December 25, 2014


Sitting with my tea in the darkened room lit only by the lights of the Christmas tree I find myself standing still with 'light'.

Darkness comes not just as night. 
Illness, conflict, hurt, hatred, sadness, anxiety, stress, poverty, ...
So many live... exist... day to day walking in the darkness of this life.

There are those moments when light shines in the darkness.
The glowing embers of a fire giving warmth.
The beacon of a lighthouse creating  a path across the water.
The illuminating beam of a flashlight guiding your steps.
The magical glow of a lightning bug suddenly appearing in the dark. 
The flash of brightness cracking across a dark sky as lightning flashes.
The beauty of the Milky Way spread across the canvas of night.

By definition - electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the eye; something that makes things visible; an illuminating agent or source.

Looking at the lights on the tree, I wonder how would most define the 'illuminating source' in their lives.
Being successful?
Their beautiful home?
Their children?
The glowing words others use to describe them?
Knowledge or expertise they may have?
the thing is - at some point - each of these sources of illumination do eventually dim.  The finest of silver will tarnish. Things will age, need maintenance, fall apart or go out of style.  People are human and often will not meet our expectations and we certainly will not always meet theirs.  Success can both come at great cost and easily fall prey to failure.  And knowledge can fade but almost always a person's own folly leads to their ruin.

Looking at the lights on the tree my eyes are drawn to the star at the top...
There was once a dark night through which there was an explosion of light - "and the glory of the Lord shone around them".  Words were proclaimed ---" Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

I stand still with two thoughts.
First, I can't even imagine the light which is defined as "the glory of the Lord shone around them". 
Secondly, "the news that will cause great joy for all people" --- THIS is the illuminating source that will never dim.  In this world darkened by sin --- "A light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5) We have the assurance of our Lord's words, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”(John 8;12)
This light will guide us - "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." (Psalm 119:105)
This light gives us strength and is our salvation  - "The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)

 Through this world's darkness; through the dimming commercialism and materialism; through the folly of men there is ONE LIGHT, ONE illuminating source that will never dim... given to us to bring joy and love; to bless us with peace and provide Hope despite the darkness of this world and the darkness within us.  That light came wrapped in clothes and lying in a manager. 

I pray you the joy and peace of This wondrous light.  I pray you discover that Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.  " And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  And I especially pray that you know " neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The light of Christmas's very purpose will shine brightly on this earth - guiding you, strengthening you, loving you.  This light will shine through you to others.  This light will guide you to an everlasting home in where the glory of the LORD will shine about you.
May the light of Christmas bring you joy and shine about you for all eternity!

 Isaiah 9:2 - The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."
Psalm 18:28 - You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
EPH. 5:8 -For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
John 12:36 - Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”



December 20, 2014

Follow My Lead

I started something without realizing it.  Has that ever happened to you? 
That "hold on to your hat here we go!", "You asked for it you got it", "what have I gotten myself into", "Really?", "Are you sure?!?!", "Now what?"  kind of thing.

I had to shake my head and chuckle. 
Answered prayer...  
I glanced upward and said to the Father, "You do have a sense of humor...  I'm not sure I'm ready."
As I stood still with this His whisper came, "Follow My lead".

 Follow my lead...
"I want you to do what I do."
"I am going to lead what happens next."
"Follow My direction."
"Accept My lead."

Follow My lead.
For some the response is a quick wink and a nod indicating they're game.
For some the response is "I'm all in!!"
For some the response is "I'm just along for the ride."
For some the response is "Yikes!"

 Follow My lead.
It may require an adventurous spirit.
It may require a sense of humor.
It definitely requires TRUST, YIELDING and WILLINGNESS. These aren't always my first response and they definitely aren't easy.

 I stood still with my thoughts... my feelings... my spirit as I grasped "Follow My lead."
I had gotten to a level of being comfortable; a place of calm and peace in certain areas of life and now over the course of the past bit I've been nudged, and then shoved to go in a direction different from what had been settled or planned.

