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, January 29, 2017

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Friday, January 27, 2017

daily Bread...

A new read... sees every day needs... routines... as metaphors for spiritual needs...

When it comes to eating for everyday nourishment... she says our daily spiritual nourishment is found in Christ through Communion and the Word...
Christ is our bread and gives us bread. He is the gift and the giver. God gives us every meal we eat, and every meal we eat is ultimately partial and inadequate, pointing to him who is our true food, our eternal nourishment.
---Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary 
Here she reminds... the everyday physical food Jesus provides is a temporary fix... but He is the Bread of life who satisfies us spiritually... eternally...

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life;
he who comes to Me will not hunger,
and he who believes in Me will never thirst."
John 6:35 NASB

Hunger... thirst... both have a meaning of strong desire...
an emptiness longing to be filled...

For me... communion with Him... via the Spirit... has become an every day way...
I eat His Word each day... seeking to let it fill me... define me...
and I find I hunger less... and less...
for the things of the world...
and more... and more... for Him...

What are you hungering for these days...?
a temporary filling...? or something more substantial...? eternal...?

Consider how you might include the Bread of life... in your every day way...
satisfy your hunger... satisfy your thirst...
with life... abundant...!

"...I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. ..." ---Jesus
John 10:10 NASB

Thursday, January 26, 2017

undone...

There's peace in the car...
driving home in the dark...
encased by night... stars shining...

The road narrow...
under construction...
no shoulders... and no fear...
the way feels wide...

But once home...
pressures weigh...
I come undone...
words come sharp...
and I wonder why...?

It's like I forgot...
forgot... He's near...
forgot... He's responsible...
for all the things undone...

After letting go...
peace returns...
and remember...
He will not leave me undone...

"... And I will not leave them undone."
Isaiah 42:16 NASB

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

awww...

I find this moment... at the end of a long day... that's not quite finished...


Taking a deep breath...
remembering He is good...
taking in His glory...


The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Psalm 19: 1 NASB

Amen...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

a strange church...

As we set up chairs... tables... move displays... she says...
This is a very strange church...

Every Tuesday at noon... and again Friday mornings...
we make way in our shop... for church to gather...
Bible study with women... going deeper into faith...
and journeying through the Bible...

And I think it's not so strange...
because church has nothing to do with the setting...
it's who you gather with...

Jesus said...

"...I will build my church..."
Matthew 16:18 ESV

The word used in the Greek... ekklesia... means... a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place... an assembly... (Enhanced Strong's Lexicon)

And that's what we do...  gather in a public place...
in a shop... downtown... in a small east Texas town...

It makes me think... what's really strange... is what we've come to think of as church... a building with a steeple... stained glass windows... pews... hymnals... even when it's empty...

His church... is His people... gathered in His name... period...

"... For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I among them." --- Jesus
Matthew 18:20 ESV

Monday, January 23, 2017

wondering... about trusting Him...

My husband asked... Have you called her today...?
and the her is our daughter...

When she and I texted two days earlier she was sick...
the same sick when we saw her two days before that...

And no... I hadn't called her...
hadn't been concerned about her...
but I had been praying for her...
as usual...
how I pray for all my family...
as usual...

My husband's question makes me wonder...
Why didn't I call her...?
why aren't I concerned...?
am I too self-absorbed recently...?
too disconnected...?

But none of that feels true...

I wonder if this is one of the wonders about trusting Him...
not being consumed with worry... fear... anxiety...
because I've been there...

And he probably asked the question because he knew from past experience I would have called... several times...

But no... not now...

In the past... I would become filled with dread... when one of my children didn't answer their phone...

But no... not now...

It's one of the freedoms found in trusting Him...
being at rest... at peace... knowing He is better at being in charge than me...
knowing He knows what my loved ones need...
knowing He'll let me know... if there's something I should do...
or when I should call...

