Develope a Palate

Develope a Palate
Daily intake of the Word nourishes the Spirit. Jeremiah's Menu is an exercise in recognizing God's Word made flesh in and around me. Eating the Word in a way that supplies the spiritual nutrients needed to grow. The Menu is offered with the hope of inspiring you to taste and see that the Lord is good. Bon Appetite!

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Quote Du Jour

Quote du Jour
Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all feel alike, we can all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. At the table of fellowship with Jesus we are one bread and one cup. As the loving cup goes round we pledge one another heartily therein. Get nearer to Jesus, and you will find yourself linked more and more in spirit to all who are like yourself, supported by the same heavenly manna. ---Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Friday, January 30, 2015

He sings over us... too...

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 3:17 ESV

He not only speaks over us... He also sings...

What did you hear Him speak... sing... over you today...?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

daycare ladies... babies... creation... and Him...

This morning... lovely daycare ladies... strolled babies around... and... around... and... around...

They talked... of God and His ways... of our eternal home with Him... of dealing with sorrow... of family joys... and funny stories...

Laughing and strolling... talking to one another... while they pushed the babies... only little babblers... unable to understand... or... enter into the discussion...

But I thought... What blessed babies... to have such words... spoken over them... around them... at such a young age...

And I considered Him...

How He speaks over us... before we know... or comprehend... who He is...

Before we are able... to enter into conversation with Him...

His faithfulness resounding... through the cycle of seasons... making the way... for planting... and harvest...

Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Psalm 85:11 ESV

His grace... with the waking of each new day... bringing forth new mercies...

Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 3:23 NLT

Because of Him... sunsets... sunrises... bring out morning and evening... with joy...

From where the sun rises to where it sets,
you inspire shouts of joy.
Psalm 65:8 NLT

He speaks beauty... grace... love... over each of us... through creation...

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

How gracious He is... to surround us in signs and wonders of His love... even when we are oblivious...

Hoping to grab out attention...
waiting for the moment... 
when we enter into conversation... with Him...

From one man he made every nation of men,
that they should inhabit the whole earth;
and he determined the times set for them
and the exact places where they should live.
God did this so that men would seek him
and perhaps reach out for him and find him,
though he is not far from each one of us.
Acts 17:26-27

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

He determines the steps...

The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 ESV

A man sets in his heart... plans... for the day... week... month... year... life...

But God... determines the steps...

When things go smoothly... and goals are met... praise Him... He made it possible...

When things go wrong... difficulties... challenges... mishaps... pave the way... goals delayed... or unmet... praise Him... He established each step...

Praising Him... at the end of a day... when expectations... goals... plans... did not quite turn out as expected...

Trusting Him... to use it for good...

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

Amen...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

craziness...

Following Jesus... looks like craziness to the world...

Unbelievers see His disciples as... turning the world upside down... 

They say what we believe is... madness...

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV

Paul sharing his faith before King Agrippa... was interrupted by the governor...

And as he thus proceeded with his defense,
Festus called out loudly, Paul, you are mad!
Your great learning is driving you insane!
Acts 26:24 Amp

Paul's words to the Corinthians... We are fools for Christ's sake... reflect this understanding...

And I'm reminded... and hear the words of Proverbs... again...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 ESV

If it seems like a reasonable choice... you might want to double-check...

Take time to pray...

Is it His Way...? or the world's way...?

His Word warns...

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy 
and empty deceit, according to human tradition,
 according to the elemental spirits of the world,
and not according to Christ.
Colossians 2:8 ESV

Following Christ looks crazy... to those who do not know Him...

And in this flesh... sometimes it feels crazy... when we do trust and obey...

Have you felt crazy lately...? following Him...? instead of the world...?

Father God... bless me with the faith... to boldly obey...
even when it feels... like... craziness..

Monday, January 26, 2015

the joy of knowing... He's the Rock...

I've had some joy today... in a day filled with many and varied things...

Some things accomplished... some still undone...

But an underlying joy... defined the day...

Receiving reminders... that He is the Rock...

"The Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
just and upright is he. ..."
Deuteronomy 32:2 ESV

His Word... a firm place to stand... even when things feel unsure...

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them
will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and
beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been
founded on the rock. ..." ---Jesus
Matthew 7:24-25 ESV

Joy in knowing He's the One... holding all things together...

And he is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17 ESV

Yes... today I am finding myself joyful... and grateful... knowing He is the Rock...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 56... and conflict...

The effective spreading of the Gospel... the good news grace... seems to always stir up conflict...

In Philippi... Paul freed an annoying slave girl from a spirit of divination... she became useless to her owners... no longer able to tell the future...

Conflict arose... resulting in Paul and his companion receiving a beating... and imprisonment... (Acts 16:16-24)

When released... Paul and those with him had to leave Philippi...

They went to Thessalonica...  where Paul preached until the unbelieving Jews became jealous... stirred up a crowd and hunted him down...

Not finding thim... Paul's host was arrested...

Paul and his friends left town under the cover of darkness... (Acts 17:1-10)

In Beroea... Paul successfully influenced many in the synagogue... who tested his words against Scripture... and believed...

But when those unbelievers in Thessalonica heard about it... they came to cause trouble for Paul...

Some Believers escorted Paul out of town... all the way to Athens... (Acts 17:10-15)

In Corinth... Paul's preaching again stirred up some to belief... and some to outrage...

Those outraged united to attack Paul... and haul him into court...

But when the proconsul discovered it was a religious matter... he refused to hear the case... (Acts 18:12-17)

In Ephesus... Paul's preaching was so effective... Demetrius the silversmith and maker of idols... felt his business threatened and stirred up a riot...

It was so volatile... Paul's friends refused to let him enter to speak to those opposed to the Gospel...

After the uproar died down... brought to an end by the town clerk... Paul encouraged the disciples... and left town... again... (Acts 19:23-41)

Spreading of the Gospel... stirs up conflict...

These men who have turned the world upside down...
Acts 17:6 Amp

Affirmation that we live in a world at war... two kingdoms clashing... His... and the enemies...

His ways are not the world's ways... and when His Kingdom comes to those entrenched in the world's way... it feels... as if the world is being turned... upside down...

Have you had your own personal conflict with Him...? has He turned your world upside down...?

Or have you turned someone else's world upside down...? by sharing the good news grace...?

It's inevitable... when the Gospel is preached... effectively...

"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own;
but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world,
therefore the world hates you. ..." ---Jesus
John 15:18-19 ESV

Find out more... about His upside down ways... join The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday             Acts 21:1-36
Tuesday            Acts 21:37 - 23:11
Wednesday       Acts 23:12 - 24:27
Thursday          Acts 25:1 - 26:11
Friday               Acts 26:12 - 27:38

Friday, January 23, 2015

thoughts on... anger...

Anger... I dealt with some this week...

I try to check the source of my anger... because so often... it's self-righteous... and not righteous...

All that self-righteous anger simply feeds the flesh... and not the spirit...

We are called to walk in the Spirit... but when we feed our flesh with anger... we simply give birth to more flesh...

"...Flesh gives birth to flesh,
but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. ..." ---Jesus
John 3:6

The Spirit gives life... the flesh counts for nothing...

"...It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. ..." 
---Jesus
John 6:63 ESV

Speaking to a friend this morning... regarding her struggle with anger... this idea of Spirit... and flesh... came up in the conversation...

With a smile... I said... I don't think anger is a fruit of the Spirit... 

We reviewed... love... joy... peace... patience... kindness... goodness... faithfulness... gentleness... self-control... no anger... when it comes to the fruit of the Spirit...

This evening on the ride home... I wonder about this...

I know we are not to sin in our anger... and it's not a sin to experience anger...

The question comes...

As fruit-bearers of the Spirit... is there no anger because He says... Vengeance is Mine...?

Are we to trust God with injustice... and its outcome...?

The Beatitudes tell us of those who are blessed...
the poor in spirit...
those who mourn...
the meek...
those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...
the merciful...
the pure in heart...
the peacemakers...
those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake...

But not those angered by injustice... even when it's righteous...

