Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Come and Live

I've been going through the motions, again.

Do you ever do that?

Do what you know you should do....

But you just don't feel it.

I've been doing that.

When this happens I never see it coming, but life just takes on an Eeyore shade of grey. It all stays right in the middle, no big highs, no big lows. Just blah.

For a while.

But it doesn't stay there. It starts to go down. More and more negative thoughts creep in. Grey starts turning charcoal.

Thankfully, out of nowhere, light breaks through a crack in the dullness. A word, a song, someone's thoughts in a blog post.

Like a refreshing drink of water, Light returns and restores my mind, my heart, my soul.

Restores my sight.

Things that once seemed unchangeable, heavy, too big, are now full of new possibilities.

My heart has heard You say, "Come and talk with Me," and my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming!" Psalm 27:8

You call me to come. You whisper truth to my heart. Thank you, Lord.

"Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?" Galatians 3:3

Is that why everything was turning sour? Becoming too hard? Feeling like chains around my wrists?

"....live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit." Galatians 5:16

I am not meant to do this on my own, in my own strength. None of it.

My job is to depend, serve and equip. -- Jeff VanVonderen

"I live by the power of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, those who partake of me will live because of me." John 6:57

Monday, September 21, 2009


Coins given to a sister from a generous heart. 

Lord, You want me to be generous.

You are generous.

You left behind all your riches to become very poor for my sake. Your poverty has made me rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

You want me to give from a willing heart, not under pressure, not reluctantly. (2 Corinthians 9:5, 7)

You give me many opportunities to do good. You provide the gifts to give. You grow generosity in my heart. (2 Corinthians 9:10)

Lord, please take the little bit of generosity in my heart and make it grow. Open my eyes to the opportunities you give me to do good. Whisper in my ear, "Here is a way for you to give." Spur me on to show Your love to those you bring my way.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2 Corinthians Ponderings

This morning I have been reading in 2 Corinthians. So much was just jumping off the pages at me. I was loving all the imagery that I found. Word pictures always help me to get a visual for a thought or idea and as I read these words, I could just "see" what the Lord was showing me today.

Along with the beauiful imagery I also was having this thought. For all that is true about me when I have Christ in my heart, when I am not believing what is true, when I am listening to lies and not following the Lamb, I am turning my back on these truths and pretending that they do not exist.

I am a fragrance presented by Christ to God, and this fragrance is evident to all those I come into contact with.  (2 Cor 2: 14-15) But what about when I am believing lies? What about when I am choosing sin instead of freedom in Christ? What do I smell like then? I know for a fact that it certainly isn't a sweet, pleasing aroma!

The veil that covered my mind before I believed has been removed because of my belief in Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 3:14) That veil covered my mind and caused me not to understand the truth. When I choose to sin, when I choose to believe lies, I feel like I am pulling that veil back over me and I am choosing to return to confusion and misunderstanding. I have had that "veil removed so that I can be a mirror that brightly reflects the glory of the Lord." So, when choose to pull that veil back over me, I am covering over the glory of the Lord that dwells inside me! When I believe lies, when I sin, I am hiding the glory of the Lord from those I come in contact with. I am also keeping myself from seeing His glory.

Oh Lord, thank You for all that You have done for me! Thank you for stripping away the veil that covered my mind and kept me from believing in You. Please keep me from pulling that veil back over me. Help me to believe You and what is true. Please help me to recognize when I am listening to lies. Help me to run from them and run to You. Thank you for filling me with the sweet aroma of Christ. I pray that your pleasing fragrance will be evident in my life today. Amen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Choosing His Strength

He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. -- Isaiah 40:29-31


Worn out.

Ready to give up.

Resenting my calling.

Resenting those I have been called to serve.

I could point my finger in many directions, placing the blame for my weariness.

But You are there. Always there. You wait for me to come to You. You long to show me your compassion. Your mercies are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness, Oh Lord, My God.

I will wait for You.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Comforted to Comfort

Life had been crazy. Good things, hard things, bad things all whirling together. Sorrow, anger, contemplation, discussions, insights, pain, growth, stripping away, reliance, understanding. All were part of this time of testing, trial, growth. 
Then came calm. The storm had passed. Relief and rest. Ahhhh.
But now, what is this feeling of discontent, disconnection, aimlessness? What now? 
Rest is good. The calm after the storm brings relief and reflection. To remain in this place sounds so good, well deserved. So, why the discomfort? What is causing the staleness?

"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
2 Corinthians 1:4
I have been been comforted. Now I must give it away. 
During the storm I clung to the Lord. I found His arms wrapped tightly around me, holding me, carrying me, guiding me in the way to go. His Words brought Light and Life. His Spirit gave Counsel, Wisdom, Strength. 
In my emptiness I had been filled. But I have not been created to be a storage jar, to sit on a shelf filled with the goodness of God. I have been created for use by my Creator. He has fashioned me to be used for His glory... to comfort as I have been comforted. 
Fresh water comes in, fills and moves on. It has to keep moving to remain fresh. Stagnant water fills and sits and becomes poison. I must pour out what I receive. I must keep being filled and keep pouring out.
Thank you, Lord, for bringing me through the storm. Thank you for using the storm to teach me, once again, to rely on you, not myself. Thank you for bringing me comfort. Pour me out, Lord. Help me to comfort others as I have been comforted. 

This morning's reading was 2 Corinthians 1:1-11.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wonderful Words of Life

This morning I read a wonderful post by Sally Clarkson that was just what I needed to read. Not only is the picture she shares at the top beautiful, the clear sharing from her heart and the Word is so encouraging and affirming. To read Sally's post, click on the word "post" above.

A couple of verses that she shares in her blog post are below.  I am making these verses prayers. I so want for the words of my mouth to bring glory to the Lord and uplift and encourage those He brings into my life. Way too often my words are critical, harsh or just plain mean. I want that to change.

The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. Proverbs 15:28

The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of  disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple. Isaiah 50:4

It always amazes me when God brings new Scriptures to me that speak directly to where I am at. I am so thankful that we have His Word to teach us how He wants us to live. And again, I am so thankful that it is He who gives us the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him. (Phi. 2:13)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Acknowledging the Blessings

Give thanks in all circumstances 
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 
1 Thess. 5:18

I am surrounded by blessings. They are everywhere. But when I refuse to see them, refuse to acknowledge them and give thanks for them, I am missing them completely.

This morning I had the unusual opportunity to be alone in the quiet of our early morning home. I sat and read God's Word and talked with Him, laying before Him my hurt and confusion and disappointment. I felt so weighed down by it all. And the weight just seemed to be getting greater. I just kept seeing more and more things that I am not, ways that I don't measure up or things that I cannot do. I started to despair that I had no joy and I had no idea at the moment how to get it back.

But God is so faithful.

He reminded me, oh so patiently, that joy is in me because He is in me. I just have to acknowledge it. I have to open my eyes to all that surrounds me, that He has done in me and for me, and give thanks for it.

My friend Amaryllis sent me a devotion this morning. It was not a coincidence that it spoke directly to my need. God was just making sure I got the point. Things may not be going the way I hoped or planned or think they should. I may not be doing as well as I think I should. My kids may not be who I think they should be. But, when I focus on what they are not, I miss what they are. I miss the beauty, the joy that is all around me.

I'm asking the Lord to help me to see the blessings that surround me today. And I am choosing to acknowledge them, giving thanks to my Heavenly Father who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift.