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, July 31, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 135... and... it's a battle...

This last week... finishing up the book of Nehemiah...
reminded me... it's a battle...

Nehemiah temporarily left his position as cup-bearer to the king of Babylon to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem...

Exiles had already returned to Jerusalem...
just as God promised...
they rebuilt the temple...
reestablished worship... and feasts...
but the wall was a pile of rubble... and burned gates...
a city in trouble...

When Nehemiah heard... God stirred his heart to rebuild...
provided the means and the way...
so he went...

But it's a battle to build anything in His name...

When the work was halfway... the enemy schemed...
threatened... stirred up fear among the Israelites...
they wanted to quit...

But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites
and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the wall in Jerusalem
was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed,
they were very angry. And they all plotted together to come and fight
against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.
Nehemiah 4:7-8 ESV

In the face of opposition...
Nehemiah encouraged the people...
set guards in low places... 
each worked with a sword in one hand... 
and they remembered the Lord...
the building continued...

It's a battle to stay on track...

Nehemiah faced distractions from the enemy...
fought to stay on track...
repeated his mantra... over... and... over...

"I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. ..."
Nehemiah 6:3 ESV

The battle to complete the wall came to an end...
with dedication and celebration...
sacrifices and covenants...

And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced,
for God had made them rejoice with great joy;
the women and children also rejoiced. 
And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.
Nehemiah 10:43 ESV

Nehemiah's job was done...
he went back to Babylon... back to cup-bearing...
but after a time... he was granted permission to return...
to check on Jerusalem... its wall... and its people...

What he found made him furious...
a foreign enemy being housed by a priest in the temple storerooms...
the Levites and priests out in the fields... because the people had neglected their offerings...
the Sabbath was profaned... with work... and trade...
and some had married foreigners... who they had vowed to be separated from...

It's a battle for His people to stay focused on Him...

Nehemiah had gotten things set right before he left...
but he returned to find God's people wallowing in sin...
living like the neighbors...
exactly what got them exiled in the first place...

It's just a battle...
to build anything in His name...
to stay focused on Him...
and keep a whole community holy...

But in it all...
if we will stand firm...
He will fight with us...

"... Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome,
and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters,
your wives and your homes."
Nehemiah 4:14 ESV

He is faithful to complete what He's begun...

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

It's a battle... but one worth fighting...!

This week's readings...
Monday          Esther 4-5
Tuesday          Esther 6-8
Wednesday      Esther 9-10
Thursday        Malachi 1:1 - 2:9
Friday             Malachi 2:10 - 4:6

Saturday, July 30, 2016

does it matter...?

The thought flashed through my mind today...
Does it matter...?
The it of Bible study writing...
blogging on two blogs...
prepping for prayer...

And really... I know what brought on the thought...
weariness...
driving home from the shop...
but my day not yet done...

When the work is all unseen...
really nothing to show for it...
nothing tangible... visible...
except words on paper...
when the world is all about work that earns...
work that accomplishes something visible...
sometimes... it's hard... to think you're really doing anything...
when it comes to things of the Spirit...

But just as quickly as the question popped in my mind...
Jesus's story of the sower answered my question...

"A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path
and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some
fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it.
And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundred fold."
Luke 8:4-8 ESV

If you're familiar with this story Jesus told...
you know He reveals to His disciples...
The seed is the Word of God...

So He said to me...
You're sowing seed...

Sowing seeds of faith...
not knowing where they land...
or if they'll grow...
is something only God sees...
for now...

And the enemy... prompts the question...
Does it matter...?
and my flesh pipes in...
I don't know...? does it...?

But the Spirit says...

And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 ESV

Thus the nature of faith...
the assurance of things hoped for...
the conviction of things unseen...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

the skies proclaim...

The heavens declare the glory of God...
Psalm 19:1 ESV




The storm clouds blowing in...
overshadowing... awesome... powerful...
nothing can stop them...

