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

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 113... and when He numbers days in unexpected ways...

The very full week... the one pressed tight...
the one I asked Him to number aright...
took an unexpected turn...

The day set for catching up...
turned into a day for being laid out...

Waking pre-dawn with an illness stealing more than a day... and still feeling puny... left me backing out of commitments... behind in my readings... and totally forgetting to write...

But in the pain... discomfort... dis-ease...
I didn't forget Him...
didn't forget His faithfulness...
didn't forget He had a plan... even in this...

I sang... in my heart...
Bless the Lord... O my soul...
O my soul... Worship His holy name...
Sing like never before... O my soul...
Worship His holy name...

Praising Him... in the unexpected...
Trusting Him.... in the numbering of days...
Resting in Him... in what's undone... and the catching up to do...

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

When He numbers your days...
in unexpected ways...
He is still worthy to be praised...

His Word says there's a heart of wisdom to be had...
when He numbers our days...
so trusting Him to reveal that too...

It certainly is a journey...

This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                Ezekiel 37:15 - 38:23
Tuesday                Ezekiel 39:1 - 40:16
Wednesday           Ezekiel 40:17-49
Thursday               Ezekiel 41-42
Friday                   Ezekiel 43:1 - 44:14

Note...  If you didn't recognize the song I sang in my heart... in the midst of dis-ease... it's one worth memorizing... taking to heart... singing in unexpected moments... you'll find it below...


Friday, February 26, 2016

unbelief...

Words in the current Bible study remind me this morning of a dark time of anxiety and unbelief...
We say, "Trust God," yet we agonize privately over whether He can be trusted.
---Beth Moore, Children of the Day, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Trust God... it's easy to say... hard to do...

Evidence of unbelief... which is not trusting God... include... worry... anxiety... fear...

Is there evidence of unbelief in your heart...?

I walked through a deep darkness of anxiety for about a decade...
not a fun walk... but at the deepest point of the pit...
I realized... all my anxiety... all my fear...
came from a heart of UNBELIEF...

I didn't believe Him...
I didn't believe He was who He said He was...
I didn't believe He had my best interest at heart...
I'm not even sure I believed He was good...
but... when I came face to face with the truth of my unbelief...
I began to choose to TRUST GOD...
through faithful obedience...

Steps of faithful obedience...
are the only cure...
for an unbelieving heart...

When we actually take God at His Word...
trust Him... and act on that trust...
that's when life begins to change...

Faithful obedience...
is the surest... and fastest way...
to experience the freedom...
He says we have as Believers...

I dare you... challenge you...
ask Him today...
Where am I walking in unbelief...?

When He reveals your lack of trust...
take heart... take courage... take steps of faithful obedience...

He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
Psalm 112:7 ESV

Thursday, February 25, 2016

loving His Word...

His Word... I find myself in it constantly...
and I LOVE it...

I love that every ministry He calls me to...
leaves me steeping in His Word...
prayer ministry... seeking what He desires to be prayed...
leading Bible study... seeking what He wants to share...
teaching Sunday School... guiding a class through the Bible in 3 years...
writing devos for blogs... finding His Word made flesh...

This morning preparing a prayer journal for publication...
just the reading through... editing... proofing...
stirred my heart with joy... praise... worship...
as I read... and reread... His Word...

Loving His Word...
is loving Him...

By His grace...
I find myself...
living out His Word...

I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks
to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
Psalm 138:2 ESV

Where is He calling you into His Word...?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

indulging personal preferences...

When we indulge our opinions...
our personal preferences...
we feed our flesh...

Whether in food choices...
fashion...
interior design...
pleasing self... our natural bents...
feeds the flesh...

When we allow personal preferences... in the church...
to affect a community of Believers...
whether it's worship style... or personality of the preacher...
it's destructive... and divisive...

For to set the mind on the flesh is death,
but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Romans 8:6 ESV

To walk by the Spirit... dismisses the voice that says style matters...
exterior matters...

Walking by the Spirit... pays attention to the unseen...
the invisible... asking Him...
What is the heart behind the worship...?
Where am I focused...?
Where's the truth in the words spoken...?

Heart is what matters... not personal preference...

