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, July 31, 2015

more on dealing with... stirred up...

The teaching on praying with another who struggles... and seeing it as a  way of dealing with a stirred up heart... is pretty basic... 

I wonder... Why didn't I think of it myself...? how did I forget...?

Stirred up emotions... make us forgetful...
they fuel doubt... and distract from what we know...

Thankful for the reminder...
the practice of praying has begun...
and already... peace... begins to still my heart...

The practice of blessing Him...
by remembering His blessings...
through prayers of praise...
the best way to deal with... a stirred up soul...

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns your life with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103:1-5 ESV

Soul... bless the Lord...
remember His benefits...
let Him still your heart...
through prayers of praise...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

dealing with... stirred up...

I heard a teacher on the radio today... speaking to one of my stirred up issues from yesterday...

The things of this world... 
distracting His people from Him...

The heart of the message... seeking God's will...

The teacher said one way we miss His will... is because the enemy works to distract... divert... His people from His will...

This struck a chord with my heart... specifically a loved one allowing himself to be distracted... diverted... from God...

This morning... reflecting on last night's stirring... brought visions of Jesus in the temple... turning tables... ousting those who were distracting... diverting... the worshipers... from His Father...

His disciples remembered that it was written,
"Zeal for you house will consume me."
John 2:17 ESV

He was zealous for His Father's house...

I felt the same zeal for the heart of the loved one... a Believer... which makes Him a temple for God's Spirit... and his allowing of the world... the enemy... to continue to distract... divert...

My heart aches... longing to drive out the voices of distraction... wondering how to go about this spiritual purging of the temple...

The one who struggles... needs direction... needs to hear God's will for his life...

The teacher I heard went on to say... advice would not help... joining the one struggling in prayer... on knees... was the best thing to do... the only thing to do...

Some timely words... ones I plan to exercise... prayer surely the way... to defeat the distractions of the world...

Paul in his letter to the Colossians commends one of his colleagues for his prayers for the brothers...

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus,
sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you,
that you may stand firm in all the will of God,
mature and fully assured.
Colossians 4:12

Preparing to enter the wrestling ring of prayer as a way of dealing with... stirred up...


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

stirred up...

The things of this world...
distracting His people from Him...
stir me up...

Christian organizations...
inconsistent in word and deed...
stir me up...

My own failures...
to walk in His Word...
stir me up...

This evening...
I find myself...
stirred up...

Trusting Him to make all things right...
even me...

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
Psalm 4:1 ESV

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

now that's different...

You know... I probably knew it already... but to hear it said the way it was said... made it much more clear...
Salvation is about getting God in man.
---Adrian Rogers
Salvation is not about getting man into heaven...
it's about getting God in man...

Now that's different...

"... Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit
by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, 
unless you abide in me. ..."
John 15:4 ESV

To abide in Jesus... is to have Him in you...
the only way to bear fruit for His Kingdom...
the only way of salvation...

"... If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away
like a branch and withers; and the branches gathered,
thrown into the fire, and burned. ..."
John 15:6 ESV

To argue... convince... reason... a person into believing is not possible... only God... by making the Way through faith... can He enter into a person...

Just think about it...
it's different...

Monday, July 27, 2015

tension...

The intense season of stretching faith seems to be drawing to a close...

The last full week of Bible study days written and in the hands of the ladies... only one final lesson to write...

But today... the release of tension... makes me feel a bit like a tent whose pegs have come loose... saggy... dragging...

Constant stretching... then release... makes me feel more acutely the weariness...

The challenge now... create tension... persevere...
it is not yet time to totally relax...
there is still much to do... much He has to do...

Still trusting Him to provide the words... teaching... time... energy for everything He calls me to do... and now willingly press on... by faith... to remain diligent... even in the release...

I press on toward the goal...
Philippians 3:14

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 82... and high places...

[Jehoshaphat] walked in all the ways or customs of Asa his father,
never swerving from it, doing right in the sight of the Lord.
However, the [idolatrous] high places were not taken away;
for the people still sacrificed and burned incense
in the high places.
1 Kings 22:43 Amp

King Jehoshaphat walked as his father King Asa... doing right in the sight of the Lord... however... he let the high places remain... places of sacrifice and incense offering...

To my understanding... the sacrifices and offerings taking place during the reign of Asa and Jehoshaphat were to the Lord... and not pagan gods... but it was not the way God wanted to be worshiped...

These high places were left over from the previous inhabitants of the Promised Land... they were places the Israelites were to remove...