And I think of the skies... declaring His glory...
Overshadowing... Awesome... Powerful...
blowing in where He wills...

Who is the King of glory? The Lord Almighty ---
he is the King of glory.
Psalm 24:10 ESV

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

being...

A day for just being...
moment to moment trusting in Him...
Amen...

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
Psalm 89:15 NIV

encouragement...

Encouragement...
I've received some this week...
some actually en-couraged...
some... simply increased pressure...

The sister and I currently teaching... and simultaneously writing... Sister Talk: Resuscitate Your Faith... refer to the process as birthing...

I shared the metaphor with the 22 year old son... who happened to be trapped in a car with me for a half-hour after the birth of the first teaching...

The son received it from his mom... full-blown...
how the writing process equated to labor...
the teaching a birth...
the six weeks study... means SEXTUPLETS...!
no sooner do you birth one...
the labor begins anew...

If you can imagine... he didn't appreciate the metaphor...
That may work for you... but not for me...
I can't see myself birthing anything...

I spared him any further details...
but we talked this week... and he shared an encouragement...
after I voiced doubt about filling blank pages...

Reading Scripture... he thought about me and the birthing of the study...

For you formed my inward parts; knitted me together in my mother's womb. ... 
My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance...
Psalm 139:13, 15-16 ESV

God is knitting the Bible study in you...
He sees it and knows it... you can't right now...
but He's doing it...

The idea of Him forming the inward parts of Sister Talk in me... did bring encouragement... understanding mom's don't get to see... or know the babes fully... till they are born...

The picture took me just enough outside the process... to trust God in His forming...

But a subsequent encouragement... did not do the same...
the sister in cahoots tells me... a woman came in the shop and asked about the study...
When are you going to publish the study...?
Are you selling it from the shop...?
I want one when you do...

This one just stirred panic...
like the mom in the midst of hard labor...
receiving encouragement from her husband...
You're doing great honey...
and she lets out a string of expletives...

The labor is in the middle...
it's not done...
you're unsure you can complete...
I don't want to hear that now...

Then an unexpected encouragement... 
from a sister attending The Journey...
another study being birthed...
blessed me with a gift... an encouragement journal...
a day planner to set goals and encourage...
I got one for me too... so we could walk through it together...

This one made me feel special...
and reminded me... all this encouragement...
comes from Him...

Encouragement...
it's what we are called to do...

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging
one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV

Who is He calling you to encourage today...? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

passionate trust...

Sisters talking today in Bible study...
and apparently I got a little passionate...

She looks at me... then says to the group...
There's a story behind her passion... and maybe one day she'll tell it to you...

And in the moment I thinking...
What passion...?
I didn't recognize it... or think it odd...
and simultaneously wondering...
What story...? I have a story...?

Then it dawned on me...
Yes... I have a story...
ten years worth of story...

Jumping in a pit of fear and anxiety...
digging it deeper... year... after... year...
until I desperately wanted to get out...
and began to cry out to Him for help...

His help came in the form of revealing multiple levels of unbelief... layer upon layer...

I didn't trust Him to be who He said He was... or who I was...
which made for a heart filled with fear...

And on the journey out of the pit He showed me He is the only One to trust... the only One bigger than any other thing you can imagine... the One who controls all things...

There is no need to fear... worry... panic...
when you trust Him... because He is BIG...

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Isaiah 40:28-29 ESV

I feel the passion rising again as I recall my story...
and the freedom which comes from passionate trust in Him...

So now I'm thinking... every passion has a story...

What's the story behind your passion for Him...?

Monday, July 25, 2016

blessed with a good... good... Father...

After a rough yesterday... a blessed today...
blessed with a good... good... Father...
the chorus of the song... my waking thought...

You're a good good Father
It's who You are
It's who You are
It's who You are

And I'm loved by You
It's who I am
It's who I am
It's who I am

Yesterday's struggle with words...
anxiety...
fear of failure...
temptation to quit...
grumpiness...
made me wonder what He thought of me...