When we indulge personal preference...
feeding the flesh...
we quench the Spirit...
and miss grace altogether...

When personal preference moves us to leave a community...
we've judged those who serve Christ in that community...

Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another?
It is before his own master that he stands or falls.
And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Romans 14:4 ESV

Focusing on the Spirit in worship...
focuses on the unseen...
asking Him to reveal Himself...
through the offering of those serving Him...

Worship is all about the heart...
hearts seeking to please Him...
glorify Him...
not self...

Indulging personal preference...
allowing it to lord over us...
feeds the flesh...
misses grace...
divides... His... body...

Is there room for personal preference...? when it comes to faith...?

For the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God,
for it does not submit to God's law; indeed it cannot.
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:7-8 ESV

And without faith it is impossible to please him.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV

Flesh and faith...
they just don't mix...

Father forgive me... for every instance I've indulged...
personal preference... to the harm of another... 
teach me to walk by faith... not by sight... 
not by flesh... but by the Spirit... 
Help me to see what really matters... You...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

counting on Him to number...

It's only Tuesday...
already the week feels too pressed to finish...
wondering where He will multiply time...
fit in tasks...

Trusting Him... to number my days aright...

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

Remember paint by number...?
I hear it's making a come back...
Each part of the picture...
lined off... designated with a number...
for whatever color will complete the masterpiece...


That's what I ask of Him today...
to number each day aright...
show me what comes next...
what color... what task... 
where does it fit...
to make a beautiful... complete... week...

Teach me... Lord... to number my days...
revealing what goes in each moment...
May I approach this week that looks like too much...
with joy... and anticipation... of Your faithfulness...
gaining a heart of wisdom along the way...
Amen...

Monday, February 22, 2016

a reminder from flowers...

Flowers are a glory...
a reminder of His grace...
how beauty continues to spring up...
in the midst of a dark broken world...

I bought some last week...
a joy to behold...
a delight to inhale...


But today...
a little more than a week later...
I'm reminded of their fleeting nature...

Drooping blooms...
a sad sight to see...
and the aroma... turning to stink...


A verse comes to mind...
looking at the former glory...
beginning to fade...

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
Psalm 103:15

Some of us may last longer than a week...
and even make a mark in the landscape of history lasting decades...
but for the most part... in the eternal scheme of things...
our lives flourish... and fade... like a flower...

God knows... how fragile... how fleeting... life is...
He lived it Himself...
Jesus the Word made flesh...

But His glory is everlasting...
in death He defeated death...
making a Way for all to live a life eternal...
the perishable... raised up... imperishable...

If only for this life we have hope in Christ,
we are to be pitied more than all men.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through a man,
the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:19-22

Reminded today...
in Him I have hope...
so much more than a flower...

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 112... and the lust of the eyes...

The lust of the eyes... draws us away from God...

It happened in Samaria... personified by God as the sister Oholah...

"Oholah played the whore while she was mine,
and she lusted after her lovers the Assyrians,
warriors clothed in purple, governors and commanders,
all of them desirable young men,
horsemen riding on horses.
Ezekiel 23:5-6 ESV

It happened with Jerusalem... the sister God called... Oholibah...

"Her sister Oholibah... became more corrupt
than her sister in her lust and her whoring,
which was worse than that of  her sister.
She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders,
warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding
on horses, all of them desirable men.
... She saw men portrayed on the wall,
the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermillion,
wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans
on their heads, all of them having the appearance
of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose
native land was Chaldea. When she saw them,
she lusted after them and sent messengers
to them in Chaldea.
Ezekiel 23:11-16 ESV

The things of the flesh...
power... prosperity... position...
draw us away from God...

Our eyes see the things of the world... and desire them...
but the things of God... the things of the Spirit...
are unseen...

Eye... not only means... the organ in our bodies giving sight... it also means...
... the faculty of seeing with eyes... the faculty of intellectual or aesthetic perception or appreciation... look, glance... an attentive look... attention, notice... close observation: scrutiny... point of view, judgment...
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.)
What we eye... we judge...
and when we depend on the judgment of the flesh...
we are led astray...
losing sight of Him...

When we lose sight of Him...
He works to turn our eyes back on Him...

