Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In the Thundercloud

Now I will take the load from your shoulders;
I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you;
I answered out of the thundercloud 
and tested your faith when 
there was no water at Meribah.
Psalm 81
The Lord speaks to us in so many ways,
often through those He has 
strategically placed in our lives.
This morning, a faithful friend encouraged me
through Psalm 81 and I heard
the voice of the Lord speak such a word of hope.
I love those days that I wake to His voice
and I write all that He shares with me.
I have journals filled with promises and declarations.
These days aren't necessarily those days.
I am in a season of testing that is so personal.
He has removed some of the familiar and comfortable.
There have been moments where I have said,
"I didn't think it would look like this."
And I have had to ask myself if 
any part of me was offended by that.
God allows things in our lives to prove us.
When He removes that piece of scaffolding, 
am I strong enough to continue trusting?
When He allows things to touch my life that 
I don't like or don't want to deal with,
will I continue to trust Him above all else?
When I feel isolated or even insecure, 
will I bank all that I am on who I am in Him?

The news today is filled with pictures
of natural devastation from a super storm.
It also represents what the spirit realm looks like
when the enemy storms through and wreaks havoc.
But the Lord's voice speaks above the storm.
You cried to Me in trouble 
and I answered out of the storm.
I am with you in this storm and
your faith will come forth as gold.
Stand with Me and watch as I work on your behalf.
The load on your shoulders I am lifting.
No weapon forged against you shall prevail.
I Myself fight on your behalf.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Worthy of it All

I pray that from the wealth of His glory
He will give you power 
to be strong through His Spirit.
Then Christ will make His home 
in your hearts as you trust in Him. 
Your roots will grow down 
into God’s love so that you may have 
the power to understand, 
how wide, long, high, 
and deep His love is. 
May you experience the love of Christ, 
that can't be fully known,
so you will be completely filled 
with the nature of God.
Eph 3:16-19
I am praying this portion
of Scripture over my heart today.
I want to be strong in my spirit, 
my trust deep in His goodness.
He makes His home in my heart
through this trust I have in Him.
It is my deepest desire to know Him
and the depth of His love.
Oh, Lord, that Your home would be
in the center of my heart.
When I look at how little I know of
the depths of Your love, 
it overwhelms me.
But Your "loving pity never ends."
It could say Your "raging anger never ends"
because we don't know Your love 
or trust in Your goodness.
But You pour "loving pity" on us,
new every morning,
and invite us to experience 
the depths of Your love.
I am so grateful for mercy.
I say this morning that I trust You 
and want every fiber of my being
to act in accordance with
the truth of Your goodness in my life.
I want to know You more,
trust You more,
love You more.
You are worthy of it all.





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Monday, October 29, 2012

Mercies and Steadfast Love

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23
What a promise we have 
as we wake each day.
The Lord waits with us and for us;
His love has not left or diminished.
His mercies are replenished every night,
made specifically for us and this day. 
Every part of me knows that it has been 
His loving kindness that has kept me whole.
The Scriptures are alive with His mercy and love.
I can't count the times that Psalm 23 has
filled me with peace and hope
as I recite the promises that it holds.

Surely goodness, mercy, and unfailing love 
shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and through the length of my days 
His presence shall be my dwelling place.

Lord, I receive Your mercy for this day.
I stand in the power of Your steadfast love.
Your presence will be my dwelling place.
Great is Your faithfulness!



