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, May 31, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 74... and... lessons on praise...

The heart of praise in the Psalms caught my attention this week... and I began to look for lessons on praise...

Sing to the Lord a new song,
for He has done marvelous things...
Psalm 98:1 Amp

Our praise should be fresh... our hearts continually filled with new songs of praise for the marvelous things He is doing in our lives... here and now...

Let them confess and praise Your great name,
awesome and reverence inspiring!
It is holy, and holy is He!
Psalm 99:3 Amp

The exercise of praise stirs up the fear of the Lord in our hearts... promotes a proper attitude for the basis of our relationship with Him...

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Psalm 100:1-2 Amp

Praising Him on the regular... leads to glad... joyful... acts of service...

I will sing of mercy and loving-kindness and justice;
to You, O Lord, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely
and give heed to the blameless way --- O when will You come to me?
I will walk within my house in integrity and with a blameless heart.
I will set no base or wicked things before my eyes.
Psalm 101:1-3 Amp

Praise inspires us to live with integrity before Him... longing for His presence in our life...

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul;
and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!
Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not [one of] all His benefits---
Psalm 103:1 Amp

Sometimes... a stirring up of one's own soul... is required to praise God... and remember all His benefits...

These are lessons from psalmists of old... from His Word... words I began to write before I received a praise lesson... live and in person...

Currently retreating... away on vacation... 
I felt led to attend a nearby church...
His still small voice making the suggestion since we arrived...
This is not my usual way... to visit a church while on vacation...
it would have been an easy call to ignore... but I'm so grateful I didn't...

What I saw... experienced... was Spirit-led worship...

The pastor began with a review of the Word from last week... 
a battle prayer... and God's answer to the people...

"...O our God, will you not execute judgment on them?
For we are powerless against this great horde 
that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, 
but our eyes are on you."
...
Thus says the Lord to you, 'Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed
at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's. ...'"
2 Chronicles 20:12, 15 ESV

The point of review... God's people entering battle with praise...

And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Johoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed." And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, "Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever."
1 Chronicles 20:20-21 ESV

Then the pastor said... We are doing something different this morning... I'm not sure what it will look like... 

And we moved into an extended time of praise in song and prayer...

The pastor invited anyone who was so moved during the songs of praise... to come forward to the microphone... and pray whatever they felt led to pray...

We continued... intermittent songs of praise... with prayers from the people...

The pastor prompted the congregation... 
What shall we praise God for today...
The people responded... 
His patience... 
His compassion and mercy...
His glory...
His deliverance...

And the pastor prayed... others prayed...

The rhythm continued...
song of praise...
spontaneous prayer...
song of praise...
words of prayer...
spontaneous song of praise and prayer...

The pastor directed us to sit... and as he prepared to deliver a message... a woman from the congregation moved forward... she openly shared a powerful testimony... and sat back down...

The pastor... clearly following a leading... said... I had another battle story prepared for this morning... but I don't think I'm supposed to share it today... then he called on a woman to share a dream... vision... she had regarding the church...

I saw her as he called her name...
Who me...? 
He mentioned the dream...
She pulled out her journal... moved forward... and shared her experience in prayer... how she hears Him... and the dream she had regarding this church...
She had clearly shared it with the pastor at some point... but did not know she would be asked to share with the congregation today...

And I see... in this church... where I never expected to be... how praise... and prayer... lead to true worship of Him...

Worship then leads... to transparency among the people... and an environment where testimony can be shared...

Praise + Prayer => Worship

Worship => Transparency + Testimony

What I saw today... is what I imagined worship to be...
Not programmed... not scheduled...
But organic... Spirit-led... plenty of margin for whatever He has in mind...

And I wonder after... at all it took to get me in that place at this time... on this Sunday... 

And I recognize how easy I could have dismissed His voice... 

And I'm so grateful I didn't... miss lessons on praise... live and in person...

He has filled my heart with a new song... and a new vision... for praise... and... prayer...

