Tag Results For :: "God"




Away

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

“Who will give me wings,” I ask—
“wings like a dove?”
Get me out of here on dove wings;
I want some peace and quiet.
I want a walk in the country,
I want a cabin in the woods.

— Psalm 55:6, The Message

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Sometimes, I still picture this: Sitting out on Mission Peninsula, surrounded by the greens and blues of northern Michigan, where the cool clear day and a glass of iced tea brought a moment’s respite from real life—the place where I actually live.

The thing about being away is that you don’t belong there. It’s great while it lasts. But it doesn’t last.

So, instead I think I’ll aim to live here:

I call to God;
God will help me.
At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh
deep sighs—he hears, he rescues.
My life is well and whole, secure
in the middle of danger
Even while thousands
are lined up against me.

— Psalm 55:16, The Message

Lord, I’m looking to You today, waiting on Your help and direction, drawing close to Your promises and peace. Show me the way ahead in the midst of this day’s surroundings—in Christ, I pray.

Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—
he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.

— Psalm 55:22, The Message



Oak Trees Dancing

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

Go where the best prayers take you. — Frederick Buechner

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God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”
Above the floodwaters is God’s throne
from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.
God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.

— Psalm 29:9-11, The Message

It’s the water dropping from the live oak trees, the small gems shining. It’s the clouds lifting across the charged air currents, the long winds sweeping. It’s the summer light in darkness, the warm solstice at dawn, the calendar page on time.

Above, beyond, and within, He rules.

Lord, magnificent Creator, Father of us all, Your grace is no small thing. Thank You for every good and perfect gift your love brings! Enlarge my heart to receive Your strength, respond to Your peace, and recognize Your glory — in Christ, I pray.



Real Wealth, Rich Simplicity

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

Be good to your servant, God;
    be as good as your Word.
Train me in good common sense;
    I’m thoroughly committed to living your way.
Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place,
    but now I’m in step with your Word.
You are good, and the source of good;
    train me in your goodness.
The godless spread lies about me,
    but I focus my attention on what you are saying;
They’re bland as a bucket of lard,
    while I dance to the tune of your revelation.
My troubles turned out all for the best—
    they forced me to learn from your textbook.
Truth from your mouth means more to me
    than striking it rich in a gold mine.
— Psalm 119:65-72, The Message
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A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. — 1 Timothy 6:7a, The Message

What current activity or opportunity might be distracting you from enjoying this kind of simplicity in your life? When you see unmet needs for leadership and/or service around you—in your job or community, at home, school, or church, among your friends, family, and co-workers—do you want to respond and try to meet the need according to a list of “shoulds” instead of focusing on what God has specifically called you to do?

What goes? What stays? What needs adding?

Our natural inclination when we’re under pressure is to turn away from God’s peace. Notice the symptoms: Anxiety, upset, worry, irritability, comparisons, anger, and resentment. “Lord, don’t you care?” Choosing to wait upon the Lord and trust Him with our concerns isn’t easy or automatic. We can choose to turn toward Life as we seek Christ’s help and direction, wherever we find ourselves.

What comes to mind as you ask God for discernment about distractions in your life today?



Not Taking Any of This Day for Granted

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

Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.

— John R. W. Stott

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We pondered your love-in-action, God,
waiting in your temple:
Your name, God, evokes a train
of Hallelujahs wherever
It is spoken, near and far;
your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action.

Be glad, Zion Mountain;
Dance, Judah’s daughters!
He does what he said he’d do!

Circle Zion, take her measure,
count her fortress peaks,
Gaze long at her sloping bulwark,
climb her citadel heights—
Then you can tell the next generation
detail by detail the story of God,
Our God forever,
who guides us till the end of time.

— Psalm 48:9-14, The Message

Doves cooing outside our bedroom window is a commonplace occurrence this time of year. Still, I can go for hours at a time without hearing them, simply because I’m not listening.

It’s only when I stop focusing on other things and turn my attention in the birds’ direction that I realize their sweet songs have been there all along.

Lord, how easy it is to tune out Your love and grace as my attention turns away from You toward my thoughts, concerns, and surroundings. I want to look and listen more often for You; I’m not taking any of this day for granted. Open my ears to your music and fill my heart with Your songs — in Christ, I pray.



Breathing Room

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

Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.

— C. S. Lewis

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God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer.
When I’m far from anywhere,
down to my last gasp,
I call out, “Guide me
up High Rock Mountain!”

You’ve always given me breathing room,
a place to get away from it all,
A lifetime pass to your safe-house,
an open invitation as your guest.
You’ve always taken me seriously, God,
made me welcome among those who know and love you.

— Psalm 60:1-5, The Message

This morning wasn’t yesterday, or even the day before. Each waking up time seems to have a ready-made agenda by the time my eyes open about where to look, whom to listen to, what to focus on. Am I willing to begin all over again? Whose invitation at the start of this day’s journey will I accept?

One thing is clear: The mountain I start climbing from the moment my eyes and ears open can only be scaled in single steps, one foot after another, with each day’s journey enough by itself, all the way to the top. There is no other way to get where I’m going.

Lord, help me begin all over again each day in the space of Your breathing room. I confess my tendency to focus on the past, to choose today’s itinerary based on previous experience, to set a predetermined schedule about how far I’ll travel in the next twenty-four hours. Guard and keep me on your path as I climb as far and as long as You decide, day by day—in Christ, I pray.



Heart’s Desire

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

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God answer you on the day you crash, The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach,
Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
Exclaim over your offerings,
Celebrate your sacrifices,
Give you what your heart desires,
Accomplish your plans.

When you win, we plan to raise the roof
and lead the parade with our banners.
May all your wishes come true!

That clinches it—help’s coming,
an answer’s on the way,
everything’s going to work out.

See those people polishing their chariots,
and those others grooming their horses?
But we’re making garlands for God our God.
The chariots will rust,
those horses pull up lame—
and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.

— Psalm 20:1-8, The Message

Help’s coming. An answer’s on the way. Everything’s going to work out.

Even when I can’t see it.

Lord, at moments like this, when I don’t know what will happen next and can’t tell how You’ll work everything together for something good, I’m trusting Your plans and purposes. Thank you in advance for what’s next. My heart, my desires, my life, are in Your hands. Accomplish what You will — in Christ, I 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



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