Monday, July 28, 2014

Do I really forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead?
The sermon in church yesterday was only one of many messages of conviction I have received from the Lord recently.  I have a nagging feeling that I am stagnant in my spiritual journey. The Lord is pushing me, pulling me, calling me to move forward and I am doing my best to delay this.
As I pack clothes, telescopes, food and everything else minus the kitchen sink today, I am aware of the camping journey as well as my spiritual journey.  We will drive all day tomorrow to get to our first stopping point.  After two nights there, we move on to our next destination.  We spend two nights there and move to another stop and then after a night there we return home.
Just because we stop someplace and visit, that does not make that place our final destination.  We must keep moving to reach the next place and the next until we are finally home.
I hear the Lord.  I step forth in trepidation and knowing I can trust him.  I press on toward the goal with his promise of love in my heart.


You know my fear; please brush it away so I am able to move as you call me to.  Open my ears and eyes to know the path you have for me and encourage me to press on as Paul’s words tell me to.  I do not know what you have planned for me but I trust you and know it is only good.  Thank you for your love.  Amen.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Oh that we would truly know...
I began my quiet time today meditating on Deuteronomy 6:4-5.  The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.  Love God with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our strength.  Love him with all that we are, all that we have, and all that we do.  He is our all and all.  As I sat in prayer and contemplation I was drawn to this prayer in Ephesians.
How can we begin to comprehend?  How can we know something beyond knowledge?  God’s love for us is beyond our comprehension and the love of Christ is beyond our knowledge so how do we get it; how can we grasp it?  Why try if it seems impossible?
The times I allow the love of God and Christ to pour into me, to seep into me, and to fill me are priceless.  They are beyond words on a page and something I long for always.  I join Paul in his prayer for us today.  I pray that we would know and comprehend beyond knowing and comprehension.  I pray we would be filled with all the fullness of God.


If only I would remain filled by you...  I allow the world to deplete the vastness of your love and I am left wanting again.  I stop loving you with all and lose comprehension and knowledge of your vast love.  Let the rains of your love pour freely keeping us all filled to the brim with you.  To your glory and in Christ’s name I pray.  Amen. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Do you believe in Santa Claus?
There are a few icons that children cling to and believe in like Santa and the Easter Bunny.  I know some people who do not choose to allow their children the folly of believing in something that is not real but I see some value in it.
Believing in Santa teaches the foundations of faith.  We learn about this mysterious person who loves all children across the world and who longs to make each one happy by giving them something their heart desires.  He encourages them to be good and well behaved children and to some degree that works for most kids.  My kids still remember the presents that Santa gave them from a few years ago!
Eventually the belief in these unseen characters fades.  What remains is the foundation of faith; believing in something we could not see.
The Bible tells us we cannot see God’s face but we see his hand at work.  I cannot see his Spirit but I feel his Spirit it moves us to action or calls us to stillness.  I have not seen Jesus but I have read the accounts of those who did; I believe.
Faith is a gift from God – an assurance and conviction in Love.


Thank you for the gift of faith.  There are many gifts you give us as we grow in you and I thank you for all of them.  Help us walk with you and abide in you more deeply so that our faith is strengthened and we are able to stand strength in the face of whatever may come.  I give all glory, honor, and praise you to this day and all days.  Hallelujah and Amen!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sacrifice – not a word we embrace in our world.
It is easy to look around and see people living their lives with the mind set of “what is in it for me?”  The mindset of entitlement is rampant.  We all have that in us to one degree or another.  There are business men and women who do what they need to in order to succeed.  They are driven, but by what desire?  There are parents who push themselves or their kids to do more, achieve more, succeed – what is the force and the purpose?
If I am all that I can be but I have crushed the heart or spirit of someone else to get there, what does that make me?
I do not want to be anything that I cannot be without love.  When I step away from love, I feel selfishness taking over and love dissipates more and more.  I cannot be who I am called to be outside of love.  When I sacrifice in love, I am blessed by God.  I cannot explain how it works but I know it does.  When I stop being self-oriented and love as he loved, goodness abounds!
Open your hearts to his love today.  Open your hearts to love others and allow the blessings of love to astound you too.


Help these babbling words touch the hearts of the people who read them. Use them as you will to draw us into love more deeply so we are able to give love to others more deeply.  Forgive my shallow selfishness and remind me of the ultimate sacrifice you gave so that I might live.  Make me able to give to others in thanksgiving for all you gave and still give to me.  Amen.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I feel Paul’s pain on this one.
He worked with and taught the Galatians.  They were doing well and living in the Lord through the gospel but somewhere along the line they must have slid back into old habits; bad habits.  They fell away from God.
As parent and teacher I see this in my kids.  Summer break is almost over.  Even though we did “school light” this summer I see the backsliding in my kids and in the neighborhood kids from the lack of study.  Since they are not using those skills every day, they lose the strength in the skills they had learned.  The old adage “use it or lose it” comes to mind.
I am no different than my kids or the Galatians.  I am known by God and seek to know God regularly.  Each day I come to him seeking a fresh start and deeper faith in him.  Today I was led to this scripture.  I clearly need to do more work and study.  If I take a break, I quickly begin to slide back into old habits; bad habits.  I begin to lose sight of God’s Spirit and focus on the earthly desires and the elemental spirits.
I am on my knees this morning, every morning; seeking knowledge in the one true God.

I thank you with all that I am that I can come to you through the redeeming blood of Jesus, my savior.  You know each of our struggles and pains; you know our battles before we do.  I ask your forgiveness where I have fallen short and ask for strength in you so I can continue to know you more each day.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I had to chew on this one for a while.  On the surface this passage seems to say we are justified by works, not by faith but that is not quite what it says in truth.
James tells us that if we do not live out our faith, work through our faith, our faith is useless, dead.  We receive our training, we work to grow in knowledge and truth, and we grow in the Spirit receiving gifts from God.  If we do not use those gifts, what good are they?
If I were to study and learn and be blessed with the gift of music but did not use that gift to bless the Lord, I have wasted it.  It would be like saying “I am a concert pianist” and yet never touching a keyboard to share it.  I can say I am a professor or teacher but my claim is void if I do not teach.
Faith is one of the fruits of the Spirit, according to Paul.  Fruit does not come if there is no nourishment to the plant it grows on.  Faith grows in us as we receive nourishment in the Lord.  Once the fruit is evident, James calls us to share it so it does not fall to the ground and rot.
How do I manifest my faith?  How do I work for the Lord, showing my faith is alive and well?  What more am I being called to do in faith?


You have blessed the work of my heart and hands in the past, yet when whispers to move forward come, I balk.  Erase the fear from my heart and fill that space with faith in you.  Move my feet, my hands, and my heart.  Move me step by step, forward and let my works reflect a living faith, this day and all days.  Amen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Social media can be a blessing and a curse.
People share all kinds of things, good and bad, on their social media pages.  I have written about battles that have unfolded in front of my very eyes through these avenues.
Yesterday I saw a video that led me to another video and as I scrolled through the page I was humbled.  A country singer, Reba McEntire has written a song, “Pray for Peace.”  Numerous country singers posted her video on their pages and their fans have posted the video on their pages...
There is war happening as I write.  Hunger and suffering continue today, and likely, tomorrow.  I get bogged down by the troubles in this world but then I receive a message of hope to remind me that all is not lost.
I am a soldier.  I am not one who launched grenades at another whose ideology is different than mine or who has threatened the safety of my country, but I am still a soldier.  I am a soldier of peace.  When I watched the video, when I joined in a seven day mission of prayer, when I get on my knees daily in prayer; this is how I fight the battle.
I continue to fight the battle, I pray for peace.  I see the Spirit moving and I am encouraged, I pray for peace.  I watch people move in the ways of God, I pray for peace.  I pray.


Thank you for the blessing this prayer song is bringing to so many.  I pray the words will seep into the hearts of many and the prayers will be like they never have been before.  I join in the prayer for peace, I pray to you, the one true God, Almighty and ever-loving.  Thank you for your promise of peace.  Amen.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kids love to watch magic and to try to perform magic.  They are intrigued by the surprise of something being different than it seems.
Magicians work hard to perform their tricks and make it seamless so even the most discerning eye cannot find the method of trickery.  They want to make us believe something that cannot be true.  It is amazing to watch a good magician; it always makes me wonder how they did their trick.
It can be fun to trick people and play jokes on them but not when it comes to matters of the heart.  Paul tells us in this passage that we need to let love be genuine, hate what is evil and hold on to what is good.  He goes on with many words of guidance but the ones I held on to where in verse 12.
We cannot trick God.  I am pretty good at tricking, or deceiving myself though.  I allow myself to believe things that cannot be true and then I quickly slide toward falsehood and deception.  When I turn my heart and eyes to the Lord and I am able to see the truth.  I am able to rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering and persevere in prayer, only through the love and guidance of God.  This allows my love to be genuine...


We cannot be genuine unless we allow you to be in us and us in you.  It is your love that holds us to what is good and keeps us from evil.  It is your love that causes us to rejoice in hope and be patient in suffering and persistent in prayer.  As we hold your genuine love in our hearts, help us genuinely love all those people around us, today and all days.  Amen.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Being the city girl that I am, I have never actually seen calves leaping from the stall.
I have seen a video on the internet of cows being released into a field after been kept penned up for the winter.  It is nothing short of amazing to me.  These creatures seem mostly mellow, coasting through life eating and chewing, living their mundane lives in the field can jump and leap.  I guess when they are being gathered up for winter they are not all docile and mellow but that is not the same to me.  The cows in the video are overjoyed!  They are free at last!
If something as huge as a cow can jump for joy, surely I am able to jump for joy...
The sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.  When I think of the healing and freedom I have witnessed and the healing and freedom I have received already, it gives me pause.  When I think of the healing and freedom we continue to receive I cannot help but to rejoice.
I might not jump for joy but I probably should.  I lift my voice in praise for the healing love and freedom we have in God.  I lift my hands in adoration to the living God of all and my heart leaps in joy even if my feet stay planted.


I pray for those whose hearts are so heavy they can barely stand today.  Bring healing to those who cry out for it, bring healing to those who do not know they are in need of it.  Free us from bondage and fill us with such joy that we join those cows in leaping in true joy for the freedom you have given us all.  Amen.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Family traits – we all have them.
I spent yesterday with my younger sister, her kids and my kids.  It is always interesting to see my sisters in their element.  Occasionally I see a glimpse of my mom in their behavior and, if truth be told, they likely see glimpses of my mom in me.  I know I share personality traits with my dad; we are alike in many ways.
We share these traits because we were born and raised into that family.  We share the DNA of our parents and through the years of living with them, we pick up their mannerisms, voice inflections and, in some ways, we walk the walk and talk the talk just like they do.
As Christians we claim to live in Christ.  God is our Father and our mother.  Jesus is almost like the older brother, coming to show us and teach us on a different level, what our heavenly parent is really like.  Through him, we are able to walk the walk and talk the talk that he taught us.  The teaching and learning are life-long processes.  The more we abide in him, the more we walk as he walked.  It is true in our earthly families and it is true in our spiritual family as well.


We are your children, you are our Father.  We have learned so much from you yet we are not done.  Help us remember what you have taught us, help us be like you and do as you do.  Let our personality traits and mannerisms emulate yours more and more as we abide in you.  Amen.

Friday, July 18, 2014

There is a difference between knowing something and understanding it.
An example of knowing without understanding: my son has memorized the words to one of my daughter’s violin songs.  We sing the positions with the notes to make it easier for her to remember the song as she plays it.  He can sing E, two, two, three, one, one... he knows it but he does not understand it.  Another example that comes to mind is my study of the Spanish language.  I know how to read it but I cannot understand what I am reading all of the time.
The law of the Lord is not hard to know.  He tells us to love him with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our might.  Then we are to love our neighbors as he loves us.  We know this and to some degree we understand it.  As we walk through our journey of faith with God, we gain deeper understanding; we observe with more and more of our whole heart.
Today I seek to love God with everything that I am and also to love others as he loves me.  What more is there?