"Speak to the people of Israel and say to them,
When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from
before you and destroy all their figured stones and destroy
all their metal images and demolish all their high places. ..."
Numbers 33:51-52 ESV

Especially after the building of the temple... there was to be no other place for sacrifice... or offering incense... only the temple... anything else was against the law...

Even though Asa... Jehoshaphat... walked in God's way... doing right... there was this area of compromise left in the land... among the people... a place for the enemy to get a foothold...

Wherever there is compromise... a heart is prepared for sin...

So I wonder... Are there high places in my life...? areas of compromise where I'm not quite following His way...?

What about you...?

An important question to consider... I don't want the enemy to have access to my life in any way... 

Do you...?

See what else you might need to consider... join The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday                   2 Kings 4
Tuesday                  2 Kings 5:1 - 6:7
Wednesday             2 Kings 6:8 - 7:20
Thursday                2 Kings 8:1 - 9:13
Friday                     2 Kings 9:14 - 10:17

Friday, July 24, 2015

narrow margin...

Walking one morning this week... feeling the pressure of limited time...
desiring to be ahead in the writing of devos... and Bible study days...
I brought my angst to Him...

As soon as I did... the story of the widow and her son came to mind... the one Elijah was sent to for help during the three year drought...

When he arrived she was about to make her final meal... there was just enough flour... just enough oil... for one more meal for her and her son... then they planned to die...

And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go and do as you have said.
But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward
make something for yourself, and your son. For thus says the Lord,
the God of Israel, 'The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil
shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord 
sends rain upon the earth.'"
1 Kings 17:13-14 ESV

So she went and did as Elijah said... and she and he and her household ate for many days... the jar of flour was not spent... neither did the jug of oil become empty...

And I'm sure this widow must have felt the same sort of angst as me...
no surplus of oil and flour... just enough for each day...
from jars that looked almost empty...
No guarantee... but the word of the Lord... that there would be more...

My flour and oil... words... teachings... insight... they have come... 
but just for the day... the week... the moment...
and me feeling almost empty in between...
No guarantee of more... just the understanding of His call to continue...

I discern greed in my desire for devos written days ahead.... 
seeking rest... and ease... in a place of excess...
the angst a sign of little faith... 

Why can't I rest...? with words just coming as needed...?

The lesson of the oil and flour... just enough for the day... an exercise in trust...

The same lesson learned by the Israelites in the wilderness... the manna coming just for the day...

The same way Jesus teaches His disciples to pray... Give us this day our daily bread... not a week's worth... or month's worth... but just for today...

God tests... stretches faith... by calling us to live a season with narrow margin...

An uncomfortable place... but one I'm becoming at rest in... as I practice thanks... rather than greed...

What in your life do you want more of...? where have you not been thankful for the just enough? where is He stretching your faith... with  narrow margin...?

Father God... thank You for the words for today...
and the time that is just enough... Thank You...
for stretching my faith... teaching me to live...
with narrow margin... and be content... with daily bread...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

humbled...

Sitting in the early pre-dawn hours of morning...
following the call He's placed on my life...
I find myself humbled...

Humbled by the trust He places in me to obey...
humbled by the privilege to pray for others...
humbled by His grace as He gently leads...
humbled by His faithfulness...
humbled by His love...

A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Isaiah 42:3

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

it's just a brief time...

This week I'm a shower house for youth on mission in town...
Every afternoon... 4 pm... they come to shower... clean up... from their day of serving... building... painting...

What I've become so aware of watching... listening... to these teens and their leader... is how fast time flies...

My own children... they went on mission through this same group when they were in high school...

Me... I've worked a kitchen or two for this group...

It just cycles... over... and... over...

I think about how quickly the time has gone...
how babies have grown to adults...
how nieces and nephews I knew as babies... now have babies...

I think about all who've gone before me...
those who knew me as a baby...
those who now have grand-babies... great-grand-babies...
those who've fallen asleep in the Lord...

The time seems short...
flying by...
and the truth strikes...
the entirety of our life on earth is brief...
whether you live 1 hour... or 105 years...

Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.
Psalm 144:4 ESV

In the eternal scheme of things... we have a very narrow window of time... to find Him... know Him... serve Him... glorify Him...

It's just a brief time...

What are you doing with yours...?

O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Psalm 39:4 ESV

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

holding loosely to my need for peace...

The lesson of enduring faith... and the holding loosely to the things of this world... includes my emotions...

Sunday evening... feeling stressed... pressed by time... led to me willing peace in my spirit... trying to hold tight to my emotions...