Join The Journey... open the door for Him to teach you new lessons... live and in person...

This week's readings...
Monday               Psalm 107
Tuesday               Psalm 108
Wednesday         Psalm 109
Thursday             Psalm 110-113
Friday                 Psalm 114-116

Friday, May 29, 2015

a children's prayer [republished from March 26, 2012]

Sunday... a prayer to God... following the children's message...

...be the Fingers that squeeze us that we might spring to life...

The illustration... a spring... pressed down... released... flying free...

Thoughts jump to the stumbling week... the me... too big... needing to be pressed small...

Maybe... God's fingers are gently pressing... now... prodding... nudging... to a new level of growth... even more new life... maybe... this is a good thing... a grace... as Ann Voskamp teaches...


But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
2Cointhians 4:7-11

Lord... help me receive Your pressing down... Your discipline... with joy... help me recognize the grace and the good behind each squeeze... the revealing of You in me...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

transformation [republished from December 27, 2011]

Jesus makes us someone else...
every day...
Weird compared to the world...
outcast in some ways... less socially acceptable...

But other days...
dark days...
days of loss... pain... death...
other days...
Jesus makes us desired...
light in dark...

You hear... Show me the way...

Slow change...
little by little...
changed from dark to light...
in the world but not of the world...
Jesus makes us some one else...

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, 
are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, 
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2Corinthians 3:18

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

retreating...

Retreating for a few days...

A time away from the regular... time to prepare for new...

Maybe a time to republish some past posts... we'll see...

Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Psalm 116:7 ESV

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

returning home... to reminders...

The return trip from yesterday... ended today...

Returning home...
to trees uprooted...
power lines down...
no electricity...
no water...

A powerful storm... perhaps a tornado... leaving in its wake... a big mess... in just a few minutes... less than an hour...

The cleanup will take days... if not weeks...

Such storms remind us... how little control we have... how little power...

The entirety of the whole human race couldn't stop it... change it... or slow it down...

All we can do is wait storms out...
then clean up...
repair as best we can...

It reminds me of mankind's need...
for a Strong Tower...
a Shelter in the Storm...
a Rock on which to build...

He alone controls the powers of the universe...
they are in His hand...
a word from Him can calm a storm...

How grateful I am to know Him...
and for these moments to be reminded...
how much we need Him...

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men.
Psalm 107:28-31

Monday, May 25, 2015

faithful in adventure...

A trip home after a weekend with family... turned into adventure...

Less than an hour from home... a storm turned us back...

The clues to turn...?
No cell phone connection...
Repeated voicemails... I couldn't access...
Text messages not sending...

Time to turn around...

Twenty miles down the road from where we came... calls could be made... texts received...

My husband had gotten stuck on the road... less than two miles from our house...

He was leaving home when he heard about the tornado warning... as he turned back home a large tree fell across the road in front of him... five fell behind him...

When I talked to him he had made it home... pulling branches enough out of the way to be able to drive by...

He said the house was fine... but we wouldn't be able to get there... no electricity... stay in a hotel...

Grateful for his safety... and ours too...

But as we left for home much earlier this afternoon... I'd taken a moment to ask God which way we should go...

One way mostly interstate... divided highway... several towns along the way...
The other way... miles and miles... of two lane no shoulder... roads through national forest...

He said to go the first way... so we did... not the way we usually go these days...

I realized as we turned to flee the storm... if we had gone the other way... we would have been much farther from any town... much farther from cover... and in the midst of a forest... two lane road... in high winds... torrential rain...

Grateful for His faithfulness...
Grateful for the prompt to ask for His guidance...
Grateful for a place to stay...
Grateful for adventure...(?)

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 73... and an eternal perspective...

The Psalms teach us to live... from an eternal perspective...

His city is eternal... this is the place we look forward to living...