Not those who seek justice... they aren't listed... (unless they come under those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake... suffering trying to help others...)

Jesus... He's the One... who will bring about justice...

He's the only One... who can experience truly righteous anger...

But in the mean time... I'm thinking our role is to trust Him... wait on Him... until He brings justice...

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
 or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth. ..."
Isaiah 42:1-4

Even Jesus... until the time He fixes all things... is gentle... with those who are lost... patient... kind... self-controlled... when it comes to those... who are unrighteous...

However... the time will come... when He brings... establishes... justice on the earth...

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse!
The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, 
and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
Revelation 19:11 ESV

And that is what... we are to wait on... and trust in... as we walk in the Spirit... bearing His fruit... which does not include... anger...

Just some thoughts on... anger...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

He is... gentle...

I see it reflected in the teaching from the mess... the one made by leaning on my own understanding...

He is... gentle...

The teaching came softly...

The only harsh words came from self...

He is... gentle...

His love makes Him so...

Gently... He brought to mind those from Scripture...

Those who made big messes...

Those He loved...

And He used them to remind me... of His love for me...

Yes... He is... gentle...

"... Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and I will give you rest. ..." ---Jesus
Matthew 11:29 ESV

Lord... thank You for teaching... correcting... gently...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

struggling... with the mess...

The mess made yesterday... leaning on my own understanding... continues to weigh...

Grace... hard to receive... when you don't feel deserving...

And the question comes...

How does God feel about me... when I make a mess of things...? leaning on my own understanding...? trusting me...?

People from Scripture come to mind...

David... he leaned on his own understanding... staying home from war... shirking his duties...

Maybe he thought... I deserve a rest...

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle,
David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. ...
But David remained in Jerusalem.
2Samuel 11:1 ESV

This decision... led to the mess with Bathsheba...

Adultery... cover-up... murder...

Yet... in the New Testament... God still refers to David as... a man after My heart...

Samson... here's a man... who lived by his own understanding... at least when it came to women...

He chased... and married... all the wrong ones... foreigners... but God used his flaws... He knew who Samson was...

But his father and mother said to [Samson],
"Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives,
or among all our people, that you must take a wife
from the uncircumcised Philistines?"
But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me,
for she is right in my eyes."
His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord,
for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines.
At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.
Judges 14:3-4 ESV

The results of Samson choosing women... right in his eyes... led to a big mess...

Loss of strength... eyes gouged out... imprisonment...

Yet... when Samson prayed... for strength one last time... He answered...

And when He wrote a history of the faithful... in the book of Hebrews... He included Samson...

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets --- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions...
Hebrews 11:32-33 ESV

Then... Hosea... the prophet who married the prostitute... at God's command...

When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea,
"Go take to yourself a wife of whoredom
and have children of whoredom, 
for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord."
Hosea 1:2 ESV

Talk about a people who made a mess...

The Isrealites... rescued from slavery in Egypt... led by God across the desert... for 40 years... (the trip so long... because of the messes they made...)

Finally... brought into the Promised Land... God fulfilled every promise made to them... 

And they... turned away... leaning on their own understanding...

In those days there was no king in Israel.
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6 ESV

Israel rejected God as King... and forgot the law... and His ways...

They made a big mess of things...

Oppression... famines... captivity...

Yet... God used Hosea... to reveal His great love... for the Israelites...

And the Lord said to [Hosea], "Go again, love a woman
who is loved by another man and is an adulteress,
even as the Lord loves the children of Israel,
though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins."
Hosea 3:1 ESV

He knew we were a mess from the beginning...

He knew He would need to rescue...

He knew He would send His Son... 

He came to clean up a mess... He didn't make... all because of love...

So... how does God feel about me...? when I make a mess...? leaning on my own understanding...?

He loves me...

And He loves you... too...

Consider the last time you made a mess... because you trusted yourself... leaned on your own understanding...
Did you beat yourself up for a week...?
Did you harden your heart with pride...? saying... It doesn't matter...?
Or... Did you receive His grace...? His love...? and rest in the mess...? as you did the best you could to clean it up...? and learn from your mistake...?

No matter what mess His people make... He loves them...

