiate Ed.)...
straight... adjective... 1 a: free from curves, bends, angles, or irregularities... b: generated by a point moving continuously in the same direction and expressed in a linear equation... 2 a: lying along or holding to a direct or proper course or method... b: candid, frank... c: coming directly from a trustworthy source...
As clearly as He is fresh... He is straight...

This attribute... He brings it to light at a time I'm off-balance... because of others' handling of His Word...

My own thoughts... askew... with questions of doubt... Am I wrong...? Are they right...?

And I sense Him saying... not only is He straight... but His Word is straight... clear... trustworthy...

The meaning of His Word... is not hidden in such a way... as to require unbending... twisting... manipulating.... to discover it's truth...

He is a straight talker...

All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to him who understands,
and right to those who find knowledge.
Proverbs 8:8-9 ESV

His course... straight... it does not change to suit the times... 

The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
Psalm 119:160 ESV

His Way... the same proper course today... as it was yesterday...

Straightforward... trustworthy... that is our God... and His Word...

He has me convinced... settled my doubts...

I know... and He knows I know... He is straight...

The Rock: His works are perfect,
and the way he works is fair and just;
A God you can depend upon, no exceptions,
a straight-arrow God.
Deuteronomy 32:4 Msg

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

more on... His Word... a solid place to land...

Yet again... this morning... He leads me to another reminder of the solidity... trustworthiness... and power of His Word...

A note... written next to Psalm 33... a reminder that He gave me this psalm to rest in... awaiting another surgery... on a different loved one...

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
Psalm 33:1-5

And I wonder... If one rejects the solidity of His Word...? where do they go to find stability...? And how do you know what's true...? if part is in error...? which parts...? who chooses...? And what about testing the spirits...? and teachings of others...? where do you go to check the validity...? if you can't go to the Word...?

By faith... He calls us to believe He created the universe... 

By faith we understand that the universe 
was formed at God's command, 
so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Hebrews 11:3

...and by His word no less...

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth...
Psalm 33:6

Considering the expanse... complexity... and enormity... of creation... it's not much of a leap of faith... to believe He wrote a book...

An eternal... timeless book... written from His perspective...

This book... His Book... has been integral to my walk of faith... it's a gracious gift... the one temporal thing He's given us... with which to seek Him out...

By His Spirit... I meet Him in it's pages... 
He speaks... comforts... guides... corrects...
Never have I found it's message lacking...
nor His way... faulty...

Now... I haven't always liked what I found in His Word... there have been some painful wrestling matches along the way... but in the end... I know He's right... and I'm wrong... and there is no other way... no other words of life...

The more I pursue Him... through His Word... obedience... prayer... the more healing I find... more peace... more joy... in living His Way... not mine...

He says...

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8

I've tasted... by eating His Word...

And Yes... He is good...

Won't you taste too...?


Note: A new Quote du Jour published today... check it out on Jeremiah's Menu...

Monday, May 12, 2014

His Word... a solid place to land...

I'm reminded today... of the sheer magnitude of His Word... to steady a life spinning out of control...

Feeling off kilter... like a top just before it drops... brought to mind a much more intense reeling I experienced over fifteen years ago...

My father underwent surgery to improve his health... a heart valve replacement...

Things did not go as planned... to call it a complete disaster... would be more accurate...

The news sent me reeling... spiritually and emotionally... no where to land securely... as I gathered my three young children... and waited for my husband... so we could go the 200 miles... to be with family and wait...

This was early in my walk with Christ... my mom not even five years gone... still finding my way... with this Savior who captured my heart through her illness and death...

After seeing and receiving... all the horrific news... facing decisions... which would have to be made concerning my dad's health... life... I remember being in the shower at my brother's house... literally feeling like the world was spinning out of control...

Crying out to Him... He said... Go to my Word...

Out of the shower... dried... dressed... I took my Bible... and opened it... as He had commanded...

It opened to Psalm 103... I began to read...

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, 
and forget not all his benefits...

As I read the Word... my world started to settle... emotions stilled... the spinning stopped... peace returned...

Nothing had changed when it came to the circumstances... but here... in this place... in this moment... He taught me the power... truth... and beauty of His Word... as a firm foundation... a solid place to land...

So you may ask... What has you off kilter now...?

Those in His church... who discount the accuracy of His Word... reject its inerrancy... teach others... to translate it in the light of current social norms... and with cultural sensitivity... 

