Sunday, January 8, 2017

Be Still


           It’d been a busy morning with my granddaughter; crawling, standing and walking with assistance, every little thing in her field of vision begged exploring. With Minnie Mouse and McStuffins providing our expedition soundtrack, there was one slight problem: she was tired and needed to rest.
            Attempts to settle her on her pallet with her blanket and pacie failing, I switched tactics.  Gently pulling baby, pacie and blanket into my lap, I held her still. Although I expected her to squirm away independently and break the connection, I was surprised to see her eyes soon closed. I was in awe at the sight of her.
            In the stillness of the moment I saw a picture of my Heavenly Father standing close while I run after every shiny thing, distracted and unaware of my own weariness. He knows what I’ve failed to grasp -- that curling up and sitting still with Him will bring rest, renewal, and refueling for my next steps.  
            And so, I toddle on.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Good News for a New Year



Photo: Cameron Taylor


Those faces;  fixed gaze, alert ears…..peering, discerning….My sheep know my voice……

That sky….gently waking, ethereal haze…Early will I seek thee…..Psalm 63:1

Naked trees….brown field…..To everything there is a season…..Ecclesiastes 3:1

Stopped….waiting…..they all heard it, the voice of the shepherd, their Shepherd..
 ..and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth his own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him for they know His voice (John 10:3-4)
This rich beautiful photo drew me to John 10, familiar yet always new, always renewing.  
Jesus had spoken of having other sheep to bring into the fold, and, as always, the Jewish leaders railed at Him in complete disbelief. 
In this photo, I see the Gentiles overhearing the Good Shepherd’s discussion with the Jewish leaders, hanging, waiting for Him to speak the next word to them and lead them in the way they should go.
As we go into the new year, may we stop and listen and follow our Good Shepherd, remembering to encourage others along the way. Tell them of times of faithfulness in your life.  Tell them He loves them. Tell them He died and rose again for them. And find little ways to show them. Put feet to your faith; He'll provide the opportunities. In a world of bad news, let's share the Good News!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Prayer

Photo: Cameron Taylor

Prayer for the New Year -- May we slow down and listen regularly for the voice of our Shepherd.  There are many voices competing for our time and attention.  May we turn down the noise,  look and listen, then follow hard after Him. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Road Conditions

image courtesy of radnatt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Notwithstanding the great hardships imposed by the sorry condition of the road, the troops are in high spirits and full of eagerness to meet the enemy.”

 – from Shelbyville Times Gazette, December 28, 2008, Old Newspaper Brings Civil War Battle to Life by Brian Mosely (full story here)  

It was a quote that gripped me and has been forever stored in my spiritual treasure chest--a bold battle cry that rings out in various seasons of my life.

Believers, we are the troops.  The enemy is the enemy of our souls, the ruler of this world and darkness, Satan.  The road, our current declining morality, broken government, and overall direction of our country

The good news is The Good News is our foundation, The Word. Despite what we see with our natural eyes, we are poised for victory if we pause, study our battle plan, and then march forward without fear to meet the enemy.

Dr. Charles Stanley’s message this morning was an encouraging call to battle. (click here for message)  His sermon called to remembrance the soundness of our foundation, our need to be first cleansed of our sin, and our call to prayer for true revival—a revival of God’s people stirred to prayer for our nation.

In 2008, we were faced with the challenge of change in our country’s leader.  We were uncertain of our future and concerned for the direction a new leader might take us.  Our mistake then is the same as now:  to focus on the people and the processes.  The enemy would have us blind to the true place of battle.

With renewed hearts, we can lift up our hearts in praise and prayer and forever impact the direction of our nation.  Our praise will be our battle cry, sung on the front line like Jehoshaphat’s troops (2 Chron 20) and will scramble and confuse the signal of the enemy.  We can be strong and of good courage, knowing God will strengthen our hearts.

Holy Heavenly Father, You alone are God.  May your people turn from their wicked ways, humble themselves, pray and seek Your face, and may You hear us in heaven, forgive our sins, and restore our land.  In Jesus' name.  Amen
 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Empty for Filling

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Rom 15:13 NIV

Empty for filling...............

Don't we have to throw out some things to make room for filling?

The God of Hope....... He does the pouring from water drawn from a bottomless well, fed by a spring that renews......

....joy and peace....... they pour in, soak through -- IF we've emptied and cleared space....

.....as you trust in Him........it's hard to toss out all that's pressed hard into us, shaped us over time, worn us down like desert rock crags, without leaning in hard in trust that believes that He's got us covered; that He won't leave us in the same shape He finds us; that He won't look away in disgust or horror at the sight of our dirty selves.........

.....so that you may overflow......     isn't it just like Him to not just give us a little, but to pour in more and more until we're not just saturated, but overflowing with what only He can give us?......

.....HOPE....... hope......hope.....not the Pollyanna head-in-the-sand hope, but real hope. Hope that comes from a track record that has proved itself over thousands of years in millions of little and big ways......

....by the Power of the Holy Spirit........ power! power! wonder working power! The Spirit that came to us to comfort us, to guide us, to speak for us when we've no words to put to the pain that is ripping us apart........this power that whispers "let go; let Me......" 

Thank you, Lord! Let me be still and know.

And, then, as the Samaritan woman at the well, throw down my pot and run to the others proclaiming "Come and see a man who has told me everything I've ever done!"  Jesus knew her.  Jesus knows me. And He doesn't look away.  May we as believers have the faith to receive all He wants to pour into us and the courage to draw close enough to those around us that our hope overflows, gets them wet enough to point them to the Living Water.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This IS the Day !!!

This is the day the LORD has made; I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!  Psalm 118:24


The birds sing this same refrain
As does the morning's gentle rain
Though the day's yet dark and drear
Father's children sense He's near.

Ever planning for our good
All things together, so we should
Never worry, dread or fear
Any weather the day may wear

For it cannot hold back the flood
Of love bought us through Jesus' blood.

Thank You, LORD, for gifts galore
And whispers of "I love you more!"

Oh, how I love Jesus! Oh, how I love Jesus! Oh, how I love Jesus,
because He first loved me!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Together

To join the Five Minute Friday fellowship, click the FMF button at right.


TOGETHER

Funny that this word comes up now.  Recently our work group has been huddling over what it means to be a team; to work as a team; to be a member of a team.
Image Courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At the end of it all it means togetherness.  Cliché, I know, but there's no "I" in team.  Period.

We weren't designed to be alone, to do it all on our own.  God's Word, in the very picture of the Church, is togetherness.  Starting with our togetherness in God through Christ and the Holy Spirit.  A togetherness that is oneness.  That oneness fuels our purpose and enables us to practice this togetherness.

This togetherness is based in service.  We work together and serve one another.  In our togetherness no one alone gives.  We give and receive; give and take; back and forth; again and again.  Together we can.  Alone, well, is lonely. 

Aloneness has its time and place but we are rarely called to give aloneness a right to be front and center.  In our separation, times of quiet and seeming aloneness we are able to renew our spirits through all that is whispered to it by the Spirit.  Empty for refilling, we are ready again for togetherness.

Agreed, we sometimes leave our time of quiet aloneness kicking and screaming, not feeling ready or equipped to face togetherness, but grace upon grace, perpetual grace, gently whispers, "Go.  Yes, you can.  Trust Me."

Ready, set, go.  Not just for Five Minute Friday but for the busyness of the day; for purpose; for togetherness.

Your Turn:  How do you benefit from togetherness?