Sunday, September 30, 2012

Philippians 2:14-15 "Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world."
The night sky without stars and the moon would be nothing but darkness.  It is so glorious and breathtaking because of the stars.  Each one shines individually yet, they are a part of a much bigger scene. In my mind I can picture the world from space when the sun is on the other side. Do you remember pictures you have seen like this?  The city lights can be seen from space!  There is so much darkness but so many lights sparkle to bring a sense of life and warmth.  When I murmur and argue I can feel the darkness in me.  Those selfish arguments do not bring light to me.  It is when I walk with Him and abide in Him that I feel filled with light, blameless and innocent and without blemish.  When I come to Him, cleansed by the redemption of Jesus, I can do what He asks: in the midst of this crooked and perverse generation - shine like a star in His glory.

You know my deepest desires and you know my human weaknesses.  I come to you so I may be cleansed, forgiven and made whole, without blemish in your sight.  I want to be a light in this present darkness.  Help me shine your light and bring glory to your name in all I do.  Amen.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Isaiah 51:1 “Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the Lord.  Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.”

As my family and I prepare for a vacation in the mountains of Colorado I will hold this verse in my heart.  There is nothing I have seen that looks like the Rocky Mountains.  They are rugged and beautiful and seem unmovable in their strength.  God is the rock we from which we have been hewn.  He is rugged and beautiful and He is unmovable in His strength.  We have been created by this Rock, and we are a part of him; we came from His quarry.  On days that I feel weary and worn, this verse will give me strength in the Lord.  Verse 7 in chapter fifty of Isaiah says “I have set my face like flint”.  When I read this passage these verses stood apart to me.  I am cut from the Rock and I set my face like flint.  We need to be strong and unmovable, rugged and beautiful, just as our Creator is.  He has the ability to remove the flaws and bind the fissures so that we can be strong in Him.  Take heart and hope in the Lord this day.  Pursue righteousness and seek the Lord, He will give you the strength you need.

You amaze me every single day.  You come to me wherever I am and bring me words of encouragement, guidance or correction to lead me in your path.  As I spend time in your mountain grandeur, I will lift my heart and praise to you Lord.  You are creator of the rugged mountains.  Give me the strength to be a rock made in your image; strong and unmovable through you.  Amen.

*** I will be away from any technology that allows me access to the internet.  Look for Word for Today to resume next Sunday the 30th and until then,

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nehemiah 5:9 “So I said, ‘The thing that you are doing is not good.  Should you not walk in the fear of our God, to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies?’”

One nation under God – a part of our pledge to this nation we live in.  There are times I look at how our nation behaves and I cannot imagine that God is pleased.  We have many programs set up to feed the hungry of other nations and yet we starve many in our own nation.  We persecute people in our own nation for different beliefs and fight amongst ourselves over petty things.  I have heard it said that people of other nations think Americans are arrogant and selfish.  I can see why they might think that when I look at our nation.  Bringing the view in closer I see there are many good things that are being done too.  There are food banks in cities to combat the hunger there.  Shelters are set up to house the homeless.  Programs are running to educate those who would not receive education otherwise.  We are a diverse nation with many different desires and beliefs.  I know I could do more to help those around me with less than I have.  When I receive abundance I hope that I remember this verse and share my blessings with others.  Join me this week in buying an extra bag of groceries and giving that to a food bank nearby.  Search your heart as I search mine to see where the Lord is calling each of us to do good things.  Let’s walk in the fear of our God, hand in hand.

You bless and we hoard.  You call and we do not answer.  Soften our hearts to the struggles around us and open our hands to share the blessings you have given us.  Let us once more be a nation among nations, honoring you in all we do.  Amen.

Friday, September 21, 2012

2 Thessalonians 3:5 “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

Do you ever wake up in a grumpy mood?  There doesn’t have to be a reason, the day just starts that way from the moment you open your eyes.  When I got out of bed and grabbed my bible for quiet time I was grumbling in my head about things, first thing!  As I prayed for those petty bothers to be lifted away so I could spend time in meditation and prayer I was led to this passage in Thessalonians.  Verse 3 says “But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.”  These two verses were my meditation this morning and I am feeling so blessed to have the Word to lift my clouds of grumpiness and direct me back to the love of God.  Where would I be without the guidance of the Word and Spirit of God?  I would be living in darkness and despair; we all would.   It is because of Christ and his steadfast love that we live in love and grace.  When we come to him in humility and honesty, He will give us what we need.  When we ask according to his will, we receive.  Our Savior is our shepherd and our friend.  He is faithful; He will guide us and protect us.  He will direct our hearts to Love and the steadfastness of Christ. 