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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Extravagant Love

“The gospel is absurd and the life 
of Jesus is meaningless unless 
we believe that He lived, died, and rose again 
with but one purpose in mind: 
to make brand-new creation. 
Not people with better morals 
but a community of prophets and 
professional lovers who would 
surrender to the mystery of the fire 
of the Spirit that burns within, 
who would live in ever greater fidelity 
to the omnipresent Word of God, 
who would enter into the center of it all, 
the very heart and mystery of Christ, 
into the center of the flame 
that consumes, purifies, and sets everything 
aglow with peace, joy, boldness, 
and extravagant, furious love...
what it really means to be a Christian.” 
The Furious Longing of God
Brennan Manning
The great challenge of this day
is that we settle for too little.
We worry our fire might appear
out of control and a bit too flame-y.
So we manage our embers
and wonder why we lack passion.
We talk about morality
and create communities of talkers.
It takes a death blow to our selves
to actually line up our mouths with our lives.
Oh, that we might embrace holiness and purity 
and love and peace and joy and courage.
Because He came that 
we might incarnate His life on this earth.
That we would be made a brand new creation,
becoming like Him in this world.
I want to live in ever increasing fidelity
to the omnipresent Word of God.
I want to be one whom He can share 
the mysteries and secrets of His heart.
I want to go deeper into the extravagant,
furious love of God.

We prove ourselves by our purity, 
our understanding, our patience, our kindness, 
by the Holy Spirit within us, 
and by our sincere love.
2 Corinthians 6:6

Saturday, October 27, 2012

To Write Despite

So do not throw away 
this confident trust in the Lord. 
Remember the great reward it brings you! 
Patient endurance is what you need now, 
so that you will continue to do God’s will. 
Then you will receive all that He has promised.
Hebrews 10:35-36
This has been a challenging week.
As soon as I wrote about leaning into
the voice of the Lord, 
I could hear nothing.
It felt as the Lord had walked away.
Although I am sure this has happened before, 
I felt like this may be the time
I never sense His presence again. 
I have actually been anxious 
to be quiet before Him
because I have been afraid 
that I might not find Him.
The enemy's voice has been loud enough;
yes, I have definitely heard that voice.
It convinced me not to even think about writing.
And for almost a week, I listened.
I hadn't gone without writing 
longer than two days in over a year.
Even now, I write despite the lies that swirl.
My computer has frozen multiple times
and interruptions have been constant.
Today I am simply writing as an act of faith.
Lord, I trust You even when I cannot see.
Your love and mercy speak to me 
even when I cannot hear.
You have been so faithful to me
and this day is filled with Your love.
trust that your light will
shatter every dark thought.
There is great reward in trusting You.
And You are that great reward.




Monday, October 22, 2012

Declaring the Shift

"You will find yourselves in situations 
that simply will not shift 
until you lean into His voice,
hear what He's saying and stand in faith
to make that the declaration over your life."
Bill Johnson, Strengthen Yourself in the Lord

Agreement with Father is what
Jesus' life was all about.
He did what Father did and 
said what Father said.
Maturity in Christ looks 
more and more like that.
Faith declarations, in alignment 
with His Word, are powerful.
But declarations that echo what He says 
to us in times of intimacy,
will change our circumstances,
move our mountains 
and still our storms.
This is a season of leaning
into the Lord more and more
until I hear Him speak clearly.
There are things I am standing for in faith--
and as I hear Him speak 
and declare what isn't as though it were--
I believe my prayers can create 
a shift in the spirit.
We believe He listens to us 
whenever we make 
any request of Him 
in accordance with His will. 
We are sure that He listens 
to all our requests, 
sure that the requests 
we make of Him are granted. 
1 John 15:14-15
Lord, I wait before You.
I believe You speak to me
and I believe You listen.
Your voice is my confidence
and my voice matters
as it aligns with Yours.




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Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Light of Presence

Instead, clothe yourself with 
the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 13:14
This is our daily salvation.
Clothed in His presence, 
we are clothed with light.
But if we are living in the light, 
as God is in the light, 
then we have fellowship with each other, 
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, 
cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7
His presence keeps us 
grounded in this world.
It allows us to bring dark thoughts of 
doubt, discouragement and fear
and have them consumed.
It allows us to keep our thoughts pure-- 
full of faith, hope and love.