In this moment... today... He brings back to mind the power of His Word... to calm... still... and bring peace...

The world may reject His Way... denominations may alter its meaning... but not me...

I will allow His Word... to transform me... but I will not alter His Word...

I know... it is a solid place to land... the only place to find firm footing... and truth...

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children---
with those who keep his covenant 
and remember to obey his precepts.
Psalm 103:15-18

Reminded anew... afresh... of the power... of His Word...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

how strong is He...?

How strong is He...?
The earth's weight has been estimated at six sextillion tons (that's a six with 21 zeros). Yet it is perfectly balanced and turns easily on its axis. It revolves daily at the rate of more than 1,000 miles per hour or 25,000 miles each day. This adds up to nine million miles a year. Considering the tremendous weight of six sextillion tons rolling at this fantastic speed around an invisible axis, held in place by unseen bands of gravitation, the words of Job 26:7 take on unparalleled significance: "He poised the earth on nothingness."
The earth revolves in its own orbit around the sun, making the long elliptical circuit of six hundred million miles each year --- which means we are traveling in orbit at 19 miles per second or 1,140 miles per hour.
Job further invites us to meditate on "the wonders of God" (37:14). Consider the sun. Every square yard of the sun's surface is emitting constantly an energy level of 130,000 horsepower (that is, approximately 450 eight-cylinder automobile engines), in flames that are being produced by an energy source much more powerful than coal.
The nine major planets in our solar system range in distance from the sun from 36 million to about 3 trillion, 6,664 billion miles; yet each moves around the sun in exact precision, with orbits ranging from 88 days for Mercury to 248 years for Pluto.
Still, the sun is only one minor star in the 100 billion orbs which comprise our Milky Way galaxy. If you were to hold out a dime, a ten-cent piece, at arm's length, the coin would block out 15 million stars from your view, if your eyes could see with that power.
When we attempt to comprehend the almost countless stars and other heavenly bodies in the Milky Way alone, we resonate to Isaiah's paean of praise to the all-powerful Creator: "Lift up your eyes and look. Who made these stars if not he who drills them like an army, calling each one by name? So mighty is his power, so great his strength, that not one fails to answer" (40:26). 
--- Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel 
How strong... is... He...?

Strong enough... to hold all things... together...

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



This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                  Exodus 8
Tuesday                  Exodus 9
Wednesday            Exodus 10-11
Thursday                Exodus 12
Friday                     Exodus 13-14

Friday, May 9, 2014

today... He tells me He's strong...

Sitting outside...warm breeze swirling... sun shining between storms... I feel the weight... of one facing a current loss... an unexpected loss... and the weight of my own sorrows...

I begin to praise Him... as fresh... and I sense Him say...

Today... praise Me as strong...

And I do... a praise song comes to mind...

Our God is greater... our God is stronger...
God You are higher than any other...

Thoughts go to Exodus... the next book on The Journey... the one begun this week...

God displays His great strength to both His people... and His enemies...

But in the beginning... the Israelites... wrought with impatience... discouragement... and cruel bondage... doubt God... and persecute Moses...

Accordingly, say to the Israelites, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will free you from their bondage, and I will rescue you...
...
Moses told this to the Israelites, but they refused to listen to Moses because of their impatience and anguish of spirit and because of their cruel bondage.
Exodus 6:6, 9 Amp

They did not yet know His strength... His power...

For hundreds of years... they had only known Pharaoh's oppressive strength... which he exerted even more after Moses told Pharaoh... Thus says the Lord... Let My people go...

And I consider... if they had stayed in their initial stance of worship... when Moses first delivered the message... and the signs God had given him...

Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the Israelites, and that He had looked [in compassion] upon their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.
Exodus 5:30-31 Amp

...and if... they had recognized the strength He poured into them... making them into a nation... while enslaved as a people...

Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply more... So they set over [the Israelites] taskmasters to afflict and oppress them with [increased] burdens. ... But the more [the Egyptians] oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that [the Egyptians] were vexed and alarmed because of the Israelites. And the Epyptians reduced them to severe slavery.
Exodus 1:10-13 Amp

...surely they could have seen His strength... sensed His power... and been encouraged...

Praising Him as strong... the weight of sorrow lifts... the heart lightens... and hope shines... as warm as the sun... between storms...


God You are greater than any other...
I praise You as strong...

Do you need to see His strength in your life today...?
Praise Him...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

He is fresh...

Fresh...

