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Archive for December, 2009

O Lord God, if we finish out this day, December 31, 2009, it is by Your great grace and mercy. If we finish all the days of 2009, it is because You granted us the breath and strength to do so.  None of us can say, “It is because we are so adequate in and of ourselves to accomplish anything.”  It is You who gives life.  You impart wisdom and understanding and knowledge.  You overshadowed us in every righteous decision in 2009.  You were the one who gave us the 365 days of 2009.  You alone are faithful and true.  You alone are worthy of all our praise and thanksgiving.  You are glorious!  Thank you, Lord.

356 days.  The first day of 2009 began just like this one: the sun came up.  And what stretched before us was a full day.  And the next day followed…  God gave us 365 full days, or 364.2 so far today, as I am writing this note at 5:30 am.  Amazing.  He is so faithful!

I love setting aside this day for quiet reflection, to consider all that transpired in this year.  How was God faithful to me?  What did I learn?  Who did I meet?  What did I accomplish by His grace?  Even asking, what pain did I cause others?  Are those issues still at work in me or have I sought to resolve them before the Lord?  What passages of Scripture did the Lord emphasize?  Where did He lead me?  Did I follow?

Before we take our first step in 2010, may we stop to consider the blessings of God in 2009.  May we also stop to consider our response to His Lordship.

Blessed New Year!

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God is Faithful…

Just when we think we can’t take another step, God steps in.  I know He is true…….and faithful!

The past several months have been full of new adventures and exciting opportunities for ministry.  Like WOW exciting adventures with our God!  But in the middle of all of it, I’ve experienced physical challenges that threatened to keep me out of it.  The most significant challenge has been intense fatigue—the kind of fatigue that doesn’t go away even with a good night’s rest.

Coupled with physical fatigue has been limited mental capacity for creating. Doing anything extra, like writing and blogging, has been a chore, at best.  I’ve just been able to do the bare minimum and have done so muted and weary.  Even in all this though, I have found God to be so incredibly faithful!  There have been many times I’ve cried out to Him to carry me and in the most amazing way He’s done just that.

I don’t know what you are going through.  Maybe you are hindered by emotional or physical challenges.  Maybe you are being hard hit by circumstances beyond your control…  Whatever the challenge, I know God is able to carry you.  “Able to carry you…”  Yes, there’s something we need to do in order to put ourselves in a position of being carried.  We need to call out to Him and trust His ways and means of answering our prayers.  In most cases, His answers probably won’t look like what we expect, but God is faithful and His answers are always just exactly what we need, when we need it.

We discover greater depths of God’s faithfulness when we surrender to Him. What a mystery!  So, rest in Him, dear one, even in the midst of weariness, rest in Him.

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Assurance: Know and Go!

As a Christian during “those” teenage years, I remember struggling to gain a foothold on my faith.  I believed the truth of Jesus Christ; I trusted the message of the Gospel, and based upon all that I learned in the Bible, I knew God loved me, but I didn’t “feel” it in my emotions.  It was there that doubt crept in (no emotion equaled no faith).  I wanted, and insisted upon, an emotional experience that would convince me that God’s love for me was real.  When the experiences didn’t come I became disillusioned with my faith (I’m glad to report the disillusionment was a temporary condition).

In looking back over my Christian journey, the strongest roots of faith were established when I was about five years old, or younger.  I had very few questions, hardly a doubt in my mind and embraced the love of God with my whole heart.  I had child-like faith and I eagerly believed the truth.  Such carefree assurance in God’s love led me to pray with total trust in His goodness.  I never doubted His love or His presence.  I absolutely lived with extreme joy in Him.  I had a “know and go” faith in God.

But then I entered those teenage years where I wanted emotional confirmation of my faith.  Reasoning and logic became more important than simple faith.  [Surely grappling with our faith is an important maturation process, but I just wonder how much of our intellectual striving actually interferes with our ability to come to the saving knowledge of the simple, profound truth that God loves us.]

Jesus told adults to come to Him as a child.  How odd.  What an insult to the intellectual mind…. “He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew18: 2-4.

Now some 50 years later, my trust in God is becoming more and more child-like.  I’ve grown past my demands for spiritual experiences or iron-clad scientific proof and have settled upon His Word as completely true (He’s proven it true over and over again).  The “know and go” faith I had as a child has returned and I’m ready for anything He has for me.  What joy!  There’s no greater joy than knowing His joy.

“…whoever humbles himself like this child…”  Something worth considering as we step into this day.

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