Monday, September 29, 2014

Do I listen or do I simply hear?
My friends tease me a bit because I do not hear well on the phone.  If they want to talk with me it needs to be in person so I don’t misunderstand or just miss what they say.
We live in a world of noise and distractions.  We are barraged with sound at every turn and when there is quiet, we make our own sound because we don’t know quietness.
It takes intent to really listen.  It takes quiet and focus to move beyond the noise of our world.  When we take time to really listen, it is amazing what we can hear.
Samuel was just a boy serving under the priest Eli when he heard his call.  Like us, he didn’t understand what or who he was hearing until Eli told him.  Then, when the Lord called again Samuel was ready, he was listening.
The Lord calls to us as well.  Have you heard his voice calling and misunderstood it or missed it altogether?  I pray you will take time to sit and listen with intent.  I pray you hear his voice calling you into love and action.


Please forgive me for hearing and ignoring or not even hearing because of distraction or selfishness.  Open my ears and my heart to hear your voice, to hear your call and to be a willing servant like Samuel.  Help me truly say “speak, for your servant is listening.”  Amen.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Do I have what it takes to be a true follower, a true disciple of Jesus?
The twelve apostles dropped everything and followed him.  Whatever their livelihood was, whatever their lives held, they stopped it; they dropped it and followed Jesus.  I am willing to do the same?
I am receiving messages like this one form numerous sources.  It seems like everywhere I turn, everything I hear when I am listening says “Come and follow me.”  “Take up your cross and follow me.”
I am reading an old story about living like Jesus.  The characters in the story have agreed to live as Jesus would for one year regardless of cost.  They ask themselves “what would Jesus do?”
As I take this all in, I let it ruminate in my soul.  I know God is working and I know this is a time for me to wait in the Lord, so I wait, rest, and prepare.  Until then, I ask you to consider in your own life: “What would Jesus do?”


I do not know the plans you have for me but I know you will reveal them to me when the time is right.  Help me be ready; help me let go of my worldly desires and hold more tightly to your Spirit.  Help me grow into your true disciple.  Amen.

Friday, September 5, 2014

I do not run.
I remember years ago when I was a kid, my older sister was on the track team.  I went out with her a few times to jog or run and did not enjoy it one tiny bit.
I am training for a 5k run/walk.  I have had several nudges over the last couple of years to try jogging and have successfully pushed them away.  When this 5k came up there was another big nudge.  The person organizing it posted a training schedule if we wanted to jog or run.  My younger sister signed up to do the 5k as well and when I asked if she had any desire to jog any of it, she said she wanted to jog the whole thing.  Okay.
Yesterday I did day two of my training to jog a 5k.  I am taking this on as spiritual work.  It takes discipline and training to do a run.  It takes the proper equipment and tools to do it well.  This is no different than my spiritual life.  That takes discipline, training, and proper tools as well.
I pray I will keep my eyes on him, and true life, and health as I continue this training and discipline.  I do not want to focus on what I see in the mirror but what I feel in my heart.  I do not want accolades; I want to draw closer to God.


You know my heart.  Help me keep focused on you and my strength in you.  Keep my goal true; healthier body, mind, and spirit.  Through you and in you, I receive true life.  Amen.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jesus taught us how to pray.  He prayed throughout his life and ministry.  He prayed with people and for people.  He prayed in crowds and by himself.
Paul reminds us to pray.  In his first letter to the Thessalonians he says “pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances...”  He rephrases what Jesus told them in this parable; pray always and don’t lose heart.
I like to think I have a strong faith but when I look at my hope in prayer, I question myself.  I have seen the power of prayer; I have heard and read countless stories about the power of prayer.  Why do I come into prayer with only a part of me then?
James also tells us that we do not receive because we do not ask, or we ask for selfish gain.  Then there is the story in the gospel of Mark about a man asking Jesus to heal his child and he cries “help my unbelief!”
I need to delve in to prayer in a different and deeper way.  I continue to strive to pray without ceasing, to pray with hope and to seek the glory of the Lord rather than my own.  Another facet of this life-long journey...


Help my unbelief!  I do not like to think I have unbelief but you know my heart better than I do, and you know there is self-doubt in my prayers.  Let these words of Jesus stay deep within me so that I hold on to them when I pray.  Keep all of these scriptures close to me, Thank you God!  Amen.

Monday, September 1, 2014

What do the hills really represent in this passage?
I always like looking to the “hills” from my home.  To me the mountains in the distance are a reminder of God’s strength and a place of peace and renewal.
When I think about climbing those mountains though I see the question rising, who will help me?  Climbing mountains can be arduous and challenging.  It can be dangerous, life-risking work.  The question becomes more insistent then; from where will my help come?
If the hills represent challenges or trials to overcome, it is comforting to know there is help.  Not just help from a knowing and kind person either.  My help comes from the Lord!  Whatever hill, whatever challenge I have to climb He can overcome it – he created it!  He knows it inside and out, every detail of its being.
I can think of no better guide than the Lord.  Whatever I face, whatever I go through, he is my help.  Thanks be to God!


Thank you for these verses of promise and comfort.  Thank you for the beauty of this world.  As I climb mountains, go through valleys, or sit on plateaus with you, help me see the beauty in the moments of peace and in the times of struggle.  I thank you for your promise to be with me, to help me, and to never let go.  I am ready, Lord.  Amen.