Your Word lifts my spirits every time.  I cannot express my thanks and joy in reading it and spending time with you through it.  You are gracious and I humbly accept the grace you so freely give.  Direct our hearts to your Love today.  Give us the ability and desire to share your love with others so that all may come to know you.  Amen.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

James 1:5 “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.”

I quickly realized this morning that I have fallen into a selfish space again.  Even in my prayers it was “I want, I need” statements.  One of the things I asked for before opening my bible was wisdom.  As I was led to James I questioned it because the women’s bible study I am participating in starting this morning is studying James.  I shrugged my shoulders and thought to myself, “Okay, at least I will start there”.  When I turned to this verse, I was brought to my knees once more.  How many times will I need to be reminded that God is God and I am his servant?  I willingly come to Him, offering myself to serve for his kingdom and then turn around and start asking for my desires and wishes to be granted.  When I remember and truly realize who is in charge, I am humbled and grateful.  James gives my heart hope.  I seek wisdom in the Lord and I am encouraged that when I seek through the Lord, it will be given generously.  I know this:  God is gracious and generous.  He has done nothing but given and blessed, guided and secured me.  He loves each and every one of us so when we ask him for gifts that bring us closer to him, He will not deny them.  I suspect he smiles in that moment and pours the blessings down.

Your word is my guide.  Your will is my deepest desire.  Help me set aside my selfish desires and seek to serve you fully and humbly.  Grant me your wisdom so that I am able to serve as you call me to.  I know you are my God and my King.  I bow to you in humble adoration and begin again.  Amen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”

My little boy has been up sick this morning for the last couple of hours. I hope he is better in the next few hours so he can go to preschool tomorrow since he is special helper for the day. I need to call the home school co-op teachers to let them know we will not be there. I need to memorize music for my hand bell ensemble.  My sister and her husband are separated.  I need to write a bio and contact my fellow prayer warrior.  My oldest daughter needs health care insurance... the list goes on and on.  If there is anything I am good at it is carrying anxiety.  The Lord does not want us to live in fear and anxiety.  Those worries lead to bigger worries and things easily grow out of hand.  When we cast our anxiety on him we put our trust in Him.  We allow the grace he freely offers to flow deep within and relieve the worries and anxiety we have over big and little things.  Just as I try to soothe the fears of my little boy with his upset tummy, God wants to soothe us and help us feel better too.  He cares about every part of our day and night.  He cares for us in every way.  He will bend to touch us whenever we call on him.  His word brings guidance, healing, love and grace.  With all that, what do I have to be anxious about?  Go in peace.

Thank you so much for relief.  Thank you for allowing us to come to you filled with anxiety and worry and for allowing us to drop all those things on you.  When we cast our anxiety on you, help us leave it at your feet; fill us with your grace and love instead.  Then we can turn and walk with you in humble thanksgiving.  All praise and honor are yours forever and ever.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Psalm 35:12-13 “They repay me evil for good; my soul is forlorn.  But as for me, when they were sick, I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting.  I prayed with head bowed on my bosom.”

In these verses prayers and fasting are offered for the psalmists enemies.  He is praying for those people who have been pursuing him, lying about him and treating him with contempt.  This is one of the hardest things to do.  Praying for the well-being of your enemies seems backwards.  If our enemies were sick or weakened in some other way, there would be relief for us.  We wouldn’t have to worry about being treated badly or being persecuted somehow.  All would be well in the world.   Yet this verse calls us to pray for our enemies, other scripture tells us to love our enemies.  We are reminded throughout the word of God that we are all children of God.  A children’s song tells us that Jesus loves all the children of the world and we know we are called to follow in Jesus footsteps.  Who do you struggle with?  Who is your enemy?  Search your heart and open your ears to hear who God is calling you to pray for and to love as He loves.  It could be a nation or religion; it could be leaders of your country or state.  It may even be a co-worker or a neighbor.  When you find yourself feeling mistreated in some way, lift a prayer for well-being of your enemy.

When we pray, hearts are changed.  Help us see the need to lift everyone in prayer, even our enemies.  You have called us to love as you love but we cannot do it without your help.  Change our hearts, hear our prayers and guide our steps in love and peace.  Amen.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ephesian 2:15 “He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace”

Yesterday my family got together to celebrate birthdays.  Whenever our family gets together I am very aware of how blessed we are to be so close-knit.  Each of us is different, we have different thoughts and beliefs about things but none of that matters.  What matters to us is that we are family.  We set aside our differences and come together with love and joy for each other.  This is how I envision peace.  Jesus came to bring reconciliation.  He came to break down the walls that humans had built up over centuries of law making and judgments.  We still have this struggle today.  Rather than seeing each other as family we see the differences as insurmountable.  Rather than seeking to find beauty in each other we seek to find the flaws.  This verse from Paul reminds us that we are one humanity, all created by one God.  The exclusive religions are not what Jesus came to build up.  He came that we might have peace.  Let’s remember that we are all brothers and sisters and maybe we can come together, setting our differences aside, and embracing each other in love and joy.  Let there be peace on earth...

We cannot attain peace without you.  Help us set down our sticks and stones.  Help us stop the name calling and instead, embrace each other with your arms of love.  In spite of the wars that rage in nations and in hearts, help us bring peace.  Let us abide in you, God of peace.  Amen.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Luke 8:16 “No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”

Light brings warmth to our world and our human eyes need light to see.  We are not built to see in the dark and when we try to make our way in darkness we tend to stumble and fall.  During the day we have the sun that brings light and warmth.  We can see very easily with it glowing so brightly in our sky.  At night we have the moon and stars that give glimmers of light and we have lamps we light to bring warmth and brightness to us.  People are drawn to light.  When we see the warm glow of light, we feel safe.  We do not like to stumble in darkness.  This verse calls us to be a lamp on a lampstand.  Let the light of God shine brightly through you and place your glowing light in plain view to light the way for others.  Lamps need oil or energy to continue to burn and so does our soul’s light.  We need to renew and replenish our energy source by spending time with the Lord so that He can fill us up again and we can continue to shine brightly.  Don’t hide your light under a bushel and don’t let Satan blow it out.  Let’s go out into the world and let our light shine!

You are God of light and love.  You fill us with both and we are called to spread those gifts to the world around us.  Cleanse us so that we sparkle and your light can shine brightly through us.  Let your light bring love and warmth through us to those who are in need of it.  I am simply the lamp; you are the Light of the world.  All praise and honor are yours forever.  Amen.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Matthew 24:44 “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

I have a dear friend who knows what this feel like to a certain degree.  Her family has a habit of showing up unexpectedly.  One story she tells goes like this.  On a snowy night, just before dinner the doorbell rings.  The kids run to answer and then just turn around and run back.  As Michelle gets to the door and sees her parents, she can hardly believe her eyes.   She wonders if she forgot to write the visit on the calendar and forgot to mention the visit to her spouse.  The surprise turns out to be wonderful but totally unexpected.  My husband and I orchestrated a similar visit at Christmas time a couple of years ago.  We plotted with his sister in Atlanta to have them come and surprise the kids.  The adults all knew about the visit but all of the Colorado kids were very surprised and so excited to see each other again.  Boy I sure would hate to be in the shower or still sleeping in my bed when an unexpected visitor came knocking at my door.  I try to keep my house somewhat clean and picked up just in case someone stops by unannounced.  This verse encourages us to make sure our hearts and souls are clean and ready.  We will not be receiving an invitation or announcement in the mail with an RSVP card attached.  Listen for the trumpet call as you go through each day, you never know when you might hear it!

Your visit will be like the surprise Christmas visit 10,000 times over.  Help us be diligent in our tasks until you come.  Encourage us to work as we wait and when we hear your trumpet call, I pray we are all ready.  Cleanse our hearts this day, just in case.  Amen.

Friday, September 14, 2012

James 3:16-17 “For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.”

What motivates you?  We spend a large portion of our youth studying, gaining knowledge and learning how to accomplish things.  We find something we are good at or something we like and our daily lives are spend doing what we have learned and know well.  It is tempting to look around and see that the grass is greener somewhere else.  Then we begin to strive for more, feeding our selfish desires, wanting to succeed at everything we do.  It is when we stop focusing on who we serve and begin focusing on ourselves that we become envious and driven by our own ambition.  As these verses tell us, that can only lead to destruction.  True wisdom comes from God, not from our own beings.  The world tells us that we can achieve success if we strive for it and work hard.  Success to me is this: knowing at the end of the day I served the Lord.  If I manage to keep my ambition and my desires at bay, if I seek the guidance of God my success does not matter.  I have sought true wisdom instead of relying on my own.  This brings good fruit!

Lord of Wisdom,
We deceive ourselves if we believe we have knowledge.  It is only through your Spirit that we are given wisdom and knowledge.  Guide our steps and focus our drive on true wisdom producing good fruits for your kingdom.  Let us not seek our own ambitions but in humility seek to serve you.  Amen.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Romans 14:5-6 “May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

There is a lot of discord in our world today just as there was when this book was written.  Humans are bound to disagree and feel that their desires and beliefs are better than others.  Some of the people Paul was writing to did not like to eat meat or drink wine.  Others found no problem with those things.  There are other things as well as these that Christians disagree about today.  I have come to believe that we will not ever agree on everything because we are individuals with different strengths and weaknesses.  We see things in our own light but there is one common denominator that we all share and if we can focus on our shared faith the other things become so much less important.  We all worship the one true God.  We are all created by the same Creator of the universe.  Let’s set our differences aside today and lift our voices together in praise and worship to our God.  He is steadfast and faithful, let’s be steadfast and faithful to Him, together.

You call us to be unified in your name and as we have through all time, we still struggle with this call.  Help us embrace the differences you have created in us and set aside the differences that divide us.  We are all uniquely made by you and we are all your children.  Hear our voices; meld them together in unity to make a joyful and beautiful noise glorifying your Holy Name.  Amen.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Psalm 34:3 “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.”

As I woke this morning I could hear a steady rain coming down and remembered that it is supposed to rain most of the day.  The rain and clouds can be so depressing but the earth has been crying for rain here for a while and I can almost hear the sigh of relief as the rain soaks into the parched ground.  Water cleanses and renews.  I love the way raindrops look when they cling to a leaf or petal.  If you look closely you can see through the drop of water and whatever it is sitting on is magnified a little bit.  You can see the intricacy of the leaf or petal and the beauty of it at a different, closer level.  People are made up of about 75% water.  If we look at our bodies in that light, it should be easy to see that we are made to magnify what we cling to, just like a raindrop.  We can be a means for others to look at the intricacy and beauty of what is in our souls at a different and closer level.  As we look more closely we see God.  As we focus on God we realize we are made in His image and we are made to magnify Him.  Let the water you see, hear and drink today remind you that we are made to magnify as water does.  We are made to magnify our Creator, our God.  As water trickles down the driveway or out of your faucet, exalt the name of the Lord and we will exalt Him together!

I lift your name high!  You bring blessings beyond words and beauty we have not seen before.  Let our beings magnify the beauty you created in us so that we also magnify you.  Lift our hands and our hearts in praise and honor to you this day.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Acts 8:32: “Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this’ Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth.’”

How often do I silently and willingly sacrifice anything without as much as a word?  This verse comes from a passage about a eunuch reading scripture and trying to understand it.  As I read this story and this verse kept coming to me, I realized that when I give sacrificially, I am often tempted to either bemoan my sacrifice or boast about it.  The prophet Isaiah saw the sacrificial love in Jesus and how he was led to slaughter just as so many lambs had been led to slaughter in atonement for sin.  The difference is that Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice.  After his death and resurrection the need to sacrifice for atonement was erased! He gave his life so that I can live, so that everyone can live.  Jesus brought so much to this world in his life on earth, the barrier he shattered with his death cannot be forgotten.  Because of Him I can come to the feet of God in prayer; I come clean and holy.  Because of Him I am able to lift my eyes to the Lord and know help will come.  I will give all I have because He gave all for me.  When I look at this again, what can I say, what words need to be said?  My gift is to the Lord.  Let it be between me and my God.