This jealous God does not desire to lose a soul to death... to the lies of the world... He will go to great lengths... to reveal Himself to those who've strayed... even using the lust of our eyes... as our own undoing...

And they shall return your lewdness upon you,
and you shall bear the penalty of your sinful idolatry,
and you shall know that I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 23:49 ESV

What leads us astray most...
the lust of our eyes...

If we would only be more careful where we look...
careful of what holds our attention...
we can often avoid...
the extremes of God's pursuit...

The New Testament echoes this truth...

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. 
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2

A closing refrain in worship...
joined in the chorus...

Turn your eyes upon Jesus...
Look full in His wonderful face...
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim...
In the light of His glory and grace...
--- Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Set your eyes on Him... join The Journey... 

This week's readings...
Monday               Ezekiel 30:20 - 31:18
Tuesday               Ezekiel 32:1 - 33:9
Wednesday          Ezekiel 33:10 - 34:24
Thursday              Ezekiel 34:25 - 36:15
Friday                  Ezekiel 36:16 - 37:14

Saturday, February 20, 2016

freedom to forget...

Not till this morning... did I remember... I forgot to post yesterday...

And I realize... there's freedom in forgetting...
the freedom to allow Him...
to choose the day off... from writing...

In His sovereignty... He allowed a forgetting...
so I could learn... He orders my day...

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, February 18, 2016

a lesson... His shield of grace...

The word catching my attention yesterday... shield... has given me a new perspective today...

His shield of grace in my life... I've always thought of as a means to protect me from what I deserve... from the consequences of my own sin...

But after yesterday... I see it in a new light...

Someone or ones... sinned against me...
and what I found to be true...
His shield of grace...
saved others from me...!

Not only do we need to be shielded by His grace...
others need to be shielded by His grace from us...

When we stand behind His shield of grace...
fully aware of all He has saved us from...
fully away of what we deserve...
then when we are sinned against...
our response is filtered through His grace...

What we have received...
we are more willing to give to others...

Grace...

Who has He shielded from you...? by His grace...?

Thank-full today... Lord... for this picture of Your shield of grace...
one that not only protects me... but protects others... from me...
Amen and Amen...!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

He is a Shield...

Already this morning... (it's 6:19...) I've come across the word... shield... three times... all in Scripture...

I've come to recognize... when a word... or phrase... comes up three times (sometimes more)... the Spirit is saying something... seeking my attention...

So I go back through the appearances of shield...

For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:12 ESV

Reading it the first time... I noted... the only righteous... are those in Christ... His favor... His grace... a shield... protecting us from the consequence of sin... death...

Next came...

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

The events before Abram's vision... a victory in battle... a blessing with bread and wine by Melchizedek king of Salem... priest of God Most High...

Following His words... the cutting of the covenant... promising Abram possession of the land... offspring more numerous than the stars... neither of which he had at the time...

This covenant cutting... a promise leading to Jesus... a descendant of Abraham... Prince of Peace... Priest of God Most High...

The third...

This God --- his way is perfect; the word of the Lord
proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
Psalm 18:30 ESV

His Way... Jesus... perfect...
His Word... Jesus... proves true...
He... Jesus... a shield for all who take refuge in Him...

All this leads me back... to shalom shalom... perfect peace...

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3 ESV

When we keep our mind...
thoughts...
emotions...
will...
stayed on Jesus...
we shield our life...
with His grace...
salvation...
Way...
Truth...

He is an impenetrable SHIELD...
providing us perfect peace...

Shalom... Shalom...

Teach me... Lord... to live under the shield of faith...
keep my mind... thoughts... emotions...
stayed on You...


[Note... As I pulled out a card to send a friend... I had to laugh out loud... a fourth appearance of the word shield... all before 7 am... (see pic above)... we may not be finished with this word...] 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

perfect peace...

His Word says it... so it must be true...

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3 ESV

A mind stayed on Him...
trusting...
is blessed with perfect peace...

So I go to look deeper at perfect peace...
 in the original language... Hebrew... 
surprised by what I find...

...shalom shalom...

What we translate as perfect peace...
in Hebrew... shalom shalom...
peace peace... double peace...

