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LOVE | BLESS | SEE | HEAR | TASTE | SERVE | GROW | REST | PRAY




The Home I’m Made For

May 24th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.”

John 15:1-4, The Message

Living in Christ . . . keeping His commandments. This is the deeply rooted foundation upon which believers build. Then, firmly planted, we are able to stand against the strongest winds of winter and in season bear fruit for the kingdom of God. Good works, spiritual gifts, productive maturity―all the things we associate with what it means to be the Lord’s disciple―come out of abiding. They blossom from the encouragement we receive from total dependence upon Jesus and His Word.

Lord, my life is in Your hands. Thank you for pruning and preparing me according to Your plans and purposes: You’re the home I’m made for! May I bear Your fruit, manifest Your peace, and know Your joy in response to Your life, guarded forever by the patient nurture of your steadfast love ― in Christ, I pray.

 

“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.”

John 9-15, The Message



Family

May 21st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , ,

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Every Moment

May 21st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Use all your skill to put me together;
I wait to see your finished product.

Psalm 25:21, MSG

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Sometimes I forget: Right now, and in every moment, God is making me.

Lord, as you stitch and mend me, piece by piece, lead me to recognize and receive your love in every moment — in Christ, I pray.

 

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
― Frederick Buechner



OK It’s Friday

May 18th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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I love that sundown on Friday marks the traditional Sabbath time, Lord.

Time to refrain, reset, and refresh. Take a deep breath and dive into Your love.

As I honor/spend time with You, will I see something new?

May your unfailing love be my comfort,
    according to your promise to your servant.
 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
    for your law is my delight.

— Psalm 119: 76-77, NIV

 



Joining In

May 17th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

O Lord, save us; 
O Lord, grant us success.
 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
 From the house of the Lord we bless you. 


The Lord is God, 
and he has made his light shine upon us.
 With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
 up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
 you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
 his love endures forever.

—   Psalm 118:25-29, NIV

 

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“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand,” declared David (Ps. 16:11, NIV). But we must take time to pray, to wait, to listen. 

How much we need to hear and heed Jesus’ promise that He will strengthen us for the journey ahead and light our way with His unfailing love, grace, and protection. With our hearts focused on God’s kingdom and our minds set on Christ, our hungry souls are strengthened, sustained, and shielded from harm.

Day by day we can lift our souls to the Lord of life, asking Him to lead us, feed us, fortify us, and make us more fruitful: “Fill my cup, Lord—I lift it up, Lord! Come and quench the thirsting of my soul; Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more—Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!”

 

Almighty God, we give Thee thanks for the mighty yearning of the human heart, for the coming of a Savior, and the constant promise of Thy Word that He was to come. In our own souls we repeat the humble sighs and panting aspirations of ancient men and ages, and own that our souls are in darkness and infirmity without faith in Him who comes to bring God to man and man to God. We bless Thee for the tribute we can pay to Him from our very sense of need and dependence, and that our own hearts can so answer, from their wilderness, the cry, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” In us the rough places are to be made smooth, the crooked straight, the mountains of pride brought low, and the valleys of despondency lifted up. O God, prepare Thou the way in us now, and may we welcome anew Thy Holy Child. Hosanna! blessed be He who cometh in the name of the Lord — Amen.

— Samuel Osgood 



Amazing. Extravagant. Intimate: God’s grace, love, and friendship

May 14th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , ,

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The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.

— 2 Corinthians 13:14, The Message




Woven Into Love

May 11th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery.

—Colossians 2:2, MSG

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Seeing this stack of expertly made blankets at a farmer’s market in New Mexico invites closer inspection. You can’t help noticing the vivid variety of patterns, textures, and colors on display.

Many of us have heard the comparison made between a person’s life and a hand-woven tapestry. When thinking about this on a larger scale—viewing our lives not only from a solitary standpoint but from the perspective that God is weaving us together into his love—what else do we see?

Lord, let my first thought each morning direct my heart to Your love. As I focus on You, help me to see my life and the coming day as an integral part of Your unfolding design, in which every moment becomes an opportunity for me to receive and respond to your love—in Christ, I pray.  

 

Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.

— Corrie ten Boom



Getting in Focus

May 4th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.

— Proverbs 4:25-26

 

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This morning my friend Christine emailed me a copy of this useful chart published by Learning Fundamentals. Its decision tree reminds me of the nerves and synapses that somehow link my heart, mind, and soul together to create focus.

I’m glad that the key element of my decision-making design, not pictured on the chart above, is actually a Person upon whom I can rely for help with getting in focus.

Lord, I need your wisdom today as I focus amidst my distractions. I’m trusting Your Spirit will direct my heart, mind, and soul toward You first. Thank you for the life-giving guidance You alone always provide—in Christ, I pray.

 

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

— Phillips Brooks



Courage Patience Peace

May 3rd, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , ,

The LORD will accomplish his purpose for me.

Thy true love, O LORD, endures forever;

leave not thy work unfinished.

— Psalm 138:8, NEB

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Sometimes, I start to think: My rate of growth and how I grow is mainly up to me.

Sometimes, I need to remember: The primary facts shaping my existence, beginning with how I got here, aren’t up to me.

Lord, thank you for reminding me that I live and grow in You. May Your Spirit provide me with the courage, patience, peace, and whatever else I need today. I believe you will accomplish your purpose for me in Christ, I pray.

 

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.

— Victor Hugo



Charleston Windows

May 2nd, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , ,

There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.

— G. K. Chesterton

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