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Showing posts from January, 2012

The Rock

"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer." Psalm 61:1

Are you crying? Are you praying? In your desperation, pain, hurt, disappointment, are you seeking Him? This isn't just crying out to God and hoping He hears; this is expectancy that He will answer and attend to your plea.

"From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2


This is where we're going to camp out so put it in park and soak it up.

"From the end of the earth..."
Are you feeling removed from everyone and everything? Maybe you're at the point where you feel far away from God. Even at the furthest point in His creation, He is there. You must simply call.

"I call to You when my heart is faint..."
Other translations say "when my heart is overwhelmed" or "when I'm down to my last gasp." Inhale. Exhale. Sigh.

Is your heart overwhelmed? To the point of being down to your last gasp? Thi…

Entitled

Entitled. It's my right or claim to something. And in this case, that sense of entitlement happens to be my belief that I have a right to myself.

It's my false assumption that I should have my own way - the desire of MY heart - simply because I feel it's what I'm owed.

This way of thinking is dangerous, to say the least. This is where I toe the line, and in most cases, fall off the edge into the abyss of my own disillusionment. It's my own fault. I lead myself in paths of self-righteousness for my own name's sake. I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, not of dying to myself, but killing the person God wants me to become.

You may be passing judgment on "the sin" that so easily entangles another - drinking, immorality, lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, impurity - the things that entice and trap someone else aren't at all a temptation to you. And for that, you should be grateful. But maybe it's something else you're wrestlin…

All or Nothing

(This needs a disclaimer. If you're wondering "what's going on" - It's those around me, the people and circumstances, and the things I'm faced with in my own life. That is the reason I share. That's the reason I provide honesty. Not just a look inside my own heart, but a chance to embrace those I know are also seeking, struggling, striving. I'm not taking away from my own journey. But hopeful that through my process, others may be encouraged.)

There's no 50-50 here. It's all or nothing. Half in, half out won't do.

Surrender. It's the most difficult thing to do. I can't seem to pry the death grip I have on this vice. If I truly am to relinquish control, give in, give up, and embrace God's will, then I must also give up my "right" to myself. The belief that I have that I'm entitled, or any other selfish and indignant thought that I deserve...

"Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.&…

Just Like Me

It's a phase. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I found myself hiding my laughter when he didn't want to go to bed and yelled "I'm grouchy. Don't look at me." Other instances aren't as funny - like when he gets frustrated because he doesn't get his way and it results in "No, I don't love you anymore. You're not my best friend." REALLY?! You're 3 and we had to go there?!

For someone who doesn't share my DNA, this little man of mine sure does act a lot like me. It seems uncanny that at times I feel we practically share a personality. I realize the nurture argument proves true in this case, but I also like to think that part of who God planned him to be is someone who resembles so much of what I see in myself.

I don't look at him and see a mirror reflection. He doesn't have my nose or either one of our eye color. His blonde hair doesn't resemble any likeness of mom or dad. Don't get me wrong - to t…

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, decisions. Today it was an easy one. Turn left and go straight to work. Turn right and make a "pit stop" by the drive-thru coffee shop. It was 19 degrees. I had a gift card. Right turn it was. And one Grande White Chocolate Raspberry Mocha later...well, I'm sipping away as I type.

Not all decisions are this easy. Not all decisions bear such insignificance. We've discussed it before - those of us willing to listen and obey if God would just so kindly write the answer in the sky. Wouldn't you simply follow the instructions if they were delivered in your mailbox? Would you not follow if you were handed a road map? Certainly the GPS spouting out directions would be enough to command your course. After all, if we were equipped with a "God Positioning System" how much trouble and headache could we save ourselves? Oh wait. We are. It's called the Holy Spirit. That's another talk for another day...

Back to the matter at hand. When faced with…

The Valley

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
         I will fear no evil;
         For You
are with me;
         Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

Psalm 23:4

I find myself walking through the valley. In all honesty, I'm not sure that I'm walking at all. I can barely stand at this point. This is beyond journeying through - I'm frozen. Paralyzed. Numb doesn't seem appropriate because the aching in my soul is beyond comprehension. I am seeking comfort.

The other day E found the plastic sheep from his nativity set. He was on a mission to find the accompanying shepherd because, for this little boy, things always go together. He asked about the shepherd. "Does he take care of the sheep?" Yes, he does. He make sure he doesn't get lost...and when he does get lost, he goes and finds him.

So when I am lying motionless in the valley - or rather what feels like the pit of despair - can I trust that my Shepherd will come and f…

New Life

"Has there been a point in your life which you now mark as your last day?" Chambers asks in his January 15th devotional. It's the death of the old life - the past - whatever that may include, but it is what's necessary in order for new life in Christ and sanctification to take place.

The process of sanctification is to be holy, set apart, to purify, to be free from sin.

You might be like me and share in the story of the prodigal son. How many of us have gone our own way? Squandered what we had, throwing away blessings and promises for a future, only to end up dirty, ragged, wretched, alone and poor. You become so unrecognizable by the filth you've dragged yourself through you wouldn't even know your own reflection if it was staring back at you.  Even then, you'd probably only want to run and hide.