On the holy hills stands the city [of Jerusalem and the temple]
God founded. The Lord loves the gates of Zion [through which
the crowds of pilgrims enter from all nations] more than
all the dwellings of Jacob (Israel). Glorious things are
spoken of you, O city of God. Selah [pause,
and calmly realize what that means]!
Psalm 87:1-3 Amp

I can't help but think of this as God's ultimate dwelling... the one yet to be revealed...

...pause... calmly realize what that means...

For [Abraham] was looking forward to the city
that has foundations, whose design and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:10 ESV

And His Word says of the faithful who've gone before...

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised,
but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having
acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
For people who speak thus make it clear 
that they are seeking a homeland.
Hebrews 11:13-14 ESV

An eternal perspective reminds us we are currently strangers... exiles... on earth...  pilgrims... moving forward... not getting comfortable where we are...

We are not yet home...

Looking forward... fills us with never-ending praise...

I will sing of the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord forever;
with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness
from generation to generation.
Psalm 89:1 Amp

Knowing the eternal nature of God and His Kingdom... inspire us to sing now... revealing Him to generation after generation... knowing we will never cease singing His praise...

The psalms remind us... He not only endures from this point on...
but He has no beginning...
He is the source of all things... yet has no source of His own...

Lord, You have been our dwelling place and our refuge
in all generations [says Moses]. Before the mountains
were brought forth or ever You had formed and given birth
to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to
everlasting You are God.
Psalm 90:1-2 Amp

Remembering Him as our Endless Creator... and realizing how fragile we are... causes us to seek Him for guidance on how to live out our lives... which He already sees from beginning to end...

So teach us to number our days,
that we may get us a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 Amp

We should never forget the eternal nature of God... never-ending... without beginning... tireless... here we find encouragement for the pilgrimage...

To see suffering... pain... hardship... from an eternal perspective... reminds us we are traveling through... to an incorruptible Kingdom... where we truly belong...

An eternal perspective... encourages us to seek His wisdom as we go through life... and blesses us with the hope needed to persevere...

The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty;
the Lord is robed, He has girded Himself with strength and power;
the world also established, that it cannot be moved.
Your throne is established from of old;
You are from everlasting.
Psalm 93:1-2 Amp

What can the Psalms teach you...?
Join The Journey and find out...

This week's readings...
Monday...             Psalm 98-101
Tuesday...             Psalm 102-103
Wednesday...        Psalm 104
Thursday...           Psalm 105
Friday...                Psalm 106

Friday, May 22, 2015

crazy faithfulness...

She asked it in Bible study today... in reference to the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation... the ones from Jesus... commending... rebuking... instructing...

What would He say that you are doing well...?

I tentatively said... Faithfulness...

I know faithfulness only comes from Him... it's a gift... but I believe my faithfulness to Him is something He would commend in me...

And I thought is that really true... then I realized what I had done just that very morning...

I allowed the leader of this group of ladies to pass out invitations to a study on Romans 8... the one I believe (by faith) He's calling me to lead... 

The proof of faithfulness in the passing out of invitations... comes with the fact that at this point... today... there is no completed study...

This is crazy faith... to invite ladies to a study... that still needs to be written...

But I have faith in Him... that He will complete... what He's... begun...

To the faithful you show yourself faithful...
Psalm 18:25

Thursday, May 21, 2015

too much for words... just praise...

Looking back on my day... there is just too much to put into words...
privileges...
opportunities...
blessings...
joys...

Just filled with praise...

Lord... I praise You for the work that You are about...
I thank You for the glimpses of it I saw today...
I praise You for Your love... grace... wisdom...
and all Your benefits...
I... just... praise... You...

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits ---
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103:1-5

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

remembrance... pure satisfaction...

Remembering today... He is... pure satisfaction...
satisfaction... 1 a: the payment through penance of the temporal punishment incurred by a sin b: reparation for sin that meets the demands of divine justice 2 a: fulfillment of a need or want b: the quality or state of being satisfied: contentment c: a source or means of enjoyment: gratification 3 a: compensation for a loss or injury: atonement, restitution b: the discharge of a legal obligation or claim c: vindication 4: convinced assurance or certainty
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dict. (11th Ed.)
So... color me surprised by this definition...