Thank you for your unending love.  Thank you for sending Jesus to teach us how much you love us and to teach us how to love each other.  I ask you to grow the seeds of love you have planted in my soul until the roots are so deep I know nothing else.  Let the depth of your love spread from me to all those around me so that I love as you taught me to.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I do not allow my kids to bring rocks into the house.  If I did there would be rocks filling each room to the roof.
Yesterday I saw my son pick up a rock he thought was pretty and conceal it tight in his little fist.  When we got close to the door I reminded him to set the rock right by the front door so he could find it easily again.  He chose to hide it in his hand insisting that he didn't have a rock at all.
We all do this in some way at some time, don’t we?  We try to hide something we know we should not have or be doing.  We think it is probably harmless and so we go ahead with it but we hide it.  We are as naive as my son was yesterday.  I saw what he did clearly and God sees what we do clearly.
There is no darkness that God cannot permeate.  We may try to hide in darkness but Psalm 139 states that, to God, the night is as bright as day.  Let go of the hidden rock, the “harmless’ deceit we cling to.  Let us all do what is right and true in God’s eyes.  Step out of the gloom and into the warmth of his glowing, eternal light.  Bask in his truth and love today.


The clouds loom heavy this morning but the birds sing anyway.  Shadows come but we all know the light never fails.  Protect us from the call of shadow and darkness and keep us close to you.  Compel us to remain in your light always; doing what is right in your sight.  In this way, we serve and glorify you and your kingdom today and all days until you come again.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When I walked into the room where I have my quiet time, this is the verse that came into my mind.
I disregarded it, thinking to myself, “Everyone knows that verse.”  As I read different passages of scripture the theme was constant.  We cannot achieve, we cannot find peace, and we cannot gain anything unless we do it through Christ.
Adam and Eve sought knowledge against the instructions of God but they did not seek knowledge through God so it was incomplete and marred.  In Paul’s letter to the Colossians he warns them to not be taken captive through empty deceit, human tradition or elemental spirits.  They will only find fullness in Christ, head of every ruler and authority.
In Hebrews we are reminded to run the race with perseverance, looking to Christ Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.  Do you see a common thread in these passages?
I am guilty of seeking fullness in human tradition.  I am guilty of looking away and seeking knowledge in different ways than God has instructed me to.  I still run weary and weak, struggling to persevere in this race.  It is only when I come to the mercy seat, when I come to the feet of Christ that I am renewed, replenished and redeemed.
I cannot do anything without him; I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


Forgive my wandering heart.  I come to you each morning seeking forgiveness and grace.  You are faithful to me; to us all.  Guide me in your ways, teach me truth and love.  As I live in you, let me see your strength in me.  I praise your Holy name forever and ever.  Amen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My garden is growing wonderfully.  There are lush green strawberry plants, tomato plants, peas, beans... and weeds.  While I was gone camping for a few days the weeds sneaked in among the plants and flourished!
How could this happen?  These weeds looked so much like good plants that if I didn't know what I had planted I might not have been able to decipher the bad from the good.  Thank the Lord I know what all the plants in my garden should look like so I am able to weed out the bad and allow more room for the good to grow.
Our souls are like a garden.  I have written this before and the analogy holds true.  James tells us the word is implanted in us but we must rid ourselves of the rank growth of wickedness and welcome the word that has the power to save our souls.  Then do; follow the word.  Don’t just weed the garden and let the plants rot!  Harvest, partake and share!
As the produce of my garden begins to burst forth, we will harvest.  We will eat, we will preserve, and we will share.
Do this with the implanted word in your soul!