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through him. ..."
John 3:16-17 ESV

Lord... You and I both know...
I've made much bigger messes in my life... than the one yesterday... 
Yet each mess leaves me tempted to wallow... in condemnation... 
Thank You... for this lesson... Thank You for Your love... 
Bless me with the ability... to fully receive... Your grace... and love... 
Bless me with faith... to trust You... and not me...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

the trouble with leaning on your own understanding...

The trouble with leaning on your own understanding... is that is causes trouble...

In just thirty minutes... I made a mess...

A costly... time consuming... mess...

All because I leaned on my own understanding...

The evidence was before me... signs... to set my understanding right... but I trusted me... and what I understood...

And because I trusted me... my own understanding... I made a mess...

Yes... in just thirty minutes...

A mess that will take days... to rectify...

Hmmm... there's a lesson here... somewhere...

And an opportunity to exercise... practice... receiving grace... undeserved... unmerited... grace...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 ESV

Monday, January 19, 2015

front and center...

"You shall have no other gods before me. ..."
Exodus 20:3 ESV

Listening to a message on the Ten Commandments... the teacher paraphrases this verse...

You shall place Me front and center in your life...

I think about the first century disciples... who placed Him front and center in their lives...

Family... job... friends... status... reputation... recreation... none came before Him...

Spiritual maturity... gained through surrender... all handled according to His Word... His Way... Him first...

And I wonder... what distracts... draws me away from... Him... in my life...? What keeps me... from growing spiritually...?

What about you...? what's front and center in your life...?

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 ESV 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 55... and a sign of spiritual maturity...

And the disciples were continually filled
with joy and the Holy Spirit.
Acts 13:52 ESV

On the reading through of Acts... disciples of Jesus... preach with power... and perform miracles...

Yet... they also... endure... persecution... conflict... and stoning...

No matter their circumstances... they were... continually filled with joy...

And I wonder... Are we...? am I...? are you...?

It seems... when disciples are obedient to His call... surrendered to His will... we should be filled... both with joy... and the Holy Spirit...

Is this filling... a sign of spiritual maturity...?
Do I have growing to do...? do you...?
Am I obedient...? in His will...?
What about you...?

A question needing to be considered... Am I continually filled with joy...? if not... why not...?

Find other questions to consider... come along on The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday                Acts 15:22 - 16:15
Tuesday                Acts 16:16 - 17:15
Wednesday          Acts 17:16 - 18:28
Thursday               Acts 19
Friday                  Acts 20

Friday, January 16, 2015

the wonder of a blog...

The wonder of a blog... journaling online... with a search engine attached...

Gathering Related fare... for Thursday evening's post... I find a post from February...

A prayer based on the same piece of a psalm...

You make the going out of the morning
and the evening to shout for joy.
Psalm 65:8 ESV
Lord... make me...
like the morning... and evening...
each day...
Rising... and setting...
going out...
with shouts... of joy...!
Reviewing the posts... centered on this particular verse of psalm... I find this prayer echoed... and answered... among posts in November...

A prayer offered in February...
forgotten by November...
remembered by Him...
recognized as answered in January...

The wonder of a blog... seeing answered prayer...

He is faithful to answer prayer...
even when we've forgotten what we prayed...

He is faithful to answer prayer...
in His timing... and in His way...

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love
answer me in your saving faithfulness.
Psalm 69:14 ESV

How many prayers have you offered...? and forgotten...?
Have you seen His faithfulness...? to answer prayer...?

Consider starting... keeping... a prayer journal...
A place you write requests...
A place to go back... on occasion... to review...
Opening your eyes anew... to His faithfulness...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

another day... anchored by another sunset...

At the end of another day...

The sunset anchors my day with joy...

A reminder of creation's praise of Him...

His faithfulness evident in so many ways...

Inspired to give thanks and praise... and enter the evening with joy...

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

[Note...
I continue to find wonder... at the lessons that stick... the Word that transforms...

Sunrises... sunsets... the coming out of morning and evening... continue to surprise my heart... with joy...

The wonder of His Word... when it becomes flesh...

Amen...]