Words used to describe shalom... in the Enhanced Strong's Lexicon...
completeness... soundness... welfare... peace...
safety... health... prosperity... quiet... tranquility...
contentment... peace...

A perfect peace trusting in Him... no matter what the present circumstance... trusting Him for welfare... safety... prosperity... contentment...

This verse has my attention today because I wonder at the peace in my heart lately... peace that doesn't feel normal for me...

A peace I wonder at...
and maybe... just maybe...
I'm trusting Him more...
staying my mind on Him more...
experiencing just a taste...
of peace peace...

shalom... shalom...

Praying for you today...
to trust Him more...
and experience the blessing of...
peace... peace...

Monday, February 15, 2016

His Word... living and active...

It was said in class a few weeks ago... I thought I only needed to read through the Bible once... but now I see differently...

When we read God's Word through the blood of Jesus...
by the power of the Holy Spirit...
and the grace of Father God...
we see things differently...

His Word... Scripture... is not just a book...
it is not words written by mere men...
it is the Breath of God... revealed by the Holy Spirit...
to obedient men of faith who recorded what He had to say...

His Word is living and active...
the Spirit knows what we need when we need it...
He knows when our spirits are mature enough to receive a new understanding...
He knows when we're listening... or when we are just going through the motions...

For the word of God is living and active,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit,
of joints and of marrow, and discerning
the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV

He is the Word...
He speaks through creation...
He speaks through Scripture...
through teachers... and prophets...
He even sent the Word made flesh...

"This is my beloved Son, listen to him."
Mark 9:7 ESV

God promises to speak to His people...
He has... and continues to...
if you will take time to listen...

He has something to say to you...

Ask Him to speak to you...
through His living... active... Word...
let Him breathe life into you...


Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 111... and... know He is the Lord...

I the Lord am your God; walk in My statutes
and keep My ordinances,
And hallow (separate and keep holy) My Sabbaths,
and they shall be a sign between Me and you,
that you may know, understand, and 
realize that I am the Lord your God.
Ezekiel 20:19-20 Amp

And I [let them] pollute and make themselves
unclean in their own offerings [to their idols],
in that they caused to pass through the fire
all the firstborn, that I might make them desolate,
to the end that they might know, understand,
and realize that I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 20:26 Amp

And I will purge out and separate from among you
the rebels and those who transgress against Me;
I will bring them out of the country where they
temporarily dwell, but they shall not enter the land
of Israel. Then you shall know, understand, and
realize that I am the Lord
Ezekiel 20:38 Amp

And you shall know, understand, and realize
that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land
of Israel, into the country which I lifted up My hand
and swore to give your fathers.
Ezekiel 20:42 Amp

And you shall know, understand and realize
that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for My name's sake,
not according to your evil ways nor according to your 
corrupt doings, O house of Israel, says the Lord God.
Ezekiel 20:44 Amp

His Law...
His judgment...
His discipline...
His promises...
His grace...

All His ways...
means to reveal Himself...
to His people...
to those He created...
that they might KNOW...
He is the Lord...
and live...

Seek Me and live!
Amos 5:4 HCSB

This week's readings...
Monday            Ezekiel 23
Tuesday            Ezekiel 24-25
Wednesday       Ezekiel 26-27
Thursday           Ezekiel 28
Friday               Ezekiel 29:1 - 30:19

Friday, February 12, 2016

grateful for His guidance...

This morning He woke me...
a couple of hours earlier than usual...
guiding me to prepare... get ready...
for what He'd called me to do...

At first... hesitation...
thinking it way too early...
but things to do were on my mind...
not causing anxiety...
just present...

I tried to go back to sleep for a bit...
but when He awakens you...
you... are... awake...

As the day wore on...
now entering into evening...
I really haven't felt the effects...
of a very early morning...

Grateful for His guidance...
even when He wakes me early...
because when we follow Him...
He'll provide all that's needed...

Amen...

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
Psalm 16:7

Thursday, February 11, 2016

a word to practice...

Do everything without complaining or arguing...
Philippians 2:14

This word comes to mind to practice...
as I go about a task I don't really want to do...

The Word convicts...
so I practice...

I seek out the Word to share it here...
and find the benefits... of the practice...
the need for conviction...

Do everything without complaining or arguing,
so that you may become blameless and pure,
children of God without fault in a crooked
and depraved generation, in which you
shine like stars in the universe as you hold out
the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16

The practice of denying the desire to complain...?
Blamelessness... purity...
faultlessness... among a crooked generation...
the opportunity to shine like a star...
holding out the word of life... for others to receive...

Good reason to hold my tongue...
take captive my thoughts...
quiet my heart...

Thank You... Lord... for this reminder today...
I so want to be pure... a light in the dark...
one who offers life...

Is there a Word you need to practice today...? 
you're welcome to share mine... :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

freedom... to practice new things...

Experiencing freedom to practice new things...
things I've never really understood...
like social media...

I posted my first Istagram picture today...
with a call to glorify Him with each post...
free to wait for His inspiration...

This week on FaceBook...
I invited others to test drive the Bible study on Romans 8...
the outline which began here last year...
during the season of Lent...

Free to share... what He's doing in me...
with others... publicly...
the widow... offering her two small coins...

Also wondering... if I really hear...
a call to practice re-newing some things...

One re-new to practice...
the first inspiration... He gave to write...


making it new...
offering it here...

And then there's the look of... Jeremiah's Menu...
feeling led to make it fresh... new...

We'll see about these two...
I think I'll sleep on it...
enough new freedom for today...

I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.
Psalm 119:45

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

beauty and passion...

Beauty... passion...
I saw... both... at the symphony on Sunday...

The beauty of many...
coming together as one...

Every member...
under the direction of one...
each with a different instrument...
a different role...

Beautiful...

It gave me just a glimpse... an idea...
of what the church could be...
if we all came under One...
and followed the same score...

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body ---
Jews or Greeks, slaves or free --- and all were made
to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:13 ESV

An orchestra...
bringing great beauty...
because they all had the same purpose...
the same focus...

What beauty could the church bring...? into a dark...? corrupt...? world...? If we all surrendered to the Spirit...? came under the authority of the Father...? followed the Son...?

And passion...

A guest cellist...
playing her instrument...
with passion...
intensity...

She knew her music...
no score before her...
it was in her heart...
her soul...

In her... I saw... the kind of passion I want for His Word...
to know it...
for it to flow from me...
heart... soul...

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
Psalm 119:2-3 ESV

Beauty... passion...
both elements the church should pour forth...

Why don't we...?
what are we missing...?

Lord... stir the hearts of Your people...
remind us... me... of the beauty... passion...
Your people should bring into the world...

Oh sing to the Lord a new song; 
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness,
tremble before him, all the earth!
Psalm 96:1-9 ESV

Monday, February 8, 2016

sometimes... obedience feels... like walking in the dark...

Sometimes... trusting obedience... feels like walking in the dark...

Yesterday's thoughts on His Word is light...
and thinking about Ezekiel...
all the strange things God asked Him to do...
to try and reach the hearts of His people...


Made me think of those who trust and obey... when it doesn't really seem to make sense to them...

Abram... Abraham... the father of the faithful...
left his homeland... for he knew not where...
because he trusted and obeyed God...

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go
out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.
And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
Hebrews 11:8 ESV

Sometimes... obeying His Word... 
feels like walking in the dark...

The key... trusting He is Light...

He knows the end from the beginning...
nothing hidden from His sight...
nothing is darkness to Him...

Obedience to His Word...
even when we cannot see...
brings encouragement to others...
bringing them light...

I've experienced it myself...
during a worship service...
anticipating a hard call...
the worship leader explained to the congregation...
the inclusion of a song... they wouldn't usually do...
but a member of the team insisted God had placed it on their heart...
and someone needed to hear it...

It was me...

Thankful for those who trust His Word... as light...
even when it feels like... dark...

Thank You... Lord... for those who are obedient without question...
without knowing why... but trusting You...
Bless me with the faith... to obey... 
when it doesn't make sense to me...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 110... and His Word is light...

"Son of man, have you seen what the elders
of the house of Israel are doing in the dark,
each in his room of pictures? For they say,
'The Lord does not see us, 
the Lord has forsaken the land.'"
Ezekiel 8:12 ESV

God took Ezekiel by the hair...
carried him from Babylonia...
back to Jerusalem...
where He showed Ezekiel...
the depth of the sin of the Jewish leaders...

