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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

feels like friday...

It felt like Friday... all day...
even though it's Thursday...

You know... Friday has its own special feel...
a coming to an end...
a week's end of work...

An expectation... of relaxation...
fun...
joy...
a break from routine...

Friday's are just generally good...

And I thought... In Christ... every day should feel like Friday...

Believers should live each day with joyful expectation...
work with the end in sight...
assured of the good that is coming...

Yes... every day should feel like Friday...

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51:12

Friday's comin'...!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

a different start to the day...

I started this morning differently... not with a devotional... but with one to whom I'm devoted...

My daughter... already up and about before daylight... stressing a bit about a recent decision... we talked...

A moment of discipling happened... mother to daughter... sister to sister...

Looking back... I see a different attitude to take with my adult children in general...

Believing adult children... are not just children... they are disciples in training...

And it makes me wonder about a son... Perhaps he needs more discipling than parenting...

Thinking about what that looks like... hoping it may bring us closer... looking for an opportunity to bring up the subject...

"... Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe
all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always,
to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20 ESV

The nations include our children too...

Lord... grateful You are with me always...
Bless me with words... and inspiration... 
to connect with my children... as part of a community disciples... 
and not just my children...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

rejoicing... at the end of a full day...

Resting in Him...
at the end of a full day...

Recognizing His presence... in all...
wondering... at times... what He's up to...

Rejoicing... because... He has spoken His Love...
through Jesus... the Word made flesh...

God has spoken in His holiness:
I will rejoice...
Psalm 60:6 Amp

Monday, April 27, 2015

more from the psalms...

The reading through of the Psalms... has me recognizing a shift in my spirit...

Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it]
and He will sustain you...
Psalm 55:22 Amp

Following a stormy night...
a 5 1/2 hour power outage...
an out of sorts morning...
and a trip to the dentist...
I recognize a peace... a lack of anxiety... which I would have had to battle... as little as a year ago...

Have I learned... to cast my burden on Him...?

In God, Whose word I praise, in the Lord, Whose word I praise,
In God have I put my trust and confident reliance;
I will not be afraid.
Psalms 56:10-11 Amp

Have I grown... in my ability to trust Him...?

For You have delivered my life from death, yes,
and my feet from falling, that I may walk before God
in the light of life and of the living.
Psalm 56:13 Amp

Do I understand... more fully what He has done for me...? His love...? His eternal perspective...?

I wonder at my heart resonating with these words... His Words...

I thank Him... and praise Him... for working in me... for His patience... with me...

I will praise and give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your mercy and loving-kindness are great,
reaching to the heavens,
and Your truth and faithfulness to the clouds.
Psalm 57:9-10 Amp

Amen...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 69... and panting...

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
Psalm 42:1-2 ESV

Journeying through the Psalms... I wonder... 
Is this true of me...?
Is it true of the Church...?
Do we pant for Him...? thirst for Him...?

Can you get enough of Him...?

We all have an emptiness we are trying to fill... 
Do we recognize it can only be filled by Him...?
Do we know... relationship with Him... is at the root of all our longing...?

Lord... my soul pants... and longs... for You...
My God and my Redeemer... fill the thirst in my soul...
 with Your presence...

Come into His presence... through the Psalms...

This week's readings...
Monday           Psalm 52-55
Tuesday           Psalm 56-58
Wednesday      Psalm 59-61
Thursday          Psalm 62-64
Friday              Psalm 65-67

Friday, April 24, 2015

clean... unclean...

Reading Mark on the treadmill... a verse gleamed... caught my eye... and I saw another facet of Him...

And a leper came to him, imploring him, 
and kneeling said to him,
"If you will, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand
and touched him and said to him,
"I will; be clean."
Mark 1:40-41 ESV

The leper... according to Jewish law... was unclean...

"Command the people of Israel that they put out of the camp
everyone who is leprous or has a discharge and
everyone who is unclean through contact with the dead. ..."
Numbers 5:2 ESV

The unclean... were separated from community...

"...And whatever the unclean person touches
shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it
shall be unclean until evening."
Numbers 19:22 ESV

Another person could become unclean... simply by touching someone deemed unclean...

When I read the verse in Mark... Jesus's pity caught my eye...

Jesus couldn't stand for this man to be in such a state... separated from community...

It pulled at His heart so much... He willingly became unclean... so this man... could be clean...