It didn't work... the first hint of confrontation... caused me to blow... overreact... apologies ensued...

Today... feeling weary... grumpiness creeping in...

My early morning with Him had been good... His faithfulness so evident during this season of stretching... but the peace of the morning did not last...

So today... I didn't try to force my spirit to succumb... I didn't wrestle down peace...

I'm not sure exactly how to put this in words... but I just sort of let my feelings be...

I took them to Him...
holding the need for peace loosely...
after a while... the ensuing irritability vanished...

This world is not the place... where peace reigns...
the Prince of Peace has overcome...
but the prince of darkness is still allowed the illusion of power...

"...I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart;
I have overcome the world." --- Jesus
John 16:33 ESV

Holding loosely to the need for peace...
and now...
holding loosely the need for rest...

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
Psalm 23:1-3 ESV

Father God... thank You for Your faithfulness...
even when my spirit is restless...
Thank You for Your grace... where I can just be...
Thank You for providing what I need...
and that I don't have to fight for it...

Monday, July 20, 2015

enduring faith...

Endurance is important to our spiritual journey... our spiritual life... our salvation...

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves...
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. ..." ---Jesus

Between verse 16 and 22 of Matthew 10... Jesus lists many of the things His sheep will have to endure from the wolves of this world... He also tells us the purpose for sending Believers out into such a dangerous world... we are sent as His witnesses to an unbelieving world...

But the one who does endure to the end... he is the one who is saved...
endure... to undergo (as a hardship) especially without giving in: suffer... to regard with acceptance or tolerance... to continue in the same state: last... to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding....
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.)
 The author of Hebrews tells us one way to endure...

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:2-3

Jesus endured... and we are to consider Him... look to Him... fix our eyes on Him... so we will not grow weary and lose heart...

I'm finding the more I look to Jesus... the less I look to the world for comfort... peace... security...

The more I look to Jesus... the more I loosen my grip on the things of this world...

I'm beginning to see... eyes fixed on Jesus... and a loose grip on the things of the world... lead to enduring faith... the faith that saves...

What do you have a tight grip on...?
Is there something you need to be willing to let go...? in order to get a firmer grasp on Jesus...?

It is only in Him... the Author and Perfecter of your faith... you will find the ability to endure...

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.
Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God
has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 81... and He Is...

A very short passage caught my attention this week... during the reign of King Ahab... a man rebuilt Jericho...

In his days, Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho.
He laid its foundations at the cost of the life of Abiram
his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss
of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord
which He spoke through Joshua son of Nun.
1 Kings 16:34 Amp

This passage takes us all the way back to Joshua... the entrance into the Promised Land... and the destruction of Jericho... 

The Israelites obeyed God's word... they marched around the wall... they blew the trumpets... the wall fell down...

Then Joshua laid this oath on them,
Cursed is the man before the Lord
who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho.
With the loss of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation,
and with the loss of his youngest son
shall he set up its gates.
Joshua 6:26 Amp

No one was ever to rebuild Jericho... it would come at a high cost... but at this time... 400-plus years later... the kingdom had split... the kings led the people astray away from God's Word... they had forgotten what He said... or maybe they thought it just didn't pertain to them anymore...

But God remembers... even if we forget... or pervert... His Word...

We need to remember God's promises... His words... are eternal...
He speaks them outside of time...
He still speaks them...

He does not change His mind as man does...
He does not change with the times...
He does not evolve...

God said this to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM."
And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel,
'I AM has sent me to you.'"
Exodus 3:14 ESV

HE IS... always present tense...
His Word always a foundation for our time... whatever time it may be...

Let's not make the same mistake as the man who rebuilt Jericho...
let's not lose His Word...
let's not deem it out of date... or behind the times...
let's not try to evolve it into something it isn't...
let's seek His understanding... 
let's honor His Word... as He speaks it directly to us...

He Is... let's let Him be who He Is... in our lives...

This week's readings...
Monday                      1 Kings 20
Tuesday                      1 Kings 21
Wednesday                1 Kings 22
Thursday                     2 Kings 1-2
Friday                        2 Kings 3

Friday, July 17, 2015

little faith...

Struggling with writing the study with ladies... past the half-way mark but time feels pressed... and the more I fret... the harder it gets...

The fretting a sign of mistrust... unbelief... little faith...

The last meeting with ladies... I asked for prayer... and one of the sweet ladies who sits at my table says... Why are you worried...? Look at all you've already done...

And I think about it now... after a serious struggle with words... and I wonder... Why isn't it comforting to look back at what's been done...? and trust it will continue to get done...?