The leaders of Jerusalem...
had left behind God's Word... long ago...
misplaced it... ignored it... traded it for lies...

Without God's Word...
we end up in the dark...
doing abominable things...
in hidden places...

The leaders left behind in the suffering city of God...
believed He had abandoned them...
forsaken them...

They believed they were hidden from His sight...

Had they known His Word...
been familiar with His law...
as they were called to be...
they would recognize... 
the consequences of disobedience...

They would see His hand...
in all their troubles...

Without His Word...
we know only darkness...
we run to the dark...

A hymn in worship...
reminds what we need...

Send forth Your Word... Lord...
Let there be light...
--- Shine Jesus Shine

His Word brings light...
where before there was only darkness...

His Word shines on the Way...
where before we stumbled and fell...

His Word is light...
it's what we need to see...
to find our way...

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105 ESV

Without it... we are lost... in the dark...

This week's readings...
Monday                   Ezekiel 17
Tuesday                   Ezekiel 18-19
Wednesday              Ezekiel 20
Thursday                 Ezekiel 21
Friday                      Ezekiel 22

Friday, February 5, 2016

a day to preach...

It wasn't my plan when I left the house this morning...
but I ended up doing some preaching today...
perhaps the effects of the recommended message...

All the messages delivered to the church...
Believers within my circle of friends...

The heart of the messages...

  • Do what you say...especially when it's something you've said to Him...

When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it,
for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.
Ecclesiastes 5:4 ESV

  • Be light in dark places... don't let depression lead you away from Him...

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

  • Know His Word for yourself... don't rely on others to know it for you...

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Matthew 4:4

Have you done any preaching lately...?
What was your message to the church...?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

recommended...

Found myself with some quiet today...
an opportunity to listen to a message or two...
a series... I recommend to you...

Andy Stanley... began the year... preaching on how we should live... in light of all the fear-full events happening in the world today...

Stanley reminds us how we are to follow Jesus...
tough as nails...
crucifying self...
living without fear...

The message series... Tough as Nails...
listen or watch for free...
on the Northpoint Ministries website...

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness,
but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
2 Timothy 1:7 HCSB

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

unreasonable love...

It's ridiculous... really...
when I look at... changes taking place in me...

I've received something... 
unasked for...
unwanted...
from an unpleasant (to say the least) experience...

Something I find myself...
growing attached to...
fond of...
his name... Omega...


You see... the unpleasant episode...
a cat infestation...
seriously... don't laugh...

A stray momma cat had kittens in one of our flower beds...
and we didn't find them till they were too old to catch...

They eventually got in the upstairs garage area...
which leads to the attic...

The ordeal involved traps...
the near destruction of a bathroom...
and kittens hiding in the back of a refrigerator...

It was very stressful...
and no one deals with feral cats...
(at least not in our area...)
not the SPCA...
not the animal shelter...
not the county...

Once trapped... the mom was calm enough to get to the vet... and spayed...

Two of the three kittens too far gone...
(there were originally four... we have no idea what happened to it...)
one... pseudo-tame... trapped a week earlier than the others...
or maybe he just had a different disposition...

I'll spare you the traumatic details... but Omega got his name... because he was the last kitten standing... the remnant...

My husband wanted to keep him... tame him fully... so he lived in our master bathroom for several weeks... the only room where he couldn't hide under... or behind...

Wanting to reclaim my bathtub... I kicked him out of the house on a cold rainy day... thinking he would get along fine with the two other cats... the only cat that was rightfully ours... and the recently spayed momma cat with no place else to go...

Needless to say... it was not pretty... both big cats hissing... chasing off the kitten... him running... hiding... from the ones who would rescue...

After a forced recovery operation...
my bathroom... returned to a cat room...

This kitten... had a very traumatic early life... and the more he was in... the more I wanted to protect him from any more trauma... I found myself advocating for the kitten... who my husband now wanted to make an outside cat...

You have to understand... this is not me...
I never... let me repeat... NEVER...
wanted an indoor animal... of any kind...
yet the thought of traumatizing this kitten...
with even one more environment change...
broke my heart... I couldn't do it...

