Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Greatest of These...

" matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, 
I'm bankrupt without love."

1 Corinthians 13:3 msg

"Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.

Love doesn't strut,

Doesn't have a swelled head,

Doesn't force itself on others,

Isn't always 'me first,'

Doesn't fly off the handle,

Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn't revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies."

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a msg

Honestly, I have always had a hard time reading these verses.

I do not have this in me.

I cannot work up or manufacture this 
magnificent quality in my life. 

I am incomplete.

"...when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled."

"We don't yet see things clearly.
We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.
But it won't be long before the weather clears
and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then,
see it all as clearly as God sees us,
knowing Him directly, just as He knows us!"

"But for right now, until that completeness, 
we have three things to lead us toward that consummation:
Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, 
love extravagantly.
And the best of the three is love."

1 Corinthians 13:10, 12-13 msg

Where does this love come from?

This love that never fails,
never gives up,
never dies?

"God is love. When we take up permanent residence
in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. 
This way, love has the run of the house, 
becomes at home and mature in us...

We, though, are going to love —
love and be loved. 
First we were loved,
now we love.
He love us first."

1 John 4:16, 17, 19 msg

"But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit 
[the work which His
presence within accomplishes] is 
joy, (gladness), peace, patience 
(an even temper, forbearance), kindness, 
goodness (benevolence), faithfullness,
gentleness (meekness, humility), 
self-control (self-restraint, continence).

Galatians 5:22-23 amp

You are love.

You loved me first.

Fill me with Your love, 
as I cling to You.

As Your Spirit works 
the soil of my life
I pray that love will 
burst forth in big juicy fruit,
blessing all around me.

True love comes only from You.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Whatever is True

"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best
by filling your minds and meditating on things 
true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious —
the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse."

Philippians 4:8 msg

A thought I had today about the above verse:

I'm wondering if, in order to be able to get 
to the place where we are able to think 
"the best, not the worst",
"the beautiful, not the ugly"
and so on...
must we not begin with 
thinking on what is true?

There are times when we are believing 
something that is a flat out lie,
but we don't see it. 
At that point, being infected with false belief, 
it is impossible (?) to then think lovey,
beautiful thoughts about that which 
we are believing a lie. 

If our thoughts are not based on truth,
can they be truly the best? 
Can they truly be beautiful?

Just a thought....

Entering Into a Large and Integrated Life

"What I want to talk about is the various ways 
God's Spirit gets worked into our lives. 
This is complex and often misunderstood,
but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable."

1 Corinthians 12:1 msg

"God wants us to use our intelligence,
to seek to understand as well as we can."

from 1 Corinthians 12:2 msg

You want us to get this!
Help us to understand,
guide us as we seek to know and be known.

"Each person is given something to do that shows who God is:
Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. 
All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit,
and to all kinds of people!

1 Corinthians 12:7 msg

"By means of His one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our 
partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to 
independently call our own shots, but
then we entered into a large and integrated live 
in which He has the final say in everything."

1 Corinthians 12:12 msg

"...we see that God has carefully placed each 
part of the body right where He wanted it."

1 Corinthians 12:19 msg

"You are Christ's body — that's who you are!
You must never forget this. 
Only as you accept your part of that body
does your "part" mean anything."

1 Corinthians 12:27 msg

As we learn more about who You made us to be
we begin to see how we fit in
how we can live and move and breathe 
in this wonderful body that You have created. 

Thank you for making me a part,
giving me a role,
an important job that contributes 
to the function and health and growth 
of Your Body. 

I as I let go of my independent, self-directed and small life,
I enter in to the large, integrated and full life of Your Body.

Help me to live out the function You intended me to
and help me to help others discover who You 
made them to be and their role in Your Body.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Examining My Heart

"In the marriage relationship, there is authority from
Christ to husband, and from husband to wife.
The authority of Christ is the authority of God.
Any man who speaks with God or about God
in a way that shows a lack of respect 
for the authority of Christ, dishonors Christ.
In the same way, a wife who speaks with God 
in a way that shows a lack of respect for the 
authority of her husband, dishonors her husband. 
Worse, she dishonors herself — and ugly sight,
like a woman with her head shaved."

1 Corinthians 11:3-6 msg

There is an order to life,
a way that our Creator has established
to protect, to define,
to remind us of who He is and who we are.

"All actual authority stems from Christ."

1 Corinthians 11:2 msg

In my heart and in my mind,
I set aside Christ as Lord.
He is above all.
He is the authority.
He establishes order.
All lines up as it should when I
am placing Him in the right position in my life.

"Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup
of the Master irreverently
is like part of the crowd that jeered 
and spit on Him in His death.
Is that the kind of "remembrance" 
you want to be a part of?
Examine your motives, test your heart,
come to this meal in holy awe."

1 Corinthians 11:27-28 msg

The attitude of my heart is vital.

Am I only going through the motions?
Taking the elements, only because they are passed to me?

Sitting in the silence,
help me to examine myself.
Help me to remember the price You paid.

Am I living my life in light of Your death and resurrection?
Am I living in complete dependence on You?
Or am I full of greed and pride, seeking only to satisfy myself?

"What you must solemnly realize 
is that every time you eat this bread
and every time you drink this cup,
you reenact in your words and actions 
the death of the Master.
You will be drawn back to this meal
again and again until the Master returns.
You must never let familiarity breed contempt."

1 Corinthians 11:26 msg

Monday, September 27, 2010

Choosing Him and His Way

"We must be on guard so that we never get caught
up in wanting our own way as they did."

1 Corinthians 10:6 msg

"We must never try to get Christ to serve us
instead of us serving Him; they tried it,
and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes.
We must be careful not to stir up discontent;
discontent destroyed them."

1 Corinthians 10:9-10 msg

Demanding my way is deadly.

It seems so right
at the time.

It looks so good,
it would bring such comfort....


Discontent drives me
for more, better, different,
things that I cannot have,
things that I should not have.

Discontent colors all that I see,
souring what is good,
poisoning what is healthy,
discarding what has been given,
insisting on what has not.

Discontent destroys.

"Forget about self confidence; it's useless. 
Cultivate God-confidence."

1 Corinthians 10:12 msg

You are my strength,
my foundation,
my strong tower.

I can do all things through You.

I see through a darkened glass,
You know all, You see the whole picture. 

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
   don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, 
everywhere you go;
   he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.
   Run to God!
Proverbs 3:5-7 msg


Because there is one loaf, 
our many-ness becomes one-ness —
Christ doesn't become fragmented in us.
Rather we become unified in Him. 
We don't reduce Christ to what we are;
He raises us to what He is.

1 Corinthians 10:17 msg

But the point is not to just get by. 
We want to live well,
but our foremost efforts should be
to help others live well.

1 Corinthians 10:24 msg

You unify.
You bring together many parts into One.
We do not break You down,
You bring us up to so much more.

In being who You made me to be,
help me to lift others up,
to shine Your light,
to lift others up,
and help them be all that 
You made them to be.

In You we find the source 
of all we will ever need.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Enter Their World

Even though I am free of the demands 
and expectations of everyone, 
I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all 
in order to reach a wide range of people: 
religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, 
loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. 
I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ
but I entered their world and tried to experience things 
from their point of view

I've become just about every sort of servant 
there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. 
I did all this because of the Message. 
I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! 

1 Corinthians 9: 19-23 msg

You bring them into my life
in many different ways.

They need You.

You give me the opportunity 
to be used by You 
to show Yourself to them.

To walk alongside,
try on their shoes,
see what the world looks like 
through their eyes. 




Share the Water that gives Life.

Help me, Lord,
 to see them,
to know them,
to see as they see,
to show them You,
as I keep my eyes fixed on You.

Please give me a heart
that longs to share You with others!

Help me to see beyond myself,
my life, my wants, my comfort.

Help me to care enough
to see, to ask, to hug,
to walk along side and share Life
with those You bring into my life.

Help me to do more than just
write or talk or sing about
You and what You do and who You are.

Help me to serve.

"...fix your attention on God.
You'll be changed from the inside out.
Readily recognize what He wants from you,
and quickly respond to it."

from Romans 12:2 msg

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sensitive Knowlege

"...knowing isn't everything. 
If it becomes everything, some people
end up as know-it-alls who treat others
as know nothings. 
Real knowledge isn't that insensitive."

1 Corinthians 8:7 msg

He gave up His rights —
everything is His, 
power, majesty, glory and honor.

And yet, 

for me, 

He set it aside.

He knows all —
yet patiently leads and 
teaches me in my ignorance.
He bends down,
reaches out,
lifts up.

Growing in knowledge and freedom —
but also in love and patience.




Fan into flame.

Draw alongside.

"We sometimes tend to think we know all 
we need to know to answer 
these kinds of questions — 
but sometimes our humble hearts can 
help us more than our proud minds.
We never really know enough until we 
recognize that God alone knows it all."

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 msg

"But God does care when you use your freedom
carelessly in a way that leads a 
Christian still vulnerable to those old associations
to be thrown off track."