As I approached this remembrance... I had in mind... the quality or state of being satisfied... contentment...

A day when I heard of those unsatisfied... seeking satisfaction from things... like food...
revenge... 
change... 
financial security... 
to see the first definition of satisfaction as... the payment... of the temporal punishment incurred by sin... turns my heart to the real reason... He is... pure satisfaction...

He is... the One who takes away the sin of the world...! 

I think of my own need to be satisfied when it comes to food... comfort... assurance... but now I see ... truly see... He knows... our true need... 

The only thing able to satisfy our souls completely...? 
Forgiveness of sin...

Our greatest dis-ease... is not physical... or emotional... it's spiritual...

That's why when He saw the faith of the paralytic's friends... how they broke through a roof... to get to Him... He gave the man what He truly needed... what would truly satisfy... even though it's not what anyone expected...


And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Son, your sins are forgiven."
Mark 2:5 ESV

We feel the dissatisfaction... in all areas of life... but fail to recognize its true root...

Consider areas of dissatisfaction in your life...
What do you turn to for satisfaction...?
What is it you think you need in order to be content...?

Now... consider what He says you need...
what He came to do...
could you find forgiveness... complete forgiveness... satisfying...? the key to every unfulfilled desire...?

Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:3-8 ESV

It is because of His love... that He sent His Son...

Do you hear the satisfaction in the soul of the psalmist...?
physical satisfaction...
assurance...
provision...

Do you believe it to be true...?

If He said it... it must be true...

Let's try... for the next few days... to start each day with a prayer...

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14 ESV

What better confirmation of satisfaction... than joy...? gladness all our days...?

I praise You Lord... as Pure Satisfaction...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

muddled...?

A day beginning with inexplicable joy... has become a muddle by its end...

A puzzle really... because I've seen His faithfulness... throughout the day...

First... the joy...
then provision of unsought help... in completing my list of to-dos...
finally... peace... in the midst of problems...

But... somewhere... along the way to evening...
I've forgotten... to remember...
or... let my list... and its order... muddle my heart...

Taking on the responsibility... of the things He's called me to... rather than rolling it onto Him... fully trusting His faithfulness... to get it all done...

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
Psalm 37:5 ESV

Lord... forgive my anxiety... 
and lack of thankfulness... for Your faithfulness...
Thank You...

Monday, May 18, 2015

remembrance... great faithfulness...

The need of remembrance... continues...

Remembering today... His... great faithfulness...

God is faithful, by whom you were called
into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV

The One who called us into fellowship with His Son... is faithful... 
Faithful to help us maintain fellowship with Him...

He is faithful in the area of temptation...

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

He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear... 
He will not leave us without an escape...
Remember His great faithfulness in the time of temptation...

He is faithful in the process of sanctification... in growing us up... maturing our faith...

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely,
and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ESV

With all He calls me to do... remembering His great faithfulness... is essential...

Apart from Him... I can do nothing...

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

What He began... He must complete...

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6 ESV

Trusting His great faithfulness... 
I allow Him... to do through me...
only what He can... because I can't...

Listening for the next step... I take it...

But... He is the One responsible... 
for establishing... and guarding... 
what He began in me... and you... 

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you
and guard you against the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 ESV

Even in our faithlessness... He is great in faithfulness...

...if we are faithless, he remains faithful ---
for he cannot deny himself.
2 Timothy 2:13 ESV

His Spirit in us... He cannot deny... 
even when we fail in faithfulness...

When we do fail... He is faithful to forgive...

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 ESV

His great faithfulness... should inspire... encourage... our own faithfulness...

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23 ESV

Today... in taking steps... of faith...
I remember... His... great... faithfulness...
and my need... for it...


Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 72... and... remember to remember...