I stood still with MY thoughts... MY feelings... MY spirit trying to grasp "Follow My lead."
And realized I needed to stand still with HIS will... HIS words... and HIS plan.

 Deep breath.

 "I'm in.." I meekly whisper the answer.
"I DO trust you. Enable me to yield to YOUR will. Help me be willing".
"I asked - You answered. I'm not sure what's going to happen but I am sure about WHO is happening - so here we go.. me and YOU, LORD."

Proverbs 19:3 - A person's own folly leads to their ruin.
Psalm 25:4-6 - Show me your ways, Lord; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
John 8:12 -  When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 10:27 - My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Psalm 23:2 - He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.
Proverbs 4:11 - I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.
Proverbs 3:6  - In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

December 11, 2014

Beauty in the Broken

Broken, fragmented, pieces.

Holding all the pieces in hand one would look at this jumbled mess and count it all as loss.
Damaged; flawed; perhaps useless.

My lesson with brokenness continued today when I came across an object that was on a shelf.   It had been a long time since I picked it up.  A bit of nostalgia welled up.  I looked through the viewing end and watched as I turned it.  Tumbling colors,;changing patterns exploding; revealing reflections of beauty. 

Kaleidoscope. A simple concept. A cylinder with angled mirrors containing bits of glass. 
As the tube is turned, the tumbling of the glass bits creates symmetrical colored patterns. 

I stood still with my kaleidoscope for awhile today. 
The broken pieces had jagged edges. They were all mismatched... a jumbled mess.  Similar to the jumble mess life sometimes is felt.

Standing still with my kaleidoscope, I was reminded the word kaleidoscope can also mean " a complicated set of circumstances".  How appropriate is that?

Life is a kaleidoscope.  Always shifting causing the pieces to go tumbling... ever changing.
Yet.. out of the brokenness and jumbled mess there is creation of  a magnificent pattern... something new.... something beautiful.

I considered the kaleidoscope of my life.
Yes, there are broken pieces... and jumbled messes.  I often count them as failures; losses; hurts.
Yet the Creator of this kaleidoscope purposes those broken pieces. Through that  mess something of value is revealed.
A pattern of HOPE.
A pattern of STRENGTH.
The beauty and value of BLESSINGS otherwise not possessed.
INSIGHTS revealed.
New PATHS opened.
LESSONS that never would've been learned without that slight turn of events.
BEAUTY of life revealed, seen and possessed.

Without the broken pieces none of this is possible.

Amazement and appreciation grows, not only for the kaleidoscope of which my life is but for the one who lovingly holds it in HIS hands.  Gently using that jumbled mess to bless!

 My prayer for  you is to view the beautifulness and value that is revealed in your kaleidoscope and know who is lovingly holding it!

Romans 8:28   And we know that  in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Isaiah 64:8  Yet you, LORD, are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the Potter; we are all the work of Your hand.

December 10, 2014


6:12 a.m.
The first text I sent for the day...

"We are going to have to get the side view mirror on the passenger side of the van fixed. Don't ask. This day is starting out quite well..."

The reply came...
"Love you"

I looked at the picture I had sent with the text and one word came to mind..

Sighing, I looked at the picture one more time. Yep-broken...fragmented; hurt; in pieces; cracked; smashed; damaged; defective; not functioning properly; out of working order.

I think I might've actually chuckled to myself as I thought how accurately that description applied to me currently.  This year has been filled with a few too many challenges - especially these last few months.  I'm somewhat exhausted physically, intellectually and emotionally.  And spiritually?!... Well,  It is time to stand still.

 As I've hit the pause button on life, it has occurred to me that I have actually been the cause of a great deal of the exhaustion and brokenness with which I am struggling. While I have no control over many of the events experienced this year  (medical diagnoses, loss, choices life gave, actions of others, and more) I did have control (should've taken control) of my responses to them. 

My responses?  Let's see...
Allowed fear to dwell in my mind; embraced doubt in myself, others and the Father; stubbornly pushed on when I should've paused; thought I had strength in self-reliance (some of that really boils down to pride); got stuck in hurt; dwelt daily in the tyranny of the urgent; practiced avoidance -

No wonder I'm exhausted... overwhelmed...broken...