It's a shift in my inner being...
something I thought would never change...
but He has changed it...
by His grace...
He... has... changed... me...

But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me was not without effect.
1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV

Sunday, January 22, 2017

everything has a season...

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven;
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV

For every thing... there is a season...
even a time to bloom...



He timed camellias to bloom... 
in the dead of winter...
when nothing else does...

I see them out my window... and smile...

What season are you in...?
joyful...? mournful...?
busy...? restful...?

Are you planting...? or digging up...?
building...? or tearing down...?

Is it a season to hold tight...? or let go...?
to seek what was lost...? or let it be...?

Whatever season you find yourself in...
whatever you love... or hate... about this season...
remember... it has a time...
then it will pass...

Father God... thank You for seasons... their timing... their passing...
help me to see You in each and every season... and trust Your timing...
for its passing...

Friday, January 20, 2017

the joy of full...

The disciples went to town to get food...
leaving Jesus tired and hungry by the well...
while they were gone a Samaritan woman comes to the well...
Jesus reaches out to her for water...
she questions...
He questions...
and before you know it...
she's seen the Messiah... and goes to tell others...

When the disciples returned they said to Him...

"Rabbi, eat." But He said to them, 
"I have food to eat that you do not know about."
So the disciples were saying to one another,
"No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?"
Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me
and to accomplish His work. ..."
John 4:31-34 NASB

Jesus was full... from obeying His Father...
teaching the good news to the spiritually hungry...

This morning... after sitting around a table full of ladies...
all hungry for His Word...
and leading them... sharing stories with one another...
laughing... crying... witnessing...
I relate to Jesus...
I just felt full...
and what a joy to be full...

Obeying Him in a call to lead...
introduce others to the Word...
is a fulfilling joy...

Be full... do what He is calling you to...
share Him in Word and deed...
bless others with the good news...

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy
and my heart's delight, for I bear your name,
O Lord God Almighty.
Jeremiah 15:16

Thursday, January 19, 2017

the joy of new...

We began teaching sewing lessons at the shop recently...
a class of children... and a class of adults...

And what a wonder it is to see the girls and ladies learn new things... create new things... to see the joy on their faces... at the new they have learned and done...

I think about Him making all things new...

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

I've experienced a bit of the joy of Him doing new things in me...
but seeing joy in others... at the experience of new...
makes me greatly anticipate the JOY of the day...
when He makes ALL things new...

"... He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more,
for the former things have passed away."
Revelation 21:4 ESV

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

seeking silence...

All seems noisy... in my head and heart...

Driving along... listening to an audiobook...
my thoughts interfere... and I can't hear...!

With a few extra minutes...
sitting in the car...
engine running
heater blowing...
rain pattering on the roof...
I sit seeking silence...

Not absence of external noise...
but absence of inner noise...
the silence of a quiet spirit...
is what I seek...
the place where He can be heard...

Finally...
the quiet descends...
heart stills...
spirit opens...
to listen...

How are you at seeking silence lately...? are your thoughts... heart... spirit... too noisy...?

Find a still place...
sit...
be still...
settle into His presence...
listen...

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1 NIV

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

envy...

Envy... the green-eyed kind...
His Light revealed some in my heart this week...
envy... painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage...
---Merriam-Webster's Online
I've encountered the issue before...
but I don't know that I've ever named it...
envy...

And [Jesus] said, "What comes out of a person is what defiles him. for from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."
Mark 7:20-23 ESV 

I'd rather pretend it wasn't there...
but that's just tucking it away in the dark...
where the enemy has room to work...

God's shined His Light on it...
now I bring it into the light... out in the open...
like an alcoholic at AA...
Hi... my name is Carol...
and I am envious...

The odd thing is...
I don't agree with the monster...
I know it's wrong...
so I shed tears...
not only out of envy...
but out of grief for my brokenness...

Today I confessed to the one I envy...
she hung her head...
said... I'm sorry...

But I'm the one that's sorry...
sorrow-full... over my own brokenness...
unable to feel joy for her...
and certainly not wanting to hinder relationship in anyway...
where she won't share a similar opportunity...

I just knew it couldn't stay in the dark between us...
so now that it's named...
I seek Him...
ask Him to reveal the root...
pull it out... and bring healing...

And I look forward to rejoicing with her...
and others...
when the same thing comes up again...
because He is faithful... to... heal...
and love does not envy...

Do you have something you need to name...?
something lingering in the dark recesses of your heart...?

Go ahead... get it out in the light...
Hello... my name is _______________...
and I am ___________________________...

Monday, January 16, 2017

twice in twenty-four hours...

Twice in twenty-four hours...
I was blessed by prayer...

Interceding... it's one of the things Believers do...

He's called me to a ministry...
of being available to pray for others...
I even wear a button at church...
asking How can I pray for you...?


So often I pray for others...
sometimes they ask me for prayer...
other times... I offer...

And the prayers I pray are not later...
in the prayer closet...
they are right then and there...
with the person in need...

But seldom...
does anyone offer to pray for me...
so what a blessing to have it happen twice...
in twenty-four hours...

Praying for others...
head bowed to head bowed...
is a blessing I challenge you to practice today...
(even if it's over the phone...)

Who can you bless with prayer...? in the next twenty-four hours...?

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick,
and the Lord will raise him up.
James 5:15 ESV

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ASK...

Today's sermon focused on the Kingdom of God...

And He said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade."
Mark 4:30-31 NASB

His Kingdom... can be pictured... as a mustard seed...


The pastor paints the picture of the small mustard seed... being small everyday acts of kindness... which when sown into the lives of those around us... grows the Kingdom of God...

And he talks about a secular movement which became popular several years ago... ARK... Acts of Random Kindness... passing along kindness to others... without expectation of return...

Examples he gave included... paying for the person's order behind you in the drive through as you pay for yours... or regularly picking up the paper of your elderly neighbor and moving it from the curb to the front porch...

But it occurs to me... there is nothing random about kindness...

Kindness is a movement of God...
for we are created in His image...
and for Believers... it is an aspect of the fruit of the Holy Spirit...

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 NASB

The Holy Spirit leads Believers to acts of kindness...
there is nothing random about it...

It may seem random simply because of the nature of the Spirit...

"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it,
but do not know where it comes from and where it is going;
so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." ---Jesus
John 3:8 NASB

The Spirit blows like the wind through our lives...
and we don't know where it's going... where it's come from...

When we hear that still small Voice...
the idea popping in our heads... feeling a bit random... 
like round up carts in the Wal-Mart parking lot... when it's not your job...
or picking up your neighbor's trashcan and garbage strewn about by a dog that's not yours...
or simply picking up trash along the street as you're out getting Fitbit steps...
it's the Holy Spirit calling you to grace someone with an act of kindness...
bear fruit for the Kingdom...

And the step of faith is the unseen nature of the whole thing...
how these calls to seemingly random acts of kindness grow the Kingdom...

And it's a step of faith to obey even when it makes no sense to us...
or humbles us by doing a dirty job... or cleaning up someone else's mess...

And it's a step of faith... to consider the odd idea... to be His voice...

We should ASK...

Ask Him to call us to Acts of Spirit-led Kindness...
those things He wants to use in someone else's life...
and not for our own glory... but for His...

Because of our broken nature... we often do the right thing for the wrong reason... which does nothing for His Kingdom...

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags...
Isaiah 64:6 NIV

He tells us not to lean on our own understanding...
but trust Him with all our hearts...
which I believe includes listening to the Holy Spirit...
and the seemingly random things He calls us to...

So we won't miss His voice...
ASK Him each day... to open your heart to hear His call...
to Acts of Spirit-led Kindness...
which grow His Kingdom...
and are not just random...

Friday, January 13, 2017

just joy...

