It’s a Plan

I know what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.

As I read Psalm 89, my plan jumps right off the page- ” I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever.”  I will tell everyone I know about how I have experienced your faithfulness all my life, Abba Father.

I will talk about your perfect love for me and the abundant blessings you have showered down on my life.

I will walk with you each day, Father, until the day we walk into heaven together, hand in hand.

I will find my peace in your strength.  I will find my joy in your love and faithfulness.  I will find my strength in your righteousness and justice.

I will walk in the light of your presence each day, Father. 

And I will continue to sing of your great love forever.

Amen and Amen.

His Breath of New Life

A valley of bones.

Millions of bones.

When God breathed into them – “they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.”

Wow!!

Growing up in church, I always thought this vision of Ezekiel should be preached around Halloween because a valley full of dry bones suddenly connecting and standing up is creepy as well as scary.

How time changes things.  Now I love this visual because it’s exactly what happened when I turned over my whole heart to God.  His breath went deep into my soul and – for the first time – I was truly alive.  I have an eternal purpose.  I have been re-created into one of the soldiers in his army – wearing his armor and working hard next to my spiritual brothers and sisters to push back evil.  Each day, I read and study God’s word – getting to know him better and growing my understanding of the things he loves.

God gives me hope.  Not the ‘I wish’ kind of hope.  This hope is cemented into my heart by the promises of God.  I know who is in control and I know he is working everything out for my good.  I know where I’m going when I leave this earth.  I know who wins in the end.

God’s redeeming love has turned my dry bones into something good and useful.  His breath moves my soul and brings new life each day.

There are no more dry bones here.

What about you?  Could you use a breath of new, real life from God?

Thank you for your breath of real life, Abba Father.

Branded by the Truth

The truth is etched onto my brain,

it’s written on my heart.

God’s truth has forever changed me.

You and I are the created ones.  God is the Uncreated One.  His old relationship with us was broken by our rebellion and sin.  That’s one of the reasons why the Old Testament is filled with violence and gore.  That’s why there was continual conflict and strife between God and humans in the Old Testament.

Sin was in the middle of everything – messing it up.

But God had an awesome plan to fix this.  He was sending Jesus, his Son, to pay the price of all our sins for all time.  Because of what Jesus did through his death and resurrection, those of us who accept salvation through him can have a personal relationship with God which begins here on earth and extends into eternity.

In Jeremiah, God describes the New Testament relationship that is coming,  ” I will put my instructions deep within them and I will write them on their hearts.  I will be their God and they will be my people.”

Thank you, Father God, for sending your Son, Jesus, who offers salvation and freedom to everyone.  Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit deep within my soul when I put my faith in Jesus.  I hear the instructions of your Spirit and I feel the love and strength you give me each day.  I love your Word which is written on my heart.  I  am so glad you challenged me to get serious about memorizing your Word.   Now I am branded by your Truth – thank you for making that happen.  It still amazes me how my bad memory can remember scripture.

I am so very grateful that you are my God and I am your daughter – forever.  In the redeeming name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

If…

you will call on me and come and pray to me, I will listen, ” God tells  us in Jeremiah 29. “When you seek me with all of your heart, you will find me.”

The big IF.  The big WHEN.  This is the part where you and I have to commit.   This is our part of the deal.  God guarantees that he will listen.  God promises that we will find him.  IF I call on him. IF you call on him.  WHEN we seek him.

The verse right before this is very well-known.  It is a promise of God that we desperately hold on to when our lives are crumbling around us.  We often recite it in our prayers for our children and families.

God tells us that his plans for us are to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future.

Amen!  Bring it on, God!

But we miss it if we don’t read on to the next verses.  This is where he tells us HOW he is going to do this.  He promises to respond and prosper us  IF we call on him.  WHEN we seek him, he will be found and he will be able to do what he has promised.  He wants to give us a hope.  He has a beautiful future planned for us.

IF.  WHEN.

Am I calling on him?  Am I seeking him?  What about you?  I can’t claim this promise unless I’m doing these things.

I am calling and seeking right now, Abba Father.

 

I am Becoming

I am ‘becoming’ something.

We are all on the path to ‘somewhere’.

I know I decide what I am becoming and where I’m going by my choices each day.

I know I am going one way or another – I’m not standing still.  If I’m not doing anything new, not growing then I am moving backward as the world moves forward around me.

God tells me through Isaiah that I can decide to be clay in my Potter’s hands. Potter-at-Work1

When I put our life in my Father God’s hands, he is able to mold me into the person he created me to be.

When I let God change me and transform me, I become a beautiful work of his hands.

I have seen his work in my life – gradually changing my thinking and perspective so it more closely lines up with his.  Reading the entire Bible for the ninth time this year, I continue to reap the rewards of committing this time and effort to my relationship with him.  The better I know his Word, the easier it is for my Potter to mold me.  I look forward to many more years of God continuing to refine me – I am confident that his goal is to create a unique masterpiece of my life.

Our lives – created by God.

Will we be molded  and shaped by the Master’s hands?

Our choice.

I choose you, Abba Father.

He is Doing It

You call them coincidences.  Situations come together and there’s an unexpected check or a conflict resolves itself without you doing anything or you get an awesome yet much needed surprise at just the right time.  How great!  Wow!  What a coincidence!

But it’s not a coincidence.  It’s a God-incidence.  It didn’t just happen – God made it happen.  Every day God goes ahead of me, working things out for my good.  When I get to tomorrow, he has already been there, taking care of the details and organizing blessings for me.

So I relate to Jehoshaphat’s story in 2 Chronicles.  The people of Judah were being attacked by a huge combined army made up of several of their enemies.  King Jehoshaphat told his people to “have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld.”  Then he appointed a group of men to go in front of his army singing praises to the LORD.