Then I see... it's because it doesn't feel like it was me...

It would be much easier to trust my own strength... my own words... work it out for myself... then Yes... I could look back and say... Look what I've done... of course I can do more...

But in this place of listening... trusting Him to bring words and determine the time... everything feels a bit unsure... steps of faith required...

I still have so far to go... when it comes to building faith...

So today I say... Look what He's done...! and determine to trust His faithfulness... which I know from experience... has never failed...

O me of little faith...

Counting on that little faith... hopefully the size of a mustard seed... to fill blank pages with words... and make time to prepare to teach...

And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed,
you could say to this mulberry tree, 
'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. ..."
Luke 17:6 ESV

Trusting in the power of little faith...

Thursday, July 16, 2015

giving thanks...

Giving thanks...
at the end of a very diverse day...

Began ahead of the game...
praising Him as God...
then angered by lies...

A lunch with loved ones...
brought laughter...

An afternoon filled with teaching...
brought joy...
and an unexpected place to hear His voice...

The evening...
frustrated by feeling behind...
wondering how I got here...

But in all...
I give thanks...
a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise...

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deed for men.
Let them sacrifice thank offerings
and tell of his works with songs of joy.
Psalm 107:19-21

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

my desire...

The teaching of elementary kids... and the thinking back on my own journey into His Word... makes me consider all I'm doing now... planting His Word in many places... besides just Vacation Bible School...

Two blogs...
a Sunday school class...
a Bible study...
all of which He calls me write...

My desire in all... is that others see Him...
become drawn to Him...
desire to seek Him themselves...

Lord... I pray You bless... this crazy casting of Seeds...
by revealing Yourself to others... 
Make others hungry for You... through me...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

i want to know Him...

Teaching elementary age children His Word in Vacation Bible School this week... makes me think about why I started studying His Word...

My sole purpose for prayerfully delving into the Bible...?
I wanted to know Him...

He had captured my heart... and I just wanted to know Him...
The only things I knew to do to pursue Him...?
Pray... and read His Word...

I don't believe you can get to know Him intimately... personally... without digging deep into Scripture...

My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV

Still... today... after 21 years of pursuing daily...
my primary motive for being in His Word...
I want to know Him...

I want to know who He really is...
not who a preacher...
teacher...
denomination...
says He is...

I want to know the real Him...
the One revealed in Scripture...
the timeless... eternal... all powerful... all loving... Creator of the universe...

I just know... the more I learn about Him from His Word...
the more I know His ways...
the more I want to know...

His Word is precious to me...
because He's in it...

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets,
[Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures
the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:27 ESV

What about you...?
Do you want to know Him...?
Why do you come to this place...?
Are you seeking Him in the Bible...?

Monday, July 13, 2015

digging ditches...

"And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches.
For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall
ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water,
that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle, and your beasts."
2 Kings 3:16-17 KJV

This was God's word to three kings gone out to fight the enemy... yet after seven days of marching... found themselves in a wasteland with no water...

They had a need... they could not meet for themselves...

God said... Make this valley full of ditches... or as another translates... Dig ditch after ditch...

His people had a need... 
a need He wanted to provide for supernaturally...
but the people had to prepare for His provision...
by digging ditches...

I have a need...
the study with sisters at my table...
the one I've felt called to write...
I've dug a ditch just by setting aside the time...
making the invitation...

At the start... I had about half done...
now... halfway... I face blank pages...
pages He needs to fill...
with limited time... I wonder...
Are there more ditches to dig...? 
in order to prepare to receive...?

I ask the question... the thought comes quickly...
Set the alarm for 5am each morning...

OK... a carving out of time...
a place for Him to show up...
and faithfully provide...

So I'm digging ditches...
to receive what I... by faith...
believe He's called me to do...

What need do you have...?
one you can't meet with your power... your flesh...?

Make your valley full of ditches...
Ask Him... How...?
Prepare... by faith... for Him to provide...

Ask, and and it will be given to you...
Matthew 7:7 ESV

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 80... and how does it happen...?

Last week's readings took us from the acme of Solomon's reign... the dedication of the temple... to God's judgment regarding Solomon's fall to idolatry...

During the dedication of the temple... King Solomon blessed the assembly...

May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers;
may He not leave us or forsake us,
That He may incline our hearts to Him,
to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments,
His statutes, His precepts which He commanded our fathers.
1 Kings 8:57-58 Amp

Solomon was well aware of God's requirement for continued blessing on his reign and the nation of Israel... for the Lord had told him...