Weed the garden of my soul, please!  Pluck out any rank growth and nurture the word of truth you planted.  Help it flourish so I am fruitful.  In the bounty you create, let me share what I have with others so we are all able to partake in your word, your truth and your love.  I offer all to you this day.  Amen.

Monday, July 14, 2014

There is an old saying – if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Jeremiah knows the people in exile have been told by other “prophets” that their exile is temporarily and will be very short lived.  In this passage, the Lord tells his people they will be in exile for seventy years.  He tells them to build houses, get married, have kids... you are going to be here for a while.
We are like the exiled Israelites.  We like to hear good things.  We want to believe things that make us feel happy and disregard and hard truths that may come our way.  We want to hear the word of the Lord; we just want it to be nice.
Even when we are in a place of seeking truth, how do we know what is truth and what is lie?  We cannot always discern, on our own, who is false and who is true.  These false prophets are believed by many because they are very good at deception.  They may even believe what they say is true.
God says when we search for him, we will find him.  If we seek with our whole heart, he will let us find him.  Only when we do this will we know truth.


I seek you and your truth.  Help me seek with my whole heart.  Remove distractions and deceptions from my vision and hearing so that I may see and hear you clearly.  I want to know you, I want to love you, and I want to serve you... only you.  Amen.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

This morning I woke with songs of praise in my heart and so when I came to this Psalm I rested on it.
I admit I took these two verses and stopped with them because I did not need to move beyond them into the talk of my enemies.  Today I feel the need to simply praise the Most High.  God is good and faithful to us until the end.  His love and mercy, his grace and faithfulness are amazing and beyond my imagination so I bask in those gifts and lift my heart and voice in praise this day.
I know many people who suffer many things and I know it seems impossible to lift anything when we are weighed down so heavily with burdens.  I lift prayers of petition for those people.  I pray they are able and willing to lay down their burdens at the throne of God.  Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer, bridged the gap from our hearts to the throne and through his gift of redemption we are able to run with abandon into the arms of Love.  Our burdens can be reminders that we are not able to stand on our own but only through the blessed gift of Divine Love.
Today I lift my heart and voice in praise to the Most High.  I pray you will join with me and together we can make a joyful noise of praise!


Thank you for this morning.  Thank you for songs in my heart and thank you for the voice you have given me to praise you.  Let this day be a day filled with praises and exultation to you, O Lord.  Thank you for all you have given us, all you continue to give us and all you will give us, I praise you O Most High!  Amen.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I love a good book.
I love to read stories that draw me in and, for a time, draw me out of this reality.  Books can provide an escape into another place and time.  What I love most is that the story isn't about me but I can still feel a part of it.  It speaks to me and I can be changed by it.
How do you judge a good book?  For me there are a few things that tell me the book I am reading is really good.  Time is of little importance to me when I read a good book.  I laugh out loud or cry real tears.  I can’t wait to pick it up again and jump back into the story.  These are signs to me that I am reading a really good book.
I learn many things from reading books but the Bible is the book I love to learn from the most.  All the things that I judge a good book by are true with the bible but that isn't all.  When I am reading the Bible I am also praying to, listening to and learning from God. 
Be open to all the ways that God speaks to us.  Teaching, reproof and correction, training in righteousness come in many forms but allow the holy word, inspired by God, to mold you as well.


Take my babbling and fill it with your Spirit.  Let these meager words speak to me and others despite their shortcomings.  Open our ears and hearts to hear you in scripture, in nature, in work; everywhere.  Through Jesus I pray.  Amen.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I know I have felt the way Jeremiah likely felt in this prayer.  I suspect you have as well.
Jeremiah just followed the bidding of the Lord, purchasing land while the Chaldeans prepared to overtake that very land.  In his human view, Jeremiah probably struggled to find the sense in this task but his prayer says it all.  God made the heavens and the earth.  He is all powerful and great beyond words.  Even though we cannot possibly see how things could work out for good, nothing is too hard for God.  Times haven’t changed much.
The idols and distractions present themselves differently than they did back in Jeremiah’s day but we still have them.  God lamented that his people turned their backs to him and not their faces.  We are still doing that today.  Is there no hope?
There is hope!  This passage gives me hope.  God tells Jeremiah he will gather his people, he will give them “one heart and one way.”  He will “rejoice in doing good to them.”  Despite their disobedience and wayward wandering, God loves his people.  Even today, God loves all his people including you and me!
Whatever valley you are in, whatever idols have hold of you, whatever draws you away from God, he is stronger, bigger and better.  Put all your trust in the power and love of God.  He is faithful and true forever!