Was I a disappointment...? a dis-grace...? 
to what He's taught me...? to what I'm teaching...?

Then today... a better day...
a day of trust... peace... space even...
to sit with the writing sister...
with no need to talk of Sister Talk...

And I saw it... His perspective as a parent... far different than ours...

My frustration comes from not knowing how long my children will struggle... not knowing how long it will take them to learn... to grow... to be who He calls them to be...

But God... from His eternal perspective...
saw yesterday... while He also saw today...
and knew He would wake me with song...

He does not consider how He feels about me based on how I act today... He already sees what I will become in Jesus... what I will grow into...

He loves... 
while He watches His children struggle...
growing into new graces...
and knows... tomorrow will be different...

And Yes... I know tomorrow will be different...
and my struggles are not over...
but I know... I have a good... good... Father...
and I am loved... loved... loved... by Him...
not because of where I am spiritually... or what I do...
but because of who I am in Him...

There's a freedom here...
a freedom from fear of disappointing...
the freedom of receiving His love...
even when I doubt and stand on the brink of tantrum...

It even gives me freedom with my own children...
to give space... and time...
for Him to work in them...

Blessed with a good... good... Father...
Amen... Amen...


Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 134... and stand up... bless your God...

Then the Levites --- Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabeneiah,
Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethathiah---
said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God
from everlasting to everlasting. Bless be Your glorious name
which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
Nehemiah 9:5 Amp

Reading these words... I can't help but think... of all the opportunities we have these days... to stand up and bless the Lord our God... 

In so many places He is minimized... or omitted altogether...
His character defamed... His Word dismissed...
His salvation... mixed with all sorts of pagan religions...

Stand up... and bless... the Lord your God...

Stand up for your God...
glorify Him with praise... when others denigrate...
validate His Word... His character... through faithful obedience...
share the gospel of Jesus... the only Way...
and bless the Lord your God...

Don't miss an opportunity... to bless Him...
when He has blessed you beyond measure...

This week's readings...
Monday           Nehemiah 10
Tuesday           Nehemiah 11:1 - 12:26
Wednesday       Nehemiah 12:27 - 13:31
Thursday          Esther 1
Friday               Esther 2-3

Friday, July 22, 2016

peace...

This week has been a battle...
when it came to obedience...
and writing Sister Talk...

Coming to pages and pages of nothing...
the temptation rang in my ears...
Just quit... it would be much easier...
tell the ladies there's just no more...

And yes... it was a real temptation...

But really... not an option...
a mom in the middle of heavy labor...
may say she wants to quit...
I can't... I can't... do... it... anymore...

Still... childbirth happens...
once the process starts it finishes...
contractions don't cease...
unless something is seriously wrong...

It continues... until the baby is born...

This birthing of ministry feels the same...
feelings of desperation...
longing for escape...
when really... there is none...
until it's done...the labor continues...

What I've recognized today...
in this moment...
I've come to a point of peace...
a new level of trust...
when it comes to Him completing a birth...

Flesh and bone babies are the work of His hand...
and so is spiritual birthing...
it's not up to me to quit... or strive...
it's up to me... to trust and obey...
finding strength in Him...

So today... for now... there is an uncanny peace in my spirit...
one that could only come from Him...
a blessing of holding firm in the battle...
choosing to trust Him...
instead of wave the white flag...

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

selfish...

A gracious... beautiful... sister in Christ...
one coming to the study being birthed...
looked at me... tear-stained face... and said...
Thank you... for spending so much time in God's Word...
and your hours of study...

My answer came so quick... it even stunned me...
Don't thank me... it's pure selfishness...!

My time in God's Word is purely selfish...
I want Him... I want to know Him...
I want all of Him... poured right in me...

There have been moments at the end of a time in His Word...
when my flesh can sit no longer... my poor finite brain full...
but I still hunger... my spirit willing... my body weak...
and I take my open Bible... place it on my head... praying...
Lord... I want all of it... all Your word... pour it in me...