And if you will walk before Me, as David your father walked,
in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all
that I have commanded you, keeping My statutes and My precepts,
Then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever,
as I promised David your father...
But if you turn away from following Me, you or your children,
and will not keep My commandments and My statutes
which I have set before you but go and serve other gods
and worship them, Then I will cut off Israel from the land
I have given them, and this house I have hallowed for My name
(renown) I will cast from My sight. And Israel shall be a proverb
and a byword among all the peoples.
1 Kings 9:4-7 Amp

King Solomon knew what was at stake... at the dedication he challenged the people of Israel...

Let your hearts therefore be blameless
and wholly true to the Lord our God,
to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as today.
1 Kings 8:61 Amp

But somewhere along the way... he forgot God's ways... he neglected to follow the law for the kings of Israel...

Somewhere amidst the accumulation of wealth... prominence... horses... chariots... fleets... and women... he got lost along the way...

So Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord,
and went not fully after the Lord, as David his father did.
Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh
the abominable idol of Moab, on the hill opposite
Jerusalem, and for Molech the abominable idol 
of the Ammonites.
1 Kings 11:6-7 Amp

In return... Solomon received God's wrath...

Therefore the Lord said to Solomon,
Because you are doing this and have not kept
My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you,
I will surely rend the kingdom from you
and will give it to your servant.
1 Kings 11:11 Amp

And I wonder... How does it happen...? when you start so faith-full... that you fall so far...?

The dedication of the temple... a sort of conversion for Israel... after the series of Judges... and David's battles to secure the Promised Land... God's presence had a permanent home in the heart of Jerusalem... He blessed their obedience... and for a time they glorified Him...

Are Believers susceptible to the same wandering... the enthusiasm and obedience initiated at conversion... with the entrance of the Holy Spirit into our hearts...? can we fall away...? become proud...? complacent...? arrogant...? even in the midst of God's blessings...?

I would say... Yes...

For freedom Christ has set us free;
stand firm therefore, and do not submit again
to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 ESV

Whenever we disobey God's ways... our hearts are drawn away from Him... little by little... and before you know it... we're enslaved again...

Learn from those who've gone before... join The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday                   1 Kings 13:11 - 14:31
Tuesday                   1 Kings 15:1-32
Wednesday             1 Kings 15:33 - 16:34
Thursday                  1 Kings 17:1 - 18:19
Friday                    1 Kings 18:20 - 19:21

Friday, July 10, 2015

forgetting...

In this week's forgetting... I'm reminded He doesn't...

He doesn't forget where we are... or what we need...

You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Psalm 139:5-6 ESV

He will never leave us... or forsake us... because of absent-mindedness...

Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 ESV

He doesn't forget our loved ones... or our prayers for them...

And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer,
and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers
of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne,
and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, 
rose before God from the hand of the angel.
Revelation 8:3-4 ESV

He doesn't forget our tears... our sorrows...

You have kept count of my tossings,
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Psalm 56:9 ESV

The only thing He does forget...?
His people's transgressions...

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions,
for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. ..."
Isaiah 43:25

Amen... and... Amen...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

i forgot...

For the first time... in I don't know how long... I forgot...

And I wonder... How...?
too much to do...?
forgot to ask Him... What's next...?
distracted by self...?
leaning on my own understanding...?
were there just no words...?

I don't know... it just happened...

So here I sit... resting in His grace...
waiting to see... if we'll continue...
or is this coming to an end...?

Maybe it has no significance at all...
except as a humble reminder...
of my own limits...

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

He longs to be gracious... do we...?

Time spent on my knees... reminded me... He longs to be gracious to us... despite what we've done to Him...

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
Isaiah 30:15

He waits for... calls on... instructs... us to repent...

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
Take with you words and return to the Lord;
say to him, "Take away all iniquity; accept what is good,
and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips.
Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses;
and we will say no more, 'Our God,'
to the work of our hands. ..."
Hosea 14:1-3 ESV

... hoping we will hear...

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it. ..."
Isaiah 30:15

He sent His Son from whom we receive grace upon grace...

And I wonder... Are we...? longing to be gracious...? to those who offend...? injure...? insult...? reject...?

Often our first response is to put up a defense...
retaliate... seek to hurt back...

But this is not grace... it's revenge...

What we have received so freely...
we should be prepared... to freely give...

Do you long to be gracious to others...?

Consider... He longs to be gracious... to you...

Monday, July 6, 2015

zealous intercession...

Considering today... this call to zealous intercession...

