Friday, November 30, 2012

God's Will for Me

God’s will is for you to be holy...
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. 
Be thankful in all circumstances, 
for this is God’s will for you...
Now may the God of peace 
make you holy in every way. 
May your whole spirit and soul 
and body be kept blameless 
until our Lord Jesus comes again. 
God will make this happen, 
for He who calls you is faithful.
1 Thes 4:3, 5

We often wonder about 
God's will in our lives,
in everyday big and small decisions.
This portion of Scripture makes God's will 
perfectly clear in a broader sense:
be holy, prayerful, thankful, joyful.
Paul's offered an eternal prayer that our
spirit, soul and body be blameless.
As if.
But this great encouragement:
HE will do it.
He who calls you is faithful.
He will do this great work.
All we need to do is die
and allow the power of the Cross 
to work this blameless life in us.

This most impossible thing
is the will of my Father.
God, help me recognize that the 
power of the cross is my only hope
to live a life worthy of Your name.
You are able to keep me from falling.
I want to stay so closely connected with
You that I recognize Your slightest whisper.
And filter every thought and every deed
through the cross of Christ.
I trust Your faithfulness
more than I doubt my own.
You have called me
and You are more than able.
To Him who is able to keep you
from falling and to present you
before His glorious presence
with great joy...and without fault.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stiller than Ever

This is my command—
be strong and courageous! 
Do not be afraid or discouraged. 
For the Lord your God is with you 
wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Courage is the complete freedom
to receive from Him alone.
My Father is with me wherever I go. 
He is asking me to stop and be still,
stiller than I have been.
It's not some kind of idyllic stillness,
but a stillness "as I go."
It is a labor of sorts,
where things intensify but I get quieter.
The external voices become sounds
I must ignore because 
I need to hear Him.
I must go all the way inward,
to the place of the heart where Father dwells.
He is speaking to me about never leaving home.
The warning signals of leaving His heart
are thoughts of distress or anxiety.
My thoughts can get crowded before
I know they are even there.
They are about new things,
so I don't recognize them as readily.
But the Lord is shining His light
on those kinds of thoughts
and telling me not to be afraid.
Be strong and take courage, Kathy.
I am with you wherever you go.
You are My daughter.
I recognize my Father's voice
and return home to His heart.
When I turn to Him in trust,
He runs to me and says, 
"You are My beloved.
All I have is yours."
For this reason alone, 
I want to become still.
And then, stiller than I have ever been.
My courage is bound to His voice.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Refuge

But if you make Me your refuge
and come to Me for protection,
you will inherit this land and 
My holy mountain will always be yours.
Isaiah 57:13

In His great mercy we have been 
born again into a life full of hope...
and given an imperishable inheritance
In the meantime, you are guarded 
by the power of God operating 
through your faith.
1 Peter 1:3

That Jesus be my refuge is my heart's desire.
I want to run by reflex to His protection, 
protection from both the enemy's roaring
and the constant and present danger
I face from my own unregenerated mind. 
His mercy brought us into a life of hope.
He is our life of hope.
Faith is our access to God's power,
our shield for anything that comes against us.
The big and the little come at us daily.
He is my refuge for it all.
Lord, help me to make You my refuge today,
with a faith that releasesYour power 
sufficient for all that this day holds.
May I be "firm in faith against 
the onset of the enemy--
rooted, established, strong,
 immovable, and determined"
running to You and trusting You as my shield.
May I have Your mind for 
all that comes into this day.
Would You give me this day my daily bread,
would Your Kingdom come and 
Your will be done on earth--
and in this portion of earth
as it relates to me and my choices.
I want this day to be stamped with
"She is her Beloved's."
Because really, 
that is the desire of my heart.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Days of Reward

So don’t lose a minute adding holy living to faith...
good character, spiritual understanding, 
alert discipline, passionate patience, 
reverent wonder, warm friendliness, 
and generous love. 
With these actively growing in your lives, 
no day will pass without its reward 
as you mature in your experience 
of our Master Jesus. 
2Peter 1:5-9
I love that our relationship with Christ
isn't meant to be some quiet,
just me and Him,
kind of relationship.
It is meant to be lived out loud, 
a beautiful mix of faith and holy living.
Most accept good character as important.
Here it is listed as the starting point,
but we need to be doing our adding:
We need to add spiritual understanding. 
And passionate patience, alert discipline
 and reverent wonder.
Warm friendliness and generous love.
It is the way we were meant to live.
If we keep actively adding these to our lives, 
we will never stumble or lose our faith-- 
and each day will hold a reward.
These virtues, however, are counter cultural.
In this fast and furious world in which we live, 
patience is a lost art and 
passionate patience an anomaly.
Human reasoning trumps 
spiritual understanding
and familiarity strips wonder.
Discipline is seen as religious, 
friendliness as inconvenient
and generous love as too costly.