I know I can't live without Him...
I want to follow Him... be near Him...
walk His Way...

Yes... I'm so grateful... He's pushed me to share...
to see others gain healing... insight... from what I've gleaned...
wandering through the fields of His Word... selfishly...

Maybe I'm a bit like Ruth...
walking through His Word...
gleaning what's there...
a poor widow...
nothing to give...
only taking...

Yes... time in His Word...
selfish...
needed...
so I might live...

"Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word
that comes from the mouth of God."
Matthew 4:4 ESV

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

really hard...

It's really hard... in our brokenness...
to come to grips... with His holiness...

Really... hard...

Our broken emotions...
skewed reasoning...
confused understanding...
make it difficult...
to see His grace in hard things...
to see His way in the dark...
when death brings life...
and love bears all things...

It's hard... to wrestle with God...
but that's what He invites us to do...
like Jacob... renamed Israel... God-wrestler...

But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
And he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob."
Then he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob,
but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men,
and have prevailed." Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name."
But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?"
And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place
Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face,
and yet my life has been delivered."
Genesis 32:26-30 ESV

Jacob... the one who in his brokenness...
stole his father's blessing from his brother Esau...
the one who yearned for a legitimate blessing...

His heavenly Father engaged him... wrestled him...
Jacob's cry is one of a broken heart...
I won't let you go unless you bless me...

The Father in His grace... blessed him...
with a new name... a new character...
as one invited into the wrestling match...
to move from brokenness...
to holiness...

It's really hard for brokenness...
to come to grips with His holiness...
but in His grace...
He invites us...
calls us... Israel...

Grateful for a God...
willing to wrestle with brokenness...
get down and dirty...
in order to bless...

Monday, July 18, 2016

faith required...

Faith required...
when the sun seems to set too early...
because the day's to-do list is not yet done...

Faith required...
when it looks like nothing changes...
but He said... How will I not graciously give you all things...

Faith required...
when what He calls you to do...
doesn't seem to be getting done...

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 ESV

Where in your life...? is faith required...?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 133... and... His good hand...

This week... we finished up Ezra... began Nehemiah...
both men were given big jobs to do...

After completion of the temple... Ezra was called to return to Jerusalem to teach the law to the people... show them how to live it... and judge them when they disobeyed...

Nehemiah... upon hearing the news of the trouble in Jerusalem... was called to rebuild the wall...

Both men were in exile in Babylon when God stirred their hearts...
both needed permission from their king...
both needed means by which to complete their call...
authority...
finances...
manpower...

Because God was the One who called...
the One who stirred hearts...
His good hand... provided all that was needed...

He moved the heart of the king to be gracious to both men...
they each received all they needed from the king...

Ezra said it best...

Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, who put such a thing as this
into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem,
and who extended to me his steadfast love before the king and his counselors,
and before all the kings mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the Lord
my God was on me...
Ezra 7:27-28 ESV

His good hand... was on these men in the tasks He called them to...
both faced hardships in the work... but both took courage...
stood firm... persevered... because His hand was on them...

Just know... when you respond to His call...
no matter how large... no matter how equipped or ill-equipped you feel...
His good hand will provide...
no force will overpower...
be encouraged... be bold... trust in Him...
and His good hand...

This week's readings...
Monday              Nehemiah 4-5
Tuesday              Nehemiah 6:1 - 7:4
Wednesday         Nehemiah 7:5-65
Thursday            Nehemiah 7:66 - 8:18
Friday                 Nehemiah 9

Friday, July 15, 2016

sister talk...

Sister talk... it's what my friend and I do...
talk as sisters in faith...
sharing revelations...
speaking truth in love...
encouraging...
challenging...
holding each other up...

It's where the study being birthed originated...
Sister Talk: Resuscitate Your Faith...