This creates a vivid picture in my mind of this army of tough, armor-clad soldiers carrying their swords and shields while men lifting praises to God marched in front of them, leading the way.

While the army of Judah was marching toward battle, God set ambushes against the enemy army.  The individual armies within that enormous army started fighting amongst themselves and totally destroyed each other.

When the army of Judah got to the top of the hill that overlooked the desert where they were going to fight, all they saw were dead bodies.  The battle was over and they were victorious!

A God-incident.  He took care of it before they ever got there.

God often does this in my life.  When I’m aware, I see God-incidences happening all through my life.  I have learned that, when I am unsure of my next step in a situation, I need to pray to God.  I trust that he’s going ahead of me – either taking care of the situation or creating an opportunity for me to say or do what I’m thinking about.  So I pray….and watch…and wait…. until he moves.  It’s amazing!  He either works it all out for my good without me doing anything or he opens up a door for me to do or say what he’s prompting me to say.   Sometimes it takes a while for it all to come together but timing is everything.

God-incidences are always the perfect thing at the perfect time.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

My Greatest Treasure

My greatest treasure is not money,

or fame,

or any of my ‘stuff’.

My  greatest treasure is wisdom.  Wisdom – so I can navigate successfully through all of the valleys and hills and curves and blind curves of my life.  I’ve been memorizing wisdom scripture this last 5 years.  I have a bad memory so it is really God who is etching his Word on my heart – I just faithfully get out my memory cards every day.  I found out why God commands me to memorize his truth 4 years ago when tragedy blew my life apart.  God used the words he carved into my brain to keep my soul from crumbling into a million painful pieces when my son was killed.

James tells us in his first chapter that God gives us generous amounts of wisdom when we ask for it.  I’ve been asking, I need it and I’m not going stop.

We read in 1 King 10 that the historically famous Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon.  She had heard about King Solomon’s extreme wealth but she was not interested in that — she was crazy rich herself.  She was not interested in his palaces or any of his numerous possessions.

The Queen of Sheba came to test Solomon’s wisdom.  That’s what motivated her to take a very dangerous 1200 mile trip on camels through a desert filled with thieves and criminals.

When the Queen of Sheba asked Solomon all of her many questions, he had an answer for everything.  She was surprised.  She didn’t think any man could have that kind of wisdom.

Before she left, she talked about how happy Solomon’s people must have been to be in his presence and hear his wisdom every day.

I can’t help thinking – is anyone who hangs out with you and me happy about all the wisdom they hear from us every day?

All wisdom comes from God and he generously gives it to us when we ask.  It is our greatest treasure.

Thank you,  Abba Father.

Psalm 19, 2020

The heavens declare your glory, Father!

Every time I look up into the brilliant sky, I see the work of your hands.  Day after day, the skies tell us how huge and magnificent you are.  Night after night, they reveal your power and glory.

The skies don’t talk, they make no sound.  But their voices go out to the ends of the world, telling us about you.

The sun rises every morning at your command – filled with joy and anticipation as it makes its way across the sky, spreading your gift of light and warmth.

Your law is perfect and it refreshes my soul, Father.  Your word is trustworthy, it is able to make me wise.  Your directions are always right for me – they bring joy to my heart.  Your commands give light and open up my eyes.  They are more precious to me than money, fame or success.

You speak through your Word to warn me and you reward me with many blessings when I walk closely with you.

Please forgive my sins – known and unknown – and keep me from willfully straying from your path.

May these words and the attitude of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord, my Rock and My Redeemer.

I love you, Abba Father.

Psalm 40, 2020

When I became faithful in seeking you, God, you lifted me out of the slimy pit of my rebellion and sin.  You rescued me from the deep mud of my bad choices.  You pulled me out of the mire I created by trying to do things ‘my way’.

I am now solidly planted on you, my Rock.  I have a new song of  love and praise to sing to you.

I pray that many others will also decided to put their trust in you, God.

Father, you bless those who trust in you.  We are wise when we put you first in our lives and don’t follow the example of others who are only focused on themselves.

You have great things planned for us, the faithful.  You have done many awesome things – there is nothing and no one to compare you to.

You don’t want me to just read the Bible and go to church.  You want my eyes to be open to your truth.  You want my obedience.

You don’t want me to just give my money to the church – you want me to passionately care about the things you care about.

You don’t want me to just close my eyes to pray and start down my list of requests.  You want a relationship with me.  You want a conversation.  Most of all, you desire listening ears and a softened heart.

Here I am , Lord.

I desire to do your will.

Write your words upon my heart.

I love you, Abba Father.

Psalm 86, 2020

Let’s join with King David in his prayer:

Hear me, LORD, and answer me, I need you.  I am a faithful servant who trusts you – save me.

You are my God, have mercy on me as I call out to you all day long.  I trust you, God.  Please give me joy.

You are so good.  When I walk close with you, your love and forgiveness overwhelm me.  There is no other god like you.  Everything you have created joins together to worship you.  You are great and marvelous.  You alone are God.

I want to learn all about you, LORD, so I can build my life on your truth.  Give me an undivided heart which is focused on loving and honoring you.

I will praise you, God, with all my heart forever.

Each day I feel your great love for me.  Keep me safe.

I am surrounded by arrogant and confused people who don’t believe in you, God.  But I know you are a compassionate and gracious God, overflowing with love and faithfulness.

Open my eyes to what you doing, God.  Have mercy on me and save me.just like you have done for those who have gone before me.  Show me your goodness, LORD, so that others around me will see what a great God you are.

Thank you for your help and comfort, LORD.

Amen.