Related fare...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

redeemed... by His love...

The Redeemer... redeems... because He loves... 

Take a look at the desert
Do you feel like a grain of sand?

I am with you wherever
Where you go is where I am

And I'm always thinking of you

Take a look around you
I'm spelling it out one by one

I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine

You are mine and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today and tomorrow

I'll say it a gain and again
I love you more


I am... redeemed... by His love...

You are... redeemed... by His love...

A Love... more... than we can comprehend...

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
who he has redeemed from trouble...
Psalm 107:1-2 ESV

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

reminded... i am redeemed...

A welcome reminder... on the drive home...

I am redeemed... You set me free...

So I'll shake off these heavy chains...
and wipe away every stain...

Now I'm not who I used to be...
I am redeemed ... 
I'm redeemed...


Reminded... of His love...
Reminded... to praise Him... 
Reminded... I am redeemed...

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble... 
Psalm 107:1-2 ESV

Monday, January 12, 2015

behold... He is making all things new...

A dream... and a fire... make me consider my word for the year... new...

And he who was seated on the throne said,
"Behold, I am making all things new."
Revelation 21:5 ESV

The dream... a dear sister in Christ... on the slippery slope of sin...
Not yet at the landslide stage... but quite a ways up the slope...

A fire... in the fireplace... not exactly started yet...
Large logs laid on embers from the previous night... but not burning...

The dream... pressed my heart... caused me to ask questions...
What does grace look like in this situation...? 
continue fellowship...?
cut off fellowship...?

The fire... caused me to grab a poker...
lift the lower log... prying it into a position on the grate... where more air could get under... reaching the embers...
and blow... blow... blow...
Embers grew brighter... flames began to flicker...

A Word comes to mind... 

...a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench...
Matthew 12:20 ESV

... and the connection with new... Behold... I am making all things new...

He does not put out the ember... even if it's just smoldering...
He blows His Spirit on it... encourages... life... and... light...

And He says... Behold... Look... Pay attention... See where I am working... to make all things new...

My heart fills with a desire... to see like Him...

To see the smoldering wick... as potential... for a blazing fire for Him...

To see the bruised reed... with the hope... of a tree rooted firmly... growing in grace...

To see in Believers... and unbelievers alike... up on the slippery slope of sin... and see Him at work...

I want to encourage... like Him... not be one who snuffs out... and breaks off... the work He is about...

Lord Jesus... open my eyes... draw my attention... let me see...
where You are making things new...
Teach me to encourage... with grace... and love...
I long to be part of what You are doing...
and do not want to crush others... with judgment...
legalism... or pessimism...
Show me how... to blow the Spirit of Life... into the lives of others...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 54... and His power...

And when they had prayed, 
the place in which they were assembled was shaken; 
and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, 
and they continued to speak the Word of God
 with freedom and boldness and courage.
Acts 4:31 Amp

The disciples of the early church... they prayed with power... and He responded with power...

Power to preach... Acts 8:4-8...

Power to heal... Acts 5:12-16...

Power to forgive... Acts 7:59-60...

Power to rejoice in suffering... Acts 5:40-42...

I wonder... Where is that power today...? among His people...?

He is the same... yesterday... today... forever...

He is willing... to empower His people... for His glory...

But are we willing to pray... and obey... when it comes to receiving His power...?

Just some thoughts from last week's readings through The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday                  Acts 10:1-33
Tuesday                  Acts 10:34 - 11:30
Wednesday            Acts 12:1 - 13:12
Thursday                Acts 13:13-52
Friday                    Acts 14:1 - 15:21

Friday, January 9, 2015

waking dreams... a landslide...

This morning's waking dream... a landslide... bringing down masses of mud... dirt...

Horses... large beasts... people... unable to get a foothold...
No out running it... only succumbing to its power...
Buried in mounds of mud...

Standing on a tree-strewn road... I watched...
Cars stopped... others pacing... looking on...
but no one could do anything to help those caught in the slide...

The visions linger... press... disturb...
so I ask Him if it has meaning...

The thought comes to mind...

The danger of ascending a slippery slope
is that it eventually turns into a landslide.