Being honest with myself, all of this has limited my effectiveness - limited the use of my time and gifts; contributed to unwellness; overshadowed the blessings given daily; burdened or hurt others; and created an unhealthy spiritual distance between me and The Lover of my Soul.

I could've chosen instead to respond in trust; sought help when needed; listened; yielded; or had confidence in knowing that even though I didn't know what the future held- I knew WHO held the future.

I looked at the response to the text I sent...
"Love You"

The exact words, now that I'm listening, which are being whispered to my soul... constantly.

My prayer for you is that no matter your brokenness, may you hear HIS words and know them; may those words bring you restoration; and may you know they are unconditional...
"Love You"

And now I'm going to get a broken mirror fixed and give a broken soul a rest:)

Psalm 34:18 - The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all you heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
Matthew 5:2-12 - Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
1 Peter 5:7 -  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Romans 8: 38-39 - Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the LOVE of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

August 25, 2014

Finding Joy in the midst of the unexpected...

The past several months, especially the past several weeks, have really resonated the fact that life is filled with the unexpected.  It is filled with transitions and trials – a turn in direction, being pulled out of my comfort zone, changes in relationships, a medical diagnosis for a loved one… loss.  Life is filled with circumstance that is constantly changing and often it is circumstance beyond control.
In the midst of all of this as I turned to the Word, I am told to “consider it pure joy” – whenever facing trials of many kinds.

Pure Joy?…. Joy is the emotion of great happiness, pleasure, glee, gladness, jubilance, … delight.
How does one reconcile this word and its meaning – with personal struggles and changing circumstance?
The answer comes in Romans 12– we are told to “be joyful in HOPE, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer”.
“Patient in affliction” --- not one of my strong suits.  Often though there is no other choice but to have patience.  It really boils down to waiting and trusting.  I turn to the Hope found in God’s word and look for His Promises.
Psalm 30 reminds me that “weeping may last the night but Joy comes in the morning - God will remove our sackcloth and clothe us with joy.” 
Psalm 94 states that when anxiety is great within us, His consolation brings joy.
John 16 tells me that we will grieve, but our grief will turn to joy.


Pure Joy… Complete Joy… will never be found on our own especially when we in our humanness try to base it on circumstance or look for it within ourselves.
Romans 15 reminds us, only the God of hope can fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in Him.
And when we find our joy in Him – We discover “the Joy of the Lord is our strength” and He gives us immeasurably more as Psalm 37 promises “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

July 17, 2014


The past several months have brought quite a few life challenges and changes that affected many areas of our life… and even areas of well-being on and off.  Situations, relationships, perspectives have changed and brought growth…at times painful but much for the better – And such challenges, changes and losses are never easy.  It can become overwhelming when challenges happen all at once or one right after another.  Life brings such things to each of us.  Each person has a different way of coping during these times.  Some just keep plowing through.  Some try to control the uncontrollable.  Some give in to the pain and hopelessness.  Some close themselves off.  Some cry out for help. 

I tend to ‘circle the wagons’ with those I love… those who love me.  One of my friends once said she had learned that when I have gone silent (a.k.a. fallen off the face of the earth) it’s time to say a prayer and bring over the hugs. I told her I was just circling the wagons and hunkering down and she said – ‘well make an opening and let the reinforcements come in’.  I still circle the wagons but I have learned a couple of things. I’ve learned how to ask and make room for those reinforcements.  But most importantly I’ve learned to circle my wagons in THE place of Refuge.


Shelter or protection from danger and trouble; safety; a place to find aid, relief or escape; security; safety, a retreat, sanctuary, haven, a stronghold.

When life brings challenges, losses, illness, or trouble each of us want that relief, that security, that safety, that sanctuary or haven.  Each of us needs a stronghold where we can rest from weariness, regain strength, and begin to fight.
Finding THE Refuge – the best refuge – will make a difference in how the challenge is faced and will make a difference in how you come out of it on the other side.