What does it look like...?
How is it done...?
This spiritual turning of tables... braiding spiritual whips... in prayer...?

For zeal for your house has consumed me...
Psalm 69:9 ESV
zeal... eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something: fervor...
---Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.) 
 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:11-12 ESV

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions 
with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert 
and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:18

Lord... I sense Your call to pray...
to intercede on behalf of Your Church...
Fill me with zeal for Your People... fill me with a fervent spirit...
Make the call clear... Lord... make the way for me to serve You...
fill my heart with zealous intercession...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 79... and His perspective...

And 480 years after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt,
in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel,
in the second month, Ziv, he began to build the Lord's house.
1 Kings 6:1 Amp

God sees things from an eternal perspective...
and this is the perspective He speaks to us from...

480 years earlier... God led the people out of Egypt...
40 years they wandered in the desert...
then He prepared them to enter the land...

These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do
in the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you
to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall
surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall
dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains
and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear
down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars...
You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way.
But you shall seek the place that the Lord your God will choose
out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there.
There you shall go, and there you shall bring your burnt offerings
and your sacrifices, your tithes and contribution that you present,
your vow offerings, your freewill offerings and the firstborn
of your herd and of your flock. And there you shall eat
before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice...
Deuteronomy 12:1-7 ESV

Over 400 years earlier... God gave this word to His people...
He said He would choose the place for them to worship...
and He did... 400 years later...

God sees things from an eternal perspective...
we cannot forget this in our own lives...

When He gives a Word... it is a word forever...
When He gives a Law... it is a law forever...

His Word is never out of date... never culturally irrelevant...
because He is not... He is always the same...
always a Sure Foundation for our time... any time...

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

He is eternal...

Whether we are waiting on His promise to be fulfilled in our life... or struggling with how to live in the world today... His Word is trustworthy and sure...

We need to remember to wait...
be steadfast in His Way...
trust...

He never forgets... never changes His Way...

This week's readings...
Monday                 1 Kings 8:22-66
Tuesday                 1 Kings 9
Wednesday            1 Kings 10:1 - 11:8
Thursday               1 Kings 11:9-43
Friday                    1 Kings 12:1 - 13:10

Friday, July 3, 2015

Wheat among weeds...

The hard living as wheat among weeds... is where Jesus lived too...

Some disciples grumbled at His Word... I am the Bread of Life...
He said...

"Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see
the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.
The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe."
(For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were
who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
John 6:61-64 ESV

Jesus let both Believers and unbelievers follow Him...
but eventually He said something offensive...
the offended... the weeds... stopped following...

Jesus dealt with rejection... just as we do...
those who try to follow His Word and His Way...

He knows how hard it is to be Wheat among weeds...
He knows the wheat from the weeds...

Find comfort and peace...
in the fact that He knows...

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid. ..." ---Jesus
John 14:27

Thursday, July 2, 2015

wheat among weeds...

Taking steps around the church house...
my heart became heavy...
burdened by conflict within the church...

Unsure how to pray...
wondering whether to ask Him to weed it out...

I gave the burden up to the Spirit...
He who intercedes with groanings...
the echo of what was in my heart...
groanings...

In that moment... a parable came to mind...
The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, "Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?" He said to them, "An enemy has done this." So the servants said to him, "Then do you want us to go and gather them?" But he said, "No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn." ---Matthew 13:24-30 ESV
Wheat and weeds growing together...
weeding out not an option...
some good wheat may be lost in the process...

The heavy heart grows heavier...
a reality since the beginning of His people...
the enemy sowing weeds...
weeds growing fruit...
the fruit of conflict...

I feel the sorrow of the Owner of the field...
looking out over the good He planted...
infiltrated with weeds...
knowing He must watch... wait...
until the time of harvest...

In reviewing the parable... conviction takes hold...
Do you see it...?
The enemy only had a chance to sow evil...
because His men were sleeping...!

His people slept... became complacent...
let the enemy get a foothold...
now... we wait too...
among the weeds...

In my stepping around the church house...
I asked...
Then how do we be zealous for Your Church...
braiding whips... turning tables... like Him...?

What I sensed was an answer...
Zealous intercession through prayer...
Pour out grace...
Be light...

A hard place to be...
wheat... among... weeds...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

beyond wondering...

This broader place of faith...
has moved me from wondering how He will...
to simply trusting that He will..

An odd place for me...
beyond wondering...

A firmer place...
heart steadfast...
doing whatever comes next...

Odd... but... good...

He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
Deuteronomy 32:4