And I wonder if this is the same look He gave all mankind... from the moment of the Fall...

Moved with pity... at the separation of community... from Himself and His loved ones... He willingly... made Himself unclean... so we could be clean...

Jesus... the only truly clean person ever... sinless... perfect... came to be a sin offering... for all of us... so we might be clean...

I wonder... as He stretched out His hand to touch the leper... did He think about the stretching out to come... stretching out His hands on the cross...?

I saw this healing of the leper as a foreshadowing... of the greater healing... He came to do...

Making Himself unclean... so we could be clean...

Praise Him... 
for being willing... 
for being moved with pity... 
for being able... 
to make... us... clean...

For our sake [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV

Thursday, April 23, 2015

just a fun day... of joy...

Seeing Him transform a daughter... to walk in faith...

Watching a loved one and his team compete... and win...

Spending a day... with my husband...

Enjoying it all... with Him...

Just a fun day... of joy...

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
Psalm 66:1-2 ESV


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

blown away...

Blown away...
by sixth graders with insight...

It happens a couple of times each school year... one of my sixth graders in Bible class... in the Wednesday after school ministry at church... says something that blows me away...

Today's story... Saul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus... Acts 9:1-31...

The exercise... Do a before and after chart about Paul...
Saul before he met Jesus... Saul after he met Jesus...

Listing the before attributes... one says... He had scales on his eyes...

Of course... I immediately begin to argue... No... that was af...
But then I saw... No... You're right...!
The scales couldn't have fallen off after he met Jesus unless they were there before he met Jesus...

The lesson busted into my heart...
An encounter with Jesus... reveals our spiritual reality... and it becomes flesh...

Saul was spiritually blind... but he didn't know it... UNTIL... he met Jesus... then his spiritual blindness manifested itself as physical blindness...

The blindness remained for three days...

Three days Saul wrestled with his spiritual reality until... Jesus sent Ananias to lay hands on him... and he was filled with the Holy Spirit...

So Ananias departed and entered the house.
And laying his hands on him he said,
"Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you
on the road by which you came has sent me
so that you may regain your sight and be filled
with the Holy Spirit."
And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes,
and he regained his sight.
Acts 9:17-18 ESV

Saul could physically see what caused his spiritual blindness...
it fell on the floor right before him...
he was blind... but now he sees...

An encounter with Jesus... reveals our spiritual reality... and makes it flesh...

And I wonder... how many of us struggle with spiritual realities we won't come to grips with... after an encounter with Christ...? How many of us sit in the dark...? Struggling... rather than surrendering...?

How many of us are actually experiencing...? walking in...? the life changing wonders of living out the spiritual reality of life after an encounter with Him...?

All I know... is that I'm blown away by this insight from a sixth grader... and the way this has changed my view... of what it means... to encounter Him...

Humbled... by encountering Him... in a sixth grader...

Blown away...
by seeing spiritual reality... manifest itself in the flesh...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

i don't know...

This morning... before I left the house... I was reminded... I don't know...

I don't know what goes on in the hearts of men... especially the loved ones living under my roof...

I don't know what He's up to... what's growing in the unseen depths of a heart... until it breaks through and sprouts...

I don't know His timeline...

I just don't know much of anything really...

But... I do know... that He knows...

And... I know that He is trustworthy... with all... I... don't... know...

The first verse of one of my favorite songs... helps my heart to rest... in all I don't know...

The sun comes up it's a new day dawning...
It's time to sing Your song again...
Whatever may pass... and whatever lies before me...
Let me be singing when the evening comes...

Bless the Lord... O my soul... O my soul...
Worship His holy name...
Sing like never before... O my soul...
I worship Your holy name...

Whatever may pass... and whatever lies before me...
I can still keep singing... because He knows...

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro
throughout the whole earth, to give strong support
to those whose heart is blameless toward him.
2 Chronicles 16:9 ESV


Monday, April 20, 2015

wrestling with His suffering...

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

He was perfected... through... suffering...

The thought came to mind as I prayed for college students today... in Moms In Prayer...

The verse selected by the leader... for praying scripturally for our students was...

See to it that no one takes you captive
through hollow and deceptive philosophy,
which depends on human tradition
and the basic principles of this world
rather than on Christ.
Colossians 2:8

My thoughts turned to the deceptiveness of worldly success... material gain... creature comforts... and the prayer it came... Remind him... that You were perfected through suffering... success according to the world does not necessarily lead to his good or Your glory...