I approached the reading of the Psalms this last week a little differently... I asked Him to provide a theme... a single lesson to learn from the psalms read... and He did...

Psalm 77... the first psalm read in Week 71...

I earnestly remember God; I am disquieted and I groan;
I muse in prayer, and my spirit faints [overwhelmed].
Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Psalm 77:3 Amp

The psalmist... in the midst of a very difficult... trying... time... earnestly remembers God...
remember... to bring to mind or think of again... to keep in mind for attention or consideration... to retain in the memory... record, commemorate...
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.)
To remember God... His character... His wonders of old... His works and mighty deeds (both past and present)... is an important part of our faith journey... an essential spiritual discipline...

This is no casual remembrance... it is an exercise in meditation... an earnest... intentional... recollection... of who He is... and all He's done in the past...

Remembering Him... in the midst of crisis... protects us from our own imagination... and its tendency to play the What if...? game...
What if the worst happens...?
What if it's terminal...?
What if we lose everything...?

Remembering Him... His deeds... His wonders... keeps us steadfast in the storm... and bold in the day of battle...

Another important aspect of remembering... is teaching...

Teaching the next generation to remember... who He is...

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; 
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable 
(in instruction by numerous examples);
I will utter dark sayings of old [that hide important truth]---
Which we have heard and known and our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children, but we will tell
to the generation to come the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
His might, and the wonderful works that He has performed.
Psalm 78:1-4 Amp

Teaching the next generation to know and remember Him... protects them from rebellion... keeps them close to Him... focused on Him... instead of the world...

If the next generation doesn't know who He is... or what He does... they will not know Him to be trustworthy... they will not know He is personal and active in their lives...

The psalms record... commemorate... the need to remember... to remember...

Join along in The Journey readings... find what you need to remember... to stay faithful...

This week's readings...
Monday               Psalm 87-88
Tuesday               Psalm 89
Wednesday          Psalm 90-91
Thursday             Psalm 92-94
Friday                 Psalm 95-97

Friday, May 15, 2015

remembrance... generous grace...

Remembering today... His generous grace...

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

Why...?

Why any beauty...? in the world we broke...? corrupted with sin...?





Why the steadfast seasons...? providing continuity to our lives...?

Storms... that's what we deserve...

But even in storms... 
emotional...
physical...
natural...
supernatural...
there is grace to be had...

Storms turn our hearts to Him...

But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you...
Psalm 10:14 

There have been some storms lately... around the world...
How many have recognized His grace...?
Do you see His grace...? in your personal storms...?

...where sin abounds...
grace increases all the more...

Remembering His generous grace...
what it means to me...
and to the world...

For from his fullness we have all received,
grace upon grace.
John 1:16 ESV

Lord... such grace immeasurable... in seasons and storms...
Open my eyes and heart... so I never miss Your generous grace...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

wondering about... His unfailing Word...

Remembrance... of His unfailing Word... left me wondering...

The after-school ministry... and the teaching of Bible to sixth graders... is coming to a close for the school year...

A time when kids are wound up... and those who serve them are wearing down... counting days...

The sowing... scattering of seed... on this rough terrain... can be challenging... and at times seems... well... fruitless...

As I looked over the sanctuary filled with 150+ children waiting to be picked up... Kinder through 6th...  the activity level high... the noise level even higher... I remember... the remembrance of His unfailing Word...

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. ..."
Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV
(my emphasis)
Literally... the thought made me laugh...
one of those cynical little laughs...
I thought...
Really...?!
The Word planted... this year... in this soil... will not return to You void...?
The thought made me wonder...
Wonder at the possibility of the truth of this Word...
Wonder at the prospect of where it would sprout first...
Who would find a meal in the seed planted...
Who would go on to plant it in other places...
An unexpected encouragement... at the end of a challenging day... of hauling seed... casting it on what seemed to be unfertile soil...
The thought that it would not return to Him void... empty... was wonder-full...


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

remembrance... unfailing Word...