Who is God? – He is our Refuge.

What is He to me?
Challenges are a bit easier when you don’t face them alone.  No matter what you are facing He will never leave you to face it alone… He’s there.

Psalm 46:1 – God is our Refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.

I have faced a few of life’s hardest challenges and I can tell you this.  In those times there is a want and need for the strongest, safest, most secure and guaranteed relief of all refuges.  When you’re going through those times you may have others who offer well intended but misguided advice; there are those who try to help for their own purposes; there are those who simply leave - maybe because they just don't know what to say or do.  Some refuges may only provide temporary sanctuary. Some fail to provide safety and collapse. There’s only one REFUGE. God as the REFUGE is secure, unchanging, unconditional, and strong beyond our comprehension.
And as odd as it may seem, with God as our refuge we can live above circumstance and find good; find purpose; and even find joy.

My prayer for you is to consider His words that you may discover and know REFUGE.

Proverbs 22:3 – The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Psalm 118:9 – It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans.
2 Samuel 22:31 – As for God, His way is perfect:  The LORD’S word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.
Proverbs 30:5 – every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 5:11 – But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy.   Spread Your protection over them, that hose who love your name may rejoice in you.
Psalm 34:8 - Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.
Psalm 62:8 – Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
2 Samuel 22:3 – my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation.  He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior.
Psalm 9:9 – The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 36:7 - How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

July 15, 2014

The definition of Love

Often times I feel that the word “love” has become trivialized.  We hear it being used excessively to describe everything from a pair of shoes to cars, from food to music.  It is used carelessly, sarcastically, off-handedly, almost meaninglessly and unfeelingly.

A profoundly tender affection. A feeling of warm personal attachment. A passion or desire.  A term of endearment.  To have a strong liking for something.  A fondness.

 It is a word that describes one of the most basic and foundational needs a person possesses.  We as humans have this need to be cared for, accepted, wanted, and valued.

The problem is, however, this word love never really lives up to the concept one’s heart and soul yearn for.  In this world, ‘Love’ often changes based on situations, reactions, feelings, emotions, desires, senses, perceptions, impulses, and actions. 

The true definition of LOVE is one that is absolute, unchanging, unconditional, uncompromising, all-encompassing, fulfilling, faithful, self-sacrificing.  It encompasses patience, kindness, truth, loyalty, fidelity, joy, goodness, hope, perseverance, completeness.

Three words tell us what Love is.  They define Love beyond doubt, reasoning, or understanding.

God IS Love. (1 John 4:8)

The great I AM – the one who is unchanging-remains-endures-exists-endures –
IS Love. 

Love isn’t a feeling or emotion that comes and goes.  Love is a state of being—Love is the BEING – The I AM.

As I consider what Love is (Who Love is) it changes everything.  I am someone who knows Love.   I have Love… that is unconditional, accepts me with all my failings and flaws.  No matter what I could ever do I will always have Love.  The kind that provides joy in my deepest sorrow, hope in the most desperate of times, light in the darkest moments, patience and kindness in the most undeserving situations. 
And because I possess LOVE, I am enabled to love others (1 John 4:19 – We loved because He first loved us).  I am enabled to live life above circumstance. I am a person of great value.  I am never alone. 

My prayer for you… is that you can define Love and know its fullness.

Ephesians 3:18 – And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all fullness of God.
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jeremiah 31:3 – “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
1 John 3:15 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1 John 4:10 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for us.
Romans 5:8 – God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1Corinthians 13:4-13 -  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

July 13, 2014

Creator; Maker of All

My family and I are very blessed to live in one of the most breath-takingly beautiful parts of the country… the Pacific Northwest.


We have hiked miles in-country and laid eyes on sights that leave us in awe.  Often times and old hymn comes to mind “When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;  Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee; How great Thou art!”  and I am reminded that “Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made (Romans 1:20)”.