When the word came to mind... as an attribute of praise... I wondered... Is it true...? Are You fresh...?

Going straight to Webster's... I found the definition...
fresh... adjective... 1 a: having its original qualities unimpaired: as (1): full of or renewed in vigor... (2): not stale, sour, or decayed... (3): not faded... (4): not worn or rumpled... b: not altered by processing... 2 ... b (1): free from taint: pure
Yes... I had to agree... He fits the definition of fresh... but to find a Word reflecting this truth... I began to search...

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

His steadfast... unfailing... love... never ceases... it is always fresh... having its original qualities unimpaired... not stale, sour, or decayed... not faded... not worn or rumpled... not altered by processing... pure...

His mercies...? Fresh as the beginning of each new day... having its original qualities unimpaired... not stale, sour, decayed... not faded... not worn or rumpled... not altered... free from taint...

This idea of God always fresh... begins to sink in... an attribute I need to remember... take hold of... as I begin to feel worn... rumpled... with all that has me out of sorts...

Fresh... brings to mind words like... crisp... clean...

When one is fresh... they are ready to face anything...! never out of sorts...

My God is fresh... never worn or weary... always ready with fresh love... wisdom... mercy... grace... compassion... energy... never at His wits end...

And His Word...? Fresh as the day it was spoken... eternal in its nature... timeless... it does not need be altered to face this day...

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
Psalm 102:25-27 ESV

The Creator... He is as fresh as the day of creation... while His creation wears... and tears... at the effects of sin...

His holiness... pure... untainted... keeps Him fresh... unimpaired... full of vigor... not stale, sour, decayed... not faded, worn or rumpled... not altered by processing...

Waiting on Him... has just become easier... with this picture of Him... as fresh...

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

I praise You Lord as fresh... in all Your attributes...
fresh to take on whatever comes...
ready to offer fresh mercy... grace... compassion...
and love... ready to re-fresh... those who are weary...
ready with Your Word... with fresh wisdom...
and understanding... Lord... You are fresh...

What about you...? Where do you need to see Him as fresh in your life...?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

feeling out of sorts...

Too many things... not quite right... leave me feeling... out of sorts...

Standing in His shadow... resting in His power... trusting in His way...

The one who lives under the protection of the Most High
dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Psalm 91:1-2 HCSB

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

an observation about fasting...

Struggling to enter a day of fasting... led to an observation...

On my treadmill... while reading about Christ revealed in Zephaniah...

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
"Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save; 
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:14-17 ESV

...a memory came to mind... how often... and how easily... I used to fast...

In my youth... late teens... early twenties... I was a borderline practicing anorexic... going three days... without any significant food... for the sake of my flesh... and how it would look in a bikini... a pre-beach routine... which was almost a weekly event in summer months...

In contrast... this call... to fast for Him... for the sake of His Church... and my spirit... involved a real battle...

And I see... how the enemy loved when I fasted for my flesh... feeding what leads to death and corruption...

For the one who sows to his own flesh 
will from the flesh reap corruption...
Galatians 6:8 ESV

But to fast for the Spirit... sow to eternal life... the enemy tempts... taunts... confuses...

Yes... fasting for Him can be a struggle... but I chose to suffer in the flesh... and follow Him...

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,
arm yourselves with the same way of thinking,
for whoever has suffered in the flesh
has ceased from sin, so as to live for 
the rest of the time in the flesh
no longer for human passions
but for the will of God.
1 Peter 4:1-2 ESV

He is in my midst... I will not grow weak... I choose His rejoicing... over my flesh...

And... He will not allow me to be tempted... beyond what I can bear...

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted
beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also
provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

How about you?
Are there spiritual disciplines you are called to... similar to a secular discipline (i.e. studying, serving, etc.)...? When you do it for Him... is it more difficult than doing it for self...?
Do you allow the enemy to win the battle...?

Lord Jesus... continue to open my eyes to the magnitude of the gospel... and what it means to me and the world... Remind me of Your presence with me... provide the strength and the vision... to serve You alone... and not flesh...

Monday, May 5, 2014

filling a hunger...

Jesus answered, "It is written:
'Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Matthew 4:4

There is only one way to live full and it is "by every word that comes from the mouth of God."
---Ann Voskamp, "Dark Grace", in One Thousand Gifts Devotional
And who doesn't want to live full...? Isn't that what we all long for...? satisfaction...? acceptance...? fullness...?

There is only... one... way... to fill the hunger...