In the pre-dawn dark of the day... listening to the rain fall down... I remember... His Word does not fail...

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. ..."
Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV

With the challenge of Romans 8... knowing I can't... but He can...
I find peace... strength... in remembering that what He says...
does not return to Him empty...

What He says... always accomplishes His purpose...

Whether it's the promise in His written Word...
or the one spoken in your heart... 
the specific call...
the hopeful visions... 
the prophetic word...

Resting today... in the wonderful fullness of His Word...
and the sound of the rain... reminding me... to remember...
His Word... never... fails...

"... Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will never pass away. ..." ---Jesus
Matthew 24:34

Where do you need to trust His Word... today...?

Remember... His Word... will accomplish the purpose... for which He sent it...

Father God... I rest... trust in... Your Word... today...
It is not up to me to make it happen... it is Yours to accomplish...
all I need do... is follow...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

remembrance... fresh mercies...

Today... I remember... Your mercies are new every morning...

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

Fresh... like that first cup of coffee...


Alive... like the pre-dawn singing of the birds...

New... like the dawning of the day...

Yes... today... I remember Your mercies...
fresh...
alive...
new...

Thank You... Lord... for Your fresh mercies...
unfailing love... and great faithfulness...

What's going on in your life... today...? Can it be seen in a new light... because you remember His fresh mercies...?

Monday, May 11, 2015

feeling the need to remember...

Feeling the need to remember... in the midst of challenges... and changes...

Remember...
who He is...
what He has done...
what He promises...

I will [earnestly] recall the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will [earnestly] remember the wonders
[You performed for our fathers] of old.
I will meditate also upon all Your works
and consider all Your [mighty] deeds.
Psalm 77:11-12 Amp

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 71... and... a Rock of Refuge...

Be to me a rock of refuge in which to dwell,
and a sheltering stronghold to which I may continually resort,
which You have appointed to save me,
for You are my Rock and my Fortress.
Psalm 71:3 Amp

In the past... I've considered a refuge as a place to go to when there was trouble... danger... disturbance... which is what our English word means... according to Websters...
refuge... shelter or protection from danger or distress... a place that provides shelter or protection... something to which one has recourse in difficulty...
But this week... I learned the Hebrew translated as refuge... is a place to dwell... live... abide...

I never really considered my own home a refuge... it's simply the place I live... where I stay when I'm not out and about...

In reality... it is a refuge...
it's where I go at night when it's dark...
it's shelter from the elements...
it's where I gather with family...
store my stuff...
feel safe...
and just be me...

And in a season of change... I feel the need for Him to be for me... a Rock of Refuge... in which to dwell... a sheltering stronghold... to protect me from the elements of my own emotions... those places the enemy stirs into fear... anxiety... and takes advantage of...

So grateful for this Word in the Psalms... and the grace He provides... so I may dwell in Him... live each moment in Him... as my Rock of Refuge...

My mouth shall be filled with Your praise
and with Your honor all the day.
Psalm 71:8 Amp

Join The Journey... discover for yourself... who He is for you...

This week's readings...
Monday                         Psalm 77:1 - 78:20
Tuesday                         Psalm 78:21-72
Wednesday                    Psalm 79-80
Thursday                        Psalm 81-83
Friday                            Psalm 84-86

Friday, May 8, 2015

exercising faith...

A question in this morning's study... made me feel vulnerable...
The church is a body, and every member is a specific part with a specific function. What is one spiritual gift God has given you and how are you developing it and using it for his glory? How can your group members encourage you as you seek to use your gifts to serve Jesus?
---The Story: Adult Curriculum
I could answer the question... but I didn't want to say it out loud... didn't want the group to know... because it's a stretching for me... something that took me a while to embrace and share...

The spiritual gift I believe I've been given sounds big... almost embarrassing to say... knowledge and teaching... of His Word...

I have been exercising it through teaching... leading... Sunday school classes... Bible studies... and through the writing taking place here... in a small obscure way...