Your promise to restore your people resonates in my heart.  You know our cries and our pain; you know our sins and our weaknesses.  Please give us one heart and one way.  Settle us in the safety of your love.  Turn our faces to you that we may clearly see the things you are doing in us and in our world.  I ask this through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.  Amen.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

We live in a concrete world.  Most of us like things set, to some degree, in stone.
As I read this passage today I thought, again, of Rachel’s friend.  He is a very logical thinker and so embracing God and grace, are a challenge.  God is not something that can be touched but he will touch you in ways you cannot imagine if you will allow him to.  God cannot be seen with our eyes, but we see the movement and work of God in everything we gaze at.  God ought each of us since the beginning, longing for relationship with us.  He gave laws to allow us community with him and when we could not keep those, he sent Jesus, the mediator.
Jesus came and became the ultimate bridge between human and God.  He sacrificed his life so that we might live in community with God forever.  We simply need to receive this gift of love and move into the grace of being God’s children.
Most of us know this story well.  Sometimes it is good to hear it and see it again.  Whenever I do, I am left in wonder and awe at the love and grace of this Awesome God!

I pray for those who have not heard and those who do not see.  Help us, who know you, bring others to a place where they see and hear and believe.  I know you, I love you, and I cannot live without you.  Help me share this truth with all who will listen.  All glory, honor and praise to you, my King.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

There is a song that came to mind when I read this scripture.  It is a song with this basic message: God created us to use us for his work in the world.  We need to stop doing nothing and do something now.
Could God send his heavenly host to earth and accomplish all his work in one fell swoop?  I believe he could but he has never worked that way in the past and won’t likely anytime soon.  He works his ways, his kingdom, through his people.  Through us, he is glorified, when we allow him to use us in his work.
I like to think I am available to him at all times and that I seek to glorify him in all ways.  I like to think I am ready and willing to do his bidding whenever he calls.  I think I deceive myself.  I am more obedient to him that I used to be but that gives me no right to become complacent in my work.  When I hear him or feel him asking me to do something, it is my tendency to push it off until another time.
Paul says “Now.”  That song says “Now.”  Do you hear the urgency as I do?  Let’s take hold of God and each other and do the work of God, glorifying him today and forever!


Chase the fear away from us: encourage our hearts and souls to work as you call us to.  Move us to action today and tomorrow, not just someday.  Forgive my heart of ignorance, speak loud and clear so I cannot deny your call and inspire me to work for your glory today and all days, forever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ooh, my memory, or lack thereof, scares me sometimes.  I know I can remember things because I memorize music for one of the groups I ring handbells in, so why do I forget so much?
I know I am not alone in this quandary.  Many of my friends seem to struggle with remembering things too.  Whenever we are making a date to get together or talking about a specific time, the phones and calendars come out immediately.  We use the tools we have at our disposal to help remind us of things that are important to us.
There is no better reminder that the Holy Spirit.  He is with us wherever we go, we cannot forget to bring him and his battery never needs charged.  We can tune him out but, even then, he will make his voice known when it is important.
Each morning I sit practicing quietness in the Lord.  I love to feel God’s presence without distraction.  I seek his voice resonating in my heart and soul.  Do I always embrace the message of the Spirit?  Do I love to be reminded of the words of my Lord regardless of my thoughts at the moment?  I am still working on that but in the depths of my soul, I remember God’s love and mercy in those moments and I embrace and enjoy them.