Now... afterwards... I'm wondering... wrestling... with that prayer...
No one wants to see their children suffer...
He didn't want to see His Son suffer...

The images of The Passion still fresh in my mind... make me cringe... when I place my own children... in those scenes...

He was perfected... through... suffering...

Grateful... He has done it...
Thankful He lives... in each one of my children...
He knows... how to suffer... For the joy set before Him...
and each can rely on His strength... when the time comes...

...the One who is in you is greater
than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 HCSB

Yet... to consider suffering... as the way to perfection...
to say with Paul... 

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection
and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings...
Philippians 3:10

...is a difficult thing...

But... because He did... 
because there was apparently no other way...
I pray...


Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 68... and remembering who He is...

For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
Psalm 33:4-9 ESV

If you need a reminder of who He is...
spend some time in Psalm 33...

Upright... faithful...
Righteous and just...
By the Word... He created...

Yes... there are challenges at times... to seeing who He is...

...the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord...

Sometimes... it's hard to believe...
when the world seems so broken...
that it's filled with His love...
but He says it's there... and by faith... we see... and receive...
the fullness of His steadfast love...

But some reject the idea of God altogether... How can there be a good God...? when there is such pain in the world...?
It's easier for some to cling to a godless universe...
rather than wrestle with the One who spoke all things into existence...

To reject Him as Creator... is to miss who He is...

Let all the earth fear the Lord...
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him...
For He spoke... and it came to be...
He commanded... and it stood firm...

Seasons... months... days...
repeat... and refrain...
His love... and mercy...

The grace of giving us just one more hour...
when the cycle of brokenness and pain began with us...
is more than we deserve...

His love displayed... through time...
waiting on more hearts to turn...

Yes... the earth is full... of His steadfast love...
for those who see... know... and remember...
who He is...

Find out more about Him... join The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday              Psalm 40-41
Tuesday              Psalm 42-44
Wednesday         Psalm 45-47
Thursday            Psalm 48-49
Friday                 Psalm 50-51

Friday, April 17, 2015

a quiet day...

Even though I was surrounded by voices all day...
He seemed quiet...
so no words to share...
just resting in the quiet...
trusting in His presence...

My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Isaiah 32:18 ESV

Thursday, April 16, 2015

blessings... of a full day...

Today's blessings...
His faithfulness...
a friend sharing His work in her...
lunch with another friend...
joy at the freedom found in Him...
finishing jobs...
correcting errors...
shopping...
cooking...
cleaning...
stepping...
roses...
candlelight...
extras for dinner...
everyone gathered...
rainstorms...
laughter...
decaf...
chocolate...
a full day...

I wasn't sure...
at the beginning of this day...
that everything would fit...
but it did...
by His grace...

Amen...

For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.
Psalm 117:2

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

the only thing you can take with you...

Listening to a message in the car... I heard it...
...the revelation of Christ, the only thing you can exit the earth with.
---Michael Wells, Recognizing God
The only thing we can take with us when we leave this earth...?
Revelation of Christ... 

This is why we are born... to get to know Him...
He placed us when and where we are... with the purpose... of finding Him...

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live
on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods
and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should
seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.
Acts 17:26-27 ESV

Knowing Him is the treasure...

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither
moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ..."
Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

This passage has new meaning for me... 
I suppose I always assumed the heavenly treasures had to do with our good deeds... but now I see... He is the treasure... 

He is our great reward...

...the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield,
your very great reward."
Genesis 15:1

There is no greater reward than knowing Him...
No greater treasure...

"... And this is eternal life, that they know you
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. ..."
John 17:3 ESV

Eternal life is knowing Him...
Eternal life begins with... and is... revelation of Jesus Christ...!

This is a perspective changer for me...

What about you...?
Does this truth make you reconsider how you should spend your time...?

Nothing else we do... or gain... goes with us when we leave this earth...
Nothing...

The only thing we are taking with us...
is revelation... of... Him...

You will seek Me and find Me
when you search for Me
with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 HCSB

Where is your treasure...?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

dichotomy...

Blesssed (Happy, fortunate, to be envied)
is he who has forgiveness of his transgression
continually exercised upon him,
whose sin is covered.
Psalm 32:1 Amp

My journey through the Psalms led me to this verse this afternoon... which I read immediately after...
"With His stripes, we are healed." --- Isaiah 53:5
Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone. ... My soul, stand here and weep over His poor stricken body.
---Charles Spurgeon, Morning & Evening
By His wounds... we are healed...