Seeking His Word... regarding shifting ground... I find...

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven...
Colossians 1:21-23 ESV

And you... 
He has reconciled... 
in order to present you holy and blameless... 
if indeed you continue in the faith... stable and steadfast...
not shifting...

What causes shifting... from faith...?
Compromise...
Doubt...
Pessimism...
Leaning on your own understanding...

These are some things... which cause instability... 
Things I struggle with...
Maybe you could add more...

I think back again on the dream... 
Even though the slide was happening on the hillside right next to the road I was standing on... it was stable... firm...
Others standing with me... had no fear of getting buried... there seemed to be no need to run...
But the watching of the disaster... stirred me to pray for those on the slope... and those with me... clearly distressed by what they saw...

A verse comes to mind as I consider the road in the dream...

And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
Isaiah 35:8

His Way... a highway... the Way of Holiness...
the way of faith... stable... steadfast...
no shifting...

Lord... keep me on the Way...
Show me where I may be shifting today...
through compromise... doubt... pessimism...
or leaning on my own understanding...
If this is a warning for me... Amen...
If it is a message for another...
bless me with the boldness... and grace...
to share it...


Thursday, January 8, 2015

in need of grace...

When one careless action...
leads to a series of bad decisions...
causing a less than perfect outcome...
this self-centered perfectionist needs grace...

"But God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."
James 4:6

The first step in accepting His grace...
comes in laying down pride...

Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and he will lift you up.
James 4:10

Grateful for His grace...
abounding beyond my sin...

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

Laying down perfectionism... and pride...

Resting in His much needed grace...

Amen...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

ends and beginnings... patience and pride...

Working on a project today... I thought the end would never come...

At this writing... it's still not complete... but the design part is done...

The part causing frustration... finished...

As I worked... a Scripture came to mind... The end of a matter is better than its beginning...

And I consider why that's true...

I believe it's primarily because of the unknowns...

Not knowing how much longer it will take... or whether it will be completed at all...

We'd rather live with a bad ending than an unknown...

There is something about not knowing that can eat at us... cause anxiety... fear...

I realize... this perspective... lacks hope...

But hope that is seen is no hope at all.
Who hopes for what he already has?
But if we hope for what we do not yet have,
we wait for it patiently.
Romans 8:24-25

So here patience comes in... and unknowns certainly try our patience...

I look up the verse that came to mind earlier... and see I have not remembered the rest...

The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
and patience is better than pride.
Ecclesiastes 7:8

Patience is better than pride...

Yes... the end of a matter is better...
but on the way to the end...
we have an opportunity to exercise patience...

Perhaps the lack of patience... exposes depths of pride...

The needing to know... puts self in His place... 
expecting omniscience... and omnipotence... to be ours...
unwilling to wait... for what's to come...
not trusting Him... with the outcome...

Lord... help me to focus on what I hope for...
and not the unknowns...
Bless me with patience... remove... pride...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

casting cares...

It's been a while... since my heart's been really troubled... but last night... it was all stirred up over a loved one...

Immediately... calmly... I prayed... casting cares... anxieties... on Him...

Trusting His love for me... and mine...
knowing He's at work... dividing light... from... dark...
asking for the guarding of hearts... and the breaking of strongholds...

Peace came... as I remembered He cared... and is capable... of doing much more than we ask... or imagine...

But anxiety would rise again... as I relaxed...
fought off again by casting cares... in prayer...

Trusting...
Knowing...
Asking...

A spiritual battle through much of the evening...
one no one else saw... but Him...

Sleep came peacefully...
this morning the battle done...

The morning's devotional... confirmed the spiritual reality... and the exercise of casting cares...
There is One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, His heart beats with pity for your woe, and His hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. He, if thou art one of His family, will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart. Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness.
--- Charles Spurgeon,  Morning and Evening
 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Lord Jesus... thank You for caring... 
and for Your power to carry all...!

Monday, January 5, 2015

He divides light from darkness...

"And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness." --- Genesis 1:4
What He began from the first day of creation... He continues today... in every Believer...