You are here with us in every moment, every day, everywhere.  Help us receive your guidance without distraction.  Open our ears to hear your teachings and reminders clearly.  Soften our hearts to do your bidding.  When we live in you, we live for you.  In this, we love as you taught us to.  Thank you for your Spirit, Your love, and your grace.  Amen.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Humility is something we do not see much of in society today.  There is a lot of talk about being proud of whom you are.  Finding value in ourselves is a big thing.
We are all a work in progress, I am no different.  Does James think we should walk around feeling worthless and useless?  I think not!  God will lift us up.
He tells us to draw near to God, cleanse our hands and purify our hearts.  He tells us to mourn and weep and to humble ourselves before the Lord.  God will exalt us.
Regardless of our own self-image, God sees us in truth.  He created us to be his beloved children and on this journey of life that is our task, to live as his children.  So I come to the Lord.  I draw hear to him.  I wash my hands as a sign of seeking cleanliness and ask the Lord to purify my heart once again.
As I pray for my own soul, I lift up the churches around this nation and the world.  I ask the Lord to cleanse them and purify them once more.  I lift up this nation, built with God as the center, and ask him to cleanse us and purify our nation once more.
We all fall short of God’s glory.  James gives us tools to move back into the grace of God.  Humble ourselves before the Lord.


Thank you for using us to do your work in the world.  Help us give credit where credit is due.  Keep us becoming something different than you designed us to be, your children.  I pray for people and churches across the world and this nation as well.  Cleanse us, purify us and draw us near to you once again.  I ask all this through Jesus, the Christ.  Amen.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Have you ever had a dream that seemed so real you could not convince your heart it was only a dream?
I had a dream like that last night.  When I woke I knew the dream could not be true but I still keep asking myself, what if?  My dream left me feeling betrayed and abandoned and when I woke up enough I had the phrase “I am yours and you are mine” going through my head.
The state of the world seems like a bad dream.  We live in a world of cold betrayal.  There are lies and deception on every corner; in every heart.  What we see is not always what we get and if we put ourselves out there we are just as likely to get burned as to be affirmed.
Maybe this is a bad dream and not reality.  Maybe reality is not truth.
I read this passage and these verses resonate so deeply.  I take courage knowing there are some who call on the Lord, some who take hold of him.  I hold the truth that he is our Father; we are all the work of his hand.  I pray to him for cleansing, purification, renewal and revival.

You are mine and I am yours.  You are my Father, I am your child.  You are the potter, I am the clay.  I pray for all souls today, Father.  I pray you will turn us toward you, cleanse and purify our souls and then fill us with your truth and love.  Compel us to reach out, calling your name and taking hold of you from this day forward until you come again.  I ask this through Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer.  Amen.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.”

Family time is an easy time for rejoicing in my world.
Getting together for food, fellowship and fireworks is priceless! As I laid in bed with the pain in my back and the fireworks still shooting off it was a bit more difficult to rejoice.
The sun came up and my back pain is the same. I rejoice that it is not worse... my kids slept well and are bright-eyed and bushy tailed; I rejoice. There is war, poverty, sickness and brokenness in the world... I rejoice. Yes, I rejoice in the peace, wealth, health and wholeness that is offered to the world in place of all the other things. I will rejoice that this is not our forever home and that the journey of struggles teaches us much, draws us in closer to God and his Divine presence.
I am scolding my kids, disgruntled with my spouse, grumbling about my chores, am I praying? Maybe, but is it what the Lord wants to hear? Does he want to hear me grumble and whine and complain? Maybe.
I look back to the scripture – rejoice always... hmmm. When I am complaining and whining that is certainly not rejoicing. I come to the Lord as I am, happy or sad, content or disgruntled and as I talk with him, listen to him and sit with him, I am slowly brought to a place where I can rejoice in him.
I am reminded to remain in him and I know if I do, I can follow these directions.
As I pray for my family, people traveling, the churches and our nation, I am able to rejoice in the Lord.
Step into his presence, soak in his peace and love and rejoice, rejoice always! Pray and rejoice...