What Luke 15:20 tells us is the father saw his son and was filled with compassion. Even beyond recognition from the outward AND inward disgrace he had brought …

All Alone

I'm a "people-person" by nature. I enjoy being around people so much so that I thrive in the presence of others. There are some who consider themselves loners and prefer to keep to themselves. It's not that I don't enjoy the occasional solitude - time to think, read, meditate or process - it's just that I am energized by the opportunity to entertain, interact or engage with people.

Only recently has God been teaching me that it's okay to be "alone." And sometimes it's more than okay - it's necessary.

"When they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples." Mark 4:34

Is that what it takes? I have to get completely alone with Him in order to be able to be His disciple - to be taught what it is He needs me to learn. Mostly, these lessons include a long, hard look in the mirror. Instead of looking to others for security, affirmation, or even my identity, I'm forced to face the reflection of my own flawed self staring …

Be Still, TODAY

A few months ago a dear friend handed me a gift bag with the words "My Peaceful Moments: Open and Read as Needed." Inside were no less than several hundred slips of paper, each one containing a scripture verse. Every single work day since I was given this gift, I have pulled out one or two slips to read the words contained on each. I am here to tell you, as only Sovereign God can do, He perfectly ordains the "random selection" to be exactly what I need to read for that day.

You know Lamentations 3:22-23?! His mercies ARE new every morning... This is being played out in the daily grab bag of scriptures and the present circumstance I face.

So today I reach in, grab a piece of paper and read:


"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:13a,14

There are too many people I know, including me, who need this today.

Are you afraid? Are you in crisi…

If Only...

If only...

If only I hadn't been up all night worrying and thinking, I would have woken up on time.

If only I had woken up on time, I would have done my devotions as my normal morning routine.

If only I had done my devotions in the morning, I would have read exactly what I needed to hear to be armed with the right offense.

If only I had been armed & guarded, I would have had the conviction and direction in that moment of decision.

If only I'd had the discernment in that moment, I would have listened to the Spirit instead of my flesh.

If only I'd listened to the Spirit and ignored my flesh, I wouldn't have made a poor decision.

If only I had made the right choice, I wouldn't have to deal with the consequences.

If only I could have laid down to sleep and known I had experienced victory instead of vanquish.

If only...

I can't live a life of regrets, or if only's...nor can I be buried under the weight of sin, guilt, shame or consequence. Certainly, all thos…

# 3

Here it comes. The third blog post in a day (maybe a record for me). Why am I sharing again? It's been on my heart all day. Some things are meant to remain in the quietness of my heart, and believe me, there are parts of my prayer journal from today that will are between me, the Lord and notebook. But I know some are dealing with struggles and wrestling with battles they just can't seem to let go of.

Today I had a "Jacob" moment with God. We wrestled. Literally in the floor of my living room. Like Moses, I took off my shoes, kneeled down, wept like a baby, and fell prostrate under the weight of disappointment, sin, shame, guilt, hurt, and absolute humility. I haven't wanted to go there. I've been clinging with a death grip to some of my baggage. But when I got up, I was at peace.

"But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. 22 So they inquired further of the LORD, “Has the man come here yet?” And the LORD said, “Yes, he has hidden himself amo…

Let's Go

"He went out, not knowing where he was going." Hebrews 11:8

"Have you ever gone out in this way? If so, there is no logical answer possible when anyone asks you what you are doing...You don't know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing." - Oswald Chambers

Oh how he's hit the nail on the head with this one today!

Have I ever asked God what He is going to do? Yes.

Has he told me? No.

What He does, instead, is reveal who He is.

I must "go out" in dependence upon God, not because I know where I'm going or what I'm doing but because I know HIM. And knowing Him means I am trusting Him.

Dare I forsake this call to go out, I risk the distance I put between God and myself. I cannot let my own fears get in the way. I can not let the unknown prevent me, nor can I let the doubts stop me.

Are you unsure of where you're going? Do you also wonder what you're doing? We're in it together, I assure y…

Sing a new song

I heard someone recently say, "I know some people really respond to music, but it's never really been a big deal to me."

Heresy? Hypocrisy? Lunacy?

Be still my beating-in-4/4-time heart!

Maybe the chords don't move you. Maybe the soaring notes don't resonate within your being. Maybe the rhythm doesn't beat in time with your own heart. Maybe even the lyrics make no impact on your mind or emotions. But for me, music is a way of life. It's my way of life.

Even the very name of my blog is meant to carry an implication of the praises that I sing to my Savior.

I know full well that singing and songs are not the only way to praise and worship the Lord. Our lives are to be that too. My very body is His temple and dwelling place - the Holy Spirit having taken up residency in me. Still, for me I know He inhabits my praise when I am singing His.

Here's my point. Whether or not music "gets you" - or even if you don't get it - I challenge you to fin…

Welcome 2012

"A New Year. A new beginning. When we resolve to let go of our past, embrace God in our present and bring change to our future."

This video was played today in church and it brought me to tears. As I said goodbye to 2011 and welcomed 2012, I can honestly say I've never been more thankful to have a new beginning. I've always enjoyed the start of something new...but I've also never been fond of goodbyes. But last night, at 12:00 a.m., I embraced the opportunity to say goodbye to last year. I don't need to recall all the trials and circumstances of the past year. I literally walked through the fire. And today a dear friend shared this song as a reminder and promise for what I'm claiming in this new year:

At the foot of the cross (Ashes to beauty)
And you've won my heart
Yes you've won my heart
Now I can
Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross

I…