But a challenge to pursue something a little bigger... take the next step... has been pressing...

Out of the Lenten exercise of walking through Romans 8... I felt Him calling me to take it deeper... develop the thirty writings from Jeremiah's Menu into a full blown six week study... to offer this summer at my table...

Way out of my comfort zone... the potential for failure seems huge... yet... last Sunday I committed... surrendered rather... and began to write... began to share the call with others...

This morning... sharing this call... saying what I believe I've been gifted with out loud... brought waves of vulnerability...

Asking these ladies to pray for this journey... inviting them to be a part of the journey... was hard... an exercise in faith...

So... now that I've said it out loud... and shared it here with you... I ask for your prayers too...

Pray for me to be faithful to this call...
Pray I will be bold...
Pray I will be Spirit led...

This exercising of faith... makes me break out in a cold sweat...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

embracing His mystery...

Through the act of praising Him as Mystery... the One beyond our understanding... the One known only through the grace of revelation... the importance of embracing His mystery becomes clear...

To embrace the unknowns of God... is to embrace Him in faith...

To doubt... hesitate... disobey... because He hasn't given full disclosure... is to walk in unbelief...

Trusting Him... is huge... when it comes to loving Him...

Like children... we are to trust out heavenly Father... without fully understanding what He's calling us to do... or why...

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying,
"Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said,
"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ..."
Matthew 18:1-3 ESV

So often... parents must tell their children to do something... or submit to something... for their own good... yet there is no possible way for the child to understand in the moment... developmentally they just can't do it... for example... vaccinations... 

Three-year-olds are far from comprehending the threat of viruses... or the blessing of vaccines to boost immune systems for their protection from disease...

As Believers... we too must embrace our limited understanding... and God's wisdom and timing... in providing revelation...

There are some things we will just not be able to understand... comprehend... or see the reason to... while we are in the flesh...

Embracing His mystery... 
is an act of childlike faith... and wonder...
an exercise of trust... and love...

Take a step of faith...
let go of your need for understanding...
trust your heavenly Father...
just like a child...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

a mystery to add to the list...

All they that see me laugh me to scorn:
they shoot out the lip, they shake the head.
Psalm 22:7 KJV

Reading a devotional this morning... provided another mystery... to add to the list...
... how couldst Thou die for men who treated Thee so ill? ...
---Oswald Chambers, Morning and Evening
Thinking of my own heart... past rejections quickly evoked hate...

No other word will do...

When those I'd said I loved... rejected me... my heart protected itself with hate... it's a bent in my character... I still have to beware of...

But not Him...

He knows how to love... He is love...

We accused Him... rejected Him...
beat Him... mocked Him...
deserted Him... spat on Him...
crucified Him...

Yet... He held Himself to the cross... for love of each one of us...

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills prophets
and stones those sent to it! How often would I have gathered
your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
and you were not willing. ..." ---Jesus
Matthew 23:37 ESV

He knew we would do it... and He still came...

How could He...? suffer... die...? for us who rejected Him...? hated Him...?

Father God sent His Son... out of love... for the world...

Jesus... endured... suffered... because He loved...

And still... there are those He loves... who continue to reject... mock...  and scorn Him... to their own demise...

There's another mystery... to add to the list...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

mysteries...

I dealt with a few mysteries today...
inexplicable design flaws...
how to get rid of chimney swifts trying to nest on the front porch...
what to do about dogs coming to visit of their own accord...
why people do what they do...

So moved by mysteries... it became the subject of today's post...

Looking up the definition... I found...
mystery... noun... 1 a: a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand... 2 a: something not understood or beyond understanding: enigma... 3: profound, inexplicable, or secretive quality or character
 ---Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.)
I had no idea the primary definition of mystery had to do with God... (since all truth is His... any religious truth is solely about the one true God... Father... Son... Spirit...)

This definition reminds me... I deal with mysteries every day when it comes to knowing Him...

And I've learned the only way to understand is via revelation... His unveiling... revealing... of truth...