1 Corinthians 8:9 msg

"If I speak God's Word with power, 
revealing all His mysteries and
making everything plain as day, 
and if I have faith that says to a mountain,
"Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love,
I'm nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:2 msg

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clearing the Distractions

"All I want is for you to be able to develop 
a way of life in which you can spend 
plenty of time together with the Master 
without a lot of distractions."

1 Corinthians 7:17 msg

Time with You.

Precious moments in the quiet.

You long for me to come away,
to sit with You, 
to pour out my heart to You.

What a gift — these times
alone with You.

As I seek You in the quiet,
I find You waiting, 
ready to meet me just as I am.

You reveal Yourself to me,
You speak Words of Life to my heart,
You lift my head and place a new song on my lips.

Remove that which distracts,
the unnecessary, the noisy clamor —
replace it with You.

"I do want to point out, friends, 
that time is of the essence. 
There is no time to waste, 
so don't complicate your lives unnecessarily.
Keep it simple."

1 Corinthians 7:29 msg

"And don't be wishing you were someplace else
or with someone else. Where you are right now 
is God's place for you.
Live and obey and love and believe right there.
God, not your marital status, defines your life."

1 Corinthians 7:17 msg

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

He Will Do It

And may the God of peace Himself 
sanctify you through and through 
[separate you from profane things, 
make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; 
and may your spirit and soul and body 
be preserved sound and complete [and found] 
blameless at the coming of our 
Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

   Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] 
and utterly trustworthy, 
and He will also do it 
[fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you].

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 amp

Come to Me


I just had to share this song with my blog post. 
God is blessing me with this song,
as it runs through my head over and over.

He is so faithful. 

Be blessed.

Locked up tight.




Binding chains,
pulling down, holding back,




In You there is freedom.

Your Love sets me free.

Your Way gives me wings to soar.

Twirling in delight,
I dance in Your presence.

You fill my heart with light,
bubbling out it spreads joy.

You extend Your hand,
"Come, taste and see. 
What I have for you is good, so good —
beyond anything you could ever imagine."

New eyes see glory all around.
Dazzling light dances 
shattering the gloom of dark.

Get up, my dear friend,
fair and beautiful lover — come to me!
Look around you: Winter is over;
the winter rains are over, gone!
Spring flowers are in blossom all over.
The whole world's a choir — and singing!
Spring warblers are filling the forest 
with sweet arpeggios.
Lilacs are exuberantly purple and perfumed,
and cherry trees fragrant with blossoms.

Oh, get up dear friend,
my fair and beautiful lover — come to me!
Come, my shy and modest dove — 
leave your seclusion, come out in the open.
Let me see your face,
let me hear your voice.

Song of Songs 2:10-14 msg

Monday, September 20, 2010

Simple, Genuine, Unpretentious

"Our true identity is flat and plain, 
not puffed up with the wrong kind of ingredient.
The Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has already 
been sacrificed for the Passover meal,
and we are the Unraised Bread part of the Feast.
So let's live our our part in the Feast, 
not as raised bread swollen with the yeast of evil,
but as flat bread —simple, genuine, unpretentious. 

1 Corinthians 5:7-8 msg

"I am saying that you shouldn't act as if
everything is just fine when one of your Christian
companions is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God, 
or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory.
You can't just go along with this, treating it as acceptable 
behavior. I'm not responsible for what the outsiders
do, but don't we have some responsibility for
those within our community of believers?
God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide
when our brothers and sisters are out of line
and, if necessary, clean house."
1 Corinthians 5:11-12 msg

It sneaks in so quietly.
Tiny, beige, unnoticed.

Left in our lives,
in our communities,
evil permeates 
so quickly, so profusely.

Once it enters
everything changes.
It touches all, 
leaving its mark.

Puffing, expanding, inflating.
It changes our focus,
makes us think things 
that are not true.





Set apart.

Ready for service.

Jesus is the main course.
We are the accompaniment. 
It is all about Him.

We are salt and light to the world.
Not judge and jury.

In ourselves, we must be swept clean.
Choosing holiness and purity,
removing those who do not.

That is love.

Friday, September 17, 2010

More Than Words

For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk;
it is living by God's power.

1 Corinthians 4:20 NLT

I can talk about God
and His Word all day long
but it will not help me one, single bit
if I do not apply what I am reading
and learning and act it out in my life.

I can read about His promises
and sing songs about them,
but if I do not choose to believe they
are true for me, if I do not live 
according to them, 
they are useless to me.

The Kingdom of God is not about
bumper stickers, or t-shirts,
greeting card slogans or Bible study answers.

