Wednesday, February 29, 2012

He is Singing Over Me

Fear is leaving
It is fleeing
Perfect love is singing over me.
Faith is rising
I can see it
You are smiling over me...
Jonathan David Helser
"Faith is Rising"
This song on a new album, On the Shores
fills me with faith this morning.
Just to decree that "faith is rising
and He is smiling over me"
postures me for this day.
I am grateful for Kingdom artists
who sit before the throne--
hear the sounds and the songs of heaven--
and then release them so that others 
may be filled with the faith of heaven.
There is an overflow of God's presence
as I listen to this song,
and it builds my trust in the One
who sings over me.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Zephaniah 3:17
Faith is rising.
I can see it.
You are smiling over me.
And that is everything that I need today.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

For the Love of God

I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me. 
You must go on living in My love... 
You are My friends if you do what I tell you to do.
John 15
The love of God has to be my motivation for all I do.
I can be talked out of every other reason.
"The question is not whether you have, 
or have not, done a thing that fell into harmony
with the will of God--
but did you do it, or not do it, 
as a conscious choice because you heard
His voice and you chose to respond?"
George MacDonald
I realize that a sense of duty is better than disobedience.
But, bottom line is I want my love for Him to be 
the source of everything I do.
I don't want my life to haphazardly line up with His will.
I want it to be a conscious decision to hear Him and obey Him
because I love Him.
Lord, I give You my heart and my will today.
I pray for ears that hear Your voice,
no matter how still You are speaking to me.
I can't be talked out of doing 
anything that I am doing if it is because You told me.
Increase my love Lord
that I may stand in complete obedience
as Your friend.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lavishing Favor

Generous to a fault, 
You lavish your favor on all creatures. 
Everything God does is right—
the trademark on all his works is love. 
He does what's best for those who fear him— 
hears them call out, and saves them. 
My mouth is filled with God's praise. 
Let everything living bless Him, 
bless his holy name from now to eternity!
Psalm 145
God's favor is always there for those who fear Him, 
for those who have surrendered to His love.
But there are times we can feel the weight of His favor.
This has been one of those times.
As we have been celebrating our 25th anniversary, 
I have been rehearsing the faithfulness of God
during the course of our marriage.
Oh, God, how great You are!
This weekend, I have been experiencing 
the undeserved kindness of God.
We are out of town, and it has been windy and rainy,
but He has been surprising me 
with His goodness everywhere I turn.
His lavish favor comes that we may enjoy Him
and sit in the midst of His kindness and goodness.
My response is worship.
My response forms a testimony that
cannot be taken away.
It goes forth to proclaim His goodness to others.

How happy is the woman who believes in God, 
for He does make his promises to her come true.
My heart is overflowing 
with praise of my Lord, 
my soul is full of joy in God my Savior. 
For He has deigned to notice me...
The one who can do all things 
has done great things for me—
oh, holy is his Name! 
Truly, His mercy rests on those 
who fear Him in every generation.
Luke 2
So grateful for mercy, grace and favor.
My heart truly is overflowing.
His goodness is SO GOOD!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Running and Walking

Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? 
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the creator of the ends of the earth.
He doesn’t grow tired or weary. 
His understanding is beyond human reach,
giving power to the tired 
and reviving the exhausted.
Youths will become tired and weary,
young men will certainly stumble;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength;
they will fly up on wings like eagles;
they will run and not be tired;
they will walk and not faint.
Is 40
This is one of my favorite Scriptures.
Those who hope in the Lord WILL renew their strength.
I love that there is a promise of running and not growing weary.
I have been running for a lot of years, 
training runs, 10Ks, marathon.
It is possible not to be tired.
But my favorite of all these promises is:
They will walk and not faint.
Walking is so daily.
I do not run every day.
I walk every single day, all day long.
There are days that have weariness stamped all over them.
But, God promises that I can walk and not faint.
Those are the kinds of promises that give me hope.
Those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
LOVE His promise of 
I receive it all.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bind My Heart

Mary settled down at the Lord’s feet, 
listening to what he said. 
But Martha was very worried about 
her elaborate preparations. 
“Lord, don’t you mind that my sister has left me 
to do everything by myself? 
Tell her to get up and help me!”
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, my dear, 
you are worried and bothered about so many things. 
Only a few things are really needed, perhaps only one...

The Lord gently spoke to me this morning and said, 
"Kathy, you are bothered about so many things.
Only one is really necessary. 
Seek Me and trust Me 
and all the rest will be added to you."
I am not sure why these day come,
days where I feel restless and distracted.
My head knows this one thing that I desire,
but my heart wanders.
"Lord, bind my wandering heart to Thee!"
He stands with me, ever faithful,
as He allows me, once again, to get still.

You have said to me, "Seek My face--
require My presence as your vital need." 
My heart says to You, Your presence, Lord, 
will I seek and require.
Psalm 27
It is the one thing I know.
And by Your mercy and grace, God,
I will never let go of this one thing.
Your promise is that if I keep this ever before me, 
You will take care of all the rest.
Today Lord, I call my wandering heart back.
Thank You for helping me get still before You.
I seek You and I trust You.
With all that I am.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Trust in His Love

We know how much God loves us, 
and we have put our trust in His love.
1John 4:16
My trust must be in His love.
Sometimes I worry about my love for Him.
I wonder whether I am doing what pleases Him.
I wonder whether I am doing enough.
This is the path to the trap,
the trap of striving and soul strength.
This morning I surrender.
I am fussing with so many things today.
I know I need to pray them all through.
But first, I must be still.
I must anchor my trust to His love.
I have a sense that if I don't 
surrender to His rest now, 
I may spend the entire day just a bit off.
Being "just a bit off" in my soul
can have more than "just a bit" of
consequences in my day.
Lord, I trust You.
Your love is more than enough for me.
Your infinite love is beyond my ability to comprehend.
I pray Ephesians 3 over myself this morning:

Lord, I am asking that I be firmly fixed in love, 
able to grasp how wide and deep 
and long and high is Your love—
and to know for myself that love 
so far beyond my comprehension. 
Fill me through all my being with Yourself!
Your strength will come from settling down 
in complete dependence on Me—
Is 30

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Presence of God

The presence of God calms the soul, 
and gives it quiet and repose even during the day...
It takes no great time to love God, 
to be refreshed by His presence, 
to elevate our hearts to Him, 
to offer to Him all we do ;
this is the true kingdom of God within us, 
which cannot be disturbed.
Once a single word of the Savior 
suddenly calmed a furiously agitated sea: 
one look of His at us, and of ours toward Him, 
ought always to perform the same miracle within us.
Fenelon, Spiritual Progress

I love the simplicity of Fenelon's writing.
Trust, love, humility, abandonment to God.
"I have set the Lord continually before me.
Because He is at my right hand, 
I shall not be moved." Ps 16
This is the peace I want for this day--
to trust in His ever present help,
His eternal goodness and faithfulness.
I decree that one word from my Savior
is enough to calm any swirling and agitated waters
in my thought life today.
Lord, may I give You my heart today
in the simplicity of moments, 
that I would offer to You all that I do.
The Kingdom of God is within me, 
and with it comes the righteousness, peace and joy
that only You can give.
I set You before me today and ask for the grace
to keep it a continual setting
all day long.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wrapped in Love

Yes, goodness and faithful love 
will pursue me all the days of my life...
Psalm 23
Mornings like this, I am so grateful for the psalms.
I feel like I can't hear, see, or sense 
what the Lord is saying to me.
So, I go to His word and trust His voice.
The psalms always meet me where I am.
And He whispers to me:
My goodness and My faithful love
are continually pursuing you.
I lead you beside the still waters
and I restore your soul.
My mercy hunts you down
and, in your place of weakness, 
I am all you ever need.
Come away with Me today.
Do this day wrapped in My love,
convinced that nothing can separate you from that love.
All I know, Lord, is that You are so good to me.
You lead me with Your voice and 
beckon me to come closer still.
I trust today that You are leading me 
beside those waters,
restoring my soul along the way.
You are so faithful.
You pursue me with Your goodness
and wrap me in Your love.
How can I want anything but  
more of You, Lord?


