Tag Results For :: "heart"




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.



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 



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



Enjoying Much

May 1st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , ,

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It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness. 

— Charles Haddon Spurgeon

 



Listen

April 26th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , ,

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Job answered:

“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth! I’ve talked too much, way too much. I’m ready to shut up and listen.” — Job 40:3-5, MSG

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Job answered God:

“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ — Job 42:1-5, MSG

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Silence can be so uncomfortable.

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Lord, as I wait upon you without words or an agenda, quiet my heart and fill my emptiness.

I’m ready to listen.




As Thou Hast Been

April 13th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , ,

He’s God, our God, 
      in charge of the whole earth.
   And he remembers, remembers his Covenant— 
      for a thousand generations he’s been as good as his word. 

— Psalm 105:7-8, MSG

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Great. Faithful. Forever. Father.

As I look toward the horizon this afternoon, I can’t see what’s next. I may think I can see around the corner an hour from now, or a week from now. But I really can’t.

So many things this side of heaven seem permanent, fixed, final. But they aren’t.

In whom and what will I place my heart’s hope and trust?

 

 



Not As the World Gives

April 10th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
— John 14:27, NASB

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Come unto Me, ye weary, and I will give you rest.
O Blessed voice of Jesus, which comes to hearts oppressed!
It tells of benediction, of pardon, grace, and peace,
Of joy that hath no ending, of love which cannot cease.

— William C. Dix (1837-1898), “Come Unto Me, Ye Weary”

 

For the thirsty, the hungry, and the distracted, the message of Christ is the same. Jesus speaks of pardon and forgiveness, of joy and peace, given freely to all who look to him to satisfy their innermost needs. Are you trusting the Lord with your heart today? Can you accept he is bringing you ever closer to being conformed to his own character and image? We can live in hopeful expectation believing he will complete the work he has begun.



Off and On

April 7th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. 
   You have bedded me down in lush meadows, 
      you find me quiet pools to drink from. 
   True to your word, 
      you let me catch my breath 
      and send me in the right direction.

— Psalm 23:1-3, MSG

 

“When God finds a [person] that rests in Him and is not easily moved,” noted Catherine of Genoa, “He gives the joy of His presence, which entirely absorbs the soul.”

By diving into the depths of God’s Word and waiting upon Him within it, we learn that Christ’s call to the life above is not just for noteworthy spiritual giants like Catherine of Genoa. It is also for everyday saints like you and me. Through the private posture of our soul, we seek God and His kingdom with the eyes of faith, resolutely taking our thoughts off our circumstances and setting them on things above.

Without question, meditating on the Word of God—sitting down to enjoy the Lord’s spiritual feast—nourishes our soul’s growth. Yet how can we possibly taste, chew, swallow, and digest the meal He has provided if we persist in keeping ourselves on the go, in apparent denial of our soul’s need for rest and stillness, rarely slowing down long enough to listen to our Shepherd’s voice? Why are we still surprised when we experience such troubling hunger pangs, distracting our soul from “the one necessary thing” that truly matters? Then again, our life in Christ does not have to be this way.

As we turn our eyes and ears toward Jesus—waiting in silence, savoring God’s Word—we more and more taste and see God’s goodness. By determinedly directing our heart’s desires toward Christ and depending on Him to satisfy our soul’s deep longings, we find our love for God, and others, grows. 

 



Stillness

April 5th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , ,

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“The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

— Exodus 14:14, NLT

Do you have reminders in your life that help you remember to sit down, take a deep breath, and wait upon the help God alone can give? Is there a particular place you associate with spending time with the Lord, away from all the usual distractions?