To me, it is both ridiculous and an insult to intelligence to hear someone say that all of it “just happened or evolved”.  Forget the beauty for one moment and consider the odds/statistics of all that goes into what is seen looking at a panorama from a viewpoint: a particular type of sun, a particular distance of the planet from sun, the exact balances of atmospheric gasses, the ecosystem of just one of those living organisms within the panoramic view having to be just right, then the balance of a multitude of ecosystems of the many organisms – each having to be just right for all of them to exist interdependently. Then consider each living organism and each of its physical systems – how each physical system/life function works and comes together with many systems to give that organism sustainability and how each of those organisms come together in interdependent ways to create  ecosystems.  Next consider that basic laws of physics/thermodynamics function state that the usable energy in the universe is becoming less and less – things go from a degree of disorder to a higher degree of disorder as time progresses – when left to itself a thing will degenerate.  Yet someone is saying the majesty and wonders of our world “just happened” over time. Not likely.  The statistical probability of any one part of the fore mentioned awe happening is crazy and the statistical probability of all of it happening just right to have the perfect circumstances come together to form the whole… practically impossible.                                                                                            

QUESTION – “Who is God?”                                                                                          

The Intelligent Mind behind Intelligent Design.  The Creator.  Creator.  One who caused to come into being.  One who conceived, designed, made, generated, set up, or formed.

QUESTION – “Who am I to God?

King David once asked of God, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers … what is man that You are mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:3).”  I have been working towards a new educational degree in the process of changing careers and have had to study the anatomy, physiology and neurology of parts of the human body.  The human body is an amazing organism with a complexity that boggles my  mind. What boggles my mind further is that this The Creator created…me.  His Word tells me “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”(Psalm 139) and also that before He formed me in the womb He knew me (Jeremiah 1).  He knows the very number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30).  He has called me by name (Isaiah 43) and I am written in the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16).  I was created in His image (Genesis 1:27).

So Who am I to God? - I am wonderfully, purposefully made in the image of my creator - so valued that I am written in the palm of His hands.  That both humbles and amazes me.

My prayer for you is to know you were so valued – that you were wonderfully and purposefully made!
Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:27 - So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 1:31 - And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good
Ps 139:14  - I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

July 11, 2014

I AM not me

We are looking for answers to questions (7-9-14).  As we begin to find the answers to the questions, we first have to separate ourselves from “me”.  Finding the answers is not about “self-realization”, “self-fulfillment”, deciding or discovering MY spirituality, MY experience, what I believe, or finding MY “personal truth”.  It’s not about “me”.
Finding answers is all about finding the truth.
There’s a paradigm here.  For when we find the answer to who GOD is, it is then that we find the truth as to who “me” is – a wonderfully created, talented, gifted, unique, purposed, valued beyond measure, beloved individual.

Looking into the Word, we find that Moses – during a time of self doubt, uncertainty, and stubbornness – asked this questions directly.  “Who should I say when they ask me “what is His name?” Moses asked.
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”   In Hebrew I AM is Yahweh - the most holy of names for God.  The name by which He makes a covenant with His people and keeps His promises.

“I AM.”

To be. To exist or live. To take place. To happen or occur. To continue or remain. To endure.

QUESTION: “What is God to me?”
He is I AM. 
He exists.  His presence is real.
He continues and remains.  Think about that for a minute.  In this world nothing remains-the only thing that is sure is change and uncertainty.  Everything else comes and goes.  There is nothing and no one we can count on or trust.  Bad things happen to good people.  Good people are imperfect and make mistakes that cause consequences for those around them.  There are times of joy and laughter but loss, pain, sickness and darkness are experienced.
BUT… HE is.  He always was… always will be…


 Because I AM is… the me won’t be lost – subject to all of life’s uncertainty.
Malachi 3:6 – “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you are not consumed.”
Because I AM is… “me” has hope. 

 “suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces Hope AND HOPE DOES NOT DISSAPPOINT us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts”. (Romans 5)

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.  If you look within, you’ll be depressed.  If you LOOK at GOD, you’ll be at REST.” –Corrie ten Boom

July 9, 2014

Questions. Answers?