He is the Light... and when He enters the Believer... He begins the process of dividing... separating... light... from... darkness...
evil from good...
right from wrong...
truth from deception...

We are called to walk in the light... as He is in the light...

...for at one time you were darkness, 
but now you are light in the Lord.
Walk as children of light...
Ephesians 5:8 ESV

His work of sanctification... is the process of shining His light... into our dark... and removing it...

The same process He will ultimately use through all creation... dividing... all darkness... from all light...

And I saw no temple in the city, 
for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
Revelation 21:22-23 ESV

Jesus is the life and light of men...

All things were made through him,
and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 1:3-4 ESV

He came to show us the light... through His fullness of grace... and truth...

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 ESV

Grace... brings the light of freedom... and joy...

Truth... brings the light of knowledge... and freedom from deception...

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me
will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 8:12 ESV

Each of us walking in His light... should be growing in both grace... and... truth...

During the course of my day... I heard division mentioned as a bad thing... yet I wonder... If it is a division of light... from darkness... is it bad...? or necessary...?

For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?
Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV

Myself... I long for Him to continue... dividing... light from darkness... in me...

As painful as the process may be... I look forward to being like Him... full of grace... and... truth...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 53... and moving from gospel... to acts...

Last week... The Journey readings completed Matthew... and began the book of Acts...

The gospel ending with... unjust arrest and condemnation...
scourging...
mocking...
crucifixion...
resurrection...

Jesus's greatest work... which to all the world... looked like a complete failure...

But... in reality...
His greatest victory...
an act of sacrificial love...
a grace... beyond our understanding...

Matthew ends with His great commission for all disciples...

Go then and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them into the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Teaching them to observe everything
that I have commanded you...
Matthew 28:19-20 Amp

Acts begins with Luke recounting the evidence of Jesus's resurrection... those He appeared to... and His command to wait... for the Holy Spirit...

And while being in their company and eating at the table with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak. For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with (placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:4-5 Amp

And the Spirit... He came... with power... and gifts...

And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression...
Acts 2:1-4 Amp

Each disciple was given a spiritual gift... relevant for that particular moment... in building His Kingdom... and for His glory...

Therefore those who accepted and welcomed his message were baptized, and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.
Acts 2:41 Amp

This picture in Acts... takes me back to His parable in Matthew...

A parable of talents given by the master to be used... invested for him... while he was away...

The Holy Spirit gifts each Believer... with what we need... to build His Kingdom... where we are... and to share the good news...

And I wonder... What gifts have I received...? what talents...?
Am I investing them...? or burying them...?

The One who gave so much for me... the good news of His love... grace... freedom... should move me to action...

All who believe... should be moving from gospel... to acts...

Go then and make disciples...

Consider what you've been given...
What has the Spirit given you... to use on His behalf...?
Are you investing...? or burying...?

Follow along on The Journey... come and see... the moving of the gospel... into Acts...

This week's readings...
Monday                Acts 4:23 - 5:42
Tuesday               Acts 6
Wednesday           Acts 7
Thursday              Acts 8
Friday                  Acts 9

Friday, January 2, 2015

making room for His grace...

The current treadmill read... challenges me in the area of grace...

Revealing places...
where I am grace-less with loved ones...
where He is grace-full towards me...

Challenged... to make room for His grace... to work in those I love...

Seeing where I need to let the full affect of His grace... work in me...

Father God... grow me in grace... and knowledge of You...
Your love... Your Way... Your work

So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out
on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace
that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son
and forgave our sins.
Ephesians 1:6-7 NLT

Thursday, January 1, 2015

approaching the new year...

Waking this morning... to a new year... wondering... what will He teach me about new...

What new will He bring...

What will He redefine... into something new...

What will He reveal... that's new to me... regarding Him...

I shared this word... new... with a friend a week or so ago...
She said... That's scary...

Yes... it could be...

But... as I ended the year...
I hope I will continue... quietly...
approaching the new year...
listening...
trusting...
resting...

And he who was seated on the throne said,
"Behold, I am making all things new."
Also he said, "Write this down,
for these words are trustworthy and true."
Revelation 21:5 ESV