Lord God,
Forgive my selfishness.  So many times I do not see it at all; I need you to open my eyes.  Help my journey with you be between you and I and the sharing of that journey with others only bring blessings to them.  I am not a sacrificial lamb; I am your willing servant, saved by grace.  Help me share that grace and the story of it.  Amen.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Matthew 18:2-4 “He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

As I began my quiet time this morning I followed an instruction my pastor gave in church yesterday.  Meditate on how we, as individuals, can facilitate peace in our world.  As I sat and prayed for a scripture to meditate on, this is the one came to me.  Little children like peace.  When things are not fair or just, they seek counsel from an adult or elder to get things made right.  They do not like to see another person hurting and will strive to make people feel better whenever they can.  They realize and accept that they cannot solve some problems on their own and in true humility, they come for help.  If we come to God as children we come in true humility and seeking His help.  To enter the kingdom of heaven would be to enter a peaceable and just kingdom.  Jesus tells us in these verses we must be like children; we must be humble to enter this kingdom.  In Matthew 5 Jesus says “blessed are the peacemakers, for they are called the children of God”.  Here we are told children are humble.  My first step in making peace is to become humble, like a child, in the Lord.

We try to force our ideas on others thinking this will bring peace but we end up making war.  Help us come to you, letting go of our desires for this world and seeking yours.  Open our eyes to realize we cannot bring peace on our own.  We ask for your guidance.  Help us become peacemakers; help us be your children.  Amen.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Job 37:15-16 “Do you know how God lays his command upon them, and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?  Do you know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect”

This morning I ponder” the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect”.  When I look at my life, my family and to the world around me, it is beyond my understanding; how is this all part of a grand plan?  The story of Job is incredible to me.  It speaks of spiritual battle that our eyes cannot see and affirms that God is intricately involved in each life that He created.  God is all knowing, He created everything seen and unseen.  I have read the book of Job in the past and it has brought many questions to my mind but today the question is this:  Who am I to question the doings of the Creator of all?  I do not and cannot understand His grand plan and I have no way to fathom the vast knowledge He holds.  I am at peace with this small bit of knowledge for today; my Creator knows me, my family and the world around me and it is very much within His understanding.  He knows His plan and it will be revealed in His time.  I trust in Him and lean not on my own understanding.  I watch and learn and strive to show the love He gives me to others.

You create new life with a word from your mouth.   You bring judgment and justice when there is no other way.  You refine and rebuild us to be the people you created us to be.  Help me release my questions to you and then simply trust in you, the Divine Creator, to run the show.  Use me as you will, for I am your creation.  Amen.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Romans 8:14-15 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption.”

This is one of those mornings I needed to sit in my Father’s lap and pout.  I get up dark and early to have my quiet time and the last several days I have not received the blessing of an uninterrupted hour.  I started today feeling frustrated that my kids aren’t getting the sleep they need and this morning the only one still asleep in my house at 5:15 was my husband!  Grumble, grumble.  As I finally sat in “quietness” and gave up trying to listen and hear the Lord, I received the renewal I needed so badly.  Fear had crept in and began leading me into a moment of slavery again.  As I released all this frustration and realized that any moments I get in the presence of the Lord are a blessing, I felt better.  I pictured the times when my kids are just cranky and needing to sit in my lap for a few minutes; receiving the calm love of a parent.  This is what I needed and received this morning.  I was given the blessing of time after all and I sat in the loving arms of my Father.  I was blessed to just sit in His presence and receive renewing love so I could release the crankiness and remember the spirit of adoption.  My Father loves me as I love my kids.  His Spirit leads me, I am his child.

Let your Spirit of Love lead me today.  When my kids are tired and a bit cranky, help me be the loving arms they can come to and receive renewal and peace.  Let me feel your loving arms around me giving me the renewal and peace I need.  Thank you for adopting me; I am blessed to be called a child of God.  Amen.