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Steadily Onward

Let us strip off everything that hinders us, 
and run the race that we have to run with patience, 
our eyes fixed on Jesus...
God corrects us for our own benefit, 
to teach us His holiness. 
When it is all over we can see that it has quietly produced 
the fruit of real goodness in those 
who have accepted it in the right spirit. 
Don’t wander away from the path 
but forge steadily onward. 
On the right path the limping foot 
recovers strength and does not collapse.
Hebrews 12
Oh, the glorious grace of our God,
who teaches us about His holiness
and encourages us to run our race.
If we have ears to hear, we hear the training voice.
"This is the way, walk in it."
If we accept His training in the right spirit, 
it will produce fruit in us.
If we stay on the path, trusting Him and His goodness, 
we will receive our strength for today.
Our limping foot will only become stronger.
His grace sufficient, 
His strength made perfect in our weakness.
And one day, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, 
ignoring our own weakness, 
we will find we are limping no longer.
That is what the Holy Spirit is training us for.
When it's all over, we can see the fruit.
That we might be like Him.
Only the furious, unconditional love of our God
offers this kind of grace to mankind.
He called us to a life of holiness... 
Before time, He planned to give us in Christ 
the grace to achieve this purpose.
2Tim 1
By His grace I will run this race 
with my eyes fixed in faith
and my heart fixed in love,
becoming more like Jesus as I 
"forge steadily onward."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Life in the Midst

My friend Sarah sent me this picture earlier today.
Life in the midst of seemingly dead things.
This morning is not particularly beautiful.
It is blustery, gray, drizzly, damp and cold.
But in the midst of all that, 
this single bud defies its surroundings.
It was designed to bud at this exact time
as a contrast to all that stands around it.
It is doing what it was created to do.
That bud has been speaking to me this morning;
I have been feeling more like the bare branch. 
God has been reminding me that I carry His life
and He causes life to come forth 
regardless of what I may feel 
or what things may look like.

The Lord commanded Ezekiel
 to speak to dry and dead places.
"Listen to the word of the LORD! 
Look! I am going to put breath into you 
and make you live again!"
Ezekiel 37
This morning, the Lord is telling me  
to speak to any dry and dead places 
and call them to come to life.
There is life in every place I think is dead.
Lord, thank You that You don't leave me where I am.
You give me Your words of life 
and they indeed cause life to come forth in me.
In the midst of bare branch feelings, 
I decree that Your budding life defies barrenness.
I can't afford to walk around feeling bare
when I have Your life dwelling in me.
Because this is more importantly 
a picture of who I am in You, 
carrying Your beauty and life as a contrast 
to everyone and everything around me 
that does not know You.
You created me to represent Your budding life
among the dry and dead branches.
Thank You for Your incredible gift of life.
May I offer mine back to You
as a pleasing sacrifice this day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Overwhelming Victory

If God is for us, who can be against us? 
He that did not hesitate to spare His own Son 
but gave Him up for us all—
can we not trust such a God to give us
everything else that we can need?
I have become absolutely convinced 
that nothing in God’s whole world 
has any power to separate us from 
the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!
No, in all these things 
we win an overwhelming victory 
through Him who has proved his love for us.
Romans 8
Some days all I can do is marvel at my own weakness.
And, in spite of it all, God continues to draw me up
closer to where He is and convince me to trust Him.
Oh, the number of times I stumble over 
situations and circumstances that trip thoughts of 
doubt or fear or wondering why some things are the way they are.
God did not hesitate to give it all up for us.
Can we not trust such a God to give us
everything we need? 

This morning, I declare that 
I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that nothing
separates me from His love, 
not even the mental gymset I must 
dismantle on a daily basis.
Paul says that in all these things--
troubles, pain, lack, suffering, affliction, distress--
we win an overwhelming victory
through Him, who has proved
His love for us.
Today, Lord, win through me!
Your love and Your way of seeing things 
that cross my path are my keys 
for walking every now moment victoriously.
If I am going to be overwhelmed today, 
I think I would like to be overwhelmed by victory.
I am absolutely convinced that this is not only possible;
it is why You sent Your Son.
That He would live His life through me--
every single moment of the day.
That  heaven and earth would meet in my life.
And declare heaven's victory.
Yep, that's the kind of day I want this to be.