Teaching sewing to four lovely ladies... joy...
Baking cookies... because He says so... joy...
Sitting around a table sharing His Word with sisters... joy...
Working in a shop where the whole point is opportunity for ministry... joy...
Seeing Him work in ways I wouldn't have guessed... joy...

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

What brought you joy this week...?
Thank Him for His presence...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

He is faithful... even when we aren't so much...

Finding Him faithful...
even when I'm not so much...

Feeling comfortable and free...
in trusting Him with me...
but not so much with those I love...
(see my post on Instagram... sistertalkfaith...)

Yet yesterday and today...
He reveals Himself faithful...
even when I've fought to trust Him...
and been stirred up...

Grateful for His faithfulness...
which encourages me...
to be more faithful to Him...

If we are faithless, He remains faithful,
for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13 NASB

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

no greater joy...

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 4

When a text message begins...
Mom, thank u for making us go to church...
you simply praise God...
thank Him for those who prayed for you and your children...
before you were even born...

When a text message continues...
...and for having a clear... understanding of the Bible...
and continually talking to us about it...
humility takes hold...
because you know it wasn't you... but Him...

All Him...
His orchestration in capturing your heart...
in driving you to Him through fear and anxiety...
hungering for His Word...
revealing truth...
healing wounds...
setting a heart free...

I have no greater joy...
than to hear that my children...
are walking in the truth...
and knowing He is faithful...
to those who are faithful...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

being... church without walls...

My business partner and I...
gathered spiritual sisters in our shop today...
resuming our going deeper in faith study... Sister Talk...

Customers...
delivery people...
business associates...
they come and go...
as we pray...
teach...
read the Word...
share faith stories...

And here we are...
being church without walls...
right in the middle of our small downtown community...

And he said to them, "Go into all the world
and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. ..."
Mark 16:15 ESV

Monday, January 9, 2017

church without walls...

She asked... while I lay on her massage table...
Do you think ministry only happens inside the walls of the church...?

After a moment considering the unexpected question... I answered...
I think life is ministry...

After the mid-massage discussion...
He reminded me of a vision I had several years ago...

Sitting in the sanctuary where I worship with others each week...
preparing for the service to start...
the walls folded outward...
and there it was...
church without walls...

Because really...
there's only ONE church...
and it has no walls...

At this moment in time...
His church is scattered about...
like the Israelites during their exile...

He alone knows who His church is...
where His church is...
and when He will gather it up into one place...

And I wonder at what we've done to His church...
with all the denominations... divisions... disagreement over doctrine...

With walls... and buildings...
we began to lose the vision...
of His one church...

The early Believers maintained it for a while...
most at the beginning were converted Jews...
they knew only one place... one temple... for worship...

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes,
they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
praising God and having favor with all the people.
Acts 2:46-47 ESV

But when we became scattered by persecution...
exiled over miles... and years...
we began to divide... build walls...
and call them churches...

People ask... What church do you belong to...?
My first response... There is only one church...

We need to remember the church is one...
and church is Believers in Jesus... not buildings with walls...

Even when others attempt to bring in false doctrine...
fall for the enemy's lies...
there is still just one church without walls...

Jesus never says... Divide... build another church...
when we don't agree... or get along...
He says... Overcome... stand firm... be light to the dark...

There is one church...
it has no walls...
and one day...
maybe soon...
He will return...
and take us to the place He has prepared for us...

"...And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again
and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ..."---Jesus
John 14:3 ESV

And that sisters and brothers...
is a day I look forward to...
what I realize my heart longs for...

The perfect church...
where like-minded souls...
worship Him...
in spirit...
and truth...

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love
endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Psalm 107:1-3 ESV

Sunday, January 8, 2017

wondering about all this light business...

Being light is hard...

In a dark world... light reveals a lot of evil... and much of it does NOT welcome light...