But sons and daughters of a holy, loving Father
aren't bound by the things of this world.
We are commanded to mature in 
our experience of Jesus.
Our days will carry great reward.
Becoming more like Him is reward enough.
He has given us everything we need 
for life and for holy living. 
We are exhorted not to lose a minute
in doing our adding. 
In reality, it is called


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eternal Blessing

Who am I, O Sovereign Lord
and what is my family, 
that You have brought me this far?
For You are God, O Sovereign Lord
Your words are truth, 
and You have promised 
these good things to Your servant. 
And now, may it please You 
to bless the house of Your servant, 
so that it may continue forever before You. 
For You have spoken, 
and when You grant a blessing 
to Your servant, O Sovereign Lord
it is an eternal blessing!
2 Samuel 7:18, 28-29

Prior to this prayer of thanksgiving,
the Lord had granted a blessing
to the house of Obed-edom
because the Ark of God--
God's presence--had rested there.
We are a people who have God's presence
dwelling within through His Spirit.
His presence is our very life; 
in His presence is fullness of life.
His presence always brings blessing.

Lord, help me to cherish Your presence
and be ever mindful of who You are.
I ask that I have a holy "fear of the Lord"
as my guard rail for obeying Your voice
and honoring Your presence.
This morning, I ask the question David asks:
Who am I, Lord, and what is my family,
that You have brought me this far?
His prayer of thanksgiving is 
on my heart this morning.
When You grant a blessing, Lord,
it is an eternal blessing.
The privilege of dwelling in Your presence
is a blessing for today,
and a promise for eternity.
With Your blessing, 
this house will be blessed forever.
We are a grateful family.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Walk with Me

Author of the world, walk with me
Ruler of the earth, walk with me
Calmer of the storm, walk with me
Healer of my heart, walk with me
How I need You
Oh Jesus, walk with me
Light for every step, walk with me
Giver of each breath, walk with me
How I need You
Oh Jesus, walk with me
How I love You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

In Your presence Lord
There is peace, there is rest
In Your presence Lord
There is life that never ends
In Your presence Lord
There is joy, there is joy
In Your presence Lord
There is life that never ends
"Walk with Me"
~Kim Walker

I have been playing this 
newly released song all morning.
It echoes everything in my heart today.
Jesus, how I need You.
Jesus, how I need You.
Oh Jesus, walk with me.
Jesus, how I love You.
Jesus, how I love You.
Oh Jesus, walk with me.
It is only Your presence, Lord,
that brings peace to my heart
and rest to my churning soul.
You are Author, Ruler, Calmer, Healer,
Giver, Light and Life.
Oh, how I need You Jesus.
You have rescued me from
the kingdom of darkness into
Your glorious light 
that I might walk with You.
This very thankful heart is Yours, Lord.

I will fulfill my vows to you, O God,
    and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for Your help.
You have rescued me from death;
    You have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in Your presence, O God,
    in Your life-giving light.
Psalm 56:13-14


Monday, November 19, 2012

Rainy Day Real Life

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
With my voice I cry to the Lord;
He hears and answers me from His holy hill.
Psalm 2:5-6
There is something about going from 
sunshine and palm trees 
to steady rain and pine needles
that takes a little adjustment.
I loved being away in the land of paradise;
I referred to it as our fake life.
Happy hour is a complete joke.
Really? Only an hour?
It is more like happy day or happy week.
Or however long one gets to stay.

But the re-entry adjustment is real.
There is a house to clean, meals to prepare,
maids that don't come, idyllic sunsets
that we may not see for months.
But in the center of it all, gratitude.
For getting to go in the first place.
For having so much to come home to.
And a God who is my shield and
the lifter of my head in the midst of it all.
I cry to Him to be my strength,
my joy and my song 
in the midst of this back-to-school 
and "real life" rainy day morning.
I am grateful that Christ dwells in me
that I may experience His joy and peace
wherever I am.
Lord, I trust that You continue 
to lead me beside still waters.
You restore my soul as I breathe.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely Your goodness and unfailing love
will pursue me all the days of my life.
Even rainy day real life.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eternally Loved

And I am convinced 
that nothing can ever 
separate us from God’s love...
Nothing in all creation will ever 
be able to separate us 
from the love of God 
that is revealed in 
Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

I want to be a million percent convinced
that I am in the center of God's love.
Not just on those days when I feel it.
Or on the days when I understand it.
But in my spirit always convinced
and living a life reflecting that conviction.
Paul goes on at great length about
the things that have no power over love.
Not this life. 
Not challenges, trials, or dailyness.
Not death.
His resurrection proved that.
Not angels or demons.
Not fears for today or tomorrow.
Paul seems to recognize fear happens.
It still doesn't separate us from His love.
Not earthbound or spiritual things.
The love that was revealed in Christ
is God's trump card.
There is nothing that beats it.
God's love is uninfluenced.
He loves because He IS love.
It is eternal, infinite and holy.
"I have loved thee with an
everlasting love."
From everlasting to everlasting,
He loves us.
This love must compel us.

“He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God. 
God is love. Therefore love. 
Without distinction, without calculation, 
without procrastination, love. 
Lavish it upon the poor, 
where it is very easy; 
especially upon the rich, 
who often need it most; 
most of all upon our equals, 
where it is very difficult, 
and for whom perhaps 
we do the least of all.” 
~Henry Drummond