Who? What?? When? Where? How?  WHY?!
So many questions.  Some are harder than others.  Harder to ask; harder to answer.
Some are impossible to answer.
When questions are asked people are looking for information…knowledge…truth…a response.

I listened to a series of questions recently.
They’ve been stuck in my head.  I guess that’s because I was once asking the very same questions from a place of great loss and hopelessness.  Yet even though I had found answers and know The Answer with all of my very being - when I went to answer these questions I struggled to answer them in a way that would adequately communicate something that is more than just knowledge, information or a response. 

Let me ask YOU –
“Who is God really? What is He? What is He to me? Who am I to Him?”
Sometimes an answer in response won’t truly provide what a person is seeking.
Sometimes an answer needs to be discovered… together. 
Sometimes an answer needs to be witnessed… experienced… felt with the heart before it is truly known by one’s being.

So –
“Who is God really?... What is He?... What is He to me?... Who am I to Him?”

Let’s Stand Still together over the coming time. 
I know we will experience the heart felt answer because we’re going to go straight to the source together.
It’s my prayer for you that it will be an experience that will provide you with what you seek.

I will start with I AM not me…

Psalm 3:4 - I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from HHHhhhhhis holy mountain
Psalm 34:4 - I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 38:15 - Lord, I wait for You; You will answer, Lord my God.
Psalm 65:5 - You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.
Psalm 17:6 - I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer.

June 30, 2014

worship - a way of life

Worship is coming into God’s Presence, experiencing His Glory and responding with praise. 
Both amazingly and thankfully this is not just a once-a-week occurrence.  “It is not an event to be attended but rather a life to be lived.” (David Smith)
We experience God’s Presence and Glory in all things daily.  There is no service or ritual… just a relationship with the Father.

Worship as a way of life is:
- daily seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary – a daily focus on the Giver of all
Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
1 Chronicles 16:30-33 -  Worship the Lord in holy array; tremble before him, all  the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea roar, and all that fills it, let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall the trees of the wood sing for joy before the Lord.
            Job 38:7 – “morning starts see together”
Psalms 65 13 - the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
1 Corinthians 2:9 – No every has seen, no ear has heard no heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.
           (Psalm 148 - All of creation testifies and praises Him)

– being conscious of the fact that He is here… with you wherever you go.  And if He is with us always, we are always in His presence and again, we can respond with praise.
            Exodus 33:14 – “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.
Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and fin me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Matthew 28:20 – and lo, I am with you always even to the close of the age.
Psalm 139:7-12 - Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend to heaven, thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  If I say, “Let only darkness cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to thee, the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with thee.

– an attitude – a focus.  Your focus in life speaks constantly to those around you for you, your person, will reflect where your focus lies.  If you focus on things (buying, having, making yours the best or most beautiful) you become materialistic.  If you focus on money you become greedy. If you focus on popularity you become shallow. If you focus on position and power you become corrupt.
Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:24 - No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Proverbs 28:26 - He who trusts in his own mind is a fool;
Proverbs 28:20  - but he that makes haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
But when you focus on God, who He is and what He has done you become a reflection of Him.  Others will see His light, His presence and His love through you.
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

When you focus on God blessings follow…
Especially the blessing of His presence and His glory.
Your response will be daily praise.
This is a life of worship. This is my prayer for you.

Psalm 71:8 - My mouth is filled with thy praise, and with thy glory all the day.
2 Peter 1:3 - His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to His own glory and excellence,
Psalm 34:1 - I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 35:28 - Then my tongue shall tell of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
Psalm 61:8 - So will I ever sing praises to thy name, as I pay my vows day after day.
Psalm 71:14 - But I will hope continually, and will praise Thee yet more and more.
Psalm 104:33 - I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
Psalm 119:175 - Let me live, that I may praise Thee,
Psalm 145:2 - Every day I will bless Thee, and praise Thy name for ever and ever.

We can pray it, we can say it, we can sing it and we can live it. – Sheila Walsh