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness
did not comprehend it.
John 1:5 NASB

"...And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world,
and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. ..."
John 3:19 NASB

And it's just hard... to reveal what's dark...
and have someone refuse... to receive the light...

People who by the world's standards... don't look evil...
walk in and embrace the darkness... by God's standards they are evil...

It makes a heart hurt...

I wonder about one in particular...
completely closed off to "religion"... church... of any sort...

Thinking about him this morning... reading about the Light...
the eyes of my heart see just how much this new friend... with heels dug in the dark...
would just love the Light... if he opened up to know Him... for who He is...

It makes me sad...

Then those who know Him... have seen the Light...
when you shed light in their direction... and they reject it... well...

It makes a heart break...

My heart is feeling heavy today...
seeing darkness all around...
when there is Light so near...
and I wonder...
Did He get weary...? burdened...? with being Light...? in a very dark world...?

...so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey,
was sitting beside the well.
John 4:6 ESV

Jesus... the Light of the world...
journeyed through life in this dark world...
and it wearied Him...

The Greek here means... to grow weary... tired... exhausted (with toil or burdens or grief)... (Enhanced Strong's Lexicon)

His disciples left Him at the well where He could rest...
while they went to get food... they didn't experience the same exhaustion... burden... 

You can hear the weariness in His voice... as He laments over Jerusalem...

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

In the gospel of Matthew... this follows His tirade against the scribes and Pharisees entrenched in the dark... His list of woe to you... still echoing in the air...

Yes... I believe He was burdened... grieved... saddened...
by being a Light... many refused to receive...

The prophets described Him even before He was born in a manger...

He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief...
Isaiah 53:3 ESV

I'm feeling a bit sorrow-full and grieved myself today...
yet unlike Him... I'm sure I've failed to shed light perfectly...
sinned in my anger... grief... frustration...

Praise Him...!
Who shines Light perfectly...
grieves without sinning...
loves unfailing...

Praise Him...!
Through whom all things are possible...
and calls us to rejoice in Him...
not be anxious...
and pray...

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

Friday, January 6, 2017

a new word for the new year... light...

For several years now... at the beginning of a new year... I've asked Him for one word to define my walk with Him for the year...

Past years' words have been...
obedience...
journey...
new...
freedom...

This year's word...

Light...
light... something that makes vision possible... spiritual illumination... truth...
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Ed.
He actually brought the word to my attention several months ago...
before I even thought about a word for 2017...

I've been learning He is the only source of light...

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
John 8:12 NASB

He alone makes vision possible...
illuminates the spiritual reality around us...
reveals truth...

Those who follow Him not only walk in the Light of Life...
they are the light of the world...

He says to His disciples...

"You are the light of the world. ..."
Matthew 5:14 NASB

My prayer recently...
in many situations...
How do I be light in this circumstance...?
How can I reveal Your light to this person...?

To shine His Light as a follower...
is to bring Him glory...
because what is more glorious...
than light... in a very dark place...

Have you asked Him for one word this year...?

It's a spiritual discipline which has had a surprising impact in my life...

If you get one I'd love for you to share it here in the comment box...
[click on the post title... scroll to the bottom... type in the box...]

Thursday, January 5, 2017

wow...

Wow...!
What do you say to the one who calls so angry...
No... I'm not OK...

You talk and try to fix...
but she says...
You don't understand...!
I'm not mad at him...
I'm frustrated 'cause I can't fix it...

The truth is...
she's right...
she can't fix it...
and neither can I...
no one can...

The only One who can fix...
is Him...
then only if we will allow Him to...
if we'll hear Him knock at the door...
and open up...
invite Him in...
eat with Him...
follow Him...

"...Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. ..."
Revelation 3:19-20 ESV

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

when a day starts rocky...

You know your day is off to a rocky start when the post you published the night before is still on your computer screen as a draft...

And then the morning... instead of beginning with the usual routine... of quiet and prayer... turns into a list of to do's...