Without His misery... we would have no blessing...

What is our proper response...?
Sorrow...? Yes...
Joy...? Yes...

Sorrow for our sin... which drove Him to such a place...
Joy for His love... which held Him in such a place...

I'm reminded of words from a song... a Christmas song...
which reflect this dichotomy...
joy... and... sorrow...
misery... and... love...

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray
for You to save my life.

Quite a thought to enter into the evening...

Selah... pause... and think calmly of that...! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

giving a hard word... to a friend...

I was pressed to give a hard word today...
You know... those not fun conversations we're challenged to have as Believers... holding one another accountable...

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom...
Colossians 3:16 ESV

Speaking the truth in love...

...speaking the truth in love,
we are to grow up in every way into him
who is the head, into Christ...
Ephesians 4:15 ESV

Giving a hard word can be a test of friendship...

So how do you know... when you've given a hard word... to a friend...?

She says... Thank you...
she hugs you...
everyone's eyes well-up...

Faithful are the wounds of a friend...
Proverbs 27:6 ESV

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 67... and the King of Glory...

Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Psalm 24:8 ESV

Of all the psalms read this last week... this verse captured my attention most...

The King of Glory... Who is He...?
Strong and mighty in battle...!
His glory wrapped up in His strength... 

I see Jesus... as the King of Glory...
but... coming out of Easter... 
and the recent re-viewing of The Passion...
His strength... and might... in battle must be considered...

He battled differently than worldly kings... 
including... King David...

Jesus's battle tactics are very different...

He died... in order to defeat the enemy...
He endured injustice...
His glory is found in His strength and might... 
yet... He used His strength... not to fight against... but to bear under...

Bear under the sin of the world...
bear under the wrath of God...
bear it all in love... which held Him to the cross...

Another verse of psalm we read this week...

He trains my hands for war...
Psalm 18:34 ESV

He teaches us to battle... take on war... 
but in light of who He is... and what He came to do...
what does this teaching look like...?

"Do not resist the one who is evil.
But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek,
turn to him the other also.
And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,
let him have your cloak as well.
And if anyone forces you to go one mile,
go with him two miles. ..."
Matthew 5:39-41 ESV

"... Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
For he makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good,
and sends rain on the just and the unjust. ..."
Matthew 5:44-45 ESV

His battle plan is completely different... than any of this world...

For though we walk in the flesh,
we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh
but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 ESV

The armor He provides... consists of...
truth...
righteousness...
the good news of peace...
faith...
salvation...
the Word of God...
prayer...

This is what we are to take up... to withstand the enemy...

Therefore take up the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand firm.
Ephesians 6:13 ESV

The singing of... Onward Christian Soldiers... in worship today...
took on a whole new meaning for me...

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!

Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.

Visions of Jesus... on the cross... filled my mind...
His banners we fight under...
love...
humility...
service...
sacrifice...
selflessness...
grace...
forgiveness...

A different kind of battle... a different kind of soldier...

Learn more about our King of Glory... and His ways... join The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday                          Psalm 30-31
Tuesday                          Psalm 32-33
Wednesday                     Psalm 34-35
Thursday                        Psalm 36-37
Friday                             Psalm 38-39

Friday, April 10, 2015

needing to be less...

Thinking of His sacrifice...
Him choosing to become nothing...
in order to restore... redeem... renew...
I see where there's too much of me...

Several moments over the last few weeks come to mind...
where my attitude... words... actions...
revealed a desire to save... and promote... self...

I still have so far to go...
sometimes I feel as if I've barely left the starting gate...

Today... seeing... my need... to be less...
in order to be... new...

He must become greater;
I must become less.
John 3:30

Where do you need to be less...? and Him greater...? in your life...?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

making all things new...

Another moment from my Easter journey through The Passion...

Treading along... the scene comes where Mary... Jesus's mother... wavers in her desire to be near Him to the end...

Then it happens...

He falls...

Her mind leaps to a memory of Jesus as a small child... He fell... she dropped everything to run and comfort Him... I'm here... I'm here...

Just like a mother does... she ran without thinking to the middle of the street... caresses His bloodied... swollen... face in her hands... I'm here... I'm here...