Friday, September 7, 2012

John 14:26 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”

Anyone who knows me very well knows that my memory is less than stellar.  If I don’t write things down, they will likely be forgotten or confused in my mind.  I know I am not alone in this “phenomenon”.  We are so busy, running non-stop most days; there is not time to sit and mentally store all of the information we receive.  People have all kinds of tools to help them remember things that are important.  There are calendars, day timers, electronic alarms and the list goes on.  All these things can help us keep our schedules straight so we remember things that are important to us.  When we don’t see it, we tend to forget.  Jesus knew the human heart.  He knew once he left this earth that we would need reminders and guidance to stay focused on what was important.  The Holy Spirit is always with us.  He is there bringing scripture to our hearts and minds so that we remember.  He brings lessons to us through people and scripture continuing to teach us in the ways of the Lord.  I may not remember the reference numbers when I recall scripture but it gives me peace and comfort to know there is One who brings the message clearly to me when I need it.  Oh, and I never need to recharge this reminder.  There is an endless source of energy!

Thank you for sending your Spirit.  We would surely be lost souls without It.  Thank you for teaching us through your words and your Spirit.  Thank you for sending reminders.   Your word is written on our hearts and you bring it to mind when we need it.  Open our ears so we may hear.  Amen.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jeremiah 29:12-13 “Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.  When you search for me you will find me: if you seek me with all you heart”

These verses are part of a letter Jeremiah wrote to the exiled Israelites.  As I sat pondering this passage and these verses, I was interrupted by my little boy.  As I prayed to God asking why I am getting this interruption again today and asking “how I am supposed to hear and listen; seek with all my heart with these interruptions” I received this answer.  There are interruptions and distractions every day, all through life.  As the Israelites were told to make the best of where they were in exile, God asks us to make the best of things where we are as well.  In spite of the daily interruptions and distractions, we are still supposed to call upon the Lord, come and pray to him.  We are still supposed to search for Him and trust that we will find Him and hear Him.  As we drive to work, make lunches for kids and do our daily tasks, we are called to seek with all of our hearts.  As my little boy snuggled on my lap, as he asked me what we could play, I strove to pray to the Lord and seek with all my heart.  What I found was the confirmation that the Lord hears over my chaos and He will speak to my heart in spite of all the chaos.  I need to be listening to hear Him.  I need to open my eyes to see Him in the midst of my daily tasks.

As your word guides, I trust that you hear me when I call on your name.  Help me keep you in front of me, beside me and behind me throughout the business of my day.  As I seek to serve in my surroundings, keep my whole heart seeking for you.  I ask all these things through Jesus, my Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

Last night I dreamt about being in a group of my friends.  We were gathered to enjoy each other’s company and share in each other’s lives.  The blessings that I receive from these times are abundant.  This morning I am taking my kids to a home-schooling group.  We will teach all kinds of classes from preschool on up and the kids get to learn in a group setting.  I am very excited because I know that the Lord will be invited to this gathering too.  Since this is a Christian group, we will pray.  God will be talked about in every aspect of teaching.  My daughter and some others are studying astronomy for one of their classes.  What a gift that God, the creator, will be a part of those teachings too!  Koinonia is a Greek word that means Christian fellowship, according to my dictionary.  It is a gathering, a fellowship of people that share a deep common bond of faith.  This verse in Matthew tells us that when we gather in His name, he will be there.  We know from scripture that the Spirit is always here, but when two or more are gathered together, I sense the Spirit so much more.  Next time you gather in a group invite Jesus, and then take a moment to sense the presence of the Lord.  The experience of His presence in a gathering of believers is so powerful and uplifting.  Blessings abound!

We often gather, sometimes we forget to invite you.  Wherever we go, whatever we do, you are there.  Tap our shoulders; remind us to invite you into the party so that your presence can transform us all.  Fill us with your love and presence today.  Thank you for being here among us.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Yesterday was the first time I can recall where I truly approached the throne of grace with boldness.  I knew, in my heart and soul, that because I have been redeemed through Jesus, I could come to God being clean and righteous in His sight.  With this claim strong in my heart and trusting in the word of God, I came to Him in boldness.  My misgivings have kept me at a distance in the past.  It is easy for me to see boldness as arrogance but they are not the same.  We are told many times in scripture that we can come to Him in confidence, in boldness.  We are also reminded many times in scripture that we need to walk with a humble heart.  There is a fine balance there but as in all things, when we stumble, our Savior is there to help us, forgive us and renew us to start again.  As I study the word of God and strive to know more of Him, I am finding that the message is no different than what I have heard so many times from childhood on up.  What is different is the depth of the message in my heart.  As I grow closer to God, His call to me becomes clearer.  As I strive to live as He calls me to, His grace become more real to me.  I am left in awe of His mercy and grace many times and today is no different.  It is truly amazing!