"...I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full. ..." --- Jesus
John 10:10

Living His Way... by His Word... His logic... a life is satisfied... filled...

When your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my heart's delight,
for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.
Jeremiah 15:16 NIV

Sunday, May 4, 2014

hungry...

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. ..."
John 21:17

hungry... adjective... 1 a: feeling hunger... 2 a: eager, avid... b: strongly motivated... 3 not rich or fertile: barren
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition)

Jesus's sheep... are hungry... for His Word...

Some may not even know... what they are hungry for... don't know what's lacking... what's needed to satisfy...

I see it... in those with whom I gather on Sunday... journeying... through His Word...

Eager... avid... strongly motivated... even through the book of Job...

Enriching lives... feeding His sheep... with His Word...

What a privilege... 

What a joy...

What a blessing...


This week's reading for The Journey...
Monday                   Exodus 1:1 - 2:10
Tuesday                   Exodus 2:11 - 3:22
Wednesday              Exodus 4
Thursday                  Exodus 5:1 - 6:13
Friday                      Exodus 6:14 - 7:25

Friday, May 2, 2014

all have died... including you...

This morning's Bonhoeffer...
In the incarnation, God's becoming human, we know the love of God for his creation; in the crucifixion we know the judgment of God on all flesh; in the resurrection we know the will of God for a new world.
---Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I Want to Live These Days with You
Crucifixion... God's judgment on all flesh...

...we have concluded this:
that one has died for all, therefore all have died...
2 Corinthians 5:14 ESV

And I see it... all flesh is dead... therefore to operate out of our flesh... makes the way for corruption... decay... because that's what dead flesh does... disintegrates... in a very foul way...

For the one who sows to his own flesh
will from the flesh reap corruption,
but the one who sows to the Spirit
will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:8 ESV

So why... as Believers... do we continue... to let flesh... lead... and drive... our decisions... choices... thinking...?

Because... we forget... God is God... and we are not...
People believe a lie over the truth of God (Rom. 1:25). What's the lie? This fallen nature in us believes that we're smarter than God. I've never met anyone who will say that, but I've met hundreds of people who live like that: "I'm smarter than God."
---Matt Chandler, "Youth", in The Scriptures Testify about Me
When we choose... to use our own reasoning... or agree with human wisdom... philosophy... understanding... science... over the Word... His Word... we are saying... I'm smarter than God... He's just wrong here...

This is not a place I want to go... fear of the Lord... takes hold of my heart... spirit... at this point... and this... is the beginning of wisdom...

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7 ESV

Fools... despise... His Word... His commands... His instruction...
God says, "Remember my law because if you remember my law and practice my law you will see how great and beautiful and amazing I am and how much I love you and how much I am trying to lead you into how I designed things to work for the glory of my name and your ultimate joy."
---Matt Chandler, "Youth", in The Scriptures Testify about Me 
Recognize... where you are living from flesh... choosing corruption... decay... over life... joy... peace...

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.
Hosea 14:9 ESV

Thursday, May 1, 2014

when darkness presses...

Too often... when darkness presses... attempts to take ground... the church retreats... allowing emotion... fear... anger... offense... to rule the day...

Those who know Him... need to listen to Him... and not their own heart... emotions... ego...

He says...

Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 ESV

When darkness presses... submission to His sovereignty... and resistance to the devil... are the order of the day...

First... submission to His sovereignty includes acknowledging that He is sovereign... nothing happens... without His say... nothing...

Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Lamentations 3:37-38 ESV

Submission to His sovereignty... includes trusting... His plan... His purpose... in whatever situation... circumstance... crisis...

And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 ESV

Second... resistance to the devil... includes standing firm... in His mighty armor... strength... and power...

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand
against the schemes of the devil.
Ephesians 6:10-11

Resistance includes... contending for the faith... by rooting deep in Him... praying in the Spirit... abiding in His love... waiting for His mercy...

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 20-21 ESV

Submit to Him... the Way... Truth... Light...

Resist... the darkness... stand firm... 

Let mercy... peace... and love... multiply in you...

Remember... in Him... It is finished... 

Darkness and the destruction of its power... already determined... 

Do not let flesh... stir you to respond with flesh... 

For the one who sows to his own flesh
will from the flesh reap corruption,
but the one who sows to the Spirit
will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:8 ESV

Trust the Spirit... the one that is Holy... walk with Him...

Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything,
to stand.
Ephesians 6:13 NIV