Then He says it... (now I know this is just the movie... it's not in Scripture just this way... but for me I'm stunned...)

See Mother... I make all things new...


And I wonder because this is my word for the year... new...
and this is my verse that goes with it...

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

The incongruency strikes me...

A man headed to His death...
beaten... bloodied... unable to hold Himself up...
and He says... Look Mom... I'm making all things new...!

I wonder at this idea... of death... leading to new...

What does it mean for those of us who follow Him...?

The whole of what's important... wrapped up in the spiritual... the unseen... not the things of this world...

It's all about what's to come... but somehow inextricably linked to how we live life now...

"... 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. ..."
---Jesus
John 12:24 ESV

A moment from my Easter walk... that continues to make me wonder about... making all things new...

Hmmm...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

waking up...?

Driving home this evening... at the end of a longish day... I begin to ask... What are we writing today...?

I've seen lots of things today...
things that made me question...
some made me weary...
some were convicting...
some inspired joy and thanks...

Earlier in the afternoon... coming out of the shop... crossing the street to my car... I noticed a woman entering the quilt shop across the way...

The thought came to mind... She's looking for something to fill her life...

And I think about others looking... seeking... for new hobbies... causes... entertainment... ways to fill their lives...

From personal experience... I think... If they want to fill their lives all they need to do is draw closer to Jesus... He'll fill it to overflowing...

...my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:5 ESV

Which led me to wonder... What would it be like... if everyone in the world... or at least this community... lived the life God called them to...?

I think... No one would be lonely... or hungry... there would be more joy... much less fear...

"... Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven. ..."
Matthew 6:10 ESV

Then later... I hear words... within the walls of the church... which make me weary... sad... 

Gossip... slights on others within the body of Christ...

Dark words... from a body that's supposed to emit light... and give life... through words...

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up,
as fits the occasion, that it may give grace
to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV

But a bit later... I hear of words glorifying Him... going out into the world... from the same body...

Light... and... dark... in the same body...? 

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.
My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
James 3:10 ESV

As all this runs through my mind on the way home... I realize the prayer birthed out of each revelation...
prayer for hearts to move toward Him...
petitions for His Kingdom to come...
pleas for mercy... forgiveness... healing...
an offering of thanks... and... praise...


Am I... waking... up...?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

are you awake...?

After I published my final Romans 8 post on Good Friday... I prepared to get on the treadmill and walk some steps...

I had in mind to watch a recorded BBC series... but He interrupted my thoughts with another suggestion...

If you're going to watch something while you walk... 
watch The Passion...

(Now... I've watched The Passion several times before...
Not once has it been my idea... I approach this hard to watch film as a spiritual discipline... and view it only when I feel pressed... or called... to watch...)

My initial reaction... On the treadmill...?!

I've learned to watch this movie with my journal... pen... and a box of Kleenex... watching from a moving treadmill didn't seem like the ideal place...

I didn't even know where my DVD was...
I began to look...
After the first place I thought it was and it wasn't... I prayed...

If You want me to watch this movie... 
you'll have to show me where it is...

It was in the next place that came to mind to look...

So I began to walk... through the crucifixion of Christ...

The first scene of the movie is in the garden of Gesthemane...
Jesus wrestling with the Father...
struggling with the call to obedience... and... temptation...

He returns to the three disciples... whom He posted to pray... and help Him watch...

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping.
He asked Peter, "So couldn't you stay awake with Me one hour?..."
Matthew 26:40 HCSB

As He spoke the words in the movie... You could not watch even one hour with me...?

I received it from a totally new perspective...

For Believers... our time on earth with respect to eternity... may be about one hour... (that's probably stretching it...)

But what I heard Him say... to me... to His Church... 

You could not watch with me... even one hour...?

And there on my treadmill... I gasped... with conviction...

We are commanded to stay awake... watch with Him... and pray...

His Word... it says...

...pray continually...
1 Thessalonians 5:17 

One of the most important parts of our ministry on earth as Believers... in this time and place... is to intercede with Him... making way for His Light to penetrate the darkness...

I've been considering... What does it mean to stay awake... with Him...? Be watchful...? What does it look like for the church to wake up...? and pray...?

Wondering what comes next... seeking Him... regarding wakefulness... watchfulness... and prayer...

Are you awake...?

"... Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know
on what day your Lord is coming. ..."
Matthew 24:42 ESV

"... Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Matthew 26:41 ESV


[Note... the treadmill walking through The Passion took three days... 50 minutes Friday... an hour on Saturday... and the remaining Easter Sunday at sunrise... it was an interesting walk...]

Monday, April 6, 2015

wrapping up... Romans 8...?

Feeling a little at a loss with no place to start today... after six-plus weeks of prompts...

But... Good Friday to Easter... had some interesting moments...

It began with the wrapping up of Romans 8...

Some may be wondering... Why Romans 8 in the first place...?
What was the prompt to spend Lent... wading through Romans 8...?

A few short weeks before... I had a sit down with our new pastor...

In the course of the conversation... a verse from Romans 8 came up...

And we know that in all things God works for the good
of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Our pastor then proceeded to tell me that when he didn't know the answer to a test question in seminary... he would write... Romans 8... 

One day... one of his professors asked him why he did this...
and he said... It is the answer to everything... (or something to that affect...)

This thought stuck with me... so much so... I believed Him to be moving me to spend time in Romans 8 during the season of Lent...

Moving forward by faith... confirmation came when the final post... of the final passage of Romans 8... fell on Good Friday...! 

When I began... I had no plan... I listened... followed... trusted... and this was the first wonder... of the Easter weekend...

Now... I'm not sure I'm finished with it... not sure I've gleaned all He wanted me to glean... Did I find the answer to everything...? on the journey through Lent...?

Feeling a move to go deeper... but probably not here...

I'll see what the next few days bring...
a wrapping up...?
or a further unwrapping...?

The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:130 ESV

Wondering if you learned anything from the walk through Romans 8... or do you have new questions...?

Would love to hear your thoughts... 

Leave a comment... if you feel so moved... 
[click the post title... scroll to the bottom... find the box that says... Post a comment...]

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 66... and His Majesty...

O Lord, our Lord,
how excellent (majestic and glorious)
is Your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8:9 Amp

The Journey entered the book of Psalms this past week...
the week leading up to Easter...
the day on which the Church commemorates His greatest work...
the beginning... of making... all things new...

His majesty and glory... 
revealed in His willingness to stoop low...
humble Himself...
allow Himself to be driven by His powerful love...
to the cross...

His majesty... becomes a mystery...
when we view it through our human nature...

When I view and consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars,
which You have ordained and established,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?
Psalm 8:4-5 ESV

But He does...
He cared enough to die...

In the psalms I find words formed deep in the hearts of men...
and deep in the heart of God...

Some bring revelation... of His majesty...

Some simply bring forth questions... a cry for revelation...

The psalms... a perfect way to move forward... from this Easter day...
a perfect way... to continue the conversation... with our Lord...
Majestic... Glorious... Mysterious...

This week's readings...
Monday                Psalm 18
Tuesday                Psalm 19-21
Wednesday          Psalm 22-23
Thursday              Psalm 24-26
Friday                  Psalm 27-29

Friday, April 3, 2015

Romans 8... day 33...

For I am sure that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 ESV

Powerful...

God's love... in Christ Jesus... is powerful...

So here... on Good Friday... I see... this powerful love... in the cross...

Neither death... nor life...
angels... or rulers...
things present... or things to come...
powers... heights... depths...
not anything in all creation...
is able to separate us from this love...
that held Him to the cross...

Don't you see that's the only thing that kept Him there...?

"... Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father,
and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?..."
---Jesus
Matthew 26:53 ESV

Jesus... made it clear at the time of His arrest... speaking to the disciple who drew a sword... This is my choice...

I'm reminded of the first time I fasted...
the day was long...
the temptations numerous...

By the end... I was staring at a candy jar in my kitchen...
thinking how easy it would be... just to lift the lid... and eat...

Struggling... I prayed a foolish prayer...
Lord... at least You had chains binding You... dragging You to the cross...

Instantly... He said...
As easily as you could lift that candy jar lid... I could have come out from under the chains...

That... is a perspective changer...

Take a moment... read all Romans 8... in its entirety...

Do you find your perspective changed...?

Do you find new encouragement to live by the Spirit... and not by the desires of the flesh...?

Do you have a deeper understanding of being His child...? what it means to be an heir...? what sonship entails...?

Do you get why...? all things work for good in the lives of those who love Him...? and answer the call to fulfill His purpose...?

Do you feel sure...? of His powerful love...? for you...?

Yes...
LOVE... 
held Him on the cross...