Your grace allows us to come to you in confidence and boldness to ask for what we need.  Often times I do not listen before asking and so many times when I finally listen, I find you have already answered me.  Thank you for unending grace and mercy.  Thank you for allowing us to ask and trust that you will provide for our needs - always.  Amen.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Genesis 2:7 “then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed in to his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.”

This morning, when I woke, I had a song about God making beautiful things out of dust going in my mind.  I spent some of my quiet time searching the scripture for different verses and passages where it talks about dust, ashes and clay and this is the one that I heard best this morning.  When I visualize this scene, God is kneeling on the ground.  He gathers dirt and water together, and like clay, carefully molds the first person into shape.  His final step in this creation is to lift the lifeless body into his arms and breathe his life into the airways and blood, the cells and organs of man.  Life is brought forth.  We have eternal souls living in perishable bodies.  God created each of us to be unique and he loves each one of us, every creation he makes.  We are placed on this earth and given a purpose.  Whatever that purpose is, whatever our work is on earth, I believe we are called to do it in response to the love we receive from God.  As I live this day, as I take breaths to fill my lungs and bring oxygen to my body, I hope I can live and breathe in thanksgiving to my Creator.  Take in the breath of life.  Feel His presence fill you up and live in the calling he created you for.  You are his unique creation!

You created me just as I am.  Let my breath and movements today remind me of that.  I am created by you and for you.  I pray that my actions and thoughts will glorify you and bring your love to all those who are around me.  You make beautiful things out of dust!  Thank you Lord.  Amen.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Psalm 77:12-13 “I will meditate on all your work, and muse on your mighty deeds.  Your way, O God is holy.  What god is so great as our God?”

As I ponder the world around me, the earth and all His creation, I am in awe.  The universe is so vast, filled with stars and planets, moons and space.  This planet is placed just so far away from the sun, not too close and not too far or plants and life would not survive.  There is an atmosphere placed around the earth keeping the earth and all who live on it protected from harmful elements in the universe.  Trees and plants produce oxygen that animals need to survive.  We produce carbon monoxide which the plants need to survive.  God brought his people out of bondage and sent messengers to guide his people.  He sent Jesus to teach us about His love and broke the barrier between the Divine and humans through the sacrifice and resurrection of our Savior.  The Spirit lives in us and guides us.  I see all these things; all these mighty deeds and raise my voice in praise and thanksgiving.  How can anyone doubt the Creator?  How can anyone think all this vast orchestration is random?  I cannot imagine it!  The works of my God are mighty indeed.  Not only did He create all we can see and cannot see, he bends to touch each heart of his beloved children.  There is no god as great as our God, not one.

You are the Almighty Creator, you are Abba, Father.  There many names for you but above all you are the Ruler of my heart.  I revel in your creation and your love today.  Open our eyes to see the care you have for every living thing on this small planet in your vast creation.  Then we will bow and worship your holy name.  Amen.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hebrews 2:1 “Therefore we must pay attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.”
This passage in Hebrews is a reminder of who Jesus of Nazareth truly is.  It is a reminder of what scripture of old said about the Savior and the testimony that declares he is the Messiah, the Savior of the world.  There are many distractions that pull us away from this message even as there were back in the time this book was written.  As I sat in my quiet time and then walked in the light of dawn, I allowed my mind to wander in this verse.  Not only do we need to pay attention to what we have heard about Jesus.  We need to pay attention to what Jesus is telling us today.  I am first to admit, there is much chaos going on in my mind when I sit down for quiet reflection with the Lord.  Some days it takes a lot of refocus to keep my whole being centered on being still in the presence of the Lord.  In those moments of true stillness, I am blessed to receive guidance from the Holy Spirit.  It is this “voice” I must pay attention to.  As I continue on this journey of devotion, I trust the stillness will become less of a struggle, and I will be able to hear the guidance of the Spirit more easily.  Listen for the voice, He speaks to each of us, we only need to pay attention.
Through the chaos and noise of our days, open our ears and hearts to hear your voice.  Help us to pay attention to what we have heard and what we hear from you and then guide our steps so we do not drift away from you.   Amen.