You know our hearts, draw them into your presence so we are more able to rejoice. Help our words, thoughts and deeds be a prayer of rejoicing, thanksgiving and offering to you. I lift all to you this morning. Amen.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Today we celebrate Independence Day – the day we remember the freedom we have that was fought for long ago and in some ways is still fought for today.
Our founding fathers wanted independence from the rule of England.  The pilgrims wanted to worship God the way they felt they should, not the way the church in England was deeming they should.  They fought for this freedom, some to the death.
In Deuteronomy 13 Moses tells the Israelites “The Lord your God you shall follow, him alone you shall fear, his commandments you shall keep, his voice you shall obey, him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast.”  This passage warns against worshiping other gods, listening to the voices of false prophets.  Whose voice do we hear today?
I cannot imagine living in a country without freedom but I wonder how free our country really is.  We have a lot of freedom to live as we want to but that can easily lead to slavery of a different kind.  I turn to the words of Jesus, “continue in my word... know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
As I celebrate our nation’s freedom, I seek truth for my soul.  Even more than my physical freedom I celebrate spiritual freedom through Christ!


We put on our blinders, we close our eyes and our ears and we believe we are free.  I pray for this nation, its leaders and its people.  Remove the covers of deceit, the blinders of lies and help us all move into truth through you.  Draw us all into your arms of love and protection; make us truly one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.  Amen.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hearts can be hardened like stone and we have all heard the term” heart of ice.”
As I sat pondering this verse these are the things that came to me:  We are called to pour out our hearts before him but how can we do that if our heart is like ice or stone?
Ice can be warmed and melted with heat from the sun.  Stone can also be liquefied by a much higher heat from the center of the earth.  Melting ice or liquefying stone takes time; it is a process and if they are allowed to get cold, they will harden once again.
Let the warmth of God’s love heat and melt your heart of ice, let the deep warmth of God’s love liquefy your heart of stone.  He is our refuge and trusting in him, we can become like a glass of clear refreshing water; his living water flowing in our hearts.  We can become like lava, liquid rock on fire with the love of our Lord God.  Soften your heart and allow God to cleanse and purify you.
When we put our trust in Him He is our refuge.  Whenever we need to come back into his loving arms for renewal, for forgiveness, for protection from the storms, He is there.  Come into His presence, trusting in Him.  Pour out your hearts as I pour out mine knowing we will be changed and blessed because of it.


Strengthen my trust in you.  Sometimes I come in trepidation and fear; you are an awesome God.  Your word tells us over and over about your love for us.  Soften my heart, remove the fear and damage, and melt me completely so you can transform me.  Liquefy my heart for you Lord.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A call to all nations; a call to all hearts:
A few months ago I spent a day in silent retreat and Zephaniah was the book I was led through.  It is only 3 short chapters but there is much to learn from the words in this prophet’s writing.
Zephaniah was warning the people of Israel, we could stand to listen to his words of warning today.  You can look at any nation and see the need to repent and turn to the Lord.
I recently received a prayer request to join with many in seven days of prayer for our nation and our churches.  This request falls right in with this passage of scripture.  I pray to be cleansed of any evil lies that blind and deceive me, drawing me away from truth and light.  I pray for the light and love of God to fill the churches renewing them in his truth and moving them into new and deeper service to his glory.  I pray for this nation, that it would return to true faith in the one living God of all, serving and honoring him in all its actions.
As I often start with prayers for the nations, I am instantly reminded that the nations are no worse off than I am.  We all fall short of the glory of God and when we are together, the group falls short as well.  I pray that each of us, individually, and corporately, will repent and turn to the Lord until he comes.


Forgive my sins; cleanse me of all unrighteousness through the redeeming blood of Jesus, the Christ.  Protect me from deceit, destruction, and evil.  Help me magnify you and your holy name.  Cleanse and renew our churches and our nation, drawing us all back into your holy arms of love.  Make us new so we are able and willing to serve you in truth and in love.  I ask all of these things to your glory and honor, Almighty Lord.  Amen.