What... in all creation...
could ever separate us...
from a love powerful enough...
to hold the Creator on a cross...

Lord Jesus... thank You...
Continue to grow me in knowledge and understanding...
when it comes to Your love... and grace...
Let Your Word... encourage me... to live every moment...
by the Spirit... and not by my flesh...
Thank You for Your love...
that saved me...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Romans 8... day 32...

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written,
"For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
Romans 8:35-37 ESV

This passage has always held a bit of difficulty for me...
but I see... maybe... a little more clearly what's being said...
after wading through the whole... bit... by... bit...

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ...?

The One who died for us... loves us...

For God so loved the world, 
that he gave his only Son...
John 3:16 ESV

...I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 ESV

If He willingly died for our sins...
having all the vile... unholy... acts of the generations...
placed on Him...
what in all creation...
could separate us from His love...?

He knows the worst... and still loves us...

In our humanness... Believers often misread... 
tribulation...
distress...
persecution...
famine...
nakedness...
danger...
sword...
as punishment...

If He loves me... Why...?... are bad things happening to me...?

What about Him...?

"Now is the Son of Man glorified,
and God is glorified in him. ..."
---Jesus
John 13:31 ESV

These are Jesus's words...
spoken as soon as the betrayer left the Last Supper...

What came next...?
Arrest...
Abandonment...
False accusation...
Injustice...
Mocking...
Persecution...
Flogging...
Jeering...
Crucifixion...

God the Father... loves the Son...

If through all this... (that from this side of creation seems so unfair... horrific...) He is glorified... could it be... that His love for us... may somehow play out the same way...?

For Your sake we are being killed all the day long...
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered...

This is the verse that gives me trouble...

Yet now... on the eve of Good Friday... I begin to gain a glimpse of the reality...

Through Christ's crucifixion...
death...
He paid the price for all sin...
and for those who believe...
made death a non sequitor...
insignificant...

Therefore... there may be times He uses trials... injustices... horrors... in our lives... not to punish... but to glorify who He is... and us... through our faithfulness... praise... trust... through whatever He allows...

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3 ESV

The glory comes... when others see our response...
and perhaps... move toward salvation...
because we willingly suffered...
as sheep to be slaughtered...
for His sake...

Jesus is that Ultimate Sheep...
killed for His sake...
in return for our salvation...

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying in the body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV

No...!
We are not just sheep to be slaughtered...

In Him...
we are more... than... conquerors...


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Romans 8... day 31...

Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?
It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn?
Christ Jesus is the one who died
--- more than that, who was raised ---
who is at the right hand of God,
who indeed is interceding for us.
Romans 8:33-34 ESV

We learned yesterday... God is for us... therefore... who in the world can be against us...?

Today... we see those in Christ... do not even have to hear any charge against them...

We do not have to listen... pay any attention... to any accusation...

Did you know... the word... Satan... is a transliteration of a Hebrew word...?

This word... satan... means... adversary... one (a natural or supernatural being who opposes another... either as a verbal antagonist and so a slanderer or accuser... (Dictionary of Biblical Languages)

Do you see it...? 
Satan... he is the Accuser...

As an elect of Father God... His son in Christ Jesus... we do not have to pay attention to anything this accuser speaks to us...

Satan only utters lies... 

You do not have to listen... when he calls you guilty... 
when he condemns you as... worthless...
or mocks you as... too much trouble...

It is God who justifies...

And He has chosen to justify you in His Son...

Who can possibly condemn you...? when the Ultimate Judge... the Writer of the Rules... the Definer of Right and Wrong... defends you as guiltless...? holy...? chosen...?

Christ died... for your sin... for mine...
not only that... He was raised... because He had no sin of His own...
and He currently stands... at the right hand of God...
interceding for us...

Satan accuses...
Jesus says... Not possible... that's been paid for...

Satan condemns...
Jesus says... No way... this one's worth dying for...

Jesus... who knows what we truly deserve...
because He bore it...
forgives... us...
defends... us...
frees... us...

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
---Jesus
Luke 23:34 ESV

The One who loved us enough to take our place...
die for us...
provides all the Reason...
for Father God to justify us...

The next time the enemy begins to accuse... condemn... incriminate...
don't bother to listen... tune him out...
and... tune in to the One... who justifies... defends... saves...

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for his own possession,
that you may proclaim the excellencies of him
who called you out of the darkness into his marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9 ESV