He who holds all things together... is a mystery in and of Himself...

No wonder the world... the universe... abounds with mysteries...

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16 ESV

Monday, May 4, 2015

wondering at His ways...

For those who trust Him... step out in faith... follow the leading of the Spirit... wherever He blows... God makes the way...

In my own life... He led me to be prepared... for something I didn't know was coming... but He knew... and as I obeyed... not knowing why... He made the way for me to handle what came... a health issue requiring a radical lifestyle change...

I see it in the life of a friend... stepping out deeper in her relationship with Him... trusting Him in obedience... He makes the way... provides what's needed... as He expands the influence of ministry in her life...

And in the life of a loved one... she too... stepping out into unknown waters... just because she hears Him calling... and yes... with each step of faith... He is providing the way...

When we embrace Him... understand our lack of vision when it comes to the future... and trust Him... obey Him... He will prepare the way for what is ahead... He knows...

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground. 
These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.
Isaiah 42:16 ESV

This life is about getting to know Him by faith... because that's what pleases Him...

... without faith it is impossible to please him,
for whoever would draw near to God must believe
that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV

...and blesses us...

Then Jesus told [Thomas], 
"Because you have seen me, you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
John 20:27

Yes... this evening... I'm wondering... in awe and amazement and joy... at His ways...

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!
Psalm 72:18-19 ESV

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Journey Readings... Week:70... and... the earth's harvest...

The earth has yielded its harvest
[in evidence of God's approval];
God, even our own God, will bless us.
Psalm 67:6 Amp

After reading this verse yesterday... near the end of the last psalm in last week's readings... I looked out the window...




The abundance of green... overwhelmed...

The earth has yielded its produce;
God, our God, blesses us.
Psalm 67:6 NASB95

His abundant blessing in sunshine... and green leaves... bursting forth this Spring... providing oxygen... and shade...

The abundance of moisture... He has provided for this to happen... His abundant generosity... just in my backyard... overwhelms...

To think beyond... to all that's produced by the earth... to fill grocery store shelves... and feed the world... truly stretches the imagination...

His generosity... beyond abundant... through the earth's harvest... to meet our physical needs...

Not to mention... the infinite blessing of His grace... to feed our spiritual needs...
forgiveness...
mercy...
compassion...
love...
healing...
poured out through His Son...

It makes me ashamed of the poor representative I am of His Kingdom... His way...

Just for a moment... I saw a glimpse of what the world would produce... if it were up to me... brown grass... trees with few leaves...

My own heart... still so far from where it should be... when it comes to generosity... grace... pouring out myself for others... for Him...

Lord... free me to burst forth... as generous as You...

Find out something about your heart... compared to His... join The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday                Psalm 68
Tuesday               Psalm 69-70
Wednesday           Psalm 71-72
Thursday             Psalm 73
Friday                   Psalm 74-76

Friday, May 1, 2015

you're invited...

I read it on the treadmill this week...
God is not an undefined sort of energy or function in place somewhere waiting for us to show up with the right technique or the correct password to swing him into action. He is already active, enormously and incessantly active, creating and saving, healing and blessing, forgiving and judging. He was active in this way as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit long before we showed up on the scene, and he has clearly made it known that he wants us in on what he is doing. He invites our participation.
---Eugene H. Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places
God is working all the time...

As Believers we are called to participate with Him... be involved in what He's doing... at home... work... school... church... community... wherever...

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. ..."
Matthew 16:24 ESV

"... Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls. ..."
Matthew 11:29 ESV

The read made me wonder... ask... Am I participating in Your work...?

And today... from two different sources... I believe I received a... Yes...
but I wish I could see Him at work more clearly...
know my role more confidently...

Sometimes this faith thing... it's a bit of a mystery...

What about you...? do you see Him at work where you are...?

Do you look for signs of what He's doing...?

Are you participating in His work...? or doing your own...?

What does it look like to participate with Him...?