But 95% of it is preparation for ministry...
editing pages promised to another who asked for the blessing of teaching what the sister and I wrote (with His help)...
editing pages to lead the next journey... which takes off in just two days...
formatting a prayer sheet... to share with others...

And I've come to this place in my walk with Him...
where I really shouldn't consider a day rocky...
if I believe... trust... He's sovereign...
and I begin my day with thoughts of...
This day... Your way...

And I also have to consider...
all these to do's... I do for Him... with Him...
Are they part of early morning quiet with Him...?
even when it feels a little frantic...?
and I'd rather sit quietly...?

Some days... rocky...
requires remembering...
He's the Rock...

He only is my rock and may salvation, my fortress;
I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:6 ESV

being light... seeing light...

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

Jesus is the light of the world...
He is the only true Light...
and those who believe...
receive His light...

However... we can choose not to follow...
we can choose to walk in darkness...

So being light...
often puts us in the position...
of exposing darkness...
in the life of other Believers...

Sometimes it's received...
with conviction...
and joy...

Sometimes it's blocked...
by a wall of pride... denial... 
justification... or blame...

We can be a conduit for His Light...
through obedience to the Holy Spirit...
and by walking in His light of life...
as an example to those around us...

Sometimes we need someone to be light for us...
seeing light in others...
having others reveal darkness within us...

Light... true Light...
only comes from Him...

Seeing light changes us...
lightens our spirits...

I saw some today in a loved one...
and let me tell you...
there is great joy...
in seeing another...
receive light...
to see another's spirit... 
simply light up... with His truth...

Send out your light and your truth...
Psalm 43:3 ESV

Amen...

Monday, January 2, 2017

scattered...

Feeling a bit scattered... at the start of the new year...
bills to pay...
chores to do...
words to write...
studies to prepare...

Last week's days off...
I thought I would get much done...
it didn't happen...

Scattered...

Words come...
for different writings...
at different times...
bubbling up...
feeling disjointed...
like too much...

Scattered...

But the odd thing is...
in all the scattered...
there is joy...

Joy...
even though I don't know how it will get done...

Joy...
in not really knowing where I'm going...

Joy...
knowing He's with me...
behind and before...
holding all the scattered...
together...

And he is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:17 ESV

Sunday, January 1, 2017

a new year... a new spiritual discipline...

The pastor challenged us this morning...
this first day of the year in worship...
to begin a new discipline...
to draw closer to God...

Already... before the pastor challenged...
God had called me... to something new...
(maybe not new to you... but new to me...)
a spiritual discipline inspired by a chosen devotional for the year...


A Charles Spurgeon devotional... an updated edition...
Look Unto Me... The Devotions of Charles Spurgeon...

Early this morning... in the original preface... I read...
If you do not have time to read both the morning devotional and at least one chapter of Scripture, I earnestly entreat you to dispense with this book, for I would be greatly grieved to know that anyone read the Word of God less on my account.
---Charles Spurgeon, December 1865
As I read the words... at least one chapter of Scripture...
the thought came to mind...
This year... read through the gospels... a chapter a day...

My new spiritual discipline... to draw closer to Him...
will take me through Matthew... Mark... Luke... John...
four times this year... if I keep the pace of one chapter a day...
(yes... I did the math...)

An idea I've thought of before... but never committed to...
never felt called to... till now...

The gospels tell Jesus's story...
at least the part He lived on earth...
as God-man... as Word made flesh... as Lamb of God...
the place where we live now...
facing the same temptations...
the same challenges He did...

The author of Hebrews tells us to consider Him...
so we do not lose heart...

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself,
so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Hebrews 12:3 ESV

So this year... I will spend more time...
considering Him who endured...
and looking to Him... who perfects our faith...

...looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy
that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Ask Him what He wants you to do this year...
to draw closer to Him... to look to Him...
and see Him better...

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is none else.
Isaiah 45:22 KJV