So yes... we now have an indoor cat...
recently neutered... and declawed...
he's sitting on the desk this moment... as I type...
his head resting on my hand as  he sleeps...

And I wonder how this happened...
learning to love this cat...
one I didn't want...
didn't ask for...

It's funny... but God's spoken to me through the cat infestation... and this kitten...

Through the infestation... and crazy dangerous kittens...
I came to see... how at some point... there is no other choice...
but to destroy a people... too far gone...
those who only wreak havoc... destruction... with no hope of restoration...

I've seen how we run... fearful... in rain and cold...
from the only One... who gives us refuge...

And He's spoken to me... about how animals...
created to be... purr... eat... sleep...
live by instinct...
while people... fallen people... being redeemed by a Savior...
are created to work... fight... battle... persevere...

This cat...
this Omega cat...
beyond reason...
has worked his way into my heart...

An unreasonable love...
something like His... I suppose...
on a much smaller scale...

Love is patient, love is kind.
1 Corinthians 13:4

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

glorify Him in all you do...

A prayer prayed for a loved one as he entered into competition...

May he glorify You today... in all he does...

A prayer I often pray for myself...

What ensued this prayer... as I watched the match... was a struggle...

One of those days when nothing quite goes right... you know what I mean...?

I realized... as I watched... it's much harder for our flesh to glorify Him... when things seem all wrong... but so often that's where we need the practice... the exercise of spiritual discipline... glorifying Him when things go wrong...

I see this could be an answer to my prayer...
May he glorify You in all he does...
an opportunity to learn to give Him glory...
in the midst of struggle...

Another counterintuitive moment... of inspiration...

It's not so uncommon to see an athlete... in the arena of competition... win... and with great exuberance point to the heavens saying... It's all for Him...!

But how often do you see the loser... in a match... bout... game... point up and say... Thank You... Lord... it's all for You...?

It just doesn't happen...
we associate losing with God's disfavor...
winning with His favor...

In Scripture... we see the losers glorify Him...
the defeated...
the persecuted...

Joseph... stripped of his multicolored coat... sold into slavery... continued to trust God and glorify Him with his life...

Shadrach... Meshach... Abednego... facing the fiery furnace... glorified Him...

Daniel... in the lion's den... glorified God...

Paul and Silas... imprisoned... sang songs of praise...

Jesus... on the cross... for the glory of God...

Yes... glorifying Him... even when all feels like it's gone wrong... is biblical...

A spiritual discipline...
we all need to exercise...
on days... gone... wrong...

Glorify Him in all you do...
even in the struggle...
and feeling like... a loser...

...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

Monday, February 1, 2016

expiration...

Thoughts on inspiration...
lead to lessons on expiration...
another word... with a double meaning...
expiration noun... 1a: the last emission of breath: death b (1): the act or process of releasing air from the lungs through the nose or mouth: exhalation (2): the fact of coming to an end or the point at which something ends: termination
---Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed) 
God's Word...
breathed out...
expiration...

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching,
for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

Jesus... the Word made flesh...
came to live the life of a man...
to die for our sins...

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh,
could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness
of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
in order that the righteous requirement of the law
might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh
but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:3-4 ESV

Inspiration...
Expiration...
they go together...
one can't happen without the other...

Only through Him...
are we empowered... to be inspired...
by the Word... expired...

Jesus's expiration on the cross...
made the way for us to experience...
the inspiration of life...

God breathed out His last...
so we can breathe in eternal life...

And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.
And the curtain of the temple was torn in two,
from top to bottom.
Mark 15:37-38 ESV

At His expiration...
the curtain of the temple...
separating man from God...
tore in two...
from top to bottom...

Coming from the top down...
by His own doing...
He made the Way...
for us to enter into His presence...
apart from the law... which came to an end...

He is the Way...

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter
the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living
way that he opened for us through the curtain,
that is, through his flesh...
Hebrews 10:19-20 ESV

Thank Him today...
for the expiration of His Word...
breathed out for our benefit...
and for the expiration of His Son...
through whom we can enter in...
to life... and relate... to Him...

Lord... with each breath I take...
each inspiration... each expiration...
remind me I live for You...