For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Follow God's Heart

Psalm 84:4-5
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

As I watched my new grandson's birth this week, emotion flooded me like water pouring through a busted dam. In awe of the way God created life, I realized how blessed I was to stand in his presence. As Zeke took his first tiny breaths and peeked out at his new surroundings, I prayed over him that he would follow God's heart. I pray that for all of our grandbabies.

Whether life brings joy or sadness, love or grief; dwelling at God's feet brings strength and comfort. As we journey on our pilgrimage through life, seek the one who's path is straight, whose love is unconditional, whose joy is complete. Praise God for his blessings!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Radiant Glory

Ezekiel 43:1

I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.

My daughter lives in the mountains of South Carolina surrounded by greening trees, clear flowing waterfalls and fresh clean air. Recently I received an email from her, with a photo of a sunrise she snapped that spoke of the glory of God. When the sun burst over the valley, she said “As I was watching, it was hurting my eyes but I couldn’t look away. I thought this must be kind of what it is like to stand in the glory of God! So beautiful you have to look at it, even if it hurts.”

Ezekiel experienced the glory of the Lord in a vision that took him to a mountain in Israel. Like Ezekiel, Hannah experienced a land “radiant with his glory.” Perhaps a glimpse of heaven or a reaffirmation of God’s power and majesty, either way God shows himself to us to remind us of his love and hope. Praise God for the times we see him face to face and witness his glory!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Nudge

2 John 1:5-6

...I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

God desires for us to do two things, love him and love each other. That sounds simple enough, but unfortunately life on earth gets in the way. Hurt feelings, circumstances, irritations, and frustrations all separate us from loving God and people. How then do we overcome and grab onto that love?

Through obedience to God we can find direction; through the Bible and prayer we can find help; through the people who love us we can find comfort. Obeying God is not just about following the "rules", obeying God means seeking his guidance everyday and following the path he lays out. Obedience may be responding to the Holy Spirit's nudge to help someone, or the nudge to redirect our path from our idea to God's. He may move us to speak with someone about God's love or pray for someone he brings to mind. Walk in love this week and listen for the "nudge".

Friday, January 8, 2010

Start with Good Morning

Ephesians 6:18-19

18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel…

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep” if those words sound familiar, you may remember reciting them as I did, before I went to sleep as a child. I’m not sure where I thought my soul was going in the middle of the night, but I knew that God would look after it. As an adult, I pray different prayers, many prayers. I send words and thoughts to God about my family and friends, my church, my job and so much more. Sometimes when I find it too difficult to pray I know, as I was reminded recently by a dear friend, that the Holy Spirit will be my messenger and take my boggled thoughts to God.

In Ephesians, Paul is seeking prayer for himself and also encouraging the folks to pray all of the time for everything. Could it be that God wants us to talk to him every day, anytime of day? The answer is yes. He wants us to bring everything in our lives to him. He wants us to seek his guidance and blessing. All we have to do is acknowledge that he hears us, that we are sending our words to him. On your knees, at your desk, in your favorite chair, outside, it does not matter where, just talk to him. Start with good morning and end with good night. Praise him! Pour your heart out to him. He loves you and wants to know that you love him back. Pray for me as I pray for you!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Message

Mark 1:27-28

27The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." 28News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

At the beginning of Jesus ministry, his teachings and ideas were new to the people he met. He healed the sick, released the demon possessed from their demons, and crossed culture lines without hesitation. His new message shook the world and turned beliefs upside down. He loved the unloved and forgave the unforgivable. Jesus changed the world.

This year, start each day by asking God, "What are we going to do today?" He might surprise us with plans we never imagined. He changed the world through Jesus, he wants to continue his plans through us. Seek him through prayer, scripture and community. Enjoy an exciting new year.