It is about living my life 
as a sacrifice to Him,
offering all that I say and I do to Him, 
trusting that He will show me
what to do and give me His power
to do it. 

I truly live when I take what God says
and live like I believe it. 
My actions have got to line up with 
my words. I cannot trust my 
thoughts or my feelings, 
instead I must trust the One who made me
and what He says in His Word.

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: 
Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, 
eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life —
and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best
thing you can do for him.

Romans 12:1 MSG

My help and glory are in God
—granite-strength and safe-harbor-God —
So trust Him absolutely, people;
lay your lives on the line for Him.
God is a safe place to be.

Psalm 62:7-8

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Whatever is Lovely

3 Lovely Things

The whisper of God's voice to my heart in the quiet.

Gentle words spoken to a tender heart.

Ocean waves lapping at the shore as the sunset glows.

I choose to pass this "lovely" award on to:

Rules for accepting the award:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the
person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.


The fun rules for recipients:
1.  Put the One Lovely Blog award logo on your blog and/or in a new post.
2.  In a new post, share 3 things you think are lovely
3.  Pass the award on to 3 fellow bloggers.
4.  Link the nominees within your post.
5.  Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blogs.
6.  Share the love and link to the person whom you received the award.

There are two sets of rules for this award.  So choose the one you like and go for it!

Thank you, Brandy!

My friend Brandy awarded me this blog award today! 

Wow! My blog has never won an award before! 

Thank you, Brandy!

Pictures of Who I Am

Am I an infant?

"As long as you grab for what makes you feel good
or makes you look important, 
are you really much different than a babeat the breast, 
content only when everything's going your way?"

1 Corinthians 3:3 MSG

Am I a planter, a waterer, a field?

"I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants,
but God made you grow. It's not the one who plants or the 
one who waters who is at the center of this process
but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are
menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them
worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be
God's field in which we are working."

1 Corinthians 3:6-9

I am God's house — am I an architect or a carpenter?

"Or, put it another way, you are God's house. Using the gift
God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints;
Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter
who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation!
Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid:
Jesus Christ."

1 Corinthians 3:10-11

I am the temple of God!

"You realize, don't you, that you are the temple of God,
and God Himself is present in you? No one will get
by with vandalizing God's temple, 
you can be sure of that. God's temple is sacred —
and you, remember, are the temple."

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

God's Power Did It

"I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate — 
I was sacred to death, if you want the truth of it — 
and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. 
But the Message came through anyway. 
God's Spirit and God's power did it, 
which made it clear that your life of faith is 
a response to God's power, not to some fancy 
mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else." 
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 MSG

What jumped out at me when I read this again this morning 
was how much I can relate to Paul in my calling 
as a mom and homeschooler. There are so many days 
when I feel so overwhelmed, so unable, 
when I am convinced that I am doing damage to my kids 
and that maybe my husband should stay home 
and school them and I should go get a job. 
But I know that God has called me to do this. 
So, it is my prayer that it is His Spirit at work in me 
and through me that is ministering to my kids. 
I pray that it is His power that is at work in their lives, 
drawing them to a life of faith. Faith in their lives 
is only going to come through God's power, 
not by any teaching ability I have or do not have, 
not by a fancy curriculum, or by me bringing them to every 
Bible study that is available. 
I choose to trust Him and rely on Him and rest in Him.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

All That I Need

Just think — you don't need a thing, you've got it all! 
All God's gifts are right in front of you as you wait 
expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive 
on the scene for the Finale. 
And not only that, but God Himself 
is right alongside to keep you steady and on track 
until things are all wrapped up in Jesus. 
God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, 
shares with us the life of His Son and our Master Jesus. 
He will NEVER give up on you. 
Never forget that. 

1 Corinthians 1:7-9 MSG

How often do I give up?
Or feel defeated, or overwhelmed, or lacking?

How often do I walk around feeling sorry for myself
because of what I have to do, because I see so much to be done,
because I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders? 

But I am not alone! I am not lacking!
I have all that I need!
That is the truth, and that is what I must cling to.

No matter what the circumstances may appear to be,
no matter how hopeless I am feeling,
the truth is God is for me...who can be against me?

He provides all that I need. 
His mercies are new every morning 
and His faithfulness is great. 

And even better... 
He will never give up on me.

God, the one and only —
I'll wait as long as He says. 
Everything I need comes from Him, 
so why not?
He's solid rock under my feet,
breathing room for my soul,
an impregnable castle:
I'm set for life.

Psalm 62:1-2