Today she revealed a time when I spoke something that made her question her...
question her motives... her character...
a moment she says she'll never forget...

Me... I have no memory of the moment...
no memory of words spoken to spark an identity crisis...

And she said... That's what a Christ-centered relationship is supposed to do... make us move toward truth... even when we don't want to hear it...

She quotes the verse...

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17 ESV

Yes... when iron sharpens iron... sparks fly...

The revelation of the impact of my words... words I can't remember...
made me question whether I spoke thoughtlessly... without regard for her...
but she said she was grateful... God used them to change her...
root out sinful patterns... thoughts...

That's what happens when sisters in Christ talk...
those whose relationship is centered on Him...
Holy Spirit always in the midst...

The words of one... used to reveal the heart of another...
not for her glory... but for His...

I hope you have a sister or brother in Christ to talk to...
to encourage one another...
to keep the faith...

If not... begin praying for one...
an equally yoked Believer in the faith...
to sharpen who you are in Christ...

I'm very grateful for those I have...
who speak truth in love...
keep me accountable...
encourage...
forgive...

Amen...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

blessings... a la joy...

Most of my adult life... I've had a hard time receiving blessings with joy...

I suppose I believed I didn't deserve joy...
didn't deserve blessings...

As a pragmatic pessimist...
I saw the fleeting nature of joy...
it will pass and leave you flat...
disappointment sure to follow...

It's absolutely crazy...
it's not fun...
it's stupid...

The greatest blessing I've received lately...
is freedom to receive... blessings... with... joy...

I've been absolutely elated... over the littlest things...
just this week... the ordering of a shirt with free shipping...
an unexpected opening for an appointment...

It's odd... at least for me...

Blessings... a la joy...
I accredit to stepping out in faith...
evidence of His faithfulness...
when we are faithful to Him...

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 ESV

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

called to be still...

On a day... during a season... of being pressed...
He calls me... to... be... still...

"Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth!"
Psalm 46:10 ESV

Be still... know... He is God...
not just my God... but God of all...

Resting in His goodness... faithfulness... sovereignty...

Trusting... He is in my midst...
I will not be moved...
He is my help...
I... will... be... still...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

floored...

Today... I found myself floored...
floor verb transitive... to knock or bring down... flabbergast, dumbfound...
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.)
Floored by His faithfulness...
Floored by His finding uses for me...
Floored by His work in the lives of others...

It knocked me to the floor...
right down to my knees...
humbled... grateful... amazed...

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than
all that we ask or think, according to the power at work in us,
to him be glory...
Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV

How has He floored you lately...?

Monday, July 11, 2016

trusting faith...

Trusting Him when He says...

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

The editing... finishing... developing a blog...
for a Bible study... you are teaching...
takes this kind of faith...
trusting faith...

Thank You... Lord... for leading me in this new way...
a way I do not know... Thank You... for Your guidance...
Your light... the smoothing out of very rough places...
Thank You... for Your faithfulness...
Amen...

1500...

1500... affirmation of His call to write these posts six days a week...

Today... the fifteen-hundredth post...
I remember the one-thousandth...
I couldn't believe it...
wondered how many more could there be...

Even this evening... I thought there were no words to write...
and even though I'd been watching the number rise...
I'd forgotten today... was the day...

1500... I don't persevere this long in my flesh...
only by His grace... His Spirit... His inspiration... His strength...
do I continue on... and... on... without feeling overwhelmed...

I think of His call... to let Him teach... lead...

"... 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.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:29-20 ESV

When we do what He calls us to...
when we do it with Him...
it gets done... without stress... without burnout...

So if you find yourself burned out in ministry...
maybe you're not serving with Him...
or maybe you're doing what you want to do...
and not what He's called you... created you... to do...

I encourage you today...
find what He's calling you to do...
know His joy...
know His peace...
know His rest...
even in the work...
daily... daily... work...

Amen...

[Note... with each milestone... 1000... 1500... I wonder just how much longer this will continue... with new ministry popping up... I wonder just how far I can stretch... but as long as He calls... presses... provides words to write here... I will... but only by His grace...]

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 132... and... His Sovereignty...

If you ever wondered about His Sovereignty in all things... wonder no more...

Jeremiah puts it clear as day in his notable lament...

Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Lamentations 3:37-38 ESV

Nothing... and I mean nothing... happens...
apart from the Lord's command...

Jeremiah wept bitter tears...
over all that befell Jerusalem and her people...
but we learn from him...
the proper way to receive... 
the Lord's discipline...

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:19-24 ESV

By faith we remember... He... is... good...
merciful... loving... purposeful...
in... all... things...
good... and... bad...

This week's readings...
Monday            Ezra 6:13 - 7:28
Tuesday            Ezra 8-9
Wednesday       Ezra 10
Thursday          Nehemiah 1-2
Friday              Nehemiah 3

Friday, July 8, 2016

unless we are transparent...

I challenged her when she came in the shop to pick up Bible study material...

We talked about the importance of having a safe place for Believers to witness to one another about faith... share the things He's done in our lives... even the hard things... our own sin... others' sins against us... and how He's used it... healed it...

She said... That's the stuff I shove to the back...

I said... Unless we are transparent... others can't see Jesus in us...

Unless we are transparent... open... about our lives...
past struggles... failures... abuses...
others can't see where He's walked us through to the other side...

Unless we are transparent... open... about our lives...
current struggles... failures... abuses...
others can't offer... their stories of healing...

The next day... after I challenged her...
an opportunity came... for Him to challenge me...
Be transparent...

I failed to seize the moment...
but the challenge is planted...
and I'm sure... I will... take the step to...
be... transparent...

...Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:27 ESV

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

thank-full... for a full day...

A full day...
inspiration and words to write...
time to walk...
some tasks completed...
others turned to stumbling blocks...
things gone undone...
feeling tired...
grocery shopping to do...
home late...
power out...
unexpected turns...
power on...
remembered revelations shared...
turned into revelations about revelations...
dinner to cook... with some help...
words to write...
thanks to give...

Thank-full... for a full day...
a very full day...
one that's still not done...

For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:36 ESV

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

exercise in faith...

Sister Talk: Resuscitate Your Faith... launched today...
an exercise in faith...

With a new Fitbit Charge HR on my wrist...
I could tell just how much exercise it was...

Fitbit... a glorified pedometer... with heart rate monitor...

After the study... I felt as if my heart was racing...
I'd felt fine during the study... spirit calm...
but apparently the flesh got all stirred up...

I checked my heart rate... 93...
my resting rate... usually... 71...

Now this was not a physically demanding Bible study...
we sat in chairs the whole time... in air conditioning...
talking... sharing... about faith...

I looked at my Fitbit app... to see just what my heart rate had been doing...
this is what I saw...


Note the noon hour... 
the study started at 12:30...

Those spikes...? I wasn't jogging... I was stepping out in faith...

It took more than an hour for my heart rate to come down after study...
a little less time than when I tried out a friend's TreadClimber the other day...

This exercise in faith...
an exercise for the flesh too...

Walking with the Spirit...
not only good for the soul...
but for the body too...

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things,
holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8 NIV

Monday, July 4, 2016

independence day...

Yesterday's worship at church... intertwined with the patriotic...
reminders of the faith-filled roots of our nation...

One of the songs... America, the Beautiful...
in the lyrics... echoes of our nation's roots in Him...

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

---Katharine Lee Bates, 1913

Thy liberty in law... this is His way...

The freeing of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt...
came with Ten Commandments... Leviticus... Deuteronomy...
law... law... law...

Within the law... liberty is secured...

Other nations use law to control...
in the USA... as in Jesus...
liberty... freedom... found in the law...

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom
as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
1 Peter 2:16 ESV

Remember this day... 
on our nation's birthday...
it is He who made the Way...
for freedom...


Speaking of freedom...
I'm exercising mine... along with a sister in faith...

Beginning tomorrow... Tuesday... July 5...
we are leading a Bible study we're writing...
not only will we teach it at our shop at 12:30pm...
we have set up a website for you to follow along...
the Blog page is where you'll find the homework posts...

Just like here... you can sign up to receive them email...
hope you'll go explore the site... and maybe invite a sister to come along for...

Sister Talk: Resuscitate Your Faith...

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 131... and seeds of faith...

If you ever think anyone's too far gone to be saved... consider... Manasseh...

Manasseh... one of the last kings of Judah... before the exile to Babylon...

Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray,
to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed
before the people of Israel.
2 Chronicles 33:9 ESV

The Lord tried to warn Manasseh... tried to get his attention...
but he just wouldn't listen...

Therefore the Lord brought upon them the commanders
of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh
with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze
and brought him to Babylon.
2 Chronicles 33:11 ESV

Manasseh... he was the worst...
he certainly got what he deserved...
surely the Lord was done with him...

And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God
and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty
and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem
into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew
that the Lord was God.
2 Chronicles 33:12-13 ESV

If you've never seen the grace of God in the Old Testament...
well open your eyes... because there is none greater than this...!

The wicked king... who closed his ears to the Lord...
comes to God with his entreaty...
and the Lord... He's moved...
He saves him...

Amazing grace...
grace offered... salvation given... in advance...
knowing the debt would be paid...
by His Son...

Manasseh's history includes a godly father...
King Hezekiah... who did right in the eyes of the Lord...
he cleaned and restored the temple...
sent out an altar call to not only Judah... but also to the northern kingdom... Israel...
inviting all for an extravagant Passover...

Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good
and right and faithful before the Lord his God. And every work
that he undertook in the service of the house of God
and in accordance with the law and the commandments,
seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.
2 Chronicles 31:20-21 ESV

This was Manasseh's daddy...
this was the household he grew up in...
surely some seeds of faith were planted in his heart...
and as with all seeds... under the right conditions...
they germinate and grow...

The right conditions for Manasseh was intense affliction...

Even after all he'd done... he knew who his God was...
he fell on his face... humbled... desperate...
and cried out to the Lord...
who by His amazing grace... heard... and saved...

So two lessons...
no one's gone too far for God's saving grace...
and never hesitate to plant seeds of faith...
no telling when they might sprout...

"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 of 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

This week's readings...
Monday           Lamentations 3:31-66
Tuesday           Lamentations 4-5
Wednesday      Ezra 1:1 - 2:32
Thursday          Ezra 2:33 - 3:13
Friday              Ezra 4:1 - 6:12

Friday, July 1, 2016

wanting...

I finished an audiobook today...
Teach Us to Want... by Jen Pollock Michel...

The premise of the book is wrapped around the Lord's Prayer...
how it teaches us to want rightly...

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:8 ESV

I've struggled with wants... desires...
even been to the point where I've tried to squelch all desire...
Why desire for what you can't have...

But she... in this book... expresses some of what I've experienced...
in my walk of faith... transformed wants... changing desires...

That's what happens... when we walk with Him by faith...
obedient to His Word... both written... and spoken in our hearts...

We want His name to be hallowed... high and lifted up...
His character to be elevated... in our lives... and in our worlds...

We want His Kingdom to come... His will to be done...
on earth... just as it is in heaven...
just as Jesus submitted to...Your will... not Mine...

We want Him to provide what we need today...
not only physically... but spiritually...
we begin to want less stuff... and only what we need for today...

We want His forgiveness...
and we want to learn to forgive like Him...

And... OH... how we want to avoid temptation...
be led far from evil... only walk His Way of righteousness...

I'd never really thought of the Lord's Prayer...
as a prayer for desire... but that's what it is...

A prayer for Him to change our desires...

Is His prayer... doing His work in you...?