Lord, thank You that I can come to You
with everything that I have, 
and know that You will ask me to 
sit down with You in Your light.
You show me who You are
and how that relates to all that I bring.
Whenever I am in Your presence,
everything else disappears.
Not the things themselves,
but the power they have over me
to shape the way I respond.
You’re a fountain of cascading light,
    and you open our eyes to light.
Psalm 36:9
May I see that any thought
not illuminated by Your light
is a dangerous one.
I rest in Your presence, Lord.
I want to be by Your side
all day long.





Image: foundationsofmyfaith.blogspot.com


Friday, October 19, 2012

Poor and Needy


When the poor and needy 
search for water and there is none,
and their tongues are parched from thirst,

then I will answer them.
I will never abandon them.
I will open up rivers for them 
on the high plateaus.
I will give them fountains of water 
in the valleys.

I will fill the desert 
with pools of water.
Rivers fed by springs 
will flow across the parched ground.
Isaiah 41
The great advantage goes to the poor and needy.
I was feeling discouraged this morning;
it seemed I couldn't find a trace of water.
Because our travel is not by land
but by thought,
we can find ourselves in green pastures 
one moment and dry desert places the next.
And not even know how we got there.
This morning I found myself in the desert.
Lord, how do I find You today?
I was distracted and desperate.
And He spoke to me out of His word.
"When you are needy and can't find water,
I am already waiting with the cup.
I wait to refresh you where you are at.
Your desert places I will fill.
It is not to the full and satisfied that I pour out.
It is to the empty and needy.
Daughter, blessed are the poor in spirit.
Do you believe My words?
Today, I call you blessed.
Today, I announce to you
that I Myself will fill those empty places.
You wouldn't want to be satisfied
any other way.
I will lead you out to the cool water’s brink, 
refreshed and content.
Your brimming cup will run over.
Surely goodness, mercy, and unfailing love 
will follow you all the days of your life, 
and My presence
shall be your dwelling place."
It is His promise to us all, 
to all who are poor and needy.
His favorites.





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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Untangled

My eyes are always on the Lord. 
For He will take my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and show me Your loving-kindness.
Psalm 25:15-16
The Lord is the One who takes our feet out of the net.
For me, my feet most often get caught
in the net of tangled thoughts.

I had just read about the man at the pool for 38 years.
Every day he must have wrestled down
thoughts of discouragement and doubt,
anxiety and fear about his future.
But Jesus saw him lying there--
his feet "caught in a net"--and asked:
"Do you have a mind to 
recover your strength?"
John 5:6
I love this translation of the verse.
When our feet--bound by our thoughts-- 
are tangled in a net, we find ourselves 
sapped of strength, 
rather than full of His abundant life.
Today, I "have a mind to recover" 
whatever strength I may have lost because 
fixed my eyes on circumstances or 
meditated on the vain imaginations 
of an overactive soul.
I fix my eyes on You, Lord.
You will lead my feet out of the net.
You want nothing less for me
than all that You have.
I fix my eyes on Your loving kindness, 
trusting You will untangle my thoughts
and help me think a little more like You.




Image: photocase.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pleasing to Him

May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to You,
Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19
It is my desire to keep my heart
full of thoughts that line up with His.
I cannot trust my mind to go off on its own
because in a new-york-second I can move
into thoughts steeped in doubt, anxiety, 
fear and discouragement--
and not even know how I got there.
I am so grateful the Lord hears my cry
and rescues me from myself.
The Lord has been continually reminding me
of His great kindness and generous compassion.

Return to the LORD your God, 
for He is merciful and compassionate, 
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 
Joel 2:13
All I know is I am so grateful for His mercy, 
His compassion and His unfailing love.
He longs to be gracious to me,
and I long to be pleasing to Him.

Create in me a pure heart, God,
that the meditations of my heart 
and the words of my mouth
would be pleasing in Your sight.
My prayer for each day is that 
I would be transformed more and more
into the image of Your Son and 
that I would live a life that is
wholly pleasing to You.





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