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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 48... and worldview...

This past week ended Judges... and began Matthew...

An ending with... In those days there was no king... every man did what was right in his own eyes... to a beginning with wise men asking... Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews...?

A day with no king... to the birth of the new King...

Shifting... from seeing things from our own worldview... to seeing things from His Worldview...

How we see... establishes... how we live...

The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound,
your entire body will be full of light.
But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened,
how dense is that darkness!
Matthew 6:22-23 Amp

The eye... the lamp of the body... refers to our worldview... how we perceive the world...

Old Testament scripture bears this out...

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.
Proverbs 22:9 ESV

A bountiful eye... sees no scarcity... God is trustworthy to provide all needs... therefore... there is no need to be stingy... open-handed is the rule of the one with this worldview...

Metaphorically... light... means understanding... knowledge... darkness... implies misunderstanding... ignorance...

Jesus... He is the Light of the world...
He is the source of understanding... knowledge... insight...

...the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.
Matthew 4:16 

He tells His people... You are the light of the world...

If we are to be light... in a dark world... we must learn to see the world as He does...

So He tells us... in regard to life...

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom
and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right),
and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.
Matthew 6:33 Amp

Turn your eyes... toward His kingdom...!

Change your worldview... see things His Way...

Learn more about His view of things... join The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday             Matthew 7:1 - 8:13
Tuesday             Matthew 8:14 - 9:17
Wednesday        Matthew 9:18 - 10:15
Thursday            Matthew 10:16 - 11:19
Friday                Matthew 11:20 - 12:32

Friday, November 28, 2014

planting trust...

When I asked if they had any pansies left she said... Yes... but they don't have much color on them right now...

I said... That's OK... grabbed a wagon and headed to the greenhouses she numbered off...

And Yes... she was right... not much color...

Some older plants... had few blooms... I gathered a couple of flats... with the colors I wanted...

Then... I saw flats of new plants... healthy... green... but no blooms... no color...

Looking at the tag... I saw what I wanted... multicolor clear blooms...

So I put back the others... and took four with absolutely no color... except for the tiny pictures...

Back home... in the garden... the words came to mind... planting trust...




Trusting the tag...
trusting the picture...
trusting future growth...
trusting color to come...
I planted...




Wednesday... I planted trust... on top of hope...

And I see how this is like prayer... a planting of hope... and trust...

Taking time... and energy...
Reaching out to the unseen... unheard... with words... requests... questions...
Hoping He hears... responds... works... forgives...
Trusting His presence... sovereignty... love... grace...

Exercising prayer... like planting a garden...
waiting for hope to spring forth...
and trust to prove worthy...

"... have regard to the prayer of  your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, that your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers...
2 Chronicles 6:19-20 ESV

Thursday, November 27, 2014

giving thanks... for those who've gone before...

I started a book this week... The Pilgrim Chronicles...

Reminded afresh... the pilgrims made the way for freedom... religious... and otherwise...

Because of them... we can freely be... followers of Him...

And I finished a book this week... Unbroken... the story of Louis Zamparini... and World War II...

Reminded afresh... of those who fought for freedom... and His presence... in and through...

Because of their sacrifice... and willingness to fight evil... freedom remains...

Because of those who've gone before... I am thank-full...

A truth of His comes to mind...

For you were called to freedom, brothers.
Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:13 ESV

His freedom... inspires... love... service... sacrifice...

Today... giving thanks... for those who've gone before...
their love... service... sacrifice...
and hoping... I might do the same...

Father God... thank You for all who've gone before... in Your Way...
making the way for me... to know You...
Help me... to follow You... in true freedom...
Thank You... Thank You... Thank You...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

the challenge of... asking to hear...

The challenge of... asking to hear Him more clearly... is an exercise of faith...

In the wee dark hours of this morning... I'm reminded of a quote I read this week...
What God asks of men, said Graham, is faith. His invisibility is the truest test of that faith. To know who sees him, God makes himself unseen.
---Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken, quoting Billy Graham
But... He not only makes Himself unseen... He turns His volume down... and the background noise up...

So perhaps... to know who hears Him... He makes Himself unheard...

Dare you believe He's speaking...? every moment... of every day...? with words of love...? guidance...? direction...? wisdom...?

If you want to hear... you have to listen... by faith...

Willingly... I embrace the challenge... of listening... hearing... His voice which now seems quieter... hidden somewhere behind the noise of life...

Because... I don't want to miss a Word... He has for me... I will stop... listen... wait... and learn to filter... discern... Him... from all the rest...

What about you...? When He seems quiet... silent...? Do you stop listening because you think He's stopped talking...? Or do you believe... He's asking you to exercise your faith...?


And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. ... And behold, there came a voice...
1Kings 19:11-13 ESV

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

when you realize you asked for it...

What do you do... when you realize... your asked for it...?

In the challenge of hearing Him... I realized I asked for it... by praying...

Lord... help me to hear You...
Help me... to stop... listen... wait...
I long for more of You... and less... of... me...

Yes... I prayed this last week... recorded it here...
and now realize... He's blessing me with opportunities...
to stop... listen... wait...

The challenge of hearing Him in the new... is an exercise... a spiritual discipline... to tune into Him more...

So what do you do... when you realize you asked for it...?

Thank Him...

Lord Jesus... Father God... Holy Spirit...
thank You for the challenge... of listening...
in new places... and the blessing... of the challenge...
of answered... prayer...

Monday, November 24, 2014

planting... hope...

Saturday... I did something I don't do very often...
Maybe three... four... times... in the last twenty-five years...
I planted hope...




Every planting... of a seed... a bulb... requires... hope...

Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
Romans 8:24 ESV

I see the bulbs...
I see the picture on the box...
But what I see after planting...?




Nothing... but dirt... and... mess...

I think about farmers... as I plant...

What if my whole livelihood... was dependent... on what I buried...?
How much hope... is needed... to plant dead seeds... in hopes of crops...? to support families...?

It's hard enough for me to get it together to plant bulbs... which I love to see in the Spring...

It doesn't happen every year... because... sometimes... it's just not worth the wait... or the what-if's...

What if they don't grow...?
what if this is a waste... of time... energy...?
what if...?

Hope... it's like that...

To live by it...
speak it into someone else's life...
depend on it...
requires... patience...

But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:25 ESV

There is no immediate gratification... when it comes to... planting... hope...

I look at the pumpkins... gracing my front door...




...and consider the hope... planted by farmers... who grew these orange globes...

Hope... in dried up seeds...
planted... in the dark...
beneath... the ground...

Bursting into produce... to sell...
and begin the cycle... again...

So I'm inspired... to wait... and hope...
not only on tulip bulbs...
but Him...

And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out his love
into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,
whom he has given us.
Romans 5:5

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 47... and chosen...

Last week's readings... brought us to the story of Samson... chosen from before conception... to be a judge... a defender of Israel...

Samson's coming birth announced by the Angel of the Lord to his mother... a barren woman... who was told she would have a son... and he would be a Nazarite from the beginning...

I see God as the One who chooses people... before they are...

And I wonder... What shall I do...? in response... to this aspect of His character...?

The answer that comes to mind... Live as chosen...

What does it mean...? to live as one who is chosen...?

To be chosen implies value... worth... purpose...

The life of someone who knows they are chosen... should be one of confidence... surety... of being accepted...

Maybe even a desire to live up to... the designation of... chosen...

I look at my life... and I'm pretty sure I don't live with this attitude...

I certainly don't feel... chosen... valued... worthy...

What about you...? What would it mean... to live as... chosen...?

In Him... we are chosen... from the beginning...

... because from the beginning God chose you
to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit
and through belief in the truth.
2Thessalonians 2:13

So... I will begin to consider... myself... chosen... and... see what changes it might bring...

Are you pursuing transformation through His Word...?
Join The Journey... yourself...

This week's readings... finish up Judges... and begin... Matthew...
Monday                Judges 21
Tuesday                Matthew 1-2
Wednesday           Matthew 3-4
Thursday               Matthew 5
Friday                   Matthew 6

Friday, November 21, 2014

His grace abounds...

His grace abounds...
I see it in...
restful sleep...
new insights into His Word...
Bible study with beautiful ladies...
forgiveness...
unexpected opportunities to witness... regarding revelation... and healing...
goose-bumps...
prayer...
smiles...
embroidery machines...
hot chicken soup...
guacamole... and chips...
rain that drizzles...
coats...
ribbons...
work...
friends...
family...
groceries...
faith...
phones...
and ending a day with joy...
just to name a few...

Where did you see His grace abound... today...?

...God is able to make all grace abound to you...
2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV

Thursday, November 20, 2014

it's not time...

The thought comes to mind... regarding His call... Maybe... it's time to back off of this one... It's getting hard...

And within moments of this thought... I'm talking not ten minutes... I receive an encouragement in the exact thing I'm thinking about backing off of...

After a thanks given... I pick up a book... reading where I left off...
It sounds like a lot of work, but growth takes work. Salvation is free, but maturity comes with a price.
---Gary L. Thomas, Seeking the Face of God
It's as if He's speaking directly to my heart... It's not time to back off... I know it's hard... It's time to grow to new levels...

I'm willing...  but Oh... my flesh... it's tired...

 The spirit indeed is willing,
but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41 ESV

And the verse from yesterday haunts... in its entirety... the one regarding eternal life...

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life
to which you were called and about which you made the good
confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1Timothy 6:12 ESV

So Yes... here I sit... 
pressing on...
fighting...
taking hold...
trusting...
hearing Him say... It's not time...
Amen...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

slowing time...

At the end of another full day...
trying to learn to hear Him in the new...
I ask...

Who are You... today...?

Then it catches my eye...
amidst the clutter... and piles...




Slowing Time

And I hear Him say... Eternal...
eternal... adjective... 1 a: having infinite duration: everlasting... b: of or relating to eternity c: characterized by abiding fellowship with God... 2 a: continued without intermission: perpetual... b: seemingly endless... 4: valid or existing at all times: timeless
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.) 
In looking back... on today...
and preparing... for tomorrow...
He is... Eternal...

...infinite... abiding fellowship... continued... timeless...

No matter how busy... or packed... a day may seem...

No matter how limited... time... may appear...

In Him... we are time-less...

He is not bound by time... 

Eternity at His fingertips... time constraints... disappear...

Living life... abiding in Him... ensures... what He calls us to do... will get done...

Time slows... in His presence... when it has no bounds...

Today... I caught glimpses of it... wondering how so much came about...

Tomorrow... counting on His presence... and provision... in slowing... time... when things... feel pressed...

Take hold of the eternal life
to which you were called...
1 Timothy 6:12 ESV

Taking hold... and trusting... the eternal life... in Him...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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

Waking grumpy and achy... 
I find comfort... hope... joy... in Him... 
the One who calls things that are not... as though they were...

... the God who gives life to the dead
and calls things that are not as though they were.
Romans 4:17

I hear this truth... echoing through the Beatitudes...

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven...."
Matthew 5:3-10

None of this feels... blessed...
lowly spirits...
mourning losses...
being overpowered...
hungry for justice...
caring for the sick... brokenhearted... wounded...
dealing with conflict...
persecution...

No... none of these things bring happiness... in the here... now...

But He says...

Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth I tell you of them.
Isaiah 42:9 ESV

The former gone... new things spring forth...
He calls things that are not... as though they were...
He knows what He has planned...
His Word does not return void...

Yes... on a day that began grumpy... and achy...
somewhere along the way... I find... joy...
because... what He says is... 
even when it doesn't feel like it...
it will be...

Amen...

Monday, November 17, 2014

too much... of me...

Lately... I feel like there's too much... of me...

Trying to listen for Him... but I keep interrupting...

My thoughts... crowding out His quiet voice... the One that won't break a bruised reed... or snuff out the last spark...

But me... I just barrel through... finishing His thoughts... with my own words...

And I realize... hear... feel... the difference... and I have to stop...
confess...
repent...
apologize...

I long to hear Him... not me...

There's just too much... of me... still... in thought... word... deed...

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

Lord... help me to hear You... 
Help me... to stop... listen... wait...
I long for more of You... and less... of... me...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 46... and the basic building block of the church...

This week in Judges... over and over... we saw family dysfunction... dividing God's people...

Husbands with multiple wives... and children with prostitutes... sibling rivalry... leading to murder... jealousy... the break down of communities...

We saw the breakdown of a country's stability... and the unrelenting spiritual attack on family...

Sixty-nine of Gideon's legitimate sons... murdered by the one illegitimate... 

The son of a prostitute... Jephthah... an outcast warrior... called back to be leader of the community... Even with the Spirit of the Lord upon him... he doubted and made a foolish vow to the Lord... resulting in the sacrifice of his one and only child... a daughter... 
 
Why... does the enemy fight so hard... against family...? beginning with husband and wife...?

Because... family is the basic building block of the church...

Jesus described His relationship with the church as husband and wife...

The most sacred of all human relationships... two becoming one... multiplying...

"...For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I among them." --- Jesus
Matthew 18:20 ESV

This is the picture... each family... a church...

The enemy attacks marriages... families... creating division... discontent... dissension... tearing His people apart...

Oh... how important... our families are to Him...

Marriage should be honored by all,
and the marriage bed kept pure...
Hebrews 13:4 NIV

"...they are no longer two but one flesh.
What therefore God has joined together,
let no man separate." --- Jesus
Matthew 19:6 ESV

The breakdown of families... leads to breakdown of His church...

The Israelites... really just one big family... tribes... descended from Abraham... the father of faith...

Maintaining unity in families... essential to the health and well-being of His church...

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.
It is like precious oil on the head, running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forever more.
Psalm 133 ESV

Unity among brothers... like the anointing of the first high priest... the establishing of the church...

Find out more about His people... join The Journey...
This week's readings...
Monday                       Judges 13-14
Tuesday                       Judges 15:1 - 16:22
Wednesday                  Judges 16:23 - 18:31
Thursday                     Judges 19
Friday                          Judges 20

Friday, November 14, 2014

another full day...

Another full day...
full of joy... joy... joy...

Another day full of His faithfulness...

Another sunrise... 

Another sunset...

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

I know this week... may be sounding redundant...

But... there is something about... recognizing... the joy of creation... written continuously around the world... through sunrises... and sunsets...

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
Psalm 19:1-2

A wonder happening for each of us... 
twice a day... 
a contagious joy...


Related fare...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

full...

Full days...
full weeks...
full life...
makes me wonder how it all gets done...

The business of new... has changed the rhythm of life...

Before... many of my days were quiet... filled with solitude...

Now... each day full... of people... and activity...

A different rhythm... one that feels... full...

I find the sunrise... and sunset... anchors in my day...

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

A reminder... of the joy of His presence...

A reminder... sunset is not an end... but the coming out of an evening...

Full days...
full evenings...
new rhythms...
working to keep centered... on Him...

... in him all things hold together...
Colossians 1:17 ESV

And why... I suppose... I continue to return... to Psalm 65:8... and the joyful language of each sunrise... and sunset...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

another day...

Another day...
sun coming up...
evening coming out...

A thought lingers... from something I heard on Monday...
Do we paint the sunrises or the sunsets that come up every day? No, they don't just come up every day, they come up every minute somewhere in the world...
---John Piper, God Works for Those Who Wait for Him
Sunrises... sunsets... always happening somewhere in the world...

All coming out with joy... because of Him...

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

This thought... of joy... wrapping the earth... every 24 hours... painted in colors of pink... purple... gold... and blue...  is just too much...

I want that joy... with each getting up... and going out... no matter where... or when...

I'm coming and going... all day long... several times a day... and I long to do it with shouts of joy... 

Lord... make my comings... and goings...
to happen with shouts of joy...
just because... of who You are...

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 ESV

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

just another ordinary day...

Just another ordinary day...

The sun came up... and the evening came out...

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

Just another ordinary day... overflowing with His grace...

"...For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good,
and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. ..."
---Jesus
Matthew 5:45 ESV

Yes... just another ordinary day...

Amen...!

Monday, November 10, 2014

revelation... around a campfire...

Large rocks... piled around a campfire... burgers cooking... flames sizzling...

Husband cooking... 

I ask... Are those rocks hot...? Are they warm on the outside...?

He tests... with a touch... No... it takes a long time for a rock to heat up...

And I see it... hear it...

He is our Rock...

...my God the rock of my refuge.
Psalm 94:20 ESV

Slow to anger... abounding in love...

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 103:8 ESV

Yes... it takes a long time for the Rock... to heat up...

Grateful that He is the Rock... through and through...
Steadfast...
Immovable...
Unchanging...
Slow to heat up...!

Amen...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 45... and the importance of a generation...

The beginning of Judges... a sobering book... when it comes to holding on... to the Promised Land...

Wholehearted devotion required... to remove the strongholds of the enemy...

A feat the Israelites were unable to accomplish...

Even though God said they could... they didn't...

They allowed the enemy a foothold... among every tribe... in the Promised Land...

These footholds... became sources of temptation... God's people intermarrying with pagans... leading to worship of false gods... and forgetfulness of The Lord...

As those who knew God died off... a new generation came to be...

...and there arose another generation after them
who did not know (recognize, understand) the Lord,
or even the work which He had done for Israel.
Judges 2:10 Amp

And I wonder... How does this happen...?

Who failed to teach...? parents...? grandparents...? priests...? or were these just an unteachable... rebellious... bunch of people...?

Those with firsthand experience died off... without passing on His reality... to those coming up behind them...

...there arose another generation... who did not know...

I see it happening... again... today...
a forgetting of who He is...
what He's done...

It only takes one generation... for the church to forget...

Each generation... each individual... needs their own... personal experience... with Him...

I can hear him now... a dear friend who's gone to be with the Lord... he used to say...

God has no grandchildren...

Each one of us... must be born in the Spirit... anew... into His Kingdom... born... His child...

Our children... grandchildren... cannot live on our faith... they must have their own...

What are you doing... to make sure... the next generation knows... recognizes... understands... Him...?

Have you... yourself... experienced firsthand... His works...?
His wonders...?
Do you have a testimony to share...?
Are you a witness to His reality...?

The heart of the next generation... depends on the passion... and diligence... of the one before it... to know... recognize... understand... Him...

Because when we know... we can't help but share...

Care for the church... build His Kingdom... remember the importance of a generation...

Continuing The Journey... through Judges...
This week's readings...
Monday             Judges 7:1 - 8:21
Tuesday             Judges 8:22 - 9:21
Wednesday        Judges 9:22-57
Thursday            Judges 10:1 - 11:28
Friday                Judges 11:29 - 12:15

Friday, November 7, 2014

first step... in a grace challenge...

Woke at 3:30 am with the stark realization I had led someone astray...

Answered a question completely wrong...

A question to which I had the answer right in front of my face...!

A question... when answered incorrectly... could cause irreparable damage...

Yet for some reason... at the time... I chose to lean on my own understanding... rather than trust what was before me...

The first step in the challenge... of offering grace to difficult people... is to recognize our own deep need for grace... and our own capacity to cause difficulty in the life of others...

A grace story... gives a picture of how we are to accept... and deal with... grace...
When I was in seminary, one fellow who struggled with academics --- I mean really struggled --- was grateful just to get through school. I can still remember going to the mailroom where everybody got their tests back. ... He would quietly open his box, pull out his test booklet, and before he ever looked at his grade, he wrote in big bold letters across the front of the test "GRACE." If he did poorly: "Grace." If he did well: "Grace.!" If he passed, that was sufficient: "Grace!" I learned a valuable lesson from my friend. That's all any of us have to claim.
---Charles R. Swindol, The Grace Awakening

Today... writing GRACE across me... and hopefully everyone else who crosses my path...

...where sin increased,
grace abounded all the more...
Romans 5:20 ESV

Thursday, November 6, 2014

a grace challenge...

I find myself facing a grace challenge...

...where sin increased,
grace abounded all the more...
Romans 5:20 ESV

And I wonder... when dealing with difficult people... how do we reveal Him... by pouring out more grace... than the sin poured out on us...?

What does it look like...?

How is it done...?

Listening... waiting... for Him to reveal...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

in the midst... a firm Foundation...

This morning... in the midst... of death... life... politics... hopes... dreams... the refrain of a hymn rings clear...

My hope is built on nothing less 
than Jesus's blood and righteousness...
On Christ the solid Rock I stand...
 all other ground is sinking sand...
all other ground is sinking sand...

Reminded that He alone... is a firm Foundation...
a sure place to stand... to weather any storm...

He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
Isaiah 33:6


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

death... ugh...!

Death... ugh...
it struck again...
quickly... unexpected...
I hate it...!

But in the midst...
I hear Him...

Truly, truly, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 12:24 ESV

He died... Himself... 
that we might live...
be His fruit... 
bear more fruit...

And he is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in everything he might be preeminent.
Colossians 1:18 ESV

And in the midst...
I praise and trust His sovereignty...

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

I praise Him for His power...

What the enemy intends for evil...
He intends for good... and the saving of many lives...

Still... death... 
UGH...
I hate it...!

But so grateful... for what He does with it...
and that the one who died...
still lives...

He broke the power of death and illuminated
the way to life and immortality through the Good News.
2Timothy 1:10 NLT

Yet... those left behind...
desperately... need Your grace...

Father God... I pray for those who have suffered a great and unexpected loss... cover them with Your grace... carry them in Your arms... surround them with Your unfailing love...
Provide the way... for those traveling... smooth out any rough places... flood them with Your inexplicable peace... and comfort...
Thank You... Lord... thank You...
You are great... You are good...

Monday, November 3, 2014

do you know this love...?

A hymn from Sunday worship...
a partial stanza...
caught my attention...

...love so amazing
love so divine
demands my soul,
my life, my all...

A love so amazing... it demands... soul... life... all...

Do you know this love...?

This is the love... that makes disciples...

This is the love... that inspires one... to take his cross... and follow...

This is the love... that gives us eyes to see... past ourselves... 

An amazing love...

This is love: not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son
as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Do you know this love...?

I've had a glimpse... 
a sight with which He captured my heart...
compelling me... 
to follow Him...
give Him... as best I can...
my life...
my soul...
my all...

Do you know... this... love...?


Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 44... and a command to choose...

This past week... The Journey completed Joshua...

Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land... and God fulfilled all His promises to the Israelites...

There failed no part of any good thing which the Lord had promised
to the house of Israel; all came to pass.
Joshua 21:45 Amp

He kept His part of the covenant... it was now in their hands...

Joshua... conveys his final message from God to the people... reminding them of their history with Him... from Abraham... up to this point of rest... and fulfilled promise...

And Joshua says...

Now therefore, [reverently] fear the Lord and serve Him 
in sincerity and in truth; put away the gods which your fathers
served on the other side of the [Euphrates] River and in Egypt,
and serve the Lord. 
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord,
choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods which your fathers served
on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites,
in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house,
we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:14-15 Amp
(emphasis added)

We were created to serve... if we ever believe we are an independent agent... we are deceived...

We are either ruled by the prince of this world... the enemy... via our sin nature... or... we are ruled... by the Prince of Peace... via the Holy Spirit...

... choose for yourselves this day... whom you will serve...

A command... to make a conscious choice... 

A choice we most likely need to reaffirm each day... even before our feet hit the floor...

Who will you serve...?

If you choose to join The Journey as we move into Judges... here are this week's readings...
Monday                    Judges 1
Tuesday                    Judges 2:1 - 3:6
Wednesday              Judges 3:7 - 4:24
Thursday